The Veronica's Veil

Christian legend tells of a fabled, linen veil which inexplicably shows the face of Jesus. The veil has more intriguing mysteries surrounding it than just what caused the image. The Vatican claims it has been holding the cloth in its archive continuously since the twelfth century. According to legend, a woman from Jerusalem encountered Jesus along the Via Dolorosa on the way to Calvary. When she paused to wipe the sweat (Latin suda) off his face with her veil, his image was imprinted on the cloth. The woman’s name was Veronica, she is said to have kept the cloth and realised that it had holy healing powers.

Veronica holding her veil (Hans Memling)

However there is no reference to the story of Veronica and her veil in the canonical Gospels. The closest is the miracle of the woman who was healed by touching the hem of Jesus’ garment (Luke 8:43-48); her name is later identified as Veronica by the apocryphal "Acts of Pilate". According to some versions, Veronica later traveled to Rome where she used it to cure Emperor Tiberius of a malady, and then left it in the care of Pope Clement and the Catholic Church.

It has often been assumed that the Veronica was present in the old St Peter's in the papacy of John VII (705-8) as a chapel known as the Veronica chapel was built during his reign, and this seems to have been the assumption of later writers. This is far from certain however as mosaics which decorated that chapel do not refer to the Veronica story in any way. Furthermore, contemporaneous writers make no reference to the Veronica in this period. It would appear however that the Veronica was in place by 1011 when a scribe was identified as keeper of the cloth. However, firm recording of the Veronica only begins in 1199 when two pilgrims named Gerald de Barri (Giraldus Cambrensis) and Gervase of Tilbury made two accounts at different times of a visit to Rome which made direct reference to the existence of the Veronica. Shortly after that, in 1207, the cloth became more prominent when it was publicly paraded and displayed by Pope Innocent III, who also granted indulgences to anyone praying before it. This parade, between St Peter's and The Santo Spirito Hospital, became an annual event and on one such occasion in 1300 Pope Boniface VIII, who had it translated to St. Peter's in 1297, was inspired to proclaim the first Jubilee in 1300. During this Jubilee the Veronica’s Veil was publicly displayed and became one of the "Mirabilia Urbis" ("wonders of the City") for the pilgrims who visited Rome.

In 1608 the area of the Basilica displaying the veil was demolished in order to be redesigned, and the cloth was placed in the Vatican’s archives. Under tight security, it was brought out once a year for public viewing.

On 3rd June 1999, Professor Heinrich Pfeiffer, a Professor of Early Christian Art at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome,and official advisor to the Papal Commission for the Cultural History of the Church, revealed he had successfully completed a 13-year investigation to find the real Veil of Veronica. He explained that the artifact annually displayed was merely a copy that the Vatican had created so as not to disappoint pilgrims. He claimed to have actually found the true relic in an abbey in the tiny village of Manopello, high in the Italian Apennine mountains.

Manopello Image

Professor Pfeiffer says that during a rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica between 1506-1626, at one point involving Michelangelo who designed the Dome, the Veil was stolen from the Vatican and brought, eventually, to Manoppello. The claim is made that in 1506 during construction of the new St. Peter's Basilica, (as recorded in the Capucine Provincial Archive) - a mysterious stranger brought the Veil to Manoppello and gave it to a gentleman of the place, Dr. Giacomo Antonio Leonelli. The precious veil was kept in the Leonelli family for over a century. Then, in 1608, it was included in the nuptial gifts for Maria Leonelli for 400 scudi (an old Italian unit of currency), but the gift was never delivered. In 1608 Maria's husband, Pancrazio Petrucci stole it from his father-in-law's home. Later, in order to have her husband released from prison in Chieti, she sold the veil to Dr. Donato Antonio De Fabritis who placed it in a Walnut Frame adorned with Silver and gold between two pieces of glass and presented it to the Capuchins in 1638 who have kept it in the monastery and revered it as a sacred icon ever since, as recorded between 1640 and 1646 by Padre Donato da Bomba who wrote a "Relatione Historica”.

The description of the Veil at Manoppello is that it is 6.7 x 9.5 inches (17.5 x 24 cm) after having been trimmed in the early 1600’s by the Capuchins. There are 26 warp by 26 weft threads in a square centimeter not always at a regular distance from each other. The Veil is white, almost transparent, and is kept on a high altar in a silver monstrance. The fabric is made of a rare silk called Byssus - a precious thread woven from a fine, yellowish flax referred to as "sea silk" and used by ancient Egyptians and Hebrews. It is a kind of fabric found in the graves of the Egyptian Pharaohs.

The Face is displayed in a walnut frame adorned with silver and gold between two pieces of glass. This Manoppello image has two panes of glass with broken chips on bottom which the Vatican archivist Giacomo Grimaldi in 1618 indicated was true of the image that was believed to be in Rome. Also there are dark red features and open eyes and the face is asymmetrical like someone beaten and swollen. The mouth appears slightly open and the eyes are looking upwards.

The case against the Veil’s presence in Rome after 1608 stems from some information that Pfeiffer and others have noted:
  • The Veronica that was kept in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome no longer shows any image. Lorenzo Bianchi notes that: “The few scholars of the past who were able to see it close up, such as DeWaal and Wilpert …saw only a few brown stains. The people who have been able to observe it recently (including Pope John Paul II) found no trace of the image.”
  • Pope Paul V (1617) ordered that no reproductions of the Veronica in the 1600's (after the cloth was allegedly stolen in 1608) were to be made unless by a "Canon of St. Peter's." Pfeiffer believes the Pope made this statement because the Veil was stolen. They had no reason to give this order if they were in possession of the Veil in Rome.
  • The eyes on the reproductions of the cloth BEFORE the theft were OPEN. AFTER the theft, the eyes on reproductions of the Veronica are CLOSED. The original Veil showed the eyes open since Jesus was alive at the time Veronica wiped His face.
  • Pope Urban VIII (1623-1644) not only prohibited reproductions of Veronica's veil but also ordered all existing copies to be destroyed. Pfeiffer believes that these orders by Pontiffs of no duplication and destruction of reproductions indicates that the Vatican no longer possessed the original. Further, the Vatican will allow no study of its possession. Vatican custodians have steadfastly refused all requests for any photographs to be taken.
It is interesting to note that Pope Benedict XVI visited Manoppello Sept. 1, 2006 recently after taking his office and prayed before the Image. Some interpret this as a possible concern by the Holy Father that the true image may not in Rome but rather in Manoppello.

However sceptics are not convinced. They believe the extremely thin nature of the cloth allowed the image to seep through to be the same on each side. Many believe the similarities between the veil and the Turin Shroud occur because the veil was a deliberate copy of the larger cloth. They also point out the fact that Veronica’s meeting with Christ has never been historically documented, and her name itself is a work of fiction – being an amalgamation of the Latin words for ‘true image’, or ‘vera-icon’. The only scientific way of determining the age of the cloth is by carbon dating, but its brittle, delicate state means it could be irreparably damaged during any such tests. For Pfeiffer there is no doubt about the religious authenticity of the veil, and he is entirely convinced that his find is the true artifact.

Sources :
100 Most Strangest Mysteries by Matt Lamy;
The Veil of Veronica : Fact or Fiction? by John Iannone;

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05:16 | 0 komentar


The tatzelwurm (German for “worm with claws”) has been reported for at least two centuries and possibly longer, mostly (though not entirely) in the Swiss and Austrian Alps. Although unrecognized by zoology, figures in a number of sighting reports in the Alps and in one dubious photograph. Aside from vague folk traditions of a mountain-dwelling dragon with a catlike head and spiked ridges along its back, the tatzelwurm is theorized to be an unrecognized variety of otter, some theorists have suggested it is an unrecognized species of large lizard, or a European form of the Asian giant salamander, or a relative of the American Gila monster.

The first known “sighting” is associated with one Hans Fuchs in 1779, who saw two tatzelwurms suddenly appear in front of him. Badly frightened, he suffered a heart attack from which he subsequently died, though not before telling family members of his encounter. A relative did a painting to commemorate Fuchs death, and in it are the images of two large, lizardlike creatures. German cryptozoologist Ulrich Magin remarks, “This depiction of the two monsters is still the best we have of the creature.”

In the later nineteenth century, sightings grew more frequent, with witnesses characteristically describing a lizardlike body, 3 inches thick. Length, 1–4 feet. Skin reported as either smooth or scaly. Whitish or light brown on the back, lighter underneath. Blunt head, sometimes described as catlike. Large eyes with a piercing glance. Wide mouth with sharp teeth. Forked tongue. Indistinct neck. Most reports give it two short, stubby front feet with three toes that point outward; others mention four legs or none at all. Short, thick tail. Most observers thought it had smooth skin, but a significant plurality believed they had seen small scales. Nearly all agreed it had a short, blunt, unlizardlike tail. Nor was there any disagreement about the tatzelwurm’s behavior. If it did not flee as soon as it realized it was being seen, it attacked the witness, sometimes taking huge leaps (accounting for its alternate name, springwurm, or “jumping worm”) and making a snorting or whistling sound while in flight. If the witness did not get away fast enough, the creature would bite him.

In July 1883 or 1884, Kaspar Arnold saw a Tatzelwurm on the Spielberg, near Hochfilzen, Tirol, Austria. He watched it from a mountain restaurant for twenty minutes and was certain it only had two legs.

A two-legged Tatzelwurm leaped 9 feet in the air toward two witnesses near Rauris, Salzburg, Austria, in the summer of 1921. It was gray, about 2–3 feet long, and had a head like a cat.

In 1924 the five-foot-long skeleton allegedly was found by two men,who said it resembled a lizard’s.

In 1934, a Swiss photographer named Balkin claimed to have photographed a Tatzelwurm near Meiringen, Switzerland, but his photo was probably a faked image of a ceramic fish.

In the summer of 1969, a local man reported a 30-inch-long animal with two hind legs near Lengstein, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy. It seemed to be inflating its neck.

In 1990, two naturalists found the skeleton of a lizardlike animal in the Alps near Domodossola, Italy. Giuseppe Costale saw a gray, crested reptile moving in a zigzag fashion on Pizzo Cronia in the same area on two occasions, in October 1991 and September 1992.

The tatzelwurm reportedly hibernates during the winter, sleeping in crevices on mountainsides (thus its third name, stollenwurm, German for “worm that lives in holes”); occasionally, however, farmers find them sleeping in the hay. One farmer who said he killed a hibernating tatzelwurm saw a green liquid drain out of its mouth. Reports have been infrequent in recent years, and the tatzelwurm has been relegated to the status of minor popular superstition (perhaps a dim echo of the once-ubiquitous dragon legend), from the skeptic’s point of view, or to cryptozoological footnote, from the point of view of those who think the stories may describe a genuine unknown animal.

Sources :
Mysterious Creature : “A Guide to Cryptozoology” by George M. Eberhart;
Unexplained : “Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurences & Puzzling Physical Phenomena” by Jerome Clark

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Unexplained : “Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurences & Puzzling Physical Phenomena” by Jerome Clark page 364
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The Lost City of Mu'a

On the southernmost island of Tonga, called Tongatapu, are many megalithic ruins from a lost city known as Mu’a. The most visible is a massive stone trilithon called the Ha’amonga Maui, meaning the Arch, or Burden, of Maui. From 1500 B.C. to 500 B.C. an empire of pottery-making people spanned the western Pacific and it is these people that are considered to have made the megaliths of Tonga, including the building of the city of Mu'a and Tonga's great Trilithon. This megalithic structure consists of two upright stones supporting a precisely fitted horizontal slab, creating an impressive archway. Elsewhere on the island are sev­eral platforms of expertly fitted stones, pyramids, a well-constructed harbor and a road and moat system, all suggesting a highly sophisticated civilization. Archaeologists are unsure how they built it and the exact reason for the abandonment of the Lost City of Mu'a.

Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga, is a state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising 176 islands scattered over 700,000 square kilometres (270,000 sq mi) of ocean in the South Pacific. An Austronesian-speaking group linked to the archaeological construct known as the Lapita cultural complex reached and colonized Tonga around 1500–1000 BCE. Scholars continue to debate the exact dates of the initial settlement of Tonga. Not much is known about Tonga before European contact because of the lack of a writing system during prehistoric times. However, oral history has survived and been recorded after the arrival of the Europeans. The Tongan people first encountered Europeans in 1616 when the Dutch vessel Eendracht made a short visit to the islands to trade.

Pottery shards found on Tongatapu match those found on many islands in Melanesia and are identified with the Lapita People, the progenitors of Tonga and Polynesian culture. Mounting evidence indicates that Tongatapu was the central naval base for a pan-Pacific empire that existed for thousands of years and had only fallen into decline a few hundred years before European contact. The basis of power at Mu’a was its natural harbor, which housed a huge fleet of sea-going vessels. In times of antiquity the captains of Mu’a navigated and uni­fied the vast Pacific Ocean. The glory of the ancient Sun Empire of the Pacific made its capital at Tongatapu, which means “Sacred Tonga” or “Sacred South” in Polynesian. Mu’a was the governmental port city, while nearby Haketa where the Ha’amonga trilithon stands had been a great university of astronomy, navigation, climatology and theologi­cal history. This maritime empire traded with pow­erful countries all around the Pacific Rim, including North and South America.

Ha'amonga Trilithon

There has been much spec­ulation about the purpose of the Ha’amonga trilithon. Some thought it a gateway to a royal compound, while others note its resemblance to ancient European monu­ments such as Stonehenge. Nevertheless this was enough for the king of Tonga Tāufa’āhau Tupou IV to come in 1967 with the theory that the Ha’amonga had an astronomical significance too, telling the position of sunrise at solstices and equinoxes. Because he was the king, this account is still quoted nowadays. However, after a few research a notch carved on the top lintel points directly to the summer and winter solstices exactly, confirming that the structure was an astronomical observatory. In popular myths the Ha’amonga is believed to have been made by the demigod Maui, as the stones would be too huge for mortals to handle. The word ha’amonga means: a stick with loads on both ends, carried over the shoulder. Maui was supposed to have the stones obtained from ‘Uvea (Wallis Island) and carried on to Tonga. In reality the stones are of coralrock, which structure matches that of old quarries along the neighbouring coasts. It is unknown how the edifice was built. One theory is that dirt was piled between the two upright pillars, and the lintel raised into position that way. The area of the trilithon is called Haketa.

An Overgrown Pyramid at the Lost City of Mu'a

The central area of Mu’a was surrounded by a huge canal that offered a sheltered berthing place for smaller canoes and protection from an advancing army. The huge stones at the ancient port on the lagoon side of Mu’a are evidence for the docking of immense transoceanic vessels in ancient times. Mu’a was a planned city that had roads leading from it in all directions. Most of the pyra­mids at Mu’a are overgrown with trees and bushes growing through the cracks, yet the expert masonry and notched fittings on the famous Tauhala Stone can be seen. The emerging picture of ancient Tonga is one of an extremely advanced culture that built a sophisticated system of roads, canals, monumental pyramids, and other megalithic remains. Evidence does suggest however that a rise in the land level rendered the wharf and the canal system inoperative. This is thought to be one possible reason why Mu'a was abandoned.

Sources :
Sacred Places Around The World : 108 Destinations by Brad Olsen;;;;

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Aurum Solis : The Order of the Gold of the Sun

Aurum Solis (Latin for “gold of the sun”) an influential magical community and occult secret society in the late twentieth-century, was originally founded in 1897 by British occultists Charles Kingold and George Stanton. With interruptions during the two world wars, it remained active in a quiet way through the first two-thirds of the twentieth century. It suffered a short-lived schism in 1957, when a group of members broke away over differences in the initiation ritual; the group thus formed, the Ordo Sacri Verbi (Order of the Sacred Word), this Order was governed by the council of three members until 1959. In 1971 the Order of the Sacred Word has been completely introduced in the Ordo Aurum Solis until today.

At the time of its reconstitution, the Aurum Solis came under the leadership of Vivian Godfrey and Leon Barcynski, two London occultists who set out to break the Aurum Solis out of its rut of obscurity. Using the pen names Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips, the husband and wife team together authored many books (some reappearing in newer editions) that cover different aspects of magical practice, such as the Llewellyn Practical Guide to Astral Projection and Llewellyn Practical Guide to Creative Visualization, as well as their seminal work (reprinted in three volumes) outlining the philosophy and practices of the Ordo Aurum Solis: The Magical Philosophy. It has had its ups and downs since that time, but remains active in Britain. The Aurum Solis symbolism and techniques covered in their books have also influenced occultists throughout the western world.

According to its internal history, the Aurum Solis is one expression of the Ogdoadic Tradition. The Ogdoadic Tradition stems from the Mediterranean mystery religions of ancient Greece as well as the Theurgic practices of the priesthoods of Ptolemaic Egypt. Its signature symbol is the Eight-pointed Star of Regeneration, an emblem signifying the Regeneration of the Soul and Divine Inspiration. Its philosophy and practices appear in the works of early Hermetists and the teachings of the Neoplatonic schools of Alexandria, Apamea, and Athens in Late Antiquity. According to its initiates, the father-figure of the Tradition is Hermes Trismegistus. The heart of this tradition is what Plato, Iamblicous, Proclus and the other masters called "the sacred way of return". Such older organizations as the Knights Templar, the Fideli d’Amore, and Francis Bacon’s no real evidence of a distinct Ogdoadic Tradition can be found in records of occult traditions before the 1970s, however, nor do any of the Aurum Solis’ distinctive symbols and practices occur in any of these older orders, so it is fair to assume that these claims are simply another example of the retrospective recruitment so common among secret societies.

The Aurum Solis works three degrees, or Halls, each with their own distinctive symbolism. The three grades associated with the Halls of the Order are as follows:

I. Neophytos, or Apprentice of the Great Work.
II. Servitor, or Servitor of the Secret Flame.
III. Adeptus Minor, or Priest of the Gnosis.

The teachings of the order, however, are very closely modeled on those of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, with the same blend of Cabalistic and Enochian material and exact equivalents for every ritual practice in the Golden Dawn toolkit, a point-for-point equivalence not found in any of the other Hermetic magical orders of the time.

Another source for the Aurum Solis system is the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids, to which Vivian Barcynski belonged in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and from which the Aurum Solis seems to have borrowed some of its distinctive features. These borrowings have occasionally been presented as evidence that the Aurum Solis was invented out of whole cloth in 1971, at the time of its supposed reconstitution, but this does not necessarily follow; secret societies routinely rework their teachings and training programs in the light of new information, and material from other secret societies is among the most common raw material for such projects.

Sources :
The Element Encyclopedia of Secret Societies by John Michael Greer;;

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04:04 | 2 komentar

Abhartach The Ireland's Vampire

Abhartach was allegedly an ancient ruler of a small kingdom dating from the 5th or 6th centuries that bordered upon what is now the town of Garvagh, Ireland. According to local legend Abhartach rises from his grave to drink the blood of his subjects. Although most probably a folk legend, it was written down as actual history in Dr. Geoffrey Keating’s Foras Feasa ar Eireann (A General History of Ireland) between 1620 and 1631, perhaps making it the oldest written vampire story in Western Europe. It was later reprinted in 1880 in A History of Ireland by Patrick Weston Joyce and, it has been suggested, the Celtic chieftain Abhartach may have been the prototype for Bram Stoker’s classic vampire figure, Dracula.

During the 5th and 6th centuries, in the north Derry area, between the towns of Garvagh and Dungiven, a district known as Glenuilin (glen of the eagle) was a patchwork of petty kingdoms, each with its own local ruler or 'king'. These kings may have been little more than tribal warlords and there is ample evidence of their rule, for the countryside is dotted with hill forts, ancient raths and early fortifications which marked their respective territories. Abhartach, according to tradition, was one of these chieftains. He was small (possibly deformed) but said to be a mighty magician and a tyrannical monarch. He was hated by his subjects who wished to be rid of him, but they were too frightened to kill him themselves because of his alleged magic powers. So they brought another chieftain named Cathain from a neighbouring kingdom to do the job for them. The name "Cathrain", or "Catháin" is one of the forebearer of the O'Kane family.

Cathain killed the tyrant and buried him standing up as befitted a Celtic chieftain. But the next day, Abhartach was back, demanding a bowl of blood from the wrists of his subjects in order, says the tale, to “sustain his vile corpse.” Cathain came again, killed him, and reburied him, but the next day the dreadful cadaver was back, demanding the same gory tribute. Cathain then consulted with Christian saint instead of a druid. He was told that Abhartach wasn’t completely dead, nor could he be killed, because of his magic powers. He was one of the marbh bheo (walking dead) who would torment his people unless he was suspended. Cathain could do this by killing him with a sword made of yew wood, burying him upside down, placing thorns around his grace, and a great stone directly on top of him. Cathain did all this, even going so far as to build a leacht or sepulchre over the gravesite. This monument gave the townland outside Garvagh its name—Slaghtaverty (Abhartach’s leacht).

Slaghtaverty Dolmen, locally referred to as “The Giant’s Grave”, is comprised of one large rock and two smaller rocks under a fairy hawthorn. To this day, grass will not grow here.

Today, the sepulchre is gone, although it is said that one massive capstone remains over the actual burial site. A tree has grown there, too—supposedly from the original thorns, although this growth is much younger. A large rock with two smaller ones beside it lay on the ground under the tree, probably the remains of the dolmen. A circle of red mud surrounded its trunk, the exact diameter of the tree. The grass had stopped growing here. The land around is considered “bad ground” and has changed ownership several times and local residents will not approach the place after dark, even today. In the region they still talk about “the man who was buried three times.”

In 1997, attempts were made to clear the land; in conformity with folklore, workmen who attempted to cut down the thorn tree arching across Abhartach’s grave allegedly had their chain saw malfunction three times. While attempting to lift the great stone, a steel chain snapped, cutting the hand of one of the labourers, and ominously, allowing blood to soak into the ground.

Sources :
Encyclopedia of the Undead : “A Field Guide to the Creature that Cannot Rest in Peace” by Dr. Bob Curran;
Mysterious World : Ireland by Ian Middleton and Douglas Elwell;;

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Mysterious World : Ireland by Ian Middleton and Douglas Elwell page 718
04:26 | 0 komentar

The Mysterious Death of John P Wheeler III

John P. Wheeler III, 66, an expert on chemical-biological weapons, the driving force behind the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and also former White House and Pentagon aide, was found dead on Dec 31, 2010. Police in Delaware are trying to piece together the mystery of how a decorated soldier and former adviser to three US presidents was murdered, stuffed in to a dustbin lorry and dumped in a landfill. But there's much they don't know about a crime that seems to get more baffling with every new clue. His mysterious death has generated furious speculation that he was the victim of an urban assault, a professional hit or even a government plot.

John “Jack” Parsons Wheeler III (December 14, 1944 – c. December 31, 2010) descended from a family of military professionals which included Joseph Wheeler, who had served as a general both in the Confederate Army, and later with the United States Army. Wheeler III was born in Laredo, Texas, where his mother was staying with her mother while his father was in Europe. Five days after the delivery, the family received a telegram that his father was missing in action in the Battle of the Bulge. His father was later found to be alive.

From 1979 to 1989 he was chairman of Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial which opened in 1982. He had supported the controversial Maya Lin design and ran afoul of Ross Perot and Jim Webb who tried to oust him after they disagreed with the stark design. Wheeler worked to address their issues by adding The Three Soldiers sculpture by Frederick Hart to the memorial.

While friends say Wheeler considered his work on the Vietnam memorial to be his greatest contribution, they also say his decision to re-immerse himself in the war’s legacy resurrected many of his personal demons. What many don’t know about Wheeler’s career is that many of these years were marred by periods of erratic, obsessive and manic behavior, as well as periods of depression and unpredictable mood swings. For a year after the war, the troubled Wheeler sought solitude at a Tennessee monastery, and later enrolled in an Episcopalian seminary based in Virginia. Once he rejoined the secular world, he tended to throw himself into causes or become transfixed by certain issues and pursue them relentlessly and aggressively. “He could be tremendously mercurial,” one former co-worker said. “He could be the most caring, compassionate, sensitive individual, and other times, he would be completely erratic, fly into fits of rage, and be completely unreasonable. You never knew from day to day which one he would be.” Another friend went further. “He could make people feel homicidal toward him.”

As a result, his causes both benefitted and suffered from his attention, particularly when he crossed the line between persistence and obsession, persuasion and attack. These tendencies caused some friends to cut off contact with Wheeler out of exasperation. He was temporarily banned from posting on his West Point Class of ’66 online bulletin board because his comments were so contentious that others were avoiding the site, friends say.

According to Surge Desk there is 5 facts about John Wheeler :
  1. Wheeler, who served in Vietnam, was chair of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, the organization that constructed the nation's official war memorial in Washington, D.C.
  2. Wheeler was no stranger to the corridors of American power, having worked for Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, all of whom turned to Wheeler for advice on defense and military matters.
  3. Before the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," several elite schools, including Harvard, linked their opposition of ROTC recruiting on campus to the controversial military policy. Wheeler, a staunch supporter of ROTC, blasted this position.
  4. He was the author of the memoir "Touched with Fire" The Atlantic's James Fallows worked with Wheeler on the tome, which discussed the experiences of Vietnam veterans and protesters after the war.
  5. According to his official bio at Second Line of Defense, a military and security website to which he contributed, Wheeler served as secretary of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and was most recently special assistant to the secretary of the Air Force.
John Wheeler appeared unhinged in the days before his death, reports CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller. Wheeler's car was found parked at a train station. Miller says investigators have been eyeing a legal battle Wheeler was having with a neighbor whose home is under construction. In a new development that's raising even more questions, a local TV station is reporting that Wheeler's cell phone was found inside that home.

According to Newark police, Wheeler was on a train from Washington, D.C., to Wilmington on Dec. 28, 2010.

The next day on 6 p.m., Wheeler enters the Happy Harry's on Del. 9 near New Castle and asks the pharmacist for a ride to Wilmington. Unable to give Wheeler a ride, the pharmacist offers to call a cab. Wheeler declines and leaves. On 6:40 p.m. Wheeler enters the parking lot adjacent to the county courthouse in Wilmington holding his right shoe in his left hand and telling a Colonial Parking attendant his briefcase has been stolen. He is seen on surveillance video shuffling back and forth, apparently confused and disoriented, before he leaves about 25 minutes later.

On Dec. 30:
3:30 p.m. Wheeler is spotted in the area of 10th and Orange streets in Wilmington.
8:30 p.m. Surveillance video captures Wheeler wandering through the Nemours Building at 10th and Orange streets. Several people approach him because he appears disoriented or confused. Wheeler declines their help. He is dressed differently from the day before.
8:42 p.m. Wheeler is picked up on surveillance video leaving the Nemours Building through doors on the 11th Street side. He then continues southeast on 11th Street, walking through the Hotel du Pont valet parking area, crossing over Market Street, and is last seen walking on the west sidewalk of 11th Street, toward the city's East Side.

On December 31, his body was seen by a landfill worker falling onto a trash heap in the Cherry Island Landfill. The spotter called the Wilmington police, who then phoned the Newark police, since the truck's route originated in their jurisdiction. The cops quickly ruled Wheeler's murder a homicide.

Wheeler's neighbor of seven months, Ron Roark, said that he had met Wheeler only once and rarely saw him. Roark claimed that, in the days prior to Wheeler's death, he (Roark) and his family heard, from outside the Wheeler residence, a loud television within the home that was constantly on, though no one appeared to be home.

On January 6, new evidence surfaced, including knowledge that police had recovered a footprint in Wheeler's home, as well as his cell phone from his neighbor's home across the street. In addition, an interview was conducted with one cab driver. The footprint size obviously has led investigators to assume it wasn't John's own workboots, indicating someone was in his home and may have been the individual watching television so loudly, which his neighbor Ron heard the week of Christmas. Police have sat on the cell phone disclosure, just now making that information known to the public, because they have obviously been running background checks and doing in-house investigation to those listed in John Wheeler's phone directory. John Wheeler's cell phone was found in Frank Marini's home, the one across from the Wheeler's residence in New Castle. Law enforcement investigators have conducted a thorough review of the numbers contained, which prompted an interview with one cab driver named Athel Scott. But Scott denies having ever providing John Wheeler with transportation means, but does admit seeing John on two separate occassions from afar. He told investigators he does not understand why Mr. Wheeler would have his phone number in his cell.

Wheeler "died as a result of blunt force trauma after being assaulted," the Delaware medical examiner's office announced Friday. Police said the case remains under investigation. Although the finding clarifies the cause of his death, there are still many unanswered questions.

After Wheeler's death, the whole Wheeler’s family went down to the Newark police station for questioning. "They treated us like criminals, all of us," said Katherine Klyce (Wheeler’s wife). "They were rude." The cops confiscated credit cards, financial records, and Wheeler's computer. In recent weeks, some of her cards have had mysterious charges, including two plane tickets from New York to Madrid totaling $3,000, according to Klyce.

Wheeler’s death was ruled a homicide, but Newark police have made no arrests, haven’t released toxicology reports and haven’t publicly accounted for much of his whereabouts during the last week of his life.

Despite the lack of communication from the police — or maybe because if it — Klyce is concerned that they're not devoting the proper resources to the case. "They just don't have a clue," said Klyce. So the family — Klyce, her two daughters, Wheeler's two children, Wheeler's sister and mother — tried a new approach. On Jan. 30, they announced a $25,000 reward for information that led to the arrest of Wheeler's killer. No one has responded.

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04:27 | 0 komentar

Hidden Treasure of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple

On June 2011 a treasure which included antique gold ornaments, diamonds, golden crown, golden bow, golden vessels, and other precious stones were found in the secret chambers (Nilavara in temple) of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Unofficial estimates say that the treasure discovered so far over four days of inspections may be valued at more than 25 billion rupees ($500m). But historians say that assessing the true value of these objects is likely to be extremely difficult. The local rulers sealed immense riches within the thick stone walls and secret vaults of the temple, over at least a millennium, as offerings to Lord Padmanabhan.

Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple

Sree (Sri) Padmanabhaswamy temple is known for its architectural elegance and long rows of granite columns with exquisite engravings, have Lord Vishnu reclining on the multiple-headed serpent Anantha as the presiding deity. This temple is one of the famous Hindu temple dedicated to god Vishnu maintained by the erstwhile Travancore Royal Family and located inside East Fort in the city of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala state, South India. The temple is considered to be one of 108 Divya Desams (Holy Abodes), which are principal centres of worship in Vaishnavism. The date of the temple is unknown, but the temple is mentioned in the ancient writings of the Alwars (6th-9th centuries AD), and renovations are thought to have taken place until the 18th century. Lord Padmanabhaswamy is enshrined here in Anananthasayanam posture (in eternal sleep of yognidra). The main idol inside the sanctum sanctorum and viewed from three doors is in the reclining posture.

The local legend tell the story of Sage Vilvamangalam’s first darshan of Lord Vishnu as Padmanabha who crashed upon his path as a tree before revealing himself as the infinite power. Praised by Anantha, the five headed serpent, the Lord was persuaded by the sage to stay in the city. His massive form reclining on the heads of Anantha, is believed to have extended and exactly covered the area that was to be Thiruvananthapuram. Marthandavarma, the well known Maharaja of Travancore (note that the state of Kerala was formed by the integration of 3 princely states – Travancore, Kochi and Malabar) dedicated his Kingdom to Sree Padmanabhaswami with the capital at Padmanabhapuram in the south. His successor Maharaja Ramavarma in 1795 shifted the capital to the present city of Thiruvanathapuram. In spite of its political importance it is really heartening to see this wonderful city retaining its original charm and continues to hold all it’s rich heritage in tact. The roads and buildings here are grander than the other Kerala Cities. This city boasts even of connections with King Solomon, whose ships said to have landed in a mysterious place called Ophir. Traders were said to have been coming here as far back as 190 AD for spices, ivory, etc.

Since Independence, the temple has been controlled by a trust run by the descendants of the Travancore royal family. After 1947 the kingdom of Travancore merged with the princely state of Cochin, which eventually became the present-day state of Kerala. The members of the Travancore royal family consider themselves to be servants of the presiding deity at the temple, Padmanabhaswamy, which is an aspect of the Hindu God Vishnu in eternal sleep. This is why they historically entrusted their wealth to the temple.

But there was a public outcry when the Maharajah attempted to retain control of the temple by citing the special law, with many arguing that the wealth belonged to the people now.

The vaults were opened in the presence of the panel, and observers, which include high court judges, temple officials, archaeology authorities, Sundar Rajan and a representative of the current Maharajah.

On Thursday (June 30, 2011), the team assisted by personnel from the fire services and archeology department opened the locks of vault A to find a narrow flight of stairs leading down to an underground granite cellar. Oxygen was pumped frequently into the chamber and artificial lighting provided to enable the observers to work inside. What they saw inside was startling, sources said. Gold coins dating back thousands of years, gold necklaces as long as nine feet and weighing about 2.5 kg, about one tonne of the yellow metal in the shape of rice trinkets, sticks made of the yellow metal, sack full of diamonds, gold ropes, thousands of pieces of antique jewellery studded with diamonds and emeralds, crowns and other precious stones lay scattered in the chamber marked 'A'.

On the next day they found far more surprises in the form of 17 kg of gold coins dating back to the East India Company period, 18 coins from Napolean's era, precious stones wrapped in silk bundles besides over 1,000 kg of gold in the form of coins and trinkets and a small elephant made of the yellow metal, sources said. There were also sovereigns bearing the 1772 seal indicating they were from the reign of the then native king Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma. There are a total of six vaults marked A to F in the shrine. The A and B cellars have never opened since 1872.

On July 2, 2011, approximately 500 billion rupees ($11.2 billion US) worth of gold, jewels, and other treasures were unearthed in the vaults of the temple. Several antiques such as 18th century Napoleonic era coins were also discovered at the temple. Finds also included a golden idol of Mahavishnu and ceremonial attire for adorning the deity in the form of 16-part golden anki weighing almost 30 kilograms as well as golden coconut shells, one studded with rubies and emeralds. India's Supreme Court recently ordered the temple be managed by the State to ensure the security of the temple and its treasures. It was then revealed that after opening nearly 70 percent of the secret chamber; gold, gold coins, gold chains, diamonds, crowns and necklaces, amongst other items, worth more than 90,000 crore (US$20.07 billion) was found. It is estimated that the value of the total monumental items are over 100,000 crore (US$22.3 billion) , making it the richest temple in the world.

Temple sources say the treasures found in the temple included offerings made by devotees, wealth the erstwhile Travancore rulers stored in the temple and gifts and offerings received from erstwhile kings of neighbouring states. Noted historian Dr. M. G. S. Narayanan, said people from far and near have been visiting the Padmanabhaswamy Temple since it is one of the biggest Vaishnava temples in the country. The shrine dating back to 9th Century would be having several centuries old precious objects and the inventory has been thought to have been in the temple for more than a hundred years after being collected from various places and put there by the maharajahs of Travancore. It was called "Sri Pandaram" and the items were known as "Sri Pandaram Vaka" (Lord's Treasure).

The archaeology team believed they were stored as part contingency planning and disaster recovery by the royal family. The underground chambers in the temple were chosen to protect them from British. Is it possible that the treasure trove of gold, diamonds and precious stones were brought to this temple from Ophir?

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05:10 | 3 komentar

The Socorro Incident

Zamora’s encounter with visitors from other planet or also called the Socorro Incident, received considerable coverage in the mass media, and is sometimes regarded as one of the best documented, yet most perplexing UFO reports. On April 24, 1964, Lonnie Zamora a New Mexico police officer was chasing a speeding car down the highway when he saw a white flame in the distance (He later described the flame as blue and orange, from top towards the bottom, being narrower at the top) and heard a strange explosion. He decided that to investigate it, so he stopped chasing the speeder and began to drive towards the source of the disturbance. As he approached the area, he was shocked to see something literally out of this world.

Zamora drove towards the scene, radioing his dispatcher to say he would be out of his car "checking the car in the arroyo." He stopped his car, got out, and attended to the radio mic, which he had dropped, then he started to approach the object. Zamora had to travel slowly up a steep incline, but when he reached the top he saw a shiny object between 150 - 200 yards from his position. A giant, white egg-shaped object with a strange symbol on the side had just landed in a field. Standing next to the craft were two short humanoid figures about the size of “a young boy or a small adult” dressed in weird white jumpsuits. The two figures quickly climbed into the craft, which took off with a roaring flame. Officer Zamora hid behind his squad car as the craft roared overhead and disappeared into the sky.

A UFO with strange symbol on the side as described by Lonnie Zamora

Zamora quickly alerted the other officers and an official investigation followed. The United States Air Force and the FBI both investigated the case. At the landing site, they discovered several deep impressions in the ground. There was also a dark burned section where the craft had taken off. Finally, strange metal samples were recovered from the site. NASA scientist Dr. Henry Frankel conducted an analysis of the metal and found that it was composed of an unusual alloy of zinc and iron. Incredibly, this alloy could not have been made on earth, and the scientist concluded, “This finding definitely strengthens the case that might be made for an extraterrestrial origin of the Socorro object.” Because of the physical evidence, Zamora’s case generated huge interest. Further research revealed several other witnesses who also saw the UFO as it darted away.

Within hours, word of Zamora's encounter had reached the news: many people had heard the radio traffic, including a few reporters. Within days, reporters from the Associated Press and United Press International were in Socorro. Members of civilian UFO study group APRO were on the scene within two days, as were officers representing the U.S. Air Force's Project Blue Book. NICAP investigators appeared the following Tuesday. The first NICAP investigator was Ray Stanford, who would later write a detailed book account of his investigation.

On April 26 – two days after the Socorro event – at about 3.00 am, a UFO identical to that seen by Zamora was reported to have landed some 300 km (about 200 miles) north of Socorro at La Madera, New Mexico. The eye-witnesses to this second event, Orlando Gallego and his family, denied all knowledge of Zamora's sighting. Police reportedly found evidence of burning around the site.

In October 2009, Stanford first publicly revealed that Sgt. Chavez, the first policeman to provide backup for Zamora, had privately confided to fellow police officers that he too had seen the object rapidly departing to the west over the mountains as he approached the site. However, in public statements, Chavez was firm that he arrived too late to see the object. When Chavez first arrived at the scene within a minute or two after the object had departed, he also noted that burnt bushes were still smoldering and Zamora appeared to be in a state of shock.

UFO Investigators, Jacques Vallee later discovered that the symbol on the side of the craft was the Arabic astrological symbol for Venus. Could this have been the origin of the UFO craft? While astronomers have discovered that Venus is too hot to sustain life, perhaps the E.T.s have used their technology to build a base there. And in fact, E.T.s have claimed to have bases in various places on earth and other planets.

Sources :
Mysteries, Legends and Unexplained Phenomena :”UFO and Aliens” by Preston Dennett;;;

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04:20 | 0 komentar

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