Help Cryptozoology Legend Loren Coleman Get Back on His Feet

Loren Coleman

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

Link: Contribute to Loren Coleman's Medical Fund

News Briefs 28-11-2016

Dreaming of electric sheep...

Thanks Ronnie.

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)

Revealing the Japanese Megaliths: Graham Hancock Visits the Amazing Ishi-no-Hōden

Graham Hancock at Ishi-no-Hōden. Photo by Santha Faiia.Photo by Santha Faiia.

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."

Here's some further information about the stone:

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).

For more discussion of mysterious megaliths around the world, be sure to pick up a copy of Graham Hancock's excellent book Magicians of the Gods, which is available from Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Related posts:

A Murmuration of Starlings: Is It a Flock of Millions, or a Single Organism?

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)

News Briefs 25-11-2016

”Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”

Quote of the Day:

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”

Albert Einstein

News Briefs 23-11-2016

Me, reading the internet today...

Thanks @LevitatingCat, @Tenebrisvacuum and @Gina7J.

Quote of the Day:

We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.

George Orwell

Does This Ancient Egyptian Dish Demolish Everything We Know about the Origins of Greek Astronomy?

Pre-Dynastic dish with astronomical symbolism  © Adriano Forgione

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 Narmer Palettethe 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.

Celestial map showing 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.

For example:

The Gods with the Upraised Arms

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!

News Briefs 22-11-2016

Given recent events, I reckon Alex Jones would conspiracy the shit out this GOP convention video if he wasn't so deeply embedded with the President-Elect himself...

Thanks @AnomalistNews.

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."

Michael Rosen

Remembering the 'Radioactive Boy Scout'

Radioactivity warning symbol

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.

Bad idea.

“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)