Friday, November 30, 2012



In 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh dispatched an expedition to the east coast of North America, since Queen Elizabeth I gave him permission to colonize Virginia. He returned from the trip with two American Indians and samples of animals and plants. Between 1585 and 1587, two groups of colonists were left on Roanoke Island (part of the current North Carolina) to secure their settlement seat.

Because of continuing struggles with the natives of the local tribes, the first colony had little food and men to defend the settlement, so when Sir Francis Drake visited them after a raid in the Caribbean and offered to take them back to the England, they accepted and left.

In 1587, 121 new settlers arrived and found the local natives (the Croatans) as being friendly. The first English child born in the Americas was the daughter of one of these settlers. The group tried to be friendly with some other tribes that the colonists had fought earlier, which resulted in the killing of George Howe. The remaining members of the group convinced the leader to return to England and bring help. The leader (John White) returned to England leaving behind ninety men, seventeen women, and eleven children.

When White returned in August 1590, the settlement was deserted. There were no signs of struggle or remains were ever found. The only clue was the word "Croatoan" carved into a post of the fort and "Cro" carved into a nearby tree. The settlement became known as the "Lost Colony" and none of the members were ever seen again till this day.

Their fate became one of the great unsolved mysteries of history.

The Mary Celeste

The Mary Celeste was launched in Nova Scotia in 1860. Its original name was "Amazon". It was 31 feet long, displaced 280 tons and was recorded as a half-brig. For the next 10 years the ship was involved in numerous accidents in the sea, and went through a number of owners. Ultimately it appeared at an auction of "salvation" in which it was purchased for $ 3,000. After many repairs, it was placed on American record and renamed "Mary Celeste".

The new captain of the "Mary Celeste" was Benjamin Briggs, 37, a master with three previous commands. On November 7, 1872, the ship departed New York with Captain Briggs, his wife, young daughter and a crew of eight. The ship was loaded with 1700 barrels of raw American alcohol, bound for Genoa, Italy. The captain, his family and crew were never seen again. The ship was found floating in the middle of the Strait of Gibraltar. There was no sign of struggle on the ship and all documents except the captain's logbook, were missing.

In early 1873, it was reported that two lifeboats stranded in Spain, with a body and an American flag, the other containing five bodies. It has been argued that these must have been the remains of the crew of the Mary Celeste. However, the bodies apparently have never been identified.

The Black Dahlia

"The Black Dahlia" was a nickname given to Elizabeth Short (July 29, 1924 – c. January 15, 1947), a 22 year old American woman who was the victim of a gruesome and much-publicized murder.

Short was found mutilated, her body sliced in half at the waist, on January 15, 1947, in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California. Short's severely mutilated body was severed at the waist and completely drained of blood. Her face had been slashed from the corners of her mouth toward her ears, creating an effect called the Glasgow smile. The body had been washed and cleaned and had been "posed" with her hands over her head and her elbows bent at right angles.

The autopsy stated that Short was 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m) tall, weighed 115 pounds (52 kg), and had light blue eyes, brown hair, and badly decayed teeth. There were ligature marks on her ankles, wrists, and neck.

Short's unsolved murder has been the source of widespread speculation, leading to many suspects, along with several books and film adaptations of the story. As it stands, the case remains unsolved and one of Los Angeles most famous murder cases.

The Hum

"The hum" is a persistent and invasive low-frequency humming noise not audible to all people, heard in many places around the world, especially in the U.S., UK and Northern Europe. Usually heard only in quiet environments, and is often described as appearing to be the sound of a distant diesel engine. Since it was proven to be undetectable by mics or VLF antennae, its source and nature are still a mystery.

In 1997, Congress ordered the scientists and observers from some of the most prestigious research institutes in the nation to investigate a strange low frequency noise heard by residents in and around a small town called Taos, New Mexico. For years those who heard the noise, often described by them as a "hum", have sought answers. Until today, no one knows the cause of the "hum".

The Shroud of Turin

The shroud of Turin is a piece of linen that contains the image of a man who apparently died of crucifixion. Many Catholics consider him as the cloak that wrapped the body of Jesus Christ. It is currently kept in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy.

Despite several scientific investigations, no one has yet been able to explain how the image was imprinted on the shroud, and despite several attempts, no one has yet managed to replicate the feat. Tests of the radiocarbon dated to the Middle Ages, however apologists for the shroud believe it is incorrupt - and carbon dating can only date things which decay.

Previous to the middle ages, reports of the shroud exist as the Image of Edessa - reliably reported since at least the 4th century. In addition, another cloth (the Sudarium) known since biblical times (John 20:7) is said to have covered Christ's head in the tomb. A 1999 study by Mark Guscin, a member of the multidisciplinary investigation team of the Spanish Center Sindonology, investigated the relationship between the two tissues. Based on history, forensic pathology, blood type (the Shroud is reported to have AB blood stains), and stain patterns, he concluded that the two tissues covered the same head at two distinct periods, but close to each other. Avinoam Danin (a researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) concurred with this analysis, adding that the pollen grains on the two tissues are the same.

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