Author Graham Hancock continues to travel the world researching his 'sequel' to the bestselling Fingerprints of the Gods, and has just posted a fascinating update to Facebook about his upcoming visit to the Indonesian megalithic site of Gunung Padang - an enigmatic location that Rick wrote about here on TDG back in July:
Next week Santha and I travel to Indonesia to explore Gunung Padang, the extraordinary megalithic site in West Java that is rewriting history. Together with our friend geology professor Robert Schoch of Boston University, famous for his redating of the Great Sphinx of Giza, we have been invited to attend a special seminar in Bandung, the West Javan capital, at which geologist Danny Hilman and the research team who have produced evidence that the origins of Gunung Padang may go back further than 20,000 years will reveal the full scope of their scientific findings for the first time. I have previously posted several status updates about Gunung Padang here (see for example https://www.facebook.com/Author.GrahamHa...) but now we will be able to visit the site ourselves and have the opportunity to learn about the findings of Danny Hilman and his team first hand.
I've been in touch with Danny by email throughout November and he has told me something of the complexity of the site, writing: "Gunung Padang has multi layer constructions, each from a different age, at least three layers. The youngest that cover the ground is about 2500-3000 years BP. Just below the surface, we found the second construction layer that has an estimated age of about 6500-7000 years BP. Beneath the second is the third layer, which in one location is buried by soil fills (not a natural rock-weathering soils) with a carbon-age of about 9500-9800 years BP (calibrated). Then Radiocarbon dating of soils/sediments, found between the columnar rocks of the third layers ranges between 13,000 – 21,000 years BP."
I see similarities here with the mysterious megalithic site of Gobekli Tepe in Turkey which was also deliberately buried under soil fills by those who created it more than 12,000 years ago.
...Back in the mid-1990's when I first published Fingerprints of the Gods archaeologists sneered at the idea of a lost civilisation more than 12,000 years ago. The new findings at Gobekli Tepe and Gunung Padang mean that this idea can no longer be so easily dismissed and my prediction is that many megalithic sites around the world, previously attributed to the period of 5,600 years ago or less, will have to be redated in the coming years
Follow Graham on Facebook to keep up with his travels, and of course keep your eye on TDG for related news as it comes to hand.
Actor-comedian Russell Brand has been getting plenty of coverage in the press lately, most notably to do with his thoughts on modern politics and his refusal to vote. Brand has also however often riffed on spirituality and humanity's desire to connect with 'the other', as evidenced by the above 11 minute compilation of sound bites from his interviews and lectures (accompanied by the always wonderful Clint Mansell).
Brand is certainly loquacious, but do you think he's on the right track? And is it hypocritical for a 'gaudy celebrity' to be criticising our culture of trivia and celebrity? I must confess that I feel like Brand often eloquently brings voice to the thoughts that are constantly running through my head (you'll find many of the ideas discussed similar to ones I discuss in my book), even if I don't always agree on every single point.
Happy Thanksgivvukah! You get double the guilt for that extra helping of Grandma's yams.
- 10,000-year-old house unearthed in Israel.
- Oldest stone-tipped projectiles predate modern humans. I sense Giorgio's hair raising!
- Step aside, Margaret! Tyrannosaurus Rex was the true Iron Lady.
- Pope Francis vs Neoliberalism.
- Lucid dreaming is now being taken seriously by mainstream science, but Stephen Laberge --the pioneer of lucid dream research-- is still an academic pariah.
- Flies like a butterfly, stings like a… jellyfish?
- Growing plants… on the Moon??
- Historic UFO audio archive dating back to the 1940s recovered.
- Fidel Castro: "The Warren commission was designed to fool the American people."
- The death of Alex Jones. Back & to the Woo.
- The end of 23andMe?
- "23andMe gave me a wrong diagnosis."
- Yet another reason why Canada is so freakin' cool: Baby dinosaur skeleton found intact in Alberta.
- Baby Kaiju caught on Miami beach!!! --or just a big-ass stingray.
- Oklahoma Bigfoot photos: Too good to be true?
- Red Pill of the Day: Historic plantation burned down by intoxicated ghost hunters. Mixing spirits: NEVER a good idea…
Thanks Kat, Rick & Susan.
-Quote of the Day:
"How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?"
Two German archaeologists, and the institutions they were working with, have been punished for allegedly stealing samples of Pharaoh Khufu's cartouche from the Great Pyramid. But perhaps just as controversial is another aspect of the pair's work, which I've bolded in the extract from Al Ahram below:
Egypt's ministry of antiquities has decided to impose penalties on two German amateur archaeologists who stole samples of King Khufu's cartouche from a small compartment above his burial chamber in the great pyramid.
During a meeting Sunday, the Permanent Committee of the Ministry of the State of Antiquities (MSA) condemned such action and described it as a great violation of Egypt's ancient heritage, and the great pyramid in particular - the only surviving monument of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Section at the MSA, Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, told Ahram Online that the committee has prohibited any archaeological cooperation between the MSA and Dresden University, who supported the work of the German archaeologists, as well as the scientific laboratory where the stolen and smuggled samples were analysed.
The findings of both archaeologists have been rejected, as they were carried out by amateurs not expert archaeologists, Maqsoud asserted.
The results cast doubt on the construction date of the great pyramid and consequently the pharaoh for which it was built. The results suggest that the pyramid was built in an era proceeding [sic] Khufu's reign.
"This is totally false and nonsensical," said Ahmed Saeed, professor of ancient Egyptian civilisation at Cairo University. He explains that accurate scientific research dates the cartouche within an era after the reign of Khufu.
While I certainly don't condone damage or theft from one of the greatest monuments on the planet, the news has a bit of a Gantenbrink vibe to it doesn't it?
- Moronic ghost hunters burn historic Louisiana plantation to the ground.
- Hunting for the Thylacine: Are there still 'Tasmanian Tigers' roaming the wild?
- Preserving the archives of psychical research.
- Mysterious package found in century-old time capsule.
- Cicada 3301: the internet code-breaking mystery that has the world baffled.
- Mushrooms create wind to spread their spores.
- Woman single-handedly taped 35 years of TV news on 140,000 VHS tapes.
- Archaeologists uncover earliest evidence of birth of Buddha.
- German archaeologists penalised for stealing samples of King Khufu's cartouche from the Great Pyramid. Or, the alternative headline: German archaeologists suggest the Great Pyramid was built before Khufu!
- Is this the 'real site' of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon?
- Did giants once live in buried cities across America?
- The Discovery of Middle Earth: Did the druid priests of the ancient Celts map Western Europe more than 2000 years ago?
- What happens when podcasters take an heroic dose of magic mushrooms before going 'on air'? Enter the Mushroom!
- The latest Binnall of America podcast features Jeff Ritzmann discussing the world of the paranormal.
- Mums! Keep your baby in your placenta forever with these gorgeous placenta-based photo frames!
- Pope puts 'St. Peter's bones' on public display at the Vatican.
- Tiny flying robot soars like a…jellyfish?
- Mystery object falls from sky in Long Island.
- Investigating mediums: the 'dazzle shot'.
- Canadians rescue shark choking on a moose.
- Video of the Day: This praying mantis is a dirty, rotten scoundrel.
Thanks Kat and Cat.
Quote of the Day:
By reducing our worlds to the material, our thoughts to chemical reactions, our stories to illusions, and our experiences of the Other to delusions, Materialism rips from us the very tools by which we world the Other into the earth. While denying the Other and turning our desire and experience of it into mere psychological states and disorders, we find ourselves disarmed, alienated: we become disinhabited things.
Our friends at the Centre for Fortean Zoology have been making global news recently with their expedition to the Australian island state of Tasmania in search of the (thought-to-be) extinct carnivorous marsupial, the 'Tasmanian Tiger' (or Thylacine).
It had been considered extinct for nearly 80 years, but the Tasmanian tiger has been declared alive and kicking by an intrepid group of British naturalists.
A team of investigators from the Centre for Fortean Zoology, which operates from a small farmhouse in north Devon, is currently in Tasmania hunting down clues to prove the thylacine, commonly known as the Tassie tiger, still exists.
The group claims to have gathered compelling evidence of the thylacine’s presence in remote parts of Tasmania’s north-west, despite the last known animal dying in Hobart Zoo on 7 September 1936.
The Centre for Fortean Zoology said it has talked to several “highly credible” witnesses of the thylacine and has found animal faeces that could belong to the beast. The droppings have been preserved in alcohol and are being sent awayfor DNA analysis.
In the article, Darklore contributor and zoological director of the CFZ, Richard Freeman, is quoted as saying he has “no doubt” the species still roams isolated areas of Tasmania. Richard's view is shared by a number of witnesses to apparent sightings of the lost species, such as those who appeared in the following History Channel documentary:
Funnily enough, despite its name and appearance, the thylacine is/was more closely related to kangaroos than to dogs or cats - it was called the 'kangaroo wolf' by some early settlers in Tasmania, probably at least partly as a result of its occasional habit of hopping on two legs using its tail for support in exactly the same way as kangaroos do today, and also of course the fact that as a fellow marsupial it had a pouch for raising its young.
- Were people killing giant sloths in South America 30,000 years ago? Bones with marks left by human tools could point to earlier human arrival in the Americas.
- Board game piece from the seventh century casts Anglo Saxon feasts in a new light.
- Fighting the tide of jade plundering in Guatemala.
- Mars needed a different atmosphere, not just higher temperatures, to have been a warmer, wetter, more Earth like world in the past, according to a new study.
- Signs of life preserved in meteor glass.
- Bacteria can reuse small scraps of 'second-hand' DNA, including 43,000-year-old segments from a woolly mammoth.
- When we lose antibiotics, here's everything else we'll lose too.
- New bacterial life-form discovered in NASA and ESA spacecraft clean rooms.
- Top 5 imported foods from China that you should avoid.
- In mice, anti-inflammatories ameliorate medical marijuana's memory mishaps.
- Ayahuasca could revolutionize psychotherapy.
- How many human body parts remain undiscovered?
- Within 10 years, experts claim they'll be able to 3D print whole hearts for use in transplant surgery, in about 3 hours, using the recipients’ cells.
- The dogs that can operate a washing machine with a quick bark and a push of the paw. Watch Duffy the dog work the washing machine and do the laundry.
- A puzzling 'blackout' at Puerto Rico's famous bioluminescent bay.
- Man who 'tastes' words comes up with a flavour for each of the 274 London Underground stations, from jelly to Spam fritters and 'wet sand'.
- Autistic people may have a tangling of the senses. Imagine if you were such an autistic.
- Reincarnation: Fact or fallacy? Three case studies.
- Father of boy, 9, killed in May tornado says recent photograph of his niece clearly shows his son standing over her 'like a guardian angel'.
- Sweden's transdimentional gas station: A first-hand account.
- Law enforcement officers now are part of the revenue gathering system. An ex-cop's guide to not getting arrested. Fair warning: it won't work for everyone.
- How a radical new teaching method could unleash a generation of geniuses.
Quote of the Day:
If you put a computer in front of children and remove all other adult restrictions, they will self-organize around it, like bees around a flower.
Sugata Mitra, in the last article linked above.
A summary of all the stories and news briefs posted on The Daily Grail over the past week - check 'em out if you missed any:
- News Briefs 18-11-2013 (Monday)
- Celebrate Alan Moore's 60th Birthday by Getting Inside His Mind
- Earth is an Alien Planet: The Bigfin Squid is a Minion of Cthulhu
- News Briefs 19-11-2013 (Tuesday)
- Paranthropology 4:4: Free PDF Download
- The Soul's Eruption: Jasun Horsley at Bonus Creative WeekMX013
- Archae-orgy-ly: Mystery Humans Spiced Up Ancients’ Rampant Sex Lives
- Woman's Artistic Transformation Under the Influence of LSD
- News Briefs 20-11-2013 (Wednesday)
- Humans Giving Birth to Dolphins as a Way to Solve Global Hunger (Wait, What?!)
- Sylvia Browne is Dead
- News Briefs 21-11-2013 (Thursday)
- Investigating Mediumship: The 'Dazzle Shot'
- News Briefs 22-11-2013 (Friday)
Have a good weekend!
“Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”
- Emergence of doubly transient chaos challenges predictability of established systems.
- De-extinction technology finds new life.
- Venus’ ring.
- Muppets in… space?
- Ancient Martian meteorite unearthed in Sahara.
- A fare to remember?
- Big Bang… or Bounce?
- Record-setting 'monster’ cosmic burst witnessed from afar.
- High-energy jet detected in Milky Way black hole.
- The European lineage of Native Americans.
- Darwin’s end?
- Primed for new maths.
- A fire in the Pacific Northwestern sky.
- Rare jellyfish rediscovered.
- When T-Rex was prey.
- Uluru, from the ground up.
- Super science girls are super cool.
- 20 tips for understanding scientific claims.
- This week’s evidence of the looming 'bot revolution: If it tastes like robot…
With thanks to RPJ!
Quote of the Day:
“To those who do not know mathematics it is difficult to get across a real feeling as to the beauty, the deepest beauty, of nature... If you want to learn about nature, to appreciate nature, it is necessary to understand the language that she speaks in.”
In my book Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife (Amazon US/Amazon UK) I devote a chapter to the subject of mediumship, and how science should best approach investigation of this controversial area. One of the elements that I talk about is the so-called 'dazzle shot', where a medium hits on a single, idiosyncratic piece of information that is so specific that the sitter is convinced the reading is coming from a loved one, even if sometimes the rest of the sitting is non-evidential in tone. I feel that previous research which did not take these dazzle shots into account (by scoring readings on the total number of pieces of information that were correct) may have resulted in unnecessarily negative assessments of some mediums, and that future experiments should concentrate on comparing sittings on the overall reading, rather than tallying the number of accurate hits.
The above video of a 'non-believer' (Chad) receiving a reading has an excellent example of a dazzle shot, when medium Chris Stillar (at 10:45) seems a little confused by the "bizarre" and "cryptic" communication coming from the 'deceased personality', asking Chad quite simply "what's pickles?" As you'll see on the video, the sitter at this point is quite overwhelmed emotionally, and it turns out that his deceased friend was obsessed with pickles, to the point where Chad would buy him a jar every week. I'm unfamiliar with this particular experiment, and the researcher doing the work, so I can't vouch that everything was truly anonymous and the medium was definitely 'blind' to the sitter - but it does make you sit up and take notice, and it certainly grabbed Chad's attention.
Skeptics would see other things in the video that might portray things in a more negative light, such as the medium noting at another point that the sitter's eyes seemed to be saying "yes" in response to his question - perhaps evidence that he was at least subconsciously reading and reacting to Chad's body language and subtle cues. The two debrief videos below - the first with Chad, the other with Chris Stillar - also show that some of the information in the first video wasn't as accurate as it seemed (such as the mode of death of Chad's friend). But overall, I think it's a nice group of videos to get a feel for how mediumistic sessions can be so convincing to sitters, and also for a more personal 'chat' with a medium, rather than the usual sensationalised presentation of celebrity mediums that is the norm on television these days.
Here's Chad's debrief:
And here's the post-sitting interview with medium Chris Stillar:
Fascinating material, and well worth viewing if you're at all interested in this topic. And of course, for more on mediumship and other areas of 'afterlife' research, such as NDEs and death-bed visions, make sure you grab a copy of Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife.