Category Archives: History

Genomes link aboriginal Australians to Indians

Some aboriginal Australians can trace as much as 11% of their genomes to migrants who reached the island around 4,000 years ago from India, a study suggests. Along with their genes, the migrants brought different tool-making techniques and the ancestors of the dingo, researchers say1. This scenario is the result of a large genetic analysis… Read More »

Is the end of the world really nigh? Authorities reassure Russians over Mayan Armageddon prophecy amid reports of ‘unusual behaviour’

As the 21st of December nears, Russian authorities are attempting to quell fears that the world will come to end amid panic over what some experts claim are the predictions of the Mayan Calendar. According to the New York Times, there have been scattered reports of unusual behaviour from across Russia, reportedly prompted by predictions… Read More »

WWII pigeon message stumps GCHQ decoders

Britain’s top code-breakers say they are stumped by a secret code found on the leg of a dead pigeon. The remains of the bird were found in a chimney in Surrey with a message from World War II attached. Experts at the intelligence agency GCHQ have been struggling to decipher the message since they were… Read More »

Maunsell Forts

The Maunsell Forts were small fortified towers built in the Thames and Mersey estuaries during the Second World War to help defend the United Kingdom. They were named after their designer, Guy Maunsell. The forts were decommissioned in the late 1950s and later used for other activities. One became the Principality of Sealand; boats visit… Read More »

Quest to crack secrets of lost D-Day pigeon

… a carrier pigeon dispatched by the invasion force to relay secret messages back across the Channel never made it home to its base. Instead the bird got stuck in a chimney only to be discovered 70 years later, it’s secret communique still attached to its skeleton in a red capsule. The message is so… Read More »

Buddhist statue from Tibet with Nazi symbol confirmed to have extraterrestrial origin

A Buddhist statue brought to Germany from Tibet by a Nazi-backed expedition has been confirmed as having an extraterrestrial origin. Known as the ‘iron man’, the 24-centimetre-high sculpture may represent the god Vaiśravaṇa and was likely created from a piece of the Chinga meteorite that was strewn across the border region between Russia and Mongolia… Read More »

Nikola Tesla: The patron saint of geeks?

Fans have rallied to buy the lab of inventor and electricity pioneer Nikola Tesla to turn it into a museum. But why do so few people appreciate the importance of Tesla’s work? Lots of people don’t know who Nikola Tesla was. He’s less famous than Einstein. He’s less famous than Leonardo. He’s arguably less famous… Read More »

Thalidomide drug scandal a Nazi war crime?

The over-the-counter tranquilizer was hailed as a wonder drug when released in the late 1950s. Its maker, Chemie Grünenthal, a small German company relatively new to pharmacology, marketed it aggressively in 46 countries with the guarantee that it could be “given with complete safety to pregnant women and nursing mothers without any adverse effect on… Read More »

Joe South, singer of Games People Play, dies aged 72

Joe South, who won two Grammys in 1969 for his magnificent protest song Games People Play, has died at the age of 72. The song, which took its name from a book by psychoanalyst Dr Eric Berne, has been covered by hundreds of musicians including Dolly Parton, Petula Clark, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ike… Read More »

That Time a German Prince Built an Artificial Volcano

The smoke began rising above the farm fields and tidy forests of Woerlitz last Saturday morning, puffs of white and black that signaled something unusual. By sunset, thousands of people had gathered on the shores of an artificial lake, listening avidly to ominous rumbles. Dozens more, tipsy with schnapps and wine, floated in candlelit gondolas… Read More »

Japan’s ‘last ninja’ reveals his training secrets

A 63-YEAR-old former engineer may not fit the typical image of a dark-clad assassin with deadly weapons who can disappear into a cloud of smoke. But Jinichi Kawakami is reputedly Japan’s last ninja. As the 21st head of the Ban clan, a line of ninjas that can trace its history back some 500 years, Kawakami… Read More »

Cold War Spy Tunnel Under Berlin Found After 56 Years

A section of an ingenious tunnel built by U.S. and British spies to intercept Russian phone conversations in Cold War Berlin has been found after 56 years in a forest 150 kilometers from the German capital. The 450-meter-long tunnel, built in 1955, led from Rudow in West Berlin to Alt-Glienicke in Soviet-occupied East Berlin. By… Read More »

The Psychedelic Cult That Thrived For Nearly 2000 Years

… The longest lasting “mystery” religion of the Greco-Roman period spanned nearly 2000 years, extending out of Mycenean traditions (approx. 1500 BC) and the Greek Dark Ages. The Eleusinian Mysteries are named for their origin in the city of Eleusis, but the religion centers on the story of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, and her… Read More »

Lost da Vinci painting found in Scottish farmhouse?

For years it sat on a farmhouse wall gathering dust. And when Fiona McLaren redecorated, she didn’t even take the time to cover the apparently worthless painting in a protective sheet, so it got flicked in specks of paint. However, in an astounding twist it has emerged that the picture is likely to have been… Read More »

Turkey scrambles F-16 jets on Syria border

Turkey has scrambled six F-16 fighter jets near its border with Syria after Syrian helicopters came close to the border, the country’s army says. Six jets were sent to the area in response to three such incidents on Saturday, the statement said, adding that there was no violation of Turkish airspace. Last month, Syrian forces… Read More »

Elvis Presley crypt pulled from auction

1 day ago 1 day ago The crypt in which Elvis Presley was first buried has been withdrawn from a Los Angeles auction after protests it should be kept as a shrine. More than 10,000 fans signed a petition against the sale of the tomb at Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee. Julien’s Auctions said it would not sell… Read More »

DNA clues to Queen of Sheba tale

An Ethiopian fresco supposedly depicting the Queen of Sheba traveling to Solomon. Clues to the origins of the Queen of Sheba legend are written in the DNA of some Africans, according to scientists. Genetic research suggests Ethiopians mixed with Egyptian, Israeli or Syrian populations about 3,000 years ago. This is the time the queen, mentioned… Read More »

Super Insects, Thank Monsanto

… A new generation of insect larvae is eating the roots of genetically engineered corn intended to be resistant to such pests. The failure of Monsanto’s genetically modified Bt corn could be the most serious threat ever to a genetically modified crop in the U.S. And the economic impact could be huge. Billions of dollars… Read More »

Flipping the Bird: Origin

I spoke to a native of China last night who assured me that everyone in China knows the same meaning of flipping someone off as Americans. When I asked about the origin, she said it came from the war between Germany and Poland. The German soldiers pulled their gun triggers with this finger and a… Read More »

How Maurice Ward Took a Secret Super-Material to His Grave

In 1990, an amateur inventor called Maurice Ward appeared on British TV demonstrating a super-material he’d invented without any scientific training. Called Starlite, it could withstand temperatures of 1000 °C, was hard enough to drill holes in walls, and could easily be painted on to surfaces. In 2011 Ward sadly passed away—without ever having explained… Read More »

Author: Jack the Ripper was a WOMAN

A BIRMINGHAM author has caused a storm among historians by claiming Jack the Ripper was a WOMAN. Former solicitor John Morris, 62, has named Welsh-born Lizzie Williams as the Whitechapel monster – and claims she killed her victims because she could not have children. Lizzie was wife of royal physician Sir John Williams, himself seen… Read More »

Did an English expedition BEAT Columbus to the Americas?

Record of bank loan to sailor who found North America in 1497 hints that others may have been there first Although Christopher Columbus is widely credited as the ‘discoverer’ of America, a new loan form to the first sailor to find North America hints that other expeditions might have found the continent BEFORE 1492. The… Read More »

US Rail Width from Roman Chariots?

There is a rumor circulating that the width of railway wheels resulted from the design of Roman chariots. This is not true. Example of the rumor: “The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. … So, a major Space Shuttle… Read More »

Why Some Civil War Soldiers Glowed in the Dark

Some of the Shiloh soldiers sat in the mud for two rainy days and nights waiting for the medics to get around to them. As dusk fell the first night, some of them noticed something very strange: their wounds were glowing, casting a faint light into the darkness of the battlefield. Even stranger, when the… Read More »

New twist to history of solar system

The early days of our solar system might look quite different than previously thought, claim physicists. In its research, a team at the US department of energy’s Argonne National Laboratory used sensitive instruments to find a different half-life for samarium, one of the isotopes used to chart the evolution of the solar system. “It shrinks… Read More »

DNA reveals that cows were almost impossible to domesticate

Breeding of Iranian Aurochs resulted in all modern cattle.  Image: Modern breed of Aurochs, “rebred” to the original   Cows are quite possibly the most important domesticated animal in human history, providing vast quantities of meat, dairy products, leather, and let’s not forget manure for fertilizer. And yet DNA analysis reveals ancient humans almost didn’t… Read More »

A Second Roswell?

Ray Grasse uncovers a new eye-witness account of a crashed vehicle and dead bodies near Roswell … … is it possible the now-famous incident at the Roswell Air Force Base in July of 1947, where witnesses claimed to have encountered the wreckage of one or more crashed UFO’s in the New Mexico desert, was followed… Read More »

Five hundred new fairytales discovered in Germany

… A whole new world of magic animals, brave young princes and evil witches has come to light with the discovery of 500 new fairytales, which were locked away in an archive in Regensburg, Germany for over 150 years. The tales are part of a collection of myths, legends and fairytales, gathered by the local… Read More »

Museum discovers ‘new’ Van Gogh painting

A painting dismissed for years as the work of an unknown artist has been identified as a piece by Vincent Van Gogh, after x-rays revealed an image of two wrestlers fighting underneath the floral still life. “Still Life with Meadow Flowers and Roses” has hung in the Kroeller-Mueller Museum in the town of Otterlo, in… Read More »

Fidel Castro and the assassination of President John F Kennedy

…It is one of history’s most enduring mysteries and has kept conspiracy theorists buzzing for half a century: did Fidel Castro have a hand in the assassination of President John F Kennedy? Officially, the Cuban dictator was cleared of involvement in the shooting of his fiercest adversary. The inquiry into the murder concluded that Lee… Read More »

Lake Vostok: Russian scientists drilling into ‘alien’ Antarctic lake buried for 20m years

Russian scientists drill into Antarctic lake buried under the ice for 20 million years, amid extraordinary claims the Nazis may have got there first Russian scientists have finally drilled down through four kilometres of Antarctic ice to a lake that has been sealed for the last 20 million years. Veteran Antarctic researcher Professor John Priscu… Read More »