Forteana

Recent Posts in the 'Forteana' Category

P2 – A Proven Masonic Conspiracy

The annals of conspiracy theory are predominantly populated with the unprovable. Some theories simply aren’t valid, and can never be substantiated. Some are so well hidden within government that the truth may not come to light for centuries. Some, such as Bohemian Grove, are so poorly hidden that the only reason they haven’t been publicly broken open is a general lack of public knowledge. But one conspiracy, Masonic in origin, was catapulted into the sunshine one day in March of 1981 when the Italian police searched the home of Worshipful Master Licio Gelli and found a list containing the names of some of Italy’s most prominent officials, including that of Silvio Berlusconi, a man who would become Premier of Italy and a personal friend of George W. Bush.

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The Underground – Cities and Subcultures Beneath the Earth

Most people like to live in the sunlight. The warm, refreshing breezes of a late spring day are irresistible to the majority of us. We spend our vacations on the beach, and we live in houses with windows optimized to let the sunlight in. Some of us try to live even closer to the sun by taking up residence in high-rise apartment buildings that mimic Icarus in steel. Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule. Beyond the night culture that lives their daytime in the middle of the night, some people simply aren’t happy unless they spend at least part of their lives underground.

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Premonitions of War and Historic Prophecies

The ability to predict the outcome of an event through a vision or dream, otherwise known as a premonition, is among the most ancient and widespread of human activities. It crosses so many different cultures involving so many different time periods that it might even be be considered synonymous with the word human. From tribal shamanistic predictions of the success of a hunt, to a person foreseeing a plane crash, premonitions are seen in all levels of society and still happen abundantly in the modern world. They have even served to shape western civilization, and the ranks of the prophetic include everyone from emperors and popes to the common man.

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Nemesis – Does Another Star Orbit Our Sun?

Some years ago a scientist by the name of Richard Muller formulated a controversial theory regarding the possibility of a second star that may orbit our sun in the outer reaches of the solar system. Formulated in 1983, the theory was designed in part to explain a seemingly regular interval of 26 million years between mass extinctions on earth. Its now widely accepted that these extinctions do occur, one of them killed the dinosaurs,  and were normally the result of asteroid or comet impacts. But what sent these objects careening toward earth every 26 million years? Muller believed it might just be due to a second star.

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Unexplained Materials Falling from the Heavens

We’ve all heard the accounts of strange things falling from the skies. Everything from squid, fish, frogs, cows, and blood have been reported. Recently a woman saw worms falling in Louisiana, and in India, blood red rain was seen. Most of these incidents can be explained, usually by a waterspout or tornado. In the case of the cows, a Russian aircraft was blamed, and the ‘blood’ turned out to be water colored by a micro-organism.

Even the bible gets in on the game, relating plagues of frogs and brimstone falling from the heavens to punish Pharoah. Brimstone, thought to be sulfur, raining down as part of God’s wrath has been lacking since biblical times. But something akin to it may have fallen in New Jersey in 1833. But it wasn’t sulfur, it was Jelly. In the town of Rahway people saw what they described as firey rain falling, and on the ground were lumps of a gelatinous substance. By afternoon the jelly had dissappeared, leaving in its place white particles.

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The Sudarium of Oviedo

Lying in the Cathedral of Oviedo, Spain in relative obscurity compared to its more famous cousin, the Sudarium presents a better provenance and history than the Shroud and may be the sole surviving relic of the crucifixion that has made it to modern times. Measuring 34″ by 21″, the Sudarium is a bloodstained cloth purported to have covered the head of Jesus of Nazareth after his burial. The cloth is mentioned to have been in the tomb in John 20:6-7 described as a cloth separate from the shroud. It isn’t mentioned again until 570 A.D. when it was being kept by monks in a cave near Jerusalem. In 614, just before the Sasanian King of Persia Khusru II conquered Jerusalem, the cloth was taken to Alexandria, and within just a few years made its way to Spain through North Africa. Its been there ever since.

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Spring Heeled Jack Revisited

Among the oddest criminal cases in history is that of Spring-Heeled Jack. Starting in 1837, with a sighting as recent as 1987, this paranormal creature was said to be capable of very high leaps reminiscent of someone bouncing on springs, wore a tight fitting helmet and skin-tight clothing described as something like an oil skin, and was claimed to exhale blue flame and complete with red glowing eyes. Often dismissed as a folktale, there was a very disturbing aspect to the creature that could only be taken as attempted sexual assault. In October of 1837 Mary Stevens, who worked as a servant girl, was walking near Clapham common, a 200 acre grassy area in south London. The creature leapt at her, grabbed her by the arms, and began kissing her and ripping her clothing off. She began screaming, caught the attention of others nearby and the creature fled. This is not typical of Victorian period romanticized folktales, which generally contain just about everything except sex.

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On Man Eating Trees and Mongolian Death Worms

The twin fields of cryptozoology and crypto-botany are bursting with tales of strange and unusual plants and animals. While the public at large is generally aware of such cryptid superstars as the Loch Ness Monster and the Sasquatch, few have ever heard of the Man-Eating Trees of Madagascar, or the Mongolian Death worms.

In 1881 a magazine called the South Australian Register ran a story by a traveler called Carle Liche. He tells us that while travelling through Madagascar, he was horrified to watch the native Mdoko tribe sacrifice a woman to a man-eating tree. He stated that the places the woman near the tree, and after laying there for a few seconds, the tree’s tendrils took the woman by the neck and strangled her, before apparently engulfing the body. In his 1924 book “Madagascar, land of the man-eating tree” former Michigan Governor Chase Osborn recounted Liche’s tale, and mentioned that missionaries and locals in Madagascar all knew of the deadly tree. Unfortunately, Liche’s accounts may have been an exaggeration, as both the Mdoko tribe nor the man-eating tree have ever been found, and the governor may simply have been embellishing a little bit more to make for good reading.


 

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