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3 Legendary Heroes Who May Or May Not Have Existed

From Britain’s most beloved outlaw to the founder of all Turkic peoples, find out more about three historical figures whose existence remains up for debate.

1 – King Arthur. Knight Of Camelot

We’ve all heard stories about King Arthur of Camelot, who according to medieval legend led British forces (including his trusted Knights of the Round Table) in battle against Saxon invaders in the early sixth century. But was King Arthur actually a real person, or simply a hero of Celtic mythology? Though debate has gone on for centuries, historians have been unable to confirm that Arthur really existed. He doesn’t appear in the only surviving contemporary source about the Saxon invasion, in which the Celtic monk Gildas wrote of a real-life battle at Mons Badonicus (Badon Hills) around 500 A.D. Several hundred years later, Arthur appears for the first time in the writings of a Welsh historian named Nennius, who gave a list of 12 battles the warrior king supposedly fought. All drawn from Welsh poetry, the battles took place in so many different times and places that it would have been impossible for one man to have participated in all of them.

3 Legendary Heroes Who May Or May Not Have Existed

The Death of King Arthur. James Archer (artist) (1823 – 1904)

Welsh origin

Later Welsh writers drew on Nennius’ work, and Arthur’s fame spread beyond Wales and the Celtic world, particularly after the Norman conquest of 1066 connected England to northern France. In the popular 12th-century book “History of the Kings of Britain,” Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote the first life story of Arthur, describing his magic sword Caliburn (later known as Excalibur), his trusted knight Lancelot, Queen Guinevere and the wizard Merlin. An irresistible blend of myth and fact, the book was supposedly based on a lost Celtic manuscript that only Geoffrey was able to examine.

Evidence from the ground

The second key source of information about Arthur is archaeology. Archaeological evidence for contact between Wales, Cornwall and the Saxon World takes many forms – from metalwork manufactured in an Anglo-Saxon style discovered in south-east Wales, to the distribution of early medieval pottery imported from the Continent and the shores of the Mediterranean.

Excavations at Dinas Powys, a princely hillfort near Cardiff occupied between the 5th and 7th-centuries, has informed us about the nature of a high status site in south Wales at this time. This site is contemporary with others like South Cadbury in Somerset and Tintagel in Cornwall (both with their own Arthurian traditions).

Arthur’s court at Caerleon

A large number of sites in Wales have Arthurian associations, though few have proven medieval origin. In the 12th century, Caerleon was thought by Geoffrey of Monmouth to be the location of Arthur’s court, while the hillfort of Dinas Emrys in north Wales is associated with Ambrosius, Vortigern and Merlin.

3 Legendary Heroes Who May Or May Not Have Existed
bronze statue of King Arthur, Cornwall, UK

Arthur’s Stone

Some half dozen Welsh Stone Age megaliths are called ‘Arthur’s Stone’, and his name has also been given to an Iron Age hillfort on the Clwydian Range, Moel Arthur, near Denbigh. According to one tradition, King Arthur and his knights lie sleeping in a cave below Craig y Ddinas, Pontneddfechan, in south Wales.

2 – Ilya Muromets. Mighty Giant Of Russia

3 Legendary Heroes Who May Or May Not Have Existed

Painting by V. Vasnetsov (1914) depicts Ilya Muromets (Image Source)

In numerous folk tales he is described as strong and fearless, he waves his mace to crush trees or else simply uproots them with his bare hands – all this to help his fellow villagers build a road through the forest. He can defeat terrifying monsters: Zmey Gorynych (the three-headed flying serpent) and Solovey Razboinik (Nightingale the Robber). He boldly challenges Idolishe Poganoe (Tainted Beastgod), a knight corrupted by evil forces who threatens the integrity of Kiev Rus (the medieval name for Russia).

Out of the three Russian folk heroes, the so-called bogatyrs (Ilya Muromets, Dobrynia Nikitich and Alyosha Popvich), Ilya is the most famous one, as well as the group’s leader. More stories are associated with his name and, unlike his mythical counterparts, the stories about him have a distinct chronological structure.

The chronicles suggest the famous Russian hero spent 33 years of his life lying on a stove. The original old Russian stove has a sleeping loft on the top which mainly was used as a resting place. The mysterious illness which kept paralysed Ilya’s body for long years was miraculously cured by three religious wanderers.

Declared a saint

After long years of service to Vladimir the Great, the ruler of Kiev Rus, Ilya Muromets decided to leave his military career and dedicated the rest of his life to God and became a monk. Some historical records suggest he spent last years of his life in Kiev-Pecherski Monastery, where he was buried and declared a saint after his death.

3 Legendary Heroes Who May Or May Not Have Existed

Russian saint Ilia Muromets. Russian icon. End of 19th century. Unknown artist (Image Source)

In 1988, the remains that allegedly belong to famous Russian hero were analysed by team of local experts. Their investigation showed that the remains belonged to a man of above average height for that time (177 cm), who suffered from an incurable spine defect and deformities at the extremities. Traces of battle wounds were also discovered, showing that Ilya was probably killed during the siege of Kiev in 1204. How he was cured and how he was able to participate in battles remains a mystery, yet it was obvious from the remains that the life of the factual saint bore many similarities to that of the mythical bogatyr.

3 – Oghuz Khan. Father of Turkic Peoples

There is no definitive source for a history covering this period therefore reports of Oghuz as ancestor of the Turks were handed down by word of mouth. The ‘Oghuz Qaghan Legend’ emerged in Turkestan shortly before the time of Rashid al-Din (1247-1318, historian and physician in Ilkhanate-ruled Iran); it is much more poetic than Rashid al-Din’s dry description, however only a fragment remains.

3 Legendary Heroes Who May Or May Not Have Existed

Statue of Oghuz Khan in Turmenistan, Ashgabat (Image Source)

Oghuz Khan myth

Oghuz was born in Central Asia as the son of Qara (Black) Khan, leader of the Turks. He stopped drinking his mother’s milk after the first time and asked for meat. During the name giving ceremony where the elders are gathered to find the most suitable name for the newborn, he started speaking and said he was choosing his name as Oghuz. After that, he grew up miraculously and only in forty days he became a young adult. At the time of his birth, the lands of the Turks were preyed upon by a dragon named Kıyant. Oghuz armed himself and went to kill the dragon. He set a trap and killed the great dragon with his bronze lance and cut off his head with his iron sword.

He becomes a hero after killing the dragon. He forms a special warrior band from the forty sons of forty Turk beys (clan chiefs) thus gathering the clans together under his rule.

Rashid al-Din locates the origin of the Oghuz in west Turkestan. His description begins with the later Gasnavids (Persianate Muslim dynasty of Turkic mamluk origin)  than reaches back of the myths surrounding the birth and early journeys made by Oghuz in the magic north. In the Legend Oghuz is a grandson of Japhet, one of the sons of Noah. Im the pre-Islamic times he is described as monotheist even in early childhood, and rejects the contemporary paganism. With this conflict his life as a warrior begins until finally he becomes conqueror of the world. According to the legend Oghuz wages war in several countries including India, East Turkestan, China, the Volga area and the ‘Land of Darkness’. Other areas probably corresponds to the recorded conquest of the Oghuz in the 11th century. Thus the Oghuz legend merges with great conquest of the Sedshuk period, including, among others, Georgia (1049), Azerbaijan (1054), Baghdad (1055), Jerusalem (1071) etc.

Like Adam Oghuz died at an age of more than a thousand years.

Oghuz Khan is sometimes considered the mythological founder of all Turkic peoples, and ancestor of the Oghuz subbranch. Oguz had 6 sons and these 6 sons had 4 sons . Totally, 24 grandson which we considered the father of 24 Oghuz tribe including Kayı (Ottomans). Oghuz-Turks conquered Palestine in 1070 AD, Iran was ruled by Seljuks, an Oghuz tribe, Iraq, and Anatolian Peninsula were conquered by Oghuz Turks speaking Oguz-Turkish language (Ottomans).

Magic arrows of Oghuz

The elderly wise advisor of Oghuz saw a dream one day where he saw one bow made of gold and three arrows. The bow was extending all the way from sunrise to sunset . In the morning, he told the dream to Oghuz Khagan, saying “Oghuz Khagan, may you have a long and happy life, may all the things the Sky God showed in the dream become true.” Upon hearing the dream, Oghuz Khagan calls his six sons and sends three of them them to the east and three of them to the west. His elder sons find a golden bow in the east. His younger sons find three silver arrows in the west. Oghuz Khan breaks the golden bow into three pieces and gives each to his three older sons Gün (Sun), Ay (Moon) and Yıldız (Star). He says: “My older sons, take this bow and shoot your arrows to the sky like this bow.” He gives three silver arrows to his three younger sons Gök (Sky), Dağ (Mountain) and Deniz (Sea) and says: “My younger sons, take these silver arrows. A bow shoots arrows and may you be like arrows.” Then, he passes his lands onto his sons, Bozoks (Gray Arrows – elder sons) and Üçoks (Three Arrows – younger sons) at a final banquet. Then he says:

“My sons, I walked a lot on the Earth;

I saw many battles;

I threw so many arrows and spears;

I rode many horses;

I made my enemies cry;

I made my friends smile;

I paid my debt to Tengri;

Now I am passing my land over to you.”

References:

National Museum Wales

History

Russiapedia

History of Ogus‘  Eddie Austerlitz

Featured image: Bogatyrs (1898) by Viktor Vasnetsov

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Independent Scientists Claim That We Are Living In 1722, Not In 2019

Today more and more independent scientists come to the conclusion that three centuries have been lost in the history of mankind. But how did it happen and why?

Experts based on the study of many historical documents came to the conclusion that in the period from the 8th to the 11th centuries, chronological events are inconsistent, vague, imprecise and very poor, as if they were simply made up.

There are irrefutable documents indicating the loss of three centuries. Thus, the grandiose construction in Constantinople of that period was for some reason abruptly suspended … for three centuries and then suddenly resumed.

Exactly the same absurdity can be traced when building the Aachen Cathedral in Germany. And there are too many inconsistencies.

This huge leap in history’s timeline may have been a result of some confusion when the Pope switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar in 1582 A.D., where there was a discrepancy of at least 10 days.

Maybe there was a misinterpretation of documents somewhere along the line, as forged historical documents aren’t necessarily rare. But maybe it was no accident at all.

The phantom time hypothesis is a theory asserted by Heribert Illig and first published in 1991. It hypothesizes a conspiracy by the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, Pope Sylvester II, and possibly the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII, to fabricate the Anno Domini dating system retrospectively, in order to place them at the special year of AD 1000, and to rewrite history to legitimize Otto’s claim to the Holy Roman Empire.

Heribert Illig believed that this was achieved through the alteration, misrepresentation and forgery of documentary and physical evidence. According to this scenario, the entire Carolingian period, including the figure of Charlemagne, is a fabrication, with a “phantom time” of 297 years (AD 614–911) added to the Early Middle Ages.

So it is quite possible that we live in 1722, and not in 2019.

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RMS Titanic Urban Legends: Fraud on a Massive Scale?

In the early hours of April 15th 1912, RMS Titanic had her name permanently etched in the annals of maritime history. Over the years, a multitude of rumours have circulated surrounding her sinking ranging from evidential studies of her speed of descent and debris spread on the ocean floor all the way through to supernatural influences.

This three-part article delves into the more fanciful of those rumours.

Part 1: The ‘Olympic’ Switch

RMS Titanic was built alongside her sister RMS Olympic at the Harland and Wolff Shipyard in Belfast, Ireland between her initial laying down on 31st March 1909 until her pre-completion launch on 31st May 1911. The 3rd Olympic-Class sister, RMS Britannic, would be built later.

Titanic and Olympic were almost identical in size, profile, and detail with only very minor differences between the two Goliaths. While the majority of building works on the two vessels took place at the same time, Olympic was always to be the lead ship for White Star Line’s Olympic-Class fleet and as such she was started and completed earlier than Titanic; her pre-completion launch took place on 20th October 1910.

On 20th September 1911 off the coast of the Isle of Wight, the Olympic was struck – and severely damaged – by the British warship HMS Hawke. Despite the damage, Olympic managed to return to Southampton under her own power. As an interesting aside, the collision with HMS Hawke occurred while Olympic was under the command of Captain Edward Smith, who would be lost at sea less than a year later with Titanic.

Titanic olympic

The damage caused by the collision with HMS Hawke had dramatic implications for White Star Line; found culpable for the collision, the company’s insurance would not cover her repair costs and having the ship out of service while Titanic lay unfinished in the Belfast shipyard could have serious implications for the company. Getting Olympic repaired and operational again was pushed to the forefront of the White Star Line’s interest.

A Plan of Fraud on a Massive Scale

The popular urban legend kicks into place here, as instigated and investigated by Robin Gardiner in his book, “Titanic: The Ship that Never Sank?” (Ian Allen Publishing, 1998). To save time and money, says the legend, White Star Line merely patched up the damage to the Olympic; meanwhile, under cover of darkness, Titanic was readied as the new Olympic. Very little between the two ships was branded with the individual vessels’ name so, by changing the bell, lifeboats, and name plates along with minor amendments to navigational equipment, the two ships could easily be switched.

According to Gardiner, White Star Line’s plan was to run Titanic as the Olympic and scuttle the original Olympic during her maiden voyage disguised as the newer vessel thus allowing them to claim the insurance money for the Titanic while ridding themselves of a money trap in the original Olympic.

White Star Line planned for rescue ships to be posted in the vicinity of the planned sinking, hence there was no need for sufficient lifeboats on board to cope with the number of passengers as the boat would sink slowly and several runs could be carried out to the rescue boats. Of course this plan backfired spectacularly as we all know but Gardiner suggests that even this is not necessarily in the reported way.

Subsequent Investigation.

For a more balanced view on this argument, Bruce Beveridge and Steve Hall’s book “Olympic and Titanic: The Truth behind the Conspiracy” (Six Star Publishing, 2004) offers an unbiased and reasoned account of the fact and fiction of this theory and is a highly recommended starting point for further reading on this subject.

Subsequent studies and investigation of the wreck appear to have proved that it is indeed the original Titanic that lies on the sea bed and Olympic overcame the damage caused from the collision with HMS Hawke and continued to serve the White Star Line until her retirement and scrapping in 1935. Despite these conclusions, the tale remains a fascinating theory that continues to be debated today.

Part 2: What Sank the Titanic?

The commonly-held belief that the Titanic fatally struck an iceberg in the north Atlantic has been questioned a few times in the years since the event.

One theory is linked to Part 1 of this article and again comes from Robin Gardiner in his book “Titanic: The Ship That Never Sank?” (1998. Ian Allen Publishing). This theory suggests that, while en-route to the proposed location where the attempt to sabotage the ship – ostensibly by releasing the sea cocks to slowly flood the vessel – was to take place, Titanic and Olympic (henceforth referred to simply as Titanic) actually struck an un-lit International Mercantile Marine Company (IMM) vessel.

IMM had absorbed White Star Line in 1902 and the ship that was struck is said to have been one of the vessels positioned to rescue passengers from theTitanic once the controlled sinking had commenced. This would explain why the boat was drifting without any form of lighting and why it was not seen in sufficient time to prevent the collision.

Titanic

This theory, explains Gardiner, would also justify the actions of the nearby Californian, a ship that was castigated in the trials following the Titanic tragedy for not making her way to the stricken liner to assist in the rescue.

It is said that the Californian did not react to the distress signals that were sighted as it was waiting for the Titanic to reach it; IMM also owned the Leyland line, which operated the Californian and the ship was on duty to rescue passengers from the Titanic. It remains unclear within the remit of this rumour as to whether the distress flares that were seen from the Californian came from the Titanic or the IMM ship that she had struck.

Gardiner also surmises that the ice found on the deck of the liner did not come from the iceberg at all, but instead was shaken loose from the rigging of the IMM vessel and the Titanic itself by the impact.

An unnamed survivor of the sinking also noted seeing a half-submerged vessel in the water directly after the collision; Gardiner suggests that this was most likely a lifeboat which had been knocked from the IMM ship during the collision and other theories put forward that the IMM ship then limped away from the scene so as not to be found within the area of the Titanic although there remains the possibility that the sinking vessel sighted was in fact the IMM rescue boat itself.

Iceberg or Pack Ice?

The iceberg theory was once again called into question in 2003 when former Captain of the Ice Pilotage Service, L. M. Collins, published his book, “The Sinking of the Titanic: The Mystery Solved” (2003, Souvenir Press). In his study, Collins drew on his experience in ice navigation along with witness statements from the two post-incident enquiries that took place at the time.

Collins notes that reports relating to the height of the ice varied dependant on the position on the ship of the witness. These reports varied from being low in the water on the starboard side, through 60ft high in front of the ship to a massive 100ft (30m) high being reported by Quartermaster Rowe on the poop deck.

Collins suggests that this difference in heights can be attributed to an optical illusion common to navigators of ice plains whereby cold air and flat seas combine to make the ice appear to be as high as the vessel’s lights at that point.

The lights of the Titanic were positioned at approximately 60ft above the waterline at the bow and 100ft above the waterline along the superstructure of the ship. The report of ice being low in the water came from Fourth Officer Boxhall who was positioned on the darkened starboard side at the time of the collision.

Further to this Collins states that, as the Titanic turned through pivoting at a point located approximately a quarter of her length from the bow, reports of the ship being pulled hard to starboard would have actually resulted in the ship not catching a glancing blow from the iceberg but instead striking it square on the starboard side. Collins relates that a collision such as this would be more likely to crush the entire starboard hull and possibly even the superstructure resulting in the ship capsizing and sinking within minutes.

Part 3: Supernatural Influences

One of the more bizarre rumours surrounding the liner was the tale of sectarianism in her birthplace of Belfast leading to a curse on the ship. The rumour would have us believe that Titanic was given the yard number 390904 which, when read as a reflection via a mirror, resembles the statement ‘NOPOPE’.

This was deemed as an indication of the company’s alleged anti-Catholic beliefs, compounded by a shortage of Protestant employees. While it was true that Harland and Wolff employed very few Catholics, it is unproven as to whether this was as a result of employment policy or merely due to the location of the shipyard in an area of Belfast that was highly-populated with Protestants.

In fact, Titanic and her sister Olympic were granted the yard numbers 401 and 400 respectively. But of course, that doesn’t make for nearly as juicy a tale!

The Cursed Cargo.

A fascinating legend surrounding the sinking – and the one that initially sparked my interest in the myths surrounding the vessel – is the tale of her cursed cargo.

The tale tells of the discovery in the 1890’s of the mummified remains of an Egyptian Priestess, often thought to be that of the Priestess of Amen-Ra. Following the discovery, the person who purchased the mummy ran into a string of unfortunate incidents and illness, culminating in his eventual death.

Following the death of the initial purchaser, the mummy was donated to the British History Museum where the remains continued to cause concerns for staff and mysterious afflictions to affect those visitors that had dared to photograph her.

Titanic

Ongoing incidents and an elevated interest from the British press lead to the mummy being locked away in the Museum vault until journalist William Thomas Stead, discounting the previous events surrounding the remains as mere circumstance purchased the mummy and set in action plans to have her shipped to New York.

Reports at this point separate as some state that the mummy was in fact included on the cargo list of the Titanic (although this had been proved incorrect) while others report that the remains were actually hidden underneath Stead’s car as he feared that White Star would not accept her as cargo due to the reputation of the piece. Stead then reportedly revealed that he had stowed the mummy away to other passengers during merry-making the evening before the collision.

‘Futility’ – A Premonition of Disaster?

In 1898, Morgan Robertson published his novella “Futility”, otherwise known as “The Wreck of the Titan”. The story relates the fortunes of the hero, John Rowland, following the sinking of the World’s largest liner on her maiden voyage through striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic.

While the Titan was actually travelling in the opposite direction to the Titanic in the novel and she strikes the ice head-on as opposed to the glancing blow of the real ship, there remains some startling similarities between the 2 vessels.

– Both ships sank in a similar position (approximately 400 miles off Newfoundland) on an April night on their maiden voyage.
– The Titan was also the largest ship afloat and was deemed to be “unsinkable” / “indestructible”.
– The Titan also had as few lifeboats on board as was possible and nowhere near sufficient numbers to cope with the level of passengers on board.
– The casualties of both wrecks were considerable, taking the lives of in excess of half of the passengers on board.

Indeed, the similarities went even further with the fact that the Titan hit and sank a sailing ship, while the Titanic only narrowly avoided a collision the SS New York; when the Titanic left her berth on her maiden voyage, the New York was dragged from its moorings in the wake of the much larger ship and pulled towards the liner, missing her by around 4 feet before being towed away by a patrolling tugboat.

While, of course, Robertson could not have had any pre-cognition regarding the building of the Titanic – the Olympic-class liners had not even begun their design stages at the time of the novels’ release – the similarities between the story and actual events provide a quite astounding example of coincidence.

By Andy Hill

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Could an Alliance Between Land and Sea Stop an Alien Invasion?

Aquaman recently came out on home video. It was a critically praised film and a box office hit with the audience. People were happy to see Arthur Curry’s adventures in a solo mission. However, before this recent installment, Curry took on aliens in Justice League opposite his other heroic allies.

Since he is now king of Atlantis, the sea is no longer the enemy of the surface. If an alien invasion were to occur, as it did in Justice League, could an alliance between the land and sea be able to stop an alien invasion? This would be in a realistic scenario and not one that is seen on film.

Currently, there are no superheroes that we know of and just the armed forces remain in each country. They protect and guard against enemies foreign and domestic. We also have intelligence agencies that give us inside information on what our enemies are doing.

With this real-world standpoint in mind, we do not know what lies beneath us. It’s probably not a sonic bomb junior and it is something that has not been as explored as space. It remains interesting to think if there are humanoids living below us.

Humanoids that are below us would have different civilizations and technologies than our own. It would expose the surface world to new treasures that we have never found prior. It would change the face of our world if we had the opportunity to engage with them diplomatically and craft an alliance that would change the course of our history. They may have created technologies like the sonic bomb junior that we did within our time on this planet.

It’s fascinating to think about how we could work together to develop our worlds together. It could create not only diplomatic opportunities but economic opportunities for us to exchange ideas and develop new business ventures together.

Mostly, it would be like having another country out there. In Aquaman, each nation has its own armies and peoples, which would give us the chance to see all the diversity that is underneath our oceans. Nothing has been explored that much below us, so it would take our great explorers to find out more about the world around us.

Once we discovered these new nations below us and learned more about one another, the question comes down to it: would we be able to form an alliance against the aliens? It would totally depend on their levels of technology that are below us.

As Aquaman portrays, the Atlanteans and many other nations below us have had far more advanced technologies than we could ever dream. Mankind was always far behind the Atlantean nations and has been something they take great pride in it. As we see with mankind’s weapons in the film, they do not ever affect Arthur Curry. It’s only when David Kane/Black Manta gains access to Atlantean technology via Orm is when the tables turn.

This is where the earth could be a very powerful force indeed. If we were able to combine the technology of land and sea as well as the natural capabilities of the two species, it would be likely that we could put up a fight against the alien menace.

Another question remains though: what levels of technologies do the aliens have? If their technology is further along than mankind or our Atlantean brethren, it could mean the end for the earth as we know it. It all depends upon whether the world of man and the Atlantean nations are able to form an alliance.

That is the bottom line in all of this. If we are not able to form a partnership with our allies beneath us, there is no chance for us to survive. However, if we make such an alliance work and form bonds between ourselves and our brothers and sisters who can breathe both underwater, on land, and vice versa, we may have a chance in the end of defeating the aliens.

Only time will tell whether we can rise together from the waters of the earth to defeat those who wish us harm from the skies.

About author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, consumer electronics, and the entertainment industry.

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