Thursday, July 30, 2015

Fermi Paradox


Fermi Paradox – The Apparent Puzzle

The Fermi Paradox is in search of the answer to the question of where the aliens are, given to understand that our stars and the Earth are part of a young planetary system when compared to the rest of the universe and interstellar travel could be quite easy to achieve.

The theory states that the Earth should have been visited by the aliens by now and if the universe is packed with aliens ... Where is everybody? Enrico Fermi, an Italian physicist, had first come out with the theory during his casual lunchtime remark in 1950 and the implication had extra-terrestrial researchers speculating on it since then.

The Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence had commented on its website that `Fermi had realized that any civilization with a modest amount of rocket technology and an immodest amount of imperial incentive could rapidly colonize the entire galaxy.

The Fermi paradox is the apparent puzzle between high estimates as in Drake equation of the probability of the existence of extra-terrestrial life civilizations as well as the lack of contact with or evidence for, such civilization. Points of debate made by physicists Enrico Fermi and Michael H Hart are –
  • The Sun seems to be a typical star with billions of stars in the galaxy which are billions of years old
  • With high probability, some of the stars tend to have Earth like planets and if the earth is typical, some could develop intelligent life
  • Some of the civilization could develop interstellar travel, a step which the Earth is investigating
  • Though at a slow pace of presently envisioned interstellar travel, the Milky Way galaxy could be totally crossed in about a million years.

Conflict Between Argument of Scale/Probability

As per this line of thinking, the Earth could have already been visited by extraterrestrial space invaders though Fermi did not come across any convincing evidence of this nor any indications of alien intelligence anywhere in the observable universe, which lead him to ask, `Where is everybody?’ Fermi paradox is considered to be a conflict between arguments of scale and probability which tend to favour intelligent life being common in the universe when compared with a total lack of evidence of intelligent life that could have come up anywhere except the Earth.

First characteristic of the Fermi paradox is a function of the scale of the large numbers involved and there is an estimate of around 200 – 400 billion stars in the Milky Way with around 70 sextillion in the observable universe. Even though intelligent life occurs on only a minuscule percentage of planet surround these stars, there could still have been a great number of civilization existing in the Milky Way galaxy alone. This gave rise to the notion that Earth is purely a typical planet.

The other feature of the Fermi paradox is the debate of probability – given intelligent life’s capability in overcoming scarcity, with its tendency in colonizing new habitats. There could be a possibility that some civilization could be far advanced, technologically seeking out new resources in space as well as colonize their own star system and thereafter surround the star systems.

In the Absence of Definite Evidence – Battling with a Resolution

In the absence of definite evidence on Earth or anywhere else in the known universe of other intelligent life after 13.8 billion years of history of the universe we are still battling with a resolution. Examples of possible resolutions are that intelligent life could be rarer than we had imagined and our assumptions on the general progress or behaviour of intelligent species could be faulty or radically that our present scientific understanding on the nature of the universe is fairly incomplete.

The Fermi paradox could be asked in two ways, first is `why are there no aliens or their artifacts found anywhere on Earth? If there could be a possibility of interstellar travel, even a slow kind almost with the reach of Earth technology, it would probably take from 5 million to 50 million years to colonize the galaxy. This is comparatively brief on a geological besides a cosmological one.

As there are thousands of star much older than the Sun, and since intelligent life could have evolved earlier anywhere, the question that comes up is `why the galaxy has not been colonized so far?’ Large scale exploration of the galaxy could have been possible through various means of exploration even if colonization was impractical or undesirable to the alien civilization.

The time for travel could provide an explanation on the lack of alien visits to Earth though adequately advanced civilization could possibly be observed over some important fraction of the size of the observable universe. The scale argument portrays the even if such civilizations are rare; they could have existed elsewhere at some point during the history of the universe.

Since they could be observed or noticed from far away over a long period of time, several more possible sites for their existence are within range of observation. However it is not clear if the paradox is strong for our galaxy or for the universe.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Armillary Sphere


Armillary Sphere – Model of Objects in Celestial Sphere

An armillary sphere is a model of objects in the celestial sphere comprising of a spherical framework of rings that is centered on Earth representing lines of celestial longitude and latitude together with other astronomically important features like the ecliptic.

The armillary sphere has a number of graduated brass rings which represent the chief celestial circle, demonstrating the basic principles of astronomical motion as well as the horology – the science of measurement. The word armillary comes from the Greek term, `armilla’, which means bracelets or rings. Armillary sphere consists of skeletal celestial sphere – the basket, within a vertical ring – the meridian ring, wherein the basket has two colure rings which represents the celestial poles and one of each, the two tropics.

A band marked with 360 degrees intervals, circles the basket, representing the equator while the final component of the basket is the ecliptic ring that divides into the twelve signs of the zodiac, each of which is divided into thirty units or days. Towards the center of the basket is a globe that represents the Earth. Armillary sphere was the early astronomical device to represent the great circles of the heavens which was included in the most intricate instruments – the horizon, meridian, Equator tropics, polar circles and ecliptic hoop.

Skeleton Celestial Globe with Circles

The sphere is a skeleton celestial globe with circles that are divided into degrees for angular measurement. Such models in the 17th and 18th centuries were either suspended or rested on a stand or affixed to a handle, were utilized in showing the difference between the Ptolemaic theory of a central Earth and the Copernican theory of a central Sun.

Earliest known complete armillary sphere having nine circles is said to have been the meteoroskopion of the Alexandrine Greeks though earlier and simple forms of ring instruments were also used. Ptolemy in the almagest reckons to at least three. Hipparchus it is stated used a sphere of four rings while in Ptolemy’s instruments, the astrolabon, there were diametrically disposed tubes on the graduated circles and the instruments were kept vertical by a plumb line.

Similar instruments were also used by the Arabs, with diametric sight rules or alidades and probably were made and used in the 12th century by Moors in Spain that were the examples of later European armillary spheres.

Became a Complicate Instrument for Instruction/Calculation

The first armillary sphere was most likely invented in the 3rd century BC by Eratosthenes, the Greek astronomer and around 130 AD, Ptolemy built a model to support him in making observation of the path of the main astronomical bodies in the night sky.

 Towards early 1500, Copernicus had defeated the accepted geocentric premise and the spheres were built with the sun in the center. Over a period of time it became very complicated instruments for instruction as well as calculation of the movement of celestial objects and events. The armillary sphere can be utilized to –
  • Determining the time of sunrise and sunset
  • Clarify the meaning of the Spring and Vernal Equinox
  • In determining the position of a star and explain the meaning of right ascension and declination
  • In demonstrating the meaning of the Tropics – turning point, at the Summer and Winter Solstice
  • In locating the Polar Star
Armillary Sphere – An Old Tool to Represent the Heavens
An armillary sphere is an old tool which is presumed to represent the heavens and was models of what the scientists thought the heavens would look like and how they were supposed to move. It is also known as a spherical astrolabe, the armilla, or the armil and is related to the astrolabe which was used as a navigation tool in determining the position of the Sun, and stars as well as used for navigation by sailors.

The armillary sphere was invented hundreds of years ago and the identity of its invention has been debated. Some claim that its invention is a Eratosthenes while others believe that the Chinese or other Greek scholars invented it. Irrespective of its inventor, the armillary sphere seems to be the oldest astronomical instrument in the world and besides being used in the Greek world; it was also used throughout the whole of Asia as well as the Islamic Empire.

These devices were utilized as models and teaching tools and the models were used in showing the difference between the Ptolemaic as well as Copernican theories of the Solar System. While in the Copernican theory, the Sun is said to be the center of our Solar System, the Earth is the center of the Solar System in the Ptolemaic theory. The Ptolemaic theory was still accepted when armillary spheres were first invented.

 It was only after the armillary spheres were invented that Copernicus came up with his theory of the Sun being the center of the Solar System and it was not accepted till centuries later. Armillary Sphere links the concept of time, history and the changing universe in one element and this timeless symbology is still relevant today since man tends to continue searching the heavens for knowledge on how we tend to relate to the universe.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Chilling Secret Of Himalayan Skeleton Lake


Himalayan Mountains – Glacial Lake with Chilling Secret

High up in the Himalayan mountains of the Uttarakhand State of India, lies a glacial lake which tends to conceal a chilling secret. The lake known as Roopkund has an altitude of about 16,499 feet and is frozen for most part of the year.

However, when the ice tends to melt occasionally, Roopkund displays its shocking secret. Having a depth of 2.0 meters, one can get clear view of the hundreds of skeletons in the lake with some emerging out of the icy waters. The bones together with pieces of flesh as well as hair seemed to be preserved by the dry frosty climate and yet they seem to be there for a long time.

After the Skeleton Lake had been discovered in 1942, for years, people speculated on the mystery regarding the hapless humans who had lost their lives in the lake. A British forest ranger, did a survey on what happened on the lake in 1942 wherein the melting summer ice had revealed the skeletons, some of which were found floating in the water while others were lying about along the shore. His instant response was to think something awful could have happened to these people.

People’s Fascination – Several Theories

With war prevailing, it was presumed that the skeletons could have been the remains of Japanese soldiers who probably were sneaking through India. Being worried of land invasion, the British government had sent a team to investigate the skeletons and decided that the bones were not fresh enough to be of Japanese soldiers and it continued to be a mystery.

The mystery of the Skeleton Lake began to draw the peoples’ fascinationwith several theories coming up though no one seemed capable of identifying who the people could be or how old exactly the bones could be. The only thing agreed was that more than 200 people had been killed either in landslide, avalanche or probably due to mass murder or suicide.

According to local legend, it was presumed that the skeletal remains could have belonged to a Kashmir warrior, Zogawar Singh who was considered as the Napoleon of India, whose army had gone missing at the time of returning to Tibet. Other theories indicate that the remains were religious zealots who had participated in a mass suicide.

National Geographic Team –Trekked to Roopkund Lake

However, the most intriguing theory was linked with an ancient as well as traditional folk song which was sung by Himalayan women where the words of the song tend to describe a goddess who is enraged by outsiders defiling her mountain sanctuary that she rained death on them by flinging hailstones, as hard as iron.

In 2004, a National Geographic team had trekked to Roopkund Lake bringing back 30 skeletons to the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, India. A DNA test was done and samples were also sent to the Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit of Oxford University.

 It was revealed there that the skeletons dated back to 850 AD. Researchers believe that all 200 or so of the skeletons could have been people who had died at around the same time and after their death, the freezing water as well as the dry icy conditions could have kept the remains in well-preserved condition. Besides the flesh and hair which they found on the skeletons, they also came across jewellery together with other leather clothing which was amazingly intact.

Another interesting discovery from the DNA test,was revealed that two distinct groups of people were found in the lake where one group of taller groups seemed to be related while the other groups which were shorter could have been porters or guides.
All Injuries Limited to Head & Shoulders
Centred on the examination of the clothing together with other items, it was presumed that the people were on a pilgrimage of some kind. What could have killed them? The evidence found indicate that all the skulls had signs of blunt force trauma to the head and forensic studies show skull fractures which were due to heavy round object around the size of a cricket ball or nine inches in circumference.

Added forensic investigations further show that all the injuries were limited to the head and shoulders of the people and no other area of their body and seemed that the victims were attacked unaware and violently from above. It is assumed that the only option that the victims could have died at the same time as well as with similar injuries was to be caught in the open area at a time of freak and a violent hailstorm. The lake has now become a famous trekking site.

With several people visiting the late, the skeletons and personal items seem to be disappearing and will little maintenance as well as monitoring at the site, the history of this amazing location seems to be in danger of being lost forever. Probably the country could consider in putting restrictions on travel companies, travellers to the lake and if nothing seems to be done, the skeletal remains could end up being nothing more than souvenirs for tourists.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Saqqara Bird

The Saqqara Bird – An Artifact of Sycamore Wood 

The Saqqara Bird is an artifact made of sycamore wood andwas discovered at the time of the 1898 excavation of the Pa-di-Imen tomb in Saqqara, Egypt which dates back to around 200 BCE. The artefact which resembles a bird had been a topic of several debates and various explanations. Presently it is housed in the Museum of Egyptian antiquities in Cairo.

The Saqqara Bird has a wingspan of 180 mm weighing 39.12 g. Due to lack of documentation, its function is not known. Though its shape resembles a bird, on close observation it resembles a modern airplane with a head of a bird. Moreover, the symbols on the model airplane read thus `The Gift of Amon’ and three papyruses found near the artifact mention the phrase `I want to fly’.

These characteristic aroused the curiosity of Dr Khalil Messiha, the physician who had discovered the artefact and speculated that the ancient Egyptians first made it as a model of an aircraft which they either built or witnessed. He believed that the Saqqara Bird had aerodynamic qualities and the only thing which was missing from the bird was the tail wing stabilizer with which he wondered it would have been capable of flying.

Its Function is not Known

To support his claim, he built a balsa wood model with the addition of the tail and was surprised to see the model fly. Simon Sanderson, an Aviation and Aerodynamic expert also built duplicate model of the Saqqara Bird and tested its aerodynamic in a wind tunnel in 2006, but without the tail.

The outcome was that it could produce four times its weight in lift.Another attempt was made in 2002, to test the flying potentials of the Saqqara bird by Martin Gregorie, glider designer who produced various results. He developed a balsa wood model and concluded that without a tail wing stabilizer, it was not capable of flying and even with the tail; the performance was disappointing, indicating that it was probably meant to be a toy.

Mainstream archaeologist also support that the artefact is nothing though an actual bird that which coincidently resembles a glider. Though its function is not known, several of them tend to agree that it could be a part of a mast head which could have been used on sacred boats

Speculations & Explanations 

It is a known fact that the Egyptians had built an advanced civilization and were also experts in architecture, art and engineering and there could have been a possibility that this model could have been constructed in an effort of creating a flying machine.

The papyrus that was found near the object together with the special characteristic of the Saqqara Bird, could probably discard the naive opinion that it could have been designed as a toy. Taking into account what the bird portrayed is not found anywhere it nature, it is presumed that the ancient Egyptians may have seen something in the atmosphere, some kind of flying machine which they could have been unable to understand and hence transferred the bird face to the object.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How Did India Pakistan Border Come To Be....

The Radcliffe Line had been declared as the boundary between India and Pakistan on August 17th 1947 which followed the Partition of India where the line is named after Sir Cyril Radcliffe. It was he who had commissioned to divide equally 4,50,000 km sq. of territory with 88 million people. The reason in creating the Radcliffe Line was to develop a boundary which would divide India together with religious demographics under the Muslim majority provinces that would become part of the new nation of Pakistan and Hindu and Sikh majority provinces would then remain in India.

The Indian Independence Act 1947 which came into force of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, on July 15th 1947, specified that India would be free from the British rule on 15th August 1947 precisely a month thereafter. Besides this, the act also agreed on the Partition of the provinces of British India into two new nations of the Union of India as well as the Dominion of Pakistan, which would be divided further into Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Pakistan was planned to be the homeland for Indian Muslims, while India with a Hindu majority was intended to be a secular nation.

The Radcliffe Line – Border between India/Pakistan

Partition – Basis of Religious Demographics 

Forty percent of India, prior to Partition, was covered by princely states that were not of British possession and was not part of British India. As a result, the British were unable to provide them independence, or partition them and the rulers belonging to these states were totally independent and could choose which of the two nation they would want to join or even remain independent.

All the rulers, however, decided to join India or Pakistan with the exception of only a small number who did not do so. The Partition of India which was done on the basis of religious demographics, the Muslim majority regions towards the north of India were to become part of Pakistan while Baluchistan and Sindh having a clear Muslim majority, automatically became part of Pakistan.

However, the challenge lay in the two provinces of Punjab with 55.7% Muslims and Bengal with 54.4% Muslims, which did not have any overpowering majority. The Western part of Punjab ultimately became part of West Pakistan while the Eastern part became part of India – Eastern Punjab was thereafter divided into three other Indian states.

Difficult to Draw Line

Bengal state was also partitioned into East Bengal that became part of Pakistan while West Bengal remained in India. After gaining independence, the North West Frontier Province which is situated near Afghanistan voted with intentions to join Pakistan.

However since the population of Punjab seemed to be scattered, it became difficult to draw a line which would divide the Hindus, Muslims and Sikh and hence no line drawn was preferred by the Muslim League which was headed by Jinnah, or the Congress headed by Nehru and Sardar Patel.

Therefore it was decided that a well-drawn line which would reduce the separation of farmers from their field while at the same time would minimize the number of people who would have to relocate, thus reducing the feeling of separation which comes up in a new surroundings.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Norwegian Rocket Incident

Norwegian Rocket Incident – Black Brant Scare

Russian radar crew, in the early hours of the morning of January 25, 1995, spotted a quick moving object above the Barents Sea towards Russia’s northern border, a missile which could not be identified. Russians had observed that the U.S. nuclear submarines were the greatest treat and a Trident missile which could be launched from those quarters could have reached Russia’s mainland within a matter of 10 minutes. This Norwegian rocket incident also known as the Black Brant scare took place in those early hours when a team of Norwegian and American scientist launched a Black Brant XII four stage sounding rocket from the Andoya Rocket Range off the north-western coast of Norway.

It is said that the rocket carrying scientific equipment for research of aurora borealis over Svalbard had flown on a high northbound course including an air corridor which stretched from Minuteman-III nuclear missile silos in North Dakota to Russian capital city of Moscow. En route the flight, the rocket ultimately reached a height of 1,453km which resembled a U.S Navy submarine launched Trident missile. This resulted in a scare of a high altitude nuclear attack which could blind Russian radar and Russian nuclear forces were on high alert wherein the nuclear weapons command suitcase had been brought before the Russian president, Boris Yeltsin who had to decide to launch or not, on a retaliatory nuclear strike against the United States.

Created to Study Northern Lights 

The rocket was created to study the Northern Lights and when it rose above the horizon, the result was another type of experiment, a test that dominated the control of Russian and United States nuclear weapons. Not much is known about what Yeltsin had stated, but it could have been some of the most dangerous moments of the nuclear era providing a glimpse of the high alert nuclear launch mechanism of the Cold War and how it could go wrong even when the great superpower rivalry had ended.

United States and Russia continue to depend on a policy for quick fire decisions with regards to a possible nuclear attack and should the Russian president decide to react before its enemy’s missiles reach them, he had about eight minutes in making a decision on his action plan.

Generated & Aroused High Level of Alert

However in the Norway incident, the essential information for such a significant decision was not very clear and though the Norwegian rocket eventually fell in the ocean, it generated and aroused a high level of alert through Russian strategic forces as per the U.S. Congress testimony as well as other sources. This marked the first time that a Russian leader was compelled to use his nuclear briefcase in a real alert.

Russia’s system of initial warning on the possibility of an attack and the command and control of nuclear forces had been suffering from the same problem affecting the whole military. Russia had inherited a system of radars and satellite from the Soviet Union, however after the break-up of Soviet, most of them are no longer on Russian soil and the six year economic depression had resulted in hardship for several of the officers inclusive of those who worked in nuclear command installations receiving low pay as well as lacked permanent housing.

The radar and satellite system is said to be vulnerable since there are holes in the network which would tend to become more serious since another Russian radar station was closed in Latvia.

Experts Predict – Russia will have Nuclear Arsenal 

Vladimir Belous, a retired general and leading Russian strategist had written that `the prospect of a mistake had become particularly dangerous since the end of the Cold War’, adding that a fateful accident could have plunged the world into chaos of a thermonuclear catastrophe, contrary to political leaders’ wishes’. Degradation of Russia’s initial warning system emanates as its planned forces tend to be lessening wherein the forces comprising of nuclear armed submarines, long range bombers as well as intercontinental ballistic missiles which had been built by Soviet at the time of the Cold War had declined intensely both in quality as well as in numbers.

Experts predict that within a decade, Russia would be having a nuclear arsenal, one-tenth the size of the Soviet Union at the highest of the superpower rivalry since arms tend to control treaties, impending uselessness and the economic depression of Russia.

Launch-on-warning/Launch Retaliatory Strike

The radar and satellite gaps or holes have been causing some worry since Russia has continued adhering to nuclear doctrines of the Soviet era and the overall restriction concept is known as Mutual Assured Destructions, wherein each side is held in check by the threat of destruction by the other. A part of the cocked pistols approach was `launch-on-warning’ wherein both the sides threaten that in the event of an attack they will unleash massive retaliation before the enemy warhead had arrived.

This approach would discourage either of the sides from attempting to strike first. Russian had also inherited a second, related approach from the Soviet Union which was to preserve the ability to launch a retaliatory strike after even the enemy’s warhead had strike.

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Untriseptium – Eka-dubnium/Element 137

Untriseptium also known as eka-dubnium or element 137,is a hypothetical chemical element that has not been detected to occur naturally nor has been synthesised. Owing to drip instabilities, it is not clear if this element is physically conceivable. Its atomic number is 137 while its symbol is Uts. Itis a temporary IUPAC systematic element name which has been derived from the digit 137, wherein `un’ in Latin language unum means `one’, `tri’ comes from tres which means `three’ and `sept’ from either Greek hepta or Latin septua both of which mean seven.Research scientist generally discuss the element only as element 137 and trans-uranium elements such as this usually end up being named after a location of a laboratory or a scientist which does the work in atomic physics.

The term untriseptium is utilised as a placeholder in case of scientific articles with regards to search for element 137 and transuranic elements, those beyond uranium, excluding for microscopic quantities and for plutonium, are constantly artificially developed. Since the physicist Richard Feynman had first pointed out the significance of element 137, it is sometimes informally called Feynmanium – symbol Fy.

Grand Unified Theory - GUT

Feynman had noted that a simplistic interpretation of the relativistic Dirac equation turns into problems with regards to electron orbitals at Z> 1/α = 137, indicating that neutral atoms do not occur beyond untriseptium and that a periodic table of elements established on electron orbitals tends to break down at this point, though a more rigorous analysis calculates the limit to Z ≈ 173.Any element having an atomic number of more than 137 would need 1s electrons in order to travel faster than the speed of light.

In the early years of 1900, physicist supposed and speculated that this number could have been at the heart of a Grand Unified Theory - GUT which could coordinate the theories of electromagnetism, quantum mechanics as well as the gravity. Physicists however need to yet find any connection between the number 137 and any other physical law in the universe.

It is likely that such important equation could generate important number such as, one or pi, though this was not the case. Equation here is what is the consequences of an element with atomic number above 137 where 1s electrons should travel faster than the speed of light. Is `Feynmanium’, the last chemical which can physically exist?

137 – An Auspicious Number

The number 137 is considered to be an auspicious number and Feynman had recommended that physicists display this number prominently in their offices as a reminder of how much they do not know. Wolfgang Pauli, whose prohibiting principle, clarified the structure of the periodic table, was passionate with the number 137, discussed its significance with his friend and former psychoanalyst Carl Jung, a remarkable relationship explored in Arthur I Miller’s recent book – Deciphering the cosmic number, over fine wine.It is said that when Pauli was ill in Zurich in 1958, with pancreatic cancer, he was hospitalised in room number 137 and was convinced that his time had come and he was right.

137 were significant for Carl Jung since the number related to the Jewish mystical tradition known as the Cabbalah as indicated to physicist Victor Weisskopf by Gershom Scholem, the eminent Jewish scholar.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tabnit Sarcophagus

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Tabnit Sarcophagus – Tomb of Phoenician King Tabnit of Sidon

The Tabnit sarcophagus is the tomb of the Phoenician king Tabnit of Sidon and the father of King Eshmunazar II that is decorated with two different as well unconnected inscriptions which is one in Egyptian hieroglyphics and the other in Phoenician script. The script had been created during the early 5th century BC and was discovered by Osman Hamdi Bey at the Ayaa Necropolis near Sidon in 1887 together with Alexander Sarcophagus and other related sarcophagi.

The body of Tabnit was found floating and was totally preserved in the original embalming fluid and both the sarcophagus together with Tabnit’s decomposed skeleton are presently in the Istanbul Archaeology Museums. The sarcophagus, together with the Eshmunazar II sarcophagus was probably attained by the Sidonians after their participation in the Battle of Pelusism which served as models for later Phoenician sarcophagi.

Tombs near Sidon were found by the American Presbyterian minister William Kind Eddy, father of William A. Eddy. William Wright had sent a letter to The Times with the information on the discovery of Eddy asking the British Museum to take immediate measures in securing these treasures and refrain them from falling into the hands of the vandal Turk which alerted the new curator of the fledgling Istanbul Archaeological Museum, Osman Hamdi Bey who arranged for a full excavation as well as the transfer of the sarcophagi to Istanbul.

Peculiar Fluid - A Mystery

At the time of the excavation, the workmen who had opened the Tabnit sarcophagus and found the human body floating in perfect preservation in a peculiar fluid had overturned the sarcophagus pouring the fluid out when Hamdi Bey was at lunch.

Thus the secret of the mysterious fluid was hidden in the Sidon sand. However, in 1892, Hamdi Bey observed that he had kept a part of the sludge which remained in the bottom of the sarcophagus. The Phoenician language inscription is known as KAI13 and the Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions indicate that the sarcophagus was initially proposed for an Egyptian general called Pen-Ptah. The Phoenician language inscription when translated by George Rawlinson states –

  • `I Tabnit, priest of Ashtoreth and king of Sidon, lying in this tomb, say – I adjure every man, when thou shalt come upon this sepulchre, open not my chamber and trouble me not, for there is not with me aught of silver, nor is there with me aught of gold, there is not with me anything whatever of spoil but only I myself who lie in this sepulchre. Open not my chamber and trouble me not, for it would be an abomination in the sight of Ashtoreth to do such an act. And if thou shouldest open my chamber and trouble me, mayest thou have no posterity all thy life under the sun and no resting place with the departed’.

The Tabnit sarcophagus as well as the Eshmunazarr II sarcophagus is considered to originate from the 26th dynasty of Egypt having it capital at Sais which is partially due to its resemblance to similar sarcophagi like the Psamtik II era Horkhebit sarcophagus from Saqqara presently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Ancient Underground Tunnels of Germany

Underground Tunnel Networks - Discovered

Underground city is a sequence of linked subterranean space which could provide a defensive refuge, working or shopping, a place for living and much more. The term could also be related to a network of tunnels which could connect buildings below the street level that could house office blocks, metro stations, theatres and other attractions.

 Dr Heinrich Kusch, a German archaeologist, in his book - `Secrets of the Underground Door to an Ancient World’ relates that tunnels were dug under exactly hundreds of Neolithic settlements all over Europe and from the many tunnels which have survived 12,000 years indicate that the original network could have been quite massive. Kusch states that in Bavaria, Germany, alone around 7000 metres of these underground tunnel networks have been discovered.

In Styria, Austria around 350 meters long. Across Europe, there are thousands of them from the north in Scotland down to the Mediterranean. The tunnels seems to be quite small and measure only 70cm in width, which could be adequate for a person to creep through while in some areas, there are small rooms, storage chambers as well as seating places.

Purpose of Tunnels – Full of Speculation

Though several are of the belief that Stone Age humans were considered to be primitive, unbelievable discoveries like the 12,000 year old temple known as Gobekli Tepe in Turkey and Stonehenge in England that exhibit advanced astronomical knowledge portray that they were not primitive as many believe it to be. Discovery of the vast network of tunnels recommends that Stone Age humans were not just spending their days gathering and hunting.

The actual purpose of the tunnels is full of speculation where some experts are of the belief that they were ways to protect man from predator while others were of the opinion that they were for the purpose to travel safely, a means of shelter from harsh weather conditions or it could also be safe from wars and violence. But the scientists, at this stage are only presuming since the tunnels have not yet revealed their secrets of the past.

Some Perceived Catastrophe

However, the question is why should such network be constructed in the first place and the answer to it could be some catastrophe or perceived catastrophe. It could possibly be the ancient man’s underground `continuity of government’ or `continuity of culture’ network.

 Based on this, one could probably speculate that such networks gives some insight to some ancient breakaway civilization network of installations which could be similar with regards to our own civilization’s underground bunkers, cities and research facilities, but the size of the ancient structures in most cases is dwarfed by the modern.

In any case, the presences of these networks in Europe and South America could recommend that whatever could be the system that it was created for; they could have been in response to a global situation, the first manifestation of the underground bunker.

No one had any indication as to why man made subterranean systems like the Erdstall was built but at least 700 of them exist in the German state of Bavaria alone with many more still hidden across Europe, from Hungary to Spain.

Saturday, July 4, 2015


Geocentricity – Earth the Core of the Solar System

Geocentricity is the belief and the teaching that the earth is the core of the solar system and/or of the universe. From correct mathematics and observation, it has been proved egocentricity that the earth is the centre of the universe where the sun revolves around the earth once every day. This was what most of the people prior to Copernicus, Galileo and the others believed in the Middle Ages.

However the people then were uneducated and ignorant and did not have the telescopes as recent centuries had, but they knew to observe and to think. Most of them had the Bible which clearly stated over and over the sun rises and sets each day. Biblical creationist tend to view creation of the cosmos as an event which is Earth-centred and the areas beyond our world were created to `declare the glory of God’ and hence it is assumed that the Earth is at the relative centre of the cosmos.

Geocentrism historically has been accompanied by certainty in geistationarity that the Earth is completely stationary and believe that the celestial bodies tend to revolve round the Earth as in Ptolemaic astronomy. Some contemporary geocentrists support amended form of Tycho Brahes’ model of the solar system wherein the sun tends to orbit the earth.

Present Physicists Refer Geocentric Perspective as Machian

Present physicists at times tend to refer to the geocentric perspective as Machian after the popular physicist, Ernst Mach who had denied the existence of total motion and space and had hence maintained that geocentrism as well as heliocentrism were alike. The knowledge of geocentrims was presumed to be abandoned when most of the scientists supported the heliocentric model which stated that our planet is a part of the solar system which itself is a portion of a huge galaxy.

On the other hand, Einstein’s relatively theory indicates that the same frame of reference in observing motion is arbitrary and since all the movements observed are considered relative, this argument could be more philosophical as well as metaphysical than being scientific. Several of the scientific establishment had debated against egocentricity by stating that the Earth tends to move around the Sun and is not at a stationed point in the centre of the universe. Geocentrists who are not certainly creationists as some modern evolutionary establishment may seem to consider, hold two varied perspectives.

Universe Revolves Around the Earth, Causing Necessary Movement

To a certain extent they could be right that human knowledge of the universe is insufficient to completely rule out a geocentric positioning within and if, the universe had been created to be seen from earth, it would imply that it is at the relative centre. The other camp tends to take a more extreme approach where they are of the belief that the universe revolves around the earth and causes the necessary movement needed to have the day and night together with the seasonal changes.

According to geocentric theories, the force and mass of the universe results in effects on the earth like the Coriolis Effect andthese geocentrists consider the earth at the main centre of such movement in a way that the sun revolves around a stationary earth while the planets revolve around the sun. In such a type of concept, the earth is viewed not as a planet since it implies a moving object.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Boston Massacre

Boston Massacre – Incident on King Street 

The Boston Massacre was a street fight which took place on March 5, 1770. It was also known as the Incident on King Street by the British, an incident in which the British Army soldiers killed five male civilians, injuring six others. This incident was heavily publicized by leading Patriots like Paul Revere and Samuel Adams to add more animosity towards the British authorities.

The British troops were stationed at Boston, the capital of the Province of Massachusetts Bay from 1768 to protect and support crown appointed colonial officials trying to enforce unpopular Parliamentary legislation.

In the midst of the tense relation between the population and the soldiers, a crowd was formed around the British sentry who was exposed to verbal abuse and harassment. Eventually, he was supported by eight additional soldiers who were subjected to verbal threats and objects thrown at them.

They in turned, fired at the crowd without receiving orders, thereby killing three people and wounding several others. Later two more people succumbed to death due to the wounds received in the incident. Many colonists were killed in the incident which led to a campaign by speech-writers to arouse the public.

British Troop Not Welcomed 

The British troop’s presence was not welcomed in the city of Boston and the riot took place when around 50 citizens had attacked a British sentinel.A town meeting was organised demanding the removal of the British and the trial of Captain Preston and his men for murder where at the trial, John Adams and Josiah Quincy II defended the British which led to their release.

 Robert Treat Paine and Samuel Quincy were the attorneys for the prosecution. Two of the British soldiers were later found guilty of manslaughter. The Boston Massacre was an indication leading to the Revolutionary War which led directly to the Royal Governor vacating the army occupying the town of Boston. It would soon bring about the revolution to armed rebellion all over the colonies. From its name itself, this event of the American Revolution seemed to be the cause for popular myths and misconceptions.

Spark Ignited Revolutionary War

The Boston Massacre was not so called till many years after it had occurred. It was also called the State Street Massacre in the early 1800s. This histrionic shooting is described as the spark which ignited the Revolutionary War, in several history books and probably one of the reasons being the loss of human lives. In fact there were many other historic indicators though less dramatic that had moved Boston to revolt, some of which worth mentioning are Townshend Acts, Stamp Act and Boston Tea Party.

An interesting myth is that the brawl on King’s street originated from the accusations thrown at one of the British officers that he had not paid the wigmaker’s bill which makes an interesting story. Some could be speculating perhaps that the famous protest would not have taken place, had the bill been paid on time. On the contrary, the British officer Captain John Goldfinch had already settled the bid one day earlier.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Acambaro Figurines

Acambaro Figures – Statuettes found Mexico – July 1944

The Acambaro Figures are statuettes that have been found, at an archaeological site,in July 1944under the direction of Waldemar Julsrud in Acambaro, in Mexico.Julsrud, a hardware salesman stumbled on the figures when he was riding his horse.

He then hired a Mexican farmer to dig up the figures, paying him for each figure he brought back where eventually the farmer together with his assistant brought around 32,000 figures that represented everything from dinosaurs to peoples from all over the world which included Egyptian, Sumerians as well as bearded Caucasians.

They seem to be small ceramic figures which according to some claim to resemble dinosaurs and at times mentioned as an archaism but there is an overpowering evidence that these figures are a modern ruse. Some are of the belief that these figures could be credible evidence for the co-existence of dinosaurs and humans, a thing which would disprove evolution, offering a literal interpretation of the Bible. However, with no reliable evidence for the validity of these figures of actual ancient artifacts, they are accepted by no reliable scholar of archaeology or palaeontology and the motive of those supporting them are doubtful.

Figures - First-Hand Experience 

Those supporting the Acambaro Figures are of the belief that various pieces of evidence indicate that the figures were not only 6500 – 1500 years old but were also developed from first-hand experience of dinosaurs as well as the cultures which the figure probably represented.

A young earth creationist supporter of the figures, Don Patton, provided what he believes to be accurate radiocarbon dates for the figures varying from 6500 to 1500 years and the labs that provided these dates claim that they were inadequate. However, Dennis Swift is of the belief that once the labs had discovered what they were dating, they withdrew their original dates to keep up with the agenda of the science community of suppressing the real knowledge.

 Several supporters mention various individual’s actual accounts of the excavation and the medium from which the artifacts have been unearthed. As per Swift, he has informed that the spaces around the figures were clearly an ancient section and if the figures had been planted as a hoax, there would have been some evidence of disrupted sections.

Appearance of Figures Being Ancient – Doubtful 

The Acambaro Figures based on the widely used line of support indicates its resemblance to the dinosaurs that features in Robert Bakker’s book DinosaurHeresies and is claimed to resemble these figures to the drawing and is evident that the figures were made from first-hand experience. The figures seem to be too accurate to be anything other than first-hand representations.

The circumstances from which the figures appeared, seems to be doubtful. Julsrud who claims to have paid the farmers for every figure they brought him provided a motive for them to create their own figures and disguise them as ancient artifacts. As per DiPeso, he observed that the surface of the figures were brand new and showed no evidence of being in the ground for at least 1500 years. Had they been authentic artifacts, there would have been scratched and marred from the rocky soil which is characteristic of artifacts found at the Mexico site.

Moreover, those probably digging up these artifacts were inexperienced people. Archaeologist Charles C. DiPeso, working for the Amerind Foundation, an anthropological organization dedicated in preserving Native American culture also mentioned that he saw them actually crush through the authentic artifacts in order to reach the figures though none of them which were uncovered had any such marks on them.

Figures an Indication of a Hoax

Besides these, other evidence comprised of fresh manure that was found beneath the ground, fingerprints found under the ground with black fill from other areas was discovered in sterile red earth. All these are indication of previously tampering with the site. The total number of complete figures that were found is an indication of a hoax.

 With 32,000 figures that were found, all of them were in perfect shape except for a few that were broken, probably to create an impression of illusion of ancient times. If the figures were of authentic antiquities, they could not be preserved with such excellence in an inhospitable atmosphere and pottery is always reveals fragments known as sherds. Among the 32,000 unblemished ceramics that had been discovered, none had fragments but were in perfect condition.

The figures continues to draw attention till date and have been mentioned in some pseudoscientific books of David Lewis, like the Atlantis Rising while another young Earth creationist, Don Patten a staunch supporter has also proposed some new lines of evidence which include the figure’s resemblance to the dinosaurs that are portrayed in the book of Robert Bakker. Presently the collections of Waldemar Julsrud are on display in its own museum in Acambaro while the internet provides the essential information for those interested in believing in its validity.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

God Helmet Experiment

The God Helmet – Laboratory Apparatus

The God Helmet is a name given to a laboratory apparatus which was earlier known as `Koren Helmet’ after Stanley Koren of Laurentian University’s Neuroscience Department. This was created as per the specifications given by its director, Dr M.A.Persinger. Utilised as a research tool for investigating the brain’s role in religious and mystic experiences, the KoranHelmet is given the name `God Helmet’. Few of the journalists have given it this name when they realised the some had visions of God at the time of participating in Koren Helmet experiment and this name prevailed. It was developed to study creativity, religious experience as well as the effects of refined stimulation of the temporal lobes. Participants reported of `sensed presence’, when they wore the God helmet which brought about an awareness resulting in various TV documentaries and the device was used in Persinger’s study in the field of neurotheology, which is the study of the neural association of religions and spirituality.

Mystical Experiences & Altered States

When the apparatus is placed on the head of an experimental subject, it tends to generate a weak fluctuating magnetic fields that Persinger relates as `complex’, which are nearly as strong as the ones generated by a land line telephone handset or a hair dryer though much less than an ordinary refrigerator magnet and almost a million times weaker than transcranial magnetic stimulation. It has been reported by Persinger that several subjects have been recounted on `mystical experiences and altered states at the time of wearing the God Helmet.

Foundation of this theoryhas been criticised in the scientific press, academics, anecdotal reports by journals and documentarists and have been mixed with several effects reported by Persinger are not yet independently duplicated. An attempt of duplication published in the scientific literature had indicated a failure to reproduce Persinger’s effect. It was proposed by authors that the suggestibility of participants, improper blinding of participants or eccentric methodology could clarify the results of Persinger. Persinger debates that the replication was flawed technically though the researcher have been firm by their replication.

Complex Magnetic Signals to Head

Recently other researchers have published a replication of one God Helmet experiment. The Koren Helmet applies complex magnetic signals to the head of the one wearing it and the field do not work by inducing current in the brain. There are patterns which have information as well as magnetic fields which tend to appear around technical activity in the brain that picks it up.

The Koren Helmet is said to be connected to a PC computer via a black box which cycles the signals via four coils on each side of the head, above the place from the temporal lobes of the brain that meet the parietal lobes. This is that part of the brain which researchers feel is the source of spiritual as well as religious experience connection.The sessions are performed in an Acoustic Chamber which is totally silent.

 A big part of the temporal lobes on-going activity is devoted to monitoring ambient sound and the temporal lobes are said to be the source of religious and mystic experience. Silence aids a great deal in creating them in the lab. The same chamber also tends to have layer of electromagnetic insulation so that the ambient energy released from the lab equipment, cell phone towers as well as computer monitor is screened out. Due to the magnetic fields that tend to pass through this screen, the God Helmet research has reached some interesting discoveries with regards to magnetic field of the earth