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Thu, 25 Aug 2016
The World for People who Think

Secret History


Please don't shoot our UK peace activists against the deployment of US nuclear cruise missiles: Cold War mentality in 1983-1985

© Flickr/ Robert Karma
Secret UK Cabinet files released by the National Archives in Kew, west London on Thursday reveal that at the height of protests against the deployment of US nuclear cruise missiles in 1983-1985 the government of Margaret Thatcher was horrified by a prospect of US military shooting British peace activists.

Throughout the 1980's Britain was in a grip of mass peace protests against the deployment of American cruise missiles tipped with nuclear warheads.

While publicly dismissing the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and other peace groups as "unrepresentative" of the British people, privately Thatcher and her Ministers were agonizing over the ways of "combatting" them, as the declassified files show. The Defense Secretary Michael Heseltine established a pro-government "peace" group to challenge CND's "unilateralism", while the Secret Service was charged with "exposing" the CND's foreign backers. They failed to find any. Apparently, they hadn't yet mastered the art of creating "dodgy dossiers" at the time.


16,000 year-old pre-Clovis tools discovered in Texas

© Gault School of Archaeological Research
The pre-Clovis artifacts include more than 90 stone tools, such as bifaces and blades, and more than 160,000 flakes left over from the point-making process.
Archaeologists in Texas thought they'd made an important discovery in the 1990s, when they unearthed a trove of stone tools dating back 13,000 years, revealing traces of the oldest widespread culture on the continent.

But then, years later, they made an even more powerful find in the same place — another layer of artifacts that were older still.

About a half-hour north of Austin and a meter deep in water-logged silty clay, researchers have uncovered evidence of human occupation dating back as much as 16,700 years, including fragments of human teeth and more than 90 stone tools.

In addition to being some of the oldest yet found in the American West, the artifacts are rare traces of a culture that predated the culture known as Clovis, whose distinctively shaped stone tools found across North America have consistently been dated to about 13,000 years ago.

Indeed, an entire generation of anthropologists was taught that Clovis represented the continent's first inhabitants.

But, along with a handful of other pre-Clovis finds, the Texas tools add to the mounting evidence that humans arrived on the continent longer ago than was once thought, said Dr. D. Clark Wernecke, director of the Gault School of Archaeological Research.

"The most important takeaway is that people were in the New World much earlier than we used to believe," Wernecke said.

"We were all taught [North America was first populated] 13,500 years ago, and it appears that people arrived 15,000 to 20,000 years ago."

The location in Texas where the new finds were made, known as the Gault site, was first identified in the 1920s, but it wasn't until the 1990s that archaeologists discovered the first tools, like tapered-oval spear heads, that were clear signs of the ancient Clovis culture.

It was those finds that Wernecke and his colleagues went to investigate further, when they began working at the Gault site in 2002.


Rare photographs of Native American women at the end of the 19th century

In almost all Indian tribes, women were fundamental and were deeply respected by the community. The tribes were often matriarchal and women were not inferior to their male companion, having to deal with the most varied and diversified tasks.

Photographic evidence of this period are fascinating and we recreate the magic of a noble civilization, unfortunately lost forever. Today we want to show you beautiful portraits of women from various Native American tribes, taken between 1870 and 1900, before the genocide carried out by the white settlers.

Comment: Unfortunately, by the time these images were recorded, native American societies were virtually wiped out. The remnant of their descendants are still fighting for their survival as peoples.


Bronze Age discovery: A 3000-year-old community has been unearthed

Must farm archeological site
British archaeologists working on the Must Farm project in England's Cambridgeshire Fens can hardly restrain themselves.

"Typically on prehistoric sites, you are lucky to find a few pottery shards, a mere hint or shadow of organic remains; generally archaeologists have to make do, have to interpret as best they can.

But this archaeological dig has turned out to be completely, thrillingly different.

Comment: More about the excavation is availabe at the Mustfarm site.

War Whore

42 years ago today Turkey invaded Cyprus - occupation continues to this day

Air raid sirens sounded at 5:30 am across Cyprus to mark the moment in 1974 when an armada of 33 ships, including troop transporters, tanks and landing craft from Turkey, invaded and occupied a third of Cyprus.

As Turkey continues to shock and disturb the world in its radical and unpredictable behavior, from supporting ISIS in Syria, to the recent coup and subsequent Erdogan purges now taking place, history does not necessarily repeat itself, but it definitely rhymes.

While today will most certainly go unnoticed to much of the world, for Cyprus and Greece, today marks the 42nd year of the Turkish invasion and occupation of the north of Cyprus, in what was a brutal retaliation against Greek Cypriots, for a coup ordered by a ruling, mainland Greek military junta, in 1974.

Coup, invasion, occupation. History rhymes indeed. While Greece's democracy was restored following the Cypriot coup's failure, Cyprus paid the ultimate price by losing 37% of its northern territory to the second largest military in NATO.

In 1974, approximately 40,000 Turkish troops, under the command of Lieutenant Nurettin Ersin implemented their invasion plan, code-named 'Attila', illegally invading Cyprus in violation of the UN Security Council Charter.

Operation Attila - the invasion of Cyprus
Sigma Live provides a brief history on the events that unfolded in the summer of 1974...

Book 2

How China is rewriting the book on human origins

Fossil finds in China are challenging ideas about the evolution of modern humans and our closest relatives

On the outskirts of Beijing, a small limestone mountain named Dragon Bone Hill rises above the surrounding sprawl. Along the northern side, a path leads up to some fenced-off caves that draw 150,000 visitors each year, from schoolchildren to grey-haired pensioners. It was here, in 1929, that researchers discovered a nearly complete ancient skull that they determined was roughly half a million years old. Dubbed Peking Man, it was among the earliest human remains ever uncovered, and it helped to convince many researchers that humanity first evolved in Asia.

Since then, the central importance of Peking Man has faded. Although modern dating methods put the fossil even earlier — at up to 780,000 years old — the specimen has been eclipsed by discoveries in Africa that have yielded much older remains of ancient human relatives. Such finds have cemented Africa's status as the cradle of humanity — the place from which modern humans and their predecessors spread around the globe — and relegated Asia to a kind of evolutionary cul-de-sac.

But the tale of Peking Man has haunted generations of Chinese researchers, who have struggled to understand its relationship to modern humans. "It's a story without an ending," says Wu Xinzhi, a palaeontologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) in Beijing. They wonder whether the descendants of Peking Man and fellow members of the species Homo erectus died out or evolved into a more modern species, and whether they contributed to the gene pool of China today.

Comment: Further reading:


Mainstream acknowledges Hitler never killed himself, was allowed to escape to South America and die an old man

Long considered the purely fictitious musings of conspiracy theorists, rumors Adolf Hitler did not die in a murder-suicide pact with his newlywed, Eva Braun — but instead escaped to live under the radar in South America — might actually hold weight, after all.

Officially, whatever worth that could offer, Hitler met his fate with a gunshot to the head, while Braun ingested cyanide in a subterranean bunker on April 30, 1945, as the Allies finally quashed the Nazis. Forces then burned their bodies and the pair was subsequently buried in a shallow grave nearby.

But what if this narrative had merely been a comfortable cover spoon fed the public to mask the Führer actually being whisked away in a shadowy plot to ensure he wouldn't fall into the clutches of advancing Soviets?

If the thought perhaps seems a bit 'tin-foily' for your taste, first consider the United States' morals-thwarting Operation Paperclip.

Nearly 500 Nazi scientists — particularly those specializing in aerodynamics, rocketry, chemical weapons and reaction technology, and medicine — were secreted to White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico; Huntsville, Alabama; and Texas' Fort Bliss without even the knowledge of the State Department. As obvious security threats and war criminals, those scientists wouldn't have qualified for visas through official channels — but the government, foregoing ethical implications in pursuit of their knowledge, indeed facilitated safe passage to the U.S.

Comment: See also: Hitler - Committed suicide or escaped to Latin America?


Ancient logbook documenting Great Pyramid's construction unveiled

© Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities
Here, one of the papyri in the ancient logbook, which documented the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
A logbook that contains records detailing the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza has been put on public display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

The Great Pyramid of Giza was built in honor of the pharaoh Khufu (reign ca. 2551 B.C.-2528 B.C.) and is the largest of the three pyramids constructed on the Giza plateau in Egypt. Considered a "wonder of the world" by ancient writers, the Great Pyramid was 481 feet (146 meters) tall when it was first constructed. Today it stands 455 feet (138 meters) high.

The logbook was written in hieroglyphic letters on pieces of papyri. Its author was an inspector named Merer, who was "in charge of a team of about 200 men," archaeologists Pierre Tallet and Gregory Marouard wrote in an article published in 2014 in the journal Near Eastern Archaeology.

Comment: Related articles:


Empire Files: 100 years of war experimentation using American soldiers as lab rats

© telSur
Abby Martin examines how the U.S. military-industrial complex has contaminated the health and lives of countless soldiers over the years.

The latest episode of teleSUR's Empire Files looks into decades of experimentation on U.S. troops — from nuclear tests to psychotropic drugs — as well as knowingly exposing them to deadly poisons, from sarin gas to Agent Orange.

Abby Martin delves into the decades of abuse perpetrated by the U.S. dating back to post-WWII, servicemen were subjected to countless, clandestine "tests" on the effects of radiation exposure.

In this same period, lobotomies were performed on 2,000 soldiers, for things like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, and even homosexuality. The procedure left these soldiers as little more than oversized children.

"There was never any accountability for destroying the lives and minds of thousands of soldiers," Martin explains.


1958 Alaska: The Lituya Bay 1720 ft. Tsunami

© Geology.com
Fifty years ago this week, the Great Alaska Earthquake ravaged the Pacific Northwest, killing more than 100 people. Nine-tenths of those weren't caused by the earthquake, though, but by a series of tsunamis that pummeled the coast, one of which towered 219 feet (66 meters) high.

They come taller than that, though. The 1958 tsunami that ripped through Lituya Bay, a sleepy fjord near the Gulf of Alaska, was eight times bigger. And though its causes make it different from the far-traveling waves that slammed Southeast Asia in 2004 or Japan in 2011, the warming of the atmosphere will make both types become more common.