The Carlisle Tridents

On 2009, two 6,000 year old wooden 'tridents' were discovered when Oxford Archaeology North carried out excavations in the River Eden flood plain to the west of the village of Stainton, just before the Northern Development Route was built. These rare artifacts which later known as Carlisle tridents are both over 2m (7ft) long, sturdy and skilfully hewn from a single oak plank. However, researchers still unsure what they were used for. Recently it has been donated by Cumbria County Council to Carlisle's Tullie House Museum. Tullie House is showing the mysterious tridents in its Border Galleries and is inviting people to put forward their theories and ideas.

Interestingly there are 4 other similar tridents exist in the United Kingdom and they have almost identical designs. All of them were found in the 19th century: two in Cumbria (from Ehenside Tarn, an area relatively close to Carlisle which are now displayed in the British Museum), and the other two from a bog in Armagh, Northern Ireland. They would have been heavy, hefty objects, seemingly built for their strength. As they have been submerged and preserved in water-logged ground for nearly 6,000 years, their preservation involved freeze drying and stabilising them by injecting them with a waxy substance to replace the water in the trident’s structure as just letting the wood dry would have damaged them.

The two Carlisle Tridents, their purpose remains a mystery
Andy Dean, Regional Director from Balfour Beatty, said, “The discovery of these tridents was a very important and exciting event during the preparation work for the new road. The project team expected there to be archaeological finds in the vicinity of Hadrian’s Wall and Vallum, however the tridents, tools and flints discovered in the flood plain is of equal national importance”.

Despite detailed study of the Carlisle tridents, the function of these objects still remains a mystery. They do not appear to be well-suited for use as digging forks or fishing spears, or once covered in skin and used as paddles, as was speculated in the case of the Ehenside tridents from Penrith. However, there was no evidence for this at Stainton West, and they do not seem ideally formed for use as paddles.

Andrew Mackay, Head of Collections & Programming at Tullie House said: “These tridents are so rare that they of national importance so it is a great thrill to have them available to show to the visitors of Tullie House. We are very keen to canvass opinion on what they might be so I’d like to encourage everyone to come and see them and let us know what they think.”

Fortean Times Magazine Volume 310: Archaeology - Mystery Tridents;;

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Fortean Times Magazine Volume 310: Archaeology-Mystery Tridents page 18
08:40 | 0 komentar

Octavius The Ghost Ship

In 1774, the crew of the whaler Herald spotted a drifting large sailing ship bearing the name Octavius when they were shivering their way along the Greenland coast. They hailed her and could see by her ragged sails, it looks like that ship has long abandoned. Soon after, Captain Warren, the Captain of the Herald organised a boarding party. When they boarded the Octavius's deck, immediately they clearing the decks from snowdrifts, they wrenched open the forecastle door and forced their way down below. They were greeted with a bizarre sight.

Twenty eight fully-clothed sailors were discovered, all frozen to death. In the captain’s cabin the skipper still sat, frozen solid with the captain's logbook in front of him and his hands still on the desk (similar as in the Schooner Jenny). In the adjoining cabin lay a woman, frozen in a calm posture. Her head rested on her elbow, eyes wide open, staring across the room at another icy corpse, a young man, sitting cross-legged, at his feet a pile of wood chippings. Under a nearby reefer jacket they found the brittle body of a small boy.

The Red line showed the Northwest Passage routes

Unfortunately, in their blind panic to get back to the Herald, the crew let the most crucial centre section of the Octavius’s logbook fall into the sea because it slipped from the binding, leaving only the first and the last few pages in. So no other clues were left what may caused the incident. The last entry in the log was from November 11, 1761. The remaining pages showed she had left England on a voyage to China. The ship's last recorded position while the crew was still alive was 75°N 160°W, about 250 miles north of Barrow, Alaska. Which meant that the Octavius had become trapped in the ice of north Alaska for 13 years later, adrift off Greenland on the opposite side of the continent.

What could have caused this? Had 13 years of drifting pushed her through a then-unknown North West passage?

The Fortean Times Paranormal Handbook: Casebook Phantom Ships by David Sutton;
Sailing's Strangest Moments: Extraordinary But True Stories From Over Nine Hundred Years of Sailing by John Harding;

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17:25 | 2 komentar

Siberia's Mysterious Hole

Recently on July 2014, a mysterious giant hole with diameter approximately up to 60 metres wide while its depth around up to 70 metres was discovered by a helicopter pilot in the Yamal peninsula tundra, part of Russia, northern Siberia where its name translates as 'the end of the world'. Since its discovery, several theories of what it caused has been proposed from a sinkhole, a meteorite, aliens/UFO, a stray missile, methane explosion related to gas drilling, and global warming.

A group of Russian scientists have been dispatched to investigate the crater but University of New South Wales polar scientist Dr Chris Fogwill says it’s likely to be a geological phenomenon called a pingo. He said that it's obvious from the images he had seen it looks like a periglacial feature, perhaps a collapsed pingo. According to wikipedia, a pingo (hydrolaccolith), is a mound of earth-covered ice found in the Arctic and subarctic that can reach up to 70 metres in height and up to 600 m in diameter. The ice can eventually push through the earth and when it melts away it leaves an exposed crater. The term was first borrowed by the Arctic botanist Alf Erling Porsild in 1938, which originated from the Inuvialuktun word for a small hill.

The Mysterious Giant Hole in Siberia

The Siberian hole appeared about 30 kilometres from Yamal's biggest gas field, Bovanenkovo, fuelling speculation there had been some sort of underground explosion. That theory is supported by the fact the earth appears to have been push up from underground.

A theory proposed by Anna Kurchatova from the Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Centre, she thinks the crater was formed by a water, salt and gas mixture igniting an underground explosion, the result of global warming. She suggested that global warming causing an 'alarming' melt in the under soil ice which released gas and then causing an effect like the popping of a Champagne bottle cork.

Andrey Plekhanov from Scientific Research Center of the Arctic told The Siberian Times that there was no traces of anthropogenic impact near the crater, just as there was no traces of human presence, except for very few sledge traces and of course reindeer traces and if it was a man-made disaster linked by gas pumping, it would have happened closer to the gas fields. However it's unlikely was caused by the gas explosion because the gas field is 30 km away from the crater.

He said i'ts more likely was formed due to rising temperatures. One theory is that a chunk of ice that is located underground that created a hole in the ground when it melted. Around 80 percent of the crater appeared to be made up of ice and that there were no traces of an explosion. This discovery eliminates the possibility that a meteorite had struck the region though such things have been common in Russia recently, also ruling out gas explosion and extra-terrestrial intervention.

He said that even though he has been to Yamal many times, he never seen anything like this. The crater is different from others on Yamal.

The experts say the phenomenon maybe a restarting of a process not seen for 8,000 years when the lake-pocked Yamal landscape was formed on what was once a sea.

Since the structure is so fragile, the scientists could not climb deep into the lake and had to send a camera down instead. Scientists reported from recent expedition revealed that the crater has an icy lake at its bottom, and water is cascading down its walls. The best theory for now is that the crater was formed by internal - not external forces.

06:52 | 0 komentar

The Unsolved Case of Isdal Woman

Isdal Woman is a nickname given to an unidentified charred, naked woman's body which was found on 29 November 1970 by a university professor and his two daughters while out hiking in the middle of the Isdalen Valley also known as Death Valley in Bergen, Norway. Unsolved Case of Isdal Woman is considered one of Norway's most profound mysteries since 1970. Over the years the case has been the subject of intense speculation regarding the identity of the victim and the cause of her death.

At the crime scene, next to her naked body there were an empty quart bottle of liqueur, a dozen pink sleeping pills, two plastic bottles of gasoline and a packed lunch. She had died from a combination of burns and carbon monoxide poisoning. Her neck bore a bruise, possibly the result of a blow. According to the investigators her fingerprints had been sanded away, and after the autopsy
showed traces of at least 50 sleeping pills in her body and her dental records returned no matches.
Later the local investigators discovered another clues when two of her suitcases were found in a safety deposit box at a train station in Bergen, but all of the clothing packed inside had been stripped of their labels. They also discovered several fake passports adorned with entrance stamps from Moscow, a prescription for lotion - though the name and address of the doctor had been peeled off, 500 deutschemarks sewn into the lining of one of the bags, and she also apparently wore a collection of wigs and wrote notes to herself in code.

Based on the fake passports, the police found out that the Isdal Woman travelled around Europe with several false identities: Alexia Zarna-Merchez, Claudia Nielsen, Claudia Tjelt, Elizabeth Leen Hoywfer, Finella Lorck, Jenevive Lancia, Vera Jarle, and Vera Schlosseneck.

Furthermore, over 100 eyewitnesses all claimed to have seen her several days before her death. Based on eyewitnesses' general description, she looked like an attractive foreign lady in her 30s or 40s, 164cm in height. They also said she would wear various wigs and spoke many languages including French, German, English and Flemish.

Isdal Woman
During her stay in various hotels around Norway, she used a handful of different names, all fake, and before she died, she met an Italian photographer (who had previously been questioned in an unrelated rape case) who had given the woman a lift and had dinner at Hotel Alexandra in Loen. He said the woman told him that she was an antiques collector from South Africa on a sightseeing trip, but he couldn't remember any useful details.

The final sight of The Isdal Woman was when she checked out of room 407 of Hotel Marlin, paying cash. She smoked cigarettes, appeared to be on guard and was heard saying the words "Ich komme bald" ("I am coming soon" in Germany) and leaving in a taxi. 

Three decades later, a man came forward saying he saw the mysterious woman walking into the forest in evening wear with two large men in black coats following her five days before the discovery of the woman's body. He said police had told him to keep quiet at the time. Her body was discovered a few days later, burned to a cinder, laced with alcohol and sleeping pills, and with evidence of blunt force trauma on the back of her neck.

The police were so baffled by every single facet of the case that they literally gave up, ruling the Isdal Woman's death a suicide. The case remains unsolved to this day, with most assuming that the Isdal Woman was a spy.


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07:14 | 2 komentar

The Riddle of Samuel Wilberforce

Samuel Wilberforce also known as "Soapy Sam" was born at Clapham Common, London in 7 September 1805 and died in 19 July 1873. He was an English bishop in the Church of England. The "Soapy Sam" nickname was coined by Benjamin Disraeli because the bishop's  manner was "unctuous, oleaginous, saponaceous". In 1859 when Charles Darwin published a book about the theory of evolution which entitled "On the Origin of Species”, there was a tremendous backlash from Wilberforce which represent the church. Finally in 1860 a famous debate was staged, wherein both parties would argue their points. At that time Darwin was too sick to attend, and sent acolyte Thomas Huxley in his place. Wilberforce and Huxley locked horns, and neither definitely “won” the debate.

Samuel Wilberforce

Besides his career in the service of the church, Wilberforce was fond of writing, and riddles in particular. After his death, the following was found among his papers:

I’m the sweetest of sounds in Orchestra heard,
Yet in Orchestra never was seen.
I’m a bird of gay plumage, yet less like a bird,
Nothing ever in Nature was seen.
Touch the earth I expire, in water I die,
In air I lose breath, yet can swim and can fly;
Darkness destroys me, and light is my death,
And I only keep going by holding my breath.
If my name can’t be guessed by a boy or a man,
By a woman or girl it certainly can.

Until now, no one has ever solved this riddle. However, several theories have been put forth (mostly think, that he was referring to a whale), but the real answer probably died with the Bishop.


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10:41 | 1 komentar

Mystery of The Girl In Blue

Couple days before Christmas, on December 23, 1933 a young woman dressed in a navy blue skirt and shoes with a white blouse and a floral-print scarf draped casually around her neck traveling by Greyhound bus alone. Later she asked for travel and fare information to Eerie, Pennsylvania, and Elmira, New York. She then asked about a ticket to Willoughby. After she arrived in Willoughby, she met a gentleman who offered help, with his guidance she sought a boarding house of Mrs. Mary Judd right in the downtown area. After arriving, she went to sleep. The next morning, she descending the stairs to the breakfast room. During the breakfast, Mrs. Judd told her how to get to the bus station, as well as the church. After that, she headed down the front porch stairs and headed off toward downtown.

One hour later, she returned to the boarding house and headed directly to her room. As she returned downstairs, her suitcase clutched tightly to her side, she thanked the landlady for her hospitality, returned the key to her room and paid for her stay.

The girl headed one block south of the boardinghouse to a nearby street led her past the cemetery. She continued down the street until she reached the end. Then she purposefully stepped into the copse of maple trees and vanished from sight.

Emerging from the other side of the woods, she was faced with the railroad tracks stretching off into the distance. Suddenly, there was an eastbound flyer heading to New York barreling down the track at about sixty-five miles per hour. She dropped her suitcase as she sprinted toward the tracks. A glancing blow from the train sent her slight body hurtling through the air, landing on the gravel siding. Her short-lived life was tragically over.

When her body was recovered by the local authorities a short while later, they were astonished to find no blood or visible wounds on the young woman. They carefully checked her body for identification and found none. Searching through her purse, they found coins (90 cents) and a railroad ticket to Corry, Pa, a handkerchief, the usual trinkets and makeup a woman would carry, but no form of identification. After a search of surrounding brush, they found her leather suitcase. Inside, they recovered a towel, a few crudely sharpened pencils and some envelops, but none of these things offered any clue to the girl's identity.The local authorities unable to discover her identity or the exact motives that had caused her to meet her death.

Later they removed her body to the local funeral home of James McMahon. Upon his examination, Mr. McMahon concluded that she had died from injuries suffered during the train accidents. The exact cause of her death was listed as a fractured skull. He estimated her age at about twenty-three. She was five feet, four inches tall, 135 pounds, with reddish brown hair and hazel eyes. He noted that she had straight teeth, high cheekbones and may have been born of foreign parents.

Mr McMahon decided to give her a proper funeral. Many people came to pay their last respects to the Girl in Blue, but no one seemed to know her identity. The story about her tragic demise began appearing in more and more newspaper, and families called from near and far desperate to find their missing loved ones, but she was never claimed.

She was buried in a donated cemetery plot in the center of the middle section of the Willoughby burial ground, right under a towering pine tree. Hank Heaverly, the sexton of the cemetery raising fund to give her a proper headstone. Few days later, the local community responded and a beautifully etched gravestone was erected with the following inscription:

Girl in Blue
Killed by a train
December 24, 1933
Unknown but not forgotten

Surprisingly, more than 3,000 local residents visited her funeral to pay their respects and see if they could identify her.

Girl In Blue Headstone
In December 1993, her true identity revealed when The News-Herald published an article marking the anniversary of the Girl in Blue's death. The article was read by Pennsylvania real-estate agent Ed Sekerak, who was involved in selling the former Klimczak family farm in Spring Creek at the time. Sekerak discovered through court records that the mystery girl was Josephine Klimczak.

Upon learning that Sekerak could confirm the identity of the Girl in Blue, Willoughby lawyer William C. Gargiulo came forward and asked that Lake County Probate Court Judge Fred V. Skok officially recognize the true identity of the girl.

However, questions of whether she had committed suicide or was racing to catch the train lingered. Also her purpose visiting Willoughby still unknown.

Haunted Willoughby, Ohio written by Cathi Weber

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Haunted Willoughby, Ohio written by Cathi Weber page 38
15:41 | 0 komentar

The Sea Monster of Hook Island

In 1964, Le Serrec and family with Henk de Jong, his Australian friend spend three months on one of the Whitsunday Islands called Hook Island, off the coast of the Australian state of Queensland. On December 12th 1964, when they were all crossing Stonehaven Bay, Le Serrec’s wife spotted a mysterious object on the lagoon floor. It proved to be a gigantic tadpole-like creature, estimated at about 30 feet long. They took several still photos, gradually moving closer. Then Le Serrec and de Jong plucked up the courage to approach it underwater in order to film it. Apparently, it's larger than their thought, with its estimated length around 75-80 feet. At first they thought it might be dead because it doesn’t move, but just as Le Serrec began the filming, the creature opened its mouth and made movements toward them. They returned to the boat, and by this time the creature had moved off.

Hook Island Sea Monster

They also noticed a large pale region interpreted as a wound was visible on the right side of the tail, and it was suggested that this (maybe caused by a ship’s propeller) had caused the animal to take rest and refuge in the shallow bay. The eyes, located on the top of the head and well away from the front of the snout, were pale and possessed slit-shaped pupils. Mostly black in colour, the animal had brown transverse stripes and its skin was smooth in texture. It possessed no fins nor spines of any kind and they didn’t see teeth inside the white mouth.

However, few years later according to Heuvelmans report in 1968, he said that Le Serrec was an untrustworthy man, even Ivan Sanderson (a biologist and an expert in cryptozoology) had been contacted about the story in February 1965 (Le Serrec had initially approached the American media in order to get the best price for the images) and had concluded that the object might be either a plastic bag used by the US Navy ‘for experiments in towing petrol’. He later suggested that the creature might be a giant synbranchid, or swamp eel.


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Goddard's Spirit Photograph

In 1975, a mysterious photo showed an extra ghostly face which appears among a group of a squadron. This photo was actually taken in 1919 and first published by a retired R.A.F. officer called Sir Victor Goddard. The photo is a group picture of Goddard’s squadron which had served in World War I. Nobody could have tampered with either the photograph or its negative at that time. When the photo was developed, it was placed on the squadron bulletin board so that those who wanted copies could sign up for them. On the top row, in back of the airman positioned, fourth from the left, can clearly be seen the face of another man. It is said to be the face of Freddy Jackson. He was an air mechanic who had been accidentally killed by an airplane propeller two days earlier. His funeral had taken place on the day this photograph was snapped. Members of the squadron easily recognized the face as Jackson's. It has been suggested that Jackson, unaware of his death, decided to show up for the group photo. 
On the top row, in back of the airman positioned, fourth from the left,
can clearly be seen the face of another man. (see the blow-up on the right)
Goddard and others of the squadron were convinced that it was Jackson. In his book entitled "Flight Towards Reality", Goddard suggests that Jackson’s expression seemed to say: “My goodness me-I nearly failed to make it-They didn’t wait, or leave a place for me, the blighters!”

Interestingly, this is not the first time Mr. Goddard dealing with unexplained phenomena. In 1935 Sir Victor Goddard had a time slip experience while on a flight from Edinburgh, Scotland to his home base in Andover, England.

07:40 | 0 komentar

The Cursed City of Bhangarh

Bhangarh is a prehistoric site which was established in 1573 (VS 1631) during the rule of Bhagwant Das as the residence of his second son Madho Singh, the younger brother of Emperor Akbar’s general, Man Singh I. It is situated between Jaipur and Delhi in Rajasthan state of India. According to local legend, the city of Bhangarh was cursed by the Guru Balu. He had sanctioned the construction of the town on one condition, "The moment the shadows of your palaces touch me, the city shall be no more!" When a descendant prince raised the palace to a height that cast a shadow on Balu Nath's forbidden retreat, he cursed the town. Balu Nath is said to be buried there to this day in a small samādhi.
Another myth tells a legend of the Princess of Bhangarh, called Ratnavati, the jewel of Rajasthan. On her eighteenth birthday she began to get offers of marriage from other regions/kingdoms. In the area lived a magician (tantric), called Singhia, who was in love with the princess but knew that the match was impossible. One day Singhia saw the princess's maid in the market. He used his black magic on the oil she was purchasing so that upon touching it the princess would surrender herself to him. However, the princess, foiled his plan by pouring it on the ground after seeing the tantric enchanting the oil.
As the oil struck the ground it turned into a boulder, that crushed Singhia. Dying, the tantric cursed the palace with the death of all who dwelt in it. The next year there was a battle between Bhangarh and Ajabgarh in which Princess Ratnavati perished. Legends says that there are ghosts in Bhangarh and that is why entry is prohibited for tourists in the fort after sunset and before sunrise.

While other myth also tells a similar legend of Ratnavati, but she was proposed by a King of Sindh. Desperately, he tried to trap her in his magical ploy, and failed every time, as the queen herself was a master in the tantric art. The last battle took place in the day when the queen losing eventually her temper, transformed a glass bottle containing the massaging oil into a big rock and hurled it towards the hill-top and the rock started rolling towards the wicked tantric. Sensing his looming death, the King of Sindh concentrated all his powers and spatted his dying curse: “I die! But you too, you Ratnavati shall not live here anymore. Neither you, nor your kin and these walls of the city, none shall see the morning sun!” It is believed that the entire city was destroyed overnight after the king of Sindh died cursing the city and its people.

The locals believe that the princess Ratnavati has taken birth somewhere else and that the fort and the empire of Bhangarh is waiting for her return to put an end to the curse.

The Archeological survey of India (ASI) has put up a sign board at Bhangarh stating (among others): 
“Entering the borders of Bhangarh before sunrise and after sunset is strictly prohibited.” Lot of tourists who visit Bhangarh affirms that there is a strange feeling in the atmosphere of Bhangarh, which causes symptoms of anxiety and restlessness. There is a saying that the restless spirit of the tantric roam around there and if anyone stays there after sunset, he/she didn't come back alive.


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