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Mon, 28 May 2018
The World for People who Think

Secret History


Multiple investigations reveal there is no secret burial chamber in Tutankhamun's tomb

Tutankhamun’s tomb
© Mohamed El-Shahed/AFP/Getty
A SECOND burial chamber isn't hiding in the tomb of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun after all.

Three years ago, Egyptologists noticed faint lines on the north and west walls of Tutankhamun's burial chamber, pictured below, that suggested there might be a room concealed behind it. Other studies found temperature anomalies in the walls, which seemed to mark hidden doorways.

Comment: That may be so but there are likely many more secrets of King Tut and his clan that have yet to be revealed: Was Tutankahmun's tomb originally built for a female Pharaoh?

See also:

Георгиевская ленточка

One of the great heroic WWII battles the West forgets about: The Siege of Sevastopol, Crimea

crimea wwii
Editor's note: It is hard to convey to Western readers how emotionally powerful Victory Day is in Russia. It celebrates the central national narrative of the Russian State, and is BY FAR the most popular secular holiday of the year. The only one to match it in importance is Easter, the main religious holiday.

Put aside historical arguments around WW2 for a day, and get a taste of how Russians mark, what is for them, a quasi-religious memory.

The massive, awe-inspiring military parade, the bemedalled grandfatherly veterans, and in recent years, the marching of millions of Russians across the country with portraits of their ancestors who fought in the war (The Immortal Regiment), is truly stupendous. If you ever have a chance to be in Russia on May 9, don't miss the opportunity. Russians are the world champs in pageantry, and May 9 is when they pull out all the stops. It is a heart stopping, tear-jerking spectacle - all day long.

RI is publishing selected articles today from our archives about WW2 as Russia takes the day off to remember this extraordinary historical event.

Article by Alevtina Rea. Preface by Alexander Mercouris. Originally published in May 2015.

2 + 2 = 4

Phyllis McGinley & the feminist war on Motherhood

The 20th-century writer's life and work is a perfect reminder this Mother's Day of the unique value and importance of being a mother.
© Pixabay
W.H. Auden, perhaps the 20th century's preeminent English-language poet, lionized Phyllis McGinley and wrote the introduction to her Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry collection Times Three in 1960. She appeared solo on the cover of Time magazine a few years later (one of only nine poets to receive that honor in 100 years) at a time when this was the ultimate mark of popular prestige. She wrote extensively both for the highbrow New Yorker and mass-market publications with equal success - her poetry, essays, and even children's books all sold remarkably well.

Robert Frost was reportedly an admirer, as were celebrities such as Kirk Douglas and Groucho Marx, with whom she carried on a years-long correspondence. She was even a formative influence on Sylvia Plath and Ann Sexton - today among the 20th century's most celebrated female poets - the latter of whom wrote gushing letters to McGinley in Sexton's early career.



A real X-File or a con? The tale of mystery airships, spies, and secret cults in WWI Utah

airships scifi futurology
The story begins with reports of strange lights seen in the night skies of the American West. The mystery lights seem attached to invisible aircraft which move in inexplicable ways for unknown purposes. At first, authorities dismiss the reports as hoaxes and the work of overactive imaginations. Nevertheless, they persist and a curious government agent decides to look into the matter. He is drawn into the intrigues of a cultish group and its charismatic leader who claims to have access to advanced technology of mysterious and, perhaps otherworldly, origin. Fearing the original investigator has lost all objectivity, or his mind, other agents intervene and initiate surveillance, interrogation, and arrests culminating in a declaration of insanity for the principal suspects. In the end, nothing is truly resolved and the mysterious lights continue to haunt the night skies.

The outline of an X-Files episode? No, this "Airship Mystery," for lack of a better name, is a forgotten episode in Utah history and of the broader history of Unidentified Flying Objects over the USA. Outside of a smattering of articles in the local press, the only real record of the case rests in the "Old German" files of the Bureau of Investigation, later the FBI. The relevant file, #8000-136072, even lacks a distinctive title; it is simply labeled "Various" like hundreds of others. The file runs to more than four hundred pages, and besides mysterious flying machines and miraculous anti-gravity devices, it records allegations of German spying, the intrigues of assorted Government agents, references to Freemasonry and the Mormon Church, plus hints of madness, the supernatural, the Hollow Earth and even a touch of marital infidelity. The fundamental question, of course, was what really was going on; an elaborate hoax, a con game, an outbreak of collective insanity, or something genuinely out-of-this-world? Was the Government's reaction an investigation or a cover-up?

This article does not purport to offer a definitive answer to any of these questions. Rather, it is a piece of historical detective work that will carefully examine the persons involved, review the resulting inquiry and assess a range of possibilities. If nothing else, the case demonstrates that the key elements of what today is described as the "UFO phenomenon" were plainly evident a century ago, though couched in the terminology and mindset of the time.


Ancient lost city of Mardaman uncovered in Northern Iraq

Mardaman City
© Matthias Lang/ Benjamin Glissmann, University of Tübingen eScience-Center
Archaeologists have discovered the lost city of Mardaman, the remains of which are pictured here. It is located in northern Iraq near a modern-day town called Bassetki. It was inhabited for thousands of years. The remains left by its ancient inhabitants form a hill called a "Tell."
Ruins from the lost city of Mardaman, which dates back some 4,800 years, have been discovered in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, archaeologists just announced.

A team from the University of Tübingen in Germany has been digging at the site for years now, but only last summer did they discover 92 cuneiform tablets hidden in a pottery vessel found in the remains of a palace.

More recently, Betina Faist, a philologist (language expert) at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, deciphered the text on the tablets, only to find the name of this ancient city: Mardaman (sometimes called Mardama).

The ruins of Mardaman, located near the modern-day town of Bassetki, suggest that the city got its start between 2800 B.C. and 2650 B.C., and reached its peak between 1900 B.C. and 1700 B.C., said Peter Pfälzner, a professor of ancient near-Eastern archaeology at the University of Tübingen. The city continued to flourish into the Neo-Assyrian period, which lasted from about 911 B.C. to 612 B.C. [In Photos: Ancient City Discovered in Iraq]

Eye 2

A brief historical review of torture in America to the present day

Torture protest
American torture is back in the news again as Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump's pick to head the Central Intelligence Agency, prepares for what could be a rocky Senate confirmation hearing with some tough questions about her role overseeing a secret torture prison in Thailand and destroying tapes of brutal detainee interrogation sessions.

Haspel's nomination, and to a lesser degree her earlier appointment as deputy CIA director, reopened what more well-meaning observers, including torture survivor Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), have called "one of the darkest chapters" in US history, the so-called "enhanced interrogation" abuse of men, women and children caught up in America's endless war on terror. However, post-9/11 detainee abuse can only be called a chapter if we recognize that it is part of a much larger story, one which begins with some of the first European usurpers to set foot on North American soil and one which continues essentially uninterrupted to the present day.


New WW2 documentary 'Remembrance' corrects distortions of Anglo mainstream media on the defeat of Nazism (VIDEO)

Revisionist debates about WW2
Revisionist debates about WW2 are raging as the old media hegemony disintegrates, and others have a chance to present their side of the story.

On the Russian side, you have the argument that it was the Soviets who did the lion's share of the job, and don't get enough credit for it. Ukrainian nationalists argue that they were on the right side in joining Hitler against the evil Bolsheviks. And conservative voices, including in Germany, are arguing that Hitler never wanted war and that the war was forced on him by England and the US, who did want it, and that among other things, the Holocaust never happened.

Comment: See also: Remembering The Russia's V-Day Story (or the History of World War II not often heard in the West)


Iraq to repatriate 450 stolen Sumerian tablets

sumerian tablet
450 Stolen Sumerian tablets are being repatriated to Iraq with a ceremony in Washington D.C. on May 2. Many of the cuneiform texts come from a mysterious city called Irisagrig - a land from which looted artifacts are becoming increasingly common in the antiquities market.

The majority of the Sumerian tablets are inscribed with legal and administrative documents showing contracts or inventories, however a few are incantations. Thus, the artifacts provide a certain mix of public and private details. Live Science reports most of the tablets were created between 2100 BC and 1600 BC.


Remembering The Russia's V-Day Story (or the History of World War II not often heard in the West)

Russian V-Day Story
© Unknown
Every May 9th the Russian Federation celebrates its most important national holiday, Victory Day, den' pobedy. During the early hours of that day in 1945 Marshal Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov, commander of the 1st Belorussian Front, which had stormed Berlin, received the German unconditional surrender. The Great Patriotic War had gone on for 1418 days of unimaginable violence, brutality and destruction. From Stalingrad and the northern Caucasus and from the northwestern outskirts of Moscow to the western frontiers of the Soviet Union to Sevastopol in the south and Leningrad and the borders with Finland, in the north, the country had been laid waste. An estimated 17 million civilians, men, women and children, had perished, although no one will ever know the exact figure. Villages and towns were destroyed; families were wiped out without anyone to remember them or mourn their deaths.


The dangerous game of brinkmanship: The way in which wars have gotten started

John Foster Dulles quote
A popular game amongst young ne'er-do-wells in the US in the 1950s was "chicken," in which two drivers drove their cars at rapid speed toward each other. Whichever one veered away first was deemed the "chicken."

Of course, any sane, mature individual would regard both drivers as not only potentially suicidal, but also extraordinarily stupid. (As can be imagined, the game sometimes ended disastrously.)

At that same time, Adlai Stevenson, who was twice the democratic candidate for president, created the term "brinkmanship," a term that was defined by John Foster Dulles as quoted in the above image.

Brinkmanship is essentially "chicken," except that it's played by men in suits and is potentially far more disastrous.

There's a general assumption that people in suits and people "in charge" are somehow more rational and/or more intelligent than teenagers who enter into a motorized spitting contest, but this is not the case. The people in suits merely put a better spin on their idiocy and risk the lives of tens of millions in doing so.