The Mystery of Duffy's Cut

Many years ago twin brothers Frank and William “Bill” Watson were told a ghost story by their grandfather. He said that according to a file kept by the Pennsylvania Railroad company, 57 Irish laborers who had been constructing a particularly difficult stretch of the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad between Malvern and Frazer died suddenly in that rural valley, two months after many of them had arrived in Philadelphia on a ship from Derry. Their bodies were buried hastily in the dirt and gravel fill that would soon support railroad tracks. One night a man walking home from a tavern reported seeing blue and green ghosts dancing in the mist at Duffy’s Cut. Grandfather Watson, a railroad worker, repeated the ghost story every family Thanksgiving dinner, so it became imprinted on his grandsons’memories. They never forgot and it led to the discovery of a previously unknown mass grave and possible evidence of murder.

No one alive knows exactly what happened during that searing August of 1832 in the rough slice of southeastern Pennsylvania known as Duffy’s Cut. Duffy’s Cut is the name given to a stand of thick woodland on the outskirt of Malvern, an affluent town in Pennsylvania. For more than 170 years, on the rare occasions that the deaths were mentioned at all, they were attributed to the outbreak of Asiatic cholera that had swept through the region, killing thousands. Now, after several years of poking around and several more of focused digging, it’s become increasingly clear that something more sinister happened as well.

Official record of the deaths at Duffy’s Cut remained locked in the vaults of the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) until Joseph Tripican, a secretary to a former PRR president, removed them and keep the file after the company’s bankruptcy in 1970. Joseph Tripician ( Bill and Frank Watson’s grandfather), a talented Sicilian immigrant, had spent five decades working for the company, including a number of years as assistant to President Clement. In the 1990s, one of Tripican’s grandsons, Reverend Dr. Frank Watson inherited the file when his grandfather died, he decided to began to research the history and investigate it along with his brother William Watson and professors Earl Schandelmeier and John Ahtes of Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. Their quest, called The Duffy's Cut Project, is named for Philip Duffy, who hired the Irishmen to build a section of railroad known as a cut.

“It was PRR file # 004.01 C, I took one look at it and realized it was a hidden history connected to the very area where I had gotten a job” at Immaculata, says Bill. “I knew I had to find that spot.” Then something in the file caught his eye. It was the newspaper story from June 1889 by Julian Sachse titled “The Legend About Duffy’s Cut On the Pennsylvania Railroad Between Malvern and Frazer.” Transcribed on PRR letterhead as part of the official file, the story included a lengthy interview with an elderly area resident.

On a “warm murky night” in September 1832, just weeks after the Irishmen had been buried, the man recounted, he had been returning from the Green Tree Inn and was walking along the railroad. When he came to Duffy’s Fill, he told his interviewer: “… the night was hot and foggy, so I trudged up between the stone blocks (the railroad sills, on which the tracks were laid) until I got on the fill, and there...I saw with my own eyes, the ghosts of the Irishmen who died with the cholera, a-dancing around the big trench where they were buried; it’s true mister, it was awful. Why, they looked as if they were a kind of green and blue fire and they were a-hopping and bobbing on their graves... I had heard the Irishmen were haunting the place because they were buried without the benefit of clergy.”

Sachse gently challenged the elderly resident, but the man insisted that “what he had seen were the disembodied spirits of the laborers who were buried in the trench.” And, he added: “I hadn’t been drinking no whiskey either that night.”

"One of the pieces of correspondence in this file told us 'X marks the spot,'" said Frank. He added that the document suggested that the men "were buried where they were making the fill, which is the original railroad bridge."

In 2002, the brothers began digging and searching. Their research led to the finding of a mass grave where they believe 57 Irish immigrants met violent deaths after cholera epidemic struck in 1832. For over five years, Dr Frank Watson, his brother William, and a team from Immaculata University have been searching for the men's remains and one day, they made the breakthrough they were waiting for. Among the bones was a pipe with an Irish flag on it. However, the brothers aren’t satisfied that cholera was necessarily the cause of the immigrants death. They suspect foul play.

On March 20, 2009, the first human skulls were unearthed, consisting of two skulls, six teeth and eighty other bones."We discovered the first two skulls," said Dr Watson. And the next day they even found more human skeletons.

Janet Monge, a forensic sientists at the University of Pennsylvania who examined the remains discovered that several skulls showed signs of trauma said: “When we started to take out skeletons 6 and 7, the trauma became even more dramatic. In the case of skeleton 6, the trauma is thin, long, and narrow—this person was clunked on the head at around the time of death. One skulls shows a perforation suspiciously like a bullet hole." Monge said of the bodies: "If they had cholera, it didn’t kill them. I would say something else killed them, but they might have had cholera, too."

"This is a murder mystery from over 170 years ago, and it’s finally coming to the light of day, no wonder the spirits do not lie easy in their unmarked graves," Frank Watson said.

Paranormal Magazine Issue. 53, November 2010 : ”Ghosts point way to their mass grave.”;
The Pennsylvania Gazette Vol. Nov – Dec. 2010: “Bones Beneath the Tracks” by Samuel Hughes;;;;

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05:15 | 3 komentar

Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great also known as Alexander III of Macedon, had became a near-mythical figure in his own lifetime, stories about his journey went on to form a staple of regional literature and fable from Europe to the borders of China. Alexander, leader of the Greeks, overlord of Asia Minor and pharaoh of Egypt became 'great king' of Persia at the age of 20's, and by the age of 33 he had conquered most of the known world and created an empire that would shape the cultures of the Mediterranean and the Near and Middle East for centuries to come. The most crucial moment of his legendary journey was his visit to the Oracle of Ammon at the Siwa Oasis, deep in the North African desert. Although the story of this visit has become a legend, it remains shrouded in mystery.

Alexander was born on 20 (or 21) July 356 BC, in Pella, the capital of the Ancient Greek Kingdom of Macedon. He was the son of Philip II, the King of Macedon. His mother was Philip's fourth wife Olympias, the daughter of Neoptolemus I, the king of Epirus. Alexander the Great owed a great deal to his father. Philip extended the reign south into Greece, west to the Adriatic Sea, east to the Black Sea, and north to the Danube River. When Alexander need a tutor, Philip hired Aristotle to teach him about philosophy and literature and politics. When he was sixteen, his tutorship under Aristotle came to an end. Philip gave him command over the Macedonian cavalry and his first taste of military victory. In 340 BC, as Philip prepared to invade Persia, he appointed Alexander regent.

Alexander and his tutor, Aristotle

Once he ascended on the Macedonian throne, Alexander quickly disposed of all of his domestic enemies by ordering their execution. But soon he had to act outside Macedonia. Philip’s death caused series of rebellions among the conquered nations and the Illyrians, Thracians, and Greeks saw a chance for independence. Alexander acted swiftly. He forced his way into Greece despite the roads leading to the country being blocked by the Thessalians. The Greek commander Memnon and his men considerably slow down the advance of Alexander and many Macedonians died during the long and difficult sieges of the Greek cities of Halicarnassus, Miletus, Mylasa. But at the end the Macedonian army defeated the enemy and conquered the coast of Asia Minor. As soon as he restored Macedonian rule in northern Greece, he marched into southern Greece. His speed surprised the Greeks and by the end of the summer 336 BC they had no other choice but to acknowledge his authority.

In 332 BCE Alexander ‘invaded’ Egypt. In practice he had already defeated the forces of Darius III, king of Persia, in the Near East, and Darius had fled back to Persia. Egypt, which had never been a willing subject of the Persian king, was left essentially unguarded and welcomed the arrival of Alexander as a redeemer and liberator. Alexander was undefeated in battle and is considered one of the most successful commanders of all time. His line traced their ancestry back to Hercules, a demi-god and the son of Zeus. Perhaps Alexander already believed the connection might be more direct. The Egyptians had proclaimed him to be a son of the gods and the greatest of the Egyptian gods, AmunRa, was considered to be simply another name for Zeus.

Alexander the Great founded Alexandria in 331 BCE after he left Memphis and travelled back north to the coast, but hung around just long enough to lay out the basic street plan and get construction underway. And then strategically placing it to become a great trading centre. He then travelled east along the coast of what the ancients called Libya, receiving tributes, before turning south and, accompanied only by a small escort and some guides, striking deep into the hostile desert. His target was the Oasis of Siwa, home of the oracle of the god Ammon. The journey was difficult and dangerous. Two centuries earlier the Persian king Cambyses had sent an army to conquer Siwa, but it vanished into the desert and was never heard of again. No pharaoh had ever been. Alexander’s companions tried to persuade him not to risk the journey, but he would not listen.

As they struggled through the desert Alexander’s party were assailed by near disaster on more than one occasion. First they ran out of water, but were saved by a sudden rainstorm. Then they became lost in a massive sandstorm, but were apparently led out of trouble by a pair of ravens. Finally the party reached the Oasis at Siwa. Alexander did not wait to rest or recuperate, but immediately made his way to the temple of Ammon, the Ammoneion, home of the oracle. Alexander was then accorded the rare honour of being invited into the adyton, the inner sanctum or holy-of-holies, to question the oracle. Exactly what was asked, and how it was answered, will never be known.

On re-emerging into the temple forecourt Alexander would only tell his companions that he had received the answer he sought, and that he would only tell the ‘secret prophecies’ to his mother, and only face to face on his return to Macedon. However, it is generally assumed that Alexander asked about his paternity – specifically, whether or not he was of divine paternity. According to various ancient historians, Alexander first asked whether any of the assassins who had murdered his father, Philip, were still alive.

Philip’s assassination was very much a public event. It took place at Aegae in 336 BC at a festival celebrating the marriage of his daughter (and Alexander’s sister) Cleopatra to another Alexander, the king of Epirus. As the king’s entourage moved toward a theater, Philip lagged behind the procession so that he could enter more dramatically. His bodyguards fanned out around him. One of them, Pausanias, stepped forward, stabbed the king, and fled. Three others chased Pausanias and killed him. Alexander moved quickly to secure the throne. At Philip’s funeral, he put to death several potential rivals. He seized command of the army, subdued rebellions to the south and north, and led his troops into Persia. Clearly, therefore, Philip’s death advanced Alexander’s ambitions. But just because Alexander benefited from the murder doesn’t mean he had a part in it. Indeed, according to Aristotle, Pausanias’s actions were the result not of a conspiracy but a personal grudge. “Philip...was attacked by Pausanias,” Aristotle wrote in his 'Politics', “because he permitted him to be insulted by Attalus and his friends.” Aristotle’s brief mention is the only extant account of the assassination by a contemporary Of Philip and Alexander. Others who were alive then wrote about it, among them Callisthenes, Ptolemy, Nearchus, and Cleitarchus. But none of their works survived.

Over the next eight years he was to drive his army across deep into uncharted territory, conquering nations to the borders of China and into India, crossing huge mountain ranges and ‘impassable’ deserts, overcoming all odds to become the richest man in the world and the greatest conqueror in history. The conquests of Alexander created a vast Hellenic empire.

However, in the years following Alexander's death a series of civil wars tore his empire apart which resulted in the formation of a number of states ruled by the Diadochi – Alexander's surviving generals. It broke up into smaller kingdoms shortly after his death, profoundly influenced the history and culture of the Near and Middle East for centuries to come. Few years later, one of his generals, Ptolemy Soter, took control of Egypt and made Alexandria his capital, building great palaces and temples, including a temple to the Muses (or Museum). Alexander once asked to be buried at the home of the oracle, Ammoneion. His body was brought back to Egypt, but his tomb has never been found. Most scholars expect to find it in Alexandria, but some believe it was located near Siwa.

Sources :
Mysteries In History: “From Prehistory to the Present” by Paul D. Aron;
Secret Histories: “Hidden Forces that Shaped the Past” by Joel Levy;;;

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05:11 | 3 komentar

Blue Stonehenge

On 2008, thirty-three-foot-wide (ten-meter-wide) "Blue Stonehenge" was discovered just over a mile (1.6 kilometers) from the original Stonehenge near Salisbury, United Kingdom. The new archaeological find on the west bank of the river Avon has been called "Blue Stonehenge", after the colour of the 25 Welsh stones of which it was once made up. These blue stones are also found in Stonehenge and consist of a wide range of rock types originally from Pembrokeshire West Wales, some 150 miles (240 km) away. However unlike Stonehenge, which aligns with the sun at the summer and winter solstices, Blue Stonehenge shows no sign of a particular orientation, or even an entrance, the excavation team reported. Nor is there any evidence that people lived at the site.

"It was a complete surprise for the circle to be there," says Julian Thomas, a project codirector and University of Manchester archaeologist. Blue Stonehenge was put up 5,000 years ago and appears to have been a miniature version of it. The circle of an estimated 25 blue stones was surrounded by a henge—an earthwork with a ditch and bank. Professor Mike Parker Pearson, an archaeologist from the University of Sheffield, suspects that any bluestones in the circle may been removed around 2500 BC and incorporated into Stonehenge, which underwent major rebuilding work at about this time. The holes, arranged in a circle, are inside a huge ditch (or henge), similar to Stonehenge and other British prehistoric monuments. The henge has been tentatively dated to 2400 B.C. But flint arrowheads found at the stone circle site are of a type that suggests the rocks were erected as early as 3000 B.C.

Pearson said: "The big, big question is when were our stones erected and when were they removed?” He added: "We speculated in the past that there might have been something at the end of the avenue near the river. But we were completely unprepared to discover that there was an entire stone circle. I think we have found incontrovertible proof that the river was very important to the people who used Stonehenge. I believe that the river formed a conduit between the living and the dead and this is the point where you leave the realm of the living at the river and enter the one of the dead at Stonehenge."

From the material that was excavated from the filled holes, that this was not a site of domestic life. There are no food remains or ceramics, but there is a lot of charcoal. This has led some archaeologists to the theory that Blue stonehenge could have been a cremation site, with the ashes being buried at Stonehenge. The team also found evidence that the builders of the stone circle used deer antlers as pickaxes.

Dr Josh Pollard, project co-director from the University of Bristol, described the discovery as "incredible". "The newly discovered circle and henge should be considered an integral part of Stonehenge rather than a separate monument and it offers tremendous insight into the history of its famous neighbour. Its landscape location demonstrates once again the importance of the river Avon in Neolithic funerary rites and ceremonies." There have been many theories about the use of Stonehenge, including that it was believed to have healing properties and was a giant astronomical observatory. The new discovery supports the theory that Stonehenge was the center of a Neolithic ritual mortuary complex and Blue Stonehenge may represents a vital part of the jigsaw as researchers slowly piece together the meaning of Stonehenge.

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03:52 | 2 komentar

The Mysterious Disappearance of the Ninth Legion

The disappearance of the Ninth Legion or Legio IX Hispana (The “Spanish Legion”) is one of the most enduring legends of Roman Britain and has long baffled the historians. No one knows for sure why, but sometime after 108 or 109 AD, the legion all but disappeared mysteriously from the records. The last concrete information of its whereabouts is in 107-108 AD, where they are mentioned being stationed to help rebuild the legionary fortress at York (Eboracum). The popular version of events is that the Ninth, at the time numbering some over 4,000 men, was sent to vanquish the Picts of modern day Scotland, and never returned.

The historians have dissented, theorising that the Ninth did not disappear in Britain at all. Their theory has been far more mundane - the legion was, in fact, a victim of strategic transfer, swapping the cold expanse of northern England, for arid wastes in the Middle East. Sometime before AD 160, they were wiped out in a war against the Persians. But, contrary to this view, there is not one shred of evidence that the Ninth were ever taken out of Britain. Three stamped tiles bearing the unit number of the Ninth found at Nijmegen, Netherlands which had been evacuated by X Gemina have been used to support the idea of transfer from Britain. But these evidence seem to date to the 80s AD, when detachments of the Ninth were indeed on the Rhine fighting Germanic tribes. And they do not prove that the Ninth left Britain for good.

In fact, the last certain piece of evidence relating to the existence of the Legion from anywhere in the Roman Empire comes from York where an inscription, dating to AD 108, credits the Ninth with rebuilding the fortress in stone. Some time between then and the mid-2nd Century, when a record of all Legions was compiled, the unit had ceased to exist.

The Ninth Legion was raised, along with the 6th, 7th and 8th, by Pompey in Hispania in 65 BCE. Julius Caesar first commanded them as Governor of Further Spain in 61 BCE. From 58-51 BC it served in Gaul throughout the Gallic Wars, and during Caesar’s Civil War against Pompey and the Senate from 49-48 BC. Victory at Pharsalus was decisive in ensuring Caesar’s ultimate grip on the Republic, and the Ninth played a key role. He repaid its service by – after his African campaign of 46 BC, and ultimate triumph at the Battle of Thapsus – disbanding the legion, and settling its veterans at Picenum.

After Caesar’s assassination in 44 BC, Octavian (Caesar’s adopted son) recalled the Ninth to fight against the rebellion of Sextus Pompeius in Sicily. The legion was then stationed in Macedonia after defeating Sextus in 36 BC. The Ninth remained with Octavian in his war against Mark Antony and Cleopatra, and fought by his side in the battle of Actium in 31 BC. After that, the legion was sent to Hispania to take part in the large scale campaign against the Cantabrians (25–13 BCE) with Octavian as sole ruler of the Roman world. The campaign eventually ensured Roman dominance in the region and this was probably the reason why the Ninth earned its title “Hispana”.

After the campaign, the Ninth Legion was likely pitched into the imperial army stationed in the Rhine area, against Germanic tribes, then relocated to Pannonia following the abandonment of the Eastern Rhine area for a relatively long period sometime after 9 AD. It wasn’t until 43 AD that the legion was on the move again, joining with other Roman forces, under Emperor Claudius and general Aulus Plautius, in invading Britain. Under the command of Caesius Nasica they put down the first revolt of Venutius between 52 and 57 AD.

Under Quintus Petillius Cerialis the Ninth suffered a serious defeat in battle against the rebellion of Boudicca (61) and was later reinforced with legionaries from the Germania provinces. Around AD 71 they constructed a new fortress at York (Eboracum), in its last recorded and datable action on the basis of legionary stamps. Legend has it that the Ninth later embarked on its fateful march against the Picts, a confederation of tribes located in modern day eastern and northern Scotland, and was annihilated, prompting Emperor Hadrian to cut his losses in the north of Britain and build his famous wall from coast to coast. This appears to be the point where myth overtakes reality however – numerous scraps of evidence suggest the Legio IX Hispana met a different fate.

It is often said that the legion disappeared in Britain about 117 CE. However, the names of several high ranking officers of the Ninth Legion are known who probably served with the legion after ca. 120 (e.g., Lucius Aemilius Karus, governor of Arabia in 142/143), which suggests that the legion continued in existence after this date. It has been suggested that the legion may have been destroyed during the Bar Kochba Revolt in Iudaea Province, or possibly in the ongoing conflict with the Parthian Empire but there is no firm evidence for this.

The legend of the Ninth gained form thanks to acclaimed novelist Rosemary Sutcliff, whose masterpiece, The Eagle of the Ninth, became an instant bestseller when published in 1954. Sutcliff wrote in a foreword that she created the story from two elements: the disappearance of the Legio IX Hispana (Ninth Legion) from the historical record, following an expedition north to deal with Caledonian tribes in 117; and the discovery of a wingless Roman eagle in excavations at Silchester. She also assumed that the legion's title of "Hispana" meant that it was raised in modern Spain, but it was probably awarded this title for victories there. At the time Sutcliff wrote, it was a widely accepted theory that the unit had been wiped out in Britain during a period of unrest early in the reign of the emperor Hadrian (AD 117-138). Scholarly opinion now disputes this, for there are extant records that have been interpreted as indicating that detachments of the Ninth Legion were serving on the Rhine frontier later than 117, and it has been suggested that it was probably annihilated in the east of the Roman Empire. This in turn is disputed by historians who assert that it was indeed destroyed north of Hadrian's wall.

Sources :;;;

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07:07 | 4 komentar

Kitsune the Demon Fox

In Japanese folklore, the Kitsune is a magical being that most often appears as a fox. When it is around 100 years old, the Kitsune can also manifest in human form, most often that of a beautiful girl. Well known as tricksters, the Kitsune can appear as a lovely, seductive girl one moment and lure a lusty young man into a cave where it shape-shifts into the image of an old man. The Kitsune are master illusionists and are generally good-natured. If one incurs its wrath, however, it can manipulate time and space and drive people insane.

In ancient Japan, foxes and human beings lived close together; this companionship gave rise to legends about the creatures. Kitsune have become closely associated with Inari, a Shinto kami (god) or spirit, and serve as its messengers. Inari is often worshipped as a healer; and still more frequently as a deity having power to give wealth. Also his foxes are sometimes represented holding keys in their mouths. This role has reinforced the fox's supernatural significance. Generally, a greater number of tails indicates an older and more powerful fox; in fact, some folktales say that a fox will only grow additional tails after it has lived 100 years. One, five, seven, and nine tails are the most common numbers in folk stories. When a kitsune gains its ninth tail, its fur becomes white or gold. These nine-tailed foxes (kyūbi no kitsune) gain the abilities to see and hear anything happening anywhere in the world. Other tales attribute them infinite wisdom (omniscience).

Prince Hanzoku and the Nine-tailed Fox

According to legend, there are several type of foxes and they all have supernatural power. The Inari-fox (O-Kitsune- San), the wild fox (Nogitsune) and the worst fox is the Ninko (Hito-kitsune or Man-fox): this is especially the fox of demonical possession. It is no larger than a weasel, and somewhat similar in shape, except for its tail, which is like the tail of any other fox. It is rarely seen, keeping itself invisible, except to those to whom it attaches itself. It likes to live in the houses of men, and to be nourished by them, and to the homes where it is well cared for it will bring prosperity. It will take care that the rice-fields shall never want for water, nor the cooking-pot for rice. But if offended, it will bring misfortune to the household, and ruin to the crops. The favourite shape assumed by the demon fox for the purpose of deluding mankind is that of a beautiful woman; much less frequently the form of a young man is taken in order to deceive some one of the other sex. Innumerable are the stories told or written about the wiles of fox-women. And a dangerous woman of that class whose art is to enslave men, and strip them of all they possess, is popularly named by a word of deadly insult—kitsune.

The fox does not always appear in the guise of a woman for evil purposes. There are several stories, and one really pretty play, about a fox who took the shape of a beautiful woman, and married a man, and bore him children—all out of gratitude for some favour received—the happiness of the family being only disturbed by some odd carnivorous propensities on the part of the offspring. Merely to achieve a diabolical purpose, the form of a woman is not always the best disguise. There are men quite insusceptible to feminine witchcraft. But the fox is never at a loss for a disguise. Furthermore, he can make you see or hear or imagine whatever he wishes you to see, hear, or imagine. He can make you see out of Time and Space; he can recall the past and reveal the future.

The wild fox (Nogitsune) is also bad. It also sometimes takes possession of people; but it is especially a wizard, and prefers to deceive by enchantment. It has the power of assuming any shape and of making itself invisible; but the dog can always see it, so that it is extremely afraid of the dog.

In the late seventeenth century work Honcho Shokkan contain an account about magicians that employ foxes by means of the Izuna rite. For this rite require a pregnant vixen in her lair. And then he (the performer) must feed and tame her, taking particular care of her at the time when her cubs are born. When the cubs are grown up, the vixen will bring one of them to him and ask him to give it a name. Once he have done this he will find that he only have to call the young fox by name for it to come to him in invisible form. Then he can ask it any question he like, on any matter however secret, and will be able to find out the answer for him while other people cannot see the fox in its invisible form. This peculiar rite, described in almost identical terms in several Tokugawa works, and it was much performed by warriors, noblemen or priests anxious for power, wealth or revenge.

In a few district of rural Japan, most notoriously along the coast of the Japan Sea, certain families are still subject to a peculiar form of ostracism. It is alleged that for generations they have kept foxes in their houses, and thanks to the malign powers of the creatures they have not only become extremely rich, but also are able to revenge themselves on those whom they dislike by setting the creatures to possess them.

A couple centuries ago, Motoori Norinaga mentions a kitsune case in 1747, in which the daimyo of the Hirose fief ordered the extirpation of a family accused of fox-owning. Their house was burnt down and the entire family banished from the fief.

In 1952 the Shimane edition of Mainichi Simbun reported that a young couple had committed a double suicide because the young man’s parents forbidden him to marry a girl on the grounds that the fox-owning stigma attached to her family.

To define the fox-superstition at all is difficult, not only on account of the confusion of ideas on the subject among the believers themselves, but also on account of the variety of elements out of which it has been shapen. Its origin is Chinese; but in Japan it became oddly blended with the worship of a Shinto deity, and again modified and expanded by the Buddhist concepts of thaumaturgy and magic. So far as the common people are concerned, it is perhaps safe to say that they pay devotion to foxes chiefly because they fear them.

Sources :
Glimpses of an Unfamiliar Japan by Lafcadio Hearn;
Real Monster, Gruesome Critters, and Beasts from the Darkside by Brad Steiger;
The Catalpa Bow : “A Study in Shamanistic Practices in Japan” by Carmen Blacker;

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04:28 | 0 komentar

Peter the Wild Boy

Peter the Wild Boy (1725-February 1785) was a feral child of unknown parentage found in 1725 living wild in the German forest near Hamelin. He had been living an entirely feral existence (alone and naked), surviving by eating forest flora; he walked on all fours, exhibited uncivilized behaviour, and could not speak a language. Once found, he was brought to London - aged about 12 - by George I whose interest in the unfortunate youth had been aroused during a visit to his Hanover homeland, where he became a "human pet" at Kensington Palace.

Tales of feral children always fascinate, they may have experienced severe child abuse or trauma before being abandoned or running away. They lack the basic social skills which are normally learned in the process of enculturation. For example, they may be unable to learn to use a toilet, have trouble learning to walk upright and display a complete lack of interest in the human activity around them. They often seem mentally impaired and have almost insurmountable trouble learning a human language. Myths, legends, and fictional stories have depicted feral children reared by wild animals such as wolves and bears. Famous examples include Ibn Tufail's Hayy, Ibn al-Nafis' Kamil, Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli, Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan, J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan, and the legends of Atalanta, Enkidu and Romulus and Remus, but Peter case caused a sensation. It was the Age of Enlightenment, and he became a symbol in the debate about what it meant to be human.

When Peter first came to England he was a media sensation in Georgian London, the subject of newspaper articles, poems and ballads – often satirising the extravagance and tortuous etiquette of the court. One mockingly described him as "The Most Wonderful Wonder that ever appeared to the Wonder of the British Nation". Peter probably the luckiest of all feral children found in the wild. as soon as he was found he was imediately taken in and cared for by royalty. The Princess of Wales, Caroline of Ansbach, took an interest in Peter's welfare, and in 1726, after the initial public curiosity began to subside, she arranged for Dr Arbuthnot to oversee his education. They tried to educate, civilize, and teach him to talk. However all efforts to teach him to speak, read or write failed. The king invited him to dine, but was horrified by his lack of table manners. Each day courtiers would wrestle him into a green velvet suit and each evening would try to persuade him into bed but he preferred to curl up on the floor in a corner of his room.

After Peter was discharged from the supervision of Dr Arbuthnot, he was entrusted to the care of Mrs. Titchbourn, one of the Queen's bedchamber women, and then Peter was left to the care of Mr. Fenn, who was allowed £35 a year for his support and maintenance. After the death of James Fenn he was transferred to the care of his brother, Thomas Fenn, at another farmhouse, called Broadway Farm. He was identified as Peter the Wild Boy, possibly through a description of him in the London Evening Post after he went missing from Broadway Farm and could not be traced. He was returned to Thomas Fenn's farm after a fire incident that broke out on 22 October 1751 in the parish of St Andrew's in Norwich and they had a special collar made for him with his name and instructions for what to do if he is found, in case Peter got lost again.

The interior designer and painter William Kent included a depiction of Peter in a large painting of King George I’s court which can be seen today on the east wall of the King’s Staircase at Kensington Palace in London. Peter is shown wearing a green coat and holding oak leaves and acorns in his right hand.

On 2011 Lucy Worsley, curator of Historic Royal Palaces speculate that Peter had been raised by wolves - or perhaps bears - and this was why he ate with his hands, disliked wearing clothes and could not be taught to speak. She initially assumed autism, but later found more clues from the portrait of Peter, by William Kent that hangs in Kensington Palace. New analysis of the portrait suggests Peter had a rare genetic condition known as Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome says Professor Phillip Beales, of the Institute of Child Health. Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome is a genetic condition only identified in 1978, which has severe neurological effects characterized by mental retardation, wide mouth and distinctive facial features, and intermittent hyperventilation followed by apnea.

Peter the Wild Boy Gravestone

Peter died on 22 February 1785 and was buried in Northchurch. His grave can still be seen in the churchyard of St Mary's Church, Northchurch, directly outside the main door to the church. Until now the question remained, why George I give so much attention to Peter, even though he couldn't talk, nor did he walk, preferring to scamper on all fours. "Many people like him in Georgian England would have been freaks in a circus, but he ended up in good hands," says Worsley.

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Crawfordsville Monster

Among the most fantastic of all UFO reports is one that came out of Crawfordsville, Indiana, in September 5, 1891. According to a story in the Indianapolis Journal, at 2 A.M., two ice deliverymen Marshall McIntyre and Bill Gray, felt a sense of dread and looked up to see a shapeless monster some 20 feet long and 8 feet wide writhing and circling in the air about 100 feet overhead. It looked like a mass of white drapery and seemed propelled by several pairs of fins. No head or tail could be seen during the several hours this monster was visible, but it gave out a moaning sound and one witness reported a fiery eye. However McIntyre and Gray were not the only witnesses that night.

Perhaps the most reputable witness was First Methodist Church pastor G. W. Switzer. Shortly after midnight, Rev. Switzer stepped out his door to retrieve some water from the well when he espied the apparition. He woke his wife and they gawked as it “swam through the air in a writhing, twisting manner similar to the glide of some serpents.” As the Switzers watched, it appeared at one point as though it might descend on the lawn of Lane Place before it re-ascended and continued its circuitous route above the city.

The creature was back the following evening on September 6, and this time hundreds of Crawfordsville’s citizens saw its violently flapping fins and flaming red “eye.” The creature “squirmed as if in agony” and made a “wheezing, plaintive sound” as it hovered at 300 feet. At one point it swooped over a band of onlookers,who swore they felt its “hot breath.”

Years later, when Charles Fort came upon the story in the September 10, 1891, issue of the Brooklyn Eagle, he was suspicious, “convinced that there had probably never been a Rev. G.W. Switzer, of Crawfordsville.” Curious almost in spite of himself, he investigated and, to his surprise, “learned that the Rev. G.W. Switzer had lived in Crawfordsville, in September, 1891.” He wrote him at his present address in Michigan. Rev. Switzer replied that he would send a full account of his sighting as soon as he got back from current travels. Unfortunately, the pastor have been unable to send him that account with unknown reason.

Vincent Gaddis, a Crawfordsville newspaper reporter and member of the Fortean Society, was also investigate the sightings and he interviewed the town’s older residents, who said the story was true and told him about the September 6 mass sighting, which had not been reported in the press. Gaddis wrote, “All the reports refer to this object as a living thing” — in other words, one of the hypothetical atmospheric life forms that would figure in early theories about unidentified flying objects.

Two eyewitnesses John Hornbeck and Abe Hernley who doesn’t believe such creature exist, followed the wraith about town and discovered it must be a flock of many hundred killdeer. The many birds’ wings, white under-feathers, and plaintive cries contributed to the belief of many eyewitnesses that the creature(s) originated from the otherworld. Low visibility from the damp air likely compounded the misidentification. The Crawfordsville Journal hypothesized that Crawfordsville’s newly installed electric lights disoriented the birds, which caused them to hover and wreath their way above the city.

Sources :
Montgomery County Historical Society Profiles The Crawfordsville Monster (sighted on September 5, 1891) by S. Chandler Lighty, MCHS Research Associate;
UFO and Popular Cultures : “An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Myth” by James R. Lewis;
Unexplained : “Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurences, and Puzzling Physical Phenomena” by Jerome Clark

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Charles Camsell Hospital

The Charles Camsell Hospital was opened in 1946 by Lord Alexander the Governor General of Canada,  and closed its doors in 1996, condemned due in part to asbestos. This hospital, which was located in the Inglewood Area in northwest Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, was named after Charles Camsell (1876–1958), a geologist and map-maker dedicated to the exploration of Canada's North. The original part of the building housed a tuberculosis sanatorium in the 1950s, mainly looking after aboriginal patients. Some people were forcibly placed into the hospital, and patients with certain “defects” were involuntarily sterilized. The hospital has seen more than its share of the dark and tragic side of human suffering and it is believed to be haunted.

Charles Camsell Hospital (2009)

The original building that housed the Charles Camsell Hospital was built around 1913 in Edmonton, Alberta. At first, the building was used as a Jesuit College for boys until 1942 at which time it was taken over by the American Army. The Americans added a number of detached frame buildings to the property, and the entire facility was used as a holding and forwarding centre for American Army personnel and civilian engineers employed to construct the Alaska Highway.

Then the property and the equipment were sold to the Government of Canada, and the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps used it to set up the Edmonton Military Hospital. At this time several detached buildings were connected to the main building by a system of corridors.

In the summer of 1945 Dr. W. Lynn Falconer, assistant to the Acting Superintendent of Medical Services for Indian Affairs in Ottawa, was sent to Edmonton to inspect the facility. The purpose of this inspection was to determine whether or not the site could be converted to a tuberculosis hospital to serve the Inuit and other First Nations groups in Alberta, the Yukon Territory, and parts of the Northwest Territories. The site was deemed suitable for conversion to a tuberculosis hospital and the first patients were admitted shortly before Christmas of 1945. For several months, t
he hospital was an "Experimental Hospital" run by the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps and Indian Health Services jointly known as the "Indian Hospital". Stigma surrounds the hospital as it is alleged that the aboriginal population was treated poorly, abused, and murdered.

Early in 1946 the hospital was named after Dr. Charles Camsell, one-time geologist and Deputy Minister of Mines and Resources from 1920 to 1946. Transfer of the land and buildings from the Department of Defence to the Department of National Health and Welfare officially took place on June 1, 1946, and the Charles Camsell Hospital officially opened on August 26, 1946 by Lord Alexander the Governor General of Canada. The Charles Camsell Hospital ran out of the former Jesuit College building for several years. 

In 1964 the Federal Government approved the building of a new facility, and by 1967 the new building was complete. On July 11, 1967 equipment, staff, and patients were moved into the new building and the old Jesuit College building was demolished.

During the 1970s the function of the Charles Camsell Hospital began to change. There was no longer a need for a tuberculosis hospital in the area, so the Charles Camsell became a general treatment hospital.

In 1982, a young man working on the roof fell to his death. It is also alleged that south of the building near what used to be the staff garden is a mass grave of aboriginal children, though when officials questioned about this it is denied and stated that most of the people that died in this hospital were buried near a residential school in St. Albert north of Edmonton. These rumours and others regarding hauntings of the hospital are based more in urban legend than fact.

Sitting abandoned since 1996, the building gives off a haunted impression, and people walking by say they can feel many eyes looking out at them from the hospital windows. There are Satanic symbols and graffiti on the walls, and parts of the hospital are in slow decay. The fourth floor of the hospital housed the psychiatric wing. The patient isolation rooms and rumors of shock treatments make it a hot spot for confused and earthbound spirits.

Few years ago a group of paranormal investigator led by Rona Anderson try to investigate the hospital at night. Using video camera and a digital recorder, an anguished female scream was caught on the fourth floor, and it was verified that it did not belong to anyone in the investigation group. On the second floor is the surgical wing, and blood stains are still on the floor in one room. They captured a male voice on their recorder in Operating Room 6 calling out “Karen” and some unearthly groans. The most startling audio was something “slamming” its hand down hard on the metal shelf they had left the recorder on. Seconds after that, the recorder shut off.

In the auditorium, everyone with a camera caught at least one picture with orbs floating in it. A psychic impression given in the auditorium was of a very sad, older aboriginal man with mobility problems looking for his wife. It’s obviously that the hospital is very active with unseen patients walking around in the middle of the night.

Sources :
Encyclopedia of Haunted Places : “Ghostly Locales from Around the World” by Jeff Belanger;,_Edmonton

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04:21 | 14 komentar

Orfeo Angelucci

Born in 1912, Orfeo Matthew Angelucci was an enthusiastic amateur scientist who claimed to be in contact with extraterrestrials. In 1946 he sent several balloons aloft as part of a science experiment and he saw a curious circular flying object hovered and maneuvered gracefully around his balloons. When the flying saucer craze started the next year, Angelucci was intrigued. In the summer of 1952, according to Angelucci in his book The Secret of the Saucers (1955), he began to encounter flying saucers and their friendly human-appearing pilots during his drives home from the aircraft plant.

Orfeo Matthew Angelucci (June 25, 1912 – July 24, 1993)

On May 24, 1952, Angelucci was driving home from work at an aircraft plant in Burbank, California, when he spotted a red, glowing, oval object. He began to follow it and got within 30 feet of it when it shot out two smaller objects and then streaked away. The smaller objects, fluorescent green and about three feet in diameter, approached Angelucci, who then heard a male voice say in English, “Don’t be afraid, Orfeo, we are friends.” The voice said that they had been observing him since his 1946 sighting. It said that the aliens loved all human beings because of an ancient kinship between their planet and earth. These superhuman space people were handsome, often transparent and highly spiritual.

On July 23, 1952, Angelucci experienced a dulling of consciousness followed by the sensation of being in flight. Angelucci was taken in an unmanned saucer to earth orbit, where he saw a giant "mother ship" drift past a porthole. He was in a spherical object when the window opened and he saw the earth from space. He also described having experienced a "missing time" episode and eventually remembered living for a week in the body of "space brother" Neptune, in a more evolved society on "the largest asteroid," the remains of a destroyed planet, while his usual body wandered around the aircraft plant in a daze. He underwent a mystical experience and then returned to earth.

Angelucci went public and spread the gospel through lectures and interviews. As a result he was ridiculed and alienated from family and friends. He was among the speakers at an August 1953 flying-saucer convention in Los Angeles. In 1955 he published his book, The Secret of the Saucers. Psychologist and philosopher Carl Jung considered that Angelucci’s experiences were visions rather than concrete happenings or conscious inventions. Angelucci lapsed into obscurity after the 1950s and is believed to have died in Los Angeles sometime in the 1980s.

Sources :
UFOs and Popular Culture : “An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Myth” by James R. Lewis;

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