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Sat, 24 Mar 2018
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Secret History


500-year-old code used by Ferdinand II finally cracked by Spain's intelligence agency

King Ferdinand II
© Creative Commons
King Ferdinand II of Spain
The cipher that King Ferdinand II used to communicate with his general was highly sophisticated and was constructed using over 200 characters.

The letters of King Ferdinand II addressed to his general Gonzalo de Córdoba, on display at Spain's Army Museum in Toledo for quite some time, have finally been deciphered with the help of Spain's secret service. The code was extremely complex, featuring more than 200 characters, with all words being written without spaces between them.


Ancient mass grave likely contained 300 Vikings from 'Great Heathen Army'

© University of Bristol
Some 300 bodies discovered in an ancient mass grave in England may belong to Vikings from the 'Great Heathen Army' of the 9th century, new research suggests.

A team of archaeologists from the University of Bristol believe that the remains, initially discovered in the '80s, are those of warriors sent to England to fight the King of Mercia, driving him into exile in the year 873 AD. A number of artifacts including weapons and silver coins were also believed to be from the time.


Declassified documents from 1957 reveal CIA-MI6 plot to terrorize Syria, spark fake revolution, assassinate leadership


Catapulting the propaganda: Britain's MI6 has been doing this with their fellow psychopaths in the Mossad and the CIA for a long time...
Documents show White House and No 10 conspired over oil-fuelled invasion plan

Nearly 50 years before the war in Iraq, Britain and America sought a secretive "regime change" in another Arab country they accused of spreading terror and threatening the west's oil supplies, by planning the invasion of Syria and the assassination of leading figures.

Newly discovered documents show how in 1957 Harold Macmillan and President Dwight Eisenhower approved a CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents as an excuse for an invasion by Syria's pro-western neighbours, and then to "eliminate" the most influential triumvirate in Damascus.

The plans, frighteningly frank in their discussion, were discovered in the private papers of Duncan Sandys, Mr Macmillan's defence secretary, by Matthew Jones, a reader in international history at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Comment: 'The plan' may not have been 'actionized', to borrow spook-speak, back then, but it is precisely what happened to Syria half a century later. The reason why there is a 50-year lag between the earlier articulation of this plan and its execution is because Western powers always use the same basic plan. They just didn't get around to 'doing' Syria until other circumstances permitted.

Keep in mind that the CIA's "fear of the spread of communism" was total BS, of course, just as today's 'fear of Russia' or 'fear of Islamism' is.

As explained by former CIA Station Chief John Stockwell, the real goal was to keep Third World countries as Third World countries by fighting a prolonged Third World War. They knew the Soviets were no threat. But the rise of 'socialist' policies (that is, policies that actually raised people out of poverty, thus strengthening national independence) threatened the US' global order.

John Stockwell - CIA's War on Humans

2 + 2 = 4

Secret DDR escape tunnel discovered in Berlin reveals story

hand through remains of Berlin Wall
© AP Photo/ Markus Schreiber
An 80-meter-long tunnel connecting the eastern and western parts of Berlin was accidentally discovered in the Mauerpark in Prenzlauer Berg district during construction works almost 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.


Mexico: Ancient skeletons found buried in a ring formation

mexican skeletons
© INAH - Mauricio Marat
Ten skeletons precisely arranged in a bizarre spiral formation have been discovered by archaeologists investigating a 2,400 year old burial site in Mexico.

The skeletons include adults, children and even an infant. They were buried with interlinking arms in a large ring. Two have been identified as female and one as male. The ancient bones were found at an archaeological site in the town of Tlalpan, just south of Mexico city.

In a dark twist, archaeologists from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology (INAH) and History said in a statement that because of the strange way that they were laid out, the bodies may have been part of a ritualistic burial.

However, it is not yet known whether their deaths were natural or also part of the ritual.


Russia's historic Ryazan Kremlin seen through 100 years of photographs

Ryazan Kremlin 1
We are very pleased to present an article from the great Professor William Brumfield, (Wikipedia), Professor of Slavic Studies at Tulane University, New Orleans, USA.
William Brumfield
Professor William Brumfield is among the world's foremost experts on Russian architecture, and he has a genuine heartfelt love for the Russian culture and people. His work in photographing some of Russia's most famous, and obscure sites has gone a long way in preserving these parts of Russia's national heritage, by drawing attention to their beauty and need for preservation.


Did ancient Greeks sail to Canada?

Greek triremes
© Chronicle/Alamy Stock Photo
Greek triremes were sizable oared ships used by ancient Mediterranean cultures for naval warfare. Typically, Greek sailors stuck close to shore. In new research, however, scientists suggest these sailors took to the high seas, making repeated trips across the North Atlantic Ocean.
The story of the European settlement of North America usually features a few main characters: red-headed Norsemen who sailed across an icy sea to set up temporary outposts, Spanish conquistadors, white-collared English separatists, French trappers, and Dutch colonists. Now a team of Greek scholars proposes another-and much earlier-wave of European migration: the Hellenistic Greeks, in triremes powered by sail and oar in the first century CE, nearly a millennium before the Vikings.

These ancient Greeks regularly visited what is now Newfoundland, the study's authors say. They set up colonies that lasted centuries, and they mined gold. They made recurrent trips every 30 years. Some travelers would return home after only a brief stay, but for others the voyages were one way-they came to know the North Atlantic, not the warm Aegean, as their home waters.

To be clear, there is no firm evidence of the ancient Greeks' purported voyages. There are no known physical remains of these historic Greek settlements in North America, nor are there first-hand descriptions of such journeys in anything but one account from antiquity. The idea is based entirely on a new examination of a dialogue written by the influential Roman author Plutarch, who lived from 46 to 119 CE.

"Our intention is to prove, with modern science, that it was possible for this trip to be made," Ioannis Liritzis, an archaeologist at the University of the Aegean who proposed that the ancient journeys took place, wrote in an email. Liritzis presents his argument in a new paper, co-authored with astronomer Panagiota Preka-Papadema, philosopher Konstantinos Kalachanis, meteorologist Chris G. Tzanis, and information technology consultant Panagiotis Antonopoulos.

Greek historians and maritime archaeologists are wary, however. Several people contacted for this story say Liritzis's claims are unfounded, and unlikely at best.

Russian Flag

'Not one step back!' - Stalingrad at 75: Five ways in which iconic battle turned tide of WW2

Soviet soldiers fighting in Stalingrad
© Zelma / Sputnik
Soviet soldiers fighting in Stalingrad
February 2 marks the 75th anniversary of the German surrender at Stalingrad. While the five-month battle remains a symbol of World War II, its practical importance to defeating the Nazis deserves more attention.

1. Inflicted huge losses

Stalingrad was the biggest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare. Estimates vary, but fighting between August 1942 and February 1943 is thought to have resulted in up to 2 million casualties, with more than a million dead.

The German Wehrmacht perfoms an air strike on Stalingrad
© Berliner Verlag / Archiv
The German Wehrmacht perfoms an air strike on Stalingrad, Soviet Union, in September 1942


Book review: 'The Eurocentric Conception of World Politics: Western International Theory, 1760-2010', by John M. Hobson

john hobson eurocentric politics
Rather than producing value-free and universalist accounts of the history of interstate relations, John Hobson writes, international observers usually provide provincial analyses that celebrate and defend Western civilization as the subject of, and ideal normative referent in, world politics. This bias is not only limited to Western thinkers, but also post-colonial or anti-Western writers, who tend to vastly overestimate the importance of the West in global history. Hobson identifies two subdivisions, one imperialist the other anti-imperialist:
The former I call 'paternalist Eurocentrism', which awards Western societies a pioneering agency such that they can auto-generate or auto-develop into modernity while conversely, Eastern societies are granted conditional agency and are unable to auto-generate or self-develop (....) By contrast, the anti-imperialist variant takes the form of anti-paternalist Eurocentrism.
Karl Marx's work is perhaps the most interesting example that shows that Eurocentrism was by no means limited to those who embraced 'scientific racism' or those who supported capitalism or imperialism. Rather, Marx believed foreign intervention in what he called backward societies such as China and India was necessary for them to change. He asserted:


Ancient stone tools by unknown people discovered in India

Ancient Stone Tools
© Sharma Centre for Heritage Education, India
Middle Palaeolithic artefacts emerging during excavation at Attirampakkam.
Science has long thought that we Homo sapiens didn't leave Africa until approximately 175,000 years ago. Now a newly discovered collection of sophisticated stone tools in India that dates back to around 385,000 years has archeologists Archaeologists scratching their heads.

It's a discovery that challenges everything we thought we knew about early humans and changes our understanding of when they spread out to other landmasses.

Using luminescence dating to age the artifacts,at the stratified prehistoric site of Attirampakkam, India, the researchers determined that the end of the Acheulian culture and the beginning of the Middle Paleolithic culture begun almost 450,000 years ago, much earlier than was conventionally presumed for South Asia. Around 7,261 stone artifacts were extracted from the site, which rests on the banks of a tributary of the Kortallaiyar River.

"Chronologies of Middle Palaeolithic technologies in regions distant from Africa and Europe are crucial for testing theories about the origins and early evolution of these cultures, and for understanding their association with modern humans or archaic hominins," says the study, published today in the Nature journal.