Wolves are big predators. As a result, it is no wonder that wolf possesses enormous symbolic power in a wide range of cultures in both the past and the present. Often, wolves were not regarded in a positive light, which is presumably connected to their associations with both danger and destruction. For example, the Norse believed that the Fenris-wolf was fated to kill Odin, the King of the Gods, at Ragnarok before being torn in twain by Odin’s vengeful son Vidar.
Likewise, the Zoroastrian text called the Avesta states that wolves are a creation of the hypostasis of evil called Angra Mainyu, thus making them the cruelest of the animals that can be found upon the Earth. With that said, it is important to note that other cultures saw wolves in a much more positive light, often by associating them with warriors and war-making.
She-Wolf and Romulus and Remus
For people in the West, the most familiar example might be Romulus and Remus, the twin sons of Mars and Rhea Silvia who were abandoned in the wilderness but nursed by an old she-wolf. As a result, the she-wolf became a symbol of the Roman Empire, which sprang up from the city that claimed Romulus for its founder. This is the reason that ancient Romans never killed wolves for sport in the arenas in spite of the fact that slaughtering animals was a core component of ancient Roman entertainment.
She-Wolf Suckling Romulus and Remus, Ludovico Carracci, 16th century fresco, Palazzo Magnani, Bologna
Descended from Wolves
Likewise, there are a number of cultures that believe that they are descended from wolves.
There is a Turkic myth in which a boy is rescued by a she-wolf named Asena, who gives birth to ten half-human, half-wolf sons when she is subsequently impregnated by the boy. Of these ten sons, Ashina goes on to establish a ruling dynasty of the Turkic peoples, which is of course called the Ashina clan.
Also in Turkic mythology it is believed that a grey wolf showed the Turks the way out of their legendary homeland Ergenekon, which allowed them to spread and conquer their neighbours.
Oghuz Khan was a legendary and semi-mythological khan of the Turks, first records dated back to 13th century. There are many legends surround this famous warrior character, and one of them particularly linked to the grey wolf.
Oghuz declares war on Urum Khan and marches his army to the west. One night, a large male wolf with grey fur comes to his tent in an aura of light. He says, “Oghuz, you want to march against Urum, I want to march before your army.” So, the grey sky-wolf marches before the Turkish army and guides them. The two armies fought near the river İtil (Volga). Oghuz Khan wins the war. Then, Oghuz and his six sons carry out campaigns in Turkistan, India, Iran, Egypt, and Syria, with the grey wolf as their guide. He becomes the Khan of the Four Corners of the Earth.
As with most ancient peoples’ beliefs, the wolf was thought to possess spiritual powers, and that parts of its body retained specific powers that could be used by people for various needs.
Oghuz Khan pictured with two horns as Zulqarnayn on a 100 Turkmenistan manat banknote.
Chechens (Northeast Caucasian ethnic group) claim to have been born from a she-wolf, which explains why the wolf is a symbol of Chechnya as well.
There is one myth that the mythological founder of the Chechen nation, Turpalo-Noxchuo (Chechen Hero, who Chechens are descended from “like sparks of steel”), was raised by a fabled, loving “Wolf Mother”.
Old Chechen lore holds that the sheep was actually originally created for the wolf to enjoy, but man “stole” the sheep from the wolf (this is rather interesting considering that many Chechens in the past have in fact been shepherds). According to the ethnographic historian Jaimoukha, in olden times Chechens used to observe a wolf cult that would prevent lupine raids on sheep, by observing Saturday as being a special day.
Chechen (Ichkerian) seal bearing a wolf, the nation’s symbolic embodiment.
Wolf Symbol for Mongolians
The Mongolians tell stories about them having been born of a union between a doe and a wolf, thus setting them apart from all other peoples of the Earth.
Today, people don’t really believe in it literally, but it still has its symbolic meaning forged in every Mongolians heart. They believe that wolves are spiritual animals and even if you wanted to hunt a wolf, it wouldn’t be seen to any hunter, but to a person with high spiritual power and who is meant for something great. The wolf symbolizes spiritual power, luck and expresses strong instincts.
Eagle hunters in Mongolia (Image Source)
Summed up, there are plenty of cultures that have seen wolves in either a positive or a negative light. However, whichever the case, the wolf has always been a symbol of considerable importance, which seems to remain as true in the present as in the past.
Naga Fireballs: Swamp Gas or Divine Breath?
When science and spirituality battle it out, sometimes there’s no clear winner. In the case of most Fortean or paranormal subjects, the scientific establishment simply labels their opponents with the blanket term ‘pseudo-science’, and the counter argument is usually that critics are closed minded. It’s not always the case, but often these two pillars of popular culture mix like oil and water, or perhaps…gas and water.
Sometimes the debate goes beyond polite discourse too, and in such cases believers in whatever phenomena can get outright nasty. Such was the case in 2002, following the airing of a Thailand TV show titled Code Crackers, wherein a team was sent by the Thai TV network iTV to investigate the famed Naga Fireballs.
A little background first. The Naga Fireballs are much as their name suggests. They are the focal point of a phenomenon that occurs in late October every year, on the Mekong River in Southeast Asia. They are little fireballs that silently rise up out of the river, burning red in colour. They shoot up from the river’s surface quickly, to about a hundred meters, where they silently burn out and disappear. They can occur in the thousands, though some years have recorded as few as 30.
The fireballs are widely known in Asia and are revered in Thailand as a part of the observance of the Buddhist (Thai/Laos) Lenten season. Specifically Wan Ok Phansa, which is the final day of the celebration. In modern day Thailand, the celebration involves huge gatherings of people on the bank of the river, all to watch the fireballs rise and disappear in the heavens. The celebration commemorates the return of Buddha in Naga form, and it is widely believed by Buddhists and others that the Naga Fireballs are actually the breath of a giant sea serpent, a Naga or Phaya Naga, that lives in the riverbed and awakes every year at this time to honour the conclusion of vassa (The three month long season of Rain Retreat or Buddhist Lent).
The Naga, as history buffs and perhaps gamers will find familiar, is the name of a mythical creature, said to be a giant sea serpent or snake (or sometimes a dragon). They have some political significance, as Laotian culture considers them to be protectors of Vientaine (the capital of Laos) and by extension, Laos State, but they are revered by most in the Makong river area of Thailand as powerful magical beasts. Most in the skeptical camp believe that a species of oarfish is responsible for this myth.
This spiritual significance is what, ultimately, led to the unrest among revelers in 2002. The show, Code Crackers, offered a not so traditional view of the Naga Fireballs. Their expose suggested that the fireballs are not the breath of the great Naga, but are in fact tracer rounds being fired into the sky by Laos guards on the opposite shore of the nearly half-mile-wide river. This offended the spiritual beliefs of some several hundreds of thousands of believers, and protests and lawsuits ensued. The TV show was followed by a feature length movie titled Mekhong Full Moon Party, which portrayed the phenomenon and the celebration in a less than flattering light as well.
The notion that the fireballs are not what the devout believe they are isn’t, as you may imagine, without its merits, however.
Scientists, according to many who’ve blogged on this topic, readily attribute the phenomenon to that old stand-by explanation for all things weird and unexplained – Swamp Gas. Though, in this case, they may be right.
To anyone unfamiliar with UFO phenomenon and its culture, the swamp gas explanation says that in marshy areas, organic material decomposes underground producing deposits of methane. Said methane eventually finds its way to the surface, and upon coming into contact with oxygen, it spontaneously ignites providing a brief little light show for anyone who happens to be nearby. Fairly simple chemistry actually.
According to Brian Dunning of Skeptoid, one Dr. Manos Kanoksilp, a pediatrician, theorises that the Naga Fireball phenomenon requires a precise alignment of the sun, moon and Earth, and that the Makong River provides a perfect storm of conditions, regarding methane and oxygen levels combined with ambient temperature, to bring about the fireballs every year at the same time. The Thai Science Ministry apparently concurs, citing an experiment headed by the ministry’s Deputy Secretary, Saksit Tridech. Tridech and his team used equipment to measure conditions during the celebration and apparently determined that the fireballs were the result of built up phosphine gas. Phosphine is manufactured for industrial purposes through a defined chemical process, and it’s not clear how it is generated in nature. Though most believe, similar to methane, it is the product of bacterial reduction of phosphate in decomposing organic material.
Brian Dunning disagrees with the swamp gas theory, however. The swamp gas process described above, based on methane gas, requires highly specific conditions. The right concentrations of methane and oxygen and certain environmental conditions are necessary for spontaneous combustion. Dunning believes it’s unlikely that those conditions can be found consistently on the same date at the same place, year after year. It may come as no surprise that he favours the Laotian guards firing into the sky theory, and suggests that they may be paid to do so by local officials.
Phosphine however, is a touch more volatile than methane, and could account for the Naga Fireball phenomenon, but it too would require special circumstances to be consistent over time.
So we’re left with three apparent possibilities: a giant magical serpent breathing tiny bubbles of fire, swamp gas, or a sort of unintentional hoax (or perhaps intentional).
One of the problems with the above theorising, is that there isn’t a lot known about the fireball phenomenon’s history. Locals claim that it’s been going on for centuries, but there is no record of it. There are whisperings of the Mekong Lights (as they’re sometimes called) being mentioned in sacred writings at the Wat Luang Buddhist temple in Phon Phasai, Wat Pho Luang Phra Sai, and of written accounts of the lights from British forces in the 1960’s but there’s nothing solid to cite. The festival itself is eons old, but it’s not clear if the fireballs have always been associated with it. As such it’s not certain if the Naga Fireballs really do happen every year at the same time. Today, and as a result of a huge boom in Naga Fireball related tourism in the area, the festival is overrun by fireworks, which completely negates anyone actually seeing the fireballs in person, unless one happens to erupt right in front of them.
Nonetheless, there are many videos of the fireballs on YouTube, like the one below – so ultimately, you can make up your own mind.
 Napanisa Kaewmorakot. Science Ministry Solves Naga Fireballs Mystery.The Nation (Nong Khai) http://www.nationmultimedia.com/home/Science-Ministry-solves-Naga-fireballs-mystery-87105.html
Paranormal Activity Captured In Familys Kitchen in East Yorkshire, England
This footage was caught by Paul Pennock on October 21, 2018. a few week before this footage was taken Paul noticed that things were being moved and hearing strange noises coming from the kitchen, he decided to place a camera and what he filmed left him feeling unsafe.
Paul Pennock states ” This happened in my kitchen last night, we’re moving out!!! ”
Source: The Hidden Underbelly 2.0
Bizarre case of Angelique, the electric poltergeist girl
The history of the paranormal is littered with mysterious individuals who at times seemingly came out of nowhere to baffle and beguile, before fading off into the mists of time. These people step out from beyond the fringes of what we know to demonstrate abilities or phenomena beyond our comprehension, tease us with answers to the unknown realms that lurk on the periphery, and then are forgotten to leave their mysteries swirling in the wake of their departures. Such cases are often murky, sometimes frustratingly lost to time, and always baffling. One such case of a particularly mysterious historical case of such a puzzling person is that of a poor peasant girl in France, surrounded by strange, ghostly phenomena, who would go on from her humble life to become a great unsolved mystery.
The tale revolves around an Angelique Cottin, who in 1846 was a young, 14-year-old peasant girl living in the village of Bouvigny, near La Perrière, France, when her life and that of those around her would be forever changed as she launched herself into the realm of legendary unexplained mysteries. In January of that year, Angelique was at work weaving silk into gloves on a large wooden weaving frame when the whole thing began to shiver and shake with increasing intensity, before actually sliding across the floor, despite is heavy weight and the fact that that no one was touching it except Angelique just moments before. It was noticed that when Angelique approached the frame it would seem to actually retreat from her, almost as if it were a living thing recoiling from her presence, which was all enough to unsettle the others who were with her at the time. The frightened witnesses to the inexplicable event told adults, but at the time no one believed them.
In the coming days more similar phenomena began to follow Angelique around, such as chairs moving out of her way and even at one point a table that seemed to levitate in the air in her presence. There were also papers that would flutter and blow away near her, as if by a gust of wind, and pens or other small objects would also dance about or retreat from her touch. Angelique’s parents, as well as local residents, witnessed these incidents and rumors began to swirl that the girl was possessed by the Devil. Her parent’s would subsequently bring her to a local priest for an exorcism, but her problem was deemed to be more of a physical phenomenon rather than the work of the Devil for reasons that are unclear, and she was sent home in a doctor’s care.
The doctor in question went in rather skeptical of the outlandish stories he had heard, but he would soon witness these odd phenomena for himself, and they would indeed steadily grow in intensity. Objects would be flung from her lightest touch with great force, when she sat in a chair it would rattle and buck to the point that even a grown man couldn’t hold it down, a heavy table was seen to lift and hover in the air in front of startled witnesses, and other furniture would also shake, quake, and move about when the girl was near it. On one occasion a heavy container flew through the air with a man sitting upon it. Angelique’s bed would also often levitate, shake, or move about while she was in it, and the activity in general was noticed to be more pronounced and stronger at night.
For the rest of this tale, go here.
About the Author:
Brent Swancer is an author and crypto expert living in Japan. Biology, nature, and cryptozoology still remain Brent Swancer’s first intellectual loves. He’s written articles for MU and Daily Grail and has been a guest on Coast to Coast AM and Binnal of America.
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