Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mohenjo BOOM-o?

I'm a big fan of the mysterious Indus River Valley ancient civilization of Pakistan. The Indus Valley has given us the two creepy cities known as Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, very cities that look like ancient versions of the suburbs of Communist Bucharest. Boring, generic buildings: no art; defensive citadels dominating the residential centers; even a statutette of a sneering "king." Very little is known about them, as their writing as yet tobe deciphered and there are few accounts of their contemporaries that deal with them. No one knows how they started or ended, in part becaue very few bodies have been found among the ruins of Mohenjo-daro:
[I]n contrast to the well-appointed houses and clean streets, the uppermost levels at Mohenjo Daro contained squalid makeshift dwellings, a careless intermingling of residential and industrial activity and, most significantly, a series of more than 40 sprawled skeletons lying scattered in streets and houses. Paul Bahn (2002) describes the scene: In a room with a public well in one area of the city were found the skeletons of two individuals who appeared desperately to have been using their last scraps of energy to crawl up the stair leading from the room to the street; the tumbled remains of two others lay nearby. Elsewhere in the area the ‘strangely contorted’ and incomplete remains of nine individuals were found, possibly thrown into a rough pit. In a lane between two houses in another area, another six skeletons were loosely covered with earth. Numerous other skeletons were found within layers of rubble, ash and debris, or lying in streets in contorted positions that suggested the agonies of violent death.
For that reason, many archaeologists have concluded that these people violently in a futile effort to defend the city. Except ...
There was no evidence that the skeletons belonged to ‘defenders of the city’ as no weapons were found and the skeletons contained no evidence of violent injuries.
So ...
An alternative theory was put forward that the city suffered extensive flooding and that people died off as a result of water-borne diseases such as cholera. Recent investigations revealed considerable evidence of flooding at Mohenjo Daro in the form of many layers of silty clay. The Indus River was prone to change its course and through the centuries moved gradually eastward, leading periodically to flooding within the bounds of the city. [...] The conclusion that many mainstream archaeologists now make is that the ‘massacre’ victims from Mohenjo Daro were simply the victims of the natural tragedy of fatal disease rather than that of human aggression. But this conclusion also has many holes – why did the remains of individuals appear in contorted positions, almost frozen at the very moment of death? Why did they appear to have been struck down suddenly? Surely if they died of disease their bodies would have been buried and not found scattered around the city?
So, now what?
There exist a growing number of ‘alternative archaeologists’ and researchers who have not settled for theories that do not satisfactorily explain the conditions of the skeletal remains and who have sought other explanations. One such individual is David Davenport, British Indian researcher, who spent 12 years studying ancient Hindu scripts and evidence at the site where the great city once stood. In his book Atomic Destruction in 2000 B.C. he reveals some startling findings: the objects found at the site appeared to be fused, glassified by a heat as high as 1500°C, followed by a sudden cooling. Within the city itself there appeared to be an ‘epicentre’ about 50 yards wide within which everything was crystallized, fused or melted, and sixty yards from the center the bricks are melted on one side indicating a blast. A. Gorbovsky in his book Riddles of Ancient History, reported the discovery of at least one human skeleton in the area with a level of radioactivity approximately 50 times greater than it should have been due to natural radiation. Davenport claimed that what was found at Mohenjo Daro corresponded exactly to what was seen at Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Davenport's theory was met with intense interest from the scientific community. Nationally known expert William Sturm said: “the melting of bricks at Mohenjo Daro could not have been caused by a normal fire”, while Professor Antonio Castellani, a space engineer in Rome said: “it's possible that what happened at Mohenjo Daro was not a natural phenomenon”. Since there is no indication of a volcanic eruption at Mohenjo-Daro, one answer that has been put forward is that the ancient city might have been irradiated by an atomic blast. If true, it would be impossible to ignore the conclusion that ancient civilization possessed high technology.
Yikes! The folks at Ancient Origins think the theory bears some examination:
If Mohanjo Daro was destroyed by a nuclear catastrophe, who created the weapons and how? If not, then what was it that produced enough heat to vitrify rock and bricks? What could explain the high degree of radioactive traces in the skeletons? How did all of them die, in one instant? We believe it is time to stop accepting the sanitized view of the world provided to us by mainstream science and to begin digging a little deeper.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Pearl Harbor and the Fiddler Crab Flu

In case you have been wondering where I have been for the past month, it has been crazy. In mid-November, Rising Sun, Falling Skies was due to the printer, so we had to make the final edits to the text and finish up the maps. We got it turned in on time, and the book is on schedule for its March 2014 release. Just as I turned that in, I got what I think was the flu. Since nowadays every strain of influenza has to be named after an animal, I'm calling it the Fiddler Crab Flu. Because why not? It rendered me literally unable to get out of bed for an entire weekend, then left me with among other things, a shattering cough that destroyed my voice and my ability to sleep. I am still not quite recovered from that. On top of all this, my laptop, from which I do most of my blogging, is dying. It's only ten years old. So I've been struggling to get anything posted. So if some of this post seems a bit dated, you know why.

In the interim we have had, inter alia the anniversary of both the disappearance of Flight 19 in the Atlantic off the Florida coast in 1945 and, obviously, the Pearl Harbor anniversary. The December 7 edition of "Civil Discourse Now" discussed Pearl Harbor, with me as a guest. You can listen to the podcast -- and my shattered voice -- here. In my Veterans Day Post, I shared a picture of the attack by the Japanese Kido Butai on Pearl Harbor. I want to show that picture again, because I want to point out an often overlooked detail.

Look at the far right at the very edge of the picture. Maybe about 40% of the way up. You should see what looks like something poking its nose into the picture. Entering it at maybe a 45-60-degree angle from the horizontal.

We talk about the USS Arizona and her horrific destruction when her forward magazines exploded. And she gets most of the attention. What is often lost in the equation is the sinking of the battleship USS Oklahoma. Disemboweled by Japanese aerial torpedo hits, she capsized and sank into the mud at Pearl Harbor. For her crew trapped below decks almost upside down, it must have been horrific. Most died of suffocation before rescue crews could cut their way through the hull to them.

That angled thing at the right edge of the picture is the mainmast of the Oklahoma in the midst of her capsize. It's one of the few images of any kind of her sinking.

Please do not forget her or her crew.