Thursday, June 25, 2009

CT scans reveal mummies' long-lost secrets

A long line of hospital staff wraps around the corridor outside a small conference room in New York to catch a glimpse of the precious cargo.

Inside are the three frail bodies in open wooden crates causing all the commotion. Another body -- a prince no less -- is a few rooms down in a computer tomography scanner.

The bodies are part of the Brooklyn Museum's collection of 11 Egyptian mummies, transported to the North Shore University Hospital to be scanned. The goal: Find out who they are, how they might have died and establish a chronology of advances in ancient Egypt's mummification techniques.

The process is not necessarily new. Egyptian mummies have been exposed to radiographic study since 1896 and CT scans, which conducts imaging by sections, for more than two decades.

Perhaps the most famous of them, King Tutankhamun (c. 1355-346 B.C.), was scanned in 2005 right outside the vault that holds his sarcophagus. The scan resulted in more than 17,000 images that were analyzed by an international team of radiologists, pathologists and anatomists, led by the world-renowned Zahi Hawass, the secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.

The scope and ability of CT scan technology are proving invaluable in learning more about the funeral rituals of ancient Egyptians and the mummies themselves. Whereas conventional X-rays cannot clearly distinguish soft tissue from bone and can see only two planes, CT scanning can differentiate among the various types of bone and soft tissue, and reconstruct three-dimensional images that "show fine detail inside coronary arteries down to 0.6 millimeters" said Amgad Makaryus, director of cardiac CT and magnetic resonance imaging at North Shore, providing a better chance at diagnosis and differentiation among diseases.

"CT has proved to be exceptionally well-suited for studying the fragile, wrapped figures of Egyptian mummies, especially those still contained within their decorated plasterlike shells, or cartonnages," according to an article by a team of eight researchers, led by Derek N.H. Notman, published in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

UFO's of the 19th Century

Article by Cristina Aguilar

For decades, these UFO sightings have been explained away as meteors or other things. But what is interesting that before the Wright brothers launched an airplane, flying crafts were already visible in the skies. None of these crafts could really be explained away as weather balloons or meteorites, to witnesses of the 1800s the crafts were not from this earth.

The Wright Brothers may have been the first to put an machine into the sky, but people had been looking up at flying aircraft for decades before the brothers launched the first airplane.

Reports of UFOs were recorded in newspapers of the 19th century, among the most famous was written in the St. Louis Democrat, Oct. 19, 1865. That article appeared two weeks later in The Cincinnati Commercial, bringing more public awareness to UFOs. The account was of an old Montana fir trapper by the name of James Lumley who saw a UFO fly over him and crash into the forest, exploding like a rocket. The story picked up by the Missouri Democrat and other newspapers, which contributed to national attention or awareness of alien spacecraft.

Most fur trappers may tell tales of Indians, or bears, or mountain lions, but Lumley's account of a flying saucer that crashed into Cadotte Pass was among the most explicit and remains a mystery to this day. It is said that debris from the crash may still be up there, but few there has been no findings since. Nevertheless the story has remained one of the most mysterious of the 1800s.

Lumley was about 175 miles above the Upper Missouri in Great Falls Montana. He was on his way back to his camp site when he saw a "bright luminous body in the heavens." It went rapidly into an eastern direction and was plainly visible for about five seconds. As it flew Lumley saw it burst into an explosion in the sky and he later heard an explosion. It was shortly followed by a strong wind through the forest like a tornado, and the event left the air smelling like sulfur.

The next day, after walking two miles, he saw a path "several rods wide" made through the forest. He followed the path and discovered an object or rather a stone on the side of the mountain. What was unusual about this stone is that it had strange hieroglyphics and glass in it. Lumley felt the fragment he had found had come from an immense body and that the hieroglyphics must have been used for some purpose and made by human hands.

Read complete article at

Ukraine: UFO lands in village, multiple wintesses

Michael Cohen

Reports of a UFO landing in a small rural village are filtering out from the Ukraine. Residents of the village of Brailov are insisting that they were woken up to an intensely bright white light in the middle of the night, earlier this month.

The residents, mostly farmers, are also claiming that electrical surges and a strange feeling of electrical currents passing through their bodies accompanied the light.

In the morning after the UFO event three unusual imprints consisting of 'wheels with wheels' arranged in triangular formation were seen on the ground of one of the resident's yards.

The witnesses included 82 year grandmother old Helena Ganzyuk, her daughter 56 year old Nadezhda Ganzyuk and 24 year old Helena Petrovskaya. After the event a number of residents, including some witnesses, became ill.

Symptoms of their illnesses included vomiting and high temperature. Emergency services were called in from Kiev and radioactivity was measured. Radioactiviy levels were high but not extreme. Metal traces were identified and dirt samples removed for analysis.

The residents believe a UFO of extraterrestrial origin might have been responsible for the incident.

Read original story at

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UFO-spotting Turkish night-watchman regards aliens as 'the world's policemen'

WITH HIS neatly clipped moustache and checked shirt buttoned up to his neck, 51-year-old Yalcin Yalman doesn’t look like a typical trendsetter.

But the images he has filmed since 2007 from the suburban Istanbul holiday village where he works as a night-watchman have helped turn UFO-spotting, once the object of scorn, into a popular pastime among educated Turks.

“For me it’s just a hobby, a way of passing the night,” Yalman shrugged outside an Istanbul conference centre where more than 1,000 people had paid 35 lira (€16), a handsome sum by local standards, to listen to him and ufologists from around the world reveal their latest findings.

Holding cups of watery coffee selling at an extortionate three lira, elegantly dressed Turkish ladies with word-perfect English peppered speakers from as far afield as Mexico with questions about 2012 and the end of the Mayan calendar.

Former head of the UK defence ministry’s UFO desk and a well-known ufologist, Nick Pope, one of the speakers at the conference, confessed himself amazed at the turnout.

“Ufology has a bit of an image problem back home – computer nerds, trainspotters, you know,” he said. “But that is not the sense I get here at all. And there seems to be an equal balance between men and women.”

Haktan Akdogan, the organiser of last weekend’s International UFO and New Age Congress, the fourth of its kind in Turkey, put growing domestic interest in UFO sightings down to the increasingly receptive Turkish media, “more sympathetic than the media in the West”.

Read complete story at

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mammoths Roasted in Prehistoric Kitchen Pit

Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

June 3, 2009 -- Central Europe's prehistoric people would likely have been amused by today's hand-sized hamburgers and hot dogs, since archaeologists have just uncovered a 29,000 B.C. well-equipped kitchen where roasted gigantic mammoth was one of the last meals served.

The site, called Pavlov VI in the Czech Republic near the Austrian and Slovak Republic borders, provides a homespun look at the rich culture of some of Europe's first anatomically modern humans.

View a slide show of the prehistoric grill site here.

While contemporaneous populations near this region seemed to prefer reindeer meat, the Gravettian residents of this living complex, described in the latest issue of the journal Antiquity, appeared to seek out more super-sized fare.

"It seems that, in contrast to other Upper Paleolithic societies in Moravia, these people depended heavily on mammoths," project leader Jiri Svoboda told Discovery News.

Svoboda, a professor at the University of Brno and director of its Institute of Archaeology, and colleagues recently excavated Pavlov VI, where they found the remains of a female mammoth and one mammoth calf near a 4-foot-wide roasting pit. Arctic fox, wolverine, bear and hare remains were also found, along with a few horse and reindeer bones.

The meats were cooked luau-style underground. Svoboda said, "We found the heating stones still within the pit and around."

Boiling pits existed near the middle roaster. He thinks "the whole situation -- central roasting pit and the circle of boiling pits -- was sheltered by a teepee or yurt-like structure."

It's unclear if seafood was added to create a surf-and-turf meal, but multiple decorated shells were unearthed. Many showed signs of cut marks, along with red and black coloration. The scientists additionally found numerous stone tools, such as spatulas, blades and saws, which they suggest were good for carving mammoths.


Six Top-Secret Aircraft Mistaken for UFOs

Spy and stealth planes — some with bizarre, bat-shaped wings, others with triangular silhouettes that imply otherworldly designs — have long generated UFO sightings and lore. And official denials feed rumors that the government isn't telling us about alien ships.

The CIA estimates that over half of the UFOs reported from the 1950s through the 1960s were U-2 and SR-71 spy planes.

At the time, the Air Force misled the public and the media to protect these Cold War programs; it's possible the government's responses to current sightings of classified craft — whether manned or remotely operated — are equally evasive.

The result is an ongoing source of UFO reports and conspiracy theories.

Here are the Earth-built craft that likely have lit up 911 switchboards over the years.

1. RQ-3 Darkstar

Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin/Boeing
First Test Flight: 1996
Deployment: None (it was canceled in 1999)
Declassified: 1995
Size: 15 ft long; 69-ft wingspan
Performance: 288 mph (cruising speed); 45,000+ ft (max. alt.)

UFO Link: The official life span of this unmanned spy plane was brief and disappointing, with a crash and a program cancellation after just three years. But in 2003, Aviation Week reported that a similar stealth UAV was being used in Iraq — fueling speculation that the government scrapped the craft publicly only to secretly resurrect it for clandestine missions.

2. U-2

Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin
First Test Flight: 1955
Deployment: 1957 to present
Declassified: 1960
Size: 49 ft long; 80-ft wingspan
Performance: 410 mph (max. speed); 85,000 ft (max. alt.)

Read more at,2933,524997,00.html


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