Believers in the theory that Earth has a hollow (Hollow Earth), inhabitable core sometimes also believe in evil creatures called the Deros, which were supposedly created through genetic engineering. Resembling demons, these creatures supposedly visit the surface of the earth to kidnap human beings, whom they then become a subject to a variety of tortures. They also supposedly wreak destruction on the inhabitants of Earth’s surface by using technologically advanced machines hidden in caves to alter weather, alter brain waves to cause mental illness, and cause industrial, traffic, and other accidents. The idea of the Deros originated with Richard Sharpe Shaver, who, in 1943, told the editor of the magazine Amazing Stories that he had seen these beings; their name, he said, was derived from the words detrimental robots, though they were not actually robots but living creatures.

According to Shaver, the creators of the Deros, whom he called the Titans, were beings as tall as 300 feet (91.4m) who had originally come from an ancient yet highly advanced civilization called Lemuria.

12,000 years ago Deros were forced to escape into great caverns under the earth to avoid deadly radiation from the sun. (Some Titans, however, stayed on the surface, adjusted, and became the present human race. Others fled to distant planets.) Deros--demons in all but name and close to it even there-were sadistic idiots who had access to the advanced Titan technology, which they used to increase sexual pleasure during the orgies to which they were addicted. They also used the machines in marathon torture sessions on kidnapped surface people and also on the "teros" (integrative robots, who were not robots but good Titans who, though vastly outnumbered, were fighting the deros); they also employed the machines to cause accidents, madness, and other miseries in the world above the caves.

Shaver believed that the only hope for eliminating the Deros were the Teros, which were also created by the Titans and were heroic humanlike beings who, though small in number, were intent on fighting the Deros. Amazing Stories editor Raymond A. Palmer published many tales based on Shaver’s supposed adventures in the hollow-Earth realm, not only in Amazing Stories but in its sister publication, Fantastic Adventures, as well. (Shaver’s name was on these stories, but they were actually ghostwritten by Palmer.)

A flood of letters crossed Palmer's desk, some from individuals who claimed they, too, had met with the deros and barely lived to tell Amazing about it. Chester S. Geier, one of the magazine's regular contributors, started the Shaver Mystery Club as a way both of handling the mail and of "investigating" the "evidence" for the deros.

The first of these stories, “I Remember Lemuria,” which appeared in Amazing Stories in 1945, prompted a few other people to claim they had encountered the Deros too. However, many of the magazines’ fans complained about the Shaver tales, which increasingly explored the sexually perverse nature of the Deros, and in 1948 the magazines stopped publishing the stories.

Sources :
The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena by Patricia D. Netzley;

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22:02 | 4 komentar

Ball Lightning

Ball lightning, is a strange and so far unexplained natural phenomenon, whose existence some scientists still dispute and no conceivable scientific theory can make sense of the phenomenon. It is usually associated with thunderstorms, but lasts considerably longer than the split-second flash of a lightning bolt. Many of the early reports say that the ball eventually explodes, sometimes with fatal consequences, leaving behind the odor of sulfur. There are records of free-floating glowing balls that occur in total absence of thunderclouds. This occurs commonly in the valley of Hessdalen, Norway. One of the earliest descriptions was reported during The Great Thunderstorm at a church in Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Devon, in England, on 21 October 1638.

Four people died and approximately 60 were injured when, during a severe storm, an 8-foot (2.4 m) ball of fire was described as striking and entering the church, nearly destroying it. Large stones from the church walls were hurled into the ground and through large wooden beams. The ball of fire allegedly smashed the pews and many windows, and filled the church with a foul sulfurous odor and dark, thick smoke. The ball of fire reportedly divided into two segments, one exiting through a window by smashing it open, the other disappearing somewhere inside the church.

In December 1726 a number of British newspapers printed an extract of a letter from John Howell of the sloop Catherine and Mary:“As we were coming thro’ the Gulf of Florida on the 29th of August, a large ball of fire fell from the Element and split our mast in Ten Thousand Pieces, if it were possible; split our Main Beam, also Three Planks of the Side, Under Water, and Three of the Deck; kill’d one man, another had his Hand carried of, and had it not been for the violent rains, our Sails would have been of a Blast of Fire.”

One particularly large example was reported "on the authority of Dr. Gregory" in 1749: “Admiral Chambers on board the Montague, November 4, 1749, was taking an observation just before noon...he observed a large ball of blue fire about three miles distant from them. They immediately lowered their topsails, but it came up so fast upon them, that, before they could raise the main tack, they observed the ball rise almost perpendicularly, and not above forty or fifty yards from the main chains when it went off with an explosion, as great as if a hundred cannons had been discharged at the same time, leaving behind it a strong sulphurous smell. By this explosion the main top-mast was shattered into pieces and the main mast went down to the keel. Five men were knocked down and one of them much bruised. Just before the explosion, the ball seemed to be the size of a large mill-stone.”

The first investigator to describe ball lightning in the scientific literature was G. W. Richman, a Russian. Tragically and ironically, his interest led to his death. The incident took place in 1754 during a thunderstorm,when Richman was attempting to measure the energy of a lightning strike. While the experiment was under way, ball lightning appeared and traveled down the string, struck Richmann's forehead and killed him. The ball left a red spot on Richmann's forehead, his shoes were blown open, and his clothing was singed. His engraver was knocked unconscious. The door frame of the room was split and the door was torn from its hinges.

An English journal reported that during an 1809 storm, three "balls of fire" appeared and "attacked" the British ship HMS Warren Hastings. The crew watched one ball descend, killing a man on deck and setting the main mast on fire. A crewman went out to retrieve the fallen body and was struck by a second ball, which knocked him back and left him with mild burns. A third man was killed by contact with the third ball. Crew members reported a persistent, sickening sulfur smell afterward.

In Paris in July 1849, during an electric storm, a red ball hovered about twenty feet above a tree. Abruptly it caught fire, burned up, and burst open, freeing jagged streaks of lightning to shoot in all directions. One hit a nearby house and blew a cannon-sized hole in it.What remained of the ball started to spin and spark and then exploded with great force, knocking down three pedestrians.

On July 5, 1852, an incident occurred moments after hearing a sound like a thunderclap, a Parisian man reportedly witnessed an extraordinary sight: a fireball the size of a human head emerging from the fireplace of his fourth-story Paris apartment. It pushed aside the frame covering and darted toward him “like a cat.” He hastily withdrew his feet, and the ball moved to the center of the room. Though bright, it gave off no discernible heat. It ascended slightly, headed back to the fireplace, and rose up the chimney, exploding just before it escaped into the open air. It caused considerable damage to the chimney top.

At 6:30 p.m. on October 8, 1919, at a busy downtown intersection in Salina, Kansas, a “ball of fire as large as a washtub floating low in the air” struck the side of a building, ripped out bricks, and demolished a second-story window. It then exploded with a “bang that resembled the noise made by the discharge of a large pistol, filling the air with balls of fire as large as baseballs,which floated away in all directions,” according to a Monthly Weather Review correspondent in the October 1919 issue. “Some of these balls followed trolley and electric-light wires in a snaky sort of manner and some simply floated off through the air independently of any objects near by.An electric switch box across the street was ripped open and a transformer destroyed, leaving the east side of the town in darkness.”

In the summer of 1960, as Louise Matthews of South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, lay on her living room couch, she looked up to see a huge red ball coming through a window and the Venetian blinds, both closed and neither damaged in any way by the object’s passage.When the ball,which was making a sizzling sound, passed by her,Mrs.Matthews felt a tingling on the back of her neck. She put her hand to the spot but felt nothing. The ball went through the living room and into the dining room, exiting — again without damage — through a closed window. She called her husband, who came home from work to find the back of her hand burned. The hair at the back of her head fell out, leaving the skin there as smooth as that in the front of her face.

During a violent early-evening thunderstorm on August 12, 1970, a “red ball of fire” appeared above Sidmouth, England, crackled for a few seconds, then exploded with a deafening roar. Jagged flashes of lightning shot from it toward the ground. At that moment 2,500 area television sets were cut off.

A particularly dramatic incident took place in January 1984 inside a Russian passenger plane. The crew saw a glowing light, four inches in diameter, in front of the cockpit. It suddenly vanished with a deafening roar, only to reappear seconds later — after piercing the fuselage in some mysterious fashion — in the passengers’ lounge. As the passengers looked up in disbelief, the spherical object sailed above their heads until it got to the tail section, where it divided into two glowing crescents. The crescents then merged into a single object and departed. Later, when mechanics examined the aircraft, they found a hole in front of the fuselage and another in the tail.

An attempt to explain ball lightning was made by Nikola Tesla in 1904, but there is at present no widely-accepted explanation for the phenomenon. Several theories have been advanced since it was brought into the scientific realm by the English Physician and electrical researcher William Snow Harris in 1843, and French Academy scientist François Arago in 1855.

Much of the problem of explaining (as opposed to explaining away) the ball-lightning phenomenon has to do with the varying descriptions witnesses have given. The ball either explodes loudly or vanishes silently; it is white, orange, red, blue, or purple; it is small or it is large; it survives for a few seconds or a couple of minutes. “These may seem like trivial distinctions,” science writer Gordon Stein observes, “but they cause theorists no end of difficulties. Explanations that will work for a ball of one second’s duration, for example, cannot account for a 10-second ball.” A ball that lasts one minute or more “requires an energy content so high that there is no known way for it to be formed.”

Sources :
Unexplained : “Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurences & Puzzling Physical Phenomena” by Jerome Clark;

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The Abduction of Antonio Villas Boas

The first UFO abduction to be publicly revealed occurred in a remote area of São Paulo, Brazil. On October 5, 1957, young farmer Antonio Villas Boas and his brother both observed a strange glowing object hovering over their farm. The next night, the UFO returned. This time, it hovered directly over their home, lighting up the inside like daylight. Then, on October 7, 1957, Antonio was plowing the fields very late, at around 1:00 a.m., when the UFO appeared again. This time, the object hovered over the tractor, and then landed in the field. Antonio could then see that it was a “strange type of machine.” It was large, egg-shaped, covered with colored lights and stood on three metal legs. Antonio tried to drive away, but suddenly his tractor engine died. Antonio then jumped out of the tractor and tried to run away. Suddenly, he was surrounded by several short figures dressed in tight-fitting gray jumpsuits and dark helmets. They quickly grabbed Antonio and pulled him aboard the craft.

Once inside the craft, Villas Boas said that he was stripped of his clothes and covered from head-to-toe with a strange gel. He was then led into a large semicircular room, through a doorway that had strange red symbols written over it. (Villas Boas claimed that he was able to memorize these symbols and later reproduced them for investigators.) In this room the beings took samples of Villas Boas' blood from his chin. After this he was then taken to a third room and left alone for around half an hour. During this time, some kind of gas was pumped into the room, which made Villas Boas become violently ill.

Shortly after this, Villas Boas claimed that he was joined in the room by another humanoid. This one, however, was female, very attractive, and naked. She was the same height as the other beings he had encountered, with a small, pointed chin and large, blue catlike eyes. The hair on her head was long and white (somewhat like platinum blonde) but her underarm and pubic hair were bright red. Villas Boas said he was strongly attracted to the woman, and the two had sexual intercourse. When it was all over, the female smiled at Villas Boas. The female seemed relieved that their "task" was over, and Villas Boas himself felt angered by the situation.

Villas Boas said that he was then given back his clothing and taken on a tour of the ship by the humanoids. Afterwards, he was led out of the room and taken on a short tour of the craft. He was shown the engine room, which he was unable to understand. During this tour he said that he attempted to take a clock-like device as proof of his encounter, but was caught by the humanoids and prevented from doing so. He was then escorted off the ship and watched as it took off, glowing brightly. When Villas Boas returned home, he discovered that four hours had passed.

In the aftermath, Antonio suffered a number of physical symptoms including insomnia, extreme thirst, loss of appetite, vomiting, eye irritation, and a strange rash. He also had a minor puncture wound where the E.T.s had taken a blood sample. The case was reported to a local doctor, who contacted UFO investigators. And so the world’s first actual UFO abduction case came to light, but because it was so bizarre and totally unique, it was largely ignored by the public.

Villas Boas was able to recall every detail of his purported experience without the need for hypnotic regression. Further, Villas Boas' experience occurred in 1957, which was still several years before the famous Betty and Barney Hill abduction which made the concept of alien abduction famous and opened the door to many other reports of similar experiences.

Sources :
Mysteries, Legends, and Unexplained Phenomena : “UFOs and Aliens” by Preston Dennett;

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06:59 | 2 komentar

Holy Vehm

In the middle of the 13th century and at the height of Templar power, Westphalia in Germany was suffering from a state of lawlessness and oppression from loosened warriors, mercenaries and bands of outlaws. It seemed no innocent man could travel between the rivers Rhine and Weser, and so the Chivalrous Order of the Holy Vehm or Fehm was secretly created to encounter this state of affairs. It was created by ex-outlaws and freemen who now had families and business concerns of their own to worry about and so, with the initial backing and aid of the Holy Church, they took up arms and horse and chased down the tyrants. The name “Vehm” or “Fehm” was a corruption of the Latin word “fama,” a law founded upon a common or agreed upon opinion. However, “Fehm” could also mean something that was set apart, and the leaders of the Holy Vehm soon decided that their crusade against evildoers had set them apart and above the laws that governed others. The word vëme first appears in the Middle High German literature of the 13th century as a noun with the meaning of "punishment".

A document dated to 1251 has the reference illud occultum judicium, quod vulgariter vehma seu vridinch appellari consuevit. ("It is hidden justice, that by common fashion is habitually referred to as vehma or vridinch.")

The general meaning of "punishment" is unrelated to the special courts of Westphalia which were thus originally just named "courts of punishment". But as the word entered the Southern German dialects via Saxony and Westphalia, the word's meaning in Early Modern German became attached to the activities of these courts specifically. The peak of activity of these courts was during the 14th to 15th centuries, with lesser activity attested for the 13th and 16th centuries, and scattered evidence establishing their continued existence during the 17th and 18th centuries. They were finally abolished by order of Jérôme Bonaparte, king of Westphalia, in 1811.

In the beginning, the resistance group had the approval of both the church and the Holy Roman emperor. Eventually the Holy Vehm began to take the law into their own hands and held secrets sessions wherein they judged those they had caught and sentenced them often to death. Because the society began with only a handful of members and violent retaliation could be expected from any gang of outlaws who might learn the identities of those commoners who dared to oppose them, an oath of secrecy was imposed upon all those with the courage to join the ranks of the Vehm.

During the initiation the candidate would swear on oath to kill himself and his family should be reveal himself to be a member of the Holy Vehm. The judge or Stuhlherren would then place his sword across the candidate’s throats and draw a few drops of blood to seal the oath and serve as a reminder of the judgement he would receive. The initiate would then kiss the cross on the hilt. These oaths were often held in caves or the depths of the forests, and went something like this :
“I swear to be faithful to the secret Tribunal, to defend it against myself, against water, sun, moon, stars, foliage of trees, all living beings, all that God has created between heaven and earth; against father, mother, brothers, sisters, wife, children, finally all men, the head of the Empire alone excepted; to uphold the judgement of the secret tribunal, to aid in its executions…”

Below the Stuhlherren in rank were the deputy judges, the Freischoffen, and the executioners, the Frohnboten. The deputy judges and the executioners carried out the various tasks of inquisitors, jury, and hangman. Within a few decades of its formation, the Vehm had more than 200,000 free men and commoners in its ranks—each man sworn to uphold the Ten Commandments and to eliminate all heresies, heretics, perjurers, traitors, and servants of Satan. Once anyone was suspected of violating one or more of the Lord’s commandments or laws, he or she was brought before one of the Holy Vehm’s courts and was unlikely to escape the death sentence to be hanged. Because of the great power that the Vehm acquired, it conducted trials of noted outlaws and thieves unopposed in public places, such as village squares or market places, in the full light of midday.

Before suspects came to court, they were served with three summonses, each of which gave them the opportunity of attending voluntarily. Each summons also gave the accused a period of consent of six weeks and three days. Those who tried to escape were condemned without the usual pretense of a trial and Vehm executioners were assigned to hunt them down.

Because the tribunals of the Vehm were willing to accept the weakest of circumstantial evidence against any individual accused of a crime or an act of heresy, there appears to be no record of any of the secret courts ever finding anyone innocent. While no accurate records of their victims were ever kept, historians have estimated that thousands of men and women—the innocent along with the guilty—were dragged into the night to attend one of the Vehm’s secret courts.

Regardless of the charges levied against those victims the Vehm accused, the sentence was always death. And if any spoke in defense of their friends, they were likely to be hanged as well, for giving false witness to defend a heretic or a traitor. On those rare occasions when the tribunal failed to convince even its own members of an accused individual’s guilt, that unfortunate person was hanged to preserve the secrecy of the tribunal.

Eventually the Holy Vehm was condemned by the church and the German state, but the secret society remained active in a greatly diminished capacity. They remained, hidden and secret, being heard of in the early 19th century when the French under Jerome Bonaparte legislated against them at Munster.

Toward the end of the nineteenth century, they seemingly ceased all acts of violence. But they reemerged again with true vengeance in the 1930’s with the rise of the Nazi in Germany. For the first time in its 700-year history the Vehm came into the open, focusing its bigotry upon the Jewish people, judging them to be guilty of heresy.

Sources :
Secret Societies : Gardiner’s Forbidden Knowledge by Philip Gardiner;
The Gale Encyclopedia of Unusual and Unexplained Vol. 2 by Brad Steiger and Sherry Hansen Steiger;

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18:11 | 0 komentar

Inca Treasure

There are several stories, myths that talk about hidden gold and "lost Inca treasures", even hidden Inca cities that are full of gold, silver and precious stones. The scholars have been eager to locate the last hiding place of the Incas (Vitcos or Vilcabamba) because the local rumour goes that the last ruler had buried his treasures there. How far is the statement true, is still unknown. The place has still not been unearthed. Thus, even till this day the controversy remains open. Nobody has or could so far authoritatively prove the place where the last Inca ruler hid his treasures. The Inca lived in mountainous terrain, which is not good for farming. To resolve this problem, terraces were cut into steep slopes, known as andenes, in order to plant crops. They also used irrigation. They grew maize, quinoa, squash, tomatoes, peanuts, chili peppers, melons, cotton, and potatoes. Though all of their agriculture was important, their main food source was potatoes, unlike the Maya and the Aztecs, whose main food source was maize. The Inca was the first civilization to plant and harvest potatoes. Quinoa was also a main crop. They would use their seeds to make different foods.

Spanish conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro explored south from Panama, reaching Inca territory by 1526. It was clear that they had reached a wealthy land with prospects of gr
eat treasure. Inca was a powerful kingdom in America. But by 1527, a virulent epidemic swept Peru. It claimed the life of the emperor, Huayna Capac Inca and his successor Ninan Cuyachi. In the confusion that prevailed, Huayna Capac's two sons seized power. Huascar became ruler and Atahualpa took the command of the imperial army. Both the brothers tried to usurp the power from the other.

After one more expedition in 1529, Pizarro returned to Spain and received royal approval to conquer the Inca region and become its viceroy. At the time the Spanish returned to Peru in 1532, a war of succession between Huayna Capac's son Huascar and half brother Atahualpa was in full swing. Additionally, unrest among newly conquered territories, and smallpox, spreading from Central America, had considerably weakened the empire. The Spanish invaders told the Inca that the diseases decimating their population were sent from the Christian god as punishment for their idolatrous ways.

In 1532 the Spanish Conquistador Francisco Pizarro seized Atahualpa. Atahualpa was eager to get himself released. For this purpose he lured the Spanish Conquistador. Atahualpa filled up a room with gold, jewellery, jars, pots, tiles and plaques and filled another room with silver. Pizarro accumulated the wealth and planned a plot against Atahualpa. He accused Atahualpa of plotting against him and had him killed. He then appointed Huascar's brother Manco as successor to the slain emperor. Manco's fate was no better than of Atahualpa. He was subjected to daily insults and harassment.

The frightened Manco when attempting to flee the capital was overtaken and imprisoned but he did not accept defeat. He plotted revenge and in 1536, Manco very smartly took the permission to pay homage to the ancient Gods at Yucay Valley. Manco promised to bring back the life-sized gold statue of Huayna Capac. Pizarro's judgment betrayed him at this point. The lust of gold had blinded him. He gave permission and within days Manco assembled an army of 100,000 strong men. He attacked the Spaniards and thus began a struggle led first by Manco and later by his sons that was to last 36 years -1536 to 1572.

The Spanish forces under Rodrigo Orgonez forced Manco to flee again to the valley of the Vilcabamba. They indulged in loot and plunder at Vitcos. And when they returned to Cuzco in July 1537, Manco and the remnants of his army disappeared into the mountains. In the court of Francisco Pizarro, human greed played its wicked role. The insatiable hunger for gold and empire led the Spanish to indulge in killing one another. Pizarro was murdered and when Manco soldiers heard this news they burst into Pizarro's palace and hacked him to death with their swords. Some of the Spanish soldiers were taken prisoner. From them Inca army learnt the fighting techniques. Manco himself learnt to ride a horse and fire an arquebus (an old fashioned hand gun). But even this blessing proved to be shortlived. Soon the fresh Spanish forces arrived from Spain and Manco was finally killed. Then the reins of rebellion was undertaken by Manco's son - Sayri Tupac.

Some years later Sayri Tupac accepted the Spanish offer. He was pardoned and taken to Cuzco, where a Christian marriage with Cusi Huarcay was formalized. This marriage proved shortlived. After two years Sayri Tupac died (or was killed?) on his estate in the Yucay Valley. After this death, second son of Manco Titu Cusi succeeded to the Inca throne. He died after eleven years and the succession passed on to Tupac Amaru, another son of the Manco. He was the last Inca emperor who led a strong crusade against the Conquistadors, which his father had started three decades earlier.

In March 1572, the new viceroy of Peru, Francisco de Toledo, sent an emissary to Vilcabamba. But Toledo's envoy could not reach Vilcabamba. Inca soldiers intercepted and killed him. This enraged the new viceroy so much that he launched a brutal assault on the Inca's citadel. The Spaniards entered the gates of Vilcabamba and were received by the smoking ruins of a deserted town only. Tupac Amaru with his followers had already fled into the vast Amazon jungle - only to escape death for a short-time. He was ultimately caught and beheaded before a huge crowd of prostrate Indians. Surprisingly, despite such political intrigues, none of the Spanish Colonial maps shows the exact location of Vilcabamba or Vitcos. And the search for these two places has been very vital for archaeologists and scholars for they believe that the last ruler buried his treasure there.

In 1768 a theory was put forward that the legendary city of Vilcabamba was the ruins at Choqquequirau - situated in the steep range near Apurimac river. American scholar, Hiram Bingham started the search for Apurimac region in 1909. He found in the jungle the infested ruins of Choqquequirau. But Lima historian, Don Carlos Romero and Bingham himself did not believe that Choqquequirau was Vilcabamba for the description of the 16th century writers just did not correspond with the area discovered.

However, Bingham re-read the accounts and restarted his search. On the way he met an Indian, named Melchor Anteaga. He offered to reveal the secret to him and guided Bingham to some ruins in the hollow peak towering more than 2,000 ft. above the Urubamba. These ruins were no doubt exemplary in their construction and beauty, but that it was the last city of Vilcabamba was doubtful.

As late as in 1964, the question of Vilcabamba again propped up. A group of farmers who set out in search of arable land in the north of Peru came across some unknown ruins. They named these ruins as Gran Pajaten. This newly discovered city is situated on a crescent-shaped cliff about 9,500 ft. above the sea level. Its architecture is round with paved paths, short flights of steps and small squares. An aerial survey showed that there were many ruins at Gran Pajaten. About 3,000 have been so far recorded. They are scattered over seven hills and are linked by a roadway. This roadway is in some places not more than 4 yards wide and disappears into the forest.

Still unsatisfied with the discovery, Americans started a new expedition in 1964-65. The expedition was led by General savoy. He started where Bingham left, identified the ruins discovered by Bingham at Espiritu Pampa and based his assumptions on several pieces of evidence. He observed the walls, the ceramics, the art and related them with several reports furnished by the Spanish writers. He finally drew the conclusion that Espiritu Pampa was, infact, Vilcabamba. But several researchers do not agree with his hastily drawn conclusions. Only recently, one of the General Savoy's guides discovered yet another lost city with an area of just over a square mile. The entrance to this town is cut out of a single block of stone and instead of being trapezoid shaped in the Inca tradition this is in the form of a half moon. Some scholars put forward a theory that it could have been an attempt to build an arch, a sign of the presence of Spanish influence. The Indians who live there call it Hatun Vilcabamba, meaning Great on High, not all agree to this suggestion.

Some Inca artifacts found in the past were solid gold or silver, decorated with precious stones (for instance, emeralds). The value of some of these objects cannot be easily calculated, but it is highly probable that some larger items are worth millions of US dollars.

The Indians who claim to be the only legitimate heir of Inca tradition do not agree with the several finds. According to them, the Inca treasures lay at the bottom of a lake which only they could approach. Even the Peruvian archaeologists do not make any remarks. They remain silent as there are many more ruins which are yet to be dissected.

Sources :
World Famous Unsolved Mysteries by Abhay Kumar Dubcy;;

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In the mid-eighteenth century Erik Pontoppidan, the bishop of Bergen, Norway, and author of Forsog paa Norges naturalige Historie, remarked on a belief held by residents of the Nordic coast. Sea serpents, he wrote, “they are not generated in the sea, but on land, and when they are grown so big that they cannot move about on the rocks, they then go into the sea, and afterwards attain their full growth.” Many farmers, he went on, had seen land snakes of “several fathoms length.” They called these “the Lindormen/Lindorms, or great snake.” Similar creatures also lived in the freshwater lakes of Scandinavia, according to popular lore. In modern Scandinavian languages, the cognate lindorm can refer to any 'serpent' or monstrous snake, but in Norwegian heraldry, it is also a technical term for a 'sea serpent' (sjøorm), although it may also stand for a 'lindworm' in British heraldry. Generally, the word lindworm stood for the Latin word draco (whence Norse dreki), thus could refer to any draconic creature, from a real life constrictor snake to a legendary dragon. In European mythology and folklore, creatures identified as a 'lindworm' may be winged or wingless, plus quadrapedal, bipedal or limbless.

In many descriptions, the lindworm is wingless, with a poisonous bite, like a poisonous snake or Komodo dragon. The dragon Fáfnir from the Norse Völsunga saga appears in the German Nibelungenlied as a lindwurm that lived near Worms. A German tale from the 13th century tells of a lindworm that lived near Klagenfurt. Flooding threatened travelers along the river, and the presence of a dragon was blamed. The story tells that a Duke offered a reward for anyone who could capture it, so some young men tied a bull to a chain, and when the lindworm swallowed the bull, it was hooked like a fish and killed. The head of a 1590 lindworm statue in Klagenfurt is modeled on the skull of a wooly rhinoceros found in a nearby quarry in 1335. It has been cited as the earliest reconstruction of an extinct animal.

Such creatures, or at any rate beliefs in such creatures, persisted well into the nineteenth century. They figured not only in legends but also in a body of firsthand reports. In 1885 the Swedish scientist and folklorist Gunnar Olof Hylten-Cavallius, author of (in English translation) On the Dragon, Also Called the Lindorm, published forty-eight verbatim accounts, half of them involving multiple witnesses, and offered this summary: In Varend [in southern Sweden] — and probably in other parts of Sweden as well — a species of giant snakes, called dragons or lindorms, continues to exist.

Usually the lindorm is about 10 feet long but specimens of 18 or 20 feet have been observed. His body is as thick as a man’s thigh; his color is black with a yellow-flamed belly. Old specimens wear on their necks an integument of long hair or scales, frequently likened to a horse’s mane.He has a flat, round or squared head, a divided tongue, and a mouthfull of white, shining teeth. His eyes are large and saucer-shaped with a frightfully wild and sparkling stare.His tail is short and stubby and the general shape of the creature is heavy and unwieldy.

Hylten-Cavallius’s reports indicated that the lindorm (sometimes spelled lindwurm) was powerful and ill-tempered. “When alarmed,” he wrote, “he gives off a loud hissing sound and contracts his body until it lies in billows; then he raises himself on his tail four or six feet up and pounces upon his prey.” The creature had large, protruding, hypnotic eyes and a head variously described as catlike or horselike, with a mane. It was most likely to be encountered in wild, unpopulated areas such as marshes, swamps, caves, and lakes. Such encounters usually traumatized witnesses, often making them physically ill or afflicting them with nightmares for years afterwards. Lindorms,which could be slain only with great difficulty, gave off an appalling stench in death.

Convinced that these were reports of real animals — the witnesses included a member of the Swedish parliament and other presumably reliable individuals — Hylten-Cavallius distributed a poster that offered a reward for a lindorm’s remains. From his perspective this was a perfectly reasonable approach with a good chance of success; after all, twelve of his reports concerned the killings of such creatures. But no takers stepped forward.

“There is no truly satisfactory explanation for these 19th-Century lindorm reports,” a modern Swedish writer, Sven Rosen, observed before suggesting they may arise from “hallucinations such as those caused by epileptic fits.” He added, “One major problem with this psychological explanation” is the multiple-witness accounts. “Many of the 31 additional cases with which I am familiar also had multiple witnesses. One can speak of ‘collective hallucination’ without effectively explaining anything.”

To folklorist Michel Meurger, the nineteenth-century lindorm reports were part of the “process of the naturalization of dragons,” blending “archaic and modern elements. The traditional attributes of the monster are preserved, but the creature is now conceived more as a snake than as a supernatural creature.” In his view witnesses may have been “projecting traditional fabulous creatures onto local animals [such as grass snakes] perceived as monsters under specific sighting conditions.”

Sources :
Unexplained! : Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurences & Puzzling Physical Phenomena by Jerome Clark;

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The Winchester House

Located in San Jose, California, it once was the personal residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Wirt Winchester, but is now a tourist attraction., largely because it has unique architectural features. For example, it features secret passages to hidden rooms, windows backed by solid walls, and staircases that go nowhere. It is also rumored to be haunted by the ghost of its original owner, Sarah Winchester. Deeply saddened by the deaths of her daughter Annie in 1866, and her young husband in 1881, and seeking solace, Sarah Winchester consulted a medium on the advice of a psychic. The "Boston Medium" told Winchester that she believed there to be a curse upon the Winchester family because the guns they made had taken so many lives. The psychic told Winchester that "thousands of people have died because of it and their spirits are now seeking deep vengeance."

Another version of the story says that after the deaths of her daughter and later her husband, she consulted a medium who told her that she must build a house and never cease building it, otherwise the spirits that killed her family members would come after her, too. Winchester inherited more than $20.5 million upon her husband's death. She also received nearly 50 percent ownership of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, giving her an income of roughly $1,000 per day, none of which was taxable until 1913. This amount is roughly equivalent to about $22,000 a day in 2010. All of this gave her a tremendous amount of wealth to fund the ongoing construction. After that she began construction on the maze-like house full of twists, turns, and dead ends, so that the spirits would get lost and never be able to find her.

Winchester began construction on the 160-room mansion in 1884 and continued adding rooms until her death in 1922. Her compulsive building was based on her belief in spirits. As the daughter-in-law of the man who invented the Winchester rifle, she became convinced that her construction projects would in some way appease the ghosts of those killed by the rifle her father-in-law had invented and that if she did not appease them she would die. For most of her life she tried to contact the spirits at séances that she held at Winchester House, and she incorporated the number thirteen into her building projects because she thought that this number was naturally appealing to ghosts. Some of the house stairways, for example, have thirteen steps, and her chandeliers have thirteen lights. There are thirteen bathrooms in the house, and one room has thirteen windows.

In the years since Winchester’s death, visitors to the mansion have reported hearing mysterious footsteps and slamming doors. A tour guide reported hearing his name whispered in a room where no one else was present, and a caretaker heard breathing behind him when he was alone. Other people have felt cold spots in an otherwise warm room and have smelled soup cooking in a kitchen devoid of pots. Others who work at Winchester House have reported finding locked doors inexplicably unlocked and lights spontaneously turned on and off. One employee, the director of food and merchandizing, came to work to find his desk, chair, and the surrounding floor soaked with water, even though the room’s ceiling and walls were dry.

Sources :
The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena by Patricia D. Netzley;

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The Greeks, and the Romans, were also unsure how Homer composed the poems. “They say that . . . Homer did not leave behind his poems in writing,” wrote the Roman historian Josephus in the first century AD, “but that they were transmitted by memorization and put together out of the songs, and that therefore they contain many inconsistencies.” The date of Homer's existence was controversial in antiquity and is no less so today. Herodotus estimates that Homer lived 400 years before his own time, which would place him at around 850 BC; but other ancient sources gave dates much closer to the supposed time of the Trojan War, perhaps from 1194 to 1184 BC. There were indeed inconsistencies. In the Iliad, for example, a warrior is described as groaning, even though he’s already died. It was easy enough to see why Homer would have had trouble keeping track of everything in the poems: the Iliad has about 16,000 lines and the Odyssey 12,000. Moreover, and more amazingly, as Josephus noted, Homer apparently composed both without the aid of pen or paper.

In 1795, the German scholar Friedrich Wolf added scholarship to Josephus’s speculation. Wolf noted that, other than a passing and dubious reference in the Iliad to a tablet with “baneful signs,” there was nothing in the poems that indicated Homer even knew what writing was. Wolf concluded that Homer must have composed orally, and that the poems must have been passed on and revised for generations before some editor wrote them down. Wolf's work paralleled that of eighteenth-century scholars of the Old Testament who reached the conclusion that the first five books of the Bible were once a number of separate works that an editor had woven together. Just as Moses did not write the “Books of Moses,” Homer did not write the Iliad or the Odyssey, except perhaps in some much shorter and irretrievable early version. The inconsistencies were not a lapse on the part of an author but of an editor.

Even if Homer existed, Wolf argued, the Iliad or the Odyssey could just as reasonably be credited to generations of anonymous bards. “I find it impossible to accept the belief to which we have become accustomed,”Wolf wrote, “that these two works of a single genius burst forth suddenly from the darkness in all their brilliance, just as they are, with both the splendor of their parts and the many great virtues of the connected whole.”

But locating Homer in time merely underscored the problem: the poems were composed during an age when writing no longer existed in Greece. It seemed inconceivable that without writing, any single poet could have remembered, let alone created, such long and complex masterpieces. Most scholars agreed with Wolf that while someone named Homer might once have existed and might have written some ur-epic, he was at most a link in an evolutionary chain that only much later culminated in the Iliad and the Odyssey as we know it.

Nineteenth-century archaeologists, most notably Heinrich Schliemann, uncovered evidence that Troy existed and that the Trojan War of the Iliad was, at least in part, a real event. But the archaeological discoveries also revealed that the world of the Trojans and Mycenaeans was very different from Homer’s descriptions. Nowhere in the poems was there anything resembling the huge Mycenaean tombs or palaces, or the tablets with Mycenaean writing called Linear B, or the centralized, hierarchical society those tablets revealed. Nowhere amid the archaeological finds was there evidence of independent chieftains like Achilles living in small houses and acting independently of the king.

According to Gregory Nagy, the Homeric poems became fixed texts in only the 6th century. The question of the historicity of Homer himself is known as the "Homeric question" no reliable biographical information has been handed down from classical antiquity, and the poems themselves seem to represent the culmination of many centuries of oral story-telling and a well-developed formulaic system of poetic composition. While according to Martin West, "Homer" is "not the name of a historical poet, but a fictitious or constructed name."

Sources :
Mysteries In History From Prehistory to the Present by Paul D. Aron;

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Mysteries In History From Prehistory to the Present by Paul D. Aron page 56
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Giant Stone Eggs

Mysterious giant “stone eggs” discovered on 2007 at a construction site in Bandeng Hill and Zhanlong Hill, Gongxi Town of Hunan Province. According to The Epoch Times, the “eggs,” along with a large copper sword, were unearthed by highway construction workers while they were digging the foundation for a road. Some geologists have speculated the eggs are natural formations of carbonate rock which snowballed slowly in oscillating water, but no one is certain what they are, indeed, they are natural. The unique perfection of their shape suggests to some that they are of intelligent design.

Ranging from watermelon- to table-size, the eggs have been taken from many “nests” uncovered by the workers. The eggs are oval in shape, with a wide range of sizes; the smallest one being no bigger than a water melon, while the largest is reported as being the size of a big table. Upon closer examination they look like eggs from the outside, but are very shiny and black on the inside. The copper sword which the construction team had also discovered was found to weigh over 1,000 pounds. Unfortunately the sword disappeared later and there are no leads as to the identities of the people involved in the theft. The incident has been reported to the police.

The Chinese “eggs” remind some observers of the large and perfectly spherical stone balls found in many places in Costa Rica. Anthropologist George Erikson and his colleague Ivar Zapp in their book Atlantis in America: Navigators of the Ancient World argued that the mysterious Costa Rican balls are markers from a lost ancient navigation system. So far, though, no one has offered any such theory for the Chinese finds.

Sources :
Atlantis Rising Magazine vol. 69;

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Atlantis Rising Magazine vol. 69 page 11
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Genetic Disk

This disk from South America is one of the most interesting and confusing finds of archaeology. The unique relic is made of black stone and measures about 22 cm in diameter. It weights about 2 kg. It was not made of artificial materials like cement but of lydite. It was dated in a prehistoric epoch, and assigned to the Muisca-culture. On the disk there are carvings that describes the astonishing knowledge of our ancestors. The object has been examined in the Museum of Natural History, Vienna, Austria. Dr. Vera M. F. Hammer, expert for precious stones and minerals, analysed the object.

The symbols on the disk are very impressive. The obverse and reverse side are decorated with carvings and ornaments, separated with single vertical stripes. On the edge of the disk there is a symbol of a snake. In the middle the disk shows a hole, maybe a hint that the disc originally was fixed on a stick and then turned around. One side shows biological details like male sperms, female egg cell and the genitals, the fertilized egg, foetus and the growing embryo. The other side shows scenes that could be interpreted as the cell division and depiction of frog creatures in different stages.

Dr. Algund Eemboom MD, and his colleges analysed the different segments of the disk. His result was that it is possible to recognize the phases of evolution of human life on the disk. Very significant are the distant lying eyes and the broad nose. This is a characteristic of the embryonic structure of the head.

Prof. Dr. Rudolf Distelberger, internationally recognized expert for precious stones and director of the Schatzkammer, Vienna, said that the disk has a very complex content. That is the reason why many scientists cried fraud as the disk appeared. It cannot be classified in the known South American system of cultures.

Sources :
Unsolved Mysteries : “An Exhibition of Unsolved Mysteries and Enigmatic Findings in the History of Humanity" by Reinhard Habeck, Dr. Willibald Katzinger and listed authors;

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Michigan UFO Sightings

On March 18, 1966, 50 or more witnesses (including a dozen police officers) observed a large, disk-shaped craft hovering low over the marshlands outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Several witnesses reported seeing four other smaller objects escorting the larger one. Over the next three days, dozens of other residents and more police officers also viewed the object as it hovered over the marshes.The Air Force was alerted, but denied any knowledge of the case. The next day, on March 22, 1966, more than 80 students at Hillsdale College observed a large, unknown glowing object move in darting patterns over the Ann Arbor swamplands. Also present were civil defense authority William Van Horn and Kelly Hearn, journalist and dean of Hillsdale College.

When the UFO refused to leave, the police were called and officers viewed the craft. As the crowd watched, the UFO seemed to show off its ability to maneuver quickly around the area. Van Horn observed the object through binoculars and told reporters, “It was definitely some kind of vehicle.”

By now, the Michigan sightings had become front-page news across the nation. The Air Force could no longer safely ignore the situation and sent their astronomical consultant, J. Allen Hynek, to investigate. Hynek is known for his participation during the 1950s and 1960s in the U.S. Air Force’s Project Blue Book, a government attempt to convince the American public that UFO sightings were due to mass hysteria, hallucinations, or the misidentification of ordinary phenomena such as meteors. Hynek was asked to work on Project Blue Book with the goal of finding an astronomical explanation for apparent UFOs.

Hynek concluded that what the witnesses had seen was a large cloud of methane, or swamp gas, caused by rotting vegetation. This conclusion seemed so ridiculous to the public that it convinced many people the government was trying to cover up evidence that UFOs really were alien spacecraft. As a result, Congress ordered the Air Force to study the UFO phenomenon more seriously.

J. Allen Hynek, who had previously sided with the Air Force, began to wonder if perhaps he had made a mistake. He later left the Air Force and wrote two best-selling books about the UFO phenomenon, criticizing the Air Force’s policy of debunking good cases, and stating without any doubt that UFOs are real.

Sources :
Mysteries, Legends and Unexplained Phenomena : “UFO and Aliens” by Preston Dennett;
The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena by Patricia D. Netzley

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In the Scandinavian tradition, the nisse is a household entity that looks after hearth and home, a kind of guardian entity—but with an attitude. Nisse can be extremely volatile if provoked, and they are often mischievous little pranksters. Naughty children sometimes have their hair pulled and their toys hidden by the nisse, who is always watching with disapproving eyes any sign of misbehavior or disobedience. And a cat that becomes too curious will likely have its tail yanked good and proper by the annoyed nisse. Nisse or Tomte were believed to take care of a farmer's home and children and protect them from misfortune, in particular at night, when the housefolk were asleep. The Swedish name tomte is derived from a place of residence and area of influence: the house lot or tomt. The Finnish name is tonttu. Nisse is the common name in Norwegian, Danish and the Scanian dialect in southernmost Sweden.

The nisse often sleeps in the barn to keep watch over the animals. If a hired hand should be slow in feeding the cattle or other livestock, the nisse will be certain to give them their grain—and to mete out punishment to the sluggish hired man who was tardy in his duties. The nisse might trip him as he walks up the stairs to his bedroom or spill his hot soup on his lap at the evening meal. If treated with respect, the nisse remains an effective guardian over hearth and outbuildings. He does demand payment for the performance of his duties, and the wise householder will be certain to leave hot porridge on the step at night and to make it known that the nisse is free to take whatever grain from the bin that he might require for his own needs.

The tomte/nisse was often imagined as a small, elderly man (size varies from a few inches to about half the height of an adult man), often with a full beard; dressed in the everyday clothing of a farmer. However, there are also folktales where he is believed to be a shapeshifter able to take a shape far larger than an adult man, and other tales where the tomte/nisse is believed to have a single, cyclopean eye. In modern Denmark, nisses are often seen as beardless, wearing grey and red woolens with a red cap. Since nisses are thought to be skilled in illusions and sometimes able to make himself invisible, one was unlikely to get more than brief glimpses of him no matter what he looked like. Norwegian folklore states that he has four fingers, and is hairy all over, sometimes with pointed ears. His eyes glow in the dark.

In 1962, the new owners of a herring-processing plant in Iceland decided to enlarge their work area. According to Icelandic tradition, no landowner must fail to reserve a small plot of his or her property for the hidden folk, and a number of the rural residents earnestly pointed out to the new proprieters that any extension of the plant would encroach upon the plot of ground that the original owners had set aside for the little people who lived under the ground. The businessmen laughed. For one thing, they didn’t harbor those old folk superstitions. For another, they had employed a top-notch, highly qualified construction crew who possessed modern, unbreakable drill bits and plenty of explosives. But the bits of the “unbreakable” drills began to shatter one after another.

An old farmer came forward to repeat the warning that the crew was trespassing on land that belonged to the hidden folk. At first the workmen laughed at the old man and marveled that such primitive superstitions could still exist in modern Iceland. But the drill bits kept breaking.

Finally, the manager of the plant, although professing disbelief in such superstitions, agreed to the old farmer’s recommendation that he consult a local seer to establish contact with the hidden folk and attempt to make peace with them. After going into a brief trance-state, the seer returned to waking consciousness to inform the manager that there was one particularly powerful member of the hidden folk who had selected this plot as his dwelling place. He was not an unreasonable being, however. If the processing plant really needed the plot for its expansion, he would agree to find another place to live. The hidden one asked only for five days without any drilling, so that he could make his arrangements to move.

The manager felt a bit strange bargaining with a being that was invisible—and as far as he had previously been concerned, imaginary. But he looked over at the pile of broken drill bits and told the seer that the hidden one had a deal. Work on the site would be shut down for five days to give him a chance to move.

After five days had passed and the workmen resumed drilling, the work proceeded smoothly and efficiently until the addition to the plant was completed. There were no more shattered bits on the unbreakable drill.

Sources :
The Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained Vol. 3 by Brad Steiger and Sherry Hansen Steiger;

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St. Prest Fossils

In April of 1863, Jules Desnoyers, of the French National Museum, came to St. Prest, in northwestern France, to gather fossils. From the sandy gravels, he recovered part of a rhinoceros tibia. He noticed on the bone a series of narrow grooves. He also observed small circular marks that could well have been made by a pointed implement. To Desnoyers, some of the grooves appeared to have been produced by a sharp knife or blade of flint. If Desnoyers concluded correctly that the marks on many of the bones had been made by flint implements, then it would appear that human beings had been present in France during Pliocene era. It is believed that at the end of the Pliocene, about 2 million years ago, the modern human species had not yet come into being.

Jules Pierre François Stanislaus Desnoyers (October 8, 1800 – 1887) was a French geologist and archaeologist. Desnoyers was born at Nogent-le-Rotrou, in the department of Eure-et-Loir. Becoming interested in geology at an early age, he was one of the founders of the Geological Society of France in 1830.

In 1863, Desnoyers examined his collections of St. Prest fossils at the museums of Chartres and the School of Mines in Paris and saw they bore the same types of marks. He then reported his findings to the French Academy of Sciences. Some modern scientists have said that the St. Prest site belongs to the Late Pliocene. The presence at that time in Europe of beings using stone tools in a sophisticated manner would seem almost impossible. Only in Africa should one find primitive human ancestors, and these were limited to Australopithecus and Homo habilis, the latter considered the first toolmaker. According to reports by other scientists, the St. Prest site might be more recent than the Pliocene—perhaps as little as 1.2-1.6 million years old. But the incised bones would still be anomalous. Even in the nineteenth century, Desnoyers's discoveries of incised bones at St. Prest provoked controversy. Opponents argued that the marks were made by the tools of the workmen who excavated them. But Desnoyers showed that the cut marks were covered with mineral deposits just like the other surfaces of the fossil bones.

The prominent British geologist Sir Charles Lyell suggested the marks were made by rodents' teeth, but French prehistorian Gabriel de Mortillet said the marks could not have been made by animals. He instead suggested that they were made by sharp stones moved by geological pressure across the bones. Louis Bourgeois, a clergyman who had also earned a reputation as a distinguished paleontologist, carefully searched the strata at St. Prest for such evidence. By his patient research he eventually found a number of flints that he believed were genuine tools and made them the subject of a report to the Academy of Sciences in January, 1867.

The famous French anthropologist Armand de Quatrefages said the tools included scrapers, borers, and lance points. Even this did not satisfy de Mortillet, who said the flints discovered by Bourgeois at St. Prest had been chipped by geological pressure. In 1910, the famous American paleontologist Henry Fairfield Osborn made these interesting remarks in connection with the presence of stone tools at St. Prest: "the earliest traces of man in beds of this age were the incised bones discovered by Desnoyers at St. Prest near Chartres in 1863. Doubt as to the artificial character of these incisions has been removed by the recent explorations of Laville and Rutot, which resulted in the discovery of eolithic flints, fully confirming the discoveries of the Abbé Bourgeois in these deposits in 1867."

Michael Cremo said, “So as far as the discoveries at St. Prest are concerned, it should now be apparent that we are dealing with paleontological problems that cannot be quickly or easily resolved. Certainly, there is not sufficient reason to categorically reject these bones as evidence for a human presence in the Pliocene.”

Sources :
Hidden History of the Human Race by Michael Cremo;

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Sinking of the Titanic Premonition

One of the most famous cases of apparent premonition involves the sinking of the ocean liner Titanic. In 1898 an author named Morgan Robertson wrote a novel about an ocean liner named Titan that, on its maiden voyage one April night, strikes an iceberg while steaming at twenty-five knots in the northern Atlantic Ocean, then sinks with three thousand passengers aboard—even though people had thought it was unsinkable. Fourteen years later, RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sank at 2:20 the following morning, resulting in the deaths of 1,517 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history. Morgan Andrew Robertson (September 30, 1861–March 24, 1915) was a well-known American author of short stories and novels, and the possible inventor of the periscope. Nowadays he is best known for the short novel Futility, first published in 1898.

This story features an enormous British passenger liner called the Titan, which, deemed to be unsinkable, carries insufficient lifeboats. On a voyage in the month of April, the Titan hits an iceberg and sinks in the North Atlantic with the loss of almost everyone on board. On April 14, 1912, the supposedly unsinkable ocean liner Titanic, on its maiden voyage, struck an iceberg while steaming at twentythree knots in the northern Atlantic Ocean, and on the morning of April 15 it sank, resulting in the deaths of over fifteen hundred people.

Other parallels between the events depicted in the novel and the actual event exist. For example, Robertson described the Titan as being 800 feet (244m) in length, with a tonnage of 75,000, three propellers, and twenty-four lifeboats; the Titanic was 882.5 feet (269m) in length, with a tonnage of 66,000, three propellers, and twenty lifeboats. Both ships were said to be the largest and most luxurious of their kind.

The similarities between the fictional sinking of the Titan and the real-life sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912 attract attention even today although there are significant differences: for example, the fictional Titan capsized and sank almost immediately (rendering the number of lifeboats moot), and the Titan was on its third return trip from New York, not her maiden voyage to New York.

Skeptics say that such similarities were coincidental, but given their number and specificity, believers in extrasensory perception say that Robertson’s ideas for the novel had to have come from subconscious glimpses of the future.

Sources :
The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena by Patricia D. Netzley;

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Halifax Sea Serpent

Sea serpents, or sea monsters, have for a very long time been all the rage among otherwise sober seafarers. Belief in these fearful creatures of the deep reaches back far beyond recorded history. Sightings of sea serpents have been reported for hundreds of years, and continue to be claimed today. Cryptozoologist Bruce Champagne identified more than 1,200 purported sea serpent sightings. Some cryptozoologists have suggested that the sea serpents are relict plesiosaurs, mosasaurs or other Mesozoic marine reptiles. Several sightings of sea serpent reported on Halifax. The curious thing about sea serpents and other monsters of that ilk is that a number of them have been attested to by some otherwise trustworthy people. On the afternoon of July 15th 1825, a large sea serpent was seen by a young gentleman who happened to be riding past the wharf at Mr. Goreham’s tan-pit in the harbour of Halifax, accompanied by some ladies.

The serpent raised its head about three feet out of water; its body was the size of a large log, and appeared to be at least sixty feet long, and it forced itself along by a wiggling sort of motion. It remained above water about five minutes, at a distance of about sixty yards. The editor of Nova Scotian went to the spot, and learned these and other particulars, which were confirmed by the young gentleman, the ladies, Mr. Goreham, his family and servants. It is also confirmed, with additional particulars by Mr. William Barry, of Halifax, who was going into the harbour the same evening in a whaling-boat, and, with the men in the boat, observed it for some time.

Another sighting occurred on May 15, 1833, a boat set out from Halifax, Nova Scotia, bound for a popular fishing spot; aboard were Captain W. Sullivan, Lieutenant A. Maclachlan, Ensign G. P. Malcolm, and Lieutenant B. O’Neal Lyster, all of the British army, together with Henry Ince and Jack Dowling, the latter an old salt from the Royal Navy. Not much fishing seemed to be done because the officers were firing their rifles at some grampuses (a harmless and quite innocent blunt-headed creature that somewhat resembles a dolphin). At some time during this diversion Dowling, the former navy man, called out “Oh, sirs, look at that! I’ve sailed in all parts of the world and seen some rum sights, but this is the queerest thing I ever see!”, about 150 yards away, was a sea serpent, or at least the very large head of one of these apparently increasingly common creatures, rising about six feet above the surface and with a neck “as thick as the trunk of a moderate-sized tree,” colored brown and white in an irregular fashion. Captain Sullivan, in his report of this encounter, opined that “There could be no mistake, no delusion, and we were all perfectly satisfied that we had been favored with a view of the true and veritable sea serpent.”

Sources :
Seafaring Lore and Legend by Peter D. Jeans;
A Romance of The Sea Serpent by John Bartlett;

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Boston Strangler

Ten years before the term serial killer entered popular usage, Boston was terrorized by an elusive predator who raped and strangled women in their homes, slaying 11 between June 1962 and July 1964. In every case the victims had been raped—sometimes with a foreign object—and their bodies laid out nude, as if on display for a pornographic snapshot. Death was always caused by strangulation, though the killer sometimes also used a knife. The ligature— a stocking, pillow case, whatever—was invariably left around the victim’s neck, tied with an exaggerated, ornamental bow.Though the crimes were attributed to Albert DeSalvo, investigators of the case have since suggested the murders (sometimes known as the silk stocking murders) were not committed by one person.

Anna Slessers, 55 years old, had been the first to die, strangled with the cord of her bathrobe on June 14, 1962.

A nylon stocking was used to kill 68-yearold Nina Nichols on June 30, and 65-year-old Helen Blake was found the same day, with a stocking and bra knotted around her neck.

On August 19 1962, 75- year-old Ida Irga was manually strangled in her home, “decorated” with a knotted pillowcase.

Sixtyseven- year-old Jane Sullivan had been dead a week when she was found on August 20, 1962, strangled with her own stockings, slumped over the edge of the bathtub with her face submerged.

The killer seemed to break his pattern on December 5, 1962, when he murdered Sophie Clark, a 20-year-old African American.

Another shift was seen with 23-year-old Patricia Bissette, strangled on her bed and covered to her chin with a blanket, in place of the usual graphic display.

With 23-year-old Beverly Samans, killed on May 6, 1963, the slayer used a knife for the first time, stabbing his victim 22 times before looping the traditional stocking around her neck.

Evelyn Corbin, 58, seemed to restore the original pattern on September 8, 1963, strangled and violated in an “unnatural” assault, but the killer went back to young victims on November 23, strangling 23-year-old Joann Graff and leaving bite marks on her breast.

The final victim, 19-year-old Mary Sullivan, was found on January 4, 1964, strangled with a scarf.

Ten months later, 33-year-old Albert Henry DeSalvo was detained for questioning in an unrelated case, suspected in a two-year series of rapes committed by a prowler called the Green Man, after the green work clothes he wore while assaulting victims in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

In custody, DeSalvo confessed to those rapes and hundreds more, dating back to his molestation of a nine-year-old girl in 1955, while DeSalvo was a soldier stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey. The marathon confession landed DeSalvo in Bridgewater State Hospital, committed for psychiatric evaluation, and there he met George Nasser, a convicted murderer facing trial for his second known slaying since 1948. Their private conversations were interspersed with visits from police, climaxed by DeSalvo’s full confession to the Boston Strangler homicides. In his statement, DeSalvo added two “new” victims, never previously linked by the authorities. One, 85-year-old Mary Mullen, was found dead at her home on June 28, 1962, her passing attributed to simple heart failure. DeSalvo claimed that Mullen had collapsed from shock when he invaded her apartment, whereupon he left her body on the couch without continuing his usual assault. Mary Brown, age 69, was stabbed and beaten to death at her home on March 9, 1963, again without a showing of the famous “strangler’s knot.”

It seemed like an open-and-shut case, but numerous problems remained. The strangler’s sole surviving victim, assaulted in February 1963, could not pick DeSalvo out of a lineup. Neither could witnesses who glimpsed a suspect near the Graff and Sullivan murder scenes. Several detectives had focused their aim on another suspect, fingered by “psychic” Peter Hurkos, but their man had voluntarily committed himself to an asylum soon after the last murder. Finally, if DeSalvo was driven by a mother fixation, as psychiatrists claimed, why had he chosen young women (including one African American) as five of his last seven victims?

The police were impressed at the accuracy of DeSalvo's descriptions of the crime scenes. Though there were some inconsistencies, DeSalvo was able to cite details which had not been made public. However, there was no physical evidence to substantiate his confession. As such, he stood trial for earlier, unrelated crimes of robbery and sexual offenses in which he was known as The Green Man and The Measuring Man respectively.

His attorney F. Lee Bailey brought up the confession to the stranglings as part of his client's history at the trial in order to assist in gaining a 'not guilty by reason of insanity' verdict to the sexual offenses but it was ruled as inadmissible by the judge. DeSalvo was sentenced to life in prison in 1967. In February of that year, he escaped with two fellow inmates from Bridgewater State Hospital, triggering a full scale manhunt. A note was found on his bunk addressed to the superintendent. In it DeSalvo stated that he had escaped to focus attention on the conditions in the hospital and his own situation. The next day he gave himself up. Following the escape he was transferred to the maximum security Walpole State Prison where he was found stabbed to death in the infirmary on November 1973. The killer or killers were never identified.

Other theories postulate the existence of two Boston Stranglers, one each for the young and the elderly victims. Journalist Hank Messick added a new twist in the early 1970s, quoting Mafia hit man Vincent Barbosa (now deceased) to the effect that DeSalvo had been paid, presumably by organized crime, to “take a fall” for the actual, unidentified Boston Strangler.

More than a quarter century after DeSalvo’s murder in prison, forensic scientists revisited the Boston Strangler case in an effort to determine whether or not DeSalvo committed the murders to which he confessed. His body was exhumed in October 2001, for extraction of DNA material unknown to pathologists at the time of the original murders. The material was slated for comparison with evidence collected in the case of 19-year-old Mary Sullivan, the strangler’s last victim, found dead on January 4, 1964.

By December 2001, neither DeSalvo’s family nor Mary Sullivan’s believed DeSalvo was the Boston Strangler. That opinion was apparently supported on December 6 by reports that Prof. James Starrs’s “All-Star Forensic Science Team” —a professor of law and forensic science at George Washington University —had discovered foreign DNA from two individuals on Sullivan’s body and clothing, neither of the samples linked to DeSalvo. As Prof. Starrs told the press, “It’s indicative, strongly indicative, of the fact that Albert DeSalvo was not the rape-murderer of Mary Sullivan. If I was a juror, I would acquit him with no questions asked.” Sullivan’s nephew, Casey Sherman, had an even more emphatic statement for the press. “If he didn’t kill Mary Sullivan, yet he confessed to it in glaring detail, he didn’t kill any of these women.”

Retired Massachusetts prosecutor Julian Soshnick disagreed, retorting, “It doesn’t prove anything except that they found another person’s DNA on a part of Miss Sullivan’s body.” Seeming to ignore that neither donor was DeSalvo, Soshnick stood firm: “I believe that Albert was the Boston Strangler.”

Casey Sherman, a nephew of victim Mary Sullivan, announced his plan to crack the case in August 2002. After three years of research, Sherman told reporters that he had completed a book on the case (still unpublished at press time for this volume). “I will reveal who the killer is, without a doubt,” Sherman told the Boston Globe. “This is based on new evidence. We have physical evidence that puts him at the scene of the crime. Hopefully we will put pressure on [state attorney general] Tom Reilly to prosecute this individual.” Sherman declined to name his suspect in advance of the book’s still-undeclared release date, and the Boston Strangler’s case remains hauntingly unsolved.

Sources :
The Encyclopedia of Unsolved Crimes by Michael Newton;

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06:58 | 1 komentar

Schirmer Abduction

In Ashland, Nebraska, on December 3, 1967, at 2:30 A.M. police Sergeant Herbert Schirmer noticed red lights on the highway. When he went to investigate he saw a metallic disk hovering six to eight feet above the road. With a high-pitched whine and blue flame coming from underneath, the UFO rose and zoomed off, leaving an openmouthed Schirmer to stand and stare.He was surprised to find that a half hour had elapsed—it seemed like only 10 minutes.He began to feel sick and noticed a red welt under his ear. His case was one of those investigated in the Condon Report. He flew to Boulder, Colorado and a psychologist hypnotized him, and he remembered that aliens had emerged from the craft. He was examined under hypnosis by psychologist Dr. R. Leo Sprinkle of the University of Wyoming on February 13, 1968.

Under hypnosis he reported that he had seen a blurred white object that came out of what he had at first mistaken for a truck because of blinking red lights. The white object communicated mentally with him, preventing him from drawing his gun. They were about five feet tall, had long, thin heads, slitlike eyes that never blinked, flat noses, and no lips. They were seeking power from a nearby power plant. Schirmer was given a tour of the ship and was told that the beings were from a nearby galaxy and had bases on Venus as well as on earth, off the coasts of Florida and Argentina.

The beings were friendly and wanted to help humans, they said, but were waiting until earthlings were more accustomed to the idea of extraterrestrials before they came out in the open. Schirmer was told by the leader to say nothing about what he had seen and that he would be contacted again twice. When they left, Schirmer remembered nothing.

An interesting detail in this case is Schirmer’s report of winged serpents depicted on the space suits.At least three other close encounters describe the same or similar emblem. It is especially strange because a winged serpent is a familiar image in earthly mythology.

The commission's conclusion was "Evaluation of psychological assessment tests, the lack of any evidence, and interviews with the patrolman, left project staff with no confidence that the trooper’s reported UFO experience was physically real." Sprinkle thought Schirmer believed what he was saying and was not consciously inventing the story.

Sources :
UFOs and Popular Culture : “An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Myth” by James R. Lewis;

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06:23 | 2 komentar

The Mysterious Case of Bridey Murphy

In the 1950s hypnotist Morey Bernstein of Pueblo, Colorado, was working with one of his clients, a twenty-nine-year old housewife and mother named Virginia Tighe when, during one of their sessions, she spoke with the voice and memories of a nineteenth-century Irishwoman named Bridey Murphy. The first time this occurred, Bernstein had been trying to help Tighe to remember her childhood and had casually suggested that she “go to some other place in some other time.” He meant for her to remember some other period of her life, but instead she seemed to jump to the life of someone else who had lived long before. In an Irish accent, she told Bernstein that she, Bridey Murphy, had been born in 1798 and died in 1864 of complications from a broken hip. Virginia Tighe herself was born in the Midwest in 1923, had never been to Ireland, and did not speak with even the slightest hint of an Irish accent.

In this and subsequent hypnosis sessions, she also provided Bernstein with numerous details about her family, experiences, likes and dislikes. For example, she gave the name of the Catholic church in Belfast, Ireland, where she had married Sean Brian Joseph McCarthy in 1818 and offered detailed descriptions of places where she had shopped for food. She also told Bernstein about the time in-between lives, when the spirit waited for a new existence. During this period, she said, she could travel anywhere with just a thought.

Her tale began in 1806 when Bridey was eight years old and living in a house in Cork. She was the daughter of Duncan Murphy, a barrister, and his wife Kathleen. At the age of 17 she married lawyer Sean Brian McCarthy and moved to Belfast. Bridey told of a fall that caused her death and of watching her own funeral, describing her tombstone and the state of being in life after death. It was, she recalled, a feeling of neither pain nor happiness. Somehow, she was reborn in America, although Bridey was not clear how this reincarnation happened.

Bernstein tape-recorded each session, and in 1956 he published a book based on his work, "The Search for Bridey Murphy". (Bernstein called Tighe “Ruth Simmons” in his writings in order to protect her anonymity, but journalists soon uncovered her real name.) Skeptics soon began noting flaws in Tighe’s story. Many of her place descriptions, including details about where Murphy had bought her food, were accurate, but other facts were not. The same was true of her language; some of the words she used were appropriate diction for a nineteenth-century Irishwoman, but others were those of a twentieth-century American. In addition, neither skeptics nor believers could find any evidence that anyone named Bridey Murphy had ever lived. Searches of church baptismal records and other records turned up nothing.

However, historians note that because of carelessness and poor record keeping, the documents of many other, known historical figures cannot be found either, so the lack of documentation could not be considered conclusive. Amidst the furor caused by attempts to track down evidence of the real Bridey Murphy, a Chicago, Illinois, newspaper published a series of articles that attributed Tighe’s knowledge of nineteenth century Ireland to Bridie Corkell, who had been born and raised in Ireland but who had subsequently moved to Chicago. Tighe had grown up in Chicago, and according to the newspaper, her family had known Corkell. Consequently, the newspaper suggested that while under hypnosis Tighe was recalling stories she had heard from Corkell but had forgotten. This did not end the matter, however. The newspaper’s own credibility was called into question when it was revealed that Corkell had not actually spent any time with the Tighe family. Moreover, Corkell turned out to be the mother of the newspaper’s editor.

Despite the many holes in Bridey's story, it was still a remarkably detailed account of life in 19th-century Ireland—information unlikely to have come the way of Virginia Tighe. The case was studied by psychiatrists and psychologists, who had used hypnosis in treatment for many years. Many subjects, in deep hypnosis, can be highly suggestible and will act on the slightest hint given to them, seeking to supply the answer they subconsciously believe the hypnotist wishes to hear. Such hypnosis is largely a matter of releasing relevant details from the brain's incredible capacity for storing information. A subject can even quote verbatim from a long-forgotten childhood book. However, someone under hypnosis is not automatically telling the truth even if they are seeking to give a satisfactory response. Bernstein admitted that, while she was under hypnosis, he did tell Virginia Tighe what he wanted, and it was then that she became Bridey Murphy.

The experts who examined the case of Virginia Tighe came to the conclusion that the best way to arrive at the truth was not to check back to Ireland, but to her own childhood and her relationship with her parents. Morey Bernstein's book stated that Virginia Tighe (whom he called Ruth Simmons in the book) was brought up by a Norwegian uncle and his German-Scottish-Irish wife. However, it did not state that her actual parents were both part Irish and that she had lived with them until the age of three. It also did not mention that an Irish immigrant named Bridie Murphy Corkell (1892–1957) lived across the street from Tighe's childhood home in Chicago, Illinois.

Most scientists today are satisfied that everything Virginia Tighe said can be explained as a memory of her long-forgotten childhood. Skeptics continue to contend that details of nineteenth-century Irish life were available to Tighe, and she was simply creating, probably unintentionally, a story that Bernstein and others wanted to believe. Tighe’s supporters, however, continue to insist that she really did live a former life as Bridey Murphy and reincarnate as Virginia Tighe.

Sources :
The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena by Patricia D. Netzley;

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13:42 | 1 komentar

The Underground Vaults of Edinburgh

The underground vaults are vast, man-made caverns where the working class once labored and lived, situated in tunnels built in the 18th century underneath one of the arches of the South Bridge in Edinburgh, Scotland, which was completed in 1788. For around 30 years, the vaults were used to house taverns, cobblers and other tradesmen, and as storage space for illicit material, reportedly including the bodies of people killed by serial killers. A few ghostly personalities have made their presence known in some not-so-subtle ways. Other investigations have reported unusual energy readings and photographs taken by tourists reveal orbs or white markings. The story of how the vaults came into existence actually starts 40,000 years ago during the Ice Age. On the great hill, where Edinburgh Castle stands watch over the city, a volcano once stood.

As the rivers of glacial ice encountered the hardened volcanic rock of the mountain, the glaciers split and went around either side of the great mound, carving deep valleys on both sides and then coming back together again, forming a teardrop-shaped piece of land that escaped glacial erosion. Geologists call this a “crag and tail.” Evidence of the site being a military outpost goes back almost three millennia. Given that there are steep cliffs on three sides and a long sloping hill to the top, the position is highly defendable.

A fortress of stone was constructed sometime during the reign of Malcolm III (1058 to 1093 C.E.). As Edinburgh’s population grew, people naturally wanted their homes to be as close to the Castle as possible, for protection. The homes were built very closely to one another, and they covered every piece of climbable land surrounding the Castle. In the late 18th century, it was decided that two great bridges would be constructed to span the deep valleys on both sides of the old town of Edinburgh. The first bridge was erected over the northern valley in 1772 and called the North Bridge. In 1785, an even longer southern bridge, with 19 arches supporting the road, was built to span the ravine of the Cowgate; it was named the South Bridge. Both bridges connected Edinburgh to new, level land, where grid street systems could be laid out to accommodate the population growth of the city.

On either side of the bridges, tenement buildings were constructed immediately adjacent to the bridge. With buildings on either side, the arches would be enclosed, forming the Edinburgh vaults. The tenements were so predominant they almost entirely masked the bridge.

The vault rooms, used as storage space and workshops for the South Bridge businesses, operated as intended for a relatively short space of time. Construction of the bridge had been rushed and the surface was never sealed against water. The vaults began to flood. Over the decades, the Scottish rain leaked through the bridge into the lowest parts of the vaults, spreading illness and death. As prosperity grew for the merchants who lived and worked on the South Bridge, many were able to move their living quarters to better housing. Those who couldn’t afford to move found themselves in what was fast becoming a slum.

Abandonment of the vaults began as early as 1795. With the vaults being gradually abandoned by the businesses on the bridge, the empty rooms were adopted and adapted by new users. By the 1840s, the city council resolved to remove all of the legal residents, which meant the caverns would become a haven for the poverty-stricken and the underbelly of Edinburgh.

During the Irish potato famine of 1845–1847, the destitute Irish came over to Scotland in droves. They had no money, no employment, and very few prospects, so they settled in the vaults. Prostitution, whiskey stills, gambling, fights, and murders were all taking place in the vaults in the latter half of the 19th century. By the early 20th century, the vaults were sealed off, eliminating the refuge of Edinburgh’s dark side.

In the 1980s, the vaults were rediscovered by former rugby international star Norrie Rowan, who owns some property that includes a section of the vaults. Rowan crawled through an opening and discovered part of an underground city. At Rowan’s invitation, and after some cleanup and electric light installation, Mercat Tours began offering historic walks through the vaults. But they found more than just some great history.
Des Brogan, one of the founders of Mercat Tours and a former history teacher said, “The more people we took down there, the more things began to happen. If they [people on the tour] were at all sensitive to the other world, they would feel very uncomfortable. On one occasion, we took somebody down who later told us she was a medium, and she identified a number of ghosts that she had seen down there.”

The accounts of ghost encounters continued to accumulate over the years. The stories reinforced each other, and many people were seeing different aspects of the same characters. The ghosts of birds and even a shaggy dog plopping itself down at visitors’ feet has been reported in addition to the human spirits. A few of these human spirits definitely stand out.

The frequent reports of paranormal activity and ghost sightings resulted in the UK paranormal entertainment show, Most Haunted, to investigate the vaults in both a 24 hour investigation and for a Most Haunted Live show on Halloween 2006. The television show Ghost Adventures investigated the vaults and claimed to have numerous encounters with spirits there.

There are a number of [spirits of] children who run around. “Jack” is the ghost of a little boy reported to be in late 18th-century dress and wandering the arches. “We think he was killed during the construction of the bridge, and his spirit is still within the confines of the vaults,” Brogan said.

The darkest and most notorious presence in the vaults is that of Mr. Boots. If someone seems intentionally frightened, or if a psychically sensitive person feels threatened, it’s attributed to Mr. Boots. “We call him that because he wears knee-length boots, very rough trousers that fit into the boots, and a very dirty ruffled white shirt,” Brogan said. “He’s unkempt and unshaven, and he has very bad breath. We know this because people can smell it. If our guide is telling stories, he will appear behind the group. And only some people in the group will see him. But as soon as he’s spotted, he disappears.”

Mr. Boots seems particularly connected to one room of the vaults. Several of the mediums who have investigated Mr. Boots’s room believe it to be a crime scene. Brogan believes Mr. Boots feeds off of the energy from the groups of people. On occasion, Mr. Boots has been reported to act out. Brogan said, “On a number of occasions, he has shown his unhappiness by switching off all the lights. There’s absolutely no reason why there should be light failure, but the lights all go out. And not only that, the candles go out as well,” leaving the guide and the group in complete darkness, entombed in a stone cavern. The guides are careful to forewarn about Mr. Boots. Brogan has never seen Mr. Boots, but he has heard him. “He stomps along the various corridors in the vaults, and you can hear him walking.” Brogan has also reported feeling drastic temperature changes between different rooms of the vault.

One scientific explanation for some of the underground experiences is linked to the fact that South Bridge is a heavy traffic route to the City. The traffic flow above creates vibrations which in turn create spectra that could be associated with sensations people experience while on ghost tours in these underground vaults. The underground vaults of Edinburgh are a place where the poorest of the poor sought shelter. Against all adversity—disease, crime, and no employment—some of the denizens of the vaults would prevail to a better way of life. Sadly, some not only made the vaults their home, but their tomb as well, and these poor souls may never leave.

Source :
The World’s Most Haunted Places by Jeff Belanger;;

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07:33 | 0 komentar

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