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Wed, 18 Oct 2017
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Lost city of Alexander the Great found in Iraq

© British Museum
Qalatga Darband is the triangular spit of land beyond the bridge on the right.
Archaeologists say they have found a lost city that was founded more than two millennia ago following the conquests of Alexander the Great in modern day Iraq.

The city is called Qalatga Darband, first discovered using now declassified spy satellite photographs taken by the US military in the 1960s, and made public in 1996. Follow-up studies have further revealed the origins of the city.

It was discovered by the Iraq Emergency Heritage Management Training Programme, set up to mitigate the damage caused by Islamic State. The team is being trained by the British Museum in London.

After making the discovery in the declassified photos, the team sent a drone over the site to confirm its existence. They were able to spot statues of Greco-Roman deities and terracotta roof tiles, while major buildings are thought to be buried at the site.

"The drone yielded excellent information," Dr John MacGinnis, the archaeologist leading the program, told The Times. "It's early days, but we think it would have been a bustling city on a road from Iraq to Iran. You can imagine people supplying wine to soldiers passing through."

Biohazard

Evidence unearthed of Nazi's secret nuclear base suggests they were close to developing an atomic bomb

© Wikipedia
The German experimental nuclear pile at Haigerloch
If Hitler had his way and the Nazis developed an atomic bomb before the allies, the world in which we live would be a very different place. A surprising new find by a German relic hunter suggests Hitler may have been closer to his goal than we thought.

Bernd Thälmann, 64, was out and about in Berlin last week with his metal detector when he stumbled upon a rather strange, non-magnetic lump of metal.

Naturally, Thälmann brought his unusual find home, but after a brief examination he became somewhat concerned and notified the authorities, the Berliner Kurier reported. A smart move, in retrospect: Thälmann's find was, in fact, a piece of radioactive material.

The area he was surveying, Oranienburg, was the location of a secret Nazi nuclear test facility which was annihilated when the allies dropped over 10,000 bombs on it.

Boat

German WWI U-boat found in Belgium waters with 23 bodies inside

© AP (file photo)
An intact German World War I submarine containing the bodies of 23 people has been found off the coast of Belgium, authorities said Tuesday.

Western Flanders Governor Carl Decaluwe told The Associated Press that the find on the floor of the North Sea "is very unique."

"It's quite amazing that we found something like this," Decaluwe said. "The impact damage was at the front, but the submarine remains closed and there are 23 people still onboard."

The UB II-type dive boat that was found is 27 meters (88 feet) long and 6 meters (almost 20 feet) wide, and is lying at about a 45 degree angle, between 25-30 meters (82-98 feet) below the surface.


Christmas Tree

How pure quartz was formed in the Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

© Patrick Fuchs | Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Park
Our February issue, which focused on Petrified Forest National Park, generated a lot of reader interest in this Northern Arizona gem. And a few readers wrote to ask about something we didn't mention in the magazine.

"If the age of the trees and, I assume, tree pieces are more than 200 million years old, why is it that many of the petrified tree sections appear to have been sawed cleanly apart?" asked Bob Klages of Oxford, Michigan. "A bit more of the scientific explanation of the actual process of petrification would also have been fascinating to read about."

To answer Mr. Klages' question, we turned to Bill Parker, the park paleontologist we featured in the issue. "The fossilization process itself is fairly complex," he says, but it goes something like this:

A tree dies, falls over and is buried in a river channel or floodplain, under layers of mud, sand and gravel. In the groundwater table, the tree becomes saturated like a sponge and expands. The water, sand and gravel cut off exposure to oxygen, so the tree doesn't rot. Volcanic ash in the water breaks down, and the silica that was in the ash goes into solution - forming silicic acid, which enters the waterlogged tree and interacts chemically with the wood, altering it to silica and replicating the features of the wood. Over time, you end up with a silica replica of the tree.

Comment: See also: A second 1,300 year-old ancient village discovered in Arizona's Petrified Forest National Park


Chess

Korea is the US 'Open Door' to China

How many citizens have ever asked themselves what the United States is doing in Korea in the first place?

In November of 1945, two months after the surrender of Japan, Army Chief of Staff General George Marshall spoke to President Truman and the chief figures of his cabinet about his fears of a "the tragic consequences of a divided China" as Chinese Nationalist forces and Communists resumed their struggle for power and Soviet forces seized control of large areas of Manchuria. The resumption of Soviet power in Manchuria, Marshall emphasized, would result "in the defeat or loss of the major purpose of our war with Japan" (emphasis added).

What could the general have meant by such a statement? What WAS the "major purpose" of the Pacific war? Most Americans are taught that the foremost reason the United States went to war with Japan was the attack on Pearl Harbor. But the reality was that the U.S. and Japan had been on a collision course since the 1920s, and by 1940, in the midst of the global depression, were locked in a mortal struggle over who would ultimately benefit most from the markets and resources of Greater China and East Asia. Japan's Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was steadily closing the "Open Door" to American penetration of and access to the profitable riches of Asia at the critical moment. As Japan militarily took control of East Asia, the U.S. moved the Pacific Fleet to Hawaii in striking distance of Japan, imposed economic sanctions, embargoed steel and oil, and in August 1941 issued an overt ultimatum to quit China and Vietnam "or else." Seeing the latter as the threat it was, Japan undertook what to Tokyo was the pre-emptive strike at Hawaii. The real reason the U.S. opposed the Japanese in Asia is never discussed and is a forbidden subject in the establishment media, as are the real motives of American foreign policy writ large.

Comment: Actually, only a determined and truthfully-informed elite could make this happen, which is why it won't.

More likely, the US's foot will be hacked off and thrown into the Pacific Ocean - either by local powers, environmental factors, or a combination of both.


Magnify

How the CIA invented "conspiracy theories"

A year or two ago, I saw the much-touted science fiction film Interstellar, and although the plot wasn't any good, one early scene was quite amusing. For various reasons, the American government of the future claimed that our Moon Landings of the late 1960s had been faked, a trick aimed at winning the Cold War by bankrupting Russia into fruitless space efforts of its own. This inversion of historical reality was accepted as true by nearly everyone, and those few people who claimed that Neil Armstrong had indeed set foot on the Moon were universally ridiculed as "crazy conspiracy theorists." This seems a realistic portrayal of human nature to me.

Obviously, a large fraction of everything described by our government leaders or presented in the pages of our most respectable newspapers-from the 9/11 attacks to the most insignificant local case of petty urban corruption-could objectively be categorized as a "conspiracy theory" but such words are never applied. Instead, use of that highly loaded phrase is reserved for those theories, whether plausible or fanciful, that do not possess the endorsement stamp of establishmentarian approval.

Comment:


Arrow Down

Climate science and their money making scam

Forty years ago, the front page of the Chicago Tribune featured astrologer Jeanne Dixon, and a warning that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet was going to collapse and drown us all. That was during the global cooling scare.
It was one of the coldest winters on record in the US. It snowed in Miami, and they blamed the Polar Vortex and California drought on global cooling.

Top Secret

'Shadows of the State': The eerie phenomenon of numbers stations

© Lewis Bush
RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus
No world government has ever confirmed the use of numbers stations, but none have flatly denied it either. The stations date back to the Cold War, perhaps earlier, and many are still transmitting. Often, it's a string of numbers recited by a computerized female voice- sometimes the voice of a child.

According to the thousands of enthusiasts who monitor them, the broadcasts could be coded messages sent from intelligence agencies to their spies. They cover vast distances, and they're impossible to decode. When the public asks, government officials and bureaucrats typically respond with something like, "We don't intend to discuss these stations, if any exist at all."

For London photographer Lewis Bush, that's not enough. He's devoted two years to investigating and locating possible stations. He spoke to some of the dedicated "numbers monitors" who have spent much of their lives scrutinizing the broadcasts. He also studied declassified documents, history books, interviews, and first-person accounts by former agents.

Info

Archaeologists discover early Viking boat grave in Norway

© Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU)
Archaeologists excavating a market square in Trondheim, Norway, have discovered the remains of a boat grave and possible human remains dating to around the time the Vikings started exploring and raiding lands across Europe.

The boat was at least 13 feet (4 meters) long and was buried in the ground in a roughly north-south direction, according to archaeologists from the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage (NIKU). It's not clear why the boat was oriented in a north-south direction.

Though the wood from the boat wasn't intact, the archaeologists found nails and lumps of rust that allowed them to confirm that the buried object was, in fact, a boat, NIKU archaeologist Ian Reed said in a statement.

Dig

Ancient Greeks may have built sacred sites on earthquake fault lines, viewing the tremors as mystical occurrences

© UIG via Getty Images
Temple of Apollo ruins in Delphi, Greece
Archeologists and other scientists have long known that intoxicating gases emanating from water flowing from deep within the earth likely produced the visions of the oracle of Delphi, a seer who guided ancient Greeks with her prophecies from around 800 BC through the 4th century AD from her temple on Mount Parnassus.

Now new research suggests many other Greek sacred sites were built on similar fissures created by earthquakes throughout the Eastern Mediterranean.

"The ancient Greeks placed great value on hot springs unlocked by earthquakes," said Iain Stewart, professor of geoscience communication and director of the Sustainable Earth Institute at the University of Plymouth in Britain. "But perhaps the building of temples and cities close to these sites was more systematic than has previously been thought."

In a study published recently in the Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, Stewart showed how temples and other structures at Mycenae, Ephesus, Cnidus, and Hierapolis were, like Delphi, built and rebuilt over earthquake faults.