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Sat, 23 Feb 2019
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Secret History


The dancing plagues that struck medieval Europe

© via Wikimedia Commons
Tarantella dancers, 1828
To medieval peasants in southern Italy, the tarantella was more than a catchy tune. It was something powerful and dangerous. The tarantella could save your life-or drive you to the brink of madness.

It was the dead heat of the summer in Apulia. The year was 1431. After a midday nap in the fields, a woman leapt up, crying out that she'd been bitten by a tarantula. The venom began to work in her body, making her dance convulsively. She strutted her way toward the center of town. Soon others joined her, leaping, shrieking, and twirling uncontrollably. They decked themselves out in bright colors and strange ornaments, dancing for days on end and downing vast quantities of wine.

It was, at once, a rollicking party and a terrifying epidemic.

This is how Nicolas Perotti, a witness to these frenzies, described them: "Some victims called for swords and acted like fencers, others for whips and beat each other. Women called for mirrors, sighed and howled while making indecent motions. Some of them had still stranger fancies, liked to be tossed in the air, dug holes in the ground and rolled themselves in the dirt like swine." It was, at once, a rollicking party and a terrifying epidemic.

Comment: It's notable that in our time outbreaks of apparent madness are all around, as is corruption by those in positions of power, crop failures, disease and social unrest. And the similarities don't end there, see: And for more on social contagion, check out SOTT radio's:

Light Saber

Laser technology shines light on South African lost city of Kweneng

© Jeffrey Barbee/allianceearth.org
Professor Karim Sadr stands in front of stones that researchers believe were once the entrance to a household in the ancient city of Kweneng.
From close up, all that is visible are some broken walls among the scrubby brush, a mound covered by parched grass, a dry river gully.

But to Professor Karim Sadr and his team of archaeologists from Johannesburg's University of Witwatersrand, the ruins at Kweneng tell an extraordinary story of a long-lost city.

New laser technology has revealed that Kweneng, about 50km (31 miles) south of South Africa's commercial capital, was once a thriving metropolis with hundreds of households, a vast meeting place, scores of walled family compounds and a bustling market. It was ruled over by kings who regulated trade, waged wars against other similar city states and settled disputes.

The discoveries are important not just for South Africa - which some still claim was largely uninhabited before white settlers colonised the western coast and then pushed inland - but the African continent as a whole.

Comment: By allowing archeologists to review vast tracts of land from the comfort of their computer, aerial scanning has revealed a number of discoveries, including unknown monuments and lost civilizations:

People 2

Evidence shows that nuns may have been involved in production of medieval manuscripts

ethiopian manuscript

Beautiful medieval illuminated manuscripts have for centuries thought to have been the work of male scribes, experts say. This image shows books in the monastery museum of the Orthodox Church of Ura Kidane Mehret, Zege Peninsula, Ethiopia (stock image)
Beautiful medieval illuminated manuscripts have for centuries thought to have been the work of male scribes.

But now archaeologists have found conclusive proof that nuns were involved in producing sacred texts.

Tests on the teeth of a middle-aged female skeleton at a cemetery attached to a medieval nunnery in Germany showed flecks of a rare blue pigment on her teeth.

Scientific detective work reveals that the blue colour - ultramarine, made from the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli - indicates she must have been involved in painting the holy books, and licked the end of her paintbrush when using the rare pigment.

Comment: This discovery comes from a period in history that we seemingly know little about, which is why finds like these are so interesting. As noted in Dark Ages and Inquisitions, Ancient and Modern - Or Why Things are Such a Mess On Our Planet and Humanity is on the Verge of Extinction:
Regarding the idea that ancient manuscripts were created out of whole cloth to support the questions of the thinkers of the Renaissance, as Europe emerged from the Dark Ages, I agree that this is certainly possible - even probable. The question is: was there some sort of memory of that ancient time that infused these ideas with life? Lee McIntyre writes:
The Dark Ages are one of the most intriguing periods of human history. They mark a nearly 600-year blank spot in the progress of human civilization in which the knowledge of antiquity almost completely disappeared from the West. It was a time when few people received any sort of education whatsoever, and life was governed by the superstitions and fears fueled by ignorance. (McIntyre, 2006)
See also: Also check out SOTT radio's: Behind the Headlines: Who was Jesus? Examining the evidence that Christ may in fact have been Caesar!

Fireball 3

Ancient petroglyphs suggests that a meteor has been observed in ancient times in Morocco

Petroglyph Ida1
© Abderrahmane Ibhi – Illustration: AMS
Petroglyph Ida1 engraving details – Original Photo Credits
The pre-history of Morocco goes back thousands of years, as is evidenced by the many rock art engravings or petroglyphs in many areas. Three petroglyphs found near Ida Ou Kazzou could suggest that ancient Moroccans observed meteorite falls.

The new discovery was conducted by Moroccan researcher and IMO member Abderrahmane Ibhi and by Fouad Khiri, Lahcen Ouknine, Abdelkhalek Lemjidi, and El Mahfoud Asmahri. Moroccan researchers compared the engravings to other petroglyphs discovered previously in the region and also gathered testimonies from eyewitnesses of the fall of the Tissint meteorite in 2011, to reach the conclusion that the petroglyphs date back to ancient time, albeit not providing an idea on how old the engravings are.

The first petroglyphs (called Ida1 by the Moroccan research team) offers a scene of two people seemingly distraught by the fall of a meteor. Identically on the 2nd one (Ida2), Ibhi and his team identified a scene that includes a fleeing anthropomorphic and what it looks like a huge fireball.


Dozens of decapitated skeletons unearthed in mysterious ancient cemetery

decapitated skeleton
© Archaeological Solutions
52 incredibly well-preserved skeletons, many of which had been decapitated, were discovered in a Roman-era cemetery
A cemetery dating back to the 4th century has been uncovered by archaeologists in Suffolk, England, revealing 52 incredibly well-preserved skeletons, many of which had been decapitated.

The dig at the Roman-era cemetery revealed many disembodied skeletons, buried with their heads carefully placed between their legs or feet. Some of the remains were merely skulls, buried without corresponding bodies. In all, only 17 of the 52 bodies of men, women and children were buried in the standard lying position.


Ancient urban villa with one of the earliest examples of ancestor worship discovered in Egypt

egypt ancestor figurine

Trench supervisor Emilie Sarrazin, a graduate student at the University of Chicago, holds a small statue of a scribe unearthed at Tell Edfu in Egypt.
Excavation work led by the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute team has unearthed a large urban villa dating back to the early New Kingdom, about 1500-1450 B.C.E. The findings at the site of Tell Edfu in southern Egypt include a large hall containing a rare and well-preserved example of a domestic shrine dedicated to family ancestors.

"It has been more than 80 years since such a shrine for the ancestors was discovered in Egypt, and the ones we did have were rarely within an undisturbed context," said Nadine Moeller, associate professor of Egyptian archaeology at UChicago, who leads the Tell Edfu Project excavation with Oriental Institute research associate Gregory Marouard.

Located about 400 miles south of Cairo in the Nile Valley, the ancient city of Tell Edfu was a provincial capital occupied for nearly 3,000 years. The archaeological fieldwork has excavated settlement remains and monuments from Egypt's Old Kingdom (ca. 2400 B.C.E.) all the way to the Ptolemaic period (332-30 B.C.E). The project is currently part of the work of the Oriental Institute, a leading center for the study of ancient Near Eastern civilizations founded in 1919.

Comment: See also:


Anonymous letter from alleged MI5 agent claimed British knew of Enniskillen bomb plans

© Reuters
A statue of a soldier still stands atop the Enniskillen cenotaph on November 9th, 1987.
An anonymous letter-writer to the Irish government 30 years ago claimed that British intelligence knew in advance about the Enniskillen bombing but chose to do nothing about it as they believed it would create a "massive backlash".

The Enniskillen bombing on Remembrance Sunday, November 8th, 1987, was one of the worst atrocities of the Troubles. Twelve people were killed when an IRA bomb blew out the walls of a building beside the cenotaph in the town, burying dozens of spectators in rubble.

Six days after the bombing, an anonymous, typed letter was sent to then tánaiste and minister for foreign affairs, Brian Lenihan. It has now been released as part of the 1988 State papers.

Comment: Irish Republican News reports more details from the letter:
The self-admitted MI5 operative also revealed that MI6's involvement in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, which had killed 33 civilians in 1974 and were blamed on the UVF, had been "well established" in his agency.

He listed ways in which British intelligence sought to target republicans, including the covert bugging of arms dumps. British 'dirty tricks' had included efforts to manipulate Irish National Liberation Army leader Dessie O'Hare through his wife, and the murder of Mary McGlinchey, the wife of another INLA leader.

He said he had no concern for "terrorists", but that "the results of our interference with the Enniskillen bomb absolutely shocked and horrified me."

He added: "I am not even sure that I am doing the right thing, but I feel I must do something to make people aware of what is happening, and get it stopped. If I had more courage I would come out openly and prove with more detail what I am now saying."

It is not known what investigation took place into the claims, if any. No official documents on the allegations have ever been released.


Red Sea: Ancient Egyptian war-elephant fortress discovery

Elephant army
© Wikipedia
War army of Ptolemy dynasty
A Polish-American archaeological team studying a 2,300-year-old Red Sea fortress now believe it was a staging area for the widely feared war elephants of the Egyptian Ptolemy dynasty, the tanks of ancient warfare.

The Egyptian port of Berenike on the Red Sea was settled many times throughout history from the ancient Egyptians to the Romans. It was also used by the Ptolemies, a line of pharaohs descended from one of Alexander the Great's generals, as both a trading post and a fortified military base complete with "sizable fortifications" and "double-lined walls."
Digs in Red Sea
© S.E.Sidebotham
"The biggest and the most heavily fortified part of the Berenike fortress is about 525 feet (160 meters) long and 262 feet (80 meters) wide," authors Marek Wozniak and Joanna Radkowska wrote in the journal Antiquities.


The dark history of the ADL: Terrorism, organized crime, pedophilia and murder

leon frank mary phagan
Many of you know that a B'nai B'rith organization gave birth to the ADL while defending its Atlanta chapter president Leon Frank, who raped and murdered a 13 year old girl who he was also employing along with many other teens, against child labor laws. Leon Frank ran a pencil factory sweatshop and often flirted with his illegal underage employees. The ADL was formed to defend him when he murdered and raped Mary Phagan. The details were disgusting. Her underwear was ripped and bloody and she was strangled to death with a wire. Her head had also been pummeled with a pipe. She went to get her paycheck of a meager $1.20 and never returned home. She was raped and murdered and then her body was dragged to the basement. Police found strands of her hair and blood on the floor above, right across from Frank's office. Frank nervously revealed the victim's name in front of police before they had given him any such details.

The ADL was going to get him released based purely on the fact that he was Jewish and a high profile crime made Jews look bad. Arguably a Jewish organization trying to get a child murderer off the hook, makes Jews look worse. They would like one to believe that he was innocent with fake news history and will tell you so on Wikipedia, which has Israelis paid to edit it. Leon admitted on the witness stand to the jury that he was "unconsciously" at the scene of the crime when the murder occurred. What we don't know is if he raped her before or after killing her. He was convicted. The grand jury vote 21 - 0 for indicting him. Four of those jurors were Jewish. That shouldn't matter, but it does because later the ADL would try to argue that the jury wrongly convicted him because of antisemitism rather than because of all the evidence showed that he did it in everyone's eyes. He was convicted. After the Judge, Leonard Roan, rejected all the appeals, he ordered Leon to be hanged on his birthday April 17, 1913. However Frank, who was unanimously elected president on the B'Nai Birth Chapter again even after being convicted of rape and murder, had one last method to weasel out. With Jewish Pressure groups, he appealed to the Governor. The lame-duck governor, John M. Slaton, in a very Clinton-esque move, commuted Leon's sentence his last week in office. He changed it form the death penalty to life in prison.


Surfers ear: Why do Panama's ancient skulls show signs of damage by cold?

surfers ear panama
© Smith-Guzmán et al.
The bony growths found in pre-Hispanic skulls in Panama suggest communities were diving for oysters and pearls thousands of years ago.
The first time anthropologist Nicole Smith-Guzmán noticed a nob of bone protruding from the ear canal of an ancient skull in Panama, she didn't know what to make of it. "I never expected to find this sort of bony growth because we're taught this is a cold-water thing." And the isthmus of Panama is nothing if not tropical.

The little spur Smith-Guzmán identified had created a slight mound in the skull's ear canal-an annoying impediment for the person who once had to deal with it. Known as external auditory exostoses, or EAE, the bony masses can be globular or shaped like teardrops. Depending on their severity, these growths, commonly called "surfer's ear" today, can cause repeat ear infections and even deafness.

Scientists still don't understand the precise mechanisms behind the formation of EAE. For a time, the growths were thought to be caused by some genetic anomaly. Further research, however, pointed to a different source: repeated exposure to and submersion in cold water. Just how cold the water has to be and how often people have to swim in it remains up for debate. But for such ear canal growths to be found in human remains in a place like Panama was unexpected and perplexing.

Comment: While it is possible that those skulls showing signs of surfers ear were merely the result of prolonged time in the "tropical" waters of Panama, they haven't actually yet checked to see whether Panamanians in our own era show evidence of EAE. According to WIki, it's notable that EAE is most often caused by:
Irritation from cold wind and water exposure causes the bone surrounding the ear canal to develop lumps of new bony growth which constrict the ear canal. Where the ear canal is actually blocked by this condition, water and wax can become trapped and give rise to infection. The condition is so named due to its prevalence among cold water surfers. Warm water surfers are also at risk for exostosis due to the evaporative cooling caused by wind and the presence of water in the ear canal.
Some questions that could be asked are: Since there is evidence for significant climate shifts throughout history, is it possible that at particular periods Panama wasn't so "balmy"? And are the timings of these temperature variations reflected in those skulls that show signs of EAE? Or could it be that the divers were spending more time in the water than they usually would?

See also: