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Mysteries

The Mysterious Lost Underground City of Death Valley

by Brent Swancer

Sprawled out across a portion of the northern Mojave Desert of California, in the United States, is the magnificent yet forbidding moonscape that is Death Valley.

This is one of the hottest, most inhospitable places on the planet, boasting the highest ground temperature ever recorded on earth at 201 °F (93.9 °C), and in general a sun-scorched wasteland, devoid of water and pounded by relentless sun and heat. It is so inhospitable that it might as well be the surface of some remote, lifeless planet, and it is not called Death Valley for nothing. Yet, for how totally uninhabitable it may seem there have long been Native tribes living in this extreme land for thousands of years, and it some reports are to be believed there is even a mysterious lost civilization that lived under it all.The tribe most associated with the Death Valley region is the Paiute, who like many other tribes throughout the world have their particular legends and myths about the land they inhabit. For the Paiute one of the most intriguing is that of a great underground city they call Shin-au-av, meaning “God’s Land” or “Ghost Land.” According to the lore, there was once a great chief who lost his wife to the clutches of death. Unable to cope without her, this chief took a journey to the land of spirits, during which he found himself in a vast subterranean world. In this land he was attacked by horrific monsters, which he barely managed to fend off as he retreated, finally crossing a rock bridge and coming to a peaceful land ruled by a chief called Shin-au-av.

Death Valley

This was apparently a land of lush green meadows, sweeping valleys, and dancing, happy people, and the chief who had stumbled across this magical place realized that is was a land of spirits, possibly even harboring his dead wife. He even asked if his wife was there, and one of his guides said that she indeed was, and that she would be presented to him with the caveat that he whisk her away as soon as possible without looking back. The chief was elated, but after waiting several days she did not materialize. He was about to give up but then she appeared and he did as promised, taking her by the hand and leading her across that stone bridge back to the land of the living, but he broke his pact by looking once more onto that sumptuous realm of green and his wife subsequently faded away once again. The heartbroken chief made his way back to his village, but he was never the same again, and his tale of that amazing underground domain became the stuff of legends.

Whether this fantastic fable is based in any way in reality or not, there have actually been explorers and adventurers who seem to have stumbled across this seemingly mythical place buried under the harsh hellscape of the Death Valley above, and whether connected to this legend or not there have been many who have claimed to have found something quite odd there under the parched earth. One of the earliest such accounts comes from the early 1900s, when two men named White and Thomason were said to have been hiking through Death Valley and one of them allegedly fell through the ground into an old mine shaft at a place called Wingate Pass.

It turned out that there underground was a gigantic cavern that they claim to have followed for 20 miles beneath the earth, where it penetrated out under the Panamint Mountains. According to them, this meandering, expansive cavern emptied out into a vast and ancient subterranean city, which had long since been abandoned but which still held much evidence of its past residents. White and Thomason said that they found perfectly preserved mummies wearing leather clothing and gold jewelry down there in the dank depths, as well as gold spears, a polished stone round table of some sort, golden statues, and just generally gold lying all over the place, as well as countless gemstones. Throughout all of it was an intricate lighting system that they speculated harnessed natural gases, and immense stone doors that seemed to have once been operated with elaborate mechanical systems.

The men claimed to have taken some of the treasure and relics out of there so that they could be studied, but that they had been subsequently stolen by an associate. They captured the attention of the Smithsonian Institute, and promised that they could show them where the entrance to this bizarre underground world was, but the men were unable to locate it again. Considering there is absolutely no evidence of these men’s claims, we are left to merely speculate as to how much truth any of it has.

In the 1920s there was another interesting account when a Native Guide named Tom Wilson came forward to claim that his prospector grandfather had also found some sort of underground city under Death Valley. Wilson said that his grandfather had followed a cave down into the earth, where he had come across a city of fair-skinned people living there underground, who spoke a language he could not understand and were decked out in leather clothing of some sort. This strange race had horses down there, and the whole city was lit up by some sort of lighting system he could not comprehend. Interestingly, Wilson would hear the earlier account of the explorer White and would go on to spend the rest of his life obsessively looking for the lost city without success until he passed away in 1968.

In 1947 the mysterious lost city of Death Valley captured the public imagination when a man named Howard E. Hill came forward with a rather bizarre tale of his own, which was circulated in the newspaper The San Diego Union. Hill told of a man named Dr. F. Bruce Russell and his colleague, an archeologist named Dr. Daniel S. Bovee. In 1931, Russell was claimed to have discovered a complex network of subterranean caves, which were stumbled across completely by accident while sinking for a mine shaft to make a claim on. The two men went on to explore these uncharted tunnels and found a series of spectacular caverns and catacombs down there in the gloom, which revealed some rather startling discoveries indeed.

According to the report, Russell and Bovee came across the mummified remains of three actual giants in the darkness, each measuring a purported 9 feet tall and wearing clothing that appeared to be jackets and knee length trousers made of some sort of unknown animal skin. The chamber that the giants were found in was allegedly full of relics that seemed to be some sort of mix of Egyptian and Native American design, and there were apparently hieroglyphics etched into the walls and ceiling. The men also found some sort of hall that they believed had been used for mysterious rituals, and within this hall were the remains of numerous animals presumably used for sacrifices, including both known and unknown animals, as well as the bones of extinct animals such as mammoths and even actual dinosaurs, as weird as that may seem.

Russell supposedly claimed that the remains were dated to be at least 80,000 years old, and that the whole complex meandered out into the unexplored dark for miles, with no telling what else lie within the unexplored murk. Although the two tried to get interest from the scientific community they were perhaps not surprisingly looked at with quite a bit of skepticism, with all of this talk of giant bones and dinosaur skeletons in an underground city. Yet they were apparently adamant that it was all real and that it was the discovery of the century. The two were finally able to draw some interest, but when they tried to find the entrance again they of course could not. Rather bizarrely, not long after this Dr. Russell and Bovee just suddenly vanished, and Russell’s car would supposedly be found abandoned in the desert of Death Valley several months later with no sign of its occupant.

There have been sporadic reports since of finding anomalous caverns and ruins down there in the earth below Death Valley, and we are left to wonder what it all means. Was there ever an ancient underground city here or is this all just myths and folklore? What of the findings of these explorers who have claimed to have been there? What is the significance of the mummies or the bones? It is a hard case to really get a bead on, and for now we are left to merely wonder if down in the depths below the unforgiving remote desert of Death Valley there is some ancient mysterious city lost to time.

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.

Source: https://mysteriousuniverse.org/2018/11/the-mysterious-lost-underground-city-of-death-valley/

 

 

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Mysteries

Murder Mysterious: What Happened at the Hinterkaife Farm?

This story, which took place on April 4, 1922, on the Hinterkaifike farm, located between Ingolstadt and Schrobenhausen in Bavaria, still excites the minds of lawyers and journalists. Then they found the bodies of the owner of the farm and his wife, their daughter and her two children, a maid who had recently come to them to work …

Everyone in the village knew about the Gruber. They were a wealthy family, but with a bad reputation. The father of the family, Andreas Gruber, was a cruel and rude man, so the workers on the farm did not stay long. Although everyone wanted money, few were willing to endure Andreas’ harsh temper. Cecilia Gruber, his wife, used to be the owner of Hinterkaifeke – she inherited the farm from her husband. From him, she left two children, Martin and Cecilia. Soon the couple had a daughter, Victoria. She was not the only child, but the only one survived to adulthood – the rest of the children died in the absence of proper care. 

Victoria grew up with Cecilia the younger as a sister. She was a quiet girl who sang in the church choir. Andreas did not deny himself the pleasure of making fun of both girls, and when Victoria turned 16, he forced her to enter into a relationship with him. Nobody knew about this, because the family lived as hermits, and the locals preferred not to pry into other people’s affairs. 

Cecilia the younger got married and left. At the age of 27, Victoria also found herself a husband, Karl Gabriel. According to rumors, he married solely for the sake of a share of the land, but upon learning of the incestuous relationship between his wife and father-in-law, he dropped everything and went to the front. A month later, Victoria gave birth to a daughter, Cecilia. 

In the end, Victoria broke down and told about incest in confession. Gruber was sentenced to a year of hard labor, and she herself was imprisoned for a month. However, when Andreas returned, everything was resumed. Once their neighbor Lorenz Schlittenbauer wooed Victoria – his wife died then, he had sex with Victoria several times in the barn and must have decided that his farm still needs a mistress, besides, he is a respected non-poor man. But Andreas refused to marry his daughter, claiming that he “fondled her himself.” When it turned out that Victoria was pregnant, she persuaded Lorenz to recognize the child as her own, but she never got married, and Gruber was named his guardian. So Lorenz was forced to pay child support until the child came of age, not even being sure that he was from him.

The baby was named Joseph. Unfortunately, he was unwell, grew poorly and was often ill. For the villagers, this served as a signal that Joseph was born as a result of an unnatural relationship between Victoria and her father.

Footprints and ghosts

Shortly before the murder, Victoria was seized with anxiety. She repeated that she felt that the farm was being watched. She saw the silhouette of a man, but could not find out who it was. Andreas also noticed oddities: footprints in the snow around the house, rustling in the attic (and when he got up, no one was there), flashing torches … Once he found a Munich newspaper that no one in the family subscribed to. He also lost his keys.

On March 31, a couple of days before the murder, the maid Maria arrived at the farm. The previous one asked for a calculation when she began to suspect that a ghost was in charge of the house.

Murder

For several days, nothing was heard about the Gruber, but life was in full swing on the farm: smoke poured from the chimney, sounds were heard, someone walked … But after several people with whom Andreas had appointments, they could not getting inside, their neighbor Lorenz became worried and called the police. 

The bodies of all six were found in a house that was in perfect order. Little Joseph was killed in his cradle, Maria – in her bed, the rest were piled up in a heap by the barn and obviously not the first day dead. All residents of the farm were killed in one way – hitting the head with a hoe. At the same time, nothing of the valuable things and money, which was abundant on the farm, was not lost. Cynologists with dogs were able to take the trail of the criminal, but lost him at the edge of the forest.

The police interviewed about a hundred suspects, chief among whom was a neighbor of the Lorenz farm, whom Victoria had deceived and, perhaps, her ex-husband, who allegedly died at the front, could in fact be alive. In 2007, the students of the police academy, as a practice, re-investigated the case, found a new suspect, but out of respect for their relatives, they did not disclose their name.

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Mysteries

A dead star in our galaxy has sent a new radio signal

Magnetar SGR 1935 + 2154, which emitted the first known rapid radio burst from inside the Milky Way in April, flared again, giving astronomers another chance to unravel the cosmic mystery.

The little dead star that sent the signal earlier this year did it again.

On October 8, 2020, the CHIME / FRB collaboration discovered SGR 1935 + 2154 emitting three millisecond radio bursts in three seconds. Following the CHIME / FRB detection, the FAST radio telescope detected something else – pulsed radio emission corresponding to the rotation period of the magnetar.

It is very interesting to see SGR 1935 + 2154 again, and I am optimistic that if we study these bursts more closely, it will help us better understand the potential relationship between magnetars and fast radio bursts, “says astronomer Deborah Goode of the University of Britain Colombia in Canada and a member of CHIME / FRB.

Until April of this year, fast radio bursts (FRBs) were ever recorded only from outside the galaxy, usually from sources millions of light years away. The first was discovered in 2007, and since then astronomers have been trying to figure out what causes them.

As the name suggests, FRBs are bursts of extremely powerful radio waves found in the sky, some of which release more energy than hundreds of millions of suns. They only last a millisecond.

Since most sources of fast radio bursts seem to flare up once and no repetition is detected, they are highly unpredictable. In addition, the ones we detect usually come so far that our telescopes cannot distinguish individual stars. Both of these characteristics make it difficult to track the FRB to either the exact source galaxy or a known cause.

But SGR 1935 + 2154 is only 30,000 light-years away. On April 28, 2020, it spat out a massive millisecond pulse that has since been dubbed FRB 200428 under the fast radio transmission naming convention.

Once the signal strength was adjusted for distance, FRB 200428 was not as powerful as the extragalactic fast radio bursts, but everything else was in line with the profile.

“If the same signal came from a nearby galaxy, such as one of the closest typical FRB galaxies, it would look like an FRB to us,” said astronomer Srinivas Kulkarni of the California Institute of Technology. “We’ve never seen anything like it before.”

We don’t know much about the three new bursts yet. Since scientists are still working on the data, it is possible that some of the early findings could change, Goode said. But now we can say that they are both similar and not similar to FRB 200428.

They are a little less powerful again, but they are all still incredibly strong, and they all lasted only milliseconds.

“Although less bright than those detected earlier this year, they are still very bright flares that we would see if they were extragalactic,” Goode added.

“One of the more interesting aspects of this discovery is that our three bursts appear to have occurred during the same rotation period. The magnetar is known to rotate every ~ 3.24 seconds, but our first and second bursts were separated by 0.954 seconds, and the second and third were separated by 1.949 seconds. This is a bit unusual, and I think we will look at it later. “

This could reveal something new and useful about the behavior of magnetars, because – let’s face it – they’re pretty weird.

Magnetars, of which only 24 have been confirmed to date, are neutron stars; it is the collapsed core of a dead star, not massive enough to turn into a black hole. Neutron stars are small and dense, about 20 kilometers in diameter, with a maximum mass of about two Suns. But magnetars add something else to this: a stunningly powerful magnetic field.

These stunning fields are about a quadrillion times more powerful than Earth’s magnetic field and a thousand times more powerful than a normal neutron star. And we still do not fully understand how they came to this.

But we know that magnetars have periods of activity. As gravity tries to hold the star together – an internal force – the magnetic field pulling outward is so powerful that it distorts the star’s shape. This results in a constant voltage that sometimes causes giant starquakes and giant magnetic flares. SGR 1935 + 2154 is undergoing such activity, which suggests a link between magnetar attacks and at least some FRBs.

Obviously, astronomers have found that the source of the first intragalactic FRBs is of great interest. When CHIME / FRB reported their discovery, other astronomers decided to look at the star, including a team led by Zhu Weiwei of the National Astronomical Observatory of China, which had access to FAST, the largest single-aperture radio telescope in the world.

And they discovered something interesting, which was also reported on the astronomer’s Telegram – pulsed radio emission. These radio pulses were nowhere near as strong as the bursts, but they are extremely rare: if confirmed, SGR 1935 + 2154 will only be the sixth pulsed radio frequency magnetar. And the pulse period turned out to be equal to 3.24781 seconds – almost exactly the rotation period of the star.

This is curious, because until now astronomers have not been able to find a connection between magnetars and radio pulsars. Pulsars are another type of neutron star; they have a more normal magnetic field, but they pulsate with radio waves as they spin, and astronomers have long tried to figure out how the two types of stars are related.

Earlier this year, Australian astronomers identified a magnetar that behaved like a radio pulsar – a possible “missing link” between the two and evidence that at least some magnetars could evolve into pulsars. SGR 1935 + 2154 might be another piece of the puzzle.

“Based on these results and the increasing burst activity, we hypothesize that the magnetar may be in the process of transforming into an active radio pulsar,” Weiwei’s team wrote.

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Mysteries

Starlite: a mysterious material whose recipe was taken to the grave

Enthusiasts continue to struggle with the riddle of the unique material, the creator of which died without revealing the secret recipe.

At the dawn of the 1990s, reports began to appear in the world media about the creation of a new plastic material that could withstand heating to incredible temperatures – up to those that develop during a fire or on the shell of a spacecraft when passing through the atmosphere. Such statements were very embarrassing for scientists also because the author of the find was a man without a diploma or any formal education at all – the British hairdresser Maurice Ward.

Starlite – this name was invented by the granddaughter of Maurice Ward – was repeatedly tested by NASA as a possible heat insulator, the military and large corporations looked closely at it. The author did not refuse to provide samples for research, but he kept the recipe in complete secret, not sharing it with anyone – until 2011, when Maurice died, taking this secret with him. Perhaps thanks to this twist, the plot did not disappear into oblivion along with Petrik filters and other “miracle inventions”, and the history of the mysterious Starlite continues to this day.

According to Ward himself (by the way, his personal blog and YouTube channel survived on the Internet), he was prompted to search for fire-resistant material by a television report, from which he learned that many victims of fires die from poisoning by the caustic smoke of burning plastic. Previously, the hairdresser dabbled in the search for his own shampoo recipes, but around 1986 he completely devoted himself to a new venture. Three years later, the composition was found – and, of course, it turned out to be incredibly simple and included the most common store ingredients.

It was not easy for the “genius upstart” to break through, and over the next few years he pounded the thresholds of laboratories and companies without any benefit. Fate smiled only in 1993, when a message about Starlite was published in the authoritative International Defense Review. It referred to “amazing results” from some of the independent experts who tested Starlite. According to some reports, the material did not burn at temperatures up to 10,000 ° C and was not supplied even by a high-power laser.

Moreover, in the same 1993, the incredible thermal insulation properties of Starlite were demonstrated to the public. On the Air Force show Tomorrow’s World, a chicken egg coated with a thin layer of this material was sprayed with the heat of a gas burner for several minutes, after which it was shown that it remained raw inside. It would seem that the deed is done: it remains to find out which of the industrial giants will be interested in the invention and from whom Ward will be able to get legitimate millions, if not billions of dollars for the miracle recipe. The prospects for its use in engineering and construction were discussed. In 1994, the material was tested at Boeing as an alternative to space shuttle thermal insulation ceramics.

It is worth saying that Maurice Ward has always shown a certain paranoia about the security of his invention. As far as is known, he refused any projects in which he could not maintain a controlling 51 percent. The inventor personally monitored all samples that were submitted for testing, making sure that no one had the opportunity to reconstruct the Starlite composition. Ward also did not file a patent so as not to reveal the secret formula and repeatedly announced attempts to steal. The story that took place in the late 1990s is characteristic. It is known that at this time the inventor found partners from Canada and organized a startup Starlite Safety Solutions, which presented the results of material tests to investors. However, according to those same partners, Maurice Ward turned out to be completely incapable of negotiating – “the more he was offered, the more he asked for”

On the one hand, Ward is understandable. If the author’s statements are accurate, the find could be worth billions, which no corporation likes to share. On the other hand, Starlite could well change the modern world and save many lives, and perhaps doing so was not entirely ethical. Again, if all statements about the properties of this material are true. And this is its main mystery.

Indeed, despite all the doubts of many observers, there is enough authoritative evidence in favor of Starlite every now and then. Thus, Joe Kissell, who wrote about him in 2009, received a letter from Pamela Pohling-Brown, who authored the same article in the International Defense Review. She in every possible way confirmed the reliability of the results presented then and even named the expert who conducted the testing. 

“I’m afraid the topic is somehow classified,” summed up Pauline-Brown. By the way, Ward’s former partners from Canada hinted at the same. It turns out that there is still something to hide?

Maurice Ward has repeatedly stated that, fearing theft, he never even wrote down the recipe on paper, and keeps it in his head – fortunately, it is quite simple. According to him, the secret has been entrusted to only a few closest family members – however, they have not shown much activity since the death of the inventor in 2011. In 2013, two of Ward’s daughters announced the sale of a “certain version” of Starlite to the American company Thermashield, but the third said that she had kept the “best” formula. And since then nothing has been heard about Thermashield, and the company’s website has not been revoked.

But there are plenty of hypotheses and speculations about the composition of Starlite. They find the main clues all in the same publication by Pamela Pauline-Brown, where the following was said.

 “It consists of a set of organic polymers and copolymers with organic and inorganic additives, including borates, small amounts of ceramics and other barrier ingredients, for a total of 21. Perhaps uniquely, this thermally and explosion-proof material contains up to 90 percent organic matter.”

Armed with this data, yet another “genius self-taught” reproduced the recipe. Canadian Troy Hurtubise, known for developing the bear-repelling suit – and for testing inventions on himself – said he found the same or a similar recipe and demonstrated it under the name Firepaste. However, in 2014 he died in a car accident – as if the material really surrounds the halo of special operations.

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