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Ararat’s main secret: why Turkey forbids exploring the mountain

Ararat's main secret: why Turkey forbids exploring the mountain 86

According to the Holy Scriptures, it is known that Noah made an ark of solid gopher wood and built it like modern ships. The ark had three decks with bulkheads and interiors, and its hull was tarred outside and inside.

This rescue vessel had very specific dimensions: it was 300 cubits (about 135 meters) long, 50 cubits (about 25 meters) wide and 30 cubits (about 15 meters) high. Students at the British University of Leicester made calculations and found that approximately 70,000 animals could enter such a ship.

According to numerous legends, the ark “on the seventeenth day of the seventh month” moored “on the mountains of Ararat”, the peaks of which, appearing from the water, were found by a dove.

Now Ararat is called a huge mountain range, which reaches 130 kilometers in length. It is located on the border of Iran (Persia) and Armenia, but most of it with two snowy peaks lies within Turkey. The height of Ararat reaches 5,165 meters from sea level or 4,365 meters from the foot of the mountain to its top.

Mount Ararat can only be considered conditionally – in fact, it is an active volcano with two craters, which last erupted in the 19th century – then melt water penetrated into the crater of Big Ararat, which caused a thermal explosion.

Search history

The history of the search for the ark, thanks to which mankind was saved, excites the minds of people for the last two centuries. Until the beginning of the 19th century, local residents – Persians, Kurds and Armenians believed that it was impossible to climb the sacred mountain.

In 1828, according to the Turkmanchay peace treaty, Ararat passed from Persia to Russia, and the German Johann Parrot first ascended the summit. Over the course of a century, the ark on the mountain was seen three times – once it was reported by a shepherd, the second time by the Turks (1833), and the third time by the English climber James Bryce, who reported that he found wooden remains at an altitude of 4000 meters.

According to unverified data, in 1916 a Russian expedition ascended Ararat, which reported that the ark was found in the saddle between the peaks of Ararat according to photographs taken by pilot Vladimir Roskovitsky. Allegedly, in the same year, a certain American, Colonel Alexander Coor, also visited the site.

But the materials of the expedition disappeared during the revolutionary events, and in 1921 Ararat withdrew to Turkey, and its northern slopes became inaccessible to the Russians.

But the Turks prohibited access to Ararat and other researchers, moreover, they did it in the most unexpected way. During the Cold War, Ararat was closed to expeditions, but spy planes of the United States hovered over it every now and then, watching the border of the USSR.

The American Christian astronaut James Irving, who visited Ararat, devoted several years to the search for the ark, and according to rumors, in 1982 he found the remains of the ark, but the Turkish authorities prohibited further research. Irving took this as a sign from God that the search should be stopped.

Climber from Milan Angelo Palego, who visited the mountain 15 times, told the researcher from Yerevan Ashot Levonyan that in the summer of 1989 he found a ship at an altitude of 4000 meters, but when in 2000 he gathered an international expedition to examine the find, the Turks forbade the climb …

In 2003, they denied access to the mountain to Russian explorer Andrei Polyakov. What caused locked?

They do not want conflicts with the Kurds

The Turks themselves refer to the fact that warlike Kurds are operating on the slopes of Ararat, who kidnap tourists and demand a ransom for them. In the late 1920s, there was even the Ararat Kurdish Republic, which ceased to exist in 1930.

There are indeed Kurdish settlements at the foot of the mountain; they even organized the Noah’s Ark Museum there. The Kurds venerate the mountain as Sacred, and the Christian and Muslim Kurds have no doubt that somewhere on the slopes of the mountain lies an ark.

Kurds believe that this is their mountain, call Noah Nuh and consider themselves the successors of the Old Testament history.

Do not want to conflict with the Armenians

Perhaps the Turkish authorities understand that Ararat, as a recent “gift” of the Bolsheviks, belongs to them without impressive grounds. The volcano is still a symbol of Armenia, and the Turks even tried to dispute the fact of the image of the mountain on the coat of arms of the Armenian SSR, but they failed: the mountain is still on the coat of arms of the country.

Believe in prophecy

According to Islamic prophecies, the ark of the biblical Noah will be found just before the end of the world, and perhaps that is why the authorities of the Muslim country are in no hurry to give the green light to the search. Perhaps that is why it is almost impossible to get to the northern side of the volcano, on which the ark is supposedly located.

No matter what happens

Perhaps the Turks are tired of the attention to the mountain, which is located in the border zone, the entrance to which is only by passes. Perhaps they do not want to bear the costs of the rescue operations of climbers who have lost their way or caught in bad weather.

The kidnapping or disappearance of athletes from America, Europe or Russia in such an area could harm the country’s reputation.

One way or another, but in the XXI century Ararat is open only once a year, in August. Certified climbers can follow a single route on the southern side of the mountain, which is guarded by the Turkish military, but on which you will definitely not find an ark. Tourists have no other ways to get to the mountain.

Store it for the Americans

However, the well-known Russian researcher in search of the ark, says that the mountain is closed for European, Russian and Armenian scientists, but not for Americans. He is sure that Ararat will be examined by the Americans. Led by Professor Bright, they search at an altitude of 4,000 meters and above and drill the ice in search of Noah’s Ark.

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Mysteries

“Submerged UFO’s” – mysterious and not fully explained phenomena in the oceans

"Submerged UFO's" - mysterious and not fully explained phenomena in the oceans 87

When asked who lives on the ocean floor, people answer differently. Kids and some adults will say: SpongeBob SquarePants. Lovecraft fans will mutter something like “Cthulhu fhtagn” with a twinkle in their eyes. Divers and oceanologists will look thoughtfully at the questioner and, if they are lucky, will tell a lot of interesting things about Quakers, “bio-duck”, “bloop” and even Poseidon -anomalous phenomena of the underwater world.

Submarine project 212 at periscope depth
Submarine project 212 (Type 212 submarine at home, in Germany, as well as Todaro class in Italy) at periscope depth / © Ministero della Difesa

The depths of the sea have always been a mysterious and frightening environment for humans. Perhaps there are no more impressive and persistent legends than those associated with various places in the oceans. Take the notorious Bermuda Triangle or the “Flying Dutchmen” – at first glance, serviceable ships that were abandoned by the crew. Many of them received a reasonable explanation, and some still remain mysteries, even if supported by a lot of evidence.

By analogy with UFOs, or, as they are now officially called “unidentified aerial phenomena”, marine anomalies are often called USOs – unidentified submerged objects. These phenomena can be divided into two classes based on the way they are detected: visual and acoustic. It is logical to note that most of the observations of sound anomalies occur in the second half of the 20th century, when submarines and methods of tracking them became widespread. Whereas descriptions of the first class of USOs have been found since ancient times. Let’s start with them.

Buddha wheels and devilish carousels

The ability of many marine life to produce bioluminescence has long been known. Some species of plankton emit light enough to be seen by the human eye. Most cases of observation of any glow on or directly below the surface of the water are associated with this phenomenon. Well this is from the point of view of science. And if we turn to bikes, stories about mysterious circles on the water are popular. Let’s note right away: despite the prevalence of these stories, not a single documentary evidence of such phenomena exists.

They are called “wheels of Buddha” or “devilish carousels”. There is a version that the first name was given to the luminous circles on the water by Eastern navigators, and the second – by European ones. Moreover, the Chinese considered the meeting with these phenomena a favorable sign, while the Christians took them for a bad omen. It is difficult to find authoritative confirmation of these stories, except for the transmission on Channel One, so let’s move on to the next point.

Krakens and Submarine Sharks

By the 1970s, sane people were convinced that horror stories about giant sea monsters were nothing more than the fruit of the inflamed fantasy of sailors of the past. What could they only think of after six months of eating corned beef, which they have to wash down with water that has bloomed in barrels? But no, sometimes the legends turn out to be true.

Four years before the incident with the damage to the bulb, Stein safely patrols the coast of Hawaii / © US Navy National Archives
Four years before the incident with the damage to the bulb, Stein safely patrols the coast of Hawaii / © US Navy National Archives

In the spring of 1978, the USS Stein DE-1065, the USS Stein DE-1065, was attacked by a giant squid while patrolling the Pacific coast of South America. The target of a deep-sea giant that unexpectedly approached the surface was the protective casing of the nasal sonar. The alarm was sounded by acoustics, whose work was unceremoniously interrupted by a strong abnormal noise. Inspection of the bulb at the forward end of the ship’s keel, where the instrument was located, puzzled the sailors.

The first ever filming of a giant squid in its natural habitat.  Taken from aboard a deep-sea vehicle.  These creatures live at great depths and if they float to the surface - either dead or for a very short time / © Discovery Channel, screenshot from video
The first ever filming of a giant squid in its natural habitat. Taken from aboard a deep-sea vehicle. These creatures live at great depths and if they float to the surface – either dead or for a very short time / © Discovery Channel, screenshot from video

Almost 10% of the rubber-like coating was badly damaged. In cuts and scratches, they found pieces of chitin, similar in composition to the tissues of squid suckers. The problem was that, judging by the size of these suckers, the length of the mollusk should have reached, according to some estimates, 45 meters. That is, almost three times more than the theoretically calculated maximum length of the giant deep-sea squid. History is silent as to whether anyone’s hearing was hurt by hitting a sensitive underwater sound receiver.

But this incident is not the only example of an attack by marine fauna on the US Navy. Around the same years, American submarines acquired active sonar stations AN / BQR-19 from Raytheon : expensive and complex equipment, the outer elements of which were covered with neoprene. It suddenly turned out that on this material, almost in every trip, round holes with a depth of one or two millimeters began to appear.

Submarine USS Ohio, the first in its class of submarines.  The seemingly monolithic bow part of the hull is a huge casing of the AN / BQR-19 sonar.  Much of it is made of soft materials like neoprene and special rubber / © US Navy photo by Wendy Hallmark
Submarine USS Ohio, the first in its class of submarines. The seemingly monolithic bow part of the hull is a huge casing of the AN / BQR-19 sonar. Much of it is made of soft materials like neoprene and special rubber / © US Navy photo by Wendy Hallmark

Open sources do not indicate what worried the military most of all: damage to the appearance or some kind of malfunction caused by these caverns. According to some reports, the deepest “wounds” led to leaks of special sound-conducting oil, which literally “blinded” the submarine. In any case, the problem was closely studied by both the command of the fleet and the manufacturer of hydroacoustic stations.

The engineers argued that no animal could leave such damage. The military reached the point where they began to suspect the secret development of Soviet “colleagues”: they say, the communists have come up with a new weapon against nuclear submarines (nuclear submarines). The naval biologists solved the riddle. They remembered that in tropical waters you can find an extremely unpleasant fish: the Brazilian glowing shark. For the specific structure of her jaws in English, they came up with a telling name – cookiecutter shark (the first word means a device that cuts the dough for cookies in even circles).

This rather disgusting-looking creature has a length of about half a meter, hunts in packs and attacks anything that it considers to be food. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a whale or a submarine. With their incredibly sharp teeth, Brazilian glowing sharks pull a large piece of flesh from their prey and swim back to a depth of more than three kilometers. Their belly also emits a pale green light. After the neoprene parts of the nuclear submarine were covered with fiberglass, which fish cannot bite through, the damage to the equipment came to naught.

This female elephant seal was unlucky enough to be attacked by a Brazilian glowing shark.  The bites of this fish rarely lead to the death of marine life, but they give them a lot of torment / © Jerry Kirkhart |  Wikimedia
This female elephant seal was unlucky enough to be attacked by a Brazilian glowing shark. The bites of this fish rarely lead to the death of marine life, but they give them a lot of torment / © Jerry Kirkhart | Wikimedia

Fun fact – ten years later, history repeated itself. Apparently, the Navy forgot about the curious incident with sharks and did not cover the new rubberized outer parts of the submarines with solid materials. Nature was not long in coming: the fish again inflicted considerable financial damage on the US Navy.

Cthulhu awakening?

The mention of Lovecraft in the first paragraph was no coincidence. The writer in his works indicated a fairly accurate location of the underwater city of R’lyeh. This is the abode of a gigantic monster – the Great Ancient Lord of the worlds, Cthulhu. Under normal conditions, he sleeps, but if he wakes up, he will destroy the entire human civilization. How does all this relate to reality? It seems to be nothing, but in 1997 an incredibly powerful infrasonic signal was recorded. He proceeded from approximately the same area of ​​the Pacific Ocean, where, according to Lovecraft’s description, Cthulhu is hiding.

© Andrée Wallin
© Andrée Wallin

The piquancy of the situation is added by the general character of the sound, which is very similar to the noises emitted by a living creature. However, if these “gurgles” (Bloop is the official name of this USO) were produced by an animal, it must be several times larger than a blue whale. Many theories have been put forward.

Spectrogram "Bulka" / © NOAA
Spectrogram “Bulka” / © NOAA

A combination of factors that enhance the natural infrasound, and the noise of a large concentration of marine life, and the grinding of ice on the ocean floor were assumed. In 2012, scientists agreed that the most likely cause of such a sound was a cracking especially large iceberg.

And other results of the work of SOSUS

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( the NOAA ) after the Cold War had access to a powerful tool – SOSUS. This acronym hides a sophisticated American submarine tracking and tracing system. After the collapse of the USSR, there was no need to conduct continuous monitoring of the now not Soviet, but Russian nuclear submarines.

Some SOSUS nodes were mothballed, and the secrecy was somewhat lowered. As a result, “civilian” scientists gained access to high-precision hydroacoustic instruments. And since the early 1990s, the number of sound anomalies found in the ocean has begun to grow. Among them – both with conditionally established reasons ( Bloop ), and still unexplained. By the way, by a strange coincidence, all unusual sounds that received an explanation were attributed to especially large icebergs.

Takeoff spectrogram / © NOAA
Takeoff spectrogram / © NOAA

But there are real mysteries too. For example “off» ( Upsweep ) and “whistle» ( Whistle ). The first anomaly was first recorded in August 1991 and has been observed every spring and fall ever since. The sound source is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and may be associated with volcanic activity. Or it may not be: it seems that it will not be possible to establish for sure – every year it is quieter. The “whistle”, in turn, was heard only once and with only one hydrophone one and a half thousand kilometers from the coast of Mexico. Its peculiarity is an unusual spectrogram and a high frequency for infrasound.

Quakers and bio-dips

If the reader gets the impression that only the Americans recorded “sea UFOs”, then they are mistaken. The Soviet sailors also had their own adventures associated with sound anomalies. The most documented “communist” USOs are called “Quakers”. In the mid-1970s, the crews of Russian nuclear powered submarines faced an alarming acoustic phenomenon. Most often it was found in the areas of NATO anti-submarine lines in the North Atlantic.

The acoustics of Soviet submarines recorded unusual sounds, similar to the croaking of frogs. The sources of these low-frequency vibrations almost always accompanied the submarine and moved at incredible speeds (up to 150 knots, according to some reports). The problem was that the active sonar did not show any metal or plastic objects in the place where the sound appeared. Either the Quakers were alive or too small to be found.

Soviet nuclear submarine of project 671 "Ruff" / © US Department of Defense
Soviet nuclear submarine of project 671 “Ruff” / © US Department of Defense

Until the late 1980s, attempts were made to establish the nature of these sounds. Assumptions were different. Someone suspected previously unknown phenomena occurring in a nuclear reactor: after all, diesel-electric submarines have not heard anything like that. According to another version, the sources of “croaking” could be special oscillatory processes at the boundary of water layers of different temperature and salinity.

For a long time of observations, sailors and scientists have sorted out all possible hypotheses – almost from attempts to contact an alien mind with humanity to an unknown weapon of capitalist aggressors. In the end, the USSR Academy of Sciences insisted that the sounds are of a biological nature: either they are some kind of whales, or unknown species of deep-sea molluscs, mistaking the submarine for prey. Or maybe even large concentrations of sea crustaceans sound like that.

The divers, in turn, argued that this was all nonsense and that the Quakers did not at all look like marine fauna. Mysterious objects tried to find bearing, plotted the places of their detection on the maps and compared the accumulated data of different crews after the campaigns. But no intelligible explanation has appeared.

Loading of sonar buoys into SH-60B Sea Hawk helicopter.  Such devices can be dropped from almost any type of equipment - an airplane, helicopter, drone, ship or boat.  They transmit information about the surrounding acoustic situation on a single frequency and any combat unit equipped with a suitable receiver can receive this intelligence / © US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Stuart Phillips
Loading of sonar buoys into SH-60B Sea Hawk helicopter. Such devices can be dropped from almost any type of equipment – an airplane, helicopter, drone, ship or boat. They transmit information about the surrounding acoustic situation on a single frequency and any combat unit equipped with a suitable receiver can receive this intelligence / © US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Stuart Phillips

There is the most realistic version, expressed by many skeptics. For croaking, Soviet sailors took the sounds of active buoys being dropped from anti-submarine aircraft. These hydroacoustic radios have water-filled batteries and are hypothetically capable of producing similar sounds. This theory explains why Quakers were most often observed in areas of active NATO patrols – and why they stopped hearing in the 1990s: after the collapse of the USSR, Russian nuclear submarines no longer needed to be monitored so closely. And the rapid movement of the source of the mysterious sound can be a simple effect of the sequential activation of several buoys in a row.

However, Soviet submariners were not the only ones who heard croaking in the depths of the sea. Similar sounds were recorded by sailors of the Royal Navy. True, they christened them differently – “bio-ducks” (the English onomatopoeia of quacking is similar to the Russian-speaking onomatopoeia of croaking). Moreover, the British submariners would not have succeeded in attributing the anomaly to someone’s anti-submarine equipment: the waters around Australia were of interest only to the British. The fact is that this southern continent served as the main nuclear test site for Her Majesty’s army, navy and air force.

Southern minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) shortly before diving.  Most likely, it is at this moment that the whale makes a sound called "bio-duck" / © Oceanwide Expeditions
Southern minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) shortly before diving. Most likely, it is at this moment that the whale makes a sound called “bio-duck” / © Oceanwide Expeditions

In such a distance, in the 1960s, to closely monitor the underwater situation, not only the USSR, but even the United States would not have enough resources. Then they assumed that the sounds were associated with some kind of marine life, and they calmed down. It took British scientists more than 50 years (kidding aside!) To establish the origin of these “bio-dips”. The initial guess turned out to be correct – whales made a mysterious croak-quack. The southern minke whale makes such a strange sound before deep diving, for an unknown reason.

The loneliest whale in the world

One of the most curious mysteries of the World Ocean is the so-called 52 hertz whale. Since the 1980s, specific singing at a frequency of 52 hertz has been recorded in various parts of the Pacific Ocean. Known species of large whales emit lower sounds: blue – 10-39 hertz, fin whales – 20 hertz. But, despite the anomalous frequency, these sounds are associated in structure with gigantic marine mammals.

By 1992, the unique “singing” was somewhat lower, but the rest of its characteristics remained almost unchanged. The sound source travels at a speed of 30 to 70 kilometers per day and migrates 708 to 11,062 kilometers per season. This behavior is typical of whales. On the basis of all these signs, biologists and oceanologists have suggested that hydrophones record a “voice” of either an unknown species, or a mutant, or a hybrid, or an individual with birth defects.

Migration map of a sound source identified as a "fifty-two hertz whale" / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Migration map of a sound source identified as a “fifty-two hertz whale” / 
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

In any case, if this is a whale, then it has already been dubbed the loneliest in the world. The fact is that other individuals of his species are not able to understand singing at such a frequency. For them, the sounds emitted by the 52 Hz are just noise. There is also a more optimistic hypothesis, according to which this singing is one of the “whale dialects” inherent in a previously unknown population of a species.

Stationary objects

The term USO is understood as some mobile or temporary phenomena. But in the World Ocean there are a large number of stationary anomalous objects. If we discard the completely fantastic legends about Atlantis, the list of curious formations on the seabed will still remain impressive. The most notable ones are:

  • Terraced formations near the Ryukyu Islands, or “Yenagui Monument”, are stone structures lying at a shallow depth near the Japanese island of Yonaguni. The dominant point of view in the scientific community is that, despite the correct geometric shapes, it is simply a rare geological phenomenon. It does not prevent many pseudo-archeologists and lovers of everything mysterious to seek confirmation of the man-made origin of this object.
  • The megalith at the bottom of the Pantelleria Vecchia Bay in the Strait of Tunis is a piece of limestone (calcirudite) 12 meters long and weighing 15 tons. It has three neat round holes, at least one of which runs through the megalith. Presumably, this huge stone was processed by man in the Mesolithic (Stone Age), about 12-15 thousand years ago. Analysis of the megalith rock showed that its age is at least 40 thousand years, and the bottom sediments under it are dated no more than 10 thousand years.
  • “Cuban Underwater City” – regular geometric structures on the shelf of the western part of the island of Cuba. They were discovered using sonar in 2001, while exploring the seabed relief. Subsequent research with a remotely controlled underwater robot has raised more questions than answers. The camera image showed pyramidal and ring structures made of granite blocks. It is planned to study education better, but this requires funding.
Left - sonar data obtained from the study of the area of ​​the bottom, later called the "Cuban Underwater City".  On the right is a computer simulation based on them.  Most oceanographers are inclined to believe that these are just bizarre-looking natural formations / © Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews |  Badarcheology
Left – sonar data obtained from the study of the area of ​​the bottom, later called the “Cuban Underwater City”. On the right is a computer simulation based on them. Most oceanographers are inclined to believe that these are just bizarre-looking natural formations / © Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews | Badarcheology

Other riddles

The phrase that mankind has studied the depths of the sea worse than near space has long been sore. But there is some truth in this. The oceans are a very difficult environment for research, moreover, it has a colossal volume. It is not surprising that there are still many interesting discoveries to be made in it.

In this article, we have considered only those marine anomalies that have a more or less scientific explanation or mention in several independent authoritative sources. Of course, there are many other unexplained (yet) phenomena. For example, the mysterious “ping” ( Ping , onomatopoeia for sonar), which scares away the creatures in the Fury and Heckle. In 2016, the Canadian military initiated an in-depth study of this phenomenon, but so far without success.

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Mysteries

Ball lightning: Plasma fireballs coming from another dimension?

Ball lightning: Plasma fireballs coming from another dimension? 88

There are probably fewer people who have seen ball lightning than those who have met a ghost. And even fewer of those who, after meeting with this phenomenon, began to study it. Having become scientists, such lucky ones surprise us with their hypotheses.

Do fireballs come from another dimension?

Ball lightning and ghosts

The comparison with ghosts is no coincidence. According to the British Ghost Club, a research organization that researches the paranormal, the hallmark of most ghosts is their silent appearance and disappearance. The same can be said about ball lightning.

Ghosts are capable of taking any form, including creating some kind of spherical formations. In addition, it is also a bunch of electric charge. Is it not for this reason that there are more pictures of ball lightning (they can be counted on one hand) than pictures of supposedly ghosts? Hence the version appeared that ball lightning, like ghosts, is a consequence of hallucinations or a disturbed psyche.

Common hypotheses

If we collect exclusively scientific versions of the origin of ball lightning, then even their summary will make a decent volume. Scientists all over the world take this phenomenon seriously, but at the same time they can neither theoretically explain it, nor experimentally reproduce it in laboratory conditions, nor even reliably document it. 

Ball lightning: Plasma fireballs coming from another dimension? 89

The famous physicist Pyotr Kapitsa believed that ball lightning is a gas discharge moving along the lines of force of a standing electromagnetic wave between clouds and the earth. Another Russian scientist, Boris Smirnov, suggested that this is a plasma cellular structure that stores its energy supply.

At the moment, only a reminder on how to behave when meeting with an uninvited guest is effective, in particular, not to make sudden movements and try to minimize air fluctuations. Unpredictability of ball lightning behavior and violation of the above rules are fraught with death or severe injury.

Ball lightning – from another dimension

One summer afternoon in the early 1980s, an Italian teenager sat in his bedroom and watched an afternoon thunderstorm sweep across the Roman countryside. Suddenly, a ball of light, the size of a soccer ball, appeared in the corner of the room. No heat, no smell – the ball hovered about a meter in front of him and rose slightly above his head. 

The dark yellow impenetrable ball hovered for only a few seconds, then it disappeared as silently as it appeared. The teenager didn’t even have time to get scared.

What he saw interested Andrea Aiello so much that, having studied physics, he began to work within the walls of the German Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, where he develops his own theories about this phenomenon. The most likely explanation is that he witnessed ball lightning, a rare form of atmospheric electricity that can float smoothly above the ground inside or outside buildings and even pass through closed windows.

Some scientists believe that ball lightning is the result of a discharge of electrical energy during severe thunderstorms. Others think that this natural phenomenon could have been caused by the lightning strikes themselves. Some believe it is a jumbled mess of electromagnetic field lines wandering the Earth alone. The most bizarre is the next hypothesis that ball lightning is from another dimension.

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Mysteries

Secrets of Tutankhamun. The child of incest, the Caucasian pharaoh and the mortal curse

Secrets of Tutankhamun.  The child of incest, the Caucasian pharaoh and the mortal curse 90

95 years ago, British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb – the first undiluted tomb – of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun. That she was intact was clear from the very beginning: the door leading to her was sealed. Since the discovery of the tomb, despite numerous studies of the mummy, there are still many blank spots in relation to both Tutankhamun himself and the events associated with those who found him.

In 1906, the famous British archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter began archaeological excavations in the Valley of the Kings. His expeditions were financed by Lord Carnarvon, an aristocrat and a wealthy amateur archaeologist. They managed to find several tombs, but all of them were also plundered.

What happened on November 4, 1926, became one of the most significant events in the development of historical science. During the excavations, it was possible to find the entrance to the tomb, which by all indications was not looted.

The entrance was open a few days later. Already in the first chamber, so many household items, adornments and valuables were found that it became clear: this is the first intact burial discovered by researchers. It took several months to inventory, export and study all the artifacts found in the first chamber.

It was the burial place of a pharaoh named Tutankhamun, one of the least known ancient Egyptian rulers. For a very long time, Egyptologists did not have any information about him, and many even believed that he did not exist.

In February, archaeologists unsealed the burial chamber. A massive gilded sarcophagus was discovered in it. Inside it were three smaller gilded sarcophagi. The last of them contained the pharaoh’s mummy with a magnificent golden burial mask.

The expedition was accompanied by reporters, so information about the most important historical find immediately appeared in the newspapers.

The main secret that accompanies the story of the discovery of the pharaoh’s mummy is the tragic deaths of the expedition members.

Three months after the opening of the tomb, Lord Carnarvon died unexpectedly in his prime. The most common version remains the following: in March, the lord was bitten on the cheek by a mosquito. A few days later, while shaving, he accidentally cut the wound. She became infected. Fever and pneumonia eventually led to the death of Carnarvon.

A month later, American millionaire George Gould, Carnarvon’s friend, who was also present at the opening of the grave, died. By the time the seals on the tomb were opened, Gould was already seriously ill: he suffered from pneumonia all winter and, in fact, came to Egypt in the hope of recovery – then pulmonary diseases were treated mainly by moving to a warmer climate.

Collage © L! FE.  Photo: © wikimedia.org, © wikimedia.org, © Flickr / Parée

Collage © L! FE. Photo: © wikimedia.org, © wikimedia.org, © Flickr / Parée

Two months later, a member of the Egyptian royal family, Prince Ali, who was present at the autopsy of the burial, was shot by his wife after a quarrel. After the third death in the press, hysteria began about the curse of the pharaoh. Yes, such that the fascist leader of Italy Benito Mussolini, having read the newspapers, ordered to remove the mummy he received as a gift from his residence.

Over time, the panic subsided, but each new death of a person, at least indirectly associated with the opening of the grave or the study of artifacts found in the burial, was presented as death at the hands of vengeful Egyptian spirits.

By the end of the 20s, the curse of the pharaohs had already turned into a stable legend that lived on its own and did not need to be reminded of it in the newspapers. This plot migrated to popular fiction and to cinema screens.

However, in addition to those who believed in the legend of the curse, there were also skeptics. They pointed out that most of the deaths of the expedition members were natural. A significant part of the archaeologists who took part in the excavations were no longer so young, the majority by the time of the excavations were over 50, and it is not surprising that some time after the excavations they began to die.

Collage © L! FE.  Photo: © wikimedia.org, © wikimedia.org, © Flickr / Parée

Collage © L! FE. Photo: © wikimedia.org, © wikimedia.org, © Flickr / Parée

For example, the Egyptologist James Brastad, who deciphered the recordings in the burial chambers of Tutankhamun, died in 1935, when the scientist was 70 years old. The leader of the expedition, Howard Carter, who had denied the reality of the curse all his life, died in 1939 at the age of 64 from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, that is, 16 years after the opening of the grave.

In addition, many of those who were present at the excavations lived long and happy lives. The 21-year-old daughter of Lord Carnavaron, who was present at the autopsy of the burial, died in 1980 at the age of 79. Deciphering the hieroglyphs Alan Gardiner died in 1963 at the age of 84.

Secrets of Tutankhamun.  The child of incest, the Caucasian pharaoh and the mortal curse 91

Lord Carnavaron’s wife died in 1969 at the age of 93.

The main developer and popularizer of the legend of the curse of the pharaohs was the journalist and Egyptologist Arthur Weigal. The discovery of the pristine tomb was a sensational event, and all the leading newspapers sent their correspondents to dig. Weigal was recruited by the Daily Mail. However, Carnavaron gave the exclusive coverage to The Times.

Veigal harbored a grudge against Carnavaron and, after his death, unleashed a tantrum about the wrath of the gods, in addition, this story brought Veigal circulation and glory no less than if he had covered the opening of the tomb.

Parental Incest and the Mystery of Death

No less controversial is the identity of Tutankhamun discovered by Carter. For 95 years, the mummy has been investigated using a variety of methods, and during this time, what theories were not put forward by scientists on the issues of how the pharaoh looked during his lifetime, to whom he was married and why he died.

Tutankhamun ascended the throne at the age of nine in 1332 BC and ruled until 1323 BC. Having scanned the mummy and conducted hundreds of studies, scientists were able to recreate his portrait: Tutankhamun looked effeminate – he had thick hips and the likeness of mammary glands. In addition, he had a clubfoot and a congenital dislocation of one foot. Because of the latter, he was forced to walk with a stick.

Secrets of Tutankhamun.  The child of incest, the Caucasian pharaoh and the mortal curse 92

The results of the genetic examination of the mummy showed that the dynasty in which Tutankhamun was born ruled Egypt for 155 years. Scientists have confirmed that the father of Tutankhamun was Akhenaten, but the mother was not “one of the wives”, but Akhenaten’s sister. Perhaps the close family ties between father and mother led to the fact that Tutankhamun suffered from genetic diseases.

The researchers also concluded that the likelihood of Tutankhamun’s death from malaria is high. Pharaoh already had a very weak health, and this disease undermined him completely.

Secrets of Tutankhamun.  The child of incest, the Caucasian pharaoh and the mortal curse 93

In addition to the version of the illness that led to death, British scientists using a three-dimensional computer model of the mummy found that a war chariot wheel had passed on the left side of the pharaoh’s body. From his injuries, Tutankhamun died on the spot.

The third version – about the murder – was adhered to by the professor at the University of Liverpool Ronald Harrison. He took about 50 X-rays of the head of the pharaoh’s mummy. The images clearly show that the bones of the skull are unusually thinned in the ear area. This gave reason to believe that it was in this place that one or even several blows were delivered. Professor Harrison refrained from unambiguous conclusions, however, the anatomical commission expressed support for the version of a violent death.

Scientists have suggested that Tutankhamun really received a blow to the temple with some blunt object. Perhaps he only stunned him. Then came the second blow, fatal for the pharaoh. However, other researchers argued that the blow was struck after the death of Tutankhamun.

Secrets of Tutankhamun.  The child of incest, the Caucasian pharaoh and the mortal curse 94

Two human embryos were found in the tomb of Tutankhamun. In 2008, scientists under the guidance of specialists from the University of Manchester conducted their research. In their opinion, it is highly probable that the female embryos are the children of the pharaoh. Embryos vary in size. The length of the first mummy is 30 cm, which corresponds to the embryo in the fifth month of development, the second – 38.5 cm (eight months of intrauterine development). Despite the difference in size, scientists speculated that both embryos could have been carried during the same pregnancy and were twins. DNA analysis showed that Tutankhamun was most likely their father.

Pharaoh Caucasian?

There are hundreds of articles on the Internet with the headlines “Tutankhamun – Caucasian” The fact is that German and Swiss scientists carried out a genetic analysis of the mummy’s DNA.

Experts have compared the DNA of Tutankhamun and modern Europeans. And it turned out that many of them are relatives of the pharaoh. On average, half of European men are “pharaohs”. DNA was compared according to the so-called haplogroups – characteristic sets of DNA fragments that are passed from generation to generation, remaining almost unchanged. Relatives of Tutankhamun were “betrayed” by a common haplogroup called R1b1a2.

This pharaonic R1b1a2, so common among European men, is very rare among modern Egyptians. The share of its carriers among them does not exceed one percent. One of the researchers even suggested that the ancestor of the kings of Egypt and Europeans lived in the Caucasus 9500 years ago, then his descendants began to settle in Europe, some came to Egypt and became pharaohs.

Photo: © wikipedia.org
Photo: © wikipedia.org

At the same time, the genetic analysis, as a result of which the pharaoh was declared the carrier of the haplogroup R1b1a2, was made by dubious people who do not belong to the scientific world. And even if we assume that the young pharaoh really belonged to R1b1a2, can he be called a Caucasian?

Probably not. This haplogroup is most common today in Western Europe, England, Spain and France. There are almost no speakers in the Caucasus. The haplotype testifies not to the Caucasian or European origin of Tutankhamun, but only to the fact that he and the Western Europeans had a common ancestor who lived somewhere 6000-8000 years ago. How and when exactly from Eurasia he got to Egypt – we can only guess.

Source: Life

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