Mysterious and deserted: Explore Britain’s abandoned villages using Google Maps

Whether they’ve fallen victim to Mother Nature or been commandeered for the war effort, Britain is host to countless lost settlements. Here’s how to visit them online.

Isn’t it strange to think there are places in Britain where folks once lived, but don’t anymore? Many centuries-old, even millennia-old settlements have been deserted due to illness, the elements or wartime requirements.

But the good news is you can explore them all from the comfort of your home.

Continue reading Mysterious and deserted: Explore Britain’s abandoned villages using Google Maps at Alien UFO Sightings.

Mysterious Object is 570 Billion Times Brighter than the Sun

So bright that it pushes the energy limit of physics.

Billions of light years away, there is a giant ball of hot gas that is brighter than hundreds of billions of suns.  It is hard to imagine something so bright.  So what is it?  Astronomers are not really sure, but they have a couple theories.

They think it may be a very rare type of supernova — called a magnetar — but one so powerful that it pushes the energy limits of physics, or in other words, the most powerful supernova ever seen as of today.

Continue reading Mysterious Object is 570 Billion Times Brighter than the Sun at Alien UFO Sightings.

The Mysterious Lost Labyrinth of Egypt

There can be no doubt that Egypt is a land of deep, ancient mysteries that stretch back many millennia into the mists of time. Here is an enchanting land of magnificent ruins, soaring pyramids, and darkened tombs surrounded by whispers of curses and black magic. It is a place that has drawn the curiosity and study of archeologists and indeed the public for years, yet for all we have learned of this enigmatic place over the centuries there are still many secrets buried here in the desert sands, ensconced with mystery and as unknown as they always have been. One of these is an alleged network of subterranean tunnels and chambers whispered of in ancient and modern texts and forgotten for centuries, which are said to hold vast troves of lost knowledge and secrets and, if they exist, could change how we view history itself.

The almost mythological lost complex, known simply as “The Labyrinth” to the ancient Greeks after their own legends of the maze designed by Daedalus for King Minos of Crete to hold the mythic minotaur, is said to be composed of a vast web of meandering tunnels, rooms, temples, buildings, shrines, passageways, courtyards and chambers, sporting thousands of rooms and supposedly full of scores of ancient texts, hieroglyphs, artifacts, paintings, and untold treasure under the sands of Egypt. It was most famously first described by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, who wrote of it in his 5th century BC work Histories, Book, II, 148 claiming to have seen it himself and expounding on the grandeur of this place. He wrote of the Egyptian labyrinth:

They (the 12 kings) resolved to join all together and leave a memorial of themselves; and having so resolved they caused to be made a Labyrinth, situated a little above the lake of Moiris and nearly opposite to that which is called the City of Crocodiles. This I saw myself, and I found it greater than words can say. For if one should put together and reckon up all the buildings and all the great works produced by the Hellenes, they would prove to be inferior in labour and expense to this Labyrinth, though it is true that both the temple at Ephesos and that at Samos are works worthy of note.

 

The pyramids also were greater than words can say, and each one of them is equal to many works of the Hellenes, great as they may be; but the Labyrinth surpasses even the pyramids. It has twelve courts covered in, with gates facing one another, six upon the North side and six upon the South, joining on one to another, and the same wall surrounds them all outside; and there are in it two kinds of chambers, the one kind below the ground and the other above upon these, three thousand in number, of each kind fifteen hundred.

 

The upper set of chambers we ourselves saw, going through them, and we tell of them having looked upon them with our own eyes; but the chambers underground we heard about only; for the Egyptians who had charge of them were not willing on any account to show them, saying that here were the sepulchers of the kings who had first built this Labyrinth and of the sacred crocodiles. Accordingly we speak of the chambers below by what we received from hearsay, while those above we saw ourselves and found them to be works of more than human greatness. For the passages through the chambers, and the goings this way and that way through the courts, which were admirably adorned, afforded endless matter for marvel, as we went through from a court to the chambers beyond it, and from the chambers to colonnades, and from the colonnades to other rooms, and then from the chambers again to other courts.

 

Over the whole of these is a ceiling made of stone like the walls; and the walls are covered with figures carved upon them, each court being surrounded with pillars of white stone fitted together most perfectly; and at the end of the Labyrinth, by the corner of it, there is a pyramid of forty fathoms, upon which large figures are carved, and to this there is a way made underground. But a cause for marvel even greater than this is afforded by the lake, which is called the lake of Moiris, along the side of which this Labyrinth is built.

While this amazing account of Herodotus is the most widely known and perhaps the most famous, there were many other mentions of this mysterious place by authors and historians throughout the ages, including Manetho Aegyptiaca (3rd century BC), Diodorus Siculus (1st century BC), Strabo (64 BC – 19 AD), Pliny (23 – 79 AD), and Pomponius Mela (c 43 AD), among others, many of whom saw the mystical place themselves and gave consistent and detailed descriptions of the complex, somewhat dispelling the notion that it was a purely mythical construct. Many of these authors make persistent mention of a confusing profusion of paths, tunnels, ramps, and stairs, and there are more mysterious details as well, such as a mention of a “a fearful noise of thunder” that permeated the whole colossal complex. There is also frequent mention of numerous soaring columns, a solid stone slab for a roof, and of the infinite treasures and beauty held within the Labyrinth, such as a description by the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, who wrote:

When one had entered the sacred enclosure, one found a temple surrounded by columns, 40 to each side, and this building had a roof made of a single stone, carved with panels and richly adorned with excellent paintings. It contained memorials of the homeland of each of the kings as well as of the temples and sacrifices carried out in it, all skillfully worked in paintings of the greatest beauty.

Despite these frequent historical accounts of the magnificence of the Labyrinth of Egypt, it has long been seen as being a possible myth or legend, but this has not stopped people from actually searching for it. Making things difficult is that there is little mention of where the Labyrinth actually is in these old accounts, merely hints and clues. Herodotus himself said only that a pyramid was situated at one corner of the structure and that it was “a little above the lake of Moiris and nearly opposite to that which is called the City of Crocodiles,” and this is all maddeningly vague. Nevertheless, throughout the years there have been several serious expeditions that have sought to unravel the clues and solve the mystery.

One of the first attempts to seriously find and study the Labyrinth was in 1842, with a team sent to Egypt by King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia. The team, led by the archeologist Richard Lepsius, believed that the pyramid Herodotus had spoken of was the pyramid of Amenemhat III in the Hawara region of Faium, and that the City of Crocodiles was the old capital of the Faiyum Oasis valley, and so they concentrated their efforts there. They claimed to have been successful in locating the vast structure when they located large columns, ruins, and the remains of what they believed to be the artificial Lake Moeris that Herodotus had spoken of. The discovery has subsequently been sort of forgotten, and it is unclear just what they found out there, or whether it was really the legendary Labyrinth.

In 1888, famed English Egyptologist and archeologist Flinders Petrie claimed to have found the lost Labyrinth as well, ironically when he was in the same region on a mission to debunk Lepsius’ discovery as merely the remains of an old Roman village. Petrie would claim to have done some excavating at the alleged site and come across a massive stone slab of epic proportions, chipped and eroded by time, which he estimated as stretching over an area of 1116 feet by 800 feet, and reaching down to at least 6 feet deep, which he believed to be a part of the actual Labyrinth. According to Petrie, the site would have once held a colossal building measuring 1,000 by 800 feet, and it truly seemed as if he were on to something, but the site was not properly secured, and would be destroyed by quarrying, leaving it uncertain as to just what exactly he found out there in that wasteland.

Interpretation of the labyrinth

More recently was an expedition launched in 2008 by a group of researchers from Belgium and Egypt led by a Louis de Cordier, which descended on the region with state of the art ground penetrating radar in an effort to solve the mystery once and for all, thinking that Petrie had in fact found the ceiling of the structure. There on the south side of the Harawa Pyramid the so-called Mataha Expedition claimed to have found evidence of some sort of vast structure lurking deep down in the earth. Using their advanced technology, they found signs of chambers, rooms, tunnels, and thick walls, including two enormous chambers measuring 150m by 100m and 80m by 100m. Although the presence of large amounts of groundwater and a canal nearby made it hard to get a completely accurate reading, with such a complex network picked up on the radar it was thought that the legendary lost Labyrinth of Egypt had finally been found, but the discovery would hit some hurdles, from then on which have served to make the facts murky and spark rumors of shadowy conspiracies.

Although the results of the Mataha Expedition were officially published in the scientific journal of the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG) and divulged in various academic public lectures on the matter, the Egyptian Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities suddenly and without warning came in to silence everything. Due to this, the findings were buried and never made public, suppressed and hidden indefinitely. The frustrated researchers would end up setting up a website in 2010 in order to covertly release their findings, but the official details, records, and data of the expedition continue to be off-limits. Indeed, the Egyptian government has gone so far as to officially deny that anything was found at all, with one such release reading:

These things exist only in the minds of those who seek to attract the seekers for mystery, and the more we deny the existence of these things, the more the public is led to suspect that we are deliberately trying to hide that which constitutes one of the great secrets of Egypt. It is better for us to ignore all of these claims than merely deny them. All of our excavations in the territory of the Pyramid have failed to reveal any underground passageways or halls, temples, grottos, or anything of the kind.

It is unclear why this should all be covered-up, but what is certain is that with such intense denial and obfuscation by the government it is nearly impossible to tell just to what extent the expedition’s discovery reached, or whether they really did find the labyrinth that has been searched for centuries. The great Labyrinth of Egypt has in the meantime managed to remain just as mysterious as it always has been, a practically mythical place of grand underground structures that could very well hold knowledge that could change our very understanding of history. What might lie within those long buried chambers and corridors? What profound discoveries await those who unearth this place of legend and mystery? Indeed, does it really even exist at all? It remains to be seen, and continues to be another one of the many strange mysteries of this ancient land.

Mysterious Object is 570 Billion Times Brighter than the Sun

So bright that it pushes the energy limit of physics.

Billions of light years away, there is a giant ball of hot gas that is brighter than hundreds of billions of suns.  It is hard to imagine something so bright.  So what is it?  Astronomers are not really sure, but they have a couple theories.

They think it may be a very rare type of supernova — called a magnetar — but one so powerful that it pushes the energy limits of physics, or in other words, the most powerful supernova ever seen as of today.

Continue reading Mysterious Object is 570 Billion Times Brighter than the Sun at Alien UFO Sightings.

Mysterious and deserted: Explore Britain’s abandoned villages using Google Maps

Whether they’ve fallen victim to Mother Nature or been commandeered for the war effort, Britain is host to countless lost settlements. Here’s how to visit them online.

Isn’t it strange to think there are places in Britain where folks once lived, but don’t anymore? Many centuries-old, even millennia-old settlements have been deserted due to illness, the elements or wartime requirements.

But the good news is you can explore them all from the comfort of your home.

Continue reading Mysterious and deserted: Explore Britain’s abandoned villages using Google Maps at Alien UFO Sightings.

A Mysterious and Dangerous Unsealed Ancient Vault in India

Lying within Thiruvananthapuram, in Kerala, India, is a grand structure known as Padmanabhaswamy Temple, with the name derived from the word Padmanabha, meaning “One emerging from the lotus.” Dating back to at least the 6th century and steadily renovated throughout the 16th century by the Kings of the Travancore Royal Family, it is one of the 108 temples of Vaishnavism, or the worship of Vishnu, one of the main deities of Hinduism. Indeed, the lavish temple prominently displays an enormous statue of Vishnu depicted in an unusual reclining position upon the five-hooded serpent Anantha, or Adi Sesha, with the whole thing measuring 20 feet square and carved from a single vast slab of stone. This is already quite a grand place, with its unique architecture, its massive statues and ornate sculptures, and copious amounts of gold leafing and a gold plated exterior. It also holds a dark and ancient mystery that has remained unsolved to this day, and mysterious doorway that has remained sealed for centuries and leads to the unknown.

Padmanabhaswamy Temple has featured heavily in lore and literature, especially within Sangam Tamil literature and poetry, where it was often depicted as having once been a wondrous place full of vast riches and with walls crafted from gold, and known as one of the the richest temples in the world. Yet in addition to its sheer splendor, it is also a place of great mystery, with its exact year of founding unknown and much of the complex unexplored or kept secret from the outside world for hundreds of years, and in recent times it has been found to be even more impressive and mysterious than it already was.

Padmanabhaswamy Temple

In 2011, the ancient temple was finally explored more thoroughly after long being mostly closed off entirely from the outside world by the secretive royal family of Travancore, and it was found to house 6 massive sealed underground vaults, labelled A to F, and all closed off with ornately designed solid iron or granite doors that were locked tight and seemed to be utterly immovable. It appeared that they had never been opened by the priests of the temple, and it was completely unknown as to what was there in the ancient darkness beyond. At the time these doors and the mysterious vaults that lie behind them captured the public imagination, and the media watched every new development carefully as preparations were made to enter and catalogue the contents of these forgotten places. Much speculation swirled at the time as to what would be discovered within, with ideas ranging from that they would find mere dust and bones, others who surmised they held unfathomable riches, and others still certain that they held curses or even the secrets of the universe. Nobody knew as crews began trying to open them.

Getting the formidable vaults open would quickly prove to be easier said than done. Starting from vault A it was immediately apparent that these were protected, forbidden places not meant to ever be opened, and very likely intentionally sealed for the rest of eternity, and it took nearly a full day of nonstop effort with modern equipment to pry the first vault open, which held within it a vast trove of treasure beyond perhaps anyone’s expectations. There glittering in the murk were jewels, coins, gold and silver bars, solid gold idols and figurines, diamonds, gemstone encrusted artifacts and ceremonial garb, ornate jewelry, over 2,000 pounds of gold coins, and a massive gem and diamond studded golden throne. One of the members of the government committee sent to oversee the project would say of the breathtaking sight:

When the granite slab was removed, almost absolute darkness prevailed behind it – it was diluted only by a dim ray of light from the doorway. I looked into the black pantry, and I saw an amazing sight: like stars shimmered in the sky on a moonless night. Diamonds and other precious stones flashed, reflecting the faint light coming from the open door. Most of the treasures were stacked in wooden chests, but eventually the tree turned into rubbish. Precious stones and gold simply lay in piles on the dusty floor. They were not really arranged systematically. There were baskets, some earthen pots, some copper pots, and in all these things, these things were kept. It was a magnificent experience. There are no words to describe it. I have never seen anything like this.

Other vaults in the temple would prove to be equally as hard to open, yet also bursting with mind-boggling amounts of lost treasure, until an estimated $22 billion dollars’ worth of loot was eventually catalogued from the vaults, all thought to be the result of the accumulation of thousands of years of donations and gifts to the temple and its deity from Kings and dynasties across the land. Yet for all of this amazing wealth uncovered, although 5 of the vaults were opened, one remained stubbornly resistant to all efforts to disgorge its secrets. Vault B, also called Bharatakkon Kallara, is unique amongst the others, considered to be a Holy repository closely associated with the Deity Vishnu and with an exceptionally sturdy solid iron door lacking any nuts, bolts, locks, knobs, or latches, and adorned with the image of two gigantic cobras on each side denoting it as a special and sacred place indeed, and it is not even included in the official temple inventory. Initial efforts to open Vault B met with failure, and indeed its secrets remain sealed away to this day.

There are many strange stories, rumors, and legends associated with the mysterious Vault B. One is a legend that states that the door is impossible to open by any earthly means, that it had been in fact sealed by a mystical spell and mantra that could only be undone by the one who had cast it or an equally powerful priest. If a proper counter spell called a “Garuda Mantra” is uttered, it is said that the door will magically unlock and open to disgorge its secrets. Additionally, anyone who tries to forcefully open the door is rumored to be cursed for trying, and that to actually force it open is to flirt with unimaginable catastrophe. Indeed, it has long been rumored that many of the original committee tasked with trying to divulge the chamber’s secrets have met with freak accidents and misfortune, further bolstering the idea that the vault is cursed.

Another persistent rumor is that the vault is protected by a spell called a Naga Bandham, or “snake binding spell,” which is said to conjure up the protection of serpent deities. According to this tale, anyone who tries to enter the inner sanctum of the chamber will incite the fury and wrath of these snake spirits, and there is one unverified account of this in action. In the 1933 book Travancore; a guide book for the visitor, author Emily Gilchriest Hatch describes a harrowing incident in which some people visiting the temple tried to pry the vault open in 1931, only to find it crawling with countless venomous snakes that sent them running in terror. In this curse, it is said that a particular set of soundwaves at a specific frequency is to be aimed at the inner lock mechanism, which will supposedly disengage the curse and open the door.

Yet another rumor is that the door to the vault issues forth the sounds the crashing waves of the sea, leading to the idea that it is attached somehow by a secret tunnel to the ocean. According to this story, opening that door could very well unleash a catastrophic flood that would inundate all of Kerala, and that it is best left untouched. In every one of these scenarios we have curses, misfortune, death, cataclysm, and deadly snakes, but while these may just be legends the fact remains that Vault B has never been opened. What lies within it? Some say that it holds a treasure the likes of which the world has never seen, and there is also the theory that is contains tomes of magical and esoteric knowledge, but no one really knows. The only one said to understand the secret of this mysterious locked chamber is Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the head of the erstwhile royal family of Travancore, and he has vowed never to reveal it.

The soundtrack of Indiana Jones is playing in you head now, isn’t it? For now, the mysterious Vault B of Padmanabhaswamy Temple keeps its ancient enigmas buried within it, and it is one of the most heavily guarded and monitored places on the planet. Here heavily armed guards and state of the art surveillance equipment keep watch on it and the other vaults, although despite this it is estimated that millions of dollars’ worth of treasure has “disappeared” from here since it was made known to the outside world, and it is even believed that Vault B may have very well been raided in past eras through some as yet undiscovered subterranean tunnel. What will happen if this ancient place is ever opened? Will we find treasure beyond our wildest dreams, or curses, cataclysm, and black magic? Can it even be opened at all by any means we possess? We may never know.

Researcher Says The Mysterious “Eye of The Sahara” Could be The Ruins of Atlantis

You can have most any “fringe” beliefs or interests and still disguise yourself as an upstanding, yet adorably eccentric, member of normal society, but Atlantis is the point of no return. Once you start talking about Atlantis, you’re done for. So, let’s talk about Atlantis. According to Plato, The lost city of Atlantis was an ancient island superpower ruled located in the eastern Atlantic ocean—which was named after the lost city.  Atlantis was, according to Plato, a stunningly gorgeous and opulent place, built upon concentric circles of land and water. It was wealthy and powerful beyond measure until, in the course of one day and one night, the whole thing went sideways and a cataclysm wiped the city of Atlantis off the map and out of the history books. According to some esoteric traditions, Atlantis was the birthplace of the so-called “Mystery Schools” that wove their way through western philosophy after the city’s destruction.

The accepted explanation for Plato’s story of Atlantis, however, is that it was just a story, meant to teach a lesson of morality and show Plato’s philosophy on governance. Still, there are countless people who believe that Plato was talking about a real place that was destroyed by a real cataclysm. Plato himself says, in effect, “I know this sounds like nonsense, but I swear I ain’t lyin’.” But we’ve never found evidence, and now that we can image the sea floor, and have found evidence of sunken cities, shouldn’t the fact that we haven’t found Atlantis put this whole thing to bed? Well, what if we haven’t been looking in the right places? What if the ruins of the island-bound seafaring superpower were sitting, right under our noses the whole time, in the middle of the Sahara desert?

Atlantean mystery temple

An Idealistic Depiction of the Atlantean Mystery Temple by J. Augustus Knapp for the book The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall (1928).

It sounds like a stretch. Yet, that’s what a new video by YouTube channel Bright Insight is proposing, building off the work done by George S. Alexander and Natalis Rosen in the documentary Visiting AtlantisIn a 20 minute long video that’s surprisingly clear, sober, and well edited Bright Insight lays out the case for the Richat structure—also known as the eye of the Sahara—being the true location of Atlantis.

The Richat structure is an earthen structure of unknown origin in Mauritania, on the northwest coast of Africa. It consists of concentric circles of raised ground, bordered by mountains to the north and facing the sea to the south. It’s very big. It also happens to be almost the exact same size as the measurements Plato gave for Atlantis (depending on how you interpret ancient Greek units of measurement).

Plato states that the city of Atlantis was 127 stadia in diameter. According to Dictionary.com, one stadia is approximately 607 feet. This is the conversion used in the video, which works out to 127 stadia equaling 77,089 feet and 23.49 kilometers. Measuring the Richat structure in Google Earth gives a diameter of between 22 and 24 kilometers. That’s pretty close to the measurements for Atlantis. However, other sources say that a stadia is between 607 and 630 feet, which doesn’t seem like a big difference until you realize that 27 feet of variance per stadia, multiplied by 127 stadia, comes out to 3429 feet. While that’s the upper end of the possible variance, it has to be said that the Richat structure would fit the bill a bit less if it was three quarters of a mile too small. It’s not a lot, but it sure wouldn’t be perfectly exact.

The Richat Structure

Bird’s eye view of the Richat structure.

The surrounding areas match the description of Atlantis fairly note-for-note as well. Plato describes the city as being bordered to the north by mountains notable for their great number and beauty. The Richat structure is indeed ringed by mountains to the north. In the video, mention is made of geologic surveys which show that the mountains to the north of the Eye of the Sahara had waterfalls falling from them when the Sahara desert was not yet a desert, which would be fairly noteworthy.

Further arguments made include the timeline of the fall of Atlantis matching up pretty nicely with the proposed date of the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis, which argues that the impact of a comet or asteroid triggered the Younger Dryas period of rapid and sudden climate change and sea level variation.

It’s an interesting proposal and a surprising one. Usually when you watch a YouTube video on subjects like the lost city of Atlantis, you come out of it measurably dumber for having done so. It is hard to believe that if there’s an argument this convincing to be made (ignoring whether or not it’s true), I somehow haven’t heard of it before. That generally means something is either being deliberately suppressed, or is easily and thoroughly debunked. Unfortunately, it’s usually the latter. Without the credentials to make a real judgement, I’ll say this: I’m certainly more interested in the topic of Atlantis than I was before, and I’m really glad to know there are people on YouTube who appreciate production value.

Mysterious Orange Turns Purple and Government Confiscates

“The gentleman who came to collect it was very, very excited. He was aware of the case three years ago, and he’d spoken to the chemist who tested the orange three years ago, and said ‘Look, I think we’ve got another one’.”

“Look, I think we’ve got another one” is a great opening line for a sci-fi movie … but a bad thing to hear from a government agent looking at the strange fruit you just cut open and watched it change from orange (guess what kind of fruit it was?) to an inky purple. Why did the orange turn purple? Why was the agent excited? Why did he confiscate it? Is someone juicing our juice?

“I went rifling through the rubbish bin for the three bits eaten by my son, and sure enough they were more-so purple than the ones left out on the bench. My first thought was I hope it has had no ill effect on my child. But he’s fine, absolutely not a drama.”

A terrified Neti Moffitt did what any mother would do and thought of the safety of her two-year-old child first after finding the remains of an orange she had fed him the day before had turned purple overnight. (See more pictures here.) After finding him to be OK, the Keperra, Queensland, resident next turned to the Internet to see if this was a new strain of oranges developed to entertain finicky fruit eaters. Instead, she discovered that she was not the first to see an orange turn into purple passion-less fruit – another mother found similarly hued oranges in 2015. Angela Postle of Chinchilla, Queensland, fed oranges to her five children before noticing them slowly turning purple over the next few days. She eventually turned them over to the Queensland Environmental Health Branch which ruled out artificial coloring and iodine.

Further tests on the oranges were inconclusive. In the meantime, Postle bought more oranges and had the same thing happen … but not to every one of them. That led the experts to suspect something on her cutting knife was the cause, but she swore she had cleaned the knife each time before using it. Andrew Harty from the industry group Citrus Australia had no answer.

“That’s very, very unusual. I’ve never seen anything like that, and I’ve been in the game a long time. An orange would never do that naturally.”

That’s why the government seemed very interested when the purple oranges returned. They confiscated the knife, the sharpener, the plates and everything that came in contact with the oranges except for Ms. Muffitt and her kids.

“The orange also leaked some purple onto the vine of a lemon I had cut open in the fruit vine. So they took that also. They were really curious with fruit trees we have in our garden. I also have a bunch of roses besides the fruit bowl, so they took that into consideration. But they’re baffled, they’re absolutely stumped. No-one knows what caused it.”

Oranges are not native to Australia. They and other citrus fruits brought there by the English First Fleet in 1787 grew well around Sydney and spawned what is now a major orange industry … one that doesn’t want things purpled-up. Will they figure it out before it becomes an epidemic? Moffitt was told by the Queensland Health inspector that anything they found would be shared with her. Right.

Some people like a little purple in their orange and vice versa.

So the government health officials are puzzled and the citrus industry is worried. No possible causes have been made public as of this writing. Neti Moffitt says her kids show no ill effects and amazingly still like eating oranges.

Wonder if she can still cut them up for them while listening to Prince?

Alien-Hunting AI Detects Mysterious Deep Space Radio Signals

Ah, artificial intelligence. Is there anything it can’t do? Aside from learning to feel human emotions and generally haunting the nightmares and waking thoughts of any rational forward-looking person, artificial intelligence has now officially joined the search for aliens. Already, this use of AI is generating results, as a new set of mysterious deep space radio bursts was just detected by a revolutionary new machine learning algorithm, better known as an “intelligent computer program soon to enslave humanity.” Is there anything at which humans are better than machines machines anymore?

 

Maybe feeling sorry for ourselves as we gawk in awe and horror at the endless wisdom of our future overlords. However the AI uprising will end, this news is at least a bit of hope that we might at least discover alien life before being turned into human batteries. Scientists with Breakthrough Listen have used a powerful new machine learning algorithm (AI) to analyze a data set made in 2017 using the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. While researchers had previously felt like all of the important discoveries had already been gleaned from this data, UC Berkeley PhD student Gerry Zhang coaxed this AI network into discovering 72 new radio bursts which were originally not detected in the analysis of this Green Bank Telescope data.

The first fast radio burst was discovered in 2007. Since then, dozens of sources have been located - but not identified.

The first fast radio burst FRB) was discovered in 2007. Since then, dozens of other FRB sources have been located – but not always identified.

This discovery already shows that artificial intelligence could revolutionize the search for alien life. Who knows – overlooked proof may already exist in previously analyzed data. “Not all discoveries come from new observations,” says Pete Worden, executive director of the Breakthrough Listen and other Breakthrough Initiatives, “In this case, it was smart, original thinking applied to an existing dataset. It has advanced our knowledge of one of the most tantalizing mysteries in astronomy.”

The mystery Worden refers to is FRB 121102, one of the most active sources of unexplained fast radio bursts. While many astronomers believes these bursts to be caused by natural sources, others still hold out hope that they may be alien in nature. FRB 121102, a source of radio waves some 3 billion light-years away in the constellation Auriga, has been observed emitting bright pulses of radio emission since 2016. Could this be a distant civilization attempting to make first contact, or is it just some dumb dying neutron star like always? An incredibly intelligent computer will likely solve that question soon – just before it sends the Terminators to do their thing.

A Mysterious Lost Race of Little People in Iran

Out in the desert wastelands of the the Lut Desert, in the Shahdad region of South Khorasan Province, Iran, is a tiny village known as Makhunik. In the present day it looks very much like any other village in the sparsely inhabited region, and on the surface there might not seem anything strange or remarkable about this place at all, yet looking around you will find elements of Neolithic architecture and tunnels hinting at the area’s ancient past, and indeed lying under this modern village lies something far more ancient and mysterious. More intriguing still is the fact that the ancient structures here, which are still used, all seem to have been built for residents much smaller than modern human beings, possibly constructed by a long lost race of little people and earning this mysterious place the nickname Shahr-e Kotouleha, or the “City of Dwarves.”

The ancient city itself had long remained buried and forgotten in the desert for millennia before being unearthed in the 1940s by baffled archeologists who had until then not thought that any civilization had ever called this bleak, forbidding landscape home. The site, believed to date to at least the 4th millennium BC, generated a lot of attention at the time and was considered a major archeological discovery, and when the it was more thoroughly examined beginning from 1948 it was found to be even stranger still. Many of the artifacts, tools, and furnaces here, as well as the height of doorways or ceilings and the width of tunnels, and the numerous stone and clay houses were all found to have been made specifically for inhabitants estimated to have averaged only around 3 to 4 feet in height, a veritable real life race of dwarves, although no one knows who they were or why they should have been of such diminutive stature.

Makhunik

Adding to this mystery even further was that this ancient civilization was found to have suddenly and inexplicably abandoned the city sometime in the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC, for reasons that are still unclear. The only thing that can be said about this mass exodus is that it was very sudden, with belongings abandoned and left behind, and with some of the doorways oddly intentionally sealed and covered with mud. Although it is speculated that these ancient people left due to severe drought, and that had planned to return, it is still largely unclear as to why they fled in such large numbers. The Iran Daily has said of the odd city:

A significant aspect about Shahdad is the strange architecture of the houses, alleys and equipment discovered. The walls, ceiling, furnaces, shelves and all the equipment could only be used by dwarfs. After a lapse of 5,000 years since the departure of dwarfs from the city, a large swathe of this prehistoric region lies buried in soil and the migration of Shahdad’s dwarfs remains clouded in mystery.

Of course the idea of a mysterious ancient lost vanished race of little people out in the desert is an alluring one, and it has sparked all manner of wild speculation as to who these people were, such as that they were merely stunted in growth due to nutritional or environmental factors, or that they were another race of miniature humans or even aliens. More skeptical archeologists have been quick to point out that such rumors have been blown out of proportion, that the low ceilings of the dwellings were possibly caused by natural factors that caused them to become lower over the millennia, and the low heights of these mysterious residents exaggerated. One skeptical Iranian archeologist with the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Kerman province has said of the site:

We cannot say for sure that the region of its discovery in Kerman province was the city of dwarfs. This is a very old region, which has been buried due to geographical changes. Besides technology was not so developed at that time so people may not have been able to build high walls for their houses.

Makhunik

The debate as to who or what these miniature people were, or if they ever really existed at all, still rages, and in the end it has remained an unsolved mystery, made worse by the fact that no bodies of the dwarfs have ever been found. However, in August of 2005 the discussion and debate on the Dwarf City of Makhunik received more fuel for the fire when what appeared to be the mummified body of a strange individual measuring only 25 centimeters in length was found here. Initial analysis would show that the remains seemed to be those of someone who had been an estimated 16 to 17 years old at the time of death, making is quite a puzzling find indeed.

The discovery of this mysterious corpse took the media by storm, and was widely held up as proof of an ancient lost race of little people in the region. After years of only long abandoned miniature sized ruins, here was seen to be the final physical evidence of these tiny people, but later analysis would show that it is probably only around 400 years old, and more likely the body of a premature baby that had been mummified through natural environmental processes. Nevertheless, of course there are conspiracy theories that the corpse is indeed real and is being played down and covered up.

The mysterious mummy

Whether there really ever was some village of dwarfs living in Iran, it is intriguing that it fits in very well with the worldwide phenomenon of legends of little people in general. In almost every culture one can find such stories, and although they often seem to be represented in a way that suggests pure myth this is not always the case, and there have been similar ruins, artifacts, tunnels, and ancient structures claimed to have been crafted by them and which remain largely unsolved mysteries. Even if it is all mere legend and lore, there is still the fact that these myths often are born from some grain of truth, and it is intriguing that such tales are so pervasive across far-flung cultures. Why should that be?

There has been speculation in recent times by some researchers that this is indicative of some far-reaching race or races of mysterious little people who once inhabited the world alongside normal sized people at one point far back in the mists of time. The idea of such creatures existing contemporaneously with modern humans has gained a bit more credence with the discovery of Homo floresiensis on the Indonesian island of Flores, which were small species of early human ancestors that stood only 3 to 4 feet in height and have been speculated to have very well survived to the point where they co-existed with Homo Sapiens. Considering reports and tales of such diminutive humanoids from all over the world, is it possible that something like this was once more widespread than we think, and could this have birthed the tales of little people and discoveries of “dwarf ruins” such as those of Makhunik and others like them?

In the end there is not enough hard evidence to show that this was ever the case, but yet these stories persist across cultural boundaries and vast geographical distances, leading one to wonder if there is perhaps some basis for it all. With ruins such as Makhunik, what could be behind this? Was this merely the effects of the elements, geographical phenomena, and a bit of rumor and wild speculations? Or was this perhaps really once the home of an enigmatic miniature race of people? Is so, then who were they and why were they so small? Indeed, where did they go and why didn’t they leave behind any specimens for us to study? Perhaps such bodies do exist out there, buried under the earth for thousands of years just as their domain was, waiting to be dug up and brought into the light of day once more. Until then, we are left to wonder.