Mathilda’s Weird World Weblog

May 21, 2008

The lost city of Mahabalipuram.

Filed under: Drowned cities — Tags: , , — mathilda37 @ 10:03 am

Indian divers have found more evidence of an ancient port city, apparently revealed by the Indian ocean tsunami. Stone structures that are “clearly man-made” were seen on the seabed off the south coast, archaeologists say. They could be part of the mythical city of Mahabalipuram, which legend says was so beautiful that the gods sent a flood that engulfed six of its seven temples.

Other relics were revealed when the powerful waves washed away sand as they smashed into the Tamil Nadu coast.

The Archaeological Survey of India launched the diving expedition after residents reported seeing a temple and other structures as the sea pulled back just before the tsunami hit. Experts say a lion revealed by the tsunami is from the 7th Century.

The new finds were made close to the 7th Century beachfront Mahabalipuram temple, which some say is the structure that survived the wrath of the gods.

“We’ve found some stone structures which are clearly man-made,” expedition leader Alok Tripathi told the AFP news agency.

“They’re perfect rectangular blocks, arranged in a clear pattern.”

The ancient “gifts” of the tsunami are expected to be presented to an international seminar on maritime archaeology in Delhi next month.

Other discoveries made at Mahabalipuram earlier this month include a granite lion of a similar age to the temple that experts believe had been buried for centuries before the tsunami shifted the sand.

Archaeologists have been working at the site for the last three years, since another diving expedition discovered what appeared to be a submerged city, including at least one temple.

The myths of Mahabalipuram were first written down by British traveller J Goldingham who was told of the “Seven Pagodas” when he visited in 1798.

The myths speak of six temples submerged beneath the waves with the seventh temple still standing on the seashore.

 
Structures are clearly visible in the murky waters
 
The myths also state that a large city which once stood on the site was so beautiful the gods became jealous and sent a flood that swallowed it up entirely in a single day.

Chances of being real, a solid 99%.

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May 19, 2008

The ‘how and why’ of drowned cities.

Filed under: Drowned cities — Tags: — mathilda37 @ 8:52 pm

A few years ago I was watching a TV series presented by Graham Hancock, and ever since then I’ve been hooked.

Unlike many other ‘lost ancients’ in myths, there’s a very real chance that there are cities lying submerged around the coasts of South East Asia and India/Pakistan, and even in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. There is one really good reason for this. Sea levels are about 100m higher now than they were 10,000 years ago, about 140m higher than they were at the last glacial maximum 20,000 years ago. Anything could be under there.

Could ice age people have built cities?

Well, yes. 

Agriculture is the technology that makes city building possible.  Without farming you could never support enough people to make an urban life possible. So if you are looking for the traces of a lost civilisation, the first thing you need to ask is ‘what bulk carbohydrate crop were they growing?’

The domestication of rice in the far East (in Korea at least) goes back at least 15,000 years, and as far as anyone can tell the domestication of rice started in Southern Asia about the same time. How can we deduce that? Indian rice was domesticated seperately, before the Far Eastern rice had the time to be transported West (why go to the trouble of domesticating a new variety, if you already have a cultivar on hand?). This would seem to support the independent invention of rice farming about 15,000 years ago plus, in two seperate locations in Asia. Wheat farming has been dated to over 13,000 years ago in the Natufian village of Abu Hurerya , and probably dates a thousand or so years earlier in Northern Syria and Southern Turkey. All the strains of modern wheat are derived from one wild variety of wheat in Southern Turkey. So, you have three independant discoveries of farming while the ice age was in full swing and the sea levels were low. That’s not including possible taro farming by the early Jomon in Japan, at about the same time.

There is some disagreement as to whether legumes like chickpeas, or grains like wheat, were first domesticated in Near East. Personally I’d go with legumes as more likely, as they require less manual processing before you eat them, and grass gluten can be a problematic protein to metabolise. But, it seems a tolerance to gluten may have moved up the Nile from the Northern Nubia area about 18,000 years ago. See ‘the grain eaters of Wadi Kubbaniya’.

Farming necessitates a sedentary lifestyle, although not all hunter gatherers are nomads. Building skills were already in evidence before the transition to farming, and ceramics were in use by Europeans about 26,000 years ago, but only for art objects. They probably never used ceramics for pots as pottery is too heavy and fragile for a mobile lifestyle. But the use of pottery containers is a good indicator that you have a sedentary/agricultural population, not mobile hunter gatherers.

The technology level of stone age Eurasia is often underestimated. There is a common misconception that Europeans were wielding clubs and wearing uncured hides. A more accurate view would be that they were similar technologically to the plains Indians of America. Impressions of loomed cloth have been found in clay from about 30,000 years ago, and basketry was in use too. The domestication of the dog seems to have occured in China about 15,000 years ago. The cave art in places like Lascaux includes what appears to be simple astronomical observations and calendars. Just because they were hunter gatherers, doesn’t mean they were primitive. This reasonable level of technology prior to agriculture would have made the transition to a complex urban life much quicker once agriculture was adopted.

The oldest known stone temple in the world is the 11,500 years old site of Gobekli Tepe in Turkey. There is no way that this was a first attempt at construction. At the moment it’s been put down as the last cultural flowering of the hunter gatherers in the area, but I’m much more inclined to say that it was the effort of the first farmers. And it’s not like one year they were hunters, and the next farmers. It would have taken generations to change lifestyle.

 So here is my list of possible submerged cities, that have some supporting evidence.

Off the coast off Mahabalipuram

In the Bay of Cambay

Off the coast of Okinawa, called the Yonaguni monument.

I’ll add to the list as I find viable sites.

 

May 17, 2008

A nuclear bomb in the ancient Hindu text, the Mahabharata?

Filed under: Ancient Technology, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — mathilda37 @ 12:29 pm

No, I’m not totally  mad. Oppenheimer thought it may have happened. He was very familiar with the ancient Hindu texts. When asked if his was the first ever detonation of of a nuclear bomb, he said. ‘Yes, in modern times’.

A more haunted human will never be seen.

The Epics

The Mahabharata and Ramayana are the national epics of India. They are probably the longest poems in any language. The Mahabharata, attributed to the sage Vyasa, was written down from 540 to 300 B.C. The Mahabharata tells the legends of the Bharatas, a Vedic Aryan group. The Ramayana, attributed to the poet Valmiki, was written down during the first century A.D., although it is based on oral traditions that go back six or seven centuries earlier. The Ramayana is a moving love story with moral and spiritual themes that has deep appeal in India to this day.

This is from the ancient Hindu text the Mahabharata.

“Gurkha, flying a swift and powerful vimana [fast aircraft],
hurled a single projectile [rocket]
charged with the power of the Universe [nuclear device].

An incandescent column of smoke and flame,
as bright as ten thousand suns,
rose with all its splendour.

It was an unknown weapon,
an iron thunderbolt,
a gigantic messenger of death,
which reduced to ashes
the entire race of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas.

The corpses were so burned
as to be unrecognizable.

Hair and nails fell out;
Pottery broke without apparent cause,
and the birds turned white.

…After a few hours
all foodstuffs were infected…
…to escape from this fire
the soldiers threw themselves in streams
to wash themselves and their equipment.”

 A second passage.

“Dense arrows of flame,
like a great shower,
issued forth upon creation,
encompassing the enemy.
A thick gloom swiftly settled upon the Pandava hosts.
All points of the compass were lost in darkness.
Fierce wind began to blow
Clouds roared upward,
showering dust and gravel.

Birds croaked madly…
the very elements seemed disturbed.
The sun seemed to waver in the heavens
The earth shook,
scorched by the terrible violent heat of this weapon.

Elephants burst into flame
and ran to and fro in a frenzy…
over a vast area,
other animals crumpled to the ground and died.
From all points of the compass
the arrows of flame rained continuously and fiercely.” — The Mahabharata

From the Ramayana

 “(It was a weapon) so powerful
that it could destroy the earth in an instant–
A great soaring sound in smoke and flames–
And on it sits death…” . — The Ramayana

For something written before the first nuke was detonated, it does a stand up job of describing deaths from radiation poisoning, and the blast itself.

Other reading seems to place the site as being in Rajasthan, West of Jodhpur, where there is a very radioactive piece of land. There’s a high rate of birth defects in the area.

Of course, this could also be a damned great comet or asteroid impact of the ‘Tunguska’ variety, with some heavy metal poisoning thrown in, and plenty of myth involved.

Chances of being real, 1% (never say never).

May 14, 2008

The drowned temple off the coast of Japan.

Filed under: Drowned cities, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — mathilda37 @ 11:37 am

First of all, a few things about prehistoric Japan.

The first people living in Japan were the Jomon people, who were ethnically very different to the modern Yayoi Japanese people. They were the ancestors of the the Ainu  people, and they were not a ‘Mongoloid’ people. They have a roughly Caucasian face skull shape, occasionally light brown or blue/grey eyes, very thick body hair and bushy beards. Sometimes their hair is a reddish brown or brown in colour, and is like Caucasian hair in cross section under a microscope. Genetically, they appear to have been all Asian though.

The Yayoi (Mongoloid Koreans) moved into Japan a few thousand years ago, and all the evidence is that that the Samurai classes have a lot of Ainu ancestry in them. This would suggest it was a population movement, not some military conquest on the part of the Yayoi.

The worlds oldest pottery  is from these people, the commonest age estimate seems to be about 16,500 years old for it. They are also thought to have been practising some kind of agriculture a very long time ago, although it hasn’t been proved, but the sudden appearance of Jomon tooth decay  is what is known as ‘a dead giveaway’ that they swapped from a hunter gatherer lifestyle to an agricultural one at about the same time they began making pottery. Probably growing taro.

Also, pottery is another good indicator of a culture that’s become sedentary/agricultural. Pots are heavy and they break easily, not something a nomad would use. A great example of this is the Venus of Dolni Vestonice, a ceramic object from the Czech republic about 26,000 years old. Mesolithic people knew how to make ceramics, they just didn’t find them convenient for containers when they were mobile.

What all this text is building up to is; that it was perfectly possible for an ice age civilisation in Japan to have been organised enough to carry out the kind of work necessary to hack a huge shrine out of raw rock. As for it’s underwater location, about 10,000 years ago the ice age ended and the sea levels went up by about 100m. This would have submerged a lot of the land that would have ben prime farmland and urban sites, as humans have a fondness for building cities along estuaries.

The Yonaguni Monument.

This is found off the coast of Okinawa, which is fairly close to Taiwan. It is a very, very big structure.  Although most of it seems naturally occuring and similar to other cliffs in the area, there are indications it was worked on to enhance its appearance. Really, a lot of it could just be natural, but the chunk of carved rock under the face in this sequence, I don’t see how a natural phenomena could cause that.

This face resembles an Ainu face, deep set eyes and a high bridged nose. It looks to me as if he may have lost the bulk of his nose to erosion or an earthquake. Quite likely, if you consider how geologically active the area is. The head is about 7m high.

Carving on a rock.

The real clincher for me was the stairs.

A model of the whole site.

From National Geographic

Yonaguni Jima is an island that lies near the southern tip of Japan’s Ryukyu archipelago, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) off the eastern coast of Taiwan (see map).

A local diver first noticed the Yonaguni formations in 1986, after which a promontory on the island was unofficially renamed Iseki Hanto, or Ruins Point
The district of Yonaguni officially owns the formations, and tourists and researchers can freely dive at the site.

Some experts believe that the structures could be all that’s left of Mu, a fabled Pacific civilization rumored to have vanished beneath the waves.

 On hearing about the find, Kimura said, his initial impression was that the formations could be natural. But he changed his mind after his first dive.

“I think it’s very difficult to explain away their origin as being purely natural, because of the vast amount of evidence of man’s influence on the structures,” he said.

For example, Kimura said, he has identified quarry marks in the stone, rudimentary characters etched onto carved faces, and rocks sculpted into the likenesses of animals.

“The characters and animal monuments in the water, which I have been able to partially recover in my laboratory, suggest the culture comes from the Asian continent,” he said.

“One example I have described as an underwater sphinx resembles a Chinese or ancient Okinawan king.”

Whoever created the city, most of it apparently sank in one of the huge seismic events that this part of the Pacific Rim is famous for, Kimura said.

The world’s largest recorded tsunami struck Yonaguni Jima in April 1771 with an estimated height of more than 131 feet (40 meters), he noted, so such a fate might also have befallen the ancient civilization.

Kimura said he has identified ten structures off Yonaguni and a further five related structures off the main island of Okinawa. In total the ruins cover an area spanning 984 feet by 492 feet (300 meters by 150 meters).

The structures include the ruins of a castle, a triumphal arch, five temples, and at least one large stadium, all of which are connected by roads and water channels and are partly shielded by what could be huge retaining walls.

Kimura believes the ruins date back to at least 5,000 years, based on the dates of stalactites found inside underwater caves that he says sank with the city.

And structures similar to the ruins sitting on the nearby coast have yielded charcoal dated to 1,600 years ago—a possible indication of ancient human inhabitants, Kimura added.

But more direct evidence of human involvement with the site has been harder to come by.

“Pottery and wood do not last on the bottom of the ocean, but we are interested in further research on a relief at the site that is apparently painted and resembles a cow,” Kimura said.

“We want to determine the makeup of the paint. I would also like to carry out subsurface research.”

Natural Forces

Toru Ouchi, an associate professor of seismology at Kobe University, supports Kimura’s hypothesis.

Ouchi said that he has never seen tectonic activity having such an effect on a landscape either above or below the water.

“I’ve dived there as well and touched the pyramid,” he said. “What Professor Kimura says is not exaggerated at all. It’s easy to tell that those relics were not caused by earthquakes.”

Boston University’s Schoch, meanwhile, is just as certain that the Yonaguni formations are natural.

He suggests that holes in the rock, which Kimura believes were used to support posts, were merely created by underwater eddies scouring at depressions.

Lines of smaller holes were formed by marine creatures exploiting a seam in the rock, he said.

“The first time I dived there, I knew it was not artificial,” Schoch said. “It’s not as regular as many people claim, and the right angles and symmetry don’t add up in many places.”

He emphasizes that he is not accusing anyone of deliberately falsifying evidence.

But many of the photos tend to give a perfect view of the site, making the lines look as regular as possible, he said.

Schoch also says he has seen what Kimura believes to be renderings of animals and human faces at the site.

“Professor Kimura says he has seen some kind of writing or images, but they are just scratches on a rock that are natural,” he said.

“He interprets them as being manmade, but I don’t know where he’s coming from.”

But Kimura is undeterred by critics, adding that the new governor of Okinawa Prefecture and officials from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization have recently expressed interest in verifying the site.

“The best way to get a definitive answer about their origins is to keep going back and collecting more evidence,” he continued.

“If I’d not had a chance to see these structures for myself, I might be skeptical as well.”

 

A great site  with more photos, and another with images of the rock carvings on it.

And a youtube vid .

 

Also, a report concluding that tool marks were in evidence on it

Chances of being a real underwater temple, pretty high at 95%

Hundreds Of UFO Sightings In UK

Filed under: Aliens, UFO's — Tags: , — mathilda37 @ 10:13 am

By Sky News SkyNews –

More than 200 UFO sightings have been investigated by the Ministry of Defence in the last year, according to real life ‘X Files’ released today.
Documents detailing hundreds of sightings of unexplained objects in the skies above Britain have been opened to the public for the first time.

They reveal reports of alien craft over Wallasey Town Hall and a saucer-shaped UFO hovering over Waterloo Bridge in London.

And they tell how an elderly man claimed he was abducted by “little green men” in Aldershot in 1985. The MoD report reads: “I saw a vivid light coming towards me from the south…. I thought, it can’t be an aeroplane, it’s too low.”

He went on: “I saw two ‘forms’ coming towards me. They were dressed in pale green coveralls from head to foot and they had helmets of the same colour with a visor that was blacked out.”

The unnamed man says he was taken aboard the UFO and then told to leave. “A voice said: ‘What is your age?’. I said: ‘I shall be 78 next birthday’. He said to me: ‘You can go. You are too old and too infirm for our purpose.'”

Other sightings are more convincing. In 1986 a claim from a commercial airline pilot was sent to the men at the ministry. “An unidentified object passed close to port side of aircraft” it read. “Possibilities considered: a) Asteroid b) returning space debris or c) re-entering missile. If it is established that c) is the case, then captain and crew very unimpressed.”

Before conspiracy theorists get carried away, the MoD says the reason for its interest – and form filling – is straightforward.

“Reports are examined by the Ministry of Defence solely to establish whether UK airspace may have been compromised by hostile or unauthorised military activity” an official told Sky News Online.

“Unless there is evidence of a potential threat, no further work is undertaken to identify the nature of each sighting reported. The MoD has no other interest or role regarding UFO matters. Nor does the Department consider questions regarding the existence or otherwise of extraterrestrial life-forms.”

But the man who used to be in charge of those files says their release will do nothing to stop the conspiracies.

“We are never going to satisfy the diehard conspiracy theorists,” said Nick Pope, who appears today on a new Sky News Online programme, Unplugged.

“The French government released their UFO files a year or so ago. And of course after that the conspiracy theorists said: ‘Yes, well, that’s just dis-information. All the really good stuff has been kept back.’ And I can guarantee that’s exactly what’s going to happen here in the UK.”

The files are available to see online from the National Archives in London.

There are 160 of them each detailing hundreds of sightings and they will be released in small batches over the next few months.

Peter Kilfoyle MP is a former Defence Minister. In the past, he’s accused the MoD of “a culture of secrecy” and welcomes the files publication.

“I tried to get them released quite some years ago when I was there,” he told Sky News. “Simply because I think it would allay a lot of people’s fears if they understood just what there was in these files. Lots of curiosities but nothing to suggest that little green men are running around Hampstead Heath or something!”

One thing though appears to be missing from the MoD files. Their conclusions.

Were all these sightings verified, dismissed or something else? Perhaps the truth is still out there.

Sunken city off the coast of cuba.

Filed under: Ancient Technology, Atlantis, Drowned cities — Tags: , , , , — mathilda37 @ 9:35 am

 cuba-city.gif

 ‘Lost city’ found beneath Cuban waters

A team of explorers working off the western coast of Cuba say they have discovered what they think are the ruins of a submerged city built thousands of years ago.
Researchers from a Canadian company used sophisticated sonar equipment to find and film stone structures more than 2,000 feet (650 metres) below the sea’s surface.

aerial-cuba-florida.jpg

 

They say they still do not understand the exact nature of their discovery, and plan to start a thorough analysis of the site – off the tip of the Guanahacabibes Peninsula – in January.

Advanced Digital Communications is one of four firms working in a joint venture with President Fidel Castro’s government to explore Cuban waters, which hold hundreds of treasure-laden ships from the Spanish colonial era.

The explorers first spotted the underwater city last year, when scanning equipment started to produce images of symmetrically organized stone structures reminiscent of an urban development.

cuban-geophys.jpg

 It’s a really wonderful structure which really looks like it could have been a large urban centre
 
In July, the researchers returned to the site with an explorative robot device capable of highly advanced underwater filming work.

The images the robot brought back confirmed the presence of huge, smooth blocks with the appearance of cut granite.

Some of the blocks were built in pyramid shapes, others were circular, researchers said.

They believe these formations could have been built more than 6,000 years ago, a date which precedes the great pyramids of Egypt by 1,500 years.

“It’s a really wonderful structure which really looks like it could have been a large urban centre,” ADC explorer Paulina Zelitsky told the Reuters news agency.

“However, it would be totally irresponsible to say what it was before we have evidence.”

The thing in this news item from the BBC that worries me is the figure of 650m depth. When would that ever have been at the surface? The sea levels are only supposed to have risen 140m maximum. There would have to have been some subsidence on an Atlantean scale for that to have been possible.

Chance of being real… 5%

 

 

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