I was awakened to the reality of the paranormal at the age of 12 while at a friend’s home. What happened that one night back in 1983 kept me awake for three days. After that incident I was left with many questions. My determination to find answers to what had happened that night became an obsession that would lead me down a path into investigating the paranormal. I found myself consumed by these strange anomalies that were captured on video, audio and photographs, and the strange feelings and sensations I would have from walking into old buildings or a person’s home. For nearly 30 years, I have dedicated myself to finding these answers by using a scientific approach to fully understand and bring explanations to those who seek help and who are experiencing themselves the same things I experienced some 30 years ago. I can say that out of all of the cases I have investigated over the years as a paranormal investigator, 99% can be explained as a product of environment. There is, however, that 1% that can only be considered Beyond The Grave.
Edinburgh Vaults (aka South Bridge Vaults) are believed to be the one of the most haunted places in the world. As well as a home to tradesmen and taverns in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the vaults were also believed to be used by serial killers Burke and Hare, who stored the bodies of their victims here…
As Edinburgh grew larger during the late 1800’s, two large bridges were created to connect Edinburgh Castle to the lands to the north and the south of the city. The city’s South Bridge was a monumental yet fundamentally flawed, endeavor to span Cowgate Ravine, and connect the old town to the newer section of Edinburgh.
The building of south bridge commenced in 1785 and when finished consisted of 19 arches spanning a total of 1,000 feet wide.
By the 19th Century the city was booming financially. Tradesmen and merchants would set up shop along the bridge in order to target the increase in traffic over the bridge. Below the top level of the bridge were the tradesmen workshops, and below those were living quarters for the people that worked there. In total, there were around 120 rooms.
The construction of the bridge was rushed and as a result the surface wasn’t sealed correctly. This caused floods to occur regularly, which drove all the tradesmen out of the area. As the industrial revolution took hold of Britain, Edinburgh’s South Bridge had developed into a slum, with the city’s poor taking up refuge here. The conditions were deplorable, but the poor people of Edinburgh had little choice. It quick became Edinburgh’s red-light district. Prostitution, murder and rape were rife, as disease and crime plagued the vaults.
There have been countless paranormal experiences in the vaults. One of the most frequent experiences is the cold gusts of air that surprise guests even on the very low levels of the vaults. Needless to say, there are no windows or open doors down here.
Another common experience is hearing voices, sometimes whispering in your ear. People often see and sense a disembodied presence.
Perhaps the most menacing ghosts of Edinburgh Vaults is Mr. Boots. He’s been described as an unkempt man who wears high boots (hence the name). Mr. Boots likes to lurk at the back of the vaults throwing rocks as unsuspecting visitors, and has been known to push people over. People have heard his high boots walking on the cobbles, and his voice echoing from a chamber in the distance.
Another ghost who likes to interact with visitors is Jack. If you’re in the wine vault he may just grab your hand.
I think it’s time to travel far north to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to Marquette Michigan’s Old City Orphanage Formerly known as the Holy Cross Orphanage.
First and foremost, let it be known that anyone caught within the Holy Cross Orphanage in Marquette will be arrested and charged to the fullest extent of the law. It’s illegal, and most of all dangerous. The building has been neglected for a long period of time. It is presently for sale and for those interested may wish to contact the Marquette Chamber of Commerce and inquire with the Lake Superior Community Partnership.
Located at the corner of Altamont and Fisher Street, looms a foreboding six story building that stands with half of its windows boarded up and an over-growth of trees and wild foliage that seems to be melding with the dilapidated structure.
This building is presently referred as to the ‘Old City Orphanage’, formerly known as the ‘Holy Cross Orphanage’, run by French Catholic nuns. The building allegedly has a sinister past involving sinful deeds by the sisterhood operated orphanage. This alleged dubious checked past also comes with a paranormal and phenomena present.
Some neighboring residents adjacent to the orphanage claim that wayward and orphaned children were beaten, and even killed in the orphanage at the hands of the strict and stringent nuns.
As one story has it, a little child that was lodged at the Holy Cross Orphanage once wandered off to play in the snow during one of Marquette Michigan infamous winter blizzard and got pneumonia. The little girl died shortly there after her affliction of pneumonia. As a lesson to the elementary student body, the nuns held a “private” funeral in the front lobby, attended only by the students, staff and nuns, where the remains were displayed in full view of the children of what the results are for their wrongful doings.
And as a result of this act, it is said by some that the sounds of children sobbing can be heard outside on the grand staircase that leads to the improvised funeral parlor in the lobby.
An “accident’ death by drowning is yet another story about the Holy Cross Orphanage. Supposedly the nuns hide the body in the basement of the orphanage from the suspicious eyes of the children and staff. Some of Marquette’s more daring “explorers” make claims of a strange glowing orb of green light surrounding the medical like table where the boys body was waywardly laid to rest.
There are many other accounts of light being seen in the windows by the local Marquette residents and curiosity site-seekers. A particular area of question would be a window fitted with a fire escape that leads down to the lobby’s front porch. The story goes that the children would use this fire escape to get out on the roof on hot summer nights or risky play and the nuns would ambush the children as they retreated inside from their fun and frolics.
Many people have asked me about Electromagnetic Field (EMF) detectors and how do they work and which ones are the best ones to use for paranormal investigating.
Like most things you really need to use as many meters as you can and make a determination as to which one you personally prefer. In our group we have a nice variety of meters to choose from, KII, Cell sensor, Trifield natural, digital, ELF zone, Osun and the Mel-8704. Since there is only one of these that was designed for paranormal investigation that is the one we will talk about, and that is the Mel-8704.
I recently had an email exchange with Gary from Professional Measurement. He was gracious enough to answer a few questions on the Mel meter and here is what we discussed:
Currently there are 10 different models of the Mel-8704, 5 have a green display and 5 have the red display. There are also differences as to what each can do, we will discuss some of the most popular features here.
Q – The Mel meter is listed as a 2 axis meter, what does this mean and what does it measure?
A – The Mel-8704-2X Utilizes to independent coils for formation of the dual axis circuit. One circuit is calibrated to cover 30Hz -300Hz (ELF) range and the other goes down to 20Hz. The purpose of this is to try and identify if a “Spirit” can manipulate and communicate easier using the lower 20 Hz (ULF) range. It’s just a concept that I came up with to try and prove if “Spirit” vibration can be more easily discerned at other range. The cool part is that both can be used simultaneously and a cross comparison can be made by the observer / Investigator.
Q – What is the effective range of the Mel meter?
A – As with all EMF meters, the Mel meter detection distance depends on the location and strength of the radiation source.
Q – The meters description mentions a “Burst” mode, what is that?
A – The Burst/FAST mode has always been a part of the Mel features. Basically, we just “escape” out of the temperature measurement mode and then allocate 100% of the microprocessors scan time to update the EMF readings. I always tell investigators to use the meter in this mode. Then, if they feel a temp change, switch over to the dual readout mode….it’s easy to do and only takes 3 seconds to do. The display update in the Burst/FAST mode which is around 10X/second is excellent for sweeping a room to uncover EMF sources or for detecting a fast EMF spike or dynamic change while using the Mel record mode.
Q – What is the effective range on the thermal mode?
A – The Mel uses a precision “K” type of thermocouple probe. The bead reads Ambient (air temp) temperature only. As such, it can only sense a temperature change that comes in contact with the beaded tip part of the probe.
Q – The newest meter has a vibration and touch detection capabilities. It is said in your documentation that this is accomplished via an accelerometer. Is this device a single axis of, 2 or 3 axes? Also, does this device utilize a piezoelectric electric effect (microscopic crystal structure) or capacitance?
A – The Mel-8704R-Vibe utilizes a Crystal based piezo accelerometer. We can calibrate this device to detect very, very small vibrations.
One of the newer models is a combination Mel meter and KII with an audible alarm. I have one but it is sensitive. I use it without the K2 on.
For more information on the Mel meters visit the Professional Measurement website listed under the equipment links on the Left.
The Bermuda Triangle…it conjures up thoughts of what else…Bermuda. Sandy clean beaches, beautiful crystal clear water, fruity drinks with tiny umbrellas in them, tropical breeze blowing gently…what??? That’s not what you think of when you hear the words Bermuda Triangle??? So let me guess, you must think of strange vortexes that swallow up planes and ships with all occupants on board never to be heard from again. Well I wouldn’t and couldn’t blame you if in fact that is what you think about when those words are mentioned, but I bet you never thought of Alaska. Oh yeah you read that right, there is supposedly a Bermuda Triangle in Alaska, so for all purposes it is the Alaskan Triangle and has been doing the same type of damage for years…it just doesn’t get as much notoriety as its tropical counterpart.
So the Alaskan Triangle stretches well over hundreds of miles between the towns of Anchorage, Barrow & Juneau. It came to its most prominence over 20 years ago, 1972 to be exact, with the disappearance of a plane carrying prominent politicians House Majority Leader Hale Boggs and Representative Nick Begich along with the experience bush pilot. They searched for the 3 men for over 35 days and ended up calling off the search and declaring all men deceased. No trace ounce of evidence of them or the plane has ever been found and I don’t think there ever will be. Now some say that the infamous head of the FBI J. Edgar Hoover was in fact responsible for covering leads to the missing men because of his hatred and constant battles with Boggs in the political arena. Now this type of political espionage and secret plots surrounds Washington more than any other government in this entire world.
There have been over thousands of recorded missing people in the Alaskan Triangle some either hiking or some flying they have all disappeared without a trace. Now it could easily be chalked up to the harsh climate of the Alaskan wilderness and it multitudes of wild animals willing to eat any potential human who gets lost on their way and the winds and weather in the mountains could easily down a plane without ever trying. So yes, it is quite possible to easily explain the rational to all these people going missing, but to find no trace of any plane or person in all the thousands if missing people cases associated in the area of the Alaskan Triangle, now that seems a bit odd to me. With the technology of today and we can find a single piece of material associated to a missing person leaves me a bit puzzled. Again, though like its counterpart in Bermuda no traces of the ships, planes or people have been either so it isn’t that farfetched after all I guess.
Could the discovery of a Huge Underground Pyramid in Alaska’s mysterious Bermuda Triangle region be the cause of thousands of missing people? On May 22 1992 Chinese Set Off Their Biggest Nuclear Explosion weapons testing program. A huge underground pyramid was identified during the ,Chinese underground test it was much larger than the Great Pyramid at Giza.
There are huge number of disappearances in Alaska, We are trying to figure out why, people are being abducted and not returned. Because so many go missing in Alaska, part of the wilderness has been called the Bermuda Triangle. Thousands of people go missing each year but is there really a mystery here?
According to their folk-lore there exists a man, known as Kushtaka who can shape-shift to an otter and has the ability to lure innocent people and trap them. This theory surrounded by the amount of missing persons list that the state puts up is enough to confirm and verify the truth about Alaska’s Bermuda Triangle. The region’s statistical data of 2,883 missing persons is adequate proof about the insolvability of Alaska’s Bermuda Triangle. The state ranks 50th among the nation’s population count.
Despite its supposedly ancient provenance, evidence of the black pyramid’s existence didn’t appear until 26 July 2012, when reporter and cattle mutilation expert Linda Moulton Howe announced its discovery on late night conspiracy radio talk show Coast to Coast AM. That evening, Moulton Howe broadcast a pre-recorded interview with Doug Mutschler, “a retired U.S. Army Counterintelligence Warrant Officer,” who provided many of the initial “facts” (those are sarcastic quotes) about the pyramid, and first alleged the site’s current connection with the U.S. military.
According to Mutschler, geologists had used the detonation to undertake a seismographic study of the earth’s crust, only to find “a pyramid structure larger than Cheops” underground, somewhere west of Mt. McKinley. Mutschler recalls that the local NBC affiliate ran a story announcing the structure’s discovery about 6 months after the detonation, but when Mutschler attempted to follow up with the station to get a copy of the story (evidently not as part of his duties at Fort Richardson) they denied that the story had ever run, and asserted that they certainly didn’t have a copy to provide. Mutschler then called relatives to track down copies of the story that had run on other stations, but apparently none had: the discovery only appeared on Anchorage’s Channel 13 (in case you need to add some numerological significance to the whole thing).
Douglas A. Mutschler gives proof of who he was and tells there is a Ancient Pyramid in Alaska bigger than the biggest one in Egypt. Located between Nome and Mt. McKinley. The Alaskan underground pyramid is HOT and HUMMING, an active underground base, run by who or for what reason? These are Questions that we are asking and want answers to!
From: Douglas A. Mutschler Subject: To Linda Moulton Howe, Pyramid under Alaska? Date: June 22, 2012 To: email@example.com My name is Douglas A. Mutschler CW2, USA (ret) and during my service tour in Alaska I was informed of a pyramid under the land in Alaska. There is other information concerning this that came to my attention after it was reported to us in 1992. I have tried to pass this info to others but have not heard any response to my information. I assure you I am telling you the truth about this and I think that this is being kept quiet by our government as the news was buried the very next day after it was brought to my attention. If you can help me get this info out to you please call me so I can talk to you about this. My phone number ——-. The whole story is pretty interesting and this can be verified with your contacts I’m assured of that, as I do not have them and came up with zero from the news people there. I’ll tell you the whole story if you are interested. I’ve only contacted a couple of people but have not heard back from any of them. I’m wondering if my emails are getting through to them or is this an old story that has no interest to news reporters?
Thank you for your time in this matter. Douglas A. Mutschler
So is there in fact a pyramid under Alaska? Is there truly a Alaska Triangle wrecking havoc in this world making people and planes disappear without a trace?
The discovery of an ancient astrological observatory in Brazil lends support to the theory that the Amazon rainforest was once home to advanced cultures and large sedentary populations of people. Besides the well-known empires of the Inca and their predecessors, millions of people once lived in the forests and shaped the environment to suit their own needs.
A grouping of granite blocks along a grassy Amazon hilltop may be the vestiges of a centuries-old astronomical observatory — a find that archaeologists say shows early rainforest inhabitants were more sophisticated than previously believed.
The 127 blocks, some as high as 9 feet (2.75 meters) tall, are spaced at regular intervals around the hill, like a crown 100 feet (30 meters) in diameter.
On the shortest day of the year — Dec. 21 — the shadow of one of the blocks disappears when the sun is directly above it.
“It is this block’s alignment with the winter solstice that leads us to believe the site was once an astronomical observatory,” said Mariana Petry Cabral, an archaeologist at the Amapa State Scientific and Technical Research Institute. “We may be also looking at the remnants of a sophisticated culture.”
Anthropologists have long known that local indigenous populations were acute observers of the stars and sun. But the discovery of a physical structure that appears to incorporate this knowledge suggests pre-Columbian Indians in the Amazon rainforest may have been more sophisticated than previously suspected. “Only a society with a complex culture could have built such a monument,” archaeologist Mariana Petry Cabral, of the Amapa Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (IEPA), told O Globo newspaper in Brazil. “Cabral said the site resembles a temple which could have been used as an observatory, because the blocks are positioned to mark the winter solstice. In December, the path of the sun allows rays to pass through a hole in one of the blocks, possibly to calculate agricultural activity and religious rituals.” The finding suggests that ancient Amazonians has knowledge of astronomy and lends support to the idea that the once Amazon supported advanced civilizations.
“Transforming this kind of knowledge into a monument; the transformation of something ephemeral into something concrete, could indicate the existence of a larger population and of a more complex social organization,” Cabral said.
May be 2,000 years old Cabral has been studying the site, near the village of Calcoene, just north of the equator in Amapa state in far northern Brazil, since last year. She believes it was once inhabited by the ancestors of the Palikur Indians, and while the blocks have not yet been submitted to carbon dating, she says pottery shards near the site indicate they predate Columbus’ voyages and may be much older — as much as 2,000 years old.
Last month, archaeologists working on a hillside north of Lima, Peru, announced the discovery of the oldest astronomical observatory in the Western Hemisphere — giant stone carvings, apparently 4,200 years old, that align with sunrise and sunset on Dec. 21. While the Incas, Mayans and Aztecs built large cities and huge rock structures, pre-Columbian Amazon societies built smaller settlements of wood and clay that quickly deteriorated in the hot, humid Amazon climate, disappearing centuries ago, archaeologists say.
Farmers and fishermen in the region around the Amazon site have long known about it, and the local press has dubbed it the “tropical Stonehenge.” Archaeologists got involved last year after geographers and geologists did a socio-economic survey of the area, by foot and helicopter, and noticed “the unique circular structure on top of the hill,” Cabral said.
Valuable for studying Amazon history Scientists not involved in the discovery said it could prove valuable to understanding pre-Columbian societies in the Amazon.
“No one has ever described something like this before. This is an extremely novel find — a one-of-a-kind type of thing,” said Michael Heckenberger of the University of Florida’s Department of Anthropology.
He said that while carbon dating and further excavation must be carried out, the find adds to a growing body of thought among archaeologists that prehistory in the Amazon region was more varied than had been believed.
“Given that astronomical objects, stars, constellations, etc., have a major importance in much of Amazonian mythology and cosmology, it does not in any way surprise me that such an observatory exists,” said Richard Callaghan, a professor of geography, anthropology and archaeology at the University of Calgary.
Brazilian archaeologists will return in August, when the rainy season ends, to carry out carbon dating and further excavations.
“The traditional image is that some time thousands of years ago small groups of tropical forest horticulturists arrived in the area and they never changed — (that) what we see today is just like it was 3,000 years ago,” Heckenberger said. “This is one more thing that suggests that through the past thousands of years, societies have changed quite a lot.”
Rongorongo is a system of glyphs discovered in the 19th century on Easter Island that appears to be writing or proto-writing. It cannot be read despite numerous attempts at decipherment. Although some calendrical and what might prove to be genealogical information has been identified, not even these glyphs can actually be read. If Rongorongo does prove to be writing, it could be one of as few as three or four independent inventions of writing in human history.
Two dozen wooden objects bearing Rongorongo inscriptions, some heavily weathered, burned, or otherwise damaged, were collected in the late 19th century and are now scattered in museums and private collections. None remain on Easter Island. The objects are mostly tablets shaped from irregular pieces of wood, sometimes driftwood, but include a chieftain’s staff, a bird-man statuette, and two reimiro ornaments. There are also a few petroglyphs which may include short Rongorongo inscriptions. Oral history suggests that only a small elite was ever literate and that the tablets were sacred.
Authentic Rongorongo texts are written in alternating directions, a system called reverse boustrophedon. In a third of the tablets, the lines of text are inscribed in shallow fluting carved into the wood. The glyphs themselves are outlines of human, animal, plant, artifact and geometric forms. Many of the human and animal figures have characteristic protuberances on each side of the head, possibly representing ears or eyes.
Individual texts are conventionally known by a single uppercase letter and a name, such as Tablet C, the Mamari Tablet. The somewhat variable names may be descriptive or indicate where the object is kept, as in the Oar, the Snuffbox, the Small Santiago Tablet, and the Santiago Staff.
Etymology and variant names
Rongorongo is the modern name for the inscriptions. In the Rapa Nui language it means “to recite, to declaim, to chant out”.
The original name—or perhaps description—of the script is said to have been kohau motu mo Rongorongo, “lines incised for chanting out”, shortened to kohau rongorongo or “lines [for] chanting out”. There are also said to have been more specific names for the texts based on their topic. For example, the kohau ta‘u (“lines of years”) were annals, the kohau îka (“lines of fishes”) were lists of persons killed in war (îka “fish” was homophonous with or used figuratively for “war casualty”), and the kohau ranga “lines of fugitives” were lists of war refugees.
Some authors have understood the ta‘u in kohau ta‘u to refer to a separate form of writing distinct from Rongorongo. Barthel recorded that, “The Islanders had another writing (the so-called ‘ta‘u script’) which recorded their annals and other secular matters, but this has disappeared.” However, Fischer writes that “the ta‘u was originally a type of rongorongo inscription. In the 1880s, a group of elders invented a derivative ‘script’ [also] called ta‘u with which to decorate carvings in order to increase their trading value. It is a primitive imitation of rongorongo.” An alleged third script, the mama or va‘eva‘e described in some mid-twentieth-century publications, was “an early twentieth-century geometric [decorative] invention”.
Form and construction
The forms of the glyphs are standardized contours of living organisms and geometric designs about one centimeter high. The wooden tablets are irregular in shape and, in many instances, fluted (tablets B, E, G, H, O, Q, and possibly T), with the glyphs carved in shallow channels running the length of the tablets, as can be seen in the image of tablet G at right. It is thought that irregular and often blemished pieces of wood were used in their entirety rather than squared off due to the scarcity of wood on the island.
Except for a few possible glyphs cut in stone. all surviving texts are inscribed in wood. According to tradition, the tablets were made of toromiro wood. However, Orliac (2005) examined seven objects (tablets B, C, G, H, K, Q, and reimiro L) with stereo optical and scanning electron microscopes and determined that all were instead made from Pacific rosewood; the same identification had been made for tablet M in 1934. This 15-meter tree, known as “Pacific rosewood” for its color and called mako‘i in Rapanui, is used for sacred groves and carvings throughout eastern Polynesia and was evidently brought to Easter Island by the first settlers. However, not all the wood was native: Orliac (2007) established that tablets N, P, and S were made of South African Yellowwood and therefore that the wood had arrived with Western contact. Fischer describes P as “a damaged and reshaped European or American oar”, as are A (which is European ash, and V; notes that wood from the wreck of a Western boat was said to have been used for many tablets; and that both P and S had been recycled as planking for a Rapanui driftwood canoe, suggesting that by that time the tablets had little value to the islanders as texts. Several texts, including O, are carved on gnarled driftwood. The fact that the islanders were reduced to inscribing driftwood, and were regardless extremely economical in their use of wood, may have had consequences for the structure of the script, such as the abundance of ligatures and potentially a telegraphic style of writing that would complicate textual analysis.
Oral tradition holds that, because of the great value of wood, only expert scribes used it, while pupils wrote on banana leaves. German ethnologist Thomas Barthel believed that carving on wood was a secondary development in the evolution of the script based on an earlier stage of incising banana leaves or the sheaths of the banana trunk with a bone stylus, and that the medium of leaves was retained not only for lessons but to plan and compose the texts of the wooden tablets. He found experimentally that the glyphs were quite visible on banana leaves due to the sap that emerged from the cuts and dried on the surface. However, when the leaves themselves dried they became brittle and would not have survived for long.
Barthel speculated that the banana leaf might even have served as a prototype for the tablets, with the fluted surface of the tablets an emulation of the veined structure of a leaf. Practical experiments with the material available on [Easter Island] have proved that the above-mentioned parts of the banana tree are not only an ideal writing material, but that in particular a direct correspondence exists between the height of the lines of writing and the distance between the veins on the leaves and stems of the banana tree. The classical inscriptions can be arranged in two groups according to the height of the lines (10–12 mm vs. 15 mm); this corresponds to the natural disposition of the veins on the banana stem (on average 10 mm in the lower part of a medium-sized tree) or on the banana leaf (maximum 15mm).
Direction of writing
Rongorongo glyphs were written in reverse boustrophedon, left to right and bottom to top. That is, the reader begins at the bottom left-hand corner of a tablet, reads a line from left to right, then rotates the tablet 180 degrees to continue on the next line. When reading one line, the lines above and below it would appear upside down, as can be seen in the image at left.
However, the writing continues onto the second side of a tablet at the point where it finishes off the first, so if the first side has an odd number of lines, as is the case with tablets K, N, P, and Q, the second will start at the upper left-hand corner, and the direction of writing shifts to top to bottom.
Larger tablets and staves may have been read without turning, if the reader were able to read upside-down.
According to oral tradition, scribes used obsidian flakes or small shark teeth, presumably the hafted tools still used to carve wood in Polynesia, to flute and polish the tablets and then to incise the glyphs. The glyphs are most commonly composed of deep smooth cuts, though superficial hair-line cuts are also found. A glyph is composed of two parts connected by a hair-line cut; this is a typical convention for this shape. Several researchers, including Barthel, believe that these superficial cuts were made by obsidian, and that the texts were carved in a two-stage process, first sketched with obsidian and then deepened and finished with a worn shark tooth. The remaining hair-line cuts were then either errors, design conventions (as at right), or decorative embellishments.Vertical strings of chevrons or lozenges, for example, are typically connected with hair-line cuts. However, Barthel was told that the last literate Rapanui king, Nga‘ara, sketched out the glyphs in soot applied with a fish bone and then engraved them with a shark tooth.
Tablet N, on the other hand, shows no sign of shark teeth. Haberlandt noticed that the glyphs of this text appear to have been incised with a sharpened bone, as evidenced by the shallowness and width of the grooves. N also “displays secondary working with obsidian flakes to elaborate details within the finished contour lines. No other rongo-rongo inscription reveals such graphic extravagance”.
Other tablets appear to have been cut with a steel blade, often rather crudely. Although steel knives were available after the arrival of the Spanish, this does cast suspicion on the authenticity of these tablets.
The glyphs are stylized human, animal, vegetable and geometric shapes, and often form compounds. Nearly all those with heads are oriented head up and are either seen face on or in profile to the right, in the direction of writing. It is not known what significance turning a glyph head-down or to the left may have had. Heads often have characteristic projections on the sides which may be eyes, but which often resemble. Birds are common; many resemble the frigatebird which was associated with the supreme god Makemake. Other glyphs look like fish or arthropods. A few, but only a few, are similar to petroglyphs found throughout the island.
Oral tradition holds that either Hotu Matu‘a or Tu‘u ko Iho, the legendary founder(s) of Rapa Nui, brought 67 tablets from their homeland. The same founder is also credited with bringing indigenous plants such as the toromiro. However, there is no homeland likely to have had a tradition of writing in Polynesia or even in South America. Thus Rongorongo appears to have been an internal development. Given that few if any of the Rapanui people remaining on the island in the 1870s could read the glyphs, it is likely that only a small minority were ever literate. Indeed, early visitors were told that literacy was a privilege of the ruling families and priests who were all kidnapped in the Peruvian slaving raids or died soon afterwards in the resulting epidemics.
Dating the tablets
Little direct dating has been done. The start of forest-clearing for agriculture, and thus presumably colonization, has been dated to circa 1200, implying a date for the invention of Rongorongo no earlier than the 13th century. Tablet Q is the sole item that has been carbon dated, but the results only constrain the date to sometime after 1680. A Glyph representing an island palm is thought to represent the extinct Easter Island palm, which disappeared from the island’s pollen record circa 1650, suggesting that the script itself is at least that old.
Texts A, P, and V can be dated to the 18th or 19th century by virtue of being inscribed on European oars. Orliac (2005) argued that the wood for tablet C was cut from the trunk of a tree some 15 meters (50 ft) tall, and Easter Island has long been deforested of trees that size. Analysis of charcoal indicates that the forest disappeared in the first half of the 17th century. Roggeveen, who discovered Easter Island in 1722, described the island as “destitute of large trees” and in 1770 González de Ahedo wrote, “Not a single tree is to be found capable of furnishing a plank so much as six inches [15 cm] in width.” Forster, with Cook’s expedition of 1774, reported that “there was not a tree upon the island which exceeded the height of 10 feet [3 m].”
All of these methods date the wood, not the inscriptions themselves. Pacific rosewood is not durable, and is unlikely to survive long in Easter Island’s climate.
1770 Spanish expedition
In 1770 the Spanish annexed Easter Island under Captain González de Ahedo. A signing ceremony was held in which a treaty of annexation was signed by an undisclosed number of chiefs “by marking upon it certain characters in their own form of script.”
Several scholars have suggested that Rongorongo may have been an invention inspired by this visit and the signing of the treaty of annexation. As circumstantial evidence, they note that no explorer reported the script prior to Eugène Eyraud in 1864, and are of the opinion that the marks with which the chiefs signed the Spanish treaty do not resemble Rongorongo. The hypothesis of these researchers is not that Rongorongo was itself a copy of the Latin alphabet, or of any other form of writing, but that the concept of writing had been conveyed in a process anthropologists term trans-cultural diffusion, which then inspired the islanders to invent their own system of writing. If this is the case, then Rongorongo emerged, flourished, fell into oblivion, and was all but forgotten within a span of less than a hundred years.
However, known cases of the diffusion of writing, such as Sequoya’s invention of the Cherokee syllabary after seeing the power of English-language newspapers, or Uyaquk’s invention of the Yugtun script inspired by readings from Christian scripture, involved greater contact than the signing of a single treaty. The glyphs could be crudely written Rongorongo, as might be expected for Rapa Nui representatives writing with the novel instrument of pen on paper. The fact that the script was not otherwise observed by early explorers, who spent little time on the island, may reflect that it was taboo; such taboos may have lost power along with the tangata Rongorongo (scribes) by the time Rapanui society collapsed following European slaving raids and the resulting epidemics, so that the tablets had become more widely distributed by Eyraud’s day. Orliac points out that Tablet C would appear to predate the Spanish visit by at least a century.
Easter Island has the richest assortment of petroglyphs in Polynesia. Nearly every suitable surface has been carved, including the stone walls of some houses and a few of the famous mo‘ai statues and their fallen topknots. Around one thousand sites with over four thousand glyphs have been catalogued, some in bas- or sunken-relief, and some painted red and white. Designs include a concentration of chimeric bird-man figures at Orongo, a ceremonial center of the tangata manu (“bird-man”) cult; faces of the creation deity Makemake; marine animals like turtles, tuna, swordfish, sharks, whales, dolphins, crabs, and octopus (some with human faces); roosters; canoes, and over five hundred komari (vulvas). Petroglyphs are often accompanied by carved divots (“cupules”) in the rock. Changing traditions are preserved in bas-relief birdmen, which were carved over simpler outline forms and in turn carved over with komari. Although the petroglyphs cannot be directly dated, some are partially obscured by pre-colonial stone buildings, suggesting they are relatively old.
Several of the anthropomorphic and animal-form petroglyphs have parallels in Rongorongo, for instance a double-headed frigatebird on a fallen mo‘ai topknot, a figure which also appears on a dozen tablets. McLaughlin (2004) illustrates the most prominent correspondences with the petroglyph corpus of Lee (1992). However, these are mostly isolated glyphs; few text-like sequences or ligatures have been found among the petroglyphs. This has led to the suggestion that Rongorongo must be a recent creation, perhaps inspired by petroglyph designs or retaining individual petroglyphs as logograms (Macri 1995), but not old enough to have been incorporated into the petroglyphic tradition. The most complex candidate for petroglyphic Rongorongo is what appears to be a short sequence of glyphs, one of which is a ligature, carved on the wall of a cave. However, the sequence does not appear to have been carved in a single and the cave is located near the house that produced the Poike tablet, a crude imitation of Rongorongo, so the Ana o Keke petroglyphs may not be authentic.
Eugène Eyraud, a lay friar of the Congrégation de Picpus, landed on Easter Island on January 2, 1864, on the 24th day of his departure from Valparaíso. He was to remain on Easter Island for nine months, evangelizing its inhabitants. He wrote an account of his stay in which he reports his discovery of the tablets that year: In every hut one finds wooden tablets or sticks covered in several sorts of hieroglyphic characters: They are depictions of animals unknown on the island, which the natives draw with sharp stones. Each figure has its own name; but the scant attention they pay to these tablets leads me to think that these characters, remnants of some primitive writing, are now for them a habitual practice which they keep without seeking its meaning. There is no other mention of the tablets in his report, and the discovery went unnoticed. Eyraud left Easter Island on October 11, in extremely poor health. Made a fully fledged priest in 1865, he returned to Easter Island in 1866 where he died of tuberculosis in August 1868, aged 48.
In 1868 the Bishop of Tahiti, Florentin-Étienne “Tepano” Jaussen, received a gift from the recent Catholic converts of Easter Island. It was a long cord of human hair, a fishing line perhaps, wound around a small wooden board covered in hieroglyphic writing. Stunned at the discovery, he wrote to Father Hippolyte Roussel on Easter Island to collect all the tablets and to find natives capable of translating them. But Roussel could only recover a few, and the islanders could not agree on how to read them.
Yet Eyraud had seen hundreds of tablets only four years earlier. What happened to the missing tablets is a matter of conjecture. Eyraud had noted how little interest their owners had in them. Stéphen Chauvet reports that Orliac has observed that the deep black indention, about 10 cm long, on lines 5 and 6 of the recto of tablet H is a groove made by the rubbing of a fire stick, showing that tablet H had been used for fire-making. Tablets S and P had been cut into lashed planking for a canoe, which fits the story of a man named Niari who made a canoe out of abandoned tablets.
As European-introduced diseases and raids by Peruvian slavers, including a final devastating raid in 1862 and a subsequent smallpox epidemic, had reduced the Rapa Nui population to under two hundred by the 1870s, it is possible that literacy had been wiped out by the time Eyraud discovered the tablets in 1866.
Thus in 1868 Jaussen could recover only a few tablets, with three more acquired by Captain Gana of the Chilean corvette O’Higgins in 1870. In the 1950s Barthel found the decayed remains of half a dozen tablets in caves, in the context of burials. However, no glyphs could be salvaged.
Of the 26 commonly accepted texts that survive, only half are in good condition and authentic beyond doubt.
About 40 miles north of the city of Boston, and about 25 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean, is what appears to be the greatest, and perhaps oldest, megalithic enigma of North America. Mystery Hill, also known as “America’s Stonehenge”, is a site that has puzzled archaeologists for almost a century.
Running across the 30 acres of hillside are a series of low walls, cave-like primitive buildings, and tunnels that are spread about with, according to one archaeologist, “gigantic confusion and childish disorder, deep cunning and rude naively.”
While the hill is compared to the English Stonehenge circle, it is, at first glance, physically quite different. Stonehenge is located on a plain, not a hill, and is arranged neatly as a series of concentric circles, horseshoes and squares. Mystery Hill seems a jumble in comparison. The stones involved in Stonehenge are larger, up to 45 tons. The stones at Mystery Hill are smaller (the largest is about 11 tons) and the construction less intricate.
Both sites do have some common points, though. Firstly, they served as observatories. Each has been found to have astronomical alignments including summer solstice. Secondly, we know almost nothing about the builders of either location.
While we don’t know the type of ceremonies that may have gone on at Stonehenge, we do know something about the apparent activity on the hill. One of the main features of the site is an enormous flat stone, like a great table, resting above the ground on four legs. Around the edge of the table runs a groove that leads to a spout. This great slab has been named the “Sacrificial Stone” (left) and certainly may have served such a function. The gutter probably allowed the blood of the sacrifice to drain off the top.
Underneath the Sacrificial Stone is a shaft eight feet long leading to an underground chamber. It seems reasonable that this allowed a priest concealed in the chamber to speak as the voice of an oracle. To a crowd gathered around the altar the sound would appear to float up from the Sacrificial Stone like the voice of some disembodied spirit.
In addition to the oracle chamber and the Sacrificial Stone the site has a number of other artificial caves and passages. At least one was constructed with a drain to keep them from being flooded. The purpose of the rest of these structures, except one which appears to be a water well, are unknown.
The recent history of the hill starts with Jonathan Pattee. Pattee was a farmer who lived on the site from 1826 to 1848. There are many different and conflicting stories about Pattee, including that he was a robber, ran an illicit still, and operated a stop on the famous “underground” railroad that spirited escaped slaves from the south to safety. One thing for sure is that he used one of the structures as a cellar for his farmhouse.
Rumors abounded that Pattee had built the structures, with the help of his five sons, for no apparent reason. This seems unlikely as one of the site stones was found locked in the stump of a tree that started growing around 1769, long before Pattee came to the area.
In 1936 the site came into the hands of William B. Goodwin. Goodwin had a pet theory that Irish monks had crossed the Atlantic long before Columbus and were responsible for the structures on the hill. Goodwin conducted his own form of “archaeology” on the site by getting rid of whatever evidence that didn’t fit his theory. The loss of these artifacts is one of the reasons the enigma of Mystery Hill is so deep.
Currently the site is administered by the “America’s Stonehenge” foundation and is open to visitors. A fee, used to preserve and research the site, is charged.
How old is the site? Pottery fragments have been tested and found to go back as far as 1000 BC. Charcoal from one fire pit, measured by radiocarbon dating, was found to be 4000 years old. An impressive number of carbon-14 dates have been obtained from charcoal samples found during excavations at the site. These dates range from 7,000 years ago to as recent as 200 years ago. The earliest c-14 date which is directly linked to construction activity on the site is 2995 BP or about 3,000 years ago. C-14 dates and some artifacts found at the site suggest continued activity at the site into the early historic period just prior to white settlement of the region. Conservatively speaking, there is evidence of continued human presence related to the stone structures at the site for a 2500 year time period. Detailed archaeological and architectural analysis of the structures suggests the site went through five cultural phases each with its own distinct architecture. Rather than being built as single large scale construction project, the site evolved through multiple building episodes that expanded, modified, and upgraded it.
Who built it? Unknown. The Native Americans living in the northeast before Europeans arrived didn’t build in stone. The colonial farmers didn’t arrive in the valley until 1730 and we know from the locked stone that construction must have been started before 1769. The 39 years in between seem a short time to build such a set of structures and the Sacrificial Stone/Oracle doesn’t seem to fit with the colonist religious beliefs. A number of theories have been advanced in 70+ years since the first systematic investigation of the site in the late 1930’s. William Goodwin, the first investigator of the site, theorized it was built by Irish Culdee monks around 1000 AD. Hugh O’Neill Hencken, a curator with Harvard’s Peabody Museum, quickly countered Goodwin’s argument by stating the site was built by Jonathan Pattee who lived on the property from 1825 to his death in 1849. Barry Fell in his famous (or infamous) book America BC (1976) argued the site was built between 800 and 600 BC by Goidelic Celtics. In recent years, the theory that the site was built by Native American peoples has gained creditability in the ongoing debate over the site.
Was the site constructed in ancient times by a people we know nothing about? That seems likely. Some theorize that site might be linked to the Greek or Phoenician cultures of the Mediterranean. Certainly there is a startling similarity between the construction of the oracle on Mystery Hill and those found in ancient temples in Malta and Greece.
The truth is we may never know who built this site. We may never know how they used the astronomical information contained in its alignments. We may never know what the voice of the oracle said. And we may never know what, or whom, was sacrificed on its hard, cold, great, stone altar.
A shipwreck in the English Channel may have yielded quite a treasure: Scientists think they’ve found a Viking sunstone, the mythical navigational aid Viking mariners used to locate the sun and traverse the sea before compasses were developed.
A crystal found in the wreck of a British ship that sank off the island of Alderney in 1592 could have been used as a sunstone, they say, according to the BBC.
Sunstones were once considered “mystical,” since they were said to be able to pinpoint the sun’s position even through the clouds, but a 2011 study found the stones were actually real.
The crystal, an oblong shape about the size of a pack of cigarettes, was found near the navigational equipment. And it’s an Icelandic spar, the type of crystal scientists say the Vikings used, because it can diffract light into two distinct rays. Scientists tested a similar crystal and found it was indeed possible to determine the direction of the sun by finding the point where the rays converge, even after the sun has set.
As for why no intact sunstone has been found at a Viking burial site, scientists think that could be because the crystals shattered when warriors were cremated.
a group of physicists and optometrists say they have cracked the optical properties of the Viking sunstone, which legend has it aided the northerly, often storm-beset navigators long before the invention of the compass. But to do it requires using a squid-like sense of direction. A report released in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A, lays out the possible inner workings of the Vikings’ legendary sólarsteinn, which was said to reveal the true bearing of a hidden sun, even on overcast days and during long summer twilights in the northerly latitudes. Researchers long speculated that the sunstone might have been a transparent type of calcite, common in Iceland, that has optical properties akin to linearly polarizing filters for a camera.
Light passing through such a crystal, including the common Iceland spar, changes in brightness and color as the crystal is rotated. Vikings presumably could have used such crystals to observe polarization patterns and thereby pinpoint the direction of the sun. But exactly how this was done was an enigma, until now. Guy Ropars and Albert Le Floch of the University of Rennes’ Laser Physics Laboratory in France, led the latest study, which has solved the mystery of the myth they say by attacking the problem backwards.
“Rather than thinking in term of polarizer, we have deliberately chosen to ‘destroy’ the polarization of the light,” Ropars told Discovery News. “Iceland spar behaves theoretically and experimentally like a perfect depolarizer.” In other words, with the crystal held up to the sky, there is one specific angle of rotation, called the isotropy point, at which the crystal eliminates all polarization of the light passing through it.
Here’s where the “sixth sense” comes in: The investigators say that if you look through the crystal in its depolarizing position and then pull it away suddenly from your line of sight, you can catch a glimpse of a faint, elongate yellowish pattern known as a Haidinger’s Brush. The key here is that the ends of that yellow shape point directly toward the sun.
The Haidinger’s Brush phenomenon amounts to a greatly scaled-down version of the specialized ability of many insects, cephalopods, amphibians and other animals to “see” polarization patterns in the sky or water. That’s how those animals navigate. Turns out the Vikings may have too. When Ropars’ group asked test subjects to use their method to identify sun direction, their answers were accurate within 5 degrees.
Coupled with a second technique observing the changing polarization patterns passing through the crystal, also tested and described for the first time in this study, the Vikings could have established a reference point that could be used even when the sun was fully hidden, upping the sunstone’s accuracy to within 1 degree.
Ropars insists that sunstones could have helped the Vikings in their navigation from Norway to America, as the magnetic compass had yet to be introduced in Europe. Alas, archaeologists are quick to point out that no Iceland spar has yet been found in a Viking village.
The legendary Viking sunstone that could accurately navigate the seven seas in bad weather may actually be based on a real artifact, claim scientists.
After spending three years examining a cloudy crystal discovered in an Elizabethan wreck, researchers believe it could have been used to locate the sun in cloudy weather. The Alderney sank off the British Channel Islands in 1592.
“In particular, at twilight when the sun is no longer observable being below the horizon, and the stars still not observable, this optical device could provide the mariners with an absolute reference in such situation,” wrote researchers in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A, a scientific journal.
A chemical analysis confirmed that the stone was calcite crystal, otherwise known as Icelandic Spar — believed to be the mineral of choice for Viking sunstones, reports Fox News.
Owing to the crystal’s unusual property of creating a double refraction of sunlight, the sun’s position can be pinpointed with remarkable accuracy simply by rotating it against the human eye until the darkness of the two shadows become equal. Researchers say the principle holds true even when obscured by thick cloud or fog.
It may not live up to its reputation as a magical gem that bestows the ability to plot the sun’s course even at night — as described in Icelandic fables — but the antique navigational aid could be behind the Vikings’ reputation as peerless explorers. Experts believe that Nordic adventurers may have beaten Columbus to the Americas by several centuries, according to the Independent.
The rectangular crystal has been studied by scientists at the University of Rennes, in Brittany, France, who suggests that Tudor sailors may also have used the stone hundreds of years after the end of the Viking Age.
For decades archaeologists have argued about the origins of the mysterious “Harappan” (Indus Valley) civilisation that flourished across what is now Pakistan and northwest India from about 3000 BC. Now, new findings by Indian scientists working in the Gulf of Cambay suggest that the Harappans were descended from an advanced mother culture that flourished at the end of the last Ice Age that was then submerged by rising sea levels before ‘history’ began.
Report by BADRINARYAN BADRINARYAN, chief geologist with the scientific team from the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) responsible for the underwater surveys in the Gulf of Cambay.
It was generally believed that a well organized civilization could not have existed prior to 5500 BP. Many were reluctant to accept that the flood myths mentioned in many ancient religious writings held some grains of truth. The recent discovery made in the Gulf of Cambay, India shocked many, and made some sit up and watch with interest. It clearly established the existence of an ancient civilization that was submerged in the sea. The methodologies adopted to study this find, were novel and different, wherein advanced marine technologies and the most modern scientific applications of various disciplines were put to use. The traditional but conservative archaeologists found it hard to accept that a major discovery could have been made by hitherto unapplied, unheard of techniques. Some observed and understood the importance of the discovery and came out in open support. Initially when the side scan sonar images of underwater structures were shown, some called it a magic of computer software. When hundreds of artifacts were collected and shown, they opined that the ancient river could have transported it! Again detailed scientific studies were undertaken to prove that the artifacts are insitu. The criticism has driven us to adopt the most modern technologies and scientific methodologies available in the world, which have completely substantiated our findings, and the results have been published as research papers in reputed international journals. Now several authors are quoting the Gulf of Cambay work as a standard and a bench mark methodology for modern marine archaeological surveys and investigations. The discovery has clearly established the possibility of ancient civilizations that were submerged due to flooding by rising sea waters after the last ice age.
The oldest civilization of city-states is thought to be in Mesopotamia datable to 5500 years BP. An extensive hitherto oldest mature civilization occurs in the Northwestern part of India adjoining Pakistan and Afganisthan. This is the well-known ‘Harappan’ civilization that lasted between 5300 and 2800 years BP. This includes major ruined cities like Mohenjodaro, Harrappa, Dholavira and villages, craft centers, campsites, river stations, fortified places, ports, etc. The cities had well-lined streets, arranged in straight lines, with proper drainage and sanitary arrangements and excellent water conveying systems including check dams for storing water. Usage of a variety of artifacts, metallic objects, many types of potteries, construction of huge structures, etc. could not have happened overnight. So obviously there was a major missing link between the ancient hunter-gatherer group of people and the ‘Harappan’ civilization. In India there were many Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic stone-age cultures. But none of them have any remote resemblance to the type of civilization found in the Harappan sites. It is possible that the missing link between the two is either under cover or has been submerged due to major sea level rise caused by melting of ice-sheets. It is a well established fact that during the Last Glacial Maxima (ice-age), the seas all over the world had shrunk and the sea level around 18000 years BP was about 130m below the present day sea level. So, it is logical to look for such submerged civilization near areas surrounding the present day Indian coastal areas, especially along the palaeo channel of various rivers.
The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), a Govt. of India undertaking, has been carrying out several multi-disciplinary marine surveys along the Indian coastal areas for various purposes. During the course of a few geological surveys in Gujarat in the Gulf of Cambay, NIOT came across palaeo river channels in the sea. These were seen to be the extension of the present day major rivers of the area.
In a similar marine survey, in a Coastal Research Ship during 1999-2000 when the author was the Chief Scientist, several unusual frames of Side Scan Sonar images were encountered. These had square and rectangular features in an arranged geometric fashion, which are not expected, in the marine domain. Such features are unlikely to be due to natural marine geological processes. This made the author suspect that human workmanship must have been involved here. The surveys were followed up by the author in the following years and a couple of palaeo channels of old rivers were discovered in the middle of the Cambay area under 20-40m water depths, at a distance of about 20 kms from the present day coast.
The Gulf of Cambay forms a funnel shaped entrant of the Arabian Sea, sandwiched between the mainland Gujarat and Saurashtra Penninsula in the west. This gulf is 135 km long in a N-S direction and is more than 100km at its widest part. It is one of the roughest and most complicated seas in the world and covers an area of about 3000 sq.km. Several major rivers including the Narmada, Tapi, Sabarmathi, Mahi, Chathranji, etc. drain into it. It has a macro tidal range of 12m and the currents are up to 8 knots. The sea is often subjected to severe winds resulting in very rough conditions. These types of turbulence churn the seabed and produce enormous quantities of silt, making the seawater brownish and turbid, with the result that is that it is impervious to light rays. The combined effect of these conditions makes this part of the country unfit for diving and underwater operations and operating underwater videography is impossible. Hence, only instruments operated on the principle of sound, like sonar equipments and magnetic equipments can work here. This includes the Side Scan Sonar, Sub-bottom Profiler, and Multibeam ecosounder, apart from marine magnetometer.
The term SONAR stands for Sound Navigation and Ranging. Sonar is a sensing strategy that measures features of an environment (or medium) by the way in which that environment transmits, reflects and/or absorbs acoustic (sound) waves. The seabed is a little understood environment due to its inaccessibility and resistance to large scale detailed analysis. Sonar represents a clear approach of looking at the seafloor. Side Scan Sonar uses sound waves to produce images of the seafloor. The hard areas reflect more energy and are seen as dark shades, whereas softer areas do not reflect energy as well and are represented by lighter shades. This “Backscatter” is absent behind objects or features that rise above the seafloor, and are represented as white shadows in the sonar image. The dimensions of shadows are used to infer the size of the objects. The system used was a digital one, which provides high-resolution sonar images of the seafloor through advanced digital technology in 100 and 400 kHz frequency. The unit is connected to a Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) for the accurate position of the survey vessel and in turn that of the objects.
In these surveys it was the Side Scan Sonar that gave excellent results supported by other systems. Initially two major palaeo channels of rivers were recognized. One was over a length of 9.2km and another over 9.0km. When these were sampled, it was seen that just below a thin marine sediment cover of few centimeters, river alluvium and pebbles typical of terrestrial river sediments, below which typical river conglomerates were observed at depth. Such evidence clearly indicated that the area presently under the sea was originally dry land over which rivers were flowing. Due to different factors they became submerged and now lie under water. The sonar images showed regular geometric patterns in one palaeo channel over a length of 9km in the sea about 20km west of Hazira coastal area. Associated with this on either side of the palaeo channel, basement like features in a grid pattern were observed at a water depth of 20-40m. These resemble an urban habitation site where, the basement now at the bottom of the sea, pit like structures are seen. Another palaeo channel over 9.2km was detected off the Suvali coastal area. Here also similar features were observed. In general the basement like features were located in a linear east-west direction on either side of the palaeo channel. It is seen that these features are 5x4m size on the eastern side whereas the westernmost part had dimensions of 16 x 15m. The habitation sites are all seen to be laid in a strict grid like pattern indicating a good sense of town planning by the ancients.
There were also evidences of water conducting systems like canals, etc. All these point to a properly planned township, with a high level of knowledge and practice by the ancients. The area in general is covered by sand waves that occur above the seabed. Often these cover the dwelling but even then the shapes could be made out. Apart from the regular sites of habitation, the Side Scan Sonar picked up images of several big structures. Some of these structures are as follows:
There is a rectangular (41m x25m) shaped depression, wherein one can see steps gradually going down to reach a depth of about 7m. Surrounding this depression there is a wall like projection on all sides. One could observe an inlet and outlet and also a separate enclosure. This looks like a tank or bathing facility now occurring below 40m of seawater. It occurs near the western periphery of the town. It resembles the “Great Bath” that is found in the ruins of “Mohenjodaro” and “Harappa”, where these structures also occur on the western side of the township. There are two divisions in the tank, which may represent separate enclosures for men and women or for socially higher and lower categories of people. There are two openings probably for an inlet and exit of water to keep the water in the tank fresh and clean.
One could observe a prominent and well-made long linear basement of a major structure measuring 200m x 45m. It nestles on high ground and one can see steps on the right corner approaching the structure. Inside the structure there is many 18m and above square shaped room like features with fortifications surrounding it. This type of huge structure resembles the “Citadel” found in Mohenjodaro, Harrappa, and Dholavira where these again occur at the western extremity on the high ground. Probably it is an administrative building supervising the entire civic activities of the township or could be a place of worship. Some pieces of fossilized human bones, natural teeth and some fossilized animal bones were recovered during sampling on the eastern side of the citadel.
Sonar image picked up a major dilapidated structure measuring 190m x 85m with spaces separated by what looks like collapsed walls. In front of it, on the bottom side there are several
basements of rectangular shaped 2.5 to 3.5m x 6m structures, resembling minor dwellings. It could be an ancient granary for the township probably with dwelling place nearby, for the workers. In the nearby areas some fossilized food grains have been collected. In many of the Harappan sites the granary is a regular feature.
The image is that of a basement of a buried settlement and it measures 74m x 48m. It has regular square, rectangular and arch shapes. The darker portions are the elevated or standout features. These indicate that there are still some constructed portions standing up partly. To the north of the structure also, a few square and rectangular shaped basements are visible.
A buried structural basement is depicted. The main structure measures 40m x 19m with wall-like dark features rising to 2-3m above the seabed. A series of step-like features are seen approaching the structure from the right side. To one corner of the main structure an 11m x 7m rectangular depression looking like a small tank or pond is observed.
A sub-bottom profiler survey, instead of reflecting sound waves from the seabed like side scan sonar, penetrate the seabed. The waves travel beneath the seabed in different formations in different speeds and the instrument collects the reflection data over selected frequencies. It provides good depth information on geological features apart from delineating any suspected buried anthropogenic structures.
The sub-bottom profiler image is below the 200m x 45m Citadel like structure. The standout features were picked up at regular intervals and appear to be the basement and foundations of the structure. It is observed that the foundations have been dug up to 5-6m in the soil over which broad column like features have been constructed, probably to take the load off the huge structure above.
The sub-bottom profiler image is below the buried settlement of a 74 x 48m structure. Here also manmade foundations like columns can be clearly seen emerging from below the seabed and occur as standout features. Here the foundations have been dug up to 3-4 m deep in the soil. These types of planning and methods of construction by the ancients clearly reveal that they had a very good knowledge of civil and structural engineering, wherein broader and deeper foundations were provided for bigger and heavier structures and thinner and shallower foundations for comparatively smaller structures. Likewise almost all the structures including the dwelling sites indicate a good amount of planning and design, taking into consideration the structural aspects.
Magnetic surveys were carried out by deploying a high-resolution Marine Ceisium vapour Magnetometer. The survey was for observing magnetic signatures occurring as anamolies of subsurface magnetic bodies of the area. The instrument was capable of sensing up to 0.001 nT at 1 sample rate. The values here were corrected for diurnal variation so as to remove the temporal variation in the earth’s magnetic field. The corrected magnetic field value is a result of the marine magnetic components: – regional geological features are very deep seated in origin and have depth persistence whereas one should look for very shallow and near seabed anomalies that do not extend in depth. Several shallow near surface anomalies were picked up ranging in depth from 1m below surface to as much as 50m. The deep seated anomalies are at least below 400m from the seabed surface. The near surface anomalies in general are covered by top sediments and are likely to be archaeological sites, which are to be examined and explored later. Due to these surveys a vast area has now acquired importance for archaeological purposes – including areas that were earlier not picked up by sidescan images. As such these surveys enhance the area of archaeological interest. Obviously this was an extensive civilization, the remains and ruins of which have since been covered by shifting shoals, sandwaves, tectonism etc., which are very common features in the Gulf of Cambay.
Even though a variety of objects and artifacts were collected in settlements, some persons expressed doubts whether these could have been transported by paleo channel and may not be insitu. To clear such doubts detailed geochemical analysis were carried out. Ten geological soil samples and ten artifacts were chosen from the Gulf of Cambay area. Since trace elements like Ti, Hf, Th, etc and Rare Earth Elements (REE) are immobile they preserve their signature without alteration and hence reflect primary petrogenic character. These 20 selected representative samples were analysed using ICP-Mass spectrometer. The rare earth element pattern normalized with shale. The results of the analysis clearly reveal that there is one to one match between the archaeological material and Cambay bed sediments. This is characterized by leaching of light rare earth elements and a prominent Europeam anamoly .The ternary and Binary plots of both the materials show clustering of all samples in one place indicating the samples are of same host chemistry and are insitu i.e. that the archaeological material are not transported but are made from locally available material only.
Sampling: In order to substantiate the findings detailed sampling was carried out. Since the sea condition was very rough and the water turbid and brown, sampling was carried out in areas where side scan images show excellent results. The samples were collected by utilizing a grab sampler, dredger, gravity corer and vibro corer. Large numbers of samples were carefully collected, systematically numbered and properly preserved. The artifacts collected included a variety of pottery pieces, Mesolithic stone tools, a few Paleolithic macro stone tools, beads made of semiprecious stones, brick pieces, hearth material, wattle and daub structure materials, corals, perfectly holed stones, fossilized human remains and human teeth. There are also three potsherd pieces. These are unfired and normally sun-dried, made of clay and of great antiquity. On the other side of the figure a cross like object and some figurines are seen. There were pieces in the shape of deer’s head and to the right a well turned ornamental piece with a straight hole in the center. How the ancients were able to make them in stone is still an enigma.
There are four very important objects. First, one can observe a fossilized jawbone (mandible) with a natural tooth kept in front. Next to it is a part of the carbonized wooden log. This was obtained from the top stratigraphic colomn at a depth about 30 to 40cm below the seabed and it was sent for dating. In the left corner there are rolled objects and long linear beads which when strung together forms a necklace. In the right hand bottom of the figure linear beads made of stone are there with holes in the middle.
A series of microlithic tools were collected at various locations. Generally microlithic tools are characteristic of the Mesolithic period and are found between Paleolithic and Neolithic Stone Age periods. The characteristic features of Mesolithic tools are that unlike the earlier Paleolithic stone tools these are much smaller, normally between 5cm to 1cm in length and are made of finely crafted semi-precious stones. These include quartz, chert, jasper, flint, chalcedony, agate, corundum, etc. Sampling collected about 248 such tools. The tools included a baked blade with a serrated edge, point, and point on flakes, lunate, scraper, cores with negative chipping and a borer. The tools have both geometric and non-geometric forms.
The Mesolithic period of Western India revealed the existence of their cultural phases, namely aceramic and ceramic. In general the Mesolithic sites confirmed the existence of a ceramic phase in its later part, containing other than potteries and microlithic tools, materials like wattle and clay shreds for house construction, flooring of the houses, etc. The Mesolithic sites are comparatively larger. Here the hunting and gathering way of life was replaced by organised food production. Holed stones which appeared in the late paleolithic became prominent in the Mesolithic. These holed stones appear to have been used as weights in digging sticks and as net sinkers by the fishing folks. In general a sedentary form of living heralded the beginning of other associated cultural artifacts like pottery, living in well-built houses like wattle and clay, or of sun dried and fired bricks.
Coming to microliothic tools a variety of classic collections were made. These include Thumb nail scraper to skin the small animals, obliquely truncated fluted core made of red corundum apart from borers and points. Usage of Corundum is something unique as it is the second hardest material known after diamond as per the Mohrs scale of hardness. The red and blue transparent varieties of corundum are the gemstones Ruby and Sapphire. This is the first reported usage of corundum as microlithic tool in India and maybe in the world. Other tools include a microlithic blade made of chert and quartz for cutting purposes, a microlithic side scraper, and a microlithic tool point with a serrated edge. Apart from these, pieces of hearth material have been collected. These were used for firing and heating and hence are very good for dating purposes. At places pieces of lightweight, hollow circle-like materials have been collected. Probably these may be slag pieces, cinder after extraction of metal, and the ancients might have the knowledge of some metallurgy. Pottery pieces of various types have been collected. These include a broken bowl, coarse red-ware, pottery pieces embedded in mud walls, slow wheel turned pottery pieces, pieces of jar-lid, pottery piece with some cord impressions and a very ancient fragment of pottery, possibly amongst the oldest so far collected anywhere anywhere in the world.
Even though most of the artifacts are of Mesolithic period, there were some Paleolithic tools that were much older. It shows that people have been living in the Cambay area for quite some time. One example is the bifacial scrapper, made of chert and a very characteristic upper Paleolithic stone tool. Similar stone tools were also present but many of them due to long submergence and rolling in the seabed appear to have their edges smoothened out and the sharpness of the edges is rather less.
A thorough examination of the macro and micro levels of soils in Gulf of Cambay brought to light a wealth of plant material typical of the land domain. Extensive studies are being carried out by a botany Professor and the studies may initiate a new branch in Marine Archaeology that may be called Marine Archaeobotony. So far prominent plant species identified include palm, coconut, bamboo, areca plant, etc. Many of them are fossilized. Some of the species identified and photographed are as follows. The top left show fossilized food grains; in top right one could observe the inner portion of a bamboo plant. In the bottom left, plant fiber material could be clearly seen and at bottom right one could see palm leaf with typical ridges. All these were recognized under the microscope. The major wooden log a part of which is shown, when taken out of the seabed was very fresh, dark, hard and showing growth rings, etc. Within a couple of days of exposure to the atmosphere the wooden log completely shrunk and developed cracks. It has given important date for the area. This species has been tentatively identified as belonging to hard wood like rosewood. All of these point to well grown trees and foliage with a lot of good fresh water and somewhat warm climate, at the time of their growth in the area.
The palaeo channel below the alluvium has hard dark alluvium and then typical river conglomerate. It clearly indicated fresh waters alluvial environment. Several insitu pieces of alluvium and conglomorate have been collected. All these factors clearly establish that the palaeochannels were originally well-flowing rivers in the land, which were subsequently submerged by the sea.
Since some persons have expressed doubts about the pottery pieces, a thorough scientific study was made involving the pottery pieces to establish their authenticity. To determine the properties of various materials including pottery, many samples were subjected to X-Ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. Since the materials that constitute pottery etc are clays and heterogeneous mixures of a variety of materials, these were accordingly analysed. Every area has a special fingerprint pattern in the clay, which can be recognized in X-Ray diffraction (XRD). The above analysis was carried out in Deccan College, Pune Maharashtra state, India, by using an advanced instrument that gave excellent results. The conclusions are that the pattern of pottery pieces corresponds very well with the locally available clay of Gulf of Cambay. The mineral patterns of habitational floor, wattle and daub and land materials (alluvial deposit) are comparable. The patterns of fired clay, floor birck piece, vitrified clay, compare very well. All these indicate that they are genuine artifacts, made from locally available material and are insitu. It fully confirms the presence of archaeological sites. The findings indicate that the pottery was produced locally with levigated clay, fired uniformly at about 700oC. From the presence of calcite in clays and pottery arid to semi-arid environmental conditions prior to the submergence of the site could be deduced. Calcritised alluvial deposits indicate the existence of ancient rivers which once flowed in the submerged regions of Gulf of Cambay.
Dating of samples: Most of the structures that were discovered in the Gulf of Cambay had many similarities to the Citadel, Great Bath and grid-iron pattern habitation sites grannery, etc. of the Harappan civilization. But many of the artifacts and typology were very different and distinctive and with the presence of so many micro tools appeared to be much older than the Harappan. In order to establish the credibility and age of the civilization it was essential to date different objects and artifacts to establish the period of the Cambay civilization. There are many types of dating of archaeological artifacts like carbon dating, Thermoluminesence, OSL, AMS, Dendrochronoly archaeomagnetism, Electron Spin Resonence dating, Pottasium-Argon dating, Cation Ratio dating, etc. In all about 23 numbers datable objects were selected covering both the palaeochannels. From the samples obtained from the marine archaeological sites it was clear that the following methods will be most suitable and a fairly accurate age determination can be obtained from them. These are 14C radiocarbon dating, radio carbon dating by Accelerator Mass Spectrometer, Thermoluminescence and Optically stimulated luminescence.
Radio carbon dating is a method for obtaining age estimates on organic material and is effective from the present back to a maximum of 50,000 BP. Radio active carbon 14C produced in atmosphere is absorbed by plants and the radio active carbon enters the human and animal cycle when the plants are eaten by animal and human beings. The absorbing of 14C is stopped when a living organism dies and 14C starts to disintegrate. How much 14C is disintegrated and how much is left out can be measured and the rate at which it disintegrates is known. From this the age of organic objects like trees, corals, human remains, and shells etc.can be determined. For age determination tests about 50-100 gms of organic material is necessary. In the AMS, an organic sample much smaller of the order of 1 to 2 mgs is enough to calculate the age. This has several advantages over the regular 14C method. The TL method is mainly used for rocks, soil materials, pottery, etc. that were fired. It is based on the principle that almost all natural minerals are thermoluminescnt. Energy absorbed from ionizing radiation frees electrons that are trapped. Later heating releases the trapped electrons producing light. Measurement of the intensity of the light can be used to determine how much time has passed since the last time the object was heated. Natural radioactivity causes TL to build up so that older an object more light is produced. Since a certain amount of heating, generally up to 350 deg. C, is required TL works best for ceramics, cooking hearths, fired bricks, fire cracked rocks or fire treated minerals such as flint or chert.
The OSL is similar to Thermal dating. The minerals in the sediment grains are sensitive to light and when exposed to light the electrons vacate the sediment grains. This process is called recombination or clock setting event. To detect the age the comparision must be made between sediment grain with a known amount of added radiation and sediment grains that are acted upon naturally. This method is suitable for a variety of unheated sediments not older than 500,000 years. This includes silty and sandy sediments that are deposited by water.
The selected samples for various types of dating were sent to some reputed institutes in India, Oxford University, England and to Hannover Germany. Some samples were repeated in different institutes to get confirmation of the age. The results tallied very well. The datable objects were selected to represent both the palaeo channels. However comparitively fewer datable samples were obtained from the southern palaeo channel. In the northern palaeo channel alluvial samples were collected at different depths to have an idea about the age of alluvium as well as the river. Of the total 23 samples that were dated 14C method was followed in 4 samples, TL method in 6 samples and OSL in 13 samples ages were determined.
The alluvium samples of northern palaeochannel were tested at the behest of NIOT by Manipur University. The top alluvium collected just below marine sediment was dated to be around 3000 BP and a slightly lower alluvium gave an age of about 5000 BP. A black alluvium which was somewhat semi consolidated and collected above the river conglomerate gave an age of 19000 BP. Obviously the river has been flowing at least between 19000 years BP, prior to Glacial Maxima and up to 3000 BP. This shows that the palaeo channel in the north was active and a riverine regime existed at least from about 19000 BP. As the area and the palaeo channel to the south was proven to be a hydrocarbon rich zone, several oil and gas producing wells and platforms have been put along with Xmas trees and several oil and gas pipeline are crisscrossing the area. Due to these factors no further sampling than the preliminary one could be undertaken in view of the safety and restrictions in the oil production areas. The water depths of the alluvial samples collected in the northern palaeo channel varied from 20 to 32m.
In the southern township or palaeochannel area six samples suitable for dating were identified. Of these 3 are carbonized wooden samples, one was a sediment sample, one was a fired pottery piece and one was a hearth material. Sample from the same carbonized wood was sent to National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad, India and Geowissenschaftlicte Gemeinschaftsaulguben, Hannover, Germany for Carbon dating. This was the first sample (Location 21o 03.08’ N; 72 o30.83 E) from near the southern palaeochannel. This first gave a clue to the age and environment of the civilization. The calibrated age as per NGRI was 9580-9190 BP and as per Hannover Institute it was 9545-9490 BP. It means the age is about 9500 BP and this takes the age by more than 4000 years older than the oldest city civilization of Mesopotomia and a forerunner to ‘Harappan’ civilization. But this occurred near the top of the stratigraphic column. Because of this it was expected that at the lower levels the age would be much older and make the civilization really an ancient one. The wooden piece tested at Birpal Sani Institute at Lucknow, U.P. state gave a calibrated age of 8450 BP. However, two important artifacts were obtained in the near by area at lower levels. These were a nice, thin, pottery and a brownish to red hearth material. Along with it local clay sediment was also chosen. All the three samples were analysed in the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmadabad, Gujarat State, using standard Thermoluminescence based pottery dating techniques. As expected the one of the pottery piece whose figure is given, gave a date of 13000 ± 1950 BP. It is an important date. Another pottery piece, which was ill fired, on OSL dating (Location 21 o12.54’ N; 72 o 30.370’ E) by Oxford University gave an age of 16840 ± 2620 BP. These are the oldest fired pottery pieces obtained so far in the world. Till the results were out it was from Japan where the oldest potteries were known. The “Jomon” Pottery from the Fukui cave in Kyushu gave 12000 BP uncalibrated age. The pottery findings from Odai Yamamoto gave uncalibrated age of 13500-13800 BP. In the Gulf of Cambay civilization attempts already appear to have been made in experimental pottery making. These are seen from effects of fired clays (for making pottery), which gave ages of 20130 ± 2170 BP (Location 21 o 13.720’ N; 72 o 26.190’ E) and 16600 ± 1150 BP (Location 21 o13.80 ‘N; 72 o 26.10 E), by OSL as determined by the Oxford University dating lab. The well fired 3 potteries in the northern palaeochannel gave ages of 7506 ± 785 BP, 6097 ± 611 BP (both by Manipur University) and 4330 ± 1330 BP by Oxford University.
Apart from this sun-dried pottery pieces were collected in these areas. Three of the specimens were dated by OSL facility in Oxford. The results obtained are (1) 31270±2050 BP, (2) 25700±2790 BP and (3) 24590±2390 BP. A black slipped dish which was also sun dried was dated in Oxford by OSL. This gave an age of 26710 ± 1950 BP.
The hearth material from the southern township (Location 21o03.04 N 72o30.70 E) by TL dating from PRL, Ahmedabad gave an age of 10000 ± 1500 BP whereas the hearth material near the top
in the northern township gave an age of 3530 ± 330 BP by OSL, Oxford University. One of the charcoal pieces obtained on the northern side was tested by 14C dating in BSIP, Lucknow. It gave calibrated age of 3000 BP. It tallies very well with the age of upper most alluvium in northern Palaeochannel.
The wattle and daub materials that were originally of wood and clay were seen to be burnt, but the structure of the wood was well preserved at places (being fossilized). These were tested by OSL at Oxford and by TL at Manipur from the same locations. OSL dating found it to be 5860 ± 720 BP and TL dating determined it to be 5530 ±550 BP. They appear to be a comparatively good match and they reflect the proper ages. They may represent the period at which these structures caught fire.
From the above it is quite clear that the human activity is very evident from about 31000 BP in what is now in the Gulf of Cambay much before the Glacial Maxima at 18000 BP. The ancients were making potteries and were getting them dried initially in the sun. From about 20000 years, it is clear that the ancients are firing the clay to produce pottery. That means they knew how to make, maintain and manage fire. They appear to have succeeded in making fired pottery from about 16800 BP. They knew the art of construction of towns and houses in neat straight line, row after row as picked up by Side Scan Sonar image and wattle and daub structure and from rammed floor. Both the northern and southern townships have continuous habitational sites interspersed with big structures in between. But good quality fired pottery makes it appearance from about 13000 BP. In the southern township (we can call them metropolis) there appears to be organized activity in the form of a community living, a granary (where fossilized food grains were collected), etc., from about 13000 BP. To the south of this township in the Gulf of Cambay, sidescan Sonar picked up a drowned dead coral colony of 400m long and about 200m wide in a water depths of about 40m substantiated later by sampling. It is a well known fact that these corals live in hardly 2 to 3m water depth very near coastal areas. They require clean environment and good sunlight. Obviously the southern metropolis appears to have been near a sea coast at a particular point of time, when the metropolis itself stood on dry land with a good free flowing river and was a major bustling city. The dating of coral colony like other places by drill core will provide the date of beginning of coral build up in the area and the top sample of coral will reveal the age at which it was drowned giving a direct clue to the drowning of southern metropolis. It is worthwhile noting that the datable objects are found has only up to 8450 BP based on the date of the carbonized wood.
The northern metropolis has well made pottery pieces, wattle daub etc. from about 7506 BP onwards. It indicates well organized city living. Hence it is possible that this metropolis came up after 8450 but much before 7506 BP, may be after the submergence of the southern metropolis. The ancients appear to have shifted and founded the northern metropolis. However the various earlier dates from sun-dried pots etc. indicate that it was under constant habitation.
Evidence from Microlithic tools:
Apart from palaeolithic macro tools several pieces of micro tools have been collected. Usage of such tools has been reported in America, Europe and other places. In South America especially from Brazil presence of human beings are reported from 14000 BP, coinciding with big Pleistocene mammals. The study there indicated that between 17000 and 7000 BP most coastal plains have been lost due to sea level rise. Several microlithic tools that were recovered are seen to occur from 10970 BP. But the lagoa santa people occupying these areas in Brazil suddenly disappeared between 8000 and 7000 BP. In Europe in France, Germany, Belgium etc. the microlithic tool period started from 11800 BP taking back the age of the Mesolithic period. The microlithic period spread to several areas and lasted up to the seventh millennium BP.
In the Gulf of Cambay a variety of microlithic tools have been obtained in continuation of late palaeolithic tools. The presence of highly evolved experimental pottery from 13000 BP, organized living, sedentary well planned habitation, advanced sanitary and town planning activities in the southern metropolis indicates that it had developed to be a established civilization from about 13000 BP. Already there were evidences for control of fire, making pottery etc. from about 16840 BP. The southern metropolis so far has provided datable objects up to 8500 BP. The well developed northern metropolis has dates of civilization from about 7506 BP. In this one should take into consideration the ideas given by Graham Hancock who also postulated that several cultures in near coastal areas have been flooded and submerged by rising sea level caused by melting of icecap subsequent to the last iceage. The inundation maps prepared by Dr.Glen Milne of Durham University, England clearly shows that the Gulf of Cambay area prior to 7600 BP was mostly land and after 6900 BP it is mostly submerged. This type of rise in sea level is very much supported by the work of Dr.P.K.Banerjee pertaining to southeast coast of Indi, work of Sahidul Islam and Tooly in the Bay of Bengal in Bangladesh and Sen and Banerji’s work near Calcutta.
The area is highly prone to severe seismicity. In the past 500 years several earthquakes have shaken area, including the major +8 magnitude Richter scale event on 26.1.2001. On 16.1.1819 an 8.3 magnitude event devastated several areas nearby. It is seen that these quakes cause lot of subsidence at places and elevation at other places.
In the Gulf of Cambay itself various surveys have picked up fault zones and earthquake affected areas with throws upto as much as 30m (elevation and depression). The Gulf of Cambay was formed by a major rift. In order to understand the phenomenon and paleo-seismic activity, NIOT, commissioned Dr.Rajendran of CESS, Trivandram to carry out Paleo-seismic studies in the area surrounding Gulf of Cambay. His path-breaking work of identifying paleo-seismic events and dating them with OSL and also dating nearby Organic material has given excellent evidence to support the findings. He could detect the presence of sand blow layers caused due to old earthquakes as well as new ones. His work in peripheral land areas of the Gulf of Cambay like Kathana, Lotal and Motibaur gave evidences of major earthquakes in the Cambay areas in the following period (1) 2780 ± 150 years BP, (2) 3983 ± 150 BP and (3) 7540 ± 130 BP. Herein lies the evidence of the end of the Gulf of Cambay civilization. In the old major event about 7600 or near about the southern metropolis appear to have been thrown down by faulting and the nearby sea appear to have inundated it. Because of this the people appear to have proceeded north in the elevation higher than the sea level and established the 2nd or northern metropolis. This also got affected by faulting due to earth quakes around 4000 BP and destroyed by the 2780 ± 150 BP EQ, by down throwing the metropolis and sea transgressed the area to completely submerge it.
In this connection it is worthwhile pointing it out three important aspects:
The folk songs in local Kachchi dialogue, mention about 4 major towns of ancient past. Three of these have been identified as Mohenjadaro, Harappa and Dholavira. Obviously the fourth one and the biggest of them all and oldest is the Gulf of Cambay metropolis. )
The 2nd aspect is work by other agencies describing small-scale stone ruins near the Gulf of Kuutch, at the present-day town of Dwarka, as the remains of the ancient, fabled city of Dwarka – so well described as the abode of Lord Krishna of Mahabarata fame. The city is said to have been completely transgressed by the sea and this is vividly described by Arjuna, Krishna’s main disciple in the “Mahabaratha Epic”. The puzzling aspect, which is incoherent, is the location of city of Dwaraka. The temple we see today is hardly 900 years old. The area all around is dry, void of vegetation, and with brackish water. Krishna is supposed to have maintained a huge army of men, animals like Elephants, Horses, etc. There are absolutely there are no trees or foliage or fresh water for a big army. So it strikes a discordant note about the location. But the submerged metropolis of the Gulf of Cambay has strong, powerful flowing rivers, lots of trees and foliage and huge township of truly ancient times. So probably the metropolis in the Gulf of Cambay could be the “Dwaraka City” of Mahabarata fame.
The third aspect is to consider what happened when the first and second metropolis got submerged. It is interesting to note that there are about 500 Harappan and pre-harappan settlements in Gujarat of which about 258 are on the peripheral areas of Gulf of Cambay. All of them are younger than the Gulf of Cambay metropolis (southern). To the immediate west of the Gulf of Cambay on the Saurashtra coast is the well known pre-Harappan and Harappan archaeological site of Padri. It has been established by the Deccan College researchers, that the river Chatranji that is now flowing east into the Gulf of Cambay, originally flowed west but was tilted towards the east by large-scale structural changes. By connecting it to the southern palaeo channel and extending it, it is seen that it goes to Prabhaspatten in the Arabian Sea, and Prabhaspatten is a well known pre-harappan archaeological site mentioned in the Mahabharata epic. To the east the Palaeochannel is seen to be an extension of the present day river Tapi. Obviously the river Tapi was flowing right up to Prabhaspattan on the Arabian Sea prior to the drifting and formation of the Gulf of Cambay. It now falls into the Gulf of Cambay instead of the Arabian Sea. The ancients after the catastrophe and submergence in the Gulf of Cambay appear to have spread out all over Gujarat and then to the surrounding areas to establish a continuing and evolving civilization of Harappan type.
So, from the foregoing it is very evident the prehistoric civilization that matured and developed in the present day Gulf of Cambay was the forerunner and model to the subsequent advanced Harrapan civilization known to history. This wonderful twin prehistoric metropolis of Cambay lasted from about 13000 BP to about 3000 BP making it the most ancient and largest city civilization not only in Asia but also in the entire world. It is seen to be at least 7500 years older than the oldest Mesopotamian city civilization. However strong evidence supports the presence of humans from at least 31000 BP who were evolving and developing and formed a great hitherto unknown civilization that were submerged by the flood, giving credence to local and global flood myths.
Lovelock Cave (NV-Ch-18) is a North American archaeological site previously known as Sunset Guano Cave, Horseshoe Cave, and Loud Site 18. The cave is about 150 feet long and 35 feet wide. Lovelock Cave is one of the most important classic sites of the Great Basin region because the conditions of the cave are conducive to the preservation of organic and inorganic material. The cave was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 24, 1984. It was the first major cave in the Great Basin to be excavated.
The large rock shelter is north of modern day Humboldt Sink. Lovelock Cave is in the Lake Lahontan region, next to the former lakebed of Lake Lahontan. It was formed by the lake’s currents and wave action. It was first a rock shelter. Eventually an earthquake collapsed the overhang of the mouth. Lake Lahontan was a large Pleistocene pluvial lake that covered much of western Nevada. Due to drier Holocene climate the water elevation dropped and much smaller lakes remain such as Humboldt Lake, Pyramid Lake, and Carson Lake. The dry environment of the cave resulted in a wealth of well-preserved artifacts that provide a glimpse on how people lived in the area. Lovelock Cave was in use as early as 2580 BC but was not intensely inhabited until around 1000 BC. People occupied Lovelock Cave for over 4,000 years. The initial discoveries of artifacts and excavations, in the early 20th century, were not very well executed, which resulted in a loss of archaeological information. However more recent investigations were more careful and meticulous. A wealth of knowledge pertaining to life on the Great Basin has come from this important site because many unique artifacts have been successfully recovered.
In 1911 two miners, David Pugh and James Hart, were hired to mine for bat guano from the cave to be used as fertilizer. They removed a layer of guano estimated to be three to six feet deep and weighing about 250 tons. Heizer and Napton’s review of the excavation states “the guano was dug up from the upper cave deposits, screened on the hillside outside the cave, and shipped to a fertilizer company in San Francisco.” Miners had dumped the top layers of Lovelock into a heap outside of the cave. The miners were aware of the artifacts but only the most interesting specimens were saved. Unfortunately, the first exploration was unsystematic and the loss of material and damage to the site strata was considerable in large portions of the cave. L.L. Loud of the Paleontology Department at the University of California was contacted by the mining company when the refuse left by the ancient people proved so plentiful that fertilizer could no longer be collected.
In the spring of 1912 A.L. Kroeber sent L. L. Loud, an employee of the Museum of Anthropology, University of California to recover any materials that remained from the guano mining of the previous year. Loud excavated Lovelock Cave for five months and reportedly collected roughly 10,000 material remains. The majority of the archaeological record was gathered from three areas: a dump outside the cave left by miners, lower level deposits from the northwest end of the cave, and undisturbed refuse along the outlying edges of the cave. Unfortunately, Loud did not maintain a comprehensive report of the excavation so detailed information is not available. The method and procedure of archaeological excavations has improved over the years and Loud’s excavation does not fit into the standards of today’s practices. He labeled the individual dig locations as “lots” without establishing any grid system. Grid systems are used to determine origin and depth of archaeological record. Loud recorded 41 lots. Heizer and Napton tried to further detail Loud’s findings but because Loud was not consistent with his methods of recording data their efforts were ineffective.
Twelve years after the first excavation Loud returned to Lovelock Cave with M.R. Harrington in the summer of 1924. The Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, New York commissioned Harrington and Loud, who, assisted by local Paiute Indians, attempted to recover any materials left from previous investigations. They found leftover fragments that had been ignored by collectors in the east end and center of the cave. The team also dug to the base of the deposits in the west end. This excavation resulted in the discovery of the famous duck decoy cache.
The American Museum of Natural History sponsored Nels Nelson to conduct a surface collection of Lovelock Cave in 1936. However, no archaeological material recovered was admitted to the museum’s collection.
Robert Heizer came to Lovelock Cave in 1949 to collect organic material for radiocarbon dating. He later returned in 1950 and 1965 with a field group to sift through the remains that the miners left behind in a slope in front of the cave and collect coprolites. In excavations with Lewis Napton during 1968 and 1969 disturbed human remains were discovered. The remains found were so scattered that a complete recovery was never possible. Human coprolites found at Lovelock Cave are instrumental in piecing together the cultures’ subsistence patterns, specifically the kinds of food the Indians were eating. Indians in the area were primarily eating birds, fish and other fauna that lived near the lake. They also collected and stored vegetation for winter months. Furthermore, because coprolites are organic material, they could be dated with the radiocarbon dating technique.
The most renowned discovery at Lovelock Cave was a cache of eleven duck decoys. M.R. Harrington and L.L. Loud found when they were digging for the Museum of the American Indian in 1924 in Pit 12, Lot 4. The cache included eight painted and feathered decoys and three unfinished decoys. Items found in the same pit consisted of feathers and two bundles of animal traps. The remarkable decoys were made from bundled tule, a long grass-like herb, covered in feathers and painted.
The first attempt to date the decoys with radiocarbon dating techniques in 1969 was unsuccessful because the material got lost. Later samples could not be acquired without causing extensive damage to the decoys so they were not dated until the development of the Accelerator Mass Spectrometric (AMS) dating technique. Technological advances with AMS dating meant that much smaller, milligram-size, specimens from archaeological record were ample size for dating. Samples were retrieved from two duck decoys and A. J. T. Tull of the University of Arizona, Tucson conducted the dating of the specimens. In 1984 he reported the dates to Don D. Fowler. Duck Decoy 13/4513, Lovelock Cave was dated at 2,080 + 330 BP, and Duck Decoy 13/4512B was dated at 2,250 + 230BP.
A hand woven textile sling was collected by Loud in 1912 but it was not reported or studied extensively until years later. Archaeologists are interested in the specific specimen because it is recognized as one of the earliest slings in North America. The Indians of the Northern Paiute or Paviotso were occupants of the area during historic times and they recognized the sling as a toy or used for hunting and war. Slings were known to serve different purposes such as a toy, a forehead band, or a mechanism for hunting birds. The design of the sling found at Lovelock was constructed through a simple knotting technique from a two-ply yarn. The pattern on the sling is reversible. It was likely made from various pieces of available fiber. The sling found at Lovelock is just one of the many handmade textile items of the cave. Traps and nets were also crafted to assist hunters during their search for food. Baskets and other food storage items were used to ensure that during times of resource scarcity everyone would have enough food for survival.
Humans utilized the cave starting around 2580 BC but it was not intensively used until 1000 BC. Two competing hypotheses arose from the investigations of Lovelock Cave. Heizer and Napton supported a limnosedentary theory pertaining to life at the site. This view held that people of the area rarely moved from their base because they had access to such rich and varied resources. This theory is based on the coprolitic material found at Lovelock which revealed a primary diet of fish and diverse lakeside fare. A limnomobile view suggests that sites such as Lovelock were only occupied during certain times throughout the year and people in the area were very mobile. Lovelock Cave is believed to have been occupied extensively during the winter months. Summer months may have been plagued with insects that would make life near a marsh undesirable. The findings at the site reveal lengthy periods of occupation and also show the complicated techniques used by hunters and gatherers to acquire resources.
Lovelock Cave overlooks Humboldt Sink, a remnant of Lake Lahontan. The human coprolites recovered from Lovelock Cave reveal that 90 percent of the diet came from Humboldt Sink. All sizes of fish were eaten and hunting techniques included the use of nets, traps, and hooks made from fishbone. Dietary staples include: Lahontan Chub, ducks, and mudhens. Plants such as bulrush, cattail, and other grasses were also significant food sources. The environment of the Great Basin is very diverse. The amount of rainfall varies year to year. A wet year can potentially produce six times more vegetation than that of a dry year. Hunter-gatherers of the Great Basin survived on a wide variety of resources to adapt to a changing environment. The inhabitants of Lovelock Cave were fortunate to live around a rich lowland marsh, the duck and goose decoys were ideal for hunting in such areas. Mosquitoes and other insects were troublesome pests to people of the marshes during summer months.
Subsistence patterns and adaptations varied greatly among Great Basin groups. People living in mountainous areas were surviving on plants for more than fifty percent of their diets whereas people around water or in the marshes were hunting fish and other wetland wildlife. Waterfowl have been attracted to Great Basin marshes for thousands of years. Ancient hunter-gatherer inhabitants of Lovelock Cave became expert bird hunters. They used their well-designed duck decoys to lure prey then shoot birds from blinds. As hunters became more experienced they would wear disguises made from reeds or duck skin and stalk birds then surprise and grab them by the legs. The people at Lovelock recognized the importance of water fowl and utilized birds extensively. Archaeological specimens from the site show that the inhabitants collected feathers from geese, ducks, pelicans, and herons. Hunter-gathers were intelligent and used the feathers from the birds to create decoys which allowed the capture of more birds. Decoys are still used by local native people today in hunting water fowl.
Hunters were also able to rely on a variety of fauna such as muskrat, rabbit, and rodents as foodstuff. Gathers were harvesting vegetables and grasses in the spring and fall to supplement their rich diet. The women of the group were likely the gatherers and also responsible for crafting important items to make life easier in the marsh. Fibers from dogbane and milkweed were used to fashion yarns and baskets. Baskets were used to store food, especially vegetation that was harvested in the spring and fall to be saved for winter months. Women would occasionally collect fish with smaller baskets.
The ideal conditions at Lovelock Cave preserved deposits of feathers from various birds and textiles from nets. Common fibrous items include: nets, baskets, sandals, traps, and decoys. Manos and metates, hand held grinding stones, were abundantly used by Indians. They helped process plant foods especially seeds, nuts, and other tough material. The materials recovered from Lovelock Cave helped to demonstrate that hunting and gathering was the primary means of survival for Native Americans of the Great Basin for thousands of years. The diversity of resources allowed the people in the area to thrive using traditional methods for a long period of time, and whose material culture remained the same for thousands of years.
The cave’s last use is believed to be in the mid-1800s as indicated by a gun cache and a human coprolite. The material was tested through radiocarbon dating and dated to about 1850.
According to Paiute oral history, the Si-Te-Cah or Sai’i are a legendary tribe of red-haired cannibalistic giants. Mummified remains fitting the Paiute description were discovered by guano miners in Lovelock Cave in 1911. Adrienne Mayor writes about the Si-Te-Cah in her book, Legends of the First Americans. She suggests that the ‘giant’ interpretation of the skeletons from Lovelock Cave and other dry caves in Nevada was started by entrepreneurs setting up tourist displays and that the skeletons themselves were of normal size. However, about a hundred miles north of Lovelock there are plentiful fossils of mammoths and cave bears, and their large limb bones could easily be thought to be those of giants by an untrained observer. She also discusses the reddish hair, pointing out that hair pigment is not stable after death and that various factors such as temperature, soil, etc. can turn ancient very dark hair rusty red or orange.
Several rune stones have been found in the United States, most notably the Kensington Runestone in Minnesota and the Heavener Stone in Oklahoma. There is considerable debate over their age and validity. The “Kensington Runestone” is a slab of gray stone, measuring 36 inches long, 16 inches wide, and 6 inches thick. It contains runic writing along the face of the stone and along one edge. The stone was found by a Minnesota farmer named Olaf Ohman in November of 1898 while a digging up a poplar tree stump on the southern slope of a 50-foot high knoll. The stone was buried face down about six inches below the surface, with the tree roots wrapped around it. Mr. Ohman and his sons saw the runic letters but did not know what they were.
Unfortunately, the stone was not left in place, so they were unable to demonstrate its obvious age from the growth pattern of the tree. The stone was sent to the University of Minnesota and then to Chicago. It was was studied by runic scholars, who interpreted the inscription to be an account of Norse explorers in the 14th Century. Many authorities who have since examined the stone have claimed it a forgery, but others are equally certain of its authenticity.
It is known King Magnus of Sweden sent that a party to Greenland in 1355. They never returned. It is very possible that these men were from that party. The stone bears the date of 1362. The transliteration of the text is generally accepted as:
“Eight Goths and 22 Norwegians on a journey of exploration from Vinland very far west. We had camp by 2 rocky islands one day’s journey north from this stone. We were out fishing one day. After we came home we found 10 men red with blood and dead. AVM [Ave Maria] save us from evil.”
The inscription along the edge of the stone says:
“Have 10 men by the sea to look after our ships 14 days’ journey from this island. Year 1362.”
The stone is now in the Runestone Museum in Alexandria, Minnesota, near where the stone was found.
Update: At a 2000 conference in St. Paul, attended by archaeologists from about 20 states and three Canadian provinces, a Minnesota geologist and a Wisconsin chemist presented what they say is indisputable evidence that the runestone inscription is “real” and old, probably from the 1300s. Scott Wolter, president of American Petrographic services, is a licensed Minnesota geologist. He was instrumental in analyzing the stone’s surfaces with Barry Hanson, a chemist and project manager for nonprofit archeology group, Archeology ITM, and Paul Weiblen, professor emeritus in geophysics at the University of Minnesota. Weiblen published a 45-page report on the mineralogy of the stone, and concludes that the carvings are significantly older than 1898, when it was discovered.
Possible Viking Routes to Minnesota from Greenland via the Hudson Bay and the Nelson and Red Rivers or via the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes.
Dr. Richard Nielsen, president of Houston Texas-based Nielsen Engineering, studies linguistics as a hobby. His research involving 14th century legal documents known as “Swedish Diplomas”, reveals linguistic evidence linking the writing style and expressions on the stone to the vernacular found in historical legal documents of the period between 1355 and 1375. During the 14th century many of the educated scribes died of the bubonic plague. Less educated writers introduced vernacular into the legal documents during that period.
Thomas Reiersgord, author of The Kensington Rune Stone: Its Place in History, believes that the “10 men red with blood”, were not killed by Indians, but were victims of the bubonic plague, carried in its incubation period from Europe, by one or more carriers in the group. In its pneumatic form the plague spreads and kills rapidly, the victims vomiting blood as well as covered with bloody pustules.
The “Heavener Runestone” of Oklahoma is a slab about 12 feet high, 10 feet wide, and 16 inches thick with runic letters spelling out the word “Gaomedat”. By reversing two runes which appear to be different from the others, the inscription becomes “Glomedal”, or “Glome’s Valley”. It could also be rendered “G. Nomedal”. Nomedal is a Norwegian family name. Thanks to the efforts of Gloria Farley, the area surrounding the stone is now the Heaven Rune Stone State Park. The stone is now protected inside a building erected around it. The official theory is that the stone was erected as a boundary marker between 600 A.D. and 900 A.D.
Old-timers related that there were many more stones in the area, but most were destroyed by treasure hunters in the 1930s and 1940s. Neither of the Heavener Runestones Numbers Two or Three have enough runes to render a translatable message. In 1967, another stone was found near Ponteau, Oklahoma.
The second stone, which measured 30 by 14 inches and 20 inches thick, shows 12-inch, three-pronged symbol on a stem, the runic “R”. Below it on the side surface was a small mark which later proved to be a “bindrune,” or combination of two runes. This stone is called “Heavener Runestone Number Two.
On Heavener Three an “X,” a “turkey track,” and an arrow shape: the runes for “G,” “R,” and “T,” respectively. The letters, 6 to 9 inches tall, appear in a triangular pattern on a stone 5 1/2 feet long. Neither of the Heavener Runestones Numbers Two or Three have enough runes to render a translatable message.
The Poteau stone, found by schoolboys in 1967, is 15 inches long. There are seven characters in a straight line, l 1/2 to 2 inches high. The runes showed very plainly because the bottom of the grooves were in a lighter colored layer of the stone, while the surface was dark. Tool marks in the grooves showed that the letters had been made with a punch, like the Heavener Runestone. Four of the runes are duplicates of those on the Heavener Runestone, and three seemed to be variants of others on it. From the site of the Poteau stone, the Heavener Runestone on the side of Poteau Mountain lies about 10 miles to the southeast. The original sties of Heavener Runestones Numbers Two and Three fall in a line between them.
There are several more theories regarding the Heavener stones. In 1967, Alf Monge, a former US Army cryptographer asserted that the symbols are a runic puzzle, indicating a date, equivalent to November 11, 1012, St. Martin’s Day, on our calendar. According to Monge, all of the cryptic runic messages in North American and those found in Stave Churches in Norway, are deciphered as dates of church holidays. He feels there is evidence that the creator of this puzzle and others found in North America was Eirik Gnupsson, known as Henricus, who was made Bishop of Greenland in 1112. Henricus was believed to have made several trips to Vinland and farther inland. Monge says Henricus left seven runic puzzles including the Kensington Rune Stone, the Heavener Rune Stone and the Spirit Pond Rune Stone. This is discussed in two books by O.G. Landsverk: Runic Records of the Norsemen in America, Erik J Friis Publisher, 1974, and Ancient Norse
Messages on American Stones, Norseman Press, 1969., and in Earl Syversen’s Norse Runic Inscriptions: with their long-forgotten cryptography, Vine Hill Press.
Monge’s solution to the Poteau inscription is another date, November 11, 1017 A.D., exactly five years later than the date he said was on the Heavener Runestone. The seventh symbol on the Poteau Runestone is not in the standard runic alphabets but was a runic symbol for the numeral 17.
The early Norse calendar is based upon a cycle of 19 days, or Golden Numbers. The Younger Futhark was used to number those days. There are, of course, only 16 staves in the Younger Futhark, so three new symbols were devised to represent 17, 18, and 19.
Yet another stone was found in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Its five runes, all from the 24-rune Elder Futhark, spells out “MEDOK.” Medok is similar to Madoc, the name of a Welsh prince. Ancient records state that he came to America in the year 1170 A.D., then returned to Wales for ten shiploads of colonists which he led up the Mississippi River. However, the Welsh did not use third century A.D. Norse runes and the name Medok is not Madoc. Alf Monge studied the inscription on the Shawnee Runestone and said it was another Norse cryptopuzzle, giving the date November 24, 1024 A.D.
While agreeing that the Heavener stone bears a cryptic message, Dr. Lee Woodward, a Sallisaw, Oklahoma minister, believes it is a monument to Rene Robert Cavelier de la Salle, a French explorer, who was murdered in 1687. Woodward asserts that la Salle was killed in the area of Heavener, not in East Texas as is commonly believed. He concludes that the stone was carved by Gemme Hiens, whom he refers to as a “German-English linguistic and artistic genius who had been a companion of La Salle from 1684-1687… Hiens did his monument in form of a runic riddle, not wanting all to readily recognize what he was doing. His riddle called for identification of a ‘Grandly Famous French Man and his dates’ (G. NOM E (t) DAT(es). He then cleverly answered the riddle in a way which be very clearly seen at the monument (D’ La Salle, 21 Novembre 1643-19 Mars 1687). Those are birth and death dates of La Salle.” Dr Lee Woodward’s theory is explained in his book, Secret La Salle Monument and Historical Marker.
Richard Nielsen, an American engineer and Norse scholar, feels that the runes should be read literally, not as puzzles. He says that the second and last runes on the Heavener Runestone, which had been considered an “A” and a “T,” were actually versions of “L,” and that the seventh rune on the Poteau inscription was a double “L” in the form of a bindrune, a combination of two runes using one vertical stroke for a stem line. Nielsen believes that all the runes on the Heavener, Poteau, and Shawnee inscriptions are from the Elder Futhark The Heavener runes transliterated into “G L O M E D A L.” , “Glome’s Valley”. The Poteau runes read “G L O I A L L W (ALU).” He says that he found that “Gloi,” is a nickname for “Glome,” thus the two stones are related to the same man. The word “ALU” is a magical formula. This language was used around 600 A.D. and is the key to the new dating of the Oklahoma Runestones. The stones were made, according to Nielsen, between 600 and 900. Nielsen’s essay “Early Scandinavian Incursions Into The Western States”, discusses the Kensington runestone as well as the Heavener stone.
The Spirit Pond runestones were found in Maine in 1971. One bears a rough map of the area, the second has runic writing on one side. On the third, there are ten lines of runes on one side and six on the other. The inscription tells of a sudden storm and fearful men trying to save their ship from “the foamy arms of Aegir, angry god of the sea”. This stone, too, has been called a hoax. I think that it is reasonable that Vikings, who were known to have built a settlement in Newfoundland, might very well have traveled south to Maine. As mentioned above, cryptologist Alf Monge believes that the stone is genuine, but its tale is not to be taken literally. He asserts that is a runic puzzle by Henricus, 12th century Bishop of Greenland.
Courtesy of: hhttps://psiresearcher.wordpress.com
A “Residual Haunting” is an event stuck in an eternity which gets repeated at times. It’s quite possible during a residual haunting to hear footsteps, windows opening and closing. Witnesses of residual hauntings also state that they’ve seen people, animals, and other things that interact with the surroundings. There’s no attempted interaction between the living and dead in this case of haunting. They are repeated playbacks of auditory, visual, smell, and other sensory phenomena that are attributed to a traumatic event, life-altering event, or a routine event of a person or place, like an echo or a replay of a videotape of past events. Initial factors in the creation of a residual event range from repetitive to traumatic events. Locations that featured intense emotional energy, such as battlefields, murder sites, prisons, and hospitals, are popular spots amongst paranormal investigators as they have a better chance of producing residual haunts. To understand more about Residual Hauntings and how and why they occur, we need to look at something called “The Stone Tape Theory”
“The stone tape theory; a term recognized by serious psychical researchers, and one that remains within the cerebral dictionary with most paranormal investigators, is nonetheless an esoteric concept for most. Simply stated; this theory follows that a particular event, often a strong, emotional or tragic event, may be captured within some physical means or perhaps ‘psychically’ etched within or upon the structural framework of a particular location. One possible example of such a location might be a stone or wood structure and possibly even certain metal-framed buildings, which may attract and contain various emotions and/or events that contain strong feelings. In short, this concept acts much like a tape or video cassette, whereby visual, audible or even olfactory responses are recorded and replayed at various times and location. This is known to most paranormal investigators as a ‘Residual Haunting”
According to the Weiser Book’s Blog Page:
“The stone tape theory; a term recognized by serious psychical researchers, and one that remains within the cerebral dictionary with most paranormal investigators, is nonetheless an esoteric concept for most. Simply stated; this theory follows that a particular event, often a strong, emotional or tragic event, may be captured within some physical means or perhaps ‘psychically’ etched within or upon the structural framework of a particular location. One possible example of such a location might be a stone or wood structure and possibly even certain metal-framed buildings, which may attract and contain various emotions and/or events that contain strong feelings. In short, this concept acts much like a tape or video cassette, whereby visual, audible or even olfactory responses are recorded and replayed at various times and location. This is known to most paranormal investigators as a ‘Residual Haunting”
This example, though certainly sounding paranormal, is in truth not as far-fetched as one might initially think. Today, it is a common practice for many computer manufacturers to utilize crystals for the distinct purpose of information storage. In fact, NASA has been using similar technology since the early days of the Space Shuttle Program. The fact that crystalline growth is able to imprint information directly to itself is certainly an intriguing idea, especially when this idea is connected to the concept of ghosts and hauntings. As these computer companies understand that data information can be etched to crystal-based foundations of data chips through sonic and similar vibration methods, it should not be too difficult to accept the Stone Tape Theory as a plausible concept.
Dr. William G. Roll, famed parapsychologist and professor with the State University of West Georgia, Department of Psychology, as well as a member of the Parapsychological Association believes that this concept is essentially based on the idea that buildings and materials are able to absorb various forms of energy from living beings, including animals. Though researchers speculate that the recording is laid down during times of high emotional stress, such as a murder, suicide or from other forms of grief, many feel that any form of emotional energy, such as happy occasions, like a banquet, a birthday party, for instance, or even a romance between two lovers can also be stored for an unspecified amount of time, and then replayed when some aspect of the witnesses personality or psychic being is triggered.
Dr. Roll continues to say that such attributes may include psychic ability, various forms of stress or even brainwaves that seem to set off the recording like a “psychic video.” Such replays may take a form of a full, ghostly manifestation or even through sounds such as voices or footsteps. The more we consider this theory, the more it appears to explain many of the sightings and incidents that occur. In recent years, the possibility that this type of haunting may be more akin to natural electric and/or magnetic fields could be another method of information storage, concluding that electromagnetic fields may in themselves be a conveyance for said recorded information. If this is true, then we must consider the popular ghost hunting methods, such as the use of the Electromagnetic Field detectors (EMF) or via Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP), as at least in the realm of possibility to that of mere fantasy.
As each of the aforementioned examples of events is typical in the realm of psychical research, specifically that of ghost and hauntings, we must ask the question: Are all haunting events related in one way or another to the Stone Tape Theory? Though many feel there is a sentience to some ghosts and apparitions, whereby the spirit in question is aware of his/her situation and surroundings, being conscious of feelings and moods, the Stone Tape Theory appears to fall within a more logical place setting within psychical research, yet does not dismiss the later theory. If ghosts are indeed residual in nature, and not actively sentient, then we must at least consider the more astute foundation of these events as scientific in nature, simply needing to be classified as such. Because the concept of something being ‘residual,’ such as the scent of burning wood being olfactory-observed long after the wood in question is long gone, and which is an accepted fact with the scientific community, we must at least consider this idea as applied to something yet unidentified. If this theory applied to psychical or paranormal research is indeed true, then we must also consider the aforementioned theory that various emotional vibrations; both sensory and physical-based, may be a plausible explanation.
In December 1970 Roger and Carolyn Perron purchased a farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island. Following events at their previous address, Carolyn decided she did not want to rear her children there and felt a house in the country would be a more suitable location for her 5 young girls to grow up. What Carolyn thought would be her dream home turned into a living nightmare.
Seeking to move the children to a quieter home life in the country, Roger and Carolyn Perron purchased their dream home in the winter of 1970. The Old Arnold Estate was 200 acres in size and one of the original plantations in the area surveyed by colonist John Smith in 1680 and deeded to Roger Williams for the formation of the state of Rhode Island. Located on Round Top Road in Harrisville, Rhode Island, the 10-room “lovely, charming” country home was built in 1736 on a beautiful plot of land with plenty of room for their five children, all girls, to roam about and play. Nancy and Christine Perron shared one room, Cindy and April another, and Andrea had a room all to herself – except on nights when, as Andrea put it, the sisters “came crawling into bed with her, trembling and crying in terror”.
The Perron family began to notice something was amiss from the first day they stepped into their lovely new home. Later it would be learned that eight generations of families had lived, and died, in the Old Arnold Estate including Mrs. John Arnold who at the age of 93, hung herself from the rafters of the barn. Other unfortunate losses of life on the estate included several suicides (hangings, poisonings), the rape and unsolved murder of eleven-year-old girl Prudence Arnold (later presumed to have been murdered by a farm hand), two sudden drownings in the creek located near the house, and four men who mysteriously froze to death on the land. It did not take long before the Perrons’ understood why the previous seller advised them on the day that they moved into the house, “leave the lights on at night.”
The house they purchased was the old Arnold farm which was over two centuries old. Eight generations of families had lived and died in that house and some of these spirits never left. Previous residents of the farmhouse included Mrs John Arnold who at the age of 93 hung herself in the barn and Bathsheba Sherman who had an extremely hard life. She lost all of her children before the age of four. When she was a young woman, Bathsheba had a young child in her care (it is uncertain if this was her child or if she was caring for the child for a friend) that died. Upon examination of the baby’s body it was found that a needle had been impaled into its skull and the baby had died from convulsions. Bathsheba was charged with manslaughter but due to lack of evidence the case was dropped. However, in the court of public opinion she was found guilty. She was a very beautiful woman whom men loved and women envied. Following the death of the baby rumours began to swirl that Bathsheba had sacrificed this baby as an offering to the devil for eternal beauty. Due to the belief of the locals that she was a witch she lived a life of solitude. Eventually she married and it is unsure if she lived all her days at the Arnold farm or the adjacent Sherman farm. She died in 1885 and the coroner made a note in his report stating that he had never seen anything like it that it was like her body had turned to stone. The Perron family spoke to a man who knew Bathsheba and he said she was a very angry and bitter woman who would beat and starve her farmhands.
From the very first day the Perron family moved into the farmhouse the paranormal activity began. When the family first arrived at the house the old tenants were packing up the last of their things. As they did so a man stood in the corner watching them. Three of the five girls seen this man but the parents did not. It was an apparition. The family continued to see spirits some of which did not even notice the family were there, they were the quiet ones who lived peacefully at the farmhouse and did not bother the family. One of the girls made friends with a spirit whom she called Manny. He was a sympathetic soul whom the Perrons believed was the spirit of Johnny Arnold who had committed suicide in the house in the 1700’s. He would watch over the family. He would appear to the children but as soon as they made eye contact he would disappear. Many peaceful souls resided at the farmhouse but there was also dark forces. Every time the father was home machinery in the house began to breakdown that he would have to go and fix. All of this machinery was located in the cellar for example the boiler and the heating. When he would go to the cellar he would be approached by a spirit who seemed very attracted to him. She would touch him on the back of the neck and run her hands across his back. Over time he developed a kinship with this spirit and this was the spirit who caused most of the problems in the house. It is believed this was Bathsheba (although it is possible it could have been one of the many other spirits) and that she seen herself as the mistress of the house and Roger and the kids were hers which led her to put Carolyn Perron through what her daughter Andrea describes as ‘Something no human being should endure’. She wanted to drive Carolyn from the house and when this did not work she tried to claim her from within and this is when the true terror of Harrisville began. One of the children, Cindy, one day decided with her friend that they would try to drive the spirits from the house which resulted in a brutal attack on the two children and then Cindy began to suffer at the hands of the evil spirits also.
At first the ghosts, or demon spirits were harmless. Described variously as opaque or somewhat solid in appearance, there were many spirits present in the old homestead. One ghost smelled of flowers while another would gently kiss the girls goodnight in their beds every night. Another appeared to be a small, young male that the girls would watch, mesmerized, push toy cars about the room propelled by an invisible hand.
One apparition, presumably a female ghost, was a welcome presence in the home. The Perron’s would often hear sweeping noises coming from the kitchen. When they entered the room, they would find the broom had been moved to a different spot in the room with a neat pile of newly swept dirt sitting in the middle of the floor, waiting to be deposited in the trashcan.
“Manny” was another spirit that the young Perron children loved. Manny was believed to be the spirit of Johnny Arnold, who had committed suicide by hanging himself in the attic of the house in the 1700’s. Manny would appear before the children, often standing nearby quietly watching the children going about their daily activities, a crooked smile on his face, amused at the children’s’ play. If eye contact was made with Manny, he would withdraw from sight just as suddenly as he had appeared.
In addition to ghostly entities, the Perrons’ witnessed many other odd and unexplained phenomena. Beds would levitate several inches off of the floor, telephone handsets would hover in the air and slam down onto the phone base when someone entered the room, and various household objects would glide about the house on their own. Often chairs would be pulled suddenly from beneath an unsuspecting guest and pictures would tumble from the walls. The Perrons’ once reported seeing an orange ooze blood and a wall dissolve into nothingness.
Not all the ghosts at Harrisville were welcome visitors. Some would yank the girls’ legs and hair during the middle of the night. Others would loudly bang the front door of the home with such force that the entire house would shake. Doors would slam shut on their own while others would stay frozen in place, unable to be shut no matter how much force was applied to them. One entity in the home routinely kept the family awake as it continually cried out in the night, “Mama! Maaaama!” while another apparition tortured 8-year-old Cindy telling her over and over, “there are seven dead soldiers buried in the wall”. One of the Perron’s recalled a small, delicate spirit, appearing to be about 4 years old, roaming the house crying, calling for her mother.
The most horrid ghost in the home targeted Mrs. Perron specifically. Known as Bathsheba, the entity was thought to have been the ghost of Bathsheba Sherman, a practicing Satanist and witch who had lived in the home in the early 19th century and died there after hanging herself from a tree behind the barn. The Perrons’ were not a religious family. Weak in faith, it was theorized to be a primary factor for the particularly violent and active nature of Bathsheba’s treatment of the Perron family.
Bathsheba was a vile, hideous creature described as having a face “similar to a desiccated bee hive” covered in cobwebs with no real human features other than vermin crawling from crevices etched into the wrinkled skin of her face. Her head, round and gray, sat “leaning off to one side” as if her neck had been broken and an evil stench permeated the room when she was present.
Bathsheba Thayer was born in 1812 in Rhode Island and married fellow Rhode Islander Judson Sherman on March 10, 1844. When alive Bathsheba had lived a life of solitude, an outcast of the community she lived in after being accused of killing her young baby as a sacrifice to Satan. The baby’s body was found to have been impaled in the head with a sharp object. Lacking evidence, the case was eventually dropped. Bathsheba was believed to have had three other children, none of whom survived past the age of four. Her children may not have been her only victims. Bathsheba was also known to have brutalized the staff often starving and beating them for minor infractions. When Bathsheba died on May 25, 1885, the coroner wrote that he had never seen anything like it – her emaciated body had eerily solidified, seemingly turned to stone.
It was easily recognized that Bathsheba had her favorites in the household. She tortured Carolyn Perron (one of the daughters, Cindy, was often a frequent target) while lusting after Mr. Perron. During their stay, equipment in the home frequently broke. Roger Perron would take the broken machinery down to the cellar to repair. While working, he often felt Bathsheba touching him, gently caressing his neck or running her hands down his back. But while longing for Mr. Perron, Bathsheba abhorred Carolyn. It was clear that Bathsheba wanted Carolyn out of the house.
In the beginning, Bathsheba’s treatment of Carolyn was merely “cruel”. Carolyn would be pinched, slapped, or have objects thrown about her. Her greatest fear, fire, was soon discovered by the entity and used repeatedly to strike terror in her as Bathsheba banged torches against her bed while demanding that she leave the home immediately.
As time progressed, the attacks grew harsher. In one instance, Carolyn was lying on the couch when she felt a sharp pain in the calf of her leg. She examined her leg and found a large, bleeding puncture wound that looked “as if a large sewing needle had impaled her skin”. Later, after threats failed to motivate Carolyn to leave, Bathsheba took a different tack and attempted to invade Carolyn from within.
The Perrons’ soon learned that every occupant (with the exception of a local minister and his family) of the old Arnold Estate had reported supernatural phenomena on the homestead. In fact, the owner just prior to the Perrons’ had hired a contractor to renovate the house. The contractor had been busily renovating the home when he suddenly stopped work and fled. It was reported that he had left the home screaming leaving behind his tools and his car. The owners never moved in and the home sat vacant for several years before the Perrons’ discovered it was on the market.
Despite their unfortunate circumstances, financial constraints kept the Perrons’ rooted in place for 10 long years. Unable to flee, they endured the inconvenience of the “friendly” spirits and the torture the malevolent ghosts bestowed upon them. Finally, in 1980, at the insistence of Carolyn, the Perrons’ were financially able to vacate the home. They moved to Georgia.
Andrea Perron wrote a trilogy of books entitled ‘House of Darkness, House of Light’ volumes 1, 2 and 3 of their experiences in the home, She tours the country giving lectures and recollections of her time in the haunted home.
According to Andrea Perron, the current owner, Norma Sutcliffe, who purchased the home in 1983, stated that she, her husband Gerry, and various visitors to the home have had paranormal experiences in the farmhouse, including the door banging in the front hall, sounds of people talking in another room, the sounds of footsteps scurrying around the house, and one odd instance when her husband’s chair began vibrating in the study room. They claim to have also witnessed a glowing blue light “shoot across the bedroom”, “fog” floating through the rooms of the home, and vibrations in the walls so intense they felt the house was going to come apart. Several visitors to their home have independently reported seeing an elderly woman, hair in a bun, moving silently throughout the house. the current residents claim there is always activity in the house but not to the extent the Perrons endured.
Carolyn Perron – born on 8/1939
Roger Perron – born on 8/27/1935 in Providence, Rhode Island
Andrea Perron – born on 10/10/1958 in Rhode Island
Nancy Perron – born on 2/8/1960 in Willimantic, Connecticut
Christine Perron – born on 1/30/1961 in Willimantic, Connecticut
Cindy Perron – born in Willimantic, Connecticut
April Perron – born in Willimantic, Connecticut
Report By: Haktan Akdogon SIRIUS Space Research
This extraordinary incident took place in a compound in Kumburgaz/Istanbul was witnessed by many residents and filmed by the same night guard Yalcin Yalman in 2009, 2008 and in 2007. The images captured are expected to have a tremendous impact throughout the world and be listed as “the most important UFO/extraterrestrial images ever filmed in all the World”. During the months of April and May 2009, many nationwide UFO sightings were reported from different cities of Turkey, while some of them were filmed and photographed and aired. Within the same period of time, these objects also witnessed by the residents of Kumburgaz/Yeni Kent Compound, caught on video several times by a night guard named Yalcin Yalman and these footages are considered as the closest and the most significant images ever filmed around the world. In these amazing UFO video footages which would likely have major repercussions around the world and be listed as “the most significant UFO videos ever”, physical forms of UFO’s and their metallic structures are clearly noticeable. What’s more important is that in the close-up of some footages of the objects, entities in them can be distinctly made out. We, at Sirius UFO Space Science Research Center did the detailed analysis of the full footage with the participation of our members of science board. We have enlarged the video images of the footages, did all the detailed analysis and checked their pixels and went through the all footage frame by frame. After doing all the necessary analysis which went on for a week, we came to a definite conclusion with no doubts that these are “100% genuine footages”! The objects sighted in the aforementioned footages that have a structure that is made of specific material are definitely not made up by any kind of computer animation nor are they any form of special effects used for simulation in a studio or for a video effect therefore in conclusion it was decided that the sightings were neither a mockup or hoax. And it is concluded that these objects in the sightings that have physical and material structures do not belong in any category such as; planes, helicopters, meteors, Venus, Mars, satellites, fire balls, Chinese lantern, fire balls, weather balloons, natural or atmospheric phenomenon… etc. and but rather fall into the category UFO’s… Also, nationally very well known special effect experts Tarkan Ozel and Cem Ozel (www.ozelfx.com) have also analyzed the video footages and they have concluded the same result as ” the footage being genuine”. Haktan Akdogan – Chairman Respectfully,
ATV Channel – Program Editor On January 31, 2008, a MiniDV format video cassette holding 35 minutes of footage was brought over to “TUBITAK” The Science and Technology Research Board of Turkey’s (a Scientific Institution owned by the state that is highly reliable and influential) National Observatory (TUG) by Mr.Tolga Ozdeniz, the Editor of “Reporter” that has been aired on ATV Channel. The footage on the cassette was said to have been recorded by a Canon GL1 MiniDV digital camera on a beach of a holiday village in Kumburgaz/Istanbul by an amateur.
The images were examined by TUG- National Observatory Image Processing Unit. Because, it would take quite a long time to analyze all of the images, only randomly selected parts were pre-examined. During this process, emphasis was not placed on images produced by optical clarification effects which a number of point light sources generated.
The examination of these frames has yielded following results:
– The images were recorded in digital NTSC format by above-mentioned camera.
– The date on the video indicates that the recordings were made during 2007, 2008, and 2009.
– The footage images of the object which visibly have a certain configuration are not computer animations, special video effects or studio re-created images or models. The footage is genuine…
– The first observation made from the footage is that some of the images were recorded in nighttime sky at a certain altitude from the horizon. The footage also covers images of moon in some parts which proves that the video was shot in nighttime and open air. But, the fact that digital date display’s showing AM in certain frames and PM in others, raises suspicion about the validity of the time in which the recordings were made.
– Since in some parts, there is no other object that can be featured as a reference in the close-up frames and no observable differences were found on background examination, the actual location, distance, dimensions and nature of the objects could not have been determined.
– Through the examination of shootings of multiple dates, it’s a strong possibility that 2-3 different objects were captured. However, it’s difficult to determine whether the objects are moving or not. Their movement is slow even if they do so.
– The reflections of light on the objects are sometimes caused by moon which was in a convenient location at that time, and sometimes produced by some other sources of light.
– The light reflection from the left side of the object which is seen on August 10th shootings is not produced by the moon. At that time, the moon was in a phase that was pretty close to the “new moon” phase and located approximately at a 10 degrees proximity/angle to the horizon. Moreover, the image processing analysis conducted on some part of the footage revealed that the center of the object has the same density as its background, namely is of a transparent nature. In conclusion, even though a detailed analysis of the footage is conducted, it might still remain unidentified. Hence, other reference objects need to be recorded in the same frame with the disputable object and further shootings need to be done by ourselves with special equipment in the same location and conditions.
Accordingly, the term “UFO” (Unidentified Flying Object) which has been used for these sort of dubious objects can also be used for these objects. But, this definition does not mean that these objects are from extraterrestrial (flying saucer etc.) origin.
Prof. phD. Zeki EKER
National Observatory of TUBITAK
Original Raw Video Footage:
Of all the reports of UFO sightings, some of the most intriguing ones are those which come in flaps, or waves, have multiple witnesses, and photographs.
One of the most celebrated cases of this type was the Belgian flap which began in November of 1989.
The events of November 29 would be documented by no less than thirty different groups of witnesses, and three separate groups of police officers. All of the reports described a large object flying at low altitude. The craft was of a flat, triangular shape, with lights underneath.
This giant craft made not a sound as it slowly and fearlessly moved across the landscape of Belgium. There was free sharing of information as the Belgian populace tracked this craft as it moved from the town of Liege to the border of the Netherlands and Germany.
This first startling sighting would evolve into a wave over the next several months. On two occasions, a pair of F-16 fighters chased the mysterious object, but to no avail.
On March 30, 1990, a frantic call to military headquarters came from a Belgian national police Captain.
He marveled at a giant triangle passing over and simultaneously two ground radar stations were reporting an object of unknown origin on their screens.
One of these bases was NATO controlled near the city of Glons, southeast of Brussels.
After contacting other radar facilities, they learned that at least four other stations were also reporting the object on their screens. The object was moving across their screens slowly, and failed to send a transponder signal to identify itself.
Two F-16s were ordered to intercept and identify this phenomenon, and one of the jet’s radars locked the object in. It appeared as a small diamond on the pilot’s screen.
The pilot reported that only a few seconds after locking on the target, the object began to pick up speed, quickly moving out of radar range.
An hour long chase ensued, during which time the F-16s picked up the strange craft’s signal two additional times, only to see it fade from view.
The triangular craft seemed to be playing a cat and mouse game, and finally was lost in the night lights of Brussels.
The pilots of the fighters reported that the UFO had made maneuvers at speeds beyond the capability of their technology, and once the radar showed the craft drop from 10,000 to 500 feet in 5 seconds!
The extraordinary sightings continued for months as the triangular invader was witnessed more than 1,000 times, both day and night. The object dipped low enough to easily be seen with the naked eye, and the event became one of the biggest stories in the Belgian media.
Another unusual occurrence associated with the Belgian flap was the inability to take a clear photograph of it. Many observers had their cameras ready, and took what they thought would be clear images, but when the film was developed, the image was blurred, and the craft’s outline was vague at best.
This anomaly was addressed by physics professor Auguste Meessen, who was employed by the Catholic University at Louvin. Meessen’s investigation produced a theory that infrared light must be the reason that almost all the images were unclear. To put his theory to test, he exposed film to infrared, then photographed objects in regular light. The results were the same as the photographs of the triangle-shaped UFO.
One good image was finally captured on video tape in April 1990. This image showed the underbelly of the craft with spotlights on the three corners. A still frame from this tape has been seen worldwide, and is a classic UFO photograph.
The Belgium wave has obtained classic status in UFO lore. With over 1,000 witnesses, confirmed radar sightings, plane radar lock-ins, and military confirmations, the fact that an unknown craft moved across the country of Belgium cannot be denied.
The case is also important for its unique information sharing. Civilian and Military officials were forthcoming with the reports, and set a model for others to follow in their pursuit to uncover the mystery behind the UFO enigma.
In April 1990, a photo of a triangular object upon which three lights are visible at each corner was taken by Patrick M. Since then, Patrick M. came out and stated publicly that the picture was a hoax by him.
Skeptics say there is no background in the photograph and no element that would allow calculation of the object’s size or distance from the camera. Wim van Utrecht, a Belgian skeptic, has reproduced a copy of the photograph with devices. A computer graphics simulation method to reproduce the photograph was developed by a Belgian mathematician, Thierry Veyt at The University of Liège Laboratory of Astrophysics, wherein the apparent “shake” motion, that results in the lights of the craft appearing blurred or out of focus in the photograph contradicts eye-witness statements. This, along with the anonymity of the photographer and fact that the image was not produced publicly until 4 months after the alleged event, brings the authenticity of the image into question.
For 20 years, the ufological organization Société belge d’étude des phénomènes spatiaux (SOBEPS) claimed that this picture was genuine. But on 26 July 2011, in an interview for RTL, a Belgian TV channel, Patrick M. confessed that it was a hoax.
What happens when you are exposed to electromagnetic fields?
Exposure to electromagnetic fields is not a new phenomenon. However, during the 20th century, environmental exposure to man-made electromagnetic fields has been steadily increasing as growing electricity demand, ever-advancing technologies and changes in social behaviour have created more and more artificial sources. Everyone is exposed to a complex mix of weak electric and magnetic fields, both at home and at work, from the generation and transmission of electricity, domestic appliances and industrial equipment, to telecommunications and broadcasting.
Tiny electrical currents exist in the human body due to the chemical reactions that occur as part of the normal bodily functions, even in the absence of external electric fields. For example, nerves relay signals by transmitting electric impulses. Most biochemical reactions from digestion to brain activities go along with the rearrangement of charged particles. Even the heart is electrically active – an activity that your doctor can trace with the help of an electrocardiogram.
Low-frequency electric fields influence the human body just as they influence any other material made up of charged particles. When electric fields act on conductive materials, they influence the distribution of electric charges at their surface. They cause current to flow through the body to the ground.
Low-frequency magnetic fields induce circulating currents within the human body. The strength of these currents depends on the intensity of the outside magnetic field. If sufficiently large, these currents could cause stimulation of nerves and muscles or affect other biological processes.
Both electric and magnetic fields induce voltages and currents in the body but even directly beneath a high voltage transmission line, the induced currents are very small compared to thresholds for producing shock and other electrical effects.
Heating is the main biological effect of the electromagnetic fields of radiofrequency fields. In microwave ovens this fact is employed to warm up food. The levels of radiofrequency fields to which people are normally exposed are very much lower than those needed to produce significant heating. The heating effect of radiowaves forms the underlying basis for current guidelines. Scientists are also investigating the possibility that effects below the threshold level for body heating occur as a result of long-term exposure. To date, no adverse health effects from low level, long-term exposure to radiofrequency or power frequency fields have been confirmed, but scientists are actively continuing to research this area.
Biological effects or health effects? What is a health hazard?
Biological effects are measurable responses to a stimulus or to a change in the environment. These changes are not necessarily harmful to your health. For example, listening to music, reading a book, eating an apple or playing tennis will produce a range of biological effects. Nevertheless, none of these activities is expected to cause health effects. The body has sophisticated mechanisms to adjust to the many and varied influences we encounter in our environment. Ongoing change forms a normal part of our lives. But, of course, the body does not possess adequate compensation mechanisms for all biological effects. Changes that are irreversible and stress the system for long periods of time may constitute a health hazard.
An adverse health effect causes detectable impairment of the health of the exposed individual or of his or her offspring; a biological effect, on the other hand, may or may not result in an adverse health effect.
It is not disputed that electromagnetic fields above certain levels can trigger biological effects. Experiments with healthy volunteers indicate that short-term exposure at the levels present in the environment or in the home do not cause any apparent detrimental effects. Exposures to higher levels that might be harmful are restricted by national and international guidelines. The current debate is centred on whether long-term low level exposure can evoke biological responses and influence people’s well being.
Widespread concerns for health
A look at the news headlines of recent years allows some insight into the various areas of public concern. Over the course of the past decade, numerous electromagnetic field sources have become the focus of health concerns, including power lines, microwave ovens, computer and TV screens, security devices, radars and most recently mobile phones and their base stations.
The International EMF Project
In response to growing public health concerns over possible health effects from exposure to an ever increasing number and diversity of electromagnetic field sources, in 1996 the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a large, multidisciplinary research effort. The International EMF Project brings together current knowledge and available resources of key international and national agencies and scientific institutions.
Conclusions from scientific research In the area of biological effects and medical applications of non-ionizing radiation approximately 25,000 articles have been published over the past 30 years. Despite the feeling of some people that more research needs to be done, scientific knowledge in this area is now more extensive than for most chemicals. Based on a recent in-depth review of the scientific literature, the WHO concluded that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields. However, some gaps in knowledge about biological effects exist and need further research.
Effects on general health Some members of the public have attributed a diffuse collection of symptoms to low levels of exposure to electromagnetic fields at home. Reported symptoms include headaches, anxiety, suicide and depression, nausea, fatigue and loss of libido. To date, scientific evidence does not support a link between these symptoms and exposure to electromagnetic fields. At least some of these health problems may be caused by noise or other factors in the environment, or by anxiety related to the presence of new technologies.
Effects on pregnancy outcome Many different sources and exposures to electromagnetic fields in the living and working environment, including computer screens, water beds and electric blankets, radiofrequency welding machines, diathermy equipment and radar, have been evaluated by the WHO and other organizations. The overall weight of evidence shows that exposure to fields at typical environmental levels does not increase the risk of any adverse outcome such as spontaneous abortions, malformations, low birth weight, and congenital diseases. There have been occasional reports of associations between health problems and presumed exposure to electromagnetic fields, such as reports of prematurity and low birth weight in children of workers in the electronics industry, but these have not been regarded by the scientific community as being necessarily caused by the field exposures (as opposed to factors such as exposure to solvents).
Cataracts General eye irritation and cataracts have sometimes been reported in workers exposed to high levels of radiofrequency and microwave radiation, but animal studies do not support the idea that such forms of eye damage can be produced at levels that are not thermally hazardous. There is no evidence that these effects occur at levels experienced by the general public.
Electromagnetic fields and cancer Despite many studies, the evidence for any effect remains highly controversial. However, it is clear that if electromagnetic fields do have an effect on cancer, then any increase in risk will be extremely small. The results to date contain many inconsistencies, but no large increases in risk have been found for any cancer in children or adults.
A number of epidemiological studies suggest small increases in risk of childhood leukemia with exposure to low frequency magnetic fields in the home. However, scientists have not generally concluded that these results indicate a cause-effect relation between exposure to the fields and disease (as opposed to artifacts in the study or effects unrelated to field exposure). In part, this conclusion has been reached because animal and laboratory studies fail to demonstrate any reproducible effects that are consistent with the hypothesis that fields cause or promote cancer. Large-scale studies are currently underway in several countries and may help resolve these issues.
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity and depression Some individuals report “hypersensitivity” to electric or magnetic fields. They ask whether aches and pains, headaches, depression, lethargy, sleeping disorders, and even convulsions and epileptic seizures could be associated with electromagnetic field exposure.
There is little scientific evidence to support the idea of electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Recent Scandinavian studies found that individuals do not show consistent reactions under properly
controlled conditions of electromagnetic field exposure. Nor is there any accepted biological mechanism to explain hypersensitivity. Research on this subject is difficult because many other subjective responses may be involved, apart from direct effects of fields themselves. More studies are continuing on the subject.
The focus of current and future research Much effort is currently being directed towards the study of electromagnetic fields in relation to cancer. Studies in search for possible carcinogenic (cancer-producing) effects of power frequency fields is continuing, although at a reduced level compared to that of the late 1990’s.
The long-term health effects of mobile telephone use is another topic of much current research. No obvious adverse effect of exposure to low level radiofrequency fields has been discovered. However, given public concerns regarding the safety of cellular telephones, further research aims to determine whether any less obvious effects might occur at very low exposure levels.
* A wide range of environmental influences causes biological effects. ‘Biological effect’ does not equal ‘health hazard’. Special research is needed to identify and measure health hazards.
* At low frequencies, external electric and magnetic fields induce small circulating currents within the body. In virtually all ordinary environments, the levels of induced currents inside the body are too small to produce obvious effects.
* The main effect of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields is heating of body tissues. * There is no doubt that short-term exposure to very high levels of electromagnetic fields can be harmful to health. Current public concern focuses on possible long-term health effects caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields at levels below those required to trigger acute biological responses.
* WHO’s International EMF Project was launched to provide scientifically sound and objective answers to public concerns about possible hazards of low level electromagnetic fields.
* Despite extensive research, to date there is no evidence to conclude that exposure to low level electromagnetic fields is harmful to human health.
* The focus of international research is the investigation of possible links between cancer and electromagnetic fields, at power line and radiofrequencies.
Jimmy Carter is one of two U.S. Presidents who have reported seeing a UFO before becoming the President. Carter’s UFO sighting began shortly after dark on a windless night. Jimmy Carter was standing outside the Lion’s Club in Leary, Georgia, waiting for a meeting to start. Suddenly, he and ten or more witnesses, sighted a red and green orb radiating in the western sky. Carter described an object that “it seemed to move towards us from a distance, stop, move partially away, return, then depart.
Bluish at first; then reddish – luminous – not solid.” “At times,” reported Carter, “it was as bright as the moon, and about as big as the moon – maybe a bit smaller. The object was luminous; not solid.” In an interview with the Atlanta Constitution, Carter described the moving nature of the event. He described the sighting as a “very remarkable sight.” This is an important event, because many of the skeptical investigations done on the Carter sighting, have tried to paint the event as a ho-hum occurrence.
None of the descriptions Carter has made of the event have ever described it as ho-hum. Jimmy Carter’s mother Lillian also confirmed that Carter had been very impressed by what he had seen. “The UFO made a huge impression on Jimmy,” she stated. “He told me about the sighting many times. He’s always been a down-to-earth no-nonsense boy, and the sighting by him, as far as I am concerned, is as firm as money in the bank.” Carter had, in fact, described the UFO sighting many times in the years since it occurred. In every instance, including the latest known telling of the story at Emory University in 1997, Carter has never backed off on the spectacular nature of the event. He has also never conceded that was he saw was some misidentification of a natural phenomena. Carter estimated that the object was three hundred to one thousand yards away.
He estimated that the event had lasted 10 minutes. Then the object disappeared. Carter was so impressed by what he had seen, he recorded his impressions of the event on a tape recorder at the time. In the ensuing years, there has been a great deal of discussion as to what the UFO had been. Skeptical UFO buffs, such as Robert Sheaffer, struggled to explain Jimmy Carter’s sighting away, by stating that Carter had viewed the planet Venus. Sheaffer, the vice-chairman of the UFO subcommittee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, wrote up his guess as to what the object Carter and the others had seen in the July 1977 Humanist Magazine. Many UFO “researchers” wanting to show that they, too, can be “discriminating” joined in stating Carter had viewed the planet Venus. Others stepped forward quickly to challenge the accuracy of Shaeffer’s claim. Sheaffer’s response to these challenges ended up taking his Venus explanation from the shaky to the bizarre. For example,probably seen stranger and more unexplainable things than that just during his time in government.”
Many years after being President, when asked about the sighting by citizens, Carter would still describe in detail the events that he witnessed. On September 24, 1997, for example, Carter spoke at the 16th annual Emory town Hall Meeting in Atlanta. When the question and answer session began, the first question was about the UFO sighting that Carter had experienced 28 years before. As he had on so many previous occasions Carter described in detail what he had seen. In conclusion to the story he stated that “he knew of no extraterrestrials and he did “not think any were on the UFO he saw.”
Campaign UFO Talk
At a Southern Governors Conference a few years after the sighting Carter stated ” I don’t laugh at people anymore when they say they’ve seen UFOs. I’ve seen one myself. It was the darndest thing I have ever seen. It was big, it was bright, it changed colors and it was about the size of the moon.” In 1975 Carter again mentioned the UFO as he was campaigning for President. He told a Washington Post reporter, ” A light appeared and disappeared in the sky. It got brighter and brighter . . . I have no idea what it was . . . I think the light was beckoning me to run in the California primary.” In June 1976, Jimmy Carter was quoted by the National Enquirer as promising, ” If I become President, I’ll make every piece of information this country has about UFO sightings available to the public and scientists. I am convinced that UFOs exist because I have seen one.”
President Jimmy Carter’s UFO Sighting Report (text reprint)
Summary: Following is the form Jimmy Carter filed with NICAP (originally filed with IUFOB) on Sep. 18, 1973. Only the questions that were responded to are listed. Carter’s responses are in quotation marks.
1. Name: “Jimmy Carter” Address: “State Capitol Atlanta” Occupation: “Governor”
2. Date of Observation: “October 1969”
3. Location of Observation: “Leary, Georgia”
4. How long did you see the object?: “10-12 minutes.”
5. Please describe weather conditions and the type of sky; i.e., bright daylight, nighttime, dusk, etc.: “Shortly after dark.”
6. Position of the Sun or Moon in relation to the object and to you: “Not in sight.”
7. If seen at night, twilight, or dawn, were the stars or moon visible?: “Stars.”
8. Were there more than one object?: “No.”
10. Was the object(s) brighter than the background of the sky?: “Yes.”
11. If so, compare the brightness with the Sun, Moon, headlights, etc.: “At one time, as bright as the moon.”
12. Did the object(s)-: a. Appear to stand still at any time?: “Yes.” g. Change brightness?: “Yes.” h. Change shape?: “Yes.” I. Change color?: “Yes.”
13. Did object(s) at any time pass in front of, or behind of anything? If so, Please elaborate givingdistance, size, etc, if possible.: “No.”
14. Was there any wind?: “No.”
15. Did you observe the object(s) through an optical instrument or other aid, windshield, window pane, storm window, screening, etc.? What?: “No.”
17. Please tell if the object(s) was (were)- c. Sharply outlined: “Yes.”
18. Was the object- b. Self-luminous?: “Yes.”
19. Did the object)s_ rise or fall while in motion?: “Came close, moved away, came close and then moved away.”
20. ..Or, if easier, give apparent size in inches on a ruler held at arm’s length: “About the same as moon, maybe a little smaller. Varied from brighter/larger than planet to apparent size of moon.”
21. How did you happen to notice the object(s)?: “10-12 men all watched it. Brightness attracted us.”
22. Where were you and what were you doing at the time?: “Outdoors waiting for a meeting to begin at 7:30 pm.”
23. How did the object(s) disappear from view?: “Moved to distance then disappeared.”
26. Please estimate the distance of the object(s): “Difficult. Maybe 300-1000 yards.”
27. What was the elevation of the object(s) in the sky?: “About 30 degrees above horizon.”
28. Names and addresses of other witnesses, if any: “Ten members of Leary Georgia Lions Club.”
31. Please draw a map of the locality of the observation showing North; your position; the direction from which the object(s) appeared and disappeared from view; the direction of its course over the area; roads, towns, villages, railroads, and other landmarks within a mile.: “Appeared from west about 30 degrees up.”
32. Is there an airport, military, governmental, or research installation in the area?: “No.”
The Levelland UFO Case occurred on November 2–3, 1957 in and around the small town of Levelland, Texas. Levelland, which in 1957 had a population of about 10,000, is located west of Lubbock on the flat prairie of the Texas panhandle. The case is considered by ufologists to be one of the most impressive in UFO history, mainly because of the large number of witnesses involved over a relatively short period of time.
The incident began late on the evening of November 2 when two immigrant farm workers, Pedro Saucedo and Joe Salaz, called the Levelland police department to report a UFO sighting. Saucedo told police officer A.J. Fowler, who was working the night desk at the police station, that they had been driving four miles west of Levelland when they saw a blue flash of light near the road. They claimed their truck’s engine died, and a rocket-shaped object rose up and approached the truck. According to Saucedo, “I jumped out of the truck and hit the dirt because I was afraid. I called to Joe but he didn’t get out. The thing passed directly over my truck with a great sound and rush of wind. It sounded like thunder and my truck rocked from the flash…I felt a lot of heat.” As the object moved away the truck’s engine restarted and worked normally. Believing the story to be a joke, Fowler ignored it. An hour later, motorist Jim Wheeler reported a “brilliantly lit, egg-shaped object, about 200 feet long” was sitting in the road, four miles east of Levelland, blocking his path. He claimed his vehicle died and as he got out of his car the object took off and its lights went out. As it moved away, Wheeler’s car restarted and worked normally.
Lubbock Avalanche 11-4-57
At 10:55 pm a married couple driving northeast of Levelland reported that they saw a bright flash of light moving across the sky and their headlights and radio died for three seconds. Five minutes later Jose Alvarez claimed he met the strange object sitting on the road 11 miles north of Levelland, and his vehicle’s engine died until the object departed. At 12:05 am (November 3), a Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University) student named Newell Wright was surprised when, driving 10 miles east of Levelland, his “car engine began to sputter, the ammeter on the dash jumped to discharge and then back to normal, and the motor started cutting out like it was out of gas…the car rolled to a stop; then the headlights dimmed and several seconds later went out.” When he got out to check on the problem, he saw a “100-foot-long” egg-shaped object sitting in the road. It took off, and his engine started running again. At 12:15 am Officer Fowler received another call, this time from a farmer named Frank Williams who claimed he had encountered a brightly glowing object sitting in the road, and “as his car approached it, its lights went out and its motor stopped.” The object flew away, and his car’s lights and motor started working again. Other callers were Ronald Martin at 12:45 am and James Long at 1:15 am, and they both reported seeing a brightly lit object sitting in the road in front of them, and they also claimed that their engines and headlights died until the object flew away.
Project Blue Book Document from OSI
By this time, several Levelland police officers were actively investigating the incident. Among them was Sheriff Weir Clem, who saw a brilliant red object moving across the sky at 1:30 am. At 1:45 am Levelland’s Fire Chief, Ray Jones, also saw the object and his vehicle’s lights and engine sputtered. The sightings apparently ended soon after this incident. During the night of November 2–3, the Levelland police department received a total of 15 phone calls concerning the strange object, and Officer Fowler noted that “everybody who called was very excited.”
Report on the Levelland Incident by KDFW Television’s Richard Ray: Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com: http://www.myfoxdfw.com/clip/6977331/ (no longer available)
The Levelland sightings received national publicity, and were soon investigated by Project Blue Book. Started in 1947 as Project Sign, Project Blue Book was the official US Air Force research group assigned to investigate UFO reports. An Air Force sergeant was sent to Levelland, and spent seven hours in the city investigating the incident. After interviewing three of the eyewitnesses – Saucedo, Wheeler, and Wright – and after learning that thunderstorms were present in the area earlier in the day, the Air Force investigator concluded that a severe electrical storm – most probably ball lightning or St. Elmo’s fire – was the major cause for the sightings and reported auto failures. According to UFO historian Curtis Peebles, “the Air Force found only three persons who had witnessed the ‘blue light’…there was no uniform description of the object.” Additionally, Project Blue Book believed that “Saucedo’s account could not be relied upon – he had only a grade school education and had no concept of direction and was conflicting in his answers…in view of the stormy weather conditions, an electrical phenomenon such as ball lightning or St. Elmo’s fire seemed to be the most probable cause.” The engine failures mentioned by the eyewitnesses were blamed on “wet electrical circuits.” Dr. Donald H. Menzel, a professor of astronomy at Harvard University and a prominent UFO researcher of that era, agreed with the Air Force explanation: “members of civilian saucer groups complained that, since [the Air Force investigator] had spent only seven hours in the area, he had obviously not taken the problem seriously and could not have found the correct solution. Even seventy hours of labor, however, could not have produced a clearer picture…the evidence leads to an overwhelming probability: the fiery unknown at Levelland was ball lightning.” Dr. Menzel argued that “in Levelland on the night of November 2 conditions were ideal for the formation of ball lightning. For several days the area had been experiencing freak weather, and on the night in question had been visited by rain, thunderstorms and lightning.” Menzel admitted that “since ball lightning is short-lived and cannot be preserved as tangible evidence, its appearance on the night of November 2 can never be absolutely proved.” However, he also argued that “only the saucer proponents could have converted so trivial a series of events – a few stalled automobiles, balls of flame in the sky at the end of the thunderstorm – into a national mystery.”
However, not everyone agreed with the Air Force explanation. Critics of the Air Force explanation pointed out that the Air Force investigator did not interview nine of the fifteen witnesses, nor were they mentioned in Blue Book’s final report on the incident. In later years two prominent UFO researchers – Dr. James E. McDonald, a physicist at the University of Arizona, and Dr. J. Allen Hynek, an astronomer at Northwestern University and, at the time, a top scientific consultant to Project Blue Book, would also dispute the Air Force ball lightning/electrical storm explanation. Both men argued that there was no electrical storm in the area when the sightings occurred. Dr. Hynek wrote that “as the person responsible for the tracking of the new Soviet satellite Sputnik, I was on a virtual around-the-clock duty and was unable to give it any attention whatever. I am not proud today that I hastily concurred in [the Air Force’s] evaluation as “ball lightning” on the basis of information that an electrical storm had been in progress in the Levelland area at the time. This was shown not to be the case. Observers reported overcast and mist but no lightning.” Hynek also noted that “had I given it any thought whatsoever, I would soon have recognized the absence of any evidence that ball lightning can stop cars and put out headlights.” In 1999 UFO researcher Antonio Rullan published a detailed analysis of the Levelland sightings. After examining various weather records and the competing claims of the Air Force, Dr. McDonald, and others, he concluded that “there was no severe thunderstorm in Levelland during the time of the sightings…there could have been a few clouds with light rain in Levelland despite no rain being reported at the [nearby] Lubbock weather station.” Rullan also added that “conditions for scattered lightning, however, cannot be discounted…lightning conditions did exist” and that “data sheets from the US Weather Bureau show that thunder and lightning were observed in [nearby] Lubbock one hour after the sightings ended.”
The case is still considered “unexplained.”
Listen to short audio file of CBS radio coverage of Levelland, Texas, Landings http://www.ufocasebook.com/Images2011/levellandtexasaudio.wma (new page will open and download the audio file)
J. Allen Hynek Comments About Levelland Case.
November 2, 1957, Levelland, Texas: At 10:50 the police station received a call from a local farmhand and part-time barber, Pedro Saucedo (a symbolic name), and his companion Joe Salaz. The story: We first saw a flash of light In the field to our right, and we didn’t think much about it – then it rose up out of the field and started toward us, picking up speed. When it got nearer, the lights of my truck went out and the motor died. I jumped out and hit the deck as the thing passed directly over the truck with a great sound and a rush of wind. It sounded like thunder, and my truck rocked from the blast. I felt a lot of heat. Then I got up and watched it go out of sight toward Levelland.
Saucedo said the object was torpedo shaped – like a rocket – and estimated it as 200 feet long. Afraid to return to Levelland for fear of encountering it again, the two men drove on to Whiteface, ten miles west of Levelland, where they phoned In their report. Although Saucedo sounded terrified, the officer on duty did not at that time take the report seriously.
But an hour later the police got another telephone report. Jim Wheeler, about four miles east of Levelland, had seen a blazing 200-foot egg-shaped object sitting on the road ahead of him. At the same time, his car lights went out and his motor died. The object rose and disappeared. A few minutes later came a call front Witharral, ten miles north-northeast of Levelland; Jose Alvarez reported that his limits and motor had gone dead as he drove near a bright, egg-shaped object on the road. At 12:15 a.m. Frank Williams of Kermit, Texas, reported a similar encounter In the same area. While the officials were out investigating and, incidentally, reporting strange lights themselves, the police station received a call from James Long, Who reported that at 1:15 a.m. he had been driving on a farm road five miles N.W. of Levelland when he came upon a 200-foot-long, egg-shaped mass that glowed like a neon sign. His engine coughed and died, and his lights went out. As he got out and approached the object, which was less than a hundred yards away, it suddenly took off straight upwards. After the object was gone, his engine started easily.
These engine stoppings, we remember, also occurred in the French incidents. The next day two more witnesses reported to the police that they had encountered a UFO. Texas Freshman was approaching Levelland at 12:05 a.m. when he noticed his ammeter jump to discharge and back then his motor quit as if it were out of gas and the lights went out. He got out and looked under the hood but could find nothing wrong. Turning around he saw on the road ahead an egg-shaped object with a flattened bottomlike a loaf of bread and glowing not as bright as neon. No portholes or propellers were visible. Frightened, Wright got back into his car and tried to start it, but without success. After a few minutes, the egg rose almost straight up, veered slightly to the north and disappeared from view in a “split instant.” After it was gone, the car started normally.
http://www.myfoxdfw.com/clip/6977331/ (no longer available)