Friday, May 22, 2015
Time machines might only be available in the movies, yet many people have experienced unexplained events that seem to be temporary but very real slips into the past and the future
Where and to what date would you go if you could travel through time? It's a question people have long enjoyed contemplating -- the possibilities are so fraught with wonder and excitement. Would you watch the pyramids of Egypt being build?
Join the spectacle of a gladiatorial battle at the Roman Coliseum? Catch a glimpse of real dinosaurs? Or would you prefer to see what the future holds for humankind?
Such fantasies have fueled the success of such stories as H.G. Welles' The Time Machine, the Back to the Future movies, favorite episodes of "Star Trek" and countless science fiction novels.
And although some scientists think that it might be at least theoretically possible to travel through time, no one (as far as we know) has devised a sure-fire way to make it happen. But that's not to say that people haven't reported traveling through time. There are many fascinating anecdotes from those who say they seem to have quite unexpectedly visited -- if only briefly -- another time and, sometimes, another place. These events, often called time slippages, seem to occur randomly and spontaneously. Those who experience these events are often bewildered and confused by what they see and hear, and afterward are at a complete loss to explain them.
Here are some interesting cases that will keep you wondering:
FLIGHT INTO THE FUTURE
In 1935, Air Marshal Sir Victor Goddard of the British Royal Air Force had a harrowing experience in his Hawker Hart biplane. Goddard was a Wing Commander at the time and while on a flight from Edinburgh, Scotland to his home base in Andover, England, he decided to fly over an abandoned airfield at Drem, not far from Edinburgh. The useless airfield was overgrown with foliage, the hangars were falling apart and cows grazed where planes were once parked. Goddard then continued his flight to Andover, but encountered a bizarre storm. In the high winds of the storm's strange brown-yellow clouds, he lost control of his plane, which began to spiral toward the ground. Narrowly averting a crash, Goddard found that his plane was heading back toward Drem.
As he approached the old airfield, the storm suddenly vanished and Goddard's plane was now flying in brilliant sunshine. This time, as he flew over the Drem airfield, it looked completely different. The hangars looked like new. There were four airplanes on the ground: three were familiar biplanes, but painted in an unfamiliar yellow; the fourth was a monoplane, which the RAF had none of in 1935. The mechanics were dressed in blue overalls, which Goddard thought odd since all RAF mechanics dressed in brown overalls. Strange, too, that none of the mechanics seemed to notice him fly over. Leaving the area, he again encountered the storm, but managed to make his way back to Andover.
It wasn't until 1939 that that the RAF began to paint their planes yellow, enlisted a monoplane of the type that Goddard saw, and the mechanics uniforms were switched to blue. Had Goddard somehow flown four years into the future, then returned to his own time?
The Codex Gigas is the largest surviving medieval manuscript in the world.
At nearly nine inches (22cm) thick and 36 inches (92cm) tall, the book is so large that it is said to have required more than 160 animal skins to complete.
But it's not just its size that has surprised historians.
Inside is a menacing full-page colour image of the Devil, leading many to believe the pages themselves are cursed.
The mysterious manuscript is today housed within the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm and nicknamed 'the Devil's Bible'.
The text requires at least two people to lift its 165lbs (74kg) of leather binding and vellum pages.
But how it was created is still unknown.
Since 1989, Ufology Research in Canada has collected UFO sighting data from active Canadian researchers, and each year has compiled it into an annual 'Canadian UFO Survey' and released it publicly "in an attempt to promote the dissemination of information across the field of ufology".
The 2014 report is now out, and it seems that - contrary to some media reports - UFOs are certainly not dead. 1021 UFO sighting reports were collected in Canada during 2014 - almost three a day - the third-highest number of UFO sightings recorded in the last 25 years.
Other interesting facts from the report summary:
For most people, Stonehenge stands as a symbol for the most ancient of civilizations, the work of humans who had barely emerged from their hunter-gatherer origins. Those people might well be surprised to know just how many mysterious buildings survive, in one form or another, from much earlier epochs—and in places few would even dare to look.
10. White Temple Of Uruk
A long way from the quiet shires that house Stonehenge stands a building that is yet more ancient. Perched at the top of the oldest existing ziggurat, in what is modern-day Warka, Iraq, is the weather-worn White Temple. Less known than the complexes on the ziggurat at Ur, the White Temple is only 20 meters (60 ft) in length. The name, added in modern times, comes from its whitewashed, mud-brick walls, whose sides still stand sentinel over the sands of the long-gone Sumerian empire. What the original name for the temple was, no one knows, as the early history of the site is achingly difficult to piece together. Could this building have buried within it secrets relating to a truly ancient organized religion?
What makes the White Temple especially intriguing is its connections to Anu, the oldest god of the Sumerian pantheon (and one of the stars of the Epic of Gilgamesh). It is also fascinating for the treasures it may well have housed, including the Warka Vase. This 5,000-year-old artifact was once housed in the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad, before being looted in April 2003. It was later returned in a dozen pieces, months later, a sad reflection of the fragile state of Iraq’s present and its ancient past.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
1 – LOST TIME: A period of time, from minutes to several days, in which you cannot recall what happened to you or what you have done.
2 – UNUSUAL MARKS: On your body like scars, scoop marks, laser cuts in series on ankle, wrist or back. Any scars which you’re unable to explain where you got them from.
3 – TAPPING OR HUMMING NOISES: Hearing these sounds upon odd occasion such as bedtime, just prior to sleep. (Many times, just prior to bedtime, for a period of many years, traveling on the road in my job, I thought an 18-wheeler was idling outside my room. Never was any truck, just the sound in my head.)
4 – BEING WATCHED: A feeling you get, during or just prior to sleep at night.
5 – SLEEPWALKING: You wake up in a different place from where you went to sleep and do not know how you got there. (As detailed in my book, I did this from age seven to age sixteen.)
6 – SEEN A UFO: During your life you’ve seen UFO’s or seen strange lights in the sky. (Many times, in my teenage years, I saw silver discs, very high in the sky.)
7 – NEED TO TRAVEL: A strange compulsion to walk or drive to another location without any explanation. (This happened four times to me.)
8 – UNEXPLAINED MEDICAL PROBLEMS: Sudden illness, sinus problems, fatigue, migraines or rashes.
9 – UNABLE TO SLEEP: You experience insomnia by way of nightmares, dreaming of UFO’s or being devoured by animals with large black eyes. (Usually associated with common wild animals such as owls, coyotes or wolves.)
10 – IMPLANTS: Your physician or you discover small, strange object inside your body that cannot be explained. Common places are the hip, ankle, foot, nose or hand. (Both Peggy and I have implants in our bodies.)
Scientists say they have exposed a scandal at the heart of Ancient Egypt's animal mummy industry.
A scanning project at Manchester Museum and the University of Manchester has revealed that about a third of the bundles of cloth are empty inside.
Researchers believe there was a huge appetite for these religious offerings, and demand for the mummies may have outstripped supply.
The project has been followed by the BBC's Horizon programme.
The research team has been conducting the largest scanning project of its kind.
More than 800 mummies, ranging from cats and birds to crocodiles, have so far been analysed using X-rays and CT scans.
About a third of those scanned contain complete animals, which have been remarkably well preserved.
Another third contain partial remains - but the rest have been empty.
The United States Army wants to outfit its soldiers with the type of invisibility cloak that makes characters in the "Harry Potter" franchise disappear from sight.
Unfortunately, for the army, that's not possible, according to Martin Wegener, of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany.
"Complete invisibility of macroscopic objects for all visible colors is fundamentally impossible," Martin told the New Scientist.
So the army will have to settle for “stealth fabrics.” It has requested all the companies manufacturing such materials to get in touch and is hoping to test the first prototypes within 18 months.
One option is "metamaterials," which are highly adaptive and uniquely structured at the microscopic level. First demonstrated in 2006, metamaterials can bend light around the wearer, essentially making them "invisible" from certain angles.
At worst, it is looking for something that can make soldiers "shadowless" in certain wavelengths – and is turning to lab-created materials for the solution.
Few organizations have captured the world’s collective imagination like the Knights Templar. Certainly, no other group has such a dual image of pious devotion and absolute heresy. They served the poor and the pilgrims. They amassed a huge fortune and all but invented banking. They were put on trial and purged. A lot of fascinating mysteries surrounding the Templars walk the strange line between legend and history.
10. The List Of 12 Who Escaped
Templars were famously burned at the stake after being convicted of heresy in the beginning of the 14th century, rounded up and slaughtered wholesale. Less popularly known is the story of the French Templars who escaped. Even the Templar organization as it exists today isn’t sure what the whole story was.
According to the popular story, all the Templars were arrested on Friday the 13th, in October 1307. But it’s also been speculated that some escaped persecution. Estimates of numbers in the order at the time are somewhere around 3,000, but we only have records of the interrogations—and the fate—of about 600 of them. The rest? No idea.
If a massive, coordinated, country-wide series of arrests would have been impossible, many Templars had a chance to get out. Records tell of authorities pursuing some of the escaped knights, and one document in particular has been languishing in French archives for centuries. Only proved authentic recently after handwriting comparison, the document is a list of 12 names that were of particular interest to authorities.
Historians have identified a couple of these names and connected them with the reasons they were of such great interest. Humbert Blanc was a Crusader and master of Auvergne; he was captured and put on trial in 1308, denying all charges (save the secrecy of the order, which he thought unnecessary). Records say he was put in irons, but we’re not sure what happens to him afterward. A couple other names on the list—Renaud de la Folie and Pierre de Boucle—crop up again in trial records, but it’s difficult to tell why they were so important. The spelling of names is less than consistent, making it hard to connect names and deeds.
As for the others on the list, just why they were special targets of the authorities above others is a mystery. One, Guillaume de Lins, even has a question mark next to his name on the list. He’s perhaps Gillierm de Lurs, one of the officers in charge of ceremonies and receptions, but again, spelling gets in the way of establishing anything for sure. We don’t know much about Hugues Daray, either, or Adam de Valencourt, save that he was an elderly man who had, for some reason, joined the Templars twice.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Aliens, ghosts and fairies are set to descend on the Capital as experts explore the mysterious world of the supernatural.
The Scottish UFO and Paranormal Conference will focus on events so strange that they could be a case for Mulder and Scully from The X-Files.
An eight-hour gathering at the Pleasance Theatre on June 20 will urge visitors to look at spooky goings-on with an open mind in a bid to disentangle science fiction from science fact.
Malcolm Robinson, the founder of Strange Phenomena Investigations and the author of several books on the subject, said the conference aimed to educate people about unexplained phenomena.
He said: “We wanted them to look very carefully and sincerely at these events. Once people laughed at the Wright Brothers and John Logie Baird. But just because something appears ridiculous at first doesn’t mean we should throw the baby out with the bath water.”
He added: “We are very pleased to provide a conference which covers a wide range of paranormal events and we have some of the top speakers in their field from the UK.”
According to the experts, there is a rational explanation for the vast majority of UFO sightings, with atmospheric phenomena such as ball lightning, saucer-shaped clouds and military aircraft accounting for just some of them.
But Mr Robinson stressed that there are still a small percentage of UFO reports that remain “baffling”, and it is to solving these mysteries that experts in the field devote their time.
Varun Dhawan had a tryst with paranormal activity while shooting for 'ABCD 2' in the US for which local crew had been hired. The actor was put up in the Sinatra suite of a Las Vegas hotel that is supposedly haunted by the ghost of legendary American singer-actor Frank Sinatra.
A source says, “The local crew started supplying Varun with scary stories about the suite. They told him how Frank Sinatra stayed in that very suite whenever he came to perform in Vegas and thought of it as his home. So even after his death, he hasn’t checked out of there.”
Italy is globally renowned for its breathtaking art, historical importance, and delicious cuisine. Unfortunately, it’s also notorious for its turbulent history, government corruption, and organized crime, which have combined to give the country some pretty intriguing mysteries.
10. The Assassination Of Salvatore Giuliano
In the 1940s, the bandit Salvatore Giuliano styled himself as a Sicilian Robin Hood, stealing from rich landlords and redistributing the spoils to the peasants. He was also a Sicilian nationalist, longing to end Italian rule and give the island its independence. He even wrote President Harry Truman, suggesting that Sicily be made an American state. But by the time World War II was over, Giuliano had shifted his support from the peasants to the Mafia and landowners, who could provide the funds he needed for his guerrilla army. He fought communists and the government alike until his death in 1950, when he was shot by the police while resisting arrest.
Or was he? An investigation by the journalist Tommaso Besozzi eventually revealed that the official version of Giuliano’s death was false, as the bandit’s cousin and trusted friend Gaspare Pisciotta confessed to betraying Giuliano in exchange for a pardon from the authorities. In this version of events, it was not the police who shot Giuliano, but Pisciotta himself. Curiously, Pisciotta also ended up perishing in mysterious circumstances, dying four years later in a Palermo prison after drinking a poisoned cup of coffee.
Inspired by these strange events, many conspiracy theorists insist that Giuliano faked his own death and fled to the United States. The body in Giuliano’s grave, they contend, is much too short. Moreover, Giuliano’s mother and sister both fainted when they heard of his death, so his family never actually identified the body. After a decade-long investigation, Giuliano’s supposed remains were exhumed in 2012 and DNA tests found a 90 percent chance that the body was his. Still, others are certain that Giuliano still lives, which would make him an impressive 92 years old.
Mysterious disappearances happen all of the time. For whatever reasons, some people just suddenly go missing without a trace, leaving behind a wake of confusion as authorities and loved ones try to piece together what has happened. Perhaps one may be inclined to think that these vanishings are purely the realm of dangerous places or remote wildernesses, but on occasion we come across one that happens in the last place one would expect. Such is the case of a series of unexplained disappearances that occurred in one of the world’s most holiest of cities, Vatican City, the seat of the Roman Catholic Church and a place of soaring, ornate cathedrals, chapels, museums, and basilicas; a place that seems to be as far from evil as can be possible. And yet these disappearances would go on to become a baffling unsolved crime that would eventually hint at a dark underbelly lurking beneath the sacred and holy veneer of this seat of one of the world’s most powerful religions.
Officially called Vatican City State, Vatican City is a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy, which is recognized as the world’s smallest independent state in terms of both area and population. An ecclesiastical, or sacerdotal-monarchical state, it is the seat of the Pope and along with the Holy See is one of the most important places of the Roman Catholic religion and it’s over 1.2 billion adherents around the world. It is also a world renowned tourist attraction, harboring some of the world’s most famous sculptures and paintings within its museums, as well as various world famous cultural sites such as St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel.
The most well-known of the Vatican City disappearances occurred in 1983, when a 15 year-old second year student of a high school in Rome by the name of Emanuela Orlandi went missing without a trace. Orlandi was a citizen of Vatican City, and the daughter of a lay official in the Vatican, whose job was organizing papal functions. On June 22, 1983, Emanuela was late for a music class at a music school she attended three times a week in Rome. Emanuela’s worried sister reported that she had received a call from the girl explaining that she was late because she had made an appointment to meet with a representative of Avon Cosmetics to talk about a job offer to sell cosmetics. Emanuela then allegedly met with the Avon representative before a music lesson and afterwards told her friend about it, after which she said farewell to the friend and allegedly climbed into a dark green colored BMW at a bus stop. She was never seen again.
When she did not return home from school as expected, Emanuela’s concerned parents contacted authorities but were told that the girl had probably just gone off with friends, as teenagers are wont to do. When the girl had still not come home the following day, her parents called the director of the music school, who informed them that the girl had never shown up for her class and was unable to provide any information on where she might be. Over the following two days, ads were placed in several newspapers begging for any information anyone might have on the girl’s whereabouts, and the family home phone number was listed. This would be where things got a fair bit more bizarre.