Secret HistoryS


'Rightful king of England' dies: Aussie forklift truck driver's ancestors were 'cheated out of crown'

Rightful King of England
The king and I: Michael Hastings posing in front of a portrait of a relative in his home town of Jerilderie
Mike Hastings became a household name after TV researchers revealed his family was cheated out of the crown in the 15th century.

An Aussie forklift driver believed by some historians to be the rightful King of England has died, aged 71.

Mike Hastings became a household name after TV researchers revealed his family was cheated out of the crown in the 15th century.

A Channel 4 team found documents suggesting Edward IV was illegitimate, so his younger brother George, the Duke of Clarence and Mike's ancestor, should have been king.

It said that Edward's father Richard of York was fighting the French at Pontoise when he was conceived, while his mother Cecily was 125 miles away at Rouen, allegedly in the amorous arms of an English archer.

If true, the crown should have passed on to Edward's younger brother George, the duke of Clarence, who was a direct ancestor to Hastings.


Ancient Mosaic Depicting Fiery Bible Story Discovered

© Jim HabermanA mosaic inscription about rewards for those who do good deeds.
A glittering mosaic of colored stones once decorated an ancient synagogue floor with scenes of the Biblical hero Samson getting revenge on the Philistines.

This newly excavated discovery in the ancient Jewish village of Huqoq not only depicts an unusual scene - Samson tying torches to foxes' tails in order to burn his enemies' crops - it's also remarkably high-quality, said dig archaeologist Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

In a mosaic, "the smaller the cubes, the finer the work," Magness told LiveScience. "Our cubes are very small and fine."

The mosaic decorates part of a synagogue dating back to about A.D. 400 to 500. So far, Magness and her team have excavated only part of the eastern wall of the structure, so they don't yet know how big the synagogue was. But the building appears to be made of large, "beautifully cut" blocks of stone, Magness said, suggesting an expansive structure.


"Frankenstein" Bog Mummies Discovered in Scotland

Combo Mummy
© Mike Parker Pearson, University of SheffieldA female Bronze Age mummy from Cladh Hallan is a composite of different skeletons.
In a "eureka" moment worthy of Dr. Frankenstein, scientists have discovered that two 3,000-year-old Scottish "bog bodies" are actually made from the remains of six people.

According to new isotopic dating and DNA experiments, the mummies - a male and a female - were assembled from various body parts, although the purpose of the gruesome composites is likely lost to history.

The mummies were discovered more than a decade ago below the remnants of 11th-century houses at Cladh Hallan, a prehistoric village on the island of South Uist (map), off the coast of Scotland.

The bodies had been buried in the fetal position 300 to 600 years after death. (See bog body pictures.)

Based on the condition and structures of the skeletons, scientists had previously determined that the bodies had been placed in a peat bog just long enough to preserve them and then removed. The skeletons were then reburied hundreds of years later.

Terry Brown, a professor of biomedical archaeology at the University of Manchester, said there were clues that these bog bodies were more than they seemed.

On the female skeleton, "the jaw didn't fit into the rest of the skull," he said. "So Mike [Parker Pearson, of Sheffield University] came and said, Could we try to work it out through DNA testing?"

Brown sampled DNA from the female skeleton's jawbone, skull, arm, and leg. The results show that bones came from different people, none of whom even shared the same mother, he said.

The female is made from body parts that date to around the same time period. But isotopic dating showed that the male mummy is made from people who died a few hundred years apart.


China's earliest wine unearthed in NW tomb

China's earliest wine

Xi'An, (Xinhua) -- Liquid inside an ancient wine vessel unearthed in Shaanxi province is considered to be the earliest wine in China's history, archaeologists told Xinhua Thursday.

The wine vessel made of bronze was unearthed in a noble's tomb of the West Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC - 771 BC) in Shigushan Mountain in Baoji city.

The liquid is likely the oldest wine discovered in China, said Liu Jun, director of Baoji Archaeology Institute, who is in charge of the project.

The vessel, one of the six discovered in the tomb, could be heard to contain a liquid when it was shaken, Liu said.

However, the cover of the vessel was pretty solid and there was no appropriate tools to open it at the excavation site, so the liquid remains a mystery, he said.


'Britain's Atlantis' found at bottom of North sea - a huge undersea world swallowed by the sea in 6500BC

'Britain's Atlantis' - a hidden underwater world swallowed by the North Sea - has been discovered by divers working with science teams from the University of St Andrews.

Doggerland, a huge area of dry land that stretched from Scotland to Denmark was slowly submerged by water between 18,000 BC and 5,500 BC.

Divers from oil companies have found remains of a 'drowned world' with a population of tens of thousands - which might once have been the 'real heartland' of Europe.

A team of climatologists, archaeologists and geophysicists has now mapped the area using new data from oil companies - and revealed the full extent of a 'lost land' once roamed by mammoths.

© St Andrews UniversityDivers from St Andrews University, find remains of Doggerland, the underwater country dubbed 'Britain's Atlantis

Comment: Well that pretty much throws uniformitarianism out the window. If an entire landmass can be suddenly submerged just a few thousand years ago, we can say goodbye to everything we think know about how earth changes happen. Maybe scientists will finally embrace the reality of cyclical catastrophism?

(We're not holding our breath)


Secrets of Cemetery of Giant Rocks

Vietnam Cemetary_1
© VietNam Net
From a distance, one can see giant rocks of several tons in weight in Dong Thech cemetery. However, nobody understands why ancient people moved these rocks to this site, and how they could do that task.

Mr. Bui Minh Loi, a former official of Vinh Dong commune, in charge of culture affairs, has taken care of the giant rocks since he retired ten years ago. Loi witnessed a dozen of excavations, conducted by Vietnamese and international experts, at the cemetery but he did not know clearly about the cemetery. He only knows legendaries about it.

According to legends, this canyon, named Dong Thech is in dragon mouth shape. The canyon is surrounded by mountain ranges in the shape of a rolling dragon and a sitting tiger. Geomancers said that this canyon was very good in feng shui, so mandarins of Muong ethnic group buried their ancestors in the canyon.

The cemetery fell into oblivion after several centuries and it was covered by the jungle. When Loi was a boy, this area was the home to wild animals only. Muong people believe that this is the land of god so nobody dared to come to this land, except for ba moi (magicians of Muong people).

Each Muong village has a ba moi, who has great power and worships Hung Kings, Vietnam's ancestors. Ba moi used to go to the cemetery during holidays to make rituals and Muong people believed that after that their power developed.

Loi showed Chinese scripts on a rock of three meters high and said that he could not read them but he had a transcript by experts. These scripts mean: Mr. Dinh Cong Ky, the head of Muong tribe in Muong Dong. He was born in 1582 and died on October 13, 1647. He was carried to this cemetery on February 22 by 15 funeral hearses, 7 elephants and five horses. The funeral of this man is solemn like the funeral of a king.
Vietnam Cemetary_3
© VietNam Net
Local mandarins, their wives and children were also buried in this cemetery.


Where Was the Reichsbank Gold?

gold bars
I am an avid reader of monetary history. Of late I have been focusing on the monetary events of the 1920s and 1930s. By learning from the maelstrom that riled the global financial scene during those two tumultuous decades, I aim to better understand present circumstances because there are many similarities between then and now.

I've just finished a fascinating book published in 1955 entitled Confessions of The Old Wizard. It is the autobiography of Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht, whose improbable name reflects his North Schleswig ancestry and his father's admiration of an American newspaper editor.

For those not familiar with him, Schacht is generally given credit for ending in 1923 the Weimar Republic hyperinflation and putting Germany once again on a sound monetary footing, commendable feats which earned him the nickname "The Old Wizard". He did this first as Commissioner of the Currency for the Finance Ministry and thereafter as President of the Reichsbank. For these achievements, he received worldwide acclaim as well as fame, if that word accurately describes the popular attention and respect given to a skilled central banker.

Schacht's autobiography contains many stories and anecdotes, including those of his meetings with dozens of famous people. But Schacht's account of a meeting with Benjamin Strong is one I found particularly important, shocking even.


Supernova explosion as a "red crucifix": Ancient text may solve cosmic mystery

© UnknownOne of the nine manuscripts of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
An ancient text about a "red crucifix" seen in British evening skies more than 1,200 years ago could explain a mysterious radiation spike, U.S. scientists say.

The phenomenon in 774 A.D. may have been a previously unrecognized supernova explosion and could explain a mysterious spike in carbon-14 levels in that year's growth rings in Japanese cedar trees, Nature reported Wednesday.

Jonathon Allen, a biochemistry major at the University of California, Santa Cruz, heard about research in Japan that found an odd spike in carbon-14 levels in tree rings, probably caused by a burst of high-energy radiation striking the upper atmosphere and increasing the rate at which carbon-14 is formed.

However, the only known causes of such bursts are supernova explosions or gigantic solar flares, and there was no historical record of any such events in the dates indicated by the tree rings.

Allen, intrigued, went on the Internet. "I just did a quick Google search," he said.

"I knew that going that far back, there's very limited written history," he said. "The only things I'd ever seen or heard of were religious texts and 'chronicles' that listed kings and queens, wars and things of that nature."

Cow Skull

'Cow Woman' Skeleton Seen As An Unusual Find

© Faye SimpsonThe skeleton of the 1400-year-old Anglo-Saxon woman buried alongside a cow.
The skeleton of a 1,400-year-old Anglo-Saxon woman buried alongside a cow has emerged from a former children's playground near Cambridge in England, making the "cow woman" an extraordinary unique find.

Described as "hugely exciting" and "bizarre," the burial was uncovered by students from Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Central Lancashire.

The find is believed to be the only one of its kind ever found in Europe.

"Usually it is warrior men who are discovered buried with their animals. Never before have we found a woman buried alongside a cow," Faye Simpson, of the Department of History at Manchester Metropolitan University, said.

Simpson and colleague Duncan Sayer, from the University of Central Lancashire, believe the burial indicates the woman enjoyed a high social status within her community.


Maya archaeologists unearth new 2012 monument with no apocalyptic prophecies at all

© Tulane University

Archaeologists working at the site of La Corona in Guatemala have discovered a 1,300 year-old year-old Maya text that provides only the second known reference to the so-called "end date" for the Maya calendar on December 21, 2012. The discovery, one of the most significant hieroglyphic find in decades, was announced today at the National Palace in Guatemala.

"This text talks about ancient political history rather than prophecy," says Marcello A. Canuto, Director of Tulane's Middle American Research Institute and co-director of the excavations at the Maya ruins of La Corona. "This new evidence suggests that the 13 Bak'tun date was an important calendrical event that would have been celebrated by the ancient Maya; however, they make no apocalyptic prophecies whatsoever regarding the date," says Canuto.

La Corona for many decades has been known as the enigmatic "Site Q," the source of many looted sculptures whose whereabouts had remained a mystery until its rediscovery only fifteen years ago. For the past five years, Marcello A. Canuto and Tomás Barrientos Q. (Director of the Centro de Investigaciones Arqueológicas y Antropológicas at Universidad del Valle de Guatemala) have directed the La Corona Regional Archaeological Project (PRALC) which has been investigating this intriguing Classic Maya city and its jungle environs.