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Museum’s Dead Sea Scrolls Are All Forgeries

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Museum’s Dead Sea Scrolls Are All Forgeries
Photo Credit: National Geographic

The Dead Sea Scrolls, the first bundles of which were discovered in 1946 in the Qumran Caves in the Judaean Desert on the northern shore of the Dead Sea, date back to the 3rd century BCE and are believed to be some of the oldest known surviving manuscripts of books in the Hebrew Bible. Are they? Sixteen fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, currently in the possession of the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, were recently studied by art forgery experts and … get ready to be disappointed … were identified as excellent fakes. What does this mean for the Hebrew Bible?

“The Museum of the Bible is trying to be as transparent as possible. We’re victims. We’re victims of misrepresentation, we’re victims of fraud.”

If this story sounds familiar, it was just last year that of the Museum of the Bible – a non-sectarian museum in theory – was informed that six of its Dead Sea Scrolls fragments were forgeries. The collection was donated to the museum by founder and CEO Of Hobby Lobby Steve Green, who refuses to say where he obtained them nor how much he paid, but it’s estimated to be millions. Now it seems that even if Green kept the receipts, he admitted to the National Geographic that he was duped by unscrupulous sellers on his entire collection of scroll pieces.

“After an exhaustive review of all the imaging and scientific analysis results, it is evident that none of the textual fragments in Museum of the Bible’s Dead Sea Scroll collection are authentic. Moreover, each exhibits characteristics that suggest they are deliberate forgeries created in the twentieth century with the intent to mimic authentic Dead Sea Scroll fragments.”

At a recent conference in Washington, Colette Loll, founder and director of Art Fraud Insights, released a 200-page report on an investigation of the Green family’s scrolls. The report shows that the museum’s fragments were leather hide parchment, which may have come from ancient Roman shoes of the era. They were coated with a shiny substance, possibly glue, which came from one source, indicating all of these forgeries were handled by the same forger – even though the Green family says they came from four different sellers. This was one slick forger … the fragments were coated with minerals from the Dead Sea caves area.

While these scroll fragments fooled a number of so-called experts, CNN reports that the real ones used 3D microscopes, infrared spectroscopy and “energy dispersive X-ray analysis” and found some pretty glaring errors. Perhaps the biggest was discovered by labs in Germany which determined that the ink was recent and lettering was applied after the fake creases and tears were made to the leather.

Does this mean all of the estimated 100,000 Dead Sea scroll fragments may be fakes? Fortunately, most of those are in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and those have undergone intense scrutiny for years to authenticate them. It’s the fragments showing up in black markets and on eBay that should be questioned.

It’s too bad these forgers don’t actually read the documents they’re copying … especially the parts about stealing and bearing false witness. And those who try to own these antiquities for themselves should remember the part about coveting their neighbour’s goods. When it comes to ancient historical artifacts, religious or otherwise, we’re ALL neighbours.

This article (Museum’s Dead Sea Scrolls Are All Forgeries) was originally created for Mysterious Universe and is published here under Creative Commons.

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An Authentic Video Of The “Flying Saucers” That Flew Over Washington In 1952

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An Authentic Video Of The “Flying Saucers” That Flew Over Washington In 1952
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

Did you know that UFOs have been filmed/documented for thousands of years? There are many examples from our ancient past that show this, and many modern day examples in the form of videos, radar tracking etc. For example, here’s one of many documents that can be found within the CIA’s electronic reading room that makes it quite clear that authentic footage exists.

Recent footage of UFOs released and confirmed by the Pentagon also makes this quite clear, not to mention millions of pages of declassified documents from multiple government agencies describing encounters with objects that perform manoeuvres no known aircraft is capable of doing. The thing is, we didn’t need ‘them’ to tell us, and footage, pictures and thousands of interesting cases make one thing quite clear, something is going on.

What Happened: One example from the past I like to use comes from July of 1952, when multiple UFOs were filmed flying over Washington D.C. In fact, during that summer there were a number of sightings reported. These sightings were known as “the Big Flap” and are quite well known among many ufologists. During that time, military jets that were sent out to take a closer look at these objects did so to no avail. The objects instantaneously accelerated at speeds that are still not attainable today by any known man-made craft, similar to the many examples that exist today. All of the sightings during this time were confirmed by civilians, military, radar operators and pilots. The same goes for many sightings today, with the Pentagon’s recent release being a prime example.

General Nathan Twining, author of a September 23, 1947 memo stated that the “phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious” and that “the reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates of climb, manoeuvrability (particularly in roll), and action which must be considered evasive when sighted or contacted by friendly air-craft and radar, lend belief to the possibility that some of the objects are controlled either manually, automatically or remotely.”

The sightings over the White House rocked local consciousness and were being reported by every major American newspaper at the time. They caused so much of a stir that President Truman held a press conference to answer questions about the event. During that conference, he admitted that government officials “discuss” this topic “in every meeting” that the administration has with the military. He went on to say that “there’s always things like that going on, UFO’s and they’ve had other things you know.”

I counted 9, the night that I saw them they were round, the typical disk type aircraft, spacecraft. But they were there, they were illuminated, they were quite visible, their configuration was quite conspicuous. – Colonel Ross Dedrickson (source)

Why This Is Important: The UFO topic truly leaves no aspect of humanity untouched. When it comes to history, science, understanding the nature of our reality, and learning more about ourselves, the realization that we’re not alone is quite significant. Not to mention that we have been visited and are still being visited by intelligent beings that are not human. It can be a difficult topic to navigate, and doing so can sometimes leave us feeling more confused than before we started researching the subject. This topic is perhaps the biggest paradigm buster we may ever experience.

I can tell you that when UFOs were a “conspiracy theory,” there was ample and legit evidence clearly suggesting the phenomenon was real. Yet not enough were exposed to it, and we waited on mainstream thought to tell us when it was OK to talk about it. We tend to put the conspiracy label on topics that simply go against what we currently believe as opposed to what is true. In this process we ignore evidence and remain emotional on topics while thinking we are being logical. This is done with many other topics as well.

But the big question that remains on many people’s minds today is: are these craft ET, or manmade? Who’s flying them? I can tell you based on my research that, yes, some of them indeed are ET, and in my opinion, the evidence makes that quite clear.

In a field that’s been plagued with disinformation, it can be difficult to arrive at any sort of truth/conclusion about the subject. That being said, and I’m speculating, I believe if there are others out there, perhaps some of them would like to see us change things around on our own planet. Perhaps become more peaceful, harmonious and less destructive. Perhaps in this sense, contact would be more common.

I personally feel that somehow, in some way the UFO/ET phenomenon, or at least a part of it, has something to do with pushing us to achieve the things listed above, and it has to do with our consciousness. We have so much potential to create an incredible experience on this planet, where all life can thrive, but we hold it back with our limiting beliefs, states of consciousness and inability to open our minds. Perhaps the ET phenomenon helps with that process more than we think.

This article (An Authentic Video of The “Flying Saucers” That Flew Over Washington In 1952) was originally created for Collective Evolution and is published here under Creative Commons.

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Amazing New Siberian Mammoth Remains May Lead To Cloning Breakthrough

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Photo Credit: Artem Cheremisov / Siberian Times

Russian scientists have retrieved the nearly complete remains of a woolly mammoth in Russia. The Siberian mammoth remains are so well-preserved that they still have flesh and hair. These remains are up to 10,000 years old and they could play an important role in the international race to recreate prehistoric beasts in laboratories. The remains of the prehistoric creature were found not far from the village of Seyakha. The find was first spotted by members of a local indigenous community in Lake Pechenelava, on the Yamal Peninsula. Siberia has been unusually warm this summer with massive wildfires in many areas of this remote and vast region. However, the hot weather also made it possible to release the Siberian mammoth remains from the permafrost.

Part of the recently found Siberian mammoth remains and two members of the local indigenous community that first spotted the find. (Image: Artem Cheremisov / Siberian Times)
Part of the recently found Siberian mammoth remains and two members of the local indigenous community that first spotted the find. (Image: Artem Cheremisov / Siberian Times)
10,000-Year-Old Siberian Mammoth Remains Are Almost Perfect

Experts from the Scientific Centre for Arctic studies arrived at the scene where the mammoth remains were found and began an investigation. They managed to retrieve the 90% of the remains of the mammoth making it a spectacular discovery. The Daily Mail reports that the animal is going to be called ‘Tadibe after its finder Konstantin Tadibe, a reindeer herder living near the lake where the mammoth was found.’

Initial investigations have revealed that the mammoth was a 10-foot-tall male teenager that died about 10,000 years ago. Evgenia Khozyainova, who took part in the study, stated that ‘We have one front and one hind foot well preserved, with tendons, soft tissues and pieces of skin,’ according to the Daily Mail. Also found was the creature’s sacrum, some vertebrae and most of its tail, complete with pieces of skin and muscle. Archaeologist Andrey Gusev told The Siberian Times that ‘We managed to extract part of the skeleton, another part of it is still underwater and clay.’

Researchers at the sight where the Siberian mammoth remains were discovered. (Image: Artem Cheremisov / Siberian Times)
Evidence Suggests the Mammoth Died of Natural Causes

The mammoth remains taken from the watery bank of the lake have been safely stored away in a special refrigeration unit.  Unfortunately, the animal’s brain was not preserved which was something of a disappointment. The Siberian Times states ‘so far there is only one preserved brain found in 2014 in Yakutia on a woolly mammoth called Yuka.’ Moreover, no tusks were retrieved in the recent find. They could have been taken by humans or simply fell off.

There is no evidence to suggest that the mammoth was killed by prehistoric hunters. Although marks on the bones indicate that at some time the remains of the prehistoric creature were scavenged. Dr Pavel Kosintsev speculates that ‘The mammoth may have become stuck in an ice crevice and been unable to escape’ reports the Daily Mail.

The yellow soft tissues preserved on bone piece that was part of the newly discovered woolly mammoth found in Siberia. (Image: Artem Cheremisov / Siberian Times)
This Ancient Mammoth’s Soft Tissues Are Perfect for Cloning

It is exceedingly rare to find so many bones from one animal. Also found was some fossilized excrement, known as a coprolite. Dmitry Frolov, of the Arctic Research Centre, is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying that ‘The coprolite was left by this very mammoth.’ This discovery can provide scientists with considerable detail about the extinct mammoth eating habits.

However, this amazing find is particularly important because it provides superbly preserved dead mammoth DNA which can be used in cloning experiments. Teams, from Russia, USA, Japan, and South Korea are all desperately trying to clone ancient animals in test-tubes. The soft tissue found on Tadibe could provide the DNA key for researchers to bring woolly mammoths back to life, much like the movie Jurassic Park. The Russian federal government has funded a laboratory in Siberia to help them to win the race to clone a mammoth, which has become a matter of national prestige.

A selection of the Siberian mammoth remains discovered at Seyakha Lake (Image: Artem Cheremisov / Siberian Times)
A selection of the Siberian mammoth remains discovered at Seyakha Lake (Image: Artem Cheremisov / Siberian Times)
Mammoth Graveyard

Mammoths once roamed over much of Eurasia. They are closely related to modern elephants, but they were twice their size. They had remarkable tusks and trunks that could pick up even small objects. These creatures had coats of long wool that allowed them to survive in the Arctic and they were herbivores. Mammoths were hunted by men and it is believed that overhunting along with climate change contributed to the extinction of these giants of the tundra, some 4000 years ago.

The world’s most complete and best-preserved mammoth, nicknamed Lyuba, was also discovered on the Yamal Peninsula in 2007. Experts hope that the lake and the area around it will reveal many more ancient remains. They believe that just like Tadibe, other woolly elephants died here and were forever preserved in the permafrost. There could be a mammoth graveyard hidden in the silt and water, waiting to be found.

This article (Amazing New Siberian Mammoth Remains May Lead to Cloning Breakthrough) was originally created for Ancient Origins and is published here under Creative Commons.

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Loftus Hall, Ireland’s Most Haunted Mansion, Just Went On The Market

As legend has it, Loftus Hall hosted the devil himself and has been haunted since the 18th century.

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Originally built as a castle in 1170, the property is now a renovated mansion.

Built in 1170, Loftus Hall is an architectural site to behold. The beautiful Georgian mansion in Fethard on Sea in Ireland’s County Wexford is now on sale for $2.87 million. Prospective buyers should take more than the 22 bedrooms into account, however — namely the local legend that it was once inhabited by the devil.

According to The Smithsonian, it’s said that an 18th century card game at the historic property culminated in one of the players revealing his cloven hooves to the owner’s daughter.

As the story goes, she was traumatized for the rest of her life — and her spirit has wandered the halls ever since.

Loftus Hall’s most recent owners have taken strongly to their property’s backstory, offering visitors haunted tours and overnight stays.

If you’ve got the coin, the mansion can be yours, for good. Beware, however, as ghostly silhouettes allegedly stand in the windows at night — and the legends may be true.

The Legend of Loftus Hall

The wind was howling, as cold rain poured from the thundering skies. It was a dour Irish evening in the 18th century — one that came with a mysterious rapping at the door.

Shane and Aiden Quigley renovated the Italian staircase and stained-glass skylight.
Shane and Aiden Quigley renovated the Italian staircase and stained-glass skylight.

The Tottenham family of Loftus Hall didn’t find this unusual, however, as their private shoreline was often used by sailors in stormy weather. They offered the man at the door shelter for several days. He befriended his hosts and took a particular liking to one of their daughters, Anne.

Keen on a bit of socializing and fun, the group sat down to play a game of cards. It was then that Anne dropped her ring (or, by some accounts, a card), and saw something that altered the course of her life. Leaning down, she realized their guest didn’t have human legs — but cloven hooves, instead.

The property spans 27,124 square feet.

Anne screamed in terror, as the entity they had invited into their home escaped through the ceiling. A loud clap of thunder erupted right after, and a cloud of smoke appeared, leaving the family engulfed by the scent of sulphur. Anne never recovered from the incident.

She went into seclusion in a chamber and died young soon after. According to some, particularly visitors to the almost thousand-year-old mansion, her spirit still wanders the halls.

However, there’s much more to the mansion’s colourful history than this haunting.

The History of Loftus Hall

Originally, a Norman knight named Raymond le Gros built a castle there in 1170. According to Atlas Obscura, he wanted to assimilate into Irish society, despite having tirelessly fought to conquer its people, and changed his name to Redmond.

When the Black Plague arrived in 1350, his descendants replaced the castle with a modern structure — a mansion that became known as Redmond Hall. After passing through the hands of numerous owners during Oliver Cromwell’s brutal conquest of the island, the Hall was purchased by an English family named Loftus.

The private shoreline was commonly used as refuge by sailors in olden times during turbulent weather.
The private shoreline was commonly used as refuge by sailors in olden times during turbulent weather.

Between 1865 and 1875, the building underwent extensive renovations. Adding to the eerie history of this place, an infant’s remains were found hidden in the walls of the tapestry room during the remodel.

That room was where Anne secluded herself after her supposed brush with the devil. Some have theorized that the legend was fabricated to hide a scandalous truth — namely that Anne was impregnated out of wedlock, potentially by the visitor, and subsequently let her baby die.

In the end, only questions regarding the Loftus Hall legend remain as time itself and the home’s new owner’s forge ahead.

Loftus Hall in Modern Day

Current owners Shane and Aidan Quigley purchased Loftus Hall for $800,000 in 2011. Though the mansion appears to have a rather solid foundation and good bones within its structure, the two resourceful homeowners decided to give it a proper renovation. The property’s ominous character, however, was actively retained.

The Quigleys have offered both haunted tours and overnight stays since renovating the home.
The Quigleys have offered both haunted tours and overnight stays since renovating the home.

The 22-bedroom mansion served as a convent and hotel during the 20th century but was in a rather derelict state by the time the Quigleys bought it. The most substantial renovation work consisted of restoring the Italian staircase, stain-glassed skylight, and adding a reception and café area.

With such an engrossing story on their hands, the Quigleys opted to use the ominous legend to their advantage. From offering haunted tours throughout the property to overnight programs allowing people to experience the creaking residence for themselves — they’ve put it to lucrative use.

Replacing the mansion’s 97 windows alone would cost a whopping $400,000.

Despite all this, the 27,124-square-foot property is in dire need of further renovation. Replacing the 97 windows will cost an estimated $400,000 — making Aiden Quigley’s preference to sell rather than further renovate fairly understandable. Nonetheless, he’s open to some ideas.

I’m not just going to sell it to anyone,” he said. “I’ll be interviewing potential buyers. If a state body comes in, that’s an option. If an American owner wants to live here, I’d be keen to work with them to restore it.”

On the subject of the rumoured haunting, Quigley said, “There is always a feeling that you are not alone in Loftus Hall.”

This article (Loftus Hall, Ireland’s Most Haunted Mansion, Just Went On The Market) was originally created for All That Interesting and is published here under Creative Commons.

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The Mysterious Tale Of The Man From Taured – Evidence For Parallel Universes? Or An Embellishment?

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Parallel Universes MAN
Photo Credit: Ancient Origins

The Man from Taured (sometimes referred to as the Taured Mystery or the Man without a Country) is a story about a man who arrives at a Japanese airport from a country called Taured. Many people have claimed this story to be true, so the crux of the problem pertains to Taured. One would notice that there is no country by the name of Taured, either today or during the purported period of time when the incident took place, i.e. the 1950s. The story ends with the man disappearing (forever) a day after arriving in Japan. Moreover, all of his personal documents, such as his passport and driver’s license also (conveniently) disappeared, thus making this strange story unsolvable.

The Man’s Arrival

The story of the ‘Man from Taured’ begins quite specifically in many sources with a hot day in July 1954. On that particular day, a man was said to have arrived at Haneda Airport, known also as Tokyo International Airport. This man has been described as Caucasian looking with a beard. Whilst his primary language is said to have been French, it has been purported that he spoke Japanese and many other languages as well. So far, there is nothing extraordinary to note..

Customs service at Haneda Airport in 1950s. (Public Domain)
Customs service at Haneda Airport in 1950s. (Public Domain)

The sequence of events then differs according to which version of the story one encounters. In one version, this man hands over his passport to be stamped, and the Japanese immigration officer notices something strange. Whilst the passport looked authentic, the country where it was issued, ‘Taured’, was recognized as non-existent, either by the officer or one of his / her colleagues, indicating that the man should be taken away for interrogation. In another version, the man mentioned that he was from Taured, and when the immigration officer did not believe him, he showed him / her his passport.

Location of Taured

The next part of the story details the man trying to convince the immigration officers that Taured does indeed exist. According to the traveller, Taured was located between France and Spain, and had by then been in existence for 1000 years.

When shown a map, the man pointed to the area occupied by the Principality of Andorra, and was puzzled as to why his country was called Andorra on the map. Both sides refused to give in – the Japanese officers insisted that Taured did not exist, and the traveller argued otherwise.

Location of Andorra (center of green circle) in Europe (dark grey). (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Location of Andorra (center of green circle) in Europe (dark grey). (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Vanished!

Eventually, the man was held by the officers, as they were suspicious that he might be some kind of criminal. They brought him to a nearby hotel for the night, whilst they conducted their investigation. To ensure that the man did not escape during the night, two guards were placed outside his room. The next morning, when the officers went to the man’s room, they realized that he had simply vanished, as there were no signs of his escape. Additionally, all of his personal documents, which may serve as evidence for the story’s validity, had apparently disappeared as well.

Travel through Time or Space? Or Just an Exaggeration?

One of the most notable explanations for this incident is that the man from Taured had somehow passed through a parallel dimension by accident, and ended up at Haneda Airport. It has been suggested that, based on this explanation, there is a parallel earth which is similar to ours with the exception that the locations called Andorra here is known as Taured over there. Another suggestion is that the man was a time traveller from the future, thou this interpretation is arguably more problematic than the one supposing inter-dimensional travel.

Going to a different dimension. (UFOvnis/Youtube Screenshot)
Going to a different dimension. (UFOvnis/Youtube Screenshot)

It has also been suggested that an incident like that did indeed happen, though perhaps much less sensational. This more mundane story could have been embellished each time it was told, so much so that it eventually evolved into the great mystery that it is known as today.

Finally, it is also entirely possible that this story is merely an urban legend. The story of the ‘Man from Taured’ might not have even occurred in the first place, and may have just been the creation of someone’s imagination.

This article (The Mysterious Tale Of The Man From Taured – Evidence For Parallel Universes? Or An Embellishment?) was originally created for Ancient Origins and is published here under Creative Commons.

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