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Discover Otagi Nenbutsu-Ji, The Buddhist Temple ‘Guarded’ By 1,200 Whimsical Statues

Otagi Nenbutsu-Ji is a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan that features over 1,200 stone figures representing Rakan, or disciples of the founder of Buddhism.

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It doesn’t appear in most of Kyoto’s tourist guidebooks, but this Buddhist temple is quite noteworthy. Otago Nenbutsu-ji temple has something that sets it apart from the other 1,600 temples in the Japanese city. More accurately, it has over one thousand things that set it apart — the roughly 1,200 whimsical stone statues that symbolize Buddha’s disciples that surround it.

The Otago Nenbutsu-ji temple sits on a hill at the base of Mt. Atago, hidden away in the western outskirts of Kyoto in the Arashiyama neighbourhood. Its history is wrought with tragedy, but now, all is serene.

The inherent calm here can be partially attributed to the lack of tourists rather than the fact that it’s a Buddhist temple, but adding to the sense of relaxation are its stone guardians. Many are meditative, but most are amusing — with a hint of mischievousness.

Amid the figures that line the temple grounds, there are many laughing and smiling sculptures. There’s a pair making a toast with saké, one reading with a child — even one with a portable cassette player. A few have become marked as places for tourists to place coins for luck.

Despite the traditional look and beauty of the buildings on the grounds of Otago Nenbutsu-ji Temple, it’s the remarkable statues that inspire non-locals to make the trek into the hills. Even more notable than the carved figures, perhaps, is the man behind them. He is the Buddhist priest of Otago Nenbutsu-ji and almost entirely responsible for the defining uniqueness of the temple.

Kocho Nishimura: Temple Priest And Sculptor

Though the original temple was erected in the 8th century, it was Buddhist monk Kocho Nishimura that turned Otago Nenbutsu-ji into both an artistic and spiritual place. Nishimura began his tenure as the temple’s priest in 1955 — but he was a talented sculptor as well and longed to bring the temple back from neglect.

Nishimura was also a teacher at Tokyo University of the arts and through the 1980s, he invited amateur artists from all over to learn stone sculpting techniques at the temple. The quality of the carvings is a testament to Nishimura’s teaching ability, but they are many other things as well.

The sculptures are symbolic of Buddha’s disciples, called Rakan. They’re also memorials of people the artists have lost — or those they want to remember. They are also representative of the artists themselves.

The moss-covered statues at Otagi Nenbutsu-ji are not as old as they look.

One amateur sculptor answered, when asked if he was putting his wishes into this stone, “Well of course. This will be all that’s left of me one day.”

At the statues’ consecration ceremony, the presiding priest validated the artists’ intentions. “The spirit passes from the hands of the creators into the statues, giving them life.”

Nishimura’s son Kouei was so inspired by his father’s idea that he left college to also become a priest at the temple himself.

The Origin Of Otago Nenbutsu-ji Temple
A view of Otagiu Nenbutsu-ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan.
A view of Otagiu Nenbutsu-ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan.

Empress Shōtoku, the 46th and 48th monarch of Japan according to the traditional order of succession, founded the historic temple in the 8th century, between 766 and 770. Its original location was in Higashiyama, not Kyoto, but not long afterward, Otago Nenbutsu-ji temple was washed away by the flooding of the nearby Kamo River.

A Buddhist priest named Senkan Naigu re-established the temple in the 10th century. Locals were grateful and installed a statue to protect the temple against bad luck. The statue was of Yaku-yoke Senju Kannon, and Naigu sculpted it himself.

The good luck seemed to hold for a few centuries, but the temple was destroyed again in the 13th century — during the Kamakura Period — as a result of a civil war. Workers moved the hall and gate to its Kyoto location in 1922 in order to preserve it, but the rebuilt main hall, however, was decimated again by a typhoon in 1950.

Rather than abandon hope, the newly-appointed priest of the temple in 1955, Nishimura, rebuilt it piece by piece. Nishimura did more than simple reconstruction though, he brought life back into Otago Nenbutsu-ji. He contributed some of the stone figures on the grounds himself, so his work is mixed with that of the other artists. All statues were added to the temple between 1981 and 1991, but look even older as they accumulate moss.

A Family Legacy

Kyoto may be known as the city of a thousand temples, but Otago Nenbutsu-ji will be remembered as the temple with a thousand Rakan. The extraordinary gift that Nishimura has given Japan in the forms of his dedication and talent should also be remembered. Nishimura died in 2003, but his son Kouei is still a priest at the temple.

Aside from his priest duties, Kouei is also a musician. He blends new-age synth with classical harmonies to create vivid electronic, meditative soundscapes. It is an art form that draws parallels to his father’s contributions. “The music is a message,” Kouei explains. “It’s all around us, like the air that we don’t notice until we realize that we are breathing it.”

Experience Kouei’s music from within the temple, as the stone statues look on from outside.

Kouei Nishimura plays a sample of his music in Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple.

This article (Discover Otagi Nenbutsu-Ji, The Buddhist Temple ‘Guarded’ By 1,200 Whimsical Statues) was originally created for All That Interesting and is published here under Creative Commons.

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Archeology

Adam’s Calendar: Oldest Megalithic Site In The World?

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https://www.ancient-origins.net/
Photo Credit: www.getaway.co.za

Adam’s Calendar is controversially suggested to be the oldest man-made structure in the world. Sometimes referred to as “African Stonehenge“, it predates both Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid of Giza by tens of thousands of years. Located in Mpumalanga, South Africa it is a standing stone circle about 30 meters in diameter and has been estimated by some accounts to be more than 75,000 years old. Various astronomical alignments have been identified at the site and it is possibly the only example of a completely functional, mostly intact megalithic stone calendar in the world.

Adam’s calendar is location in Mpumalanga, a picturesque region in South Africa (Wikimedia Commons)

Scattered throughout the mountains of South Africa are thousands of stone circle ruins. The first estimates of the number of these ruins was made in 1891 by English explorer Theodore Bent. He estimated there were about 4,000 in this area of the world. By 1974 the estimate had risen to 20,000. Today, researcher and authority on the subject, Michael Tellinger, has estimated the number of ancient stone ruins to be 100,000 or possibly much higher. Some of these “stone circles” have no doors or entrances while most are connected by an expansive network of channels that are often misinterpreted as “roads” by some historians. This connected grid of circular ruins are immersed in a seemingly never-ending expanse of ancient agricultural terraces surrounding the structures. Adam’s Calendar is considered to be the most famous among these ruins.

Screenshot from Google Earth showing just a tiny area in South Africa, which is rich with ancient earthworks and stone structures (Google Earth)

Known by African elders, as the “The Birthplace of The Sun” or “Inzalo y’Langa”, the site was first brought to public attention in 2003 by South African pilot Johan Heine. He had been flying over the mountains of Mpumalanga, South Africa for over 20 years and took an interest in the thousands of strange circular stone objects scattered throughout the region and began photographing them. In consulting experts on their origins, he was informed that they were the remains of “cattle kraal” (livestock enclosure) left behind by the Bantu people when they migrated from the north around the 14th century. Today this theory seems far from definitive as the structures are unlike any other Bantu cattle-kraal designs, which are usually made of thorny shrubs, with a single entrance/exit for the cattle. There are also several thousand of them spread over tens of thousands of miles.

Bantu cattle kraal (Image source)

An air crash involving one of his crew brought Johan to discover the mysterious monolithic circle by accident. On route to find one of his pilots who crashed his plane on the edge of the cliff, Johan noticed an arrangement of large stones sticking out of the ground next to the crash site. While rescuing the injured pilot down the side of the cliff, Johan walked over to the monoliths and realized they were aligned to the cardinal points – north, south, east and west – as well as the equinoxes and solstices. There were at least 3 monoliths aligned towards the sunrise, but on the west side of the aligned monoliths there was a strange hole in the ground. After weeks and months of measuring and making observations, Johan suspected it was a stone calendar.

The site is aptly named Adam’s Calendar because the stones are placed to track the movement of the sun, which casts shadows on the rock. It still works perfectly as a calendar today by following the shadow of the setting sun, which is cast by the taller central monolith onto the flat stone beside it. This remarkable calendar was originally a large circular stone structure resembling Stonehenge and in the center of the ‘circle’ are two upright stones which are said to have been carved. Its original shape is still clearly visible from satellite images. The stones are all dolomite, weighing up to 5 tons each, and are said to have been transported from a distant site. It should be noted that the area surrounding Adam’s Calendar is extremely rich in gold. Several mining shafts have been reported in the area with one of the richest working mines in the world today being the Sheba Gold Mine, located in Mpumalanga. Not only did the rich gold reefs attract attention in the 1880’s, but the early evidence of historic civilizations mining for minerals was described in writings by the early Europeans.

Rodney Hale’s plan of Adam’s Calendar with alignments as they were in 11500 BC (andrewcollins.com)

The first calculations of the age of the calendar were made based on the rise of Orion, a constellation known for its three bright stars forming the “belt” of the mythical hunter. The Earth wobbles on its axis, so the stars and constellations change their angle of presentation in the night sky on a cyclical basis. This rotation, called the precession completes a cycle about every 26,000 years. By determining when the three stars of Orion’s belt were positioned flat (horizontal) against the horizon, it is possible to estimate the time when the three stones in the calendar were in alignment with these stars. According to Tellinger, a calculation done by astronomer Bill Hollenbach based on the rise of Orion suggested an age of the site of at least 75,000 years. A further calculation done in June 2009, suggested an age of at least 160,000 years, based on the rise of Orion ‘flat on the horizon’ but also on the ‘erosion of dolerite stones’ found at the site. Some pieces of the marker stones had been broken off and sat on the ground, exposed to natural erosion. When the pieces were put back together about 3 cm of stone had already been worn away. This calculation helped assess the age of the site by calculating the erosion rate of the dolerite.

Michael Tellinger testing the sound acoustics of the site (andrewcollins.com)

The latest and most interesting discovery of the stone circles and Adam’s Calendar is the sound frequencies of the rock formations from the earth below them. With modern technology, Tellinger and scientists have been able to detect and measure sound frequencies with acoustic properties made from the earth inside the circles which conduct electricity. These sound frequencies of the earth under the stones are shaped as flowers of sacred geometry as they surface to the ground.

There is still much about Adam’s calendar that is yet to be understood, including who built them, what their civilization was like, and how they constructed it with such precise measurements. Perhaps in time, more research will piece together this prehistoric mystery. 

This article (Adam’s Calendar: Oldest Megalithic Site in the World?) was originally created for Ancient Origins and is published here under Creative Commons.

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A Mysterious UFO Crash And Retrieval In The Kalahari Desert

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A Mysterious UFO Crash And Retrieval In The Kalahari Desert
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Brent SwancerGuest Writer

By far the most spectacular and intriguing of UFO reports are those cases in which one of these mysterious crafts has fallen from the heavens to come crashing down to earth. Of course the most well-known incident of this kind is the supposed UFO crash at Roswell, New Mexico, which is so famous that even people who have no knowledge of the UFO field have heard of it. Yet, it is by far not the only such case, and indeed UFO lore is littered with more obscure cases of alien spacecraft crashing in remote locations, the government coming in to whisk it all away, often alien bodies thrown into the mix as well, and of course government cover-ups. One such case that is perhaps even more obscure than most is the time fighter jets allegedly shot down a UFO over South Africa, after which it crashed into the Kalahari desert and was confiscated to disappear into the mists of history.

On May 7, 1989, at around 2 PM in the afternoon, a South African naval frigate off the coast of Cape Town allegedly radioed in a rather odd report to the Cape Town Naval headquarters. They claimed that they had picked up an unidentified object on their radar that was moving very rapidly towards the mainland at an approximate speed of 5746 nautical miles per hour, and other radar installations, including NORAD installations and D.F. Malan international airport at Cape Town were allegedly picking up the same thing. There were apparently efforts made to establish communications with the incoming object, but there was no response, and it then suddenly and abruptly changed course to shoot out over a remote area. In the meantime, visual confirmation was made, and it was described as looking like a silver disc.

The Kalahari Desert

Considering the course change, it was now assumed to be some sort of aircraft, but orders made over radio to cease its approach continued to go unanswered, and in response the South African military purportedly began making preparations to engage. Two Mirage fighter jets were scrambled, armed with what was referred to as “experimental aircraft mounted THOR 2 laser canons” supposedly designed to disrupt electrical systems, and as they approached the speeding object, warnings were ignored and so they were given permission to engage. Both fighters then fired upon it, and according to a report given by an “insider” to the UFO research group Quest International, which would later become UFO Truth Magazine, they made direct hits. The report reads of the incident:

At 13.59 GMT, the pilot of the fighter reported that they had radar and visual confirmation of the object. The order was given to arm and fire the experimental aircraft-mounted Thor 2 laser cannon. This was done. Squadron leader reported that several blinding flashes emitted from the object which had started wavering whilst heading in a northerly direction. At 14.02 is was reported that the object was decreasing altitude at a rate of 3000 feet per minute. Then at speed it dived at an angle of 25 degrees and impacted in desert terrain 80 miles north of the South African border with Botswana, identified as the central Kalahari desert. Squadron leader was instructed to circle the area until a retrieval team arrived.

A team of Air Force Intelligence Officers and technical specialists were supposedly soon on the scene in what was called “Operation Silver Diamond,” and the whole story gets even more bizarre from there. A crater was found to have been pounded into the earth, measuring approximately 150 meters in diameter and around 12 meters deep, within which sat a silver, saucer shaped object half buried at a 45-degree angle. All around it was scorched earth and rocks and sand fused together from an intense heat, and when the team approached, they reported that electronics failed in the vicinity of the object, to the point that one approaching helicopter flying over had severe technical malfunctions that caused it to make an emergency landing, and yet another went down to kill all aboard. The surface of the anomalous object was found to be completely smooth and undamaged, and was devoid of any markings or discernible seams, windows, or hatches, although they apparently did find one strange insignia etched into it ringed by odd hieroglyphics. On the bottom of the craft was found what appeared to be some sort of hydraulic landing gear, that had been fully extended, leading to speculation that a landing malfunction possibly caused by the fighter jet attack had caused it to go down. Yet, this was not the end of the weirdness.

A UFO crash in Brazil, a mysterious letter, and pieces of an alien spaceship. (Click here to read the full article!)

As the team warily circled the apparently alien craft, there was reportedly a loud noise that issued forth from the craft, and a hatch of some sort cracked open on the side of it. A team was sent in to pry it all the way open, and from within allegedly climbed two humanoid entities, around 4 feet in height, with three fingered clawed hands, grayish-blue hairless and scaly skin, and dressed in tight-fitting grey suits. The creatures had oversized heads with large oval eyes and prominent cheekbones, and with slit-like mouths and no noticeable ears. Besides these two, one of the creatures would be found dead inside. The two entities who had emerged were dazed but alive, and they were reportedly quickly apprehended, although they were apparently very vicious and not easily subdued, with one of them supposedly inflicting deep gashes on one of the team with its formidable claws.

The craft was then supposedly whisked off to an Air Force base and the aliens detained in a cooled unit, which reportedly made them lethargic and more complacent, after which plans were purportedly made to have them moved to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in the United States for further tests and analyses. And that is pretty much where the story ends, with no further information on what became of the alleged spacecraft or its outlandish alien crew. The intelligence officer who blew the lid off of it, a Captain James Van Greunen, allegedly provided reams of top-secret documentation on the incident, as well as alleged recorded telephone conversations on the matter between top officials, before moving to Germany and going into hiding. It is all completely spectacular and like something out of a movie, an amazing case that has been referred to as “The African Roswell,” but of course there has been much scepticism aimed at it, even from within the UFO field.

The bizarre UFO crash at Dreamy Draw, Arizona. (Click here to read the full article!)

One of the problems is that, although the case has been covered in various magazines and articles over the years, almost all of the information comes from the research done by Quest International, who were the first to be approached by the alleged informant. This does not necessarily mean that is all false, just that it is hard to independently verify their information. Also rather suspicious is that many of the supposed documents provided by Captain Van Greunen, while looking very official, on closer inspection were found to be riddled with spelling errors, inconsistencies, and discrepancies. The African UFO researcher and author Cynthia Hind examined some of the supposed documents and came to the conclusion that it was all just too sloppy for something so top-secret and official. Although it was all very elaborate and in depth, she came to the conclusion that it was all a complicated and well-thought out hoax, and she would write an article on it in UFO Times called Anatomy of a hoax. The UFO crash on the South African/Botswana border. Gruenen would deny these accusations. Perhaps even more damning than all of this is that there is just no evidence at all that such a crash off any kind happened in the area, let alone an alien spacecraft, and there are only reports from alleged military officials that cannot be confirmed or proven. This could all be due to a cover-up and suppression of the truth, but the UFO crash in the Kalahari is just not very extensively documented or supported by tangible evidence. However, Quest International director Graham W. Birdsall has remained convinced that something very strange happened out there in that desert, so we are left to wonder.

In the end there is no way to know just what happened on that day out in the middle of nowhere, if anything. There are few additional details, and anything beyond what I have mentioned here has not been forthcoming. If this was a cover-up, then they did a pretty good job of making sure it was pushed into the closet of obscure, forgotten cases, and we will frustratingly probably never know what truth it holds. Was this a hoax, scam, or disinformation, or did something really truly odd happen on that day? We can only speculate, and wonder if that ship isn’t sitting in some military warehouse somewhere.

Recommended Articles by Brent Swancer
About the Author

Is an author and crypto expert living in Japan. Biology, nature, and cryptozoology still remain Brent Swancer’s first intellectual loves. He’s written articles for MU and Daily Grail and has been a guest on Coast to Coast AM and Binnal of America.

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A UFO Crash In Brazil, A Mysterious Letter, And Pieces Of An Alien Spaceship

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Photo Credit: TMU

Brent SwancerGuest Writer

There is a surprising number of cases in which UFOs seem to have fallen from the sky to crash to earth. It would seem that sometimes these supposed aliens have their own technical difficulties or incidents, which for whatever reasons serve to bring them down to us in our realm. One very strange case of this supposedly played out in the country of Brazil, where a strange craft supposedly smashed down into the sea to leave wreckage behind, pieces of which have gone on to become some of the most extensively analysed and most heatedly discussed alien evidence there is. Yet the story of how these fragments of a UFO came to our attention is almost as strange.

It started with a strange piece of mail. In September of 1957, Ibrahim Sued, society columnist for the Rio de Janeiro newspaper El Globo, received a letter that was quite bizarre and enigmatic to say the least. The sender claimed that he was a simple fisherman, who while out with some friends at Toninha’s Beach, at Ubatuba, in Sao Paulo Province, Brazil, had had an outlandish experience with a UFO that crashed into the sea. The sender describes himself as having been a sceptic about such things in the past, but now a believer after what he had seen, and as proof he even offered physical evidence, which was right there in the envelope with the letter. The name on the letter was illegible and impossible to make out, but this anonymous witness would write:

Dear Mr. Ibrahim Sued. As a faithful reader of your column, and an admirer of yours, I wish to give you, as a newspaperman, a “scoop” concerning flying discs. If you believe that they are real, of course. I didn’t believe anything said or published about them. But just a few days ago I was forced to change my mind. I was fishing together with various friends, at a place close to the town of Ubatuba, Sao Paulo, when I sighted a flying disc! It approached the beach at unbelievable speed and an accident, in other words, a crash into the sea, seemed imminent. At the last moment, however, when it seemed it was almost striking the waters, it made a sharp turn upward and climbed rapidly on a fantastic impulse.

Astonished, we followed the spectacle with our eyes, when we saw the disc explode in flames. It disintegrated into thousands of fiery fragments, which fell sparkling with magnificent brightness. They looked like fireworks, despite the time of the accident, at noon, that is, at midday. Most of the fragments, almost all, fell into the sea. But a number of small pieces fell close to the beach and we picked up a large amount of this material—which was light as paper. I am enclosing a sample of it. I don’t know anyone that could be trusted to whom I could send it for analysis. I never read about a flying disk being found, or about fragments or parts of a disk that had been picked up. Unless the finding was made by military authorities and the whole thing kept as a top-secret subject. I am certain the matter will be of great interest to the brilliant columnist and I am sending two copies of this letter—to the newspaper and to your home address.

Ubatuba, Brazil

There in the envelope were several strips of a dull grey metallic material which seemed to be scorched or oxidized somewhat, smooth but with a noticeable amount of wear and tear, and which were all dusted with a fine film of a powdered substance that somewhat resembled burnt charcoal residue. Not knowing what to do with the letter and its mysterious samples, Sued merely printed the letter in the newspaper out of curiosity, then put the mysterious pieces of weird metal aside and sort of ignored them until he was contacted by a Olavo T. Fontes, a Rio physician and Brazilian representative of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (A.P.R.O), who had heard of the letter through its publication in the paper. Fontes came out to Brazil and took a closer look at the samples, coming to the initial conclusion that one was cracked and had fissures suggesting that it had been forcefully blown off of a larger object, and it was surmised that the whitish substance was the result of the pieces being subjected to an intense heat. Sued offered to release the strange pieces to Fontes, who took them off to be analysed further at the Mineral Production Laboratory. Fontes himself would say of the objects in a report to the Aerial Phenomenon Research Organization (APRO) in Tucson, Arizona:

I saw the samples sent by the unidentified correspondent—three small pieces of a dull-grey solid substance that appeared to be a metal of some sort. Their surfaces were not smooth and polished, but quite irregular and apparently strongly oxidized. The surface of one of the samples was shot through with almost microscopic cracks. The surfaces of all samples were covered in scattered areas with a whitish material. These whitish smears of a powdered substance appeared as a thin layer. The fine, dry powder was adherent but could be displaced easily with the nail. Mr. Sued said the material appeared to be lead at first sight—because of the grey color—but I could see that it could not be lead … the material was light … almost as light as paper.

It was found through a battery of different tests that the metal in the samples contained only the element magnesium, incredibly pure, which with our metallurgy techniques should have been impossible, as we simply don’t have the means to create a metal that is absolutely spectrographically pure. Two further spectrographic analyses turned up the same results, and X-ray diffraction work conducted at the Laboratory of Crystallography at the department’s Geology and Mineralogy Division also found that the samples were extremely pure magnesium of a type not found in nature and beyond our capacity to create, all of which caused Fontes to come to the conclusion that the samples were “fragments’ of an extraterrestrial vehicle which met with disaster in the earth’s atmosphere.” A.P.R.O. director Coral Lorenzen was so excited about the findings that she wrote to the Pentagon’s UFO spokesman, Air Force Maj. Lawrence J. Tacker dramatically telling him:

Our organization has in its possession the physical evidence which the United States Air Force denies having been able to acquire. It is, in fact, a portion of an extraterrestrial vehicle which met with disaster in the earth’s atmosphere. The catastrophe was witnessed by numerous human beings. The gratifying aspect of this case, however, is that we do not have to depend on the testimony of witnesses to establish the reality of the incident for THE MOST ADVANCED LABORATORY TESTS INDICATE THAT THE RESIDUAL MATERIAL COULD NOT HAVE BEEN PRODUCED THROUGH THE APPLICATION OF ANY KNOWN TERRESTRIAL TECHNIQUES.

Pentagon’s Top-Secret UFO Unit to brief Senate as Ex-Official says ‘off-world vehicles’ found. (Click here to read the full article!)

All caps, very excited, indeed. The Air Force received one of the samples, but it was unfortunately accidentally destroyed as it was being prepped for analysis. They requested another sample, but since one of the other pieces had also been destroyed by the testing done on it there was only one fragment left and they were unwilling to part with it, instead locking it away in a safe. In 1967, the A.P.R.O. grudgingly allowed the piece to be taken in for analysis, but this would prove to be inconclusive and produce conflicting results, with one lab saying that the magnesium was not as pure as originally claimed and “not as pure as magnesium specimens readily available in the 1950s,” whereas another stated that the piece was produced through a “process that was unknown when the fragments were recovered.” Ultimately the sample was just too small to really tell much, and it created more questions than answers, leaving it as an anomalous mystery. University of Arizona metallurgical engineer Walter W. Walker would say of the fragment:

All chemical analyses to date have not verified the extraterrestriality of the Ubatuba magnesium…. Considering the poor pedigree of the Ubatuba physical evidence, a hoax cannot be ruled out… [Though] nothing unequivocally identifying the material as terrestrial was found either. If one accepts that it is possible that a flying saucer has a soft, weak, technically pure, unalloyed, cast magnesium fuselage, then the metallographic evidence is consistent. The surface scale, the oxide intrusion into the grain boundaries and, particularly, the subscale from internal oxidation all suggest that the magnesium was exposed to the Earth’s atmosphere at elevated temperatures. The white Mg(OH)2 coating is consistent with the burning fragments falling into the ocean…. In summary, after all these years, I consider the Ubatuba magnesium fragment as unusual material of still unknown origin.

It all seems very exciting, in that these supposed pieces of a stars-ship were so carefully analysed and seemed so promising, but the fact is that they were never proven as one thing or another. Also, although there are more pieces said to exist somewhere, they seem to have mostly disappeared, and have become sort of a holy grail within the UFO community. We must also face the hard truth that the whole story rests on an anonymous letter with no way to verify who the sender was, what he really saw, or even if he is who he said he was. The whole case is built on this letter and its mysterious contents, but we don’t even know where it came from and there are no real first-hand witnesses to speak to. We are left to wonder how much veracity the case has, and just what exactly those mysterious fragments were, if anything. What do the results mean? There is no way to really know, because there is nothing left to test that we know of. Who sent the letter and was he for real? Again, a mystery. This is a case that will no doubt serve to fuel debate and speculation for some time to come, and it is one of those frustrating cases in which we seemed so close to proof, but ended up with merely another conundrum that will probably never find a concrete answer.

Recommended Articles by Brent Swancer
About the Author

Is an author and crypto expert living in Japan. Biology, nature, and cryptozoology still remain Brent Swancer’s first intellectual loves. He’s written articles for MU and Daily Grail and has been a guest on Coast to Coast AM and Binnal of America.

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History

Native Americans May Have Found Their Atlantis Under The Great Lakes

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Native Americans May Have Found Their Atlantis Under The Great Lakes
Photo Credit: Pexels

Paul SeaburnGuest Writer

Every city or settlement that gets flooded permanently eventually gets nicknamed “Atlantis,” but the real one hasn’t been found and few of these submerged burbs live up to the nickname. That may change with a controversial find at the bottom of Lakes Huron and Michigan which Native Americans believe are artifacts of an ancient post-Ice Age hunting culture lost when the ice melted and the Great Lakes formed. Why is it controversial? The same area is being prepared for the Great Lakes Tunnel which will contain oil and gas pipelines deep under the lakebed. The Native Americans want it preserved. Who will win? Place your bets now.

“This entire story is very disturbing.”

That’s not a good sign if you’re betting on the Native Americans. In February 2020, University of Michigan archaeology professor John O’Shea heard that a subcontracted archaeologist working for Enbridge, the pipeline company in charge of digging the Line 5 Tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac, was told by the company to ignore possible prehistoric cultural artifacts, and later removed from the job when he tried to notify O’Shea. The Straits of Mackinac connect Lake Huron and Lake Michigan and separate Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas, making them a key area for the tunnel project. They’re also a key part of Native American history, being a crucial trade route. O’Shea has documented evidence of the submerged hunting grounds, but one man can’t fight a pipeline company and the fossil fuel industry.

Mackinac Bridge spanning the Straits of Mackinac

“We didn’t expect to find this — it was really just amazing. My question is, who knew they were there?”

Enter members of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. The Detroit Free Press reports that a group of tribe members made it a priority upon themselves to inspect Enbridge’s current Line 5 oil and natural gas pipelines on the floor of Straits of Mackinac using a remote-operated underwater vehicle. What they didn’t expect to find were stones arranged in circular and linear patterns on the floor of the Lake Huron side. Now, the mostly female group wants Enbridge to stop the pipeline until the area can be properly studied. It would not be wise to mess with them, Kelly Willis, a Chippewa, told the Free Press.

“In our culture, women traditionally are water protectors, as all life comes from the water.”

The Free Press reports Enbridge did not respond to requests for comments. However, the company had previous said the area was inspected and no signs of artifacts were found. Needless to say, this is a battle of modern money versus the ancient and little-known history of prehistoric Native Americans in the area – history that occurred when near the end of the last Ice Age when it was above water.

“For a 2,000 to 3,000-year period, that was the state of play.”

O’Shea says the period occurred between 11,000 and 9,000 years ago when “post-Ice Age hunters” moved north as the ice retreated and the climate warmed, creating a new forests filled with plants and animals. They may have walked between what is now northern Michigan and central Ontario on the now-submerged Alpena-Amberley limestone ridge, a path that would also be used by migrating caribou. Along the way, the hunters erected stone structures – what the Native Americans now believe is their Atlantis.

“These stone structures, they’re rocks. They don’t survive on land because of development, farmers clearing fields, other things. But under water, they are so perfectly preserved, Pompeii-like, on the lake bottom. But they are also easy to destroy. My concern is that they simply don’t destroy something that might be there.”

7 Things you probably didn’t know about the lost city of Atlantis. (Click here to read the full article!)Formun Üstü

Those familiar with the tunnel project will surely point out that is being drilled in the bedrock underneath the lake floor where the artifacts are located. O’Shea fears that “some of the spoils from the tunnel digging are going to go back onto the lake bottom.” Terri Wilkerson says she and the female tribe members are taking a tough stance.

“Enbridge should be shut out completely on this. The tribes first, and the state, should take the lead on investigating this. And Enbridge should be blocked now from disturbing anything in that area. This is a big deal, it seems to me.”

They are the water protectors. This is their Atlantis, put there by their ancestors. Would you mess with them?

There’s still time to place your bets.

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About the Author

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as “The Tonight Show”, “Politically Incorrect” and an award-winning children’s program. He’s been published in “The New York Times” and “Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humour. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humour to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn’t always have to be serious.

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