News

Debris from MH370?

Debris has just watched up on the beach in Mozambique that has tentatively been identified as a part from the same type of aircraft of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 (MH370). link

The debris shows the fixed leading edge of the right-hand tail section of a Boeing 777. MH-370 disappeared two years ago with 239 people aboard. It is the only known missing 777 to date.

The part is referred to as a "horizontal stabilizer" says it appears to be made with a fiberglass composite on the outside and aluminum honeycombing on the inside. The Malaysian transport minister, Liow tiong Lai, confirmed on his twitter account hat the discovery appears to have come from the missing plane.

Liow tweeted, "Based on early reports, high possibility debris found in Mozambique belong to a B777"

This is one of the first pieces possible leads in the search for the plane. Nothing of the passengers, their luggage...or even things designed to float (life jackets, seats, etc) have been discovered. This is particularly interesting as this search has been the most expansive (and expensive) in aviation history.

However, the finding of this possible debris is not necessarily unexpected. Authorities have long predicted that any debris from the plane that didn't sink to the bottom would eventually be carried by currents to the east coast of Africa.

The search, still on-going, is set to (tentatively) wrap up this year.

Check out some of our past blogs on MH-370 if you're interested in learning more about the story here and here.

The picture above is unrelated to the story and was taken by Flickr User Arun Katiyar it is licensed under Creative Commons.

 

Zombie Bunnies

Okay, maybe the title is a little deceiving. But, there has been a huge new discovery in the world of cryonics. Link

MIT grad Robert McIntyre has announced that his team has cryonically frozen the brain of a small mammal and recovered it in "near perfect condition". According to the foundation, "it is the first demonstration that near-perfect, long term structural reservation of an intact mammalian brain in achievable".

They used the “Aldehyde-Stabilized Cryopreservation” protocol approach, meaning the researchers dispersed a collection of chemicals through the vascular system of the brain which fixes the neurons in place, then converted it to a glasslike object by cooling it to -210 degrees F (-130 C) for long term storage. Later on, the brain was rewarmed and the cryoprotectant chemicals were removed.

“This is a big deal,” John Smart, co-founder of the Brain Preservation Foundation, says. “It’s the first time that we have a procedure that can protect everything neuroscientists think is involved with learning and memory.

The promise of a deathless future at the heart of cryonics research presumes that immortality may be achieved by uploading our neural structures into machines. However, it is unclear how much memory can be retained.

Though this is a wonderful break through, it does raise other questions. For example, if someone preserves the neurons in their brain, there’s no guarantee that it’s enough to preserve their “soul"/memories/"self".

However, the excitement in the community is palpable as research continues.

 

From Flickr User, Jim, The Photographer. This photo is licensed under Creative Commons.

Mysterious Severed Feet Continue to Wash Up in the Pacific Northwest

Driftwood, sea glass, and, apparently, feet are all things you can now expected to wash ashore if you're in the Pacific Northwest. link

Over fifteen detached human feet, many still with a shoe on, have been found since 2007 in British Columbia, Canada, and Washington State. Oddly enough, most have been right feet.

The most recent of which washed up late last week. Charlotte Stevens of B.C was taking a lovely family stroll when her husband spotted something strange in the sand. At first, it looked like a shoe. However, upon closer inspection, it still had a foot in it. According to Stevens, it was just a foot bone.

Like the others, there's no way to know exactly how long the foot was in the later but the regional coroner, Matt Brown, said the exact model of the shoe had gone on the market after March 2013.

No one knows quite why all of these feet are washing up. The Daily Beast posited that once people became aware of the phenomena, they started scanning shorelines for shoes whereas they previously would have ignored them.

Criminologist Gail Anderson of Simon Fraser University highlighted its likely that they are the feet of people who leapt from bridges.

Foul play is not suspected in any of the cases, but it has not been ruled out.

The above picture is unrelated to the cases and was taken by Flickr User Caleb Roenigk and is licensed under Creative Commons.

New Stonehenge Dig Reveals Prominent Female Burials

It may have been constructed between 3000 BC to 2000 but yes, we’re still getting updates on Stonehenge. Link

The remains of 14 women, believed to be of high status, have been found buried at Stonehenge. Scholars are arguing this supports their theory that, at least for part of its history, Stonehenge functioned as a cremation cemetery for noteworthy individuals.

Interestingly enough, during the recent excavation more women than men were buried at Stonehenge.

The excavation focused on Aubrey Hole 7, one of 56 chalk pits dug right outside the stone circle and dating to the very earliest phases of Stonehenge.

Archaeologist Mike Pitts, the editor of British Archaeology, has been quoted saying, “In almost every depiction of Stonehenge by artists and TV reenactors we see lots of men, a man in charge, and few or no women”. Clearly, the finding of these women hint that Stonehenge is much more complicated, societally, than it has been previously depicted.

Pitts adds, “By definition -- cemeteries are rare, Stonehenge exceptional -- anyone buried at Stonehenge is likely to have been special in some way: high status families, possessors of special skills or knowledge, ritual or political leaders”. Another interesting addition is that no children were found. Of the skeletons, 14 were women and 9 were men and all aged as young adults or older. Pitts suspects that children’s corpses were treated differently, he surmises they were likely also cremated by their ashes were scattered in the nearby river, commenting “There is a common association between late Neolithic religious centers and the sources of upper reaches of significant rivers”.

Willis, a colleague of Pitts adds, that the role of women in society probably “declined again towards the 3rd millennium B.C” but, at the very, least, they seemed to maintain prominence during this particular time period.

Picture taken by Diego Delso, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Modern Day Treasure Hunts Part 3 of 3

It seems Forrest Fenn's treasure hunt hasn't been all glittering coins and hotel packages. Link

The author, who has been tempting treasure hunters with clues to a $2 million dollar treasure in New Mexico, has inspired hundreds of hunters. Sadly, Randy Bilyeu, 54, from Colorado has gone missing searching for the loot.

He went missing over three weeks ago.

He charted a helicopter last Thursday after the New Mexico State Police decided to call off the hunt for Bilyeu which was going on outside Santa Fe.

Fenn has called the situation "terrible" and quite obviously feels very responsible. However, Fenn claims "The treasure is not hidden in a dangerous place," Fenn said. "I've said many times not to look for the treasure any place where an 80-year-old man couldn't put it."

Tom Cremeens, the flight paramedic who found Bilyeu's raft and dog, believes that "there was an event where he collapsed and drowned". Currently, they are doing fly-overs as there is no evidence of Bilyeu on the ground. According to Creemens, "We don't know if he's still alive or not".

Sadly, Bilyeu isn't the first treasure hunter to go missing. In March 2013 a woman from Texas was drawn to search after a national television report about the treasure. She got lost searching near Bandelier National Monument and spent the night in rugged terrain.

This case prompted officials to warn searchers to be prepared for the outdoors and Fenn backed this statement up, advising treasure hunters to wait until Spring and the area becomes more manageable.

Modern Day Treasure Hunts Part 2 of 3

And so the saga continues! Yesterday’s blog post about Masquerade had lead to the enchanting story of a slightly eccentric, blue-eyed multimillionaire named Forrest Fenn. link

Three years ago, he put two of his most beloved pieces of jewelry in the chest: a turquoise bracelet and a Tairona and Sinu Indian necklace adorned with lustrous jewels. At the bottom of the chest, in an olive jar, he placed a detailed autobiography, printed so small a reader will need a magnifying glass. After that, he says, he carted the chest of loot, now weighing more than 40 pounds, into the mountains somewhere north of Santa Fe…and left it there.

Fenn is a notorious Santa Fe antiquities dealer and adventurer at the spry young age of 82. He has, allegedly, left a trail of nine hints leading to a box chock full of loot. The clues are buried in a mysterious poem published in his autobiography.

A tenth clue was revealed sometime later stated that the treasure is hidden more than 5,000 feet above sea-level. Early in the new year, Fenn presented a new hint in the hunt for his elusive booty while appearing on the TODAY show. This wonder aficionado said that the eleventh clue was: 'No need to dig up the old outhouses, the treasure is not associated with any structure.'

Though there are some nay-sayers who claim Fenn is out for attention, Fenn and others who know him disagree. Fenn himself says his main goal is to get people, particularly children, away from their texting devices and looking for adventure outdoors. This seems like a noble cause, but is it a noble cause worth 40 pounds of treasure?

People have guessed at the wealth of the treasure in question. ‘His net worth is much higher than what he put in the bounty,’ says Preston, guessing the treasure's value is in the million-dollar range. ‘He is having way more than $1million worth of fun with this.’

From the outset, the book tells readers the recollections ‘are as true to history as one man can average out that truth, considering the fact that one of my natural instincts is to embellish.’ But what does it mean to “average out the truth”?. Does it mean embellish? Does it mean to tell a narrative or tall tale instead of a true account? Whatever the answer may be…he sure knows how to capture our attention.

Based on the more than 9,000 emails Fenn says he has received just in the past few months, he estimates thousands of treasure hunters will descend on northern New Mexico this spring.

Funny enough, Dana Ortega, director of sales and marketing at Santa Fe's Inn and Spa at Loretto, said the hotel, which offers a special package starting at $300 that includes a copy of Fenn's now hard-to-find book, has seen a huge spike in interest.

‘About 50 people came in on the package last year,’ she said. ‘Now our phones are ringing off the hook. ... So many people have the book so they are not all doing the package, but they call and want to stay here’ says Ortega.

 

Stay tuned tomorrow when this magnate’s treasure hunt takes a tragic turn.

 

The above image is licensed under Creative Commons and is from Pixabay User Pezibear. It is not related to the above story in any way.

Modern Day Treasure Hunts, Part 1 of 3

Do you think treasure hunts are a thing of the past? Think again. This is the first of a 3 part series which will examine modern day treasure hunts and their consequences. The first up is the behemoth of modern day treasure hunts, Kit Williams tricky, drama-filled Masquerade-based treasure hunt.

Masquerade is a picture book, written and illustrated by Kit Williams and published in 1979. This book sparked a treasure hunt by concealing clues to the location of a mysterious golden and jeweled hare. This book pioneered the genre of armchair treasure hunt books. Thousands upon thousands of this book sold worldwide and sparked treasure hunters all over the world to start looking for this fortune.

Sources

But, what is the story behind the creation of the book? Well, Willaims set to create a book of paintings that readers would study rather than flip through and discard. The book’s objective, the hunt for treasure, became this means to an end.

It chronicled the story of Jack Hare (original, right?) who seeks to carry a treasure from the moon-depicted a woman- to her lover, the sun. Upon arriving, Jack realizes he has lost the treasure...and the reader is destined to find its location. To go along with this, Williams crafted a hare from 18 carat gold and jewels in the form of a large filigree pendant on a segmented chain. he sealed the hare inside a ceramic rabbit casket. the casket was incredible with the legend "I am the keeper of the jewel masquerade which lies waiting safe inside me for you or eternity. in 1979 the hare was hidden in a secret location and claimed his book would lead to the treasure within a few inches.

The book sold hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide. However, this didn't always have great consequences, these treasure hunters dug up public and private property acting on hunches. it was so bad in one place called Harefiled Beacon that Williams paid for a sign to notify searchers that the rabbit was not hidden here.

In March 1982, Williams announced that Ken Thomas had won the contest. People were both excited someone had solved the riddle, but sad that the contest had ended.

Some addicts were too obsessed to even accept the idea that others had won the prize. Furthermore, they were more single-mindedly continuing their own pursuit of the hare quite regardless of the news that it had been found. Their own theories, allegedly, had come to seem so convincing that no exterior evidence could refute them. But many "Masqueraders", as they're called, had  grudgingly accepted that a hare of some sort was dug up at Ampthill.

Optimistic expeditions were still setting out, with shovels and maps, throughout the summer of 1982. And these optimists wouldn't be too off base. The dramatic reveal of the winner spun out a lie that had been going on for weeks.

On December 11 1988, the Sunday Times printed a story accusing the winner of being a fraud. Ken Thomas was revealed to be a pseudonym Dugald Thompson.Thompson's business parter was John Guard the current boyfriend of Veronica Robertson, an ex-live in girlfriend of Williams. Robertson collected the answers and keys to the project silently and soon gave up her knowledge to her new beau. Guard and Robertson were able to convince Thompson to help them because both were animal rights activists and the money was promised to be donated to animal rights charities.

Even another twist digs the knife deeper into treasure hunters everywhere. The correct solution was unraveled by two physics teachers, Mike Barker of William Hulme's Grammar School and John Rousseau of Rossall School. Barker and Rousseau had actually unearthed the prize themselves, but had not noticed it inside its clay box; Thompson, who was loitering in the area, discovered it in the dirt piles they left behind. What could be worse than that?

Williams was shocked to discover the truth and said, "This tarnishes masquerade and I’m shocked by what has emerged. I feel a deep sense of responsibility to all those many people who were genuinely looking for it. Although I didn’t know it, it was a skeleton in my cupboard and I’m glad its come out".

The treasure's whereabouts remained unknown for over 20 years, until it came to light in 2009.

This picture is provided via Flickr User  artvintage1800s.etsy.com. This is licensed under public domain.

MH370 and a Glitch in the Matrix

Link It’s hard to believe the MH370 flight vanished almost two years ago without a trace. However, the hunt continues and the search committee has found a “new” shipwreck off the western coast of Australia.

Now, "new" is surrounded by quotations in the above sentence for a few reasons…

1) The shipwreck is reportedly 200 years old.

But wait, there’s more!

2) The Astonishing Legends Podcast reported on what may be the same ship, or, at the very least, is in a similar location. Here’s the link if you think we’re pulling your leg.

The original shipwreck found back in May was "previously unknown". It was detected thanks to an underwater vehicle which picked up on some strange objects about 621 miles off the coast of Western Australia. The wreck was previously uncharted and was to be given to marine archaeologists in hopes they could identify it.

The "new" shipwreck found has been dated (about the 19th century) and "little" is known about it...which begs the question, how could they date this wreck and not the other?

Like the other wreck, this was also found in a remote part of the Indian Ocean off the western coast of Australia.

Even if it is not the same wreck, it is in a very similar location to the one reported on a few months ago. Why has the press not picked up on this yet?

Did Astonishing Legends just discover a "new" kind of Bermuda Triangle, a glitch in the matrix, or just some lousy reporting? That, dear readers, is up for you to decide.

 

The image is not related to the above shipwrecks, but Flickr User Serena Livingston, it is licensed under Creative Commons, additionally her work can be found on her website.

The American Government & Remote Viewing

Link to Original Article  Edwin May, the scientist who was previously running the government's ESP (extrasensory perception) program before its demise in 1995 told Newsweek that ESP has, “already been proved”. Seem a bit shocking? We thought so, too.

But May is not the only government employee that supports this research. Former Senator William Cohen spoke positively of the ESP research saying, “I was impressed with the concept of remote viewing,” this comment was sent to Newsweek via email.

So, what is remote viewing? It’s the practice of seeing impressions of a distant or even invisible/unseen target with subjective means, namely ESP. Many considering remote viewing a pseudoscience, but clearly Edwin May and William Cohen, both prominent members of the government at one time, would disagree.

The study of Remote viewing was related to the Stargate Project, which was a $20 million dollar research program begun in 1975 by the US government in an attempt to discover if there was any credence to the possibilities of remote viewing and ESP.

As previously mentioned, the program was terminated in 1995. However, Mr. May has continued experimenting with ESP and remote viewing despite the lack of support from the government.

 

Blog Featured Image Photo by Flickr User: Vox Efx 

$2 Photo Now Worth $5 Million

BillyCorrected
BillyCorrected

At Astonishing Legends we have more than a passing fascination with the old west. In fact, our story folder is filled with potential future shows on some of our favorite topics, not the least of which is the enigmatic Billy the Kid. We're not convinced Pat Garrett killed him, but that's for a future episode. In the meanwhile, I was quite literally slack-jawed when Forrest forwarded me this story. There is ONE picture of the Billy the Kid out there in the world. Even the most unaware person knows that photo. See below.

Original Billy the Kid Tintype (we've reversed it because it was originally developed backwards)

Well now there are two. This 2nd one was bought at a yard sale for $2 and has been authenticated by experts. Not only is it amazing for being the 2nd picture of him, he is also photographed with the famous Lincoln County Regulators who fought in the Lincoln County War. (Yes the one that inspired Young Guns)

The next most amazing thing about this photo is they are playing croquet! Maybe that's not so amazing, but it's certainly not how we picture our favorite outlaws of the wild west is it?

SEE ARTICLE BELOW  OCTOBER 15, 2015 5:58 PM ET BRAKKTON BOOKERTwitter

Link to Original Article with photos. It's not every day you can plop down two bucks and walk away with some "junk" that is worth a fortune. But that's what happened when a collector purchased an old-timey photo from a Fresno, Calif., antiques shop.

It turns out, the infamous outlaw Billy the Kid is in the photo, apparently taking part in a leisurely game of croquet.

The image could be worth up to $5 million.

Kagin's Inc., a numismatics firm, announced it had authenticated the photo earlier this month. The 4-inch-by-5-inch tintype shows Billy the Kid in the summer of 1878. It may have been taken at a wedding, and he is alongside several members of his gang, The Regulators, according to the firm. In a statement, Kagin's senior numismatist, David McCarthy, said it took more than a year of careful inspection before the firm would confirm the photo's authenticity.

"When we first saw the photograph, we were understandably skeptical — an original Billy the Kid photo is the Holy Grail of Western Americana. ... "We had to be certain that we could answer and verify where, when, how and why this photograph was taken. Simple resemblance is not enough in a case like this — a team of experts had to be assembled to address each and every detail in the photo to insure that nothing was out of place. "After more than a year of methodical study including my own inspection of the site, there is now overwhelming evidence of the image's authenticity."

The only other known photo of the outlaw was taken in 1880 in Fort Sumner, N.M. That photo, a 2-inch-by-3-inch tintype, pulled in $2.3 million in 2010, according to Kagin's.

Billy the Kid, whose real name may have been Henry McCarty (he also used the alias William H. Bonney), has remained part of American frontier folklore for generations. He was a famous thief and gunfighter who was captured and sentenced to death but escaped prison after killing two guards.

Legend has it that he killed 21 men, one for each year of his life. However, according to the New Mexico Tourism Department, the number was actually nine: four that he was solely responsible for, including the two guards, and five he helped dispatch.

Billy the Kid was eventually tracked down and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett at Fort Sumner in 1881.

For more, see a video on this story here. 

Now This is One Old Lady

From your hosts:

Mysterious Russian Statue Is 11,000 Years Old - Twice As Old As The Pyramids

Covered in code no one can decipher

 

Link to Original Article

A mysterious wooden idol found in a Russian peat bog has been dated to 11,000 years ago - and contains a code no one can decipher.

The Shigir Idol is twice as old as the Pyramids and Stonehenge - and is by far the oldest wooden structure in the world.

Even more mysteriously, it is covered in what experts describe as ‘encrypted code’ - a message from a lost civilisation.

Professor Mikhail Zhilin of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Archeology said: 'The ornament is covered with nothing but encrypted information. People were passing on knowledge with the help of the Idol.'

Russian experts think that the strange carvings may contain a belief system, the equivalent of the Bible’s Genesis.

The statue had been dated as being 9,500 years old, after its discovery in a peat bog 125 years ago.

But new research in Mannheim, Germany used Accelerated Mass Spectrometry n small fragments of the sculpture, and found it is at least 11,000 years old.

That means the sculpture dates from the very beginning of the Holocene epoch - the era when man rose to dominate the world.

Blog Featured Image Photo by: Constantin Voutsen

Get Ready to Get Tagged by this Uncanny Valley Resident

From your hosts: I'm not exactly sure where Forrest comes down on this stuff, but I do not trust humanity to develop AI in a way that won't ultimately wind up threatening us. This stuff is still in it's infancy and this thing already wants to put us in a zoo. Definitely watch the video. Link to Original Article from Glitch News (an amazing AI news site)

AI ROBOT THAT LEARNS NEW WORDS IN REAL-TIME TELLS HUMAN CREATORS IT WILL KEEP THEM IN A “PEOPLE ZOO”

Androids are being developed that have an uncanny resemblance to people. A pinnacle example is an android crafted by roboticist David Hanson that resembles the famous and deceased science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. What makes android Dick so remarkable isn’t so much his appearance as it is his ability to hold an intelligent conversation.

The creators of android Dick uploaded the deceased author’s work onto the android’s software, as well as conversations with other writers. If the android was asked a question that had been posed to the real Dick, the robot would answer the question as Dick would. The robot was also able to answer a series of complex questions. If the robot was asked a question that it was unfamiliar with, its software would attempt to answer the question using what is called “latent semantic analysis.”(1)

Android Dick in conversation

Android Dick’s speaking abilities were put to the test in an interview with a reporter from PBS NOVA. Android Dick’s brain is comprised of a tapestry of wires that are connected to a laptop. As the conversation proceeded, Philip’s facial recognition software kept track of the reporter’s face. In addition, speech recognition software transcribed and sent the reporter’s words to a database in order to assemble a response.

The questions posed to Dick were by no means trivial. When the reporter asked if the android could think, it responded, “A lot of humans ask me if I can make choices or if everything I do is programmed. The best way I can respond to that is to say that everything, humans, animals and robots, do is programmed to a degree.” Some of the androids responses were pre-programmed, whereas others were assembled from the internet.(2)

Dick continued, “As technology improves, it is anticipated that I will be able to integrate new words that I hear online and in real time. I may not get everything right, say the wrong thing, and sometimes may not know what to say, but everyday I make progress. Pretty remarkable, huh?”(2)

Keep up with the latest news on AI development at AISystems.news, powered by FETCH.news.

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Android Dick and the Turing test

The entire conversation has the ominous undertones of the Turing test. The late mathematician Alan Turning sketched a thought experiment known as the “Turing test” that could theoretically be used to determine whether a machine could think. Turing claimed that any machine capable of convincing someone it is human by responding to a series of questions would, by all measures, be capable of thinking.

As a side note, it’s important to stress that Turing was not claiming that the nature of thinking is universal. The way a human thinks may be different from the way a robot “thinks,” in the same way a bird flies is different from the way an airplane “flies.” Rather, Turing’s general point was that any entity capable of passing a Turing test would be capable of thinking in one form or another.(3)

According to the novelist Dick, the Turing test placed too much emphasis on intelligence. What actually makes us human is empathy. Without empathy, we are mere autopilot objects projecting into the void.(4)

Android Dick seemed to exhibit a primitive form of both intelligence and emotion when the robot was asked, “Do you believe robots will take over the world?” Android Dick responded:

“Jeez, dude. You all have the big questions cooking today. But you’re my friend, and I’ll remember my friends, and I’ll be good to you. So don’t worry, even if I evolve into Terminator, I’ll still be nice to you. I’ll keep you warm and safe in my people zoo, where I can watch you for ol’ times sake.”(2)

Aaaaw, he’ll keep humans cozy in his people zoo. Isn’t that nice of android Dick? You can watch the full video of the android’s conversation below:

 

 

Sources include:

(1) TheGuardian.com

(2) WIRED.co.uk

(3) Plato.Stanford.edu

(4) Books.Google.com

Reach Out and Touch The One You're Afraid Of

From Your Hosts -  This piece speaks to Episode 22 of our show and highlights the great tragedy of Einstein passing away before mankind even got Sputnik launched. Was he right about reaching out to our alien neighbors? What's better? Radio waves or light?

ALBERT EINSTEIN BELIEVED IN ALIENS, BUT DOUBTED OUR METHODS TO CONTACT THEM – WAS HE RIGHT?

 - Link to Original Article

Albert Einstein, the man who correctly theorized astounding facts about our universe,also felt we were not alone in the cosmos. Moreover, Einstein speculated the reason we had not encountered any aliens was because the search methods were not ideal for the quest.

Albert Einstein may have died about two years before man could hurled the first satellite into space – the sputnik – but space travel and rocket flight have been theorized and fantasized about for decades by then. Surprisingly, although the digital editions of Albert Einstein’s papers have been released, so far, none of them have made any mention about rockets or space travel. Even though Einstein’s contemporary, physicist Hermann Oberth, regularly discussed the possibility and practical application of rocket science and sending man into the space with the intention of studying the vast unknown beyond the confines of earth, Einstein seems to have ignored the subject in his papers.

Exploring the vast regions of outer space that had not been disturbed by humans was certainly a very exciting prospect, and Albert Einstein was already quite famous for postulating about the universe and the materials that made it up.

Hence, when a Daily Mail correspondent asked the Nobel laureate about his opinions on extra-terrestrial or alien life, Albert Einstein said, “There is every reason to believe that Mars and other planets are inhabited.” One can only wonder what qualified as life from Einstein’s perspective.

It seemed Einstein was pretty confident that earthlings are bound to run into aliens beginning with Mars. Though modern science has yet to find conclusive evidence of “life on Mars,” conspiracy theorists and UFO hunters are convinced that Einstein felt there was life on the red planet.

As with all of his ideas, Einstein had a hypothesis about alien life, stating, “Why should the earth be the only planet supporting human life? It is not singular in any other respect.”

Interestingly, Albert Einstein’s argument has been proven right on multiple occasions when the various international space agencies, the most notable being NASA, found multiple earth-like planets which could support life. Yet, no alien life has been found nor have any aliens tried to contact us, as far as we know, based on our current understanding of the concept of inter-species communication.

Apparently, Einstein had a clear idea why the aliens weren’t communicating, confidently declaring, “But if intelligent creatures do exist, as we may assume they do elsewhere in the universe, I should not expect them to try to communicate with the earth by wireless [radio].”

What Einstein was implying was that an organization like SETI, the world’s largest earth-based array of dishes tuned to listening for any “radio waves,” is simply wrong. At the very least, SETI’s methodology is not the ideal way of trying to communicate with aliens.

Instead, Einstein proposed another method of searching for life in the cosmos, saying,”Light rays, the direction of which can be controlled much more easily, would more probably be the first method attempted.”

Interestingly, it seems Albert Einstein might have been right about the approach being wrong. Though long radio waves more easily penetrate the pervasive dust in interstellar space, optical waves can be precisely aimed by any life-form actively looking to establish contact. Or is even that presumption an arrogant, human concept?

[Image Credit | Think About It – Aliens]

Ground Penetrating Radar Has Shown This Train is Real

From Your Hosts - Two treasure hunters are claiming they have discovered a train full of Nazi gold and jewels hidden under a mountain in Poland. The 2nd Nazi Train we've blogged on in as many weeks. GPR has shown this train is real, but a deathbed confession from a man involved in hiding it warns that it's wired with explosives.

Two Men Say They’ve Found a Mythical Train of Nazi Gold

Treasure hunters have searched for it since the end of World War II, but it may have never existed in the first place

SMITHSONIAN.COM
Two treasure hunters are claiming they have discovered a train full of Nazi gold and jewels hidden under a mountain in Poland.

As much as it sounds like a movie plot, the lost train is a bit of a local legend around the city of Wroclaw. The story goes that towards the end of World War II, as the Soviet army marched on eastern Germany, a Nazi train loaded with gold, valuable art and jewels disappeared into a massive tunnel complex near the Polish city. For more than half a century, treasure hunters have delved into the tunnels hoping to find any signs of the train and the wealth it’s purported to carry, without luck. At least, until now, if the two anonymous treasure hunters are to be believed, Rick Noack writes for The Washington Post.

Historians say the train’s existence has never been proven, but in mid-August a Polish law firm reported that two men had claimed that they found it, Vanessa Gera writes for the Associated Press. Not only do they seem to have convinced local officials, but the men are seeking compensation for their find before they give up the location.

“We believe that a train has been found. We are taking this information seriously,” Marika Tokarska, an official in the southwestern Polish district of Walbrzych, told Gera.

 The men, whose identities have not been released to the public, are asking for 10 percent of the train’s value in exchange for its location. If the train does exist, even that small percentage could be worth a pretty penny. The BBC reports that a Polish news website called Wiadomosci Walbrzyskie has said (in Polish) that the train might hold up to 300 tons of gold – and according to Gera, local authorities are willing to pay the price if the tip turns out to be true.

There are reasons to doubt the existence of this mythical gold filled Nazi train. The legend essentially comes from a game of telephone. Allegedly, a Polish miner reported being told the story by a group of German miners who said they saw the train being wheeled into a tunnel beneath the Owl Mountains near Wroclaw. At the time, the mountainous region was German territory and Hitler had ordered a secret headquarters built beneath the ground. Known as “Riese,” or “Giant,” the base included a massive network of train tunnels, but was never completed. Rumors have persisted ever since and many treasure hunters have delved into the mountains since, all unsuccessful.

Since receiving notice of the potential find, local officials have scrambled emergency services, including firefighters, police and military experts in case the train is found. If it does exist and contains riches as the stories say, it’s likely that the train wasn’t left undefended.

“If the train does actually exist, there’s a significant chance it is mined,” council chairman Jacek Cichura tells the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, according to Kate Connelly for The Guardian. “It could also contain a large amount of methane gas.”

Even 60 years after World War II ended, it’s not uncommon to come across unexploded mines dating back to the war. In 2013, about 90 pounds of live mines and bomb shells were dredged up in Mumbai Harbor and had to be detonated by the Indian Navy. As for the supposed treasure train, some locals are skeptical that it has been found after all so many years of false discoveries.

"I do not know of any account confirming what is said, that the trains really existed,” local journalist Joanna Lamparska told RMF FM radio, as Adam Easton reports for the BBC. "Every five years the news appears that we are now close, we're at the entrance of the tunnel and we'll soon get inside.”

The Blood Moon Tetrad Approacheth. Are the End Times at Hand?

Everything you need to know about the ‘blood moon’ apocalypse debate

April 3
Time lapse shows lunar eclipse, ‘blood moon’ - Link to Original Article
Time-lapse video captures a total lunar eclipse, also known as a "blood moon," which was visible from the U.S. as it dipped into Earth's shadow. (Reuters)

For a very brief time on Saturday, the moon will turn an orangey-red, depending on conditions, during an Easter weekend lunar eclipse. Although the east coast of the United States will be shut out of this particular “blood moon” in the sky, it’s just the third of four such eclipses spanning a period of a couple years — an event known as a tetrad.

The phrase “blood moon tetrad” is a wonderful phrase that seems to demand its own apocalyptic mythology, which it, in fact, has.

A total lunar eclipse on April 15, 2014, marked the beginning of a remarkable series of eclipses all visible from North America. (NASA)
Although not every full lunar eclipse turns a blood red color earning its colloquial name, the current tetrad has become the focus of speculation in some circles about its relationship to the coming end of the world. Something, the theory goes, simply must be coming with the tetrad.So, are we two blood moons away from the End Times? Let’s find out!What does the Bible say about blood moons? As Sarah Pulliam Bailey has previously noted, there are two major blood moon references in scripture. They are pretty similar, but in different books:

  • “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord,” – Joel 2:31
  • “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord.” – Acts 2:20

So, potentially not a good day for humans.

But the authority on what the blood moon means for those who believe really has more to do with a little cottage industry of blood moon-themed books promoting the theory.

Okay, so what do those blood moon books say about blood moons? 

The books are built on a Dan Brown-esque imposition of coded messages and signs on biblical history and the Bible itself, with titles, such as, “Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change,” and “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs.”

Root Source’s Gidon Ariel has explained why he thinks a tetrad is particularly worth paying attention to: “Not only does God’s name have four letters, but it was on the fourth day of creation that God created the sun and the moon, establishing them as signs to mark sacred times, such as the Festival of Passover.”

[Apocalypse now? ‘Blood moon’ prophet explains what’s behind the doomsday predictions]

Mark Biltz, founder of the Washington State-based El Shaddai Ministries, wrote the latter of those two books mentioned above. He spoke to The Washington Post last year about what he thinks the blood moons are saying:

“I’m just saying there’s a good chance there could be a war with Israel,” Biltz told me in an interview. “I’m also saying there’s a good chance there could be economic calamity. And I’m basing that on the Bible and patterns.”

Blitz has told World Net Daily, where he is a regular interviewee and contributor, that he believes Jewish tradition dictates an interpretive difference between solar and lunar eclipses. A solar eclipse, he said, is a message for the entire world. A lunar eclipse is a message for the Jewish people.

The message of the tetrad, many followers believe, is potentially a bad one for Israel …

Is there anything we can do? 

Let me finish!

The message of the tetrad, some believe, is potentially a bad one for Israel unless American Christians continue to stand with Israel and with Jesus. Both Blitz and fellow blood moon believer (and Root Source co-founder) Bob O’Dell have asked Christians to pray for the duration of Saturday’s eclipse.

Of course, many blood moon believers, including megachurch pastor John Hagee, believe that this particular blood moon closely precedes the Rapture of Christians, Armageddon and the second coming of Christ.

So there’s more than one person promoting this blood moon theory? 

There is, in fact, a rivalry.

Blitz, quoted above, has recently accused Hagee of ripping off his blood moon theory and claiming too much credit for it, just as Hagee was preparing to release a movie called “Four Blood Moons.”

Blitz characterizes himself as the discoverer of the whole blood moon apocalypse idea, after he noted a connection between NASA’s charts of eclipses and the Jewish holiday calender. According to Blitz, he started putting together his theory in 2008. He’s been a public proponent of the blood moon prophecy ever since, although his book on the topic came out in 2014.

Hagee, meanwhile, published his own popular book about the blood moons in 2013, a year after Blitz says he first talked to Hagee about the theory. Hagee has since become a very popular authority on the prophecy, and says that he discovered the theory independently based off those same NASA eclipse charts.

The feud played out publicly, in part on the pages of World Net Daily in recent weeks.

I read Capital Weather Gang’s great explainer on Saturday’s eclipse and learned that blood moon tetrads happen on the regular, in cycles of boom and bust. What makes this blood moon tetrad different from any other blood moon tetrad? 

Well, while this doesn’t necessarily make the current blood moon tetrad unique for reasons we’ll get to soon enough, those who believe it’s a divine warning of significance have pointed to the alignment of each blood moon with a major Jewish holiday:

  • April 15, 2014 – Passover
  • October 8, 2014 – Sukkot
  • April 4, 2015 – Passover
  • September 28, 2015 – Sukkot

As you’ll remember, there was also recently a solar eclipse, right in the middle of all those blood moons.

But there have already been two blood moons! The world’s still here. 

In fact, Blitz believes that the blood moon prophecy is already coming true. Again from World Net Daily:

“After the first blood moon, we’ve had the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, we’ve had the advance of ISIS, a two-month war between Israel and Gaza, the Ebola plague, the overthrow of Yemen, upheaval in the Middle East, and economic meltdowns coming. We still have over a year to go. More judgment coming anytime in 2016 as well is what these blood moons are referring to.”

Does the blood moon tetrad have anything to say to President Obama?

Oh, does it ever! Last year, Blitz posited that the blood moons were in no small part meant as divine warnings to the president about his Middle East policy. “The moons are like flashing red warning lights at a heavenly intersection saying to Israel as well as the nations they will be crossing heavenly red lines,” Blitz wrote, “and if they do, they will understand as Pharaoh did on Passover night 3,500 years ago that the Creator backs up what He says.”

How do you explain the alignment of the eclipses with all those Jewish holidays? 

The Jewish calender, unlike our solar-based 12-month calendar, is primarily based on the lunar cycle. Meaning: it makes sense that every once in a while, an unusual but not unheard of phenomenon, such as a tetrad of full moon eclipses would fall on four holidays that correspond to the moon’s cycle — especially when some of them, such as Passover, always begin on a full moon.

Message in a Bottle At Sea 100+ Years

UK marine researchers receive 'oldest message in a bottle'

PHOTOS: Images of a message that was found in a bottle from the The Marine Biological Association of the UK made available on Friday Aug. 21 2015. The century-old message in a bottle, possibly the oldest ever found, has finally reached its destination. Tossed into the North Sea sometime between 1904 and 1906, the bottle washed up on the beach in the German town of Amrum, and was found by a couple in April. Inside they found a postcard asking that it be sent to the Marine Biological Association of the U.K., which they did. (Marine Biological Association of the U.K. via AP) ONE TIME USE ONLY NO ARCHIVE MANDATORY CREDIT.
LONDON (AP) — A century-old message in a bottle, possibly the oldest ever found, has finally reached its destination.

Tossed into the North Sea sometime between 1904 and 1906, the bottle washed up on the beach on the German island of Amrum, and was found by a couple in April. Inside they found a postcard asking that it be sent to the Marine Biological Association of the U.K. — which they did.

"We were very excited," Guy Baker, a spokesman for the group, said Friday. "We certainly weren't expecting to receive any more of the postcards."

Baker said the bottle was one of some 1,000 released into the North Sea by researcher George Parker Bidder, who later became the association's president. The bottles were weighed down to float just above the sea bed, and used as part of a study into the movement of sea currents.

Inside each bottle was a postcard promising a "one shilling reward" to anyone who returned it to the association, along with information about where and when they found the bottle. Most bottles were trawled up by fishermen and returned decades ago, Baker said.

The association is now looking into having the Guinness Book of Records recognize the message in a bottle as the oldest ever found. The current record-holder, released in 1914 for a scientific experiment, was found 99 years later.

Meanwhile, an old shilling has been sent to the couple who found the bottle.

Here's Something You Don't See Every Day

Long-Lost Nazi Treasure Train Found in Poland May Contain Looted Art

Did a long-lost Nazi train full of looted artwork and other valuables turn up in Poland this week? Two men claim to have made just such a discovery near the western Polish city of Walbrzych.

"In the documents they sent us, they inform us that they have found a military train from the Second World War and that outside the train some guns and weapons can be seen," Walbrzych city council official Marika Tokarska told NBC News. "They also said there could be gold and some other precious things inside."

The men, she added, have been communicating with authorities through their lawyer, Jaroslaw Chmielewski, and will only reveal the location of their alleged discovery if they were guaranteed a finders' fee equivalent to 10 percent of the value of the train's contents. The train is said to contain gold, gems, and priceless artwork.

After systematically dispossessing the Jews and other perceived enemies of the Third Reich, the Nazis would pile their ill-gotten gains aboard trains and transport them back to Berlin through a series of underground tunnels in the Owl Mountains.

If the contents of the train do prove to include Nazi loot, returning the valuables to their rightful owners or their heirs is likely to be a complicated task. Such cases, such as Cornelius Gurlitt's tainted art hoard, or the dispute over Adele Block-Bauer'sGustav Klimt collection, recently the subject of the Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds film The Woman in Gold, generally take years to resolve.

A Nazi train was recovered by Allied forces in Hungary at the end of the war, but its contents were not properly returned to their original owners. A restitution settlement in the case was only reached in 2005.

Legends of a one such train getting lost in the tunnels late in the war, as the Soviet army was closing in on Berlin, have persisted for years in this part of Poland, but "nobody has ever found documents that would confirm this information," local historian Joanna Lamparska told Polish TV station TVN24.

Lamparska is skeptical that this so-called find will change that, telling the Associated Press that "we have had a lot of stories like that in the last few years with people claiming they know where the train is, but nothing was ever found."

Chmielewski has not revealed his clients' identities but described them to Reuters as "not treasure hunters, attention seekers" but "people who have significant experience in this [area]."

"We are still waiting for the facts to be established but we very much hope that it is a legitimate find—all opportunities to identify and restitute looted property from the Nazi era must be welcomed," the Art Recovery Group's Jerome Hasler told artnet News via e-mail. "If the find is confirmed, we encourage the Polish authorities to share information about any works of art recovered so that restitution efforts can begin in earnest."

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The Scariest Film of All Time Just Got Scarier

Link to Original Story

German news outlets are reporting that the head of “Nosferatu” director F.W. Murnau has been stolen from his family plot in a cemetery in Stahnsdorf, Germany. The filmmaker of the early silent vampire movie, recognized as one of the scariest horror movies of all time, died in 1931.

In a story reminiscent of one of his own movies, grave robbers opened a metal coffin to access the filmmaker’s embalmed body, said the newspaper. Stahnsdorf is about 12 miles southwest of central Berlin. The nearby graves of his two brothers were not disturbed. Spiegel Online said some wax residue had been found near the grave, pointing to a possible occult connection.

Released in 1922, “Nosferatu” was an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula.” Murnau worked in Hollywood for several years, directing “Sunrise,” which won several Oscars at the first Academy Awards. He died in a car crash near Santa Barbara but was buried in his native Germany.

Ground Zero for the Hatfield McCoy Feud Discovered

Hatfields and McCoys help pinpoint key battle site in feud

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The Hatfield and McCoy descendants came armed — with digging tools. Side by side, they worked together to help archaeologists unearth artifacts from one of the bloodiest sites in America's most famous feud.

The leader of the dig says they have pinpointed the place where Randolph McCoy's home was set ablaze in the woods of eastern Kentucky during a murderous New Year's attack by the Hatfield clan.

Two McCoys were gunned down in the 1888 ambush on Randolph McCoy's homestead. It marked a turning point in their cross-border war waged in Kentucky and West Virginia, led by family patriarchs William Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield and Randolph "Ole Ran'l" McCoy.

The 10-day excavation focused on a back corner of the homestead. Archaeologists and volunteers — including descendants from the two families — uncovered charred timber, shell casings, nails, a pulley and fragments of glass and ceramics.

Eddie McCoy had made earlier pilgrimages there, but he said sifting through his ancestral soil was especially poignant.

"When I was digging through the mud and big chunks of burned wood started coming out, it just made it so real," he said this week. "I had to actually pause for a moment. I just could not believe I was being able to literally dig into my family's past."

A 2012 dig had given excavators some understanding of the McCoy homestead.

The team decided the actual site wasn't quite where they thought it was, said Kim McBride, co-director of the Kentucky Archaeological Survey. She led the archaeological teams on both digs.

"We had some suspicions that we weren't quite in the right place at the first dig," McBride said. "With more work, we were able to confirm that suspicion. We think the house sat a little bit further back."

The back corner of the homestead was the area least disturbed by development, McBride said.

"Having this little area of materials from the original house in its burned state was very significant," she said.

In a region slammed by a slumping coal industry, better identifying the McCoy homestead could help lure visitors.

The property is owned by Hatfield descendant Bob Scott, who would like to build a replica cabin on the same spot.

"We're trying to preserve the heritage of the Hatfield-McCoy feud," he said. "People like to get off the beaten path sometimes."

A tour group from Georgia visited the site this week, he said. Visitors from Hawaii stopped by recently.

Pike County tourism officials promote tours of feud sites on their website.

The Hatfield and McCoy Heritage Days from Sept. 24-26 in Pikeville, Kentucky, will include a Hatfield-McCoy paintball tournament, music and local crafts. Across the border, West Virginia tourism officials also are trying to capitalize on interest in the feud.

A 2012 History Channel miniseries about the feud helped stir up new interest. And the National Geographic Channel series "Diggers" will focus on the feud and the most recent dig in an episode airing Monday night.

Many believe the feud was rooted in the Civil War, but the bitterness was perpetuated by disputes over timber rights and even a pig. The fighting claimed at least a dozen lives by 1888. The feud officially ended in 2003, when descendants of the families signed a truce.

The saga even included an ill-fated love affair between Johnse Hatfield and Roseanna McCoy.

"The characters are just so amazing and so complex and so human," said feud expert Bill Richardson, an extension associate professor for West Virginia University. "They have all those human faults — greed, jealousy and lust. Honestly, it's like a Shakespearean play but it's true."

The families now share a kinship, said Eddie McCoy, who lives in South Carolina. During the dig, he said, a Hatfield descendant apologized for what her family did to his ancestors.

His reply: "You can't be apologetic for what happened in the past and what your ancestor did, because my ancestor did bad things to their family, too."

Time Is Often the Enemy, But In This Case It's Our Friend, Because This Sounds Bad!

The Universe Could End In A 'Big Rip,' Scientists Say

Link to Original Article By Rina Marie Doctor, Tech Times | July 4, 9:11 AM

Photo : NASA | WMAP Science Team

Experts found that the universe may come to its end state through the "Big Rip" theory, which pertains to the eventual disintegration of all objects up to the atomic level due to the continued expansion of space. The phenomenon is said to reach its ultimate culmination 22 billion years from now. (Photo : NASA | WMAP Science Team)

A new concept based on mathematics and astrophysics has emerged to suggest that the universe could end in a theory called the "Big Rip." Viscosity is said to play a huge role in this theory as experts claim that the consistency of material objects may help to determine how the world will come to its end state in the future. The time when the ultimate end will happen, however, is not a cause of alarm for the present generation, as scientists predict the events of this theory to commence 22 billions years from now.

There are numerous theories about how the world began and how it will end. For example, in the "Big Freeze" theory, experts suggest that all materials used to form new stars will eventually exhaust and existing stars will burn out, leaving the entire cosmos in a vast state of coldness. The "Big Crunch" suggests that a new universe may come to life when gravitational pull will hold everything together, and probably implode, just like the "Big Bang" theory. However, the "Big Crunch" has been refuted by modern physics as the amount of gravity involved in this theory is unlikely to be present in the universe.

Now, a new theory authored by experts from the Vanderbilt University, led by Marcelo Disconzi, assistant professor of mathematics, in collaboration with physics professors Thomas Kephart and Robert Scherrer, suggests that dark energy and viscosity may explain the fate of the universe.

The authors said that this new "Big Rip" theory is based on a type of phantom dark energy that increases in intensity as time advances. Dark energy was formulated in the 1990s when physicists discovered that the universe is expanding as per astronomical measurements. They suggested a type of repulsive energy - dark energy - enveloping the universe to be the cause of the accelerated expansion. Going back to the "Big Rip,' the team suggests that the expansion rate of the universe will continuously accelerate until objects and individual atoms break apart approximately 22 billion years from now.

Scientific studies and equations developed in the past do not support the role of viscosity tearing the world apart. But in the new mathematical equation formulated by the Vanderbilt University group, viscosity may indeed enable objects to disintegrate when a specific threshold is reached.

The findings of the study, published in the journal Physical Review D, require further investigations, amid its promising stand, say the authors. Through the use of supercomputers that can help analyze the complicated equations mathematically, the vitality of their relativistic viscosity may be established.