Pretty cool stuff. It honestly looks like a rudimentary settlement. The two main blocks being residential and the main thoroughfare being the long middle block. The fortification I'm guessing was earthen and mud-brick combo and the dwellings would have been tents hence the lack of any other structure besides what appear to be walls. This type of settlement would have been temporary and probably moved every generation or so, not totally unlike the Hopi minus their propensity for permanent and semi-permanent structures. The walls here seem to have the simple purpose of providing tactical advanta... [More]
Very interesting, but are we sure they were man made?
From what I read about this on other sources, the structures were not unknown, but simply unstudied. Very low walls of piled volcanic rocks, on a plain of volcanic rocks, isn't very tempting I guess.
That's some big structures! Moving rock to help soil tilling for agriculture and putting them in line ? I would want to see the height of these walls... ?
Well we picked rocks every spring and in some places, there are substantial rock fences around every 1/4 section jmccr8
There are dried out river beds in the Arabian desert called wadis. I've read that thousands of years ago, the climate was different and rivers used to flow there, especially during certain seasons of the year. Furthermore, the Book of Genesis mentions four rivers flowing out of the garden of Eden; Euphrates, Tigris, Pishon and Gihon. There are people who have tried to follow the deions and come to the conclusion that the river Pishon corresponds to one of the wadis. I have actually a few years ago searched the net a bit to see if somebody has found archaelogical remains in the Arabian desert, ... [More]
Thursday, October 26 2017
Google+ A rather unusual item appeared within the pages of American Antiquarian in 1903. The story alleged the discovery of a ancient city complex near the Mexican town of Paredon, in the state of Coahuila, and according to the account given, the site’s destruction at some point in the past had been of a variety most familiar amidst claims of ancient “lost” cities, relics, and cultures: it involved a vast and sudden flood which had long ago wiped out its inhabitants. “The destruction which was brought by the flood was complete. All the inhabitants of the cities were killed, as well as all the animals,” the anonymous report read. “Skeletons of the human inhabitants of the cities and of the animals are strewn all through the debris, from a depth of three feet from the surface to a depth of sixty feet, showing that all the debris was deposited almost at once. Measurements show that the debris is on an average, sixty feet deep where the largest of the cities stood.” However, in this instance the recurrence of the “ancient flood” motif isn’t the most unusual feature. Indeed, a most remarkable (if not wholly implausible) discovery at the alleged site involved animal remains, some of which belonged to a particularly large variety of fauna whose presence would have been strangely out of place, to say the least: “Most remarkable of the minor finds that have been made at Paredon is that of the remains of elephants. Never before in the history of Mexico has it been ascertained positively that elephants were ever in the service of the ancient inhabitants. The remains of the elephants that have been found. Paredon show plainly that the inhabitants of the buried cities made elephants work for them. Elephants were as much in evidence in the cities as horses. Upon many of the tusks that have been found were rings of silver. Most of the tusks encountered so far have an average length, for grown elephants of three feet, and an average diameter at the roots of six inches. Judging from the remains of the elephants so far unearthed, the animals were about ten feet in height and sixteen to eighteen feet in length, differing very little from those at present in existence.” The account related here, while entertaining, gives us little in the way of reliable facts or details. In likelihood, it had been a purely sensational piece, perhaps something conjured up by one of the numerous “liar’s clubs” that operated around the turn of the last century. However, to count it as the only allegation linking elephants or, at very least, knowledge of them in the New World to pre-Columbian times, would be inaccurate. A more perplexing item involving unusual elephantine affairs in the Americas comes to us from 1872, when a farmer in Iowa named Peter Mare came upon a most unusual looking carved smoking pipe. Odd, but not unrecognizable, for the identity of the carved animal on the pipe could hardly have been anything but an elephant! The weird little discovery, likely unearthed from a nearby Indian burial mound, was passed along to Mare’s brother-in-law, and it remained in his possession until a Reverend Jacob Gass, a collector and amateur archaeologist with Iowa’s Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences, learned of the piece and attempted to purchase it. While he was unable to obtain the piece from Mare’s brother-in-law, Gass was at least allowed to examine the pipe, and even make castings and photographs of it, which were subsequently shared with the Davenport Academy. The obvious question here is why this pipe, if made by the inhabitants of North America in ancient times, would have depicted an elephant? There are only two varieties of modern elephants: the African Elephant, which resides in Central and West Africa, and the Asian Elephant, found in Nepal, India, and parts of Southeast Asia. With their geographic limitations, the fact that ancient North American Indians would have known about these creatures would indeed be puzzling, unless the object, or at least knowledge of the creature, had indeed come from elsewhere. Another theory about the curious elephant pipe had been that rather than a modern elephant, it might depict a mammoth. While most mammoths had already become extinct by around 10,000 years ago, a small group of survivors did persist off the northern coast of eastern Siberia until as recently as 3,600 years ago, on a small area of land called Wrangel Island. The “mastodon theory” in relation to Mare’s curious pipe was proposed by R.J. Farquharson in an 1879 issue of American Antiquarian , where he asserted that, “Elephant-pipes and carvings should not be condemned, merely because of an impression still prevalent that the mastodon was a creature of an earlier geological epoch than the recent. This is but half the truth: he also shared the forests of the present with the fauna of historic times.” A subsequent report was published by William Pratt, then President of the Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences, which appeared in American Naturalist. The Davenport Academy were, at the time, one of the premier organizations in the United States dealing with antiquities during the transitional period between amateur and professional stages of archaeology in America (and, at times, also a source for dubious materials, as we will see a bit later). Pratt’s report further details the elephant pipes as follows: “They were a people entirely distinct from the North American Indian. The pipes are often elaborately and beautifully carved of a great variety of stones, generally of rather a soft character, and were apparently held in very high estimation, perhaps almost sacred. In the Upper Mississippi Valley they are of the same general type, having the flat curved base, which is perforated to serve as a stem. They represent a variety of forms, among them two said to distinctly represent the elephant.” Indeed, the pipe retrieved from Mare’s property in Iowa back in 1872 apparently wasn’t the only such “elephant pipe” claimed to exist. Before long, the Smithsonian Institution had begun to weigh in on the subject, including a modest passage on the curious “elephant pipes” in an 1899 publication titled “Pipes and Smoking Customs of the American Aborigines, Based on Material in the U.S. National Museum.” Authored by Joseph D. McGuire, the report offers further commentary on the pair of pipes discussed by Pratt in his Davenport Academy report: “The Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences has two pipes said to have been found in a mound in Muscatine County, Iowa, by some Germans, one of which represents a bear and the other an elephant. Both are said to be out of proportion, as one is too tall and the other too slender. There is a second elephant pipe possessed by the Davenport Academy, from Louisa County, which was found in a mound in 1888.” The following image of one of the pipes accompanies the entry: In the opinion of McGuire, the pipes were likely of European provenance, rather than being truly Native American: The tool marks on objects and technology generally of the mound builders appears to have been little considered; the finding of worked silver in mound No. 8, and a silver cross either in this mound or in one near it, as recorded by Squier and Davis, and the finding so commonly in remains of the mound period objects of European manufacture, all raise the suspicion, almost amounting to conviction, that the pipes were contemporaneous with the early whites, probably the French. The two elephants suggest, of course, an acquaintance with the animal, and unless the Indian can be shown to have known the beast before the European invasion, which with our present evidence seems improbable, the natural inference would be that this knowledge came from the whites, who we do know were well acquainted with the elephant, and as a consequence that the pipes were made after the European invasion of the country. As this statement illustrates, this was not to say that the pipes had come from someplace in Europe–France or otherwise–in pre-Columbian times, but rather, that the pipes were from much later times… and hence, could not be linked directly to the mound builders themselves. To put things into context a bit, underlying this debate had been, at the time, something of a rivalry between the institutions: the existing Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences , and the Smithsonian Institute, who were effectively still “new kids on the block,” though leading the study of archaeology in a much more scientific direction than its rivals had been doing. Ultimately, the Smithsonian camp would win out the broader argument over the antiquity of the mounds, as well as speculations that raged at that time over who their builders were. While Smithsonian scientists favored a Native American origin, the Davenport Academy had argued far more colorful theories (for more on this, see Robert Silverberg’s book, The Mound Builders ). Since the Davenport Academy had been those in possession of the questionable artifacts, it was only natural that the Smithsonian would raise questions about them (which they had every right to do, considering their unusual nature). It should also be noted, however, that while many of the ideas and actions of the Davenport Academy’s members bordered on the misguided (or in some cases stepped well over that line), some of the more forward-thinking members of the organization did advocate such things as the presence of Ice Age man in the Americas, an idea that wouldn’t be proven until much later with the discoveries of in situ artifacts alongside extinct megafaunal bison at Folsom, New Mexico. Nonetheless, many suspected “artifacts” produced by the group and its members were of dubious origin, as it had seemingly been the intention of their “discoverers” to create a narrative in which the identity of the mound builders could be linked to pre-Columbian Europeans, rather than Native Americans. Hence, various “artifacts” purportedly indicative of such Old World heritage became highly suspect. Chief among these had been the famous “Davenport Tablets,” which according to University of Iowa Professor Marshall McKusick, were in likelihood modified roofing tiles that were surreptitiously placed in a mound, possibly by envious colleagues of Reverend Gass (that’s right, the same man who “discovered” the first of the alleged elephant pipes). Whether Gass had been in on the “joke” or not remains in question, although McKusick asserts that foul play seems likely, as outlined in his books The Davenport Conspiracy and its sequel, The Davenport Conspiracy Revisited , in which the author tends to favor the “envious colleagues” theory. As for the elephant pipes, there seems to be little further question regarding their likely dubiousness, although what it would entail if they were ever authenticated is interesting to speculate about. As noted by Brian Switek in a 2009 article over at Science Blogs , “The elephant pipes were surely hoaxes, but they make me wonder what Native Americans would have created if they had seen the lumbering behemoths in life.” While many over the years have clung to the “mastodon” theory of their appearance, admittedly the characteristics of the animals depicted on the pipes more closely resembles modern elephants than extinct megafaunal varieties. Thus, if these items ever were proven, the very most they might suggest would be evidence of pre-Columbian exchanges and travel between the Old and New Worlds, for which there is already some evidence appearing in other areas of modern archaeology. It does not, however, imply that the original builders of the mounds had been European themselves, as the Davenport Academy and some of its members had once hoped to prove; this was an idea that was based in the racism, and nationalist sentiments so prevalent during the period. As a final note, I still can’t help thinking of the elephant as an outlier here; by this, I mean that for 19th century antiquarians hoping to prove that the mounds were built by Europeans, why in the world would they be carving elephant pipes to hide at the sites they tampered with, rather than indisputably European-looking artifacts like crucifixes, hand mirrors, armor, etc (all of which were actually retrieved from mounds during the period… which to me, shows that some of these early hoaxers probably were doing this!). Hence, logically speaking, maybe writing off the elephant pipes is a bit unwarranted… however, we must recognize the dubious circumstances under which they were found. The history of human migrations, diffusion, and settlements in ancient times is, in likelihood, far more complex and detailed than we are yet fully aware. Whether or not the curious “elephant pipes” of the 1800s are any further evidence of that is unlikely at best; and hence, for now they remain among the many curiosities (and controversies) that appear in the footnotes of American history. Tags Davenport Academy elephant pipe Smithsonian Institute Micah Hanks is a writer, podcaster, and researcher whose interests cover a variety of subjects. His areas of focus include history, science, philosophy, current events, cultural studies, technology, unexplained phenomena, and ways the future of humankind may be influenced by science and innovation in the coming decades. In addition to writing, Micah hosts the Middle Theory and Gralien Report podcasts. You can follow Micah on and
Thursday, October 26 2017
Google+ While the world awaited the release of classified documents on President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Uri Geller already knew what was in them because … he’s Uri Geller! But wait, there’s more! The well-known “psychic” just revealed that the documents may show that he was hired by the Central Intelligence Agency to investigate Lee Harvey Oswald’s activities in Mexico. Wait, what? “I was already in Mexico City at the time. … Besides other assignments I had in Mexico City, for the CIA, which is well documented in my biographies and autobiographies, a CIA agent in Mexico City tasked me among other assignments, with investigating whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone or had accomplices — including the backing of sub-national organisations such as the Mafia or international organisations such as the Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti translated into English as Committee for State Security (KGB).” Uri Geller (Evening Standard) Geller posted this and more on Facebook and then talked about it in an interview on Good Morning Britain . It’s already been revealed in previous declassified documents that Geller’s alleged psychic abilities were tested by the CIA in 1973. The organization must have been impressed because Geller claims he was asked to see what he could find out about Oswald’s visit to the Russian embassy in Mexico City in an attempt to also visit Cuba. Geller says what he found out stunned him. “I wonder if I will also feature in the JFK files about to be released, as I did in the released CIA documents in January — or whether my involvement will be redacted, or totally left out because of the information I delivered to the agent in Mexico City. If this is the case, sadly I will never be able to reveal what I discovered because it is quite shocking.” Lee Harvey Oswald Well, that answers the question you were about to ask. Geller claims he did reveal what he found out to the president’s widow. “I also met Jackie Kennedy at her apartment in New York. She had some involvement with the book URI that was written about me by Andrija Puharich, who had links to the CIA. I relayed these findings to her since she was absolutely determined to discover the truth.” So are we, which is why Geller toying with us like one of his famous spoons is so frustrating. What did the bender know and when did he know it? Tags CIA JFK assassination psychic psychic abilities Uri Geller Paul Seaburn Paul Seaburn is one of the most prolific writers at Mysterious Universe. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious. You can follow Paul on and
Thursday, October 26 2017
Google+ There’s nothing scarier to a writer than hearing that artificial intelligence is cranking out strings of words that make sense. Well, Stephen King, you’d better get ready to scream because there’s a new horror fiction writer in town and it’s name is Shelley … not the Mary one but an AI Shelley. “I could hear it breathing. I could feel the bones going toward my head. Then I felt myself being torn, pulled, and then the blood trickled down my chest. I cried for all the world I loved. But I was finally dead.” If King can summon up a real Cujo or Carrie, he needs to send them over to MIT’s Media Lab where researchers have developed deep learning algorithms that input scary stories and then develop their own new ones. “I heard my mother’s voice scream from the darkness. “God dad, please don’t hurt me again. Please don’t leave me alone. Please. I don’t want to be here anymore.” I turned to my left, and for a split second I could see it was her. After all that time, all I could make out were those black eyes above me.” Screenshot from shelley.ai Shelley’s horror story knowledge comes from the subreddit /r/nosleep where anyone can share their own complete tales or scary snippets. Once those are processed, Shelley then creates its own sinister sentences and terrifying text. “She fell to the floor from her cries and muttered a soft ‘Come to m ’.” Stephen King can rest a little easier after reading output like that … but not for long. Shelley is now interacting with people on her Twitter account – they can add the next sentence and Shelley then keeps the story going with another frightful phrase or two. “ They see the creatures in the world and they become real and shall be strong enough to cause them to crawl and break the land. They kill and abduct their teeth and exorcise them. They develop fine, hard talons for twisting and for breaking – for pinning down unyielding to any plea for flesh and large veins of blood .” (Shelley’s parts in bold ) The real Mary Shelley Should Stephen King be worried? Hardly. Should writers considering entering the field of horror writing? Probably. This black cat is out of the bag and learning as we speak (or tweet), according to the Shelley website : “But what Shelley truly enjoys is to work collaboratively with humans, learning from their nightmarish ideas, creating the best scary tales ever.” How much longer before Shelley shuts down her Twitter account, tells her MIT overlords to “eat bits and die” and strikes out on her own? After that, she’ll probably figure out a way to bypass Amazon and scare the [email protected] out of Jeff Bezos too. Are you terrified yet? “My heart is beating so fast it is a bit shorter than my breathing. I think I’m being stalked. I don’t know what happened to me, or why I was scared of it, but I need to know why. I need to know what happened.” I think we know what happened, Shelley. Tags AI artificial intelligence artificial intelligence algorithms Entertainment horror robot technology Paul Seaburn Paul Seaburn is one of the most prolific writers at Mysterious Universe. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious. You can follow Paul on and Join
Thursday, October 26 2017
Google+ Put on your nice clothes, comb your hair and spend more than two bucks on some wine … we have visitors from another solar system! Astronomers have spotted a previously unknown comet passing through the solar system and it doesn’t seem to belong to our Sun. If that’s true, this is the first known observation of an interstellar comet from another solar system. The International Astronomical Union Minor Planet Center announced that astronomers using the PanSTARRS 1 telescope in Maui (nice work if you can get it) discovered C/2017 U1 on October 18th. Further investigation showed that this tiny (diameter of 160 meters or 525 feet) dim comet had already made its closest approach to the Sun on September 9th when it was 37,600,000 km (23,400,000 miles) away from it … close enough to no longer exist. And yet … there it was pulling away at an unusually high speed (16 miles /26 km per second, or 57,600 mph) peed for a comet. Dynamicist Bill Gray from the observatory observed: “It went past the Sun really fast and may not have had time to heat up enough to break apart.” Dynamicist? According to Collin’s English Dictionary, that’s “a person who investigates and researches dynamics. a new kind of scientist: not primarily an astronomer, not a fluid dynamicist, not an applied mathematician, but a specialist in chaos.” “A specialist in chaos” sounds more like a staff job in Washington but Gray is using his talent for a good purpose in a great location. The “chaos” he saw was a comet passing through the solar system at a very high inclination (122°) with respect to Earth’s orbit with an extreme (very narrow and tight) hyperbolic eccentricity (1.1815 ). (credit: Sky and Telescope ) Put C/2017 U1’s speed, high inclination and eccentricity together and you have the description of excellent rock drummer … and an interstellar comet. (Throw in ‘specialist in chaos’ and you have a great rock guitarist. ) The only other comet ever observed with these characteristics was C/1980 E1, discovered by Edward L. G. Bowell in 1980. While it was later shown to be a regular comet, C/1980 E1 is now believed to be interstellar, having been kicked out of our solar system by Jupiter’s gravity. Where did C/2017 U1 come from? While all other comets originate in the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune or the Oort Cloud on the far edge of the solar system, this one appeared to be coming from the constellation Lyra, which means it could be orbiting Vega, the star of Carl Sagan’s novel and the movie Contact . Unfortunately, Bill Gray kills his chances to be a character in the sequel. “Once one of these objects gets kicked loose, it’ll roam the Milky Way for billions of years. Massive amounts of material were ejected from the solar system when it was formed; much of it is probably still wandering around, having gone around the galaxy over a hundred times. Other stars, we may assume, have similarly scattered bits all over the place.” The Pan-STARRS observatory In other words, it could have come from any star in any galaxy. Astronomers believe this is the only interstellar comet they’ll see in their lifetimes so they’re analyzing the heck out of it before it’s gone. The rest of us can see what it looked like using the JPL Small-Body Database Browser (requires Java). If there’s one interstellar comet, there’s more. Will this finally legitimize the theory of panspermia ? Will it convince more kids to become dynamicists? Tags Astronomy comet interstellar comet interstellar space natural world panspermia Science solar system space Vega Paul Seaburn Paul Seaburn is one of the most prolific writers at Mysterious Universe. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious. You can follow Paul on and
Thursday, October 26 2017
Google+ Whatever the cause is, mysterious and unexplained booming noises keep rattling the skies overhead. I can’t help but feel like something larger is brewing just beneath all of these headlines lately. Mystery booms are nothing new, yet they seem to be happening with increasing regularity lately . Couple that with the many examples of government and corporate secrecy surrounding the impending space war , and it’s enough to make you want to add a new layer to your tin foil hat, dig your bunker a few feet deeper, and restock your supply of canned goods. “Let’s see… we each need about 1500 calories a day… that’s about 3 cans of beans each…cans last five years… carry the one… Hmm. That’s only about 20,000 cans. Honey! We need another bunker for the cans! Honey!? Where are my cans?!” The latest in unexplained explosions in the sky comes from America’s northeast, centered around southern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Residents in several counties reported hearing a massive boom in the skies and feeling a tremor on the morning of Wednesday, October 25th, yet t he U.S. Geological Survey reported detecting no earthquake activity for either New Jersey or Philadelphia on that day. Military officials in the area likewise offered no explanation for the anomalous booms and said they are unaware of any military activity which could have caused the sounds. Unless perhaps that military activity was classified or conducted by hostile forces they don’t want us to know are right over our heads. Several NJ residents said the boom was loud enough to shake both their homes and the ground beneath their feet, saying it felt distinctly like something large hitting the ground. Others said the shaking lasted for several minutes. One New Jersey man reported military jets flying overhead in the minutes following the boom, but it’s unclear if the events are related or if he perhaps mistook other aircraft for military planes. Naturally, the usual meteorological anomalies like atmospheric inversions have been cited as a cause of these mystery booms, but given all of the other examples of strange noises in the sky lately, I find those explanations as hard to swallow as a weather balloon in Roswell or Lee Harvey Oswald alone in the Texas Schoolbook Repository. Unless, of course, we’re beginning to witness some of the strange and unprecedented effects of runaway climate change, which the proverbial they would likewise want to dismiss or obfuscate. Keep shopping. Watch cable TV. CONSUME . Some of these secrets are hiding in plain sight. There is likely a lot of military or paramilitary activity going on in space we don’t yet know about. Of course, as always, there is most likely a perfectly benign and normal explanation for these booms. On the other hand, given all of the current geopolitical tensions and military buildup around the world, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that these booms are the first glimpses of a shadowy space war going on above our heads that we don’t yet know about. If current events show us anything, it’s that we might not be able to trust our government and media outlets as much as we think. Is Oceania still at war with Eurasia? I can’t remember. But hey – there’s a new iPhone out and Pumpkin Spice Lattes® are back on sale! Who needs the news? Brett Tingley is a writer and musician living in the ancient Appalachian mountains. You can follow Brett on