Sara Owens

Author's posts

Emela-Ntouka (Killer of Elephants)

10301457_10207074262120015_8189377911735750319_nThe remote areas of the Congo and possibly Cameroon are the home of this ferocious cryptid. It has several names depending on the area of the Congo it lives in: Aseka-moke, Njago-gunda, Chipekwe or Irizima.

This beast is reported to be the size of an African Bush Elephant with a brown to gray colored hide and a heavy tail. The body is said to be of similar shape and appearance to that of a rhinoerous, including one long horn on it’s snout. It has four short thick legs and no frills or ridges along the neck. The animal is said to be semi-aquatic and a herbivore. It is also said to emit vocalizations that sound like snorts, rumbles or growls.

Emela-Ntouka translates to “killer of elephants”. It is said to be highly territorial and has been known to disembowel elephants with it’s long snout horn. The horn has been reported to be made of either ivory or bone unlike that of the rhinoceros which is made of compressed hair. There has been much debate over what the horn is made of and how it helps classify this animal. If it is made of Ivory it would be a tusk (tooth) and not a horn. If it is made of bone this would make the animal a reptile. It could also be made of Keratin like the horns of the African Rhinos.

J.E. Hughes published his book Eighteen Years on Lake Bangweulu in 1933, in which he reported that an animal that fits the description of an Emela-Ntouka (although not referred to by this name) was slaughtered by Wa-Ushi tribesmen, along the shores of the Luapula River, which connects Lake Bangweulu to Lake Mweru.

The Emela-Ntouka was mentioned by name for the first time in 1954, in an article in the journal Mammalia, authored by formerLikouala game inspector Lucien Blancou. He stated the Emela-Ntouka was “larger than a buffalo” and dwelled throughout the Likouala swamps. It was also Blancou who first mentioned the fact that an Emela-Ntouka kills elephants, buffaloes or hippos when disturbed, much like the Mokele-mbembe’s allegedly renowned hatred for hippos. While both animals are supposedly herbivorous, they also supposedly share a fierce sense of territoriality, and it is for this reason the pygmies are claimed to “fear it more than any other dangerous animal”. In about 1930, an Emela-Ntouka was supposedly killed near Dongou.

In 1981 Dr. Roy Mackal traveled to the Congo searching for the rumored sauropod dinosaur Mokele Mbembe. But he was surprised to hear reports of another mysterious animal called the Emela-ntouka or “killer of elephants”. The natives in the northwest region of the Likoula swamp told how it would gore elephants with its single horn.

Emela-ntouka seems to resemble a ceratopsian, a type of dinosaur with horns like Styracosaurus and the famous Triceratops according to Dr. Roy Mackal. Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, however, believes it is an aquatic rhinoceros rather than a ceratopsian.

Surviving dinosaur?? New sub-species of rhinoceros?? Without a specimen we may never know.

Sources:

http://cryptidz.wikia.com/wiki/Emela-Ntouka

http://www.genesispark.com/exhibits/evidence/cryptozoological/ceratopsian/emela-ntouka/

Brosno Dragon

The Brosno Dragon, also known as Brosnya, is the name given to a lake monster which is said to inhabit Lake Brosno, near Andreapol in West Russia.

Described as being a 16-foot long, “iridescent,” dragon-like creature, with a fish-like or serpentine head, this animal is said to have spread terror throughout the small fishing communities located not only on Lake Brosno, but situated on the Volgo river as well.

This bizarre form of bio-luminescence is rare among cryptids, and has been reported in only two other animals, the winged predators known as the DUAH and the ROPEN, both of which are reputedly “flying” creatures that hail from across the globe.

Although most descriptions of Brosnya suggest it is reptilian, some researchers believe that due to the often frigid climate around lake Brosno, this creature cannot be a reptile. They have surmised that this animal is likely mammalian, although what manner of mammal they do not know.

Although there have been some (admittedly blurry and difficult to find) photos taken of this creature, not everyone is taking the reports of this animal so seriously. This was evidenced by the flippant remark made by an obviously skeptical scientist – Lyudmila Bolshakova, of Moscow’s Institute of Paleontology – in the same article, who refused to even entertain the notion of investigating this phenomenon:

“It sounds like a country fairy tale, the kind of story told over the years in the countryside.”

Thankfully, not all scientists seemed to share Bolshakova’s limited assessment of the situation. Tver region paleontologist, Nikolai Dikov, was quoted as saying that based upon the photographs this creature was probably related to an animal of decidedly prehistoric origin:

“The creature’s alleged shape suggested an extinct order of reptiles with teeth like mammals.”

The “extinct order of reptiles,” which Dikov was referring to is probably of the family known as Synapsids, whose teeth were differentiated into molars, canines, and incisors, similar to mammal’s teeth.

In 1996, an anonymous tourist from Moscow allegedly snapped a picture of this beast after his 7 year-old son screamed that he saw a “dragon” in the Lake. Sadly, this photograph, like so many others, is seemingly impossible to find.

brosno1Legends

Rumors of a strange, giant creature living in Lake Brosno have existed for several centuries.

One legend says that the lake monster scared to death the Tatar-Mongol army that headed for Novgorod in the 13th century.

Batu Khan stopped the troops on the sides of Lake Brosno to rest. Horses were allowed to drink water from the lake.

However, when the horses ventured down to the lake, a huge roaring creature emerged from the water and started devouring horses and soldiers.

The Batu-khan troops were so terrified that they turned back, and Novgorod was saved. Old legends describe an “enormous mouth” devouring fishermen. Chronicles mention a “sand mountain” that appeared on the lake surface from time to time.

According to another legend, some Varangians wanted to hide stolen treasure in the lake. When they approached the small island, a dragon came to the surface from the lake and swallowed the island up.

It was rumored in the 18th and 19th centuries that the giant creature emerged on the lake surface in the evening, but immediately submerged when people approached.

It is said that during World War II the beast swallowed up a German airplane. Today, there are lots of witnesses who say they chanced to see Brosnya walking in the water. Locals say that it turns boats upside-down and has to do with disappearance of people.

Theories

brosno2Many treat the existence of Brosnya skeptically and still say that the creature may be a mutant beaver or a giant pike of 100-150 years.

Others conjecture that groups of wild boars and elks cross the lake from time to time.

Rather than a mutant beaver explanation, I have heard that wild boars of unusually large size swimming in the water, as well as the typical swimming elk (moose) account for most modern sightings at this lake.

These are the lake monster sightings that are like the ones from Loch Ness and elsewhere and cause people to think of Plesiosaurs and Brontosaurs. But they are not the origin of the large swallowing dragon.

To some extent, all bodies of water are said to suck down and drown people and animals and this is ordinarily understood as a sort of poetic mythological personification of the waters themselves.

In this case, however, it becomes quite clear that what people were originally describiong was a very large, very old and very evil-tempered Pike and pride in the notoriety of that pike (possibly the family of pikes even) made the locals brag and exaggerate their stories of their monstrous pike until it could swallow up enemy warships sent against them, or Nazi planes.

http://www.americanmonsters.com
http://www.mysterycasebook.com/2011/brosnodragon.html

Building A Logical Argument

tumblr_msd5paENQL1s6bgx2o1_1280We always say in order to move the fringe sciences forward we must always look to the logical first. In researching ways to do this I found this simple explanation for building logical arguments.

When people say “Let’s be logical” about a given situation or problem, they usually mean “Let’s follow these steps:”

1. Figure out what we know to be true.
2. Spend some time thinking about it.
3. Determine the best course of action.

In logical terms, this three-step process involves building a logical argument. An argument contains a set of premises at the beginning and a conclusion at the end. In many cases, the premises and the conclusion will be linked by a series of intermediate steps. In the following sections, these steps are discussed in the order that you’re likely to encounter them.

Generating premises

The premesis are the facts of the matter: The statements that you know (or strongly believe) to be true. In many situations, writing down a set of premises is a great first step to problem solving.
For example, suppose you’re a school board member trying to decide whether to endorse the construction of a new school that would open in September. Everyone is very excited about the project, but you make some phone calls and piece together your facts, or premises.

Premises:

The funds for the project won’t be available until March.
The construction company won’t begin work until they receive payment.
The entire project will take at least eight months to complete.
So far, you only have a set of premises. But when you put them together, you’re closer to the final product — your logical argument. In the next section, you’ll discover how to combine the premises together.

Bridging the gap with intermediate steps

Sometimes an argument is just a set of premises followed by a conclusion. In many cases, however, an argument also includes intermediate steps that show how the premises lead incrementally to that conclusion.
Using the school construction example from the previous section, you may want to spell things out like this:

According to the premises, we won’t be able to pay the construction company until March, so they won’t be done until at least eight months later, which is November. But, school begins in September. Therefore. . .

The word therefore indicates a conclusion and is the beginning of the final step.

Forming a conclusion

The conclusion is the outcome of your argument. If you’ve written the intermediate steps in a clear progression, the conclusion should be fairly obvious. For the school construction example, here it is:

Conclusion:

The building won’t be complete before school begins.
If the conclusion isn’t obvious or doesn’t make sense, something may be wrong with your argument. In some cases, an argument may not be valid. In others, you may have missing premises that you’ll need to add.

Deciding if the argument is valid

After you’ve built an argument, you need to be able to decide if it’s valid, which is to say if it’s a good argument.
To test an argument’s validity, assume that all of the premises are true and then see if the conclusion follows automatically from them. If the conclusion automatically follows, you know it’s a valid argument. If not, the argument is invalid.

Understanding enthymemes

The school construction example argument may seem valid, but you also may have a few doubts. For example, if another source of funding became available, the construction company may start earlier and perhaps finish by September. Thus, the argument has a hidden premise called an enthymeme (pronounced EN-thi-meem), as follows:

There is no other source of funds for the project.

Logical arguments about real-world situations (in contrast to mathematical or scientific arguments) almost always have enthymemes. So, the clearer you become about the enthymemes hidden in an argument, the better chance you have of making sure your argument is valid.

How can we apply this to the paranormal?

Example:
You are alone in the house and hear a noise in the attic.

Premises:
You have been home all day.
There are no other people in the house.
There is only one entrance to the attic which is locked and you have the only key.

Intermediate Steps:
You are alone in the the house. No person could be in the attic because the only door is locked and you have the only key. Therefore……..

Conclusion:
There cannot be a living person in the attic making noise, therefore it must be a spirit.

Is this a valid argument?

What about the enthymeme? Could something other than a living person or a spirit be making the noises? What about animals, an open window or hole allowing wind to come in and move things around?

At this point our argument is not valid because when we look at the enthymeme our conclusion that it is a spirit does not automatically follow the premesis. At this point we must do more digging and investigation to either prove or disprove the enthymeme.

If we follow these steps we can separate what is mundane from what may be paranormal in nature. In this way we become more credible when we do present situations where our conclusion does not have a mundane reason since we can show that we followed logical steps to get to our conclusion.

http://www.dummies.com/…/co…/building-logical-arguments.html

A Brief History of Paranormal Photography

Courtesy of:  http://www.paranormal-encyclopedia.com

p1Perhaps the first “ghost photo” was taken in 1860 by W. Campbell in New Jersey. The photo was of an empty chair, but once the photo was developed, the image of a small boy was discovered. However Campbell was never able to replicate this event and it is not well remembered by historians of the art.

A year later in 1861, Boston engraver, William Mumler took his own photograph only to discover the image of a dead cousin in the photograph with him. A leading photographer, William Black subsequently investigated his photographs and declared them to be authentic in nature. Mumler was able to produce several more photographs with ghostly images of individuals, some recognizable as dead relatives and others as unknown people. One of Mumler’s most famous works is the photograph of Mary Todd Lincoln with the ghost of her husband Abraham Lincoln. Despite enjoying some popularity at the time, these photos are now generally considered fakes.
Mumler is widely credited with launching the popularity of spirit photography. Over the next few decades, many individuals chose to have their pictures taken in the hope of seeing some long lost relative.
It is important to note two things about early spirit photography:

1. Early cameras had very long exposure time—up to one minute—during which the subject had to remain perfectly still. It was quite common for “ghostly” images to appear when a subject moved or left the frame before the exposure was complete.

2. Spirit photographs and stereographs were sold as entertainment novelties in America in the late 19th Century. These were basically indistinguishable from “genuine” ghost photos, but were not intended to be considered real.
Following in Mumler’s footsteps, a number of other photographers sought to cash in on the spirit photography phenomenon, including Frederick Hudson (London) and E. Buguet (France). In 1891, Alfred Russell Wallace (one of the developers of the theory of evolution) voiced his opinion that spirit photography should be taken seriously.

p2That same year, one of the best-known ghost photos of all time was taken by Sybell Corbett at Combermere Abbey in Cheshire, England. The photo was of a library room, taken with an exposure of one hour. Although the room was apparently unoccupied the entire time, the resulting photo clearly showed a man sitting in a chair. The man was identified by a relative as Lord Combermere, who had died in an accident five days earlier.

In 1911, James Coates published a book called Photographing the Invisible, in which he examined numerous cases of spirit photography. This book helped propel paranormal photography into the mainstream and brought the attention of a number of researchers.

Another boost was given to spirit photography by respected English scientist Sir William Crookes, who conducted research into various paranormal phenomena and concluded that, among other things, spirit photography was a credible pursuit.

As the sophistication of spirit photography developed, so did the understanding of fraudulent tricks. Many early photographers were shown to have used double-exposure techniques and simple plate-swapping tricks.
Although early paranormal photography was mostly concerned with ghosts, there were other examples as well, such as the first UFO photograph in 1870 and the Cottingley Fairies in 1917 (later revealed as a hoax).

Notable ghost photographs of the 20th Century:
Freddy Jackson (1919).
The “Brown Lady”, Raynham Hall, Norfolk, England (1936).
Mabel Chimney’s mother, England (1959).
Greenwich Ghost, Queen’s House, Greenwich, London (1966).
Ghost in Burning Building,Shropshire, England (1995).

Source:

http://www.paranormal-encyclopedia.com/p/photography/history.html

Am Fear Liath Mor

bgm(THE BIG GREY MAN)

There are many tales of Bigfoot type creatures all over the world that have been reported for centuries. Today I would like to give a version from Scotland’s Cairngorm Mountains. Specifically the summit of Ben Macdui.

This creature is reported to be between 10 and 20 feet tall. He is covered in thick short gray hair or fur. His head and neck are disproportionately large in comparison to the rest of his body. His ears are pointed. He has very long legs with extra long toes that end in sharp talons. The Grey Man walks erect, not slumped over like some reports of other Bigfoot type creatures. He is often semi shrouded in mist and is reported to have some type of psychic power which he uses to send people into a blind panic.

Most encounters with the Grey Man are more of a physical sensation rather than visual. Sensations of this type include vast, dark blurs which obscure the sky, strange crunching noises, footsteps which pursue the unlucky visitor, an icy feeling in the atmosphere, and a humming or “singing” sound. People are also reportedly gripped by feelings of absolute despair, fear and blind panic.

The first report of Fear Liath is from the late 1800s and comes from a prominent and respected scientist and mountaineer Professor J. Norman Collie. In 1925 he stood to give a speech at the 27th Annual General Meeting of the Cairngorm Club. He related this experience he had 34 years earlier in 1891:

“I was returning from the cairn on the summit in a mist when I began to think I heard something else than merely the noise of my own footsteps. For every few steps I took I heard a crunch, and then another crunch as if someone was walking after me but taking steps three or four times the length of my own. I said to myself, “This is all nonsense”. I listened and heard it again, but could see nothing in the mist. As I walked on and the eerie crunch, crunch, sounded behind me, I was seized with terror and took to my heels, staggering blindly among the boulders for four or five miles nearly down to Rothiemurchus Forest. Whatever you make of it, I do not know, but there is something very queer about the top of Ben MacDhui and I will not go back there again by myself I know”

His comments drew a lot of attention and soon other reports from hikers and climbers who had been to afraid of ridicule to come forward before came pouring in.

Alastair Borkwiths superb 1939 book about climbing in Scotland,”Always a Little Further” relates the accounts of two climbers he knew who had experienced what by then was becoming known as Am Fear Liath Mor or Ferlas Mor, or the Big Grey Man of Ben Macdui, because of its appearance when briefly glimpsed by a few of those who encountered it.

The first was alone, heading over MacDhui for Corrour on a night when the snow had a hard, crisp crust through which his boots broke at every step. He reached the summit and it was while he was descending the slopes which fall towards the Larig that he heard footsteps behind him, footsteps not in the rhythm of his own, but occurring only once for every three steps he took.

“I felt a queer crinkly feeling in the back of my neck,” he told me, “but I said to myself, ‘This is silly, there must be a reason for it.’ So I stopped, and the footsteps stopped, and I sat down and tried to reason it out. I could see nothing. There was a moon about somewhere, but the mist was fairly thick. The only thing I could make of it was that when my boots broke through the snow-crust they made some sort of echo. But then every step should have echoed, and not just this regular one-in-three. I was scared stiff. I got up, and walked on, trying hard not to look behind me. I got down all right – the footsteps stopped a thousand feet above the Larig – and I didn’t run. But if anything had so much as said ‘Boo!’ behind me, I’d have been down to Corrour like a streak of lightning!”

The second man’s experience was roughly similar. He was on MacDhui, and alone. He heard footsteps. He was climbing in daylight, in summer; but so dense was the mist that he was working by compass, and visibility was almost as poor as it would have been at night. The footsteps he heard were made by something or someone trudging up the fine screes which decorate the upper parts of the mountain, a thing not extraordinary in itself, though the steps were only a few yards behind him, but exceedingly odd when the mist suddenly cleared and he could see no living thing on the mountain, at that point devoid of cover of any kind.

“Did the steps follow yours exactly?” I asked him. “No,” he said. “That was the funny thing. They didn’t. They were regular all right; but the queer thing was that they seemed to come once for every two and a half steps I took.” He thought it queerer still when I told him the other man’s story. You see, he was long-legged and six feet tall, and the first man was only five-feet-seven.

A second hand account exists that the mountaineer Henry Kellas, and his brother witnessed a giant figure on the mountain around the turn of the 20th Century, which caused them to flee down Corrie Etchachan. This has never been verified as Henry Kellas died on the Everest reconnaissance mission of 1921, before Norman Collie’s speech to the Cairngorm Club.

Sara Owens's photo.In 1945 a climber named Peter Densham reported hearing footsteps and fleeing the mountain in panic. Peter was part of the team that was responsible for aeroplane rescue in the Cairngorms during the war.

Another witness encounter involved a friend of the author Richard Frere, who wished to remain anonymous. He was camping on top of the mountain when he saw a large brown creature swaggering away down the mountainside in the moonlight. He estimated the size of the figure at around twenty feet tall. Author Wendy Wood heard footsteps following her in the vicinity of the mountain, after hearing Gaelic music, and there have been other reports of phenomena on the mountain, from ghostly music, feelings of panic to the discovery of huge footprints in the 1940’s.

There are reported photographs of the footprints which like a lot of other things concerning the Fear Liath are unusual. The footprints are reported to be 19 inches long and almost as wide.

Reports are not wholly confined to Ben MacDhui either. One day during the early 1920s, while coming down alone from Braeraich in Glen Eanaich. which is close to Ben MacDhui. experienced mountaineer Tom Crowley heard footsteps behind him. When he looked around, he was horrified to see a huge grey mist shrouded figure with pointed ears, long legs and finger-like talons on its feet. He did not stay for a closer look.

There are many theories as to what is happening on Ben Macdui. Some believe it is as simple as a mixture of Brocken Spectre ( a phenomenon occasionally seen in mountains where a hugely magnified climber’s shadow is cast on a lower level of cloud through a particular combination of atmospheric conditions.) and ‘Mountain Panic’ which is basically a blind panic in wild places. Either as a feeling of a powerful presence, or just an overwhelming sense of fear about nature or something that lies behind nature. Others believe there are one or more Bigfoot type creatures guarding the summits of the Cairngorm.

With so many reports from respected mountaineers and naturalists there is obviously something going on in the Scottish Mountain Range. What it is remains to be seen.

Sources:

http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/usscotfax/outdoors/greyman.html
http://thecryptozoologist.webs.com/apps/blog/show/16218919-am-fear-liath-mor-the-big-grey-man-of-scotland-s-ben-macdhui

The Nazca Lines

nasca1One thing that has always fascinated me are the Nazca Lines of Peru. Over 900 massive drawings spanning miles of the desert between the Nazca and Inca Valleys. Only fully visible and appreciated from the air, they are surrounded by mystery. Many people believe the lines were made to be seen by Alien visitors as landing sites. Others believe they were made as part of religious rites and now there is a theory that they were an elaborate map to finding water in the dry desert. Whatever their purpose they have lasted for centuries.

A Brief History of the Nazca People

The Nazca civilization flourished on the southern coast of Peru between 200 BCE and 600 CE. They settled in the Nazca and other surrounding valleys with their principal religious and urban sites being Cahuachi and Ventilla, respectively. The culture is noted for its distinctive pottery and textiles, and perhaps above all, for the geoglyphs made on the desert floor commonly known as Nazca lines. These can be simple lines, cleared spaces, or animals and figures traced in outline, and, as they cover several kilometres, they are best appreciated from the air.

The Nazca were contemporary with, and then outlasted, the Paracas culture and many Paracas sites have been nasca2discovered beneath Nazca settlements. Politically, the Nazca civilization has been described as a collection of chiefdoms occasionally acting in unison for mutual interest rather than as a single unified state. Or as M.E. Moseley puts it, “individuality – with cultural coherence, but without large-scale or integrated power – were Nazca hallmarks”. This interpretation is reinforced by the art and architecture of the Nazca which displays common themes across settlements but at the same time there is a general lack of uniform town planning or evidence of centralization. The maximum population of the Nazca has been estimated at 25,000 people, spread across small villages which were typically built on terraced hillsides near irrigated floodplains.

As they developed, the Nazca extended their influence into the Pisco Valley in the north and the Acari Valley in the south. In addition, as llamas, alpaca and vicuna do not survive in the coastal areas the use of their wool in Nazca textiles is evidence that trade was established with highland cultures. In addition, Nazca mummies have been discovered wearing headdresses made with the feathers of rainforest birds, once again, illustrating that goods were traded across great distances.

The Nazca Lines

In the Peruvian Desert, about 200 miles south of Lima, there lies a plain between the Inca and Nazca (sometimes also spelled Nasca) Valleys. Across this plain, in an area measuring 37 miles long and 1-mile wide, is an assortment of perfectly-straight lines, many running parallel, others intersecting, forming a grand geometric form. In and around the lines there are also trapezoidal zones, strange symbols, and pictures of birds and beasts all etched on a giant scale that can only be appreciated from the sky.

The figures come in two types: biomorphs and geoglyphs. The biomorphs are some 70 animal and plant figures that include a spider, hummingbird, monkey and a 1,000-foot-long pelican. The biomorphs are grouped together in one area on the plain. Some archaeologists believe they were constructed around 200 BC, about 500 years before the geoglyphs.

There are about 900 geoglyphs on the plain. Geoglyphs are geometric forms that include straight lines, triangles, spirals, circles and trapezoids. They are enormous in size. The longest straight line goes nine miles across the plain.

Discovery and Meaning

nacsa3Though discovered by Peruvian archaeologist Toribio Mejia Xesspe who spotted them while hiking through the surrounding foothills in 1927, the forms are so difficult to see from the ground that they were not widely known until the 1930’s when aircraft spotted them while surveying for water. The plain, crisscrossed, by these giant lines with many forming rectangles, has a striking resemblance to a modern airport. The Swiss writer, Erich Von Daniken, even suggested they had been built for the convenience of ancient visitors from space to land their ships. As tempting as it might be to subscribe to this theory, the desert floor at Nazca is soft earth and loose stone, not tarmac, and would not support the landing wheels of either an aircraft or a flying saucer.

So why are the lines there? The American explorer Paul Kosok, who made his first visit to Nazca in the 1940s, suggested that the lines were astronomically significant and that the plain acted as a giant observatory. He called them “the largest astronomy book in the world.” Gerald Hawkins, an American astronomer, tested this theory in 1968 by feeding the position of a sample of lines into a computer and having a program calculate how many lines coincided with an important astronomical event. Hawkins showed the number of lines that were astronomically significant were only about the same number that would be the result of pure chance. This makes it seem unlikely Nazca is an observatory.

Perhaps the best theory for the lines and symbols belongs to Tony Morrison, the English explorer. By researching the old folk ways of the people of the Andes mountains, Morrison discovered a tradition of wayside shrines linked by straight pathways. The faithful would move from shrine to shrine praying and meditating. Often the shrine was as simple as a small pile of stones. Morrison suggests that the lines at Nazca were similar in purpose and on a vast scale. The symbols may have also served as special enclosures for religious ceremonies.

Construction of the Lines

How were they built? The lines were apparently made by brushing away the reddish, iron oxide covered pebbles that compose the desert surface and uncovering the white colored sand underneath. In most places wind, rain and erosion would quickly remove all traces of this within a few years. At Nazca, though, the lines have been preserved because it is such a windless, dry and isolated location.

A writer by the name of Jim Woodman believes that the lines and figures could not have been made without somebody in the air to direct the operations.

“You simply can’t see anything from ground level,” states Woodman. “You can’t appreciate any of it from anywhere except from above. You can’t tell me the Nazca builders would have gone to the monumental efforts they did without ever being able to see it.”

Woodman has proposed that ancient hot-air balloons were used to get an aerial view of the construction. To prove his hypothesis, Woodman constructed a balloon using materials that would have been available to the Nazca people. He was able to conduct a successful flight, though it only lasted two minutes.

Most researchers are extremely skeptical of Woodman’s conclusions, however, as they find little evidence in the remains left by the Nazca of any balloon construction or operation.

It is more likely that the Nazca people used simple surveying techniques in their work. Straight lines can be made easily for great distances with simple tools. Two wooden stakes placed as a straight line would be used to guide the placement of a third stake along the line. One person would sight along the first two stakes and instruct a second person in the placement of the new stake. This could be repeated as many times as needed to make an almost perfectly-straight line miles in length. Evidence that the line makers used this technique exists in the form of the remains of a few stakes found at the ends of some of the lines.

The symbols were probably made by drawing the desired figure at some reasonable size, then using a grid system to divide it up. The symbol could then be redrawn at full scale by recreating the grid on the ground and working on each individual square one at a time.

Related to Water?

Recently two researchers, David Johnson and Steve Mabee, have advanced a theory that the geoglyphs may be related to water. The Nazca plain is one of the driest places on Earth, getting less than one inch of rain a year. Johnson, while looking for sources of water in the region, noticed that ancient aqueducts, called puquios, seemed to be connected with some of the lines. Johnson thinks that the shapes may be a giant map of the underground water sources traced on the land. Mabee is working to gather evidence that might confirm this theory.

Other scientists are more skeptical, but admit that in a region where finding water was vital to survival, there might well be some connection between the ceremonial purpose of the lines and water. Johan Reinhard, a cultural anthropologist with the National Geographic Society, found that villagers in Bolivia walk along a straight pathway to shrines while praying and dancing for rain. Something similar may have been done at the ancient Nazca lines.

Sources:

www.ancient.eu/Nazca_Civilization

www.unmuseum.org/nazca.htm

The Mysterious Ancient Etruscan Underground Pyramids Discovered in Italy

etruWhen archaeologists discovered the first ever Etruscan pyramid-like buildings under a city in Italy, they were at a loss to explain the mysterious structures.

Three years ago a team of U.S. and Italian archaeologists began excavations under a wine cellar in Orvieto, Italy, after identifying stairs carved into a wall as Etruscan style. As they dug through mid-20th century and medieval walls and floors, they encountered tunnels and caves. These large chamber walls were carved to slope up in a pyramidal shape.
Popular Archaeology reports on the initial reactions of Prof. David B. George of St. Anselm College and Claudio Bizzarri, co-director of PAAO (Parco Archeologico Ambientale dell’Orvietano) and colleagues, “We discovered it three summers ago and still have no idea what it is. We do know what it is not. It is not a quarry; its walls are too well dressed. It is not a well or cistern; its walls have no evidence of hydraulic treatments.”

The Etruscans created and shaped many subterranean paths and cave chambers, but until this discovery none had ever been found that were in such a distinctive form, with a narrow apex that slopes and widens into a square base.

Etruscans are largely an historical enigma, emerging as a sophisticated culture around 900 BC in central Italy, and bringing art, fine metalworking, commerce, and writing to Europe and the Mediterranean. However, the society did not survive, and they were blended into the Roman empire, leaving few clues as to their culture.

Dubbing the underground pyramids “cavitá” (Italian for ‘hole’ or ‘hollow’), archaeologists have thus far managed to reach about 15 meters (49 feet) down. Much of the site had been intentionally backfilled in ages past for reasons unknown. Clearing the fill material has revealed many artifacts. According to Popular Archaeology, David B. George and colleagues have described the finds; “We know that the site was sealed toward the end of the 5th century BCE. It appears to have been a single event. Of great significance is the number of Etruscan language inscriptions that we have recovered – over a hundred and fifty. We are also finding an interesting array of architectural/decorative terra cotta.”

Excavations on the cavitá and related sites have produced ceramic materials, large basins, Attic red figure pottery, and more. In all, Claudio Bizzarri believes at least five similar pyramids exist beneath the city.
The mystery of the Etruscan pyramids continues to perplex researchers, with guesses as to their purpose including religious structures, or tombs. Bizzarri told Discovery News, “Most likely, the answer waits at the bottom. The problem is we don’t really know how much we have to dig to get down there.”

Source:

http://www.ancient-origins.net/

Shunka Warak’in – “Ringdokus”

shuThe Shunka Warak’in traces back to the Ioway Indians. It is a legendary creature said to resemble a cross between a large wolf and a hyena with a large head, sloped back, very dark fur but the cries of a human.It is pronounced shoon-kah wah-ray-keen. The name translates to “carries off dogs” because it was said to sneak into the Ioway camps at night to carry off and kill the dogs.

The first modern reporting of something that resembled this creature was in the 1880’s by Israel Hutchins , a prominent Montana rancher with a spread near Ennis, Montanta. Israel’s grandson, zoologist Ross Hutchins, described his grandfather’s encounter with the creature in his book “Trails to Nature’s Mysteries: The Life Of A Working Naturalist” published in 1977. He writes:

“One winter morning my grandfather was aroused by the barking of the dogs. He discovered that a wolflike beast of dark color was chasing my grandmother’s geese. He fired his gun at the animal but missed. It ran off down the river, but several mornings later it was seen again at about dawn.”

Other homesteaders and ranchers in the area also saw the creature. Hutchins recorded the description in his book as :

“Those who got a good look at the beast describe it as being nearly black and having high shoulders and a back that sloped downward like a hyena.”

Ross Hutchins finishes his grandfather’s account with this:

“Then one morning in late January, my grandfather was alerted by the dogs, and this time he was able to kill it. Just what the animal was is still an open question. After being killed, it was donated to a man named [Joseph] Sherwood who kept a combination grocery and museum at Henry Lake in Idaho. It was mounted and displayed there for many years. He called it “Ringdocus.”

The youngest Hutchins, who had a Ph.D. in zoology, examined the beast and had no idea what the animal was, he speculated that it may have been a hyena that had escaped from a circus; however he did note that the nearest circus was hundreds of miles away. Over many years the Hutchins story was all but forgotten, that is until cryptozoologist Mark A. Hall uncovered the story after of a creature or group of creatures resembling the Shunka Warak’in were sighted in Nebraska, Iowa, Alberta and Illinois. Mr. Hall also uncovered that a photograph of the a mounted hyena like animal, the so called “Ringdocus” originally shot by Ross Hutchins grandfather, existed, however its whereabouts remain unknown.

In 1995, following the discovery by Mark A. Hall, Lance Foster, an Ioway Indian, told renowned cryptozoologist Loren Coleman of a creature he and his tribe called the Shunka Warak’in that looked something like a hyena and cried like a person when it was killed. Foster, who heard of the mounted “Ringdocus” carcass speculated that it may be an example of Shunka Warak’in, which he knew from his own experiences and those of relatives in Montana and Idaho.

In December 2005 a strange wolf like animal began killing livestock in the McCone, Garfield and Dawson counties of Montana. By October of 2006 the animal, now known as “The Creature of McCone County,” had killed more than 120 various forms of livestock and appeared in several news articles including one in the May 2006 issue of USA Today. On November 2, 2006 the Montana Wildlife Service shot and killed a creature that may have been responsible for these killings.

Originally thought to be a wolf, the animal that was shot showed characteristics that were not common with any wolf species known in the area. The animal that was killed appeared to have orange, red and yellow fur, where as wolves known to live in the area are of a grey, black and brown color. Muscle tissue was sent to the University of California Los Angeles where DNA samples were taken in an attempt to compare it to the Northern Rockies wolf. The carcass was sent to the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon for genetic study, however no record of the results of these studies could be found at this time.

One theory suggests that the Shunka Warak’in may be a form of prehistoric mammal called the Borophagus, an ancient hyena like canine known to inhabit North America more than 13 ,000 years ago during the Pleistocene era. Another theory, which could only explain the 2005 to 2006 encounters and not the 1880’s ones , is that the creature shot in Montana was genetically altered and raised in captivity only to later escape it’s captors.

In 2007 , something remarkable happened. After reading a story about the “Ringdorcus” another grandson of Isreal Hutchins, Jack Kirby, managed to track down the exhibit to the Idaho Museum of Natural History in Pocatello where it had been on display unbeknownst to everyone in the cryptozoology community. Taking the specimen on loan, Kirby reported measurements of 48 inches from snout to rear (not including the tail) and 28 inches high at the shoulder. It is nearly black in color, just as Hutchins had originally described. Even stranger, the thing has faint impressions of stripes on its flanks making it a true mystery.

It is not easily identifiable as any known dog, hyena or wolf. So what is it? There are calls for DNA testing on the specimen, however this is where it gets a bit sticky. The creature is on loan to the museum where it currently resides, so the museum has no legal rights to order DNA testing. The museum that actually owns the creature is resistant to having the testing done, allegedly to retain the mystery surrounding it. For now, the mystery remains…………

Sources:

http://cryptomundo.com/cryptozoo-news/dna-sw/
http://lyleblackburn.com/blog/mystery-of-shunka-warakin/
http://www.unknownexplorers.com/shunkawarakin.php

What is Chakra?

he6I have been doing a lot of research lately on the healing and metaphysical properties of crystals. One word that I come across a lot is Chakra. Now I know most of us who are beginners in crystal lore and other metaphysical areas may have a vague idea of what a Chakra is but I wanted a little bit more in depth knowledge.

Here is the Merriam Webster Definition:
Definition of CHAKRA
Noun chak·ra \ˈchä-krə ˈshä-, ˈchə-\
any of several points of physical or spiritual energy in the human body according to yoga philosophy

 

Origin of CHAKRA
Sanskrit cakra, literally, wheel — more at wheel

I came across several different explanations in my research. Some vary slightly but most agree on the main points. This was the most basic and straight forward explanation that I found.

What is a CHAKRA?
A chakra — the Sanskrit word for “wheel” — represents a focus or concentration of energy in the body. There are seven different chakras, corresponding with seven locations in, on and around the body. Each of these Chakra centers governs a unique emotional and spiritual state.

CHAKRA History
The chakra system was first introduced in the eighth century as a way to understand the subtle body or energy body — as separate from a physical practice or system. Understanding that an energy center in balance is a connection of mind, body and spirit is at the forefront of many healing and faith traditions. While sources vary about the number of chakras, there are seven main chakras that many traditions recognize.
Here is a brief synopsis of the 7 main Chakras.

ROOT CHAKRA

The root chakra, known as the Muladhara in sanskrit, helps you establish a life-nourishing bond with the natural world, while minimizing the de-humanizing elements of the often frantic undergrounded pace of modern life.

Location: Base of spine
Sanskrit Name: Muladhara
Color: Red
# of Petals: 4
Element: Earth
Mantra: Lam
Mind: intuition
Emotion: confidence
Spirit: survival

SACRAL CHAKRA

The sacral chakra, known as the Swadhisthana in sanskrit, helps awaken healthy, natural sensual desire while minimizing reliance on artificial substitutes for pleasure.

Location: abdomen
Sanskrit Name: Swadhisthana
Color: orange
# of Petals: 6
Element: Water
Mantra: Vam
Mind: creativity
Emotion: enthusiasm
Spirit: passion

SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA

The solar plexus chakra, known as the Manipura in sanskrit, helps invigorate healthy metabolism, while minimizing the stagnating effects of couch potato syndrome.

Location: midway between navel and base of sternum
Sanskrit Name: Manipura
Color: yellow
# of Petals: 10
Element: Fire
Mantra: Ram
Mind: personal power
Emotion: expansiveness
Spirit: growth

HEART CHAKRA

The heart chakra, known as the Anahata in sanskrit, helps activate your emotional center to foster energy circulation, the expression of love and a sense of empathy, while dispelling callousness and anger.

Location: center of the chest
Sanskrit Name: Anahata
Color: Green
# of Petals: 12
Element: Air
Mantra: Yam
Mind: passion/compassion
Emotion: love of self as well as others
Spirit: devotion

THROAT CHAKRA

The throat chakra, known as the Vishuddha in sanskrit, inspires your communicative nature and fosters expression and a sense of calm clarity, while minimizing self-consciousness and timidity.

Location: throat/base of the neck
Sanskrit Name: Vishuddha
Color: blue
# of Petals: 16
Element: Sound (music)
Mantra: Ham
Mind: confidence
Emotion: independence
Spirit: sense of security

THIRD EYE CHAKRA

The third eye chakra, known as the Ajna in sanskrit, inspires your visionary process and fosters understanding, while minimizing the cloudiness of illusion and confusion.

Location: forehead/between the eyebrows
Sanskrit Name: Ajna
Color: indigo blue
# of Petals: 2
Element: light
Mantra: Om or Sham
Mind: visual consciousness
Emotion: clarity of intuition
Spirit: insight

CROWN CHAKRA

The crown chakra, known as the Sahasrara in sanskrit, will inspire you to liberate your spirit and place it on the path to transcendence, while minimizing the influence of life’s roadblocks. Free yourself to reach your highest potential and state of being.

Location: top of head
Sanskrit Name: Sahasrara
Color: violet/white or full spectrum (rainbow)
# of Petals: 1000+
Element: thought
Mantra: the dissipating silence after Om
Mind: free thought
Emotion: release
Spirit: set free

www.mindbodygreen.com