Welcome to Sott.net
Thu, 24 May 2018
The World for People who Think

Secret History


Bay of Pigs: The CIA's unlearned lesson in failed regime change operations

cuban tank bay pigs
© Prensa Latina / Reuters
A tank of the Cuban Armed Forces near the site of the Bay of Pigs invasion, 19 April 1961
The looming end of the Castro era in Cuba coincides this week with the 57th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion - a failed attack by the CIA that greatly catalyzed the Castro approach to resisting American encroachment.

On Thursday, Raul Castro, the 86-year-old brother of the late Fidel, will step down as the president of Cuba. For the first time in almost 60 years, the island will not be led by a Castro, although the man who is widely assumed to take the post next, First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel, has vowed to stay on the path of Fidel's revolution.

Two days prior to this, however, the island marks the day when, in 1961, Fidel and his forces beat back an assault which, it was then hoped in Washington, could unseat the leader and nip Cuba's communist dream in the bud.

The Bay of Pigs invasion (or the invasion of Playa Giron, as it is known in Cuba) was a staple of American regime-change tactics. Orchestrated, prepared, planned, bankrolled, and combat-supported by the CIA, it was fronted by defectors from Castro's Cuban revolution who had earlier fled to the US. Warplanes were painted in Cuban Air Force colors, ships were procured from a Cuban-owned company, and political asylum was granted to combatants - all for the sake of "plausible deniability." It was hoped that a small force of returning exiles would sound a wake-up call for Cubans to rise up and topple Castro.

Comment: The deeper story on the Bay of Pigs fiasco, covered in David Talbot's excellent book The Devil's Chessboard, was that the CIA Director at the time, Allen Dulles, hated JFK so much that he intentionally planned the invasion to fail by staffing it with inexperienced agents and then flying to Central America on the day of the invasion to spread even more chaos. Dulles wanted the operation to fail and for Kennedy to be eviscerated by the public and in the history books. But JFK was not notified of the Dulles' plans and once he was, he ordered the air cover to stay on the ground since the Cubans were ripping the American planes that were already in Cuba to shreds.

Interested readers might also want to watch the below interview with author and former high-level military man Fletcher Prouty, where discusses some of the above and more on the Bay of Pigs fiasco:


Evidence found in the Americas of dog as man's best friend for over 10,000 years

dog 10,000 year americas

ANCIENT PAWS New radiocarbon evidence has identified three dogs excavated in Illinois, including this pooch, as the oldest canines in the Americas. These human companions lived around 10,000 years ago, about 1,500 years earlier than previously thought.
A trio of dogs buried at two ancient human sites in Illinois lived around 10,000 years ago, making them the oldest known domesticated canines in the Americas.

Radiocarbon dating of the dogs' bones shows they were 1,500 years older than thought, zooarchaeologist Angela Perri said April 13 at the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. The previous age estimate was based on a radiocarbon analysis of burned wood found in one of the animals' graves. Until now, nearly 9,300-year-old remains of dogs eaten by humans at a Texas site were the oldest physical evidence of American canines.

Ancient dogs at the Midwestern locations also represent the oldest known burials of individual dogs in the world, said Perri, of Durham University in England. A dog buried at Germany's Bonn-Oberkassel site around 14,000 years ago was included in a two-person grave. Placement of the Americas dogs in their own graves indicates that these animals were held in high regard by ancient people.

Comment: From: Genetic study confirms 4000 years ago Indians landed in Australia
The dingo has always been an enigma. No one really knows how or why it ended up in Australia. We know it probably exterminated the Tasmanian Tiger on Mainland Australia (apart from the dingo-free island known as Tasmania) and we know it didn't originate here. The dingo has a striking resemblance to wild dogs found in India and so may have travelled with the first Indian settlers to our Island. However, there are similar looking dogs found in New Guinea and South East Asia.


Six of the oldest human remains found in the US

© Wikimedia Commons
Photograph of the second excavation of "Minnesota Woman" in 1931.
We recently shared some of the more amazing examples of ancient archaeology in the United States. This week, we travel even farther back in time to learn about some of the earliest known inhabitants of our country.

1. Minnesota Woman

Pelican Rapids is a quiet town nestled along the Pelican River in west central Minnesota, and it was here, back in 1931, where construction workers renovating U.S. Route 59 unearthed the skeletal remains of a teenage girl. Deteriorated shells coated the otherwise pristine skeleton. Buried close to the body was a conch shell pendant and a dagger made from the horn of an elk. The remains were eventually turned over to Dr. Albert Jenks from the University of Minnesota, who analyzed the skeleton and dubbed it "Minnesota Man," despite recognizing the remains were those of a woman. Subsequent analysis over the ensuing decades concluded that the remains were roughly 8,000 years old, and that the girl was a proto-indian who likely drowned in the glacial lake which once submerged much of the area. She was rightfully renamed "Minnesota Woman" in 1976.

2. Spirit Cave Mummy

The skeleton of 10,600-year-old man shrouded in a rabbit-skin blanket and reed mats is the oldest known mummy ever found in the United States. Strewn about the Nevada cave where the mummy was discovered were numerous artifacts, along with the cremated remains of three other individuals. The mummy may have more to tell us, but alas, his story and fate have been controversial. After decades of legal battles, the mummy was repatriated to the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe in 2016 for reburial.

Treasure Chest

King Bluetooth treasure trove: Amateur archaeologist and sidekick unearthed 1,000yo coins & jewels

King Bluetooth treasure trove
© Stefan Sauer / DPA / AFP
A collection of artifacts found at the site.
An amateur archaeologist and his teenage sidekick have unearthed a trove of silver artefacts thought to have belonged to Danish King Harald Bluetooth - the royal inspiration for the technology of the same name.

René Schön and 13-year-old Luca Malaschnitschenko found the hoard while searching northern Rugen Island with their metal detectors in January. A much more expansive dig undertaken in recent days revealed necklaces, pearls, brooches and up to 600 chipped coins that may have belonged to Harald Gormsson, better known as 'Harry Bluetooth.'


Ancient Indus Valley civilization was wiped out by a 900 year drought

Indus civilisation

A painting of the Indus civilisation.
The Indus Valley civilisation was wiped out 4,350 years ago by a 900-year-long drought, scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur (IIT-Kgp) have found. Evidence gathered during their study also put to rest the widely accepted theory that the said drought lasted for only about 200 years.

The study will be published in the prestigious Quaternary International Journal by Elsevier this month.

Researchers from the geology and geophysics department have been studying the monsoon's variability for the past 5,000 years and have found that the rains played truant in the northwest Himalayas for 900 long years, drying up the source of water that fed the rivers along which the civilisation thrived. This eventually drove the otherwise hardy inhabitants towards the east and south, where rain conditions were better.

Comment: See also:


Sardinia's mysterious annual "exorcism" ceremony

Sardinian mamoiada

For thousands of years, the men of a tiny Sardinian town have transformed into monsters-and no one knows why
No one dares to speak as smoke from a massive bonfire billows and twirls into a thick haze in the remote mountain town of Mamoiada. Flaming logs crack open, echoing through central Sardinia's rugged massifs and twisting valleys, shooting sparks toward a solemn mass of spectators. We're huddled together on a piercingly cold January night, bracing for something wild in the darkness that's lurching ever closer.

I peer through the smoke, searching for any signs of life beyond the glow of the blaze when I see several mothers suddenly pull their children in close. Just then, Ruggero Mameli, a lifelong Mamoiada resident who had invited me to come witness this event, whispers, "They're coming."

Within seconds, a distant rattling sound shakes the night awake, building slowly with each heavy step until it erupts into a deafening clatter. The sea of spectators parts, I see them, and a chill runs up my spine. Twelve menacing figures in jet-black masks with jutting, ghoulish features and dark sheepskin tunics are inching toward me, weighed down by up to 65 pounds of cowbells strapped to their backs. Their hunched frames slowly drag forward in two rows, eyeing the crowd as they heave themselves into a series of synchronized convulsions that cause the sheep bones inside their copper bells to clang in a thunderous chorus.

Comment: While it may be an amalgamation of traditions, one does wonder what it's original meaning may have been:

Cloud Grey

Volcanic eruptions during Roman times blocked out the sun plunging Eurasia into hunger and disease

A subfossil tree trunk being lifted out of a lake.
© Samuli Helama / Natural Resources Institute Finland
A subfossil tree trunk being lifted out of a lake.
A recent study published in an esteemed academic journal indicates that volcanic eruptions in the mid-500s resulted in an unusually gloomy and cold period. A joint research project of the Chronology Laboratory of the Finnish Museum of Natural History and Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) suggests that the years 536 and 541-544 CE were very difficult for many people.

An extended period of low light makes survival difficult. Food production, including farming and animal husbandry, rely on solar energy. Humans, meanwhile, become more prone to disease if they are not exposed to enough sunlight to produce vitamin D.

"Our research shows that the climate anomaly, which covered all of the northern hemisphere, was the compound result of several volcanic eruptions," says Markku Oinonen, director of the Chronology Laboratory. The aerosols that were released into the atmosphere with the eruptions covered the sun for a long time.

Comment: For more on the incredible happenings during that period, see: Also check out SOTT radio's:

Microscope 1

Oxford University genetic study finds Britons still live in 7th century tribal kingdoms

A new genetic map of Britain shows that there has been little movement between areas of Britain which were former tribal kingdoms in Anglo-Saxon England
© David Cheskin/PA
A new genetic map of Britain shows that there has been little movement between areas of Britain which were former tribal kingdoms in Anglo-Saxon England

Britons are still living in the same 'tribes' that they did in the 7th Century, Oxford University has found after an astonishing study into our genetic make-up.

Archaeologists and geneticists were amazed to find that genetically similar individuals inhabit the same areas they did following the Anglo-Saxon invasion, following the fall of the Roman Empire.

In fact, a map showing tribes of Britain in 600AD is almost identical to a new chart showing genetic variability throughout the UK, suggesting that local communities have stayed put for the past 1415 years.

Many people in Britain claim to feel a strong sense of regional identity and scientists say they the new study proves that the link to birthplace is DNA deep.

Comment: Laura Knight-Jadczyk in Meteorites, Asteroids, and Comets: Damages, Disasters, Injuries, Deaths, and Very Close Calls writes:
Until that point in time, the Britons had held control of post-Roman Britain, keeping the Anglo-Saxons isolated and suppressed. After the Romans were gone, the Britons maintained the status quo, living in towns, with elected officials, and carrying on trade with the empire. After AD 536, the year reported as the "death of Arthur", the Britons, the ancient Cymric empire that at one time had stretched from Cornwall in the south to Strathclyde in the north, all but disappeared, and were replaced by Anglo-Saxons. There is much debate among scholars as to whether the Anglo-Saxons killed all of the Britons, or assimilated them. Here we must consider that they were victims of possibly many overhead cometary explosions which wiped out most of the population of Europe, plunging it into the Dark Ages which were, apparently, really DARK, atmospherically speaking.
See Also:

Star of David

Open wounds remain 70 years after the Deir Yassin Massacre

Deir Yassin
© deiryassinremembered.org
Ruins of homes left empty from the Deir Yassin Massacre, 1986.
For the 70th anniversary of the Deir Yassin massacre, I spoke to Matthew Hogan who authored a peer-reviewed study of the incident for The Historian journal (The 1948 Massacre At Deir Yassin Revisited, Winter 2001) and recently served as consultant for the new documentary 1948: Creation and Catastrophe. He has spoken on Deir Yassin to classes at the University of Maryland and his paper has been broadly cited and assigned in university courses. Mr. Hogan has been an independent researcher in history. He received his Juris Doctor (J.D.)from Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1992.
Jamal Najjab: What was the Deir Yassin Massacre?

Matthew Hogan: Well, first let me note that the Deir Yassin Massacre was indeed a massacre, something which a few have a hard time digesting.

Anyway, what basically happened was that several dozen Palestinian Arab villagers were killed without military necessity on April 9, 1948 in their home village of Deir Yassin. They likely also endured other abuses during and after the takeover of that village that day by irregular Jewish forces.

It was a very significant event that accompanied the end of the British Mandate of Palestine in 1948 and the setup of the state of Israel and influenced heavily the fighting around it.

Star of David

1948 and the Anglo-Saxons: Remembering Western involvement in expulsion of the Palestinians

Nakba Deir Yassin massacre Israel

Screen shot from the film Deir Yassin Remembered, a collection of testimonies of survivors from Deir Yassin.
On July 19, 1948, a young Yitzhak Rabin sent orders to Israeli units near the border of what would become the West Bank. Over the preceding week and a half-"The Ten Days," as they are known in Israeli history books - the army of the new state of Israel had destroyed key communities in central Palestine. The Palestinian towns of Lydda and Ramla were no more. Israeli forces killed hundreds in both towns before emptying them of their inhabitants and annexing their land to Israel. Hundreds more died of thirst and exhaustion as the town's inhabitants became refugees, forced to march into the West Bank in columns of tens of thousands. But Israeli orders were straightforward. "The inhabitants of Lydda must be expelled quickly without attention to age," Rabin told troops (on July 12). And the natives, once expelled, were to be kept out.

So it was that almost 70 years ago-70 years before a besieged Gaza organized the "Great March of Return"; 70 years before participants in the march fell to Israeli sniper fire -- a future prime minister of Israel ordered his soldiers to shoot at any Palestinians who tried to return to their homes.

Comment: For a dispassionate, fact-based review of the history Israel's actions in Palestine, culled from its own military records, one could do no better than Ilan Pappe's The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine