Mysterious Fish Captured by Indonesian Fisherman

A fisherman from the village of Kampung Baru, District Banda, Indonesia catch a mysterious fish while fishing around Banana Island not far from his village, on Sunday (09/27/2015). The physical form of the fish is very different and unique from other fish species. The fish has orange color, its whole body spiny, with hard scale. At first glance the fish similar with shark, but without teeth, it has six fins, big mouth and beard, as well as the tail-like crocodile or stingray. La Erna, fishermen who catch the fish, said fish were captured when he fishing with a boat behind Banana Island.

When he found the fish, he was very surprised because of the unusual physical form with other fish species. "Beta (I) was surprised to catch fish because it's face like a fighter plane, while the body like a shark and a tail like a crocodile," said La Erna to when contacted from Ambon on Monday (09/28/2015) night.

Intrigued by the fish he catched, he then told the villagers and other fishermen on his return from the sea. However, none of the villagers can identified the fish species. La Erna admitted, this is the first time he catch that mysterious fish.

"16 years as fishermen, this is first time i saw a fish like this, so i'm very shocked. People here were all amazed, and many came to see this fish," he said.

He said, because the first time he saw the fish species and on the advice of the people, he did not dare eat it. He then decided to bury the fish was not far from his home. However, before the fish was buried, many people who came to his home to take picture of the fish.

"Maybe they want to upload it on facebook. Later, my brother in Makassar see the photos of the fish. He immediately contacted me and asked me to keep the fish carefully. Finally, i dig the fish that already buried," said La Erna.


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The Skeleton of Witch Girl In Italy

On 2014, an archaeological dig in northern Italy has unearthed the remains of a 13-year-old-girl buried with face-down. Dubbed by Italian media as “the witch girl, the skeleton was unearthed at the complex of San Calocero in Albenga on the Ligurian Riviera by a team of the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology at the Vatican. Archaeologists say, that despite her young age, she was rejected by her community and seen as a danger even when dead. Face-down burials could be "a treatment used for murderers and thieves," excavation director Stefano Roascio told the Italian newspaper Il Secolo XIX. Another possibility is that the girl was buried that way out of a superstitious belief that it would prevent her from being resurrected, or coming back to haunt the living as a spirit.

The skeleton showed signs of porotic hyperostosis on the skull and orbits - which were the result of severe anaemia.
Mysterious Skeleton of young girl buried with face-down

"She could have suffered from an inherited blood disorder such as thalassemia or from hemorrhagic conditions. More simply, it could have been an iron lacking diet," anthropologist Elena Dellù told Discovery News.

According to Caroline Arcini of Sweden's National Heritage Board, convicted witches and rule-breaking nuns were also buried in prone positions.

“These rare [prone] burials are explained as an act of punishment. What the dead had done was not accepted by the community,” Roascio told Discovery News.

In extreme cases, a face-down burial was used as the ultimate punishment, with the victim horrifically buried alive. Intriguingly, her disrespectful burial was found in a privileged area, just in front of the church. “This makes the finding even more unusual. A similar case of a teenager buried face-down in front of a church was found at the archaeological site of Pava near Siena,” Roascio told Discovery News.

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The Haunted Victorian-Style Mirror

On 2013, an antique walnut mirror were acquired by Joseph Birch, 20, and painter Sotiris Charalambous, 34 after their landlord put it in a dumpster outside their apartment in Muswell Hill, London few months earlier. However, it would turn out, was a fatal mistake. Since they put it inside their home, the duo claim they've suffered a streak of bad luck, including financial problems and illness. They both also experienced number of bizarre occurrances such as disappearing objects, loud bangs, and pictures falling off walls.
The Haunted Mirror

Since the grand victorian style mirror was painted metallic silver by Sotiris they began to suffer intense nightmares and their problems escalated. They said that they have woken up "screaming in pain," felt "a sense of impending doom," and spotted "flickering shadows" reflected in it. The pair say that the radiator below the mirror stopped working despite never having problems with central heating before and that their landline no longer works and the pipes have began rattling in the flat.
Sotiris said: 'I think someone could have been murdered in front of the mirror and that's why it has been haunting our house.

Later, the two decided to get rid of the bad luck mirror by auctioning it off on eBay, but making sure to fully disclose its paranormal properties. After listing the haunted mirror on eBay, the seller also experienced horrible nightmares involving suicide, and another set of scratches down one of his legs.

The item has attracted interest from all over the country, with 20,000 people having viewed the item so far. It's a good thing there was no profit motive reflected in the eBay posting, but there was only one bid for the item and it was for the original price posted by the two men. The auction for the mirror ended on February 18, 2013, with a single winning bid of £100.00.

The buyer's name has not been released.


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Ancient Islamic Ring Found Inside Viking Grave

A mysterious ancient ring discovered inside a ninth century woman’s grave in Sweden which crafted more than 1,000 years ago confirms highlights the contact between the Vikings and the Islamic world. The stone inset into the ring bears an inscription that says ‘for Allah’ or ‘to Allah’. The ring was found in a grave dating from the 9th century. In a wooden coffin, it was discovered alongside brooches, a pair of scissors and some clothing. The remains in the grave have disintegrated but, based on the items left behind, it is believed that the owner is a woman. The ring itself is normal-sized and made out of white metal set with a pink or violet stone.

The object was originally discovered during a late 19th century grave excavation in the town of Birka, on Björkö island, about 19 miles (30 kilometers) from Stockholm. Birka was a key trading center during the Viking age and made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
Viking Ring Inscribed with "For/to Allah" in Arabic Kufic
According to the study, it is the only ring with an Arabic inscription found at a Scandinavian archaeological site, also a unique object among Swedish Viking Age material. Further analysis of the ring showed that it was rarely worn.

The inner ring still shows signs of where the silver was filed by a craftsman, meaning that it was probably sold as new before it became a treasured possession of a Viking woman.

‘The ring has been cast in a high-grade silver alloy (94.5/5.5 Ag/Cu) and retains the post-casting marks from the filing done to remove flash and mould lines,’

The owner of the ring was found wearing traditional Scandinavian clothing, but the researchers said it was impossible to determine her ethnicity due to the decomposed state of the bones in the grave. This new evidence of ancient ties between the Vikings and the caliphate comes at a time when Sweden's relationship with the modern Islamic world seems to be problematic.


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Aokigahara Forest

Less than 100 miles west of Tokyo, there is a mysterious forest called Aokigahara that lies at the base of Mount Fuji. Because of its very high density of trees, it is also known as "The Sea of Trees" (Jukai). It is also very sought-after by tourists because there are two exotic caves located there, called The Ice Cave and the Wind Cave. The forest has an historic association with demons in Japanese mythology, and it is a notoriously common suicide site (in which 57 took place in 2010); for this reason, a sign at the head of the main trail urges suicidal visitors to think of their families and contact a suicide prevention association. Japanese spiritualists believe that the suicides committed in the forest have permeated Aokigahara's trees, generating paranormal activity and preventing many who enter from escaping the forest's depths.

According to NPA reports, a major suicide trigger in 2010 was depression, and some 57 percent of all the suicide victims were out of work when they died. Among those, men in their 50s were most numerous, though men in their 30s and 40s has been the demographic showing the biggest percentage increase in the past few years.

Warning Sign on Aokigahara Pathway

The Aokigahara has not always attracted hundreds of people wishing to end their lives. While there is some evidence that suggests that as far as the 19th century, it was a place where Japanese carried their elders to die of starvation (a practice called ubasute), it became popular after the 1960’s when a novel by famed author Seichō Matsumoto was published. In this novel called "Tower of Waves", a couple commit suicide in the Aokigahara forest. Another book from 1993, “The Complete Manual of Suicide” by Wataru Tsurumi added to the fuel and increased suicide rates. The author described the Aokigahara as the perfect place to commit suicide and even described which parts of the forests are less circulated so the bodies cannot be found later on.

Usually the forest workers must carry the bodies down from the forest to the local station, where the bodies are put in a special room used specifically to house suicide corpses. The workers then play jan-ken-pon—(rock, paper, scissors)—to see who has to sleep in the room with the corpse.

It is believed that if the corpse is left alone, it is very bad luck for the yurei (ghost) of the suicide victims. Their spirits are said to scream through the night, and their bodies will move on their own.

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Nampa Image

A small human image, skillfully formed in clay, was found in 1889 at Nampa, Idaho. The figurine was found at over 300-foot level of a well boring which would appear to place its age far before the expected arrival of man in this part of the world. Other than Homo sapiens sapiens, no hominid is known to have fashioned works of art like the Nampa figurine. The evidence therefore suggests that humans of the modern type were living in America around 2 million years ago, at the Plio-Pleistocene boundary.

In 1887 James A. Pinney, Nathan Falk, Joseph Perrault, John Bernard, and M. A. Kurtz formed a company to locate artesian water at the new frontier town of Nampa, Idaho. By July of 1889, one of the owners of the drilling company, Mark A. Kurtz, was checking the material brought up by a sand pump from a layer of clay over 300 feet down in the well boring. A strange object came into his hands. On washing it, he found it was a small human figurine.

Nampa Image

Kurtz later showed the figurine to Charles F. Adams, president of the Union Pacific Railroad, who happened to be passing through Idaho. Adams, who had recently read a book by G. F. Wright, wrote to Wright about the discovery. Wright, from the East Coast of the United States, wrote to Kurtz, requesting a photograph of the arti­fact. Kurtz replied that there was no way for him to make a photograph, so he sent Wright the figurine. Wright noted : “The object is about an inch and a half long, and remarkable for the perfection with which it repre­sents the human form.” He added, “It was a female figure, and had the lifelike lineaments in the parts which were finished that would do credit to the classic centers of art.” Wright also examined the borehole to see if the figurine could have slipped down from a higher level. He stated: "To answer objections it will be well to give the facts more fully. The well was six inches in diameter and was tubed with heavy iron tubing, which was driven down, from the top, and screwed together, section by section, as progress was made. Thus it was impossible for anything to work in from the sides. The drill was not used after penetrating the lava deposit near the surface, but the tube was driven down, and the included material brought out from time to time by use of a sand pump."

Willendorf Venus

The object was not of recent manufacture. It was deeply colored with the iron oxides characteristic of the de­posits from the 300-foot level. Wright showed the object to archaeologist F. W. Putnam of Harvard University. "Upon showing the object to Professor F. W. Putnam," wrote Wright, "he at once directed attention to the character of the incrustations of iron upon the surface as indicative of a relic of considerable antiquity. There were patches of anhydrous red oxide of iron in protected places upon it, such as could not have been formed upon any fraudulent object. In visiting the locality in 1890, while on the ground, to compare the discoloration of the oxide upon the image with that upon the clay balls still found among the debris which has come from the well, and ascertained it to be as nearly identical as it is possible to be. These confirmatory evidences, in connection with the very satisfactory character of the evidence furnished by the parties who made the discovery, and confirmed by Mr. G. M. Cumming, of Boston (at that time superintendent of that division of the Oregon Short Line Railroad, and who knew all the parties, and was upon the ground a day or two after the discovery) placed the genuineness of the discovery beyond reasonable doubt. To this evidence is to be added, also, the general conformity of the object to other relics of man which have been found beneath the lava deposits on the Pacific coast. The Nampa image is also similar to the famous Willendorf Venus, thought to be about 30,000 years old.”

According to current Darwinian theories of evolution, figurines like the Idaho image are made only by hu­mans of the modern type, who came into existence only about 200,000 years ago. The oldest statues of human fig­ures of a degree of artistry similar to that of the Nampa image only go back to the Late Paleolithic period of Eu­rope, about 20,000 or 30,000 years. In ancient Sanskrit writings of India, however, humans have been present since the beginning of life on earth. There are figures of gods and goddesses in Indian temples that, according to traditional sources, are as old as the Nampa image and older.

The Nampa figurine strongly challenges the evolutionary scenario was noted by W. H. Holmes of the Smithsonian Institution. In 1919, Holmes wrote in his Handbook of Aboriginal American Antiquities: "According to Emmons, the formation in which the pump was operating is of late Tertiary or early Quaternary age; and the apparent improbability of the occurrence of a well-modeled human figure in deposits of such great antiquity has led to grave doubt about its authenticity." Holmes think that it must be slipped down from a higher level. Evidence that contradicts evolutionary preconceptions about the antiquity of the human species is often rejected, just for that reason alone.

If Holmes could have demonstrated that he could in that area find some place where he could drop a figurine and have it go down 300 feet into the ground by some natural pathway through a 15-foot layer of basalt, and further down to the 300-foot level, that might constitute some real evidence in support of his theory. But no such evidence was provided. We also have to take into account the testimony of Dr. Putnam and Dr. Jewett that the object was of con­siderable antiquity. Today the Nampa image is kept in storage at the Idaho State Historical Society in Boise, Idaho.

Sources :
Atlantis Rising Magazine vol. 64 : “The Mystery of Nampa Image” by Michael Cremo;
Hidden History of the Human Race by Michael Cremo;

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Atlantis Rising Magazine vol. 64 : “The Mystery of Nampa Image” by Michael Cremo page 19
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Frank and Carol's Time Slip Incident

In July 1996, Frank and his wife, Carol experiencing a strange phenomenon called time slip. One Saturday afternoon they were visiting Liverpool's Bold Street area for some shopping. At Central Station, the pair split up; Carol went to Dillons Bookshop and Frank went to HMV to look for a CD he wanted. As Frank walked up the incline near the Lyceum Post Office/Café building that lead onto Bold Street, he suddenly noticed he had entered a strange "oasis of quietness."

All of a sudden, a small 1950’s box van crossed in front of Frank, honking his horn in its progress. The van’s livery stated it was from “Caplan’s”. He looked down to his feet, and realised he was stood in the middle of the road. Frank crossed the road and saw that ‘Dillon’s Book Store’ now had a ‘Cripps’ signage over its entrances and moreover, the shop was selling women’s handbags and shoes rather than books.

Looking around the street, Frank realised that the people he could see were dressed in the fashions from the 1940’s but strangely a young woman in her 20’s walked past him with a popular brand named handbag. This reassured him that he was partially in 1996; he smiled at the girl as she walked past and entered ‘Cripps’.

As the pair went inside, Frank watched in amazement as the interior of the building completely changed in a flash to that of Dillons Bookshop of 1996. The girl turned to leave and Frank lightly grasped the girl's arm to attract attention and said, "Did you see that?"

She replied, "Yeah! I thought it was a clothes shop. I was going to look around, but it's a bookshop."

It was later determined that Cripps and Caplan's were businesses based in Liverpool during the 1950s. Whether these businesses were based in the locations specified in the story has not been confirmed.

Time slips are "often accompanied by feelings of depression, eeriness and a marked sense of silence, deeper than normally experienced," posits author Andrew MacKenzie in his book Adventures in Time: Encounters With the Past, drawing this conclusion based on his own interviews with people who have experienced the phenomenon.

Perhaps there is a natural phenomenon that under the right conditions and location can produce briefly a doorway to another time and place. Even though this may sound outrageous, this natural "time machine" could show that modern concepts and perceptions of time need to be seriously reconsidered. It may be that the past and even the future might be closer then thought with current scientific theories. With the right frame of mind and the right natural conditions, the barriers of time and space that have traditionally kept mankind locked into place may finally be broken, allowing the mysteries of the world and the universe to be finally revealed.


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The Gravestone of John Renie

The gravestone of John Renie is very unusual because of the inscription that carved on it takes the form of a grid, 19 squares across and 15 squares high. It comprises a rectangular carved 285-letter acrostic puzzle. In each square is a letter. The center row, for example, reads “o J s e i L e r e H e r e L i e s J o.” You can make out some clear words. “Here” and “Lies” are in that in that string above, and you can see the start of “John.” Renie was a house painter who died in 1832 at the age of 33. The gravestone was Grade II listed on 8 October 2005. 
Inscription on John Renie's Gravestone

It is claimed that the sentence may be read a total of 46,000 different ways. It is likely that Renie carved the stone himself. Writer and cleric Lionel Fanthorpe has suggested that his intention may have been to confuse the Devil, so ensuring Renie his passage to heaven. In fact, Renie's remains lie elsewhere, as the stone was moved from its original position at a later date.


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Elisabeth Demidoff's Tomb Challenge

In 1818 the Russian Princess Elisabeth Demidoff died at Paris, aged 39. A massive mausoleum was raised above her grave at Père Lachaise, in the current classical taste. But 75 years later, strange stories began to circulate about the tomb and its occupant. In Elisabeth’s last Will and testament, it was rumoured to tell of a vast fortune for anyone who could spend a year in her tomb.

According to Paris papers, a curious will contest is about to be tried in the Seine courts. Five years ago a Russian Princess died, leaving a large fortune. There was great surprise among her relatives when the testament was opened. By one of its clauses she left 5,000,000 francs to the person who would remain a year in the chapel to be erected above her grave in the Pere-la-Chaise. The body of the Princess, according to the legendary report, lies in a crystal coffin, in a wonderful state of preservation. No one of her relatives has been able to remain longer than two or three days in the chapel. What will become of the 5,000,000 francs is the question. Chicago [IL] Daily Tribune 25 October 1893: p. 4

Born February 5, 1779, into Russian Aristocracy, Elisabeth Alexandrovna Stroganoff married Nicolas Demidoff at aged 16, and gave him two sons. The couple lived in France where they were ardent supporters of Napoleon. Elisabeth was described as being quite a cheerful and more outgoing character, while her husband was more of a brooder. Elisabeth was interested in social outings; her husband was more interested in building on his financial fortune. After their second son was born the couple separated, and Elisabeth moved back to France where she lived out her days.
Elisabeth Demidoff Mausoleum

Elisabeth De Demidoff died in Paris, France on 8 April 1818, her body housed in a massive mausoleum located in the Pere-Lachaise cemetery. This Mausoleum is one of the largest in the cemetery, Elisabeth's body located in the tomb beneath.

75 years later after Elisabeth was interred into her resting place a rumour began to circulate that her will stated a challenge for anyone wanting to get their hands on some of her riches. She died quite wealthy though some say a little bit nutty.

The Will supposedly read something along the lines of – anyone of good will who agreed to spend 365 days and 366 nights locked within her tomb alone would inherit a fortune. They could not leave the tomb for any reason during this time.

Several people attempted this feat, but no one could manage to survive more than a few days before the doors would be pounded on, yelling and shrieking accompanying the din, and when released the prospective challenger would dash out, more than a little unhinged, and at least one died of a heart attack soon after.


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Gargoyle Sighting In Chile

In July of 2004, an army sub-officer with the “Cazadores” regiment named Carlos Abett de la Torre, his wife Teresa, their three children and a nephew at approximately 7:00 pm departed from their quarters in Fuerte Baquedano, which is located in the military community of Pozo Almonte, Chile, heading toward Arica to visit some relatives. About two hours into their journey, Carlos was cruising at about 65-miles per hour through the Pampa Acha approximately 20-miles south of Arica. The road ahead was illuminated not only by the pick-up’s headlamps, but the bright moon that hovered above them in the cloudless sky. That was when Carlos’ eldest daughter, Carmen, noticed a pair of extraordinary entities through the back window of the vehicle. 

According to Carmen she was astounded to see two creatures leisurely “floating” in the skies above. In her own words:

“I was traveling in the backseat with my brothers, talking, and suddenly everything went dark. Then I told my brother what I was seeing and he told me to keep quiet, because Mom gets nervous. Later I looked through the window and saw some things that looked like birds, with dogs’ heads and back swept wings. My father said they were like gargoyles.”

Carmen later estimated that the strange airborne critters that flew over her father’s pick-up truck were at least 6-feet in length and she admitted that at first she wasn’t sure if the creatures had wings or legs, but that the appendages were angled toward the rear of the creatures.

From her vantage point Teresa was afforded the best view of these anomalous animals, which the press would quote her as saying resembled “dog-faced kangaroos.” She claimed that the “gargoyles” seemed to match the speed of the truck, occasionally slipping ahead, then falling back, never traveling more than 60-feet from the vehicle.

Just when the Torre family was growing accustomed to the flying fiends above, another pair of the same species leapt in front of the truck on strong hind legs, which were shorter than their upper legs. Carlos managed to avert a collision with these land bound “gargoyles” and increased the pick-up’s speed, eventually leaving all four of the beasts behind.

When Torre family safely arrived in Arica they told their relatives about their bizarre sightings, but swore them to secrecy, concerned that the public ridicule which might follow the unveiling of their tale would somehow damage the military career of the family’s patriarch.

According to wikipedia, a French legend that sprang up around the name of St. Romanus ("Romain") (AD 631–641), the former chancellor of the Merovingian king Clotaire II who was made bishop of Rouen, relates how he delivered the country around Rouen from a monster called Gargouille or Goji. La Gargouille is said to have been the typical dragon with batlike wings, a long neck, and the ability to breathe fire from its mouth. There are multiple versions of the story, either that St. Romanus subdued the creature with a crucifix, or he captured the creature with the help of the only volunteer, a condemned man.


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Yester Castle

The original stone keep at Yester, built before 1267, is generally considered to be by Sir Hugo de Giffard. A grandson of the first Laird of Yester, he served as a guardian of the young Alexander III of Scotland, and was by repute a magician and necromancer, known by many as "The Wizard of Yester". Little remains of the castle today, but the subterranean Goblin Ha' (Gobiln Hall) is still largely intact. Yester House is described as having 85 palatial rooms, set within 500 acres. In 2008, it was offered for sale with a price tag of £15 million, which made it then the most expensive house offered for sale in Scotland, three times the prevailing record, held by nearby Seton House, which sold for £5 million in 2007.

Yester Castle

Sir Hugo de Giffard was known as the 'Wizard of Yester', and was considered to be a powerful warlock and necromancer. It is in the undercroft of the castle that he was thought to practise his sorcery. 14th century chronicler John of Fordun mentions the large cavern in Yester Castle, thought locally to have been formed by magical artifice. Major upgrades were made to Yester Castle in the thirteenth century. No later than 1267 a Stone Keep was built at the site probably by Sir Hugo de Giffard, grandson of the original owner. The upgrades included construction of the fine vaulted chamber known as the Goblin Ha' - a title deriving from the rumours that Hugo was a wizard whose armies of goblins had built Yester Castle. Legend also supposed that Hugo was able, via a pact with the Devil, to raise a magical army to his aid, and use them to carry out his will.

Goblin Ha', or Goblin Hall, lies to the east of the walled area once enclosed by Yester Castle, and is reached by a flight of steps. This subterranean hall is about 37 feet long, 13 feet wide, built of ashlar, and having a high pointed vaulted roof, 19 feet high. Another staircase leads down to a well and bolt-hole in a nearby gulley.

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Mysterious "Alien" Corpse Found In Russia

The reported discovery of this 'tiny alien body' in Russia is said to have stumped scientists who are struggling to identify what it is. Local media claim it was found by two residents next to the River Kovashi in the Russian town of Sosnovy Bor, which was built in the 1950s to serve the Leningrad nuclear power plant. Biologist Yegor Zadereev, from the Institute of Biophysics in Krasnoyarsk, also said he was unable to tell what it was. He said: 'Extensive studies are needed to determine what kind of creature or organism it is.
This mysterious body was found on the banks of a Russian river
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Tricentennial Royal Coins Found Offshore Florida

Nearly $1 million worth of gold coins and elaborate gold chains were found by treasure hunters off the Florida coast recently, as well as an extremely rare Spanish coin known as a "Tricentennial Royal." The treasures were hidden on the seafloor for 300 years before the crew of a salvage vessel brought them to the surface last month, on June 17, 2015. It were found around 305 meters offshore of Fort Pierce, Florida, according to Eric Schmitt, captain of the aptly named salvage vessel, Aarrr Booty, which was used to locate the treasure.

The ships that once carried the valuables set sail from Cuba on July 24, 1715, when the island was a Spanish colony. The ships' mission was to transport the riches below deck to Spain, which at the time was waging a war against France and was desperately in need of money to fund battles. However, the ships never made it to Spain. A hurricane off Florida sank all but one of the 12 ships on July 30, 1715. The so-called "1715 Fleet" has been a treasure-hunter's fantasy ever since. In 2010, Brent Brisben and his father, William, obtained permits to explore the wrecks in search of sunken riches.
Tricentennial Royal Coin

Included in Aarrr Booty's recent haul were 51 gold coins and 40 feet of golden chain. But the real treasure salvaged from the deep was the rare Tricentennial Royal, one of very few gold coins minted for King Philip V of Spain, according Schmitt, lead diver of the Aarrr Booty vessel's treasure-hunting expeditions.

And even though Brisben and Schmitt are excited about the discovery of this precious coin, both remain hopeful that even more treasure lies hidden off Florida. Brisben's company owns the salvage rights to five of the 11 ships that sank on July 30, 1715, he told Live Science. He estimates that $440 million worth of coins and other treasures have yet to be recovered from these centuries-old wrecks.


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The Mysterious Himalayan Towers

Around the Western Sichuan province, between central China and the Tibetan Autonomous Region, an area known as the Tribal Corridor, were at one time dotted with thousands of lofty stone towers cunningly designed, skillfully constructed, remarkable in form and scale, and mysterious in origin called the Himalayan Towers. These towers also called Stone star-shaped towers are found between Central Tibet and China. This area has been inhabited time out of mind by a distinctly varied assortment of tribes, often categorized in Chinese ancient texts as the Quiang Ren (ren meaning people).

From 2000 to 2003, Frederique Darragon, an amateur archaeologist shipped pieces of wood from 32 towers to a laboratory in Miami for radiocarbon dating. The procedure yields an estimate of a material's age based on the level of the radioactive element carbon-14 in organic material. Most of the wood samples she had tested are several hundred years old; the towers from which they came are presumably about the same age. But one structure in Kongpo, Tibet, a day's drive from the capital, Lhasa, proved much older. It was likely built between 1,000 and 1,200 years ago, before Mongolian tribes invaded Tibet, around 1240. The dating method isn't definitive and it's possible that the wood used by some tower builders was already very old, in which case the structures may be younger.
Himalayan Towers

Darragon was especially intrigued by the more than 40 roughly star-shaped towers she encountered. Some have 8 points, others 12. In both configurations, star-shaped towers are rare, scholars say. At least two others can be found in Afghanistan, including the Minaret of Bahram Shah in Ghazni. Darragon speculates that the star shape makes the Chinese structures less susceptible to tremors. "All the people I asked in the villages said the towers resist earthquakes," Darragon says. And, in fact, she found that the only towers still standing in the Kongpo area of Tibet are star-shaped, though it's certainly conceivable that those structures have survived for reasons other than their supposed earthquake resistance.

Why were they built? One idea is they served a religious function, perhaps representing the dmu cord that, according to Tibetan legend, is said to connect heaven and earth. "The towers might actually symbolize this cord," says Bianca Horlemann, an independent Tibet scholar in Bethesda, Maryland. Alternatively, some scholars suggest the structures were watchtowers or forts. "The towers were built for defense," says Marielle Prins, a linguist with the Southwest Institute for Nationalities in Chengdu, China. "Most of them are from the Jinchuan Wars [of the 18th century] in which the Chinese emperor spent large amounts of silver and human resources to pacify a small part of the Gyalrong area." Eric Mortensen, a Tibet scholar at National Taiwan University, who has traveled in the region, says the structures were "likely used as signal towers." He bases that conclusion on their locations, which generally provide a line of sight from one to another.


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