Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman is one of the few 'living legends' of Fortean studies - he's been involved in research on Bigfoot and other beasties for over five decades(!!) now. But he's currently in need of some assistance: like many other Fortean researchers before him, Loren's 'career choice' has left him in a precarious financial position, and a number of medical procedures in recent years have thrown up major hurdles - both health-related, and money-wise as well.
So I'm encouraging all Grailers with an interest in Forteana to head over to this GoFundMe page and drop a few dollars in the can to help Loren out. We have enough readers here to make a real difference, if we get off our asses.
Like many older cryptozoology & Fortean authors/television personalities, embarrassed finances is not uncommon. Love and support has been there during my six operations during the last four years. My wife has been a savior, not working to take care of me. But realistically, unpaid medical and dental bills have caused definite challenges, lawyer-court involvements now, and troubles ahead without some donations to find a way back to fiscal stability and out of this health-caused crisis. I can't pay the bills on Social Security. I'm falling behind and have lost time with all the health issues. Please assist with large and small donations to bring a less stressful time to bear, to help pay off these old medical bills, so I can write and share widely again. Thanks to my fans. ~ Loren Coleman, 69
Dreaming of electric sheep...
- Google's DeepMind AI can lip-read TV shows better than a pro.
- At home with the man who has made robot 'children' for 30 years.
- Tesla is powering an entire island with solar energy.
- The Tecaxic-Calixtlahuaca Head: Evidence for ancient Roman transatlantic voyages, a Viking souvenir, or a hoax?
- Inside Bolivia's skull festival, where the dead get diamonds and sunglasses.
- NDEs in the ICU.
- Non-invasive deep-brain stimulation using external electrical currents.
- Using 'big data' analysis techniques on UFO catalogues.
- Physicists uncover strange numbers in particle collisions.
- Egypt unearths 7000-year-old lost city.
- Glass-making may have begun in Egypt, not Mesopotamia as previously thought.
- The latest Mysterious Universe podcast discusses tales of ancient technology and 'Manna-machines'.
- Hidden 'dark' galaxy found orbiting the Milky Way.
- Has dogma derailed the scientific search for dark matter?
- Fake science news is just as bad as fake news.
- In Fiji, ants have learned to grow plants to house their massive colonies.
- Video of the Day: At what point does a murmuration of starlings become a single organism?
Quote of the Day:
Today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups... So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.
Philip K. Dick (1978)
The amazing image above, posted by Graham Hancock on his Facebook page, shows the Ishi-no-Hōden megalith in central Japan - yet another example that mysterious ancient megaliths can be found right around the world.
Not only is the megalith huge, but as Graham says, the stonework "is so beautifully done that the gigantic stone, surrounded by a water-filled pool, appears to float lightly in the air."
The Ishi-no-Hōden megalith is thought to have been cut from its surrounding rock some 1,500 years ago and, if freestanding, would weigh in the region of 500 tons. It sits at the centre of a pond and appears to float above the surface of the water. As with many sacred objects in Japan (including natural objects such as trees) the Ishi-no-Hōden megalith is adorned with a sacred rice-straw rope known as a shimenawa.
And here's some video of the site found on YouTube:
I haven't been able to find many authoritative sources with more detail on this ancient megalith - any locals or megalith experts have further information to share with us? I was struck by the similarity in the way it appears to have been cut out of the surrounding rock, similar to these rock churches in Ethiopia (not suggesting a link between the builders, just similarity in appearance).
A summary of all the stories and news briefs posted on The Daily Grail over the past week. Feel free to share anything interesting!
- Near-Death Experiences and the Origin of Afterlife Beliefs
- News Briefs 21-11-2016 (Monday)
- Remembering the 'Radioactive Boy Scout'
- News Briefs 22-11-2016 (Tuesday)
- Does This Ancient Egyptian Dish Demolish Everything We Know about the Origins of Greek Astronomy?
- News Briefs 23-11-2016 (Wednesday)
- News Briefs 25-11-2016 (Friday)
- A Murmuration of Starlings: Is It a Flock of Millions, or a Single Organism?
Have a good weekend!
One topic that has always fascinated me is how an organism emerges from many smaller parts. We are made of billions of individual cells (with their own individual parts), each with specific functions, and yet from this huge assembly a 'human' emerges as a single object. And, stretching that thinking to consciousness, how do many individual neurons networking together eventually result in a coherent, non-physical thing called consciousness?
So looking at the amazing short film above of starling murmurations, the question is posed - can we think of the murmuration as a single organism itself?
We know a lot of factual information about the starling—its size and voice, where it lives, how it breeds and migrates—but what remains a mystery is how it flies in murmurations, or flocks, without colliding. This short film by Jan van IJken was shot in the Netherlands, and it captures the birds gathering at dusk, just about to start their "performance." Listen well and you'll be able to hear how this beautiful phenomenon got its name.
(via Boing Boing)
”Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
- Dividing space.
- Living cells bind silicon carbon.
- Challenging Einstein.
- Is artificial gravity the key to long term spaceflight? If it worked in 2001…
- Ucovering the world of viruses.
- Martian ice deposit larger than New Mexico.
- Turning back the clock.
- Lung, replicated.
- Converting paint to electricity.
- How anxiety and depression affect the stomach and skin.
- Eel vs. Octopus.
- Snake vs. Dragon.
- Hunt for the dark photon.
- Shenzhou 11 returns.
- This week’s evidence of the looming robot uprising… Little Chubby attacks!
Quote of the Day:
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”
- Controversial claim argues that ancient Israelites turned Egyptian hieroglyphics into letters.
- Does this ancient Egyptian dish demolish everything we know about the origins of Greek astronomy?
- The myths and folktales behind Harry Potter.
- Why our first alien encounter could happen soon. Somebody photoshop up Betty and Barney Hill saying "bitch, please...", stat.
- We're still waiting for Hollywood to depict a plausible alien ecosystem.
- Did NASA Mars rover find a signature of past life on the Red Planet?
- Looking for 'technosignatures' of alien civilisations.
- 1800 studies later, scientists conclude homeopathy doesn't work.
- This cat poo parasite may provoke sadomasochistic longings.
- Porpoises plan their dives, setting their heart rate to match the length of time they will be underwater.
- The Great Barrier Reef just mated.
- Scientists seek to update evolution.
- Frenchman finds 100kg of gold underneath furniture in inherited house.
- Politician who criticised squirrels has skull fractured by squirrel.
- Adventures in Demonology: Hear Vincent Price's rare how-to on selling your soul to the devil and summoning demons.
- Image of the Day: Prometheus.
Quote of the Day:
We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.
I recently received a very interesting email from Adriano Forgione, publisher of the best-selling Italian 'ancient mysteries' magazine FENIX. Adriano, a long-time reader of the Grail, asked if I could publish a short article that he had written regarding his personal discovery of a very interesting ancient Egyptian artifact (image above; reason why it is very interesting in his article below).
As this is a topic I'm extremely familiar with, I thought it might be more helpful to present both Adriano's article, and some comments from myself, together here in this post. Here's Adriano's article first:
During my travels in Egypt for my studies I meet in the Nubian Museum in Aswan, an absolutely unknown artifact, not recognized for its importance. The first time I saw it in 2008, I understood immediately to find myself in front of an "astronomical-mythological" object of enormous value. An object of unrecognized importance until today, not only among archaeologists, but also from my own colleagues who deal with ancient knowledge and the sacred science, simply because the finding is unknown.
Let me make an introduction: Orion is known by the ancients as the constellation of the "Heavenly Hunter." Often it depicted with a club, but more often with a bow, and sometimes accompanied by a lion skin. The posture assumed in the sky from this constellation have a perfect match with that of the Egyptian pharaoh when he were depicted as the “Divine Warrior” and “Egypt Divine Defender”. A parallel between the lines that form the silhouette of this constellation and the pharaoh's profile, at the earliest dynasties (eg in the Narmer tablet that carry in the accompanying images) highlights the correspondence, and so it was until the end of Egyptian history. In fact the representations on the outer pillars of the temples, until the Ptolemaic era have respected this artistic canon, representing, such a form, a divine concept. I recall that the temple was a sacred place and house of the cosmic order. Therefore, the Pharaoh/Orion as "Heavenly Hunter" of demons, it protected the sacred place from the disorder and the chaos. The enemies of Egypt, dominated by the sovereign, were, therefore, only a metaphor of opposing forces of the divine spiritual and light forces and not mere propaganda, as Egyptologists erroneously interpret.
And then here comes the object that I’ve identified in the museum. We can find the more ancient representation and relationship between Orion and the Great Hunter Archer, of the Egyptian mythology, in a dish of pre-dynastic era (dating back to 3500 BC) in the Museum of Aswan. This can tell us that this correspondence could go back to the Egyptian prehistory. Not only that, this would demonstrate that prehistoric Egyptians already associated the constellations that today we identify with Orion the Hunter, the Hare and the Canis Major and Canis Minor to these very ancient symbologies, so they were not Greek, but of Egyptian origin. As proof of what I’m saying, and I read in this finding, there is depicted a hunter with bow and arrows, in the same posture that we know now as the "symbol of Orion." To the left of the hunter there is a dog, exactly where in the sky there is the constellation "Canis Minor". But according to mythology, and also according to the astronomy, the dogs following Orion in its hunting are two. The other is the Canis Major, where Sirius lies, (called the "Dog’s Star”) and that, chasing the constellation of the "Hare", placed just under the feet of Orion.
Everything is portrayed perfectly in this ancient dish, which was, in my opinion, a ritual object. Some might ask: and the leopard skin to the right? Here it is explained: Orion, as predator and beasts hunter is associated with the "Lion skin” according to the Greeks, as it is archetypal of the One who shot down the bestial strength and the darkness that it symbolizes (just like Hercules or Gilgamesh). But we know that for the ancient Egyptians, the symbol of the dominion of the brutality was not associated with the lion, but with the leopard (Leo-Pardus, the Heavenly Lion) of which skin the sovereign and priests was dressed. Therefore, I am sure to have in this marvellous object, completely anonymous, a proof of the remote and ancient origins of Egyptian astronomical knowledge (later transposed in the Book of the Dead), as well an indication that the constellations which we call today "Heavenly Hunter/Orion", "Canis Major", "Canis Minor" and "Hare", should have their origin and their names thanks to this people of the prehistoric Egypt. Only thousand years later were they passed to the Greeks and to our civilization.
Long-time readers of this site (and our Darklore anthology series) will note that Adriano's discovery agrees with - perhaps even confirms - a hypothesis I put forward some 17 years ago (web version/PDF version): that similar depictions of 'the God with the Upraised Arm' - found in art across the ancient 'near-East', not just Egypt - were actually an astronomical archetype based on the constellation of Orion....thousands of years before the Greeks.
Adriano's discovery takes things a step further though, with many of the elements on the dish appearing to be precursors of later Greek 'creations': the dog following the Orion figure, the animal beneath that appears very much like a hare, and the lion skin. Dating on the dish is key here - could this be a later copy based on Greek designs? If it is indeed from pre-Dynastic Egypt, this dish should signal a paradigm change in what we believe about the origins of the 'Greek' constellations. Can anyone provide further information about this artifact?
(Regardless of that, it's quite instructive to look at how similar the depiction of the 'dog and prey' beneath Orion is to the two people beneath the feet of Narmer on the Narmer Palette.)
Many thanks to Adriano Forgione for sending this fascinating article in to us!
- An astrolinguist explains how to talk to aliens.
- The new Google Earth virtual reality app is literally convincing people we are living in a simulation.
- Stopping killer robots at the source (code).
- Global sea ice shrinking at unprecedented speeds, warns scientist.
- A cure for ageing? Scientists discover breakthrough procedure to replace specific parts of ageing cells.
- How 'thunderstorm asthma' stopped a city.
- Why China's 'Terracotta Warriors' are stirring controversy.
- Ancient inscriptions show life once flourished in Jordan's "Black Desert".
- 46,000-year-old kangaroo bone ornament is oldest bone jewelry ever found.
- Expert claims new footage shows a Tasmanian Tiger roaming around in Western Australia.
- Ouija: the forbidden interview.
- Jesus was an alien: Inside the strange theology fo the Aetherius Society.
- SETI in the Anthropocene.
- Why did ancient Italians bury thousands of clay body parts?
- Why was the founder of Discordianism writing a novel about Lee Harvey Oswald years before the JFK assassination?
- Image(s) of the Day: Aliens of the deep.
Quote of the Day:
I sometimes fear that people might think that fascism arrives in fancy dress worn by grotesques and monsters as played out in endless re-runs of the Nazis.
Fascism arrives as your friend. It will restore your honour, make you feel proud, protect your house, give you a job, clean up the neighbourhood, remind you of how great you once were, clear out the venal and the corrupt, remove anything you feel is unlike you...
It doesn't walk in saying, "Our programme means militias, mass imprisonments, transportations, war and persecution."
In last week's news briefs we reported the the death of David Hahn, aka 'the radioactive boy scout', aged just 39. In his teenage years Hahn constructed a 'breeder-style nuclear reactor' in the back-shed of his family home after becoming fascinated by the subject through the Boy Scouts and his father's chemistry books. The coroner's results are still pending, so it is still unknown whether Hahn died as a result of his nuclear interest, or by some other cause.
I've seen a number of comments around the web and on social media in the days since along the lines of "lol, Darwin Award winner" (referring to a mock award to "recognize individuals who have supposedly contributed to human evolution by selecting themselves out of the gene pool via death"). I've always found the DA rather distasteful, perhaps because they boil down someone's life, and the tragedy of their death to their family, into a one-line, superficial quip (FWIW, I usually enjoy dark humour). So, to help you get to know Hahn a little better, here's an article with a bit more depth, followed by two videos documenting his story in his own words.
Like any teenager, Hahn held after-school jobs at a local fast-food restaurant and a grocery store, but unlike other teenagers, he was using his wages to buy chemistry supplies. For a summer stay at Scout camp, Hahn showed up with powdered magnesium, thinking the other scouts would use it to make fireworks. Instead, they blasted a hole through their tent. Finally, after an explosion in the family basement, David’s parents requested that his experiments be conducted in the shed in their backyard.
“Sure, they thought it was odd that Hahn often wore a gas mask in the shed and would sometimes discard his clothing after working there until two in the morning, but they chalked it up to their own limited education,” Silverstein wrote.
David’s father laid down the law, insisting that he find some other pastime — specifically, becoming an Eagle Scout. And it turned out that one of the program’s merit badges was in Atomic Energy. Hahn earned his merit badge by building a model of a nuclear reactor using rubber bands and soda straws on a can of juice, adding some coat hangers and kitchen matches...
...His ambition started to grow, and he was determined to produce real radioactive materials. “He remained unfazed by accidents that turned his hair green, burned his skin, or knocked him out cold,” the Christian Science Monitor wrote later. He extracted americium-241 from old smoke detectors, then welded it together with a blowtorch. He extracted thorium from thousands of old lanterns — again using his blowtorch — and successfully purified it “to at least 9,000 times the level found in nature and 170 times the level that requires NRC licensing.” Harpers even reports that “he wrote to a Czechoslovakian firm that sells uranium to commercial and university buyers, whose name was provided, he told me, by the NRC,” then formulated his own nitric acid to try to isolate to the uranium.
(thanks to @Becky_Bongos)