An international team of researchers including Colorado State University professors Christopher Fisher and Stephen Leisz have been utilizing LiDAR technology to seek ancient settlements and human constructed landscapes in an area long rumoured to contain the legendary city of Ciudad Blanca – the mythical “White City” – in Central America.
The project is a collaboration of the Global Heritage Foundation (GHF), UTL Productions, the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM), CSU, and the Honduran government. It is outlined in detail in the May 6 edition of The New Yorker.
LiDAR is the latest in survey prospection
Fisher, an associate professor of archaeology, and Leisz, assistant professor of geography, have previously worked with airborne LiDAR to help reveal a lost pre-Columbian city in central Mexico. LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing technique used to examine the earth’s surface.
Researchers focused their search for evidence of ancient settlements in the Mosquitia Coast region of Central America. Until now, dense tropical forests and relative inaccessibility of the region have hampered systematic archaeological investigation.
LiDAR’s computer-generated images allow researchers to “see” through the forest canopy to the ground surface, revealing any evidence of ancient settlements or human-engineered landscapes.
Russian billionaire reveals real-life ‘avatar’ plan – and says he will upload his brain to a hologram and become immortal by 2045
A Russian billionaire has revealed controversial plans to upload his own brain and become immortal by 2045.
32 year-old Dmitry Itskov believes technology will allow him to live forever in a hologram body.
His ’2045 initiative’ is described as the next step in evolution, and over 20,000 people have signed up on Facebook to follow its progress, with global conferences planned to explore the technology needed.
‘We are in the process of creating focus groups of experts,’ said Itskov.
‘Along with these teams, we will prepare goal statements and research programs schedules.’
The foundation has already planned out its timeline for getting to a fully holographic human, and claims it will be ready to upload a mind into a computer by 2015, a timeline even Itskov says is ‘optimistic’.
Mystery aircraft buzzing over city from dusk til dawn for two weeks is scaring residents but authorities won’t tell them what it’s doing
Residents in Quincy, Massachusetts are growing increasingly concerned about who or what has been flying about their city from dusk til dawn for the past 10 days.
Almost every night for the past two weeks, residents have spotted – and heard – a low-flying aircraft doing loops over the city.
At least person has captured an image of the plane which has at least helped to confirm that, despite suspicions, it isn’t a drone. The photograph revealed a Cessna single-engine airplane, which is a maned vehicle.
New York police pulled a body from the Harlem River in the Bronx on Sunday, identified only by a tattoo of the Masonic Eye of Providence on the man’s left shoulder.Police failed to comment on how the body was discovered but are seeking the public’s help in identifying the John Doe.
The corpse was discovered near West 225th Street, just East of Broadway, on the Bronx shore of the Harlem River shortly after 3pm on Sunday.
The unsolved mystery of the Van Meter Visitor – a winged creature with a glowing horn that caused terror in an Iowa town 110 years ago
A bizarre legend and unsolved mystery which has haunted a small Iowa town for more than 100 years is the subject of a new book called The Van Meter Visitor.For several nights in 1903, the small town of Van Meter, Iowa was terrorized by a giant bat-like creature that emerged from an old abandoned mine.
The identity of this mysterious monster has never been discovered, but over 100 years later a new book is retelling the amazing tale and hoping to shed some light on what happened all those years ago.
The legend dates back to the fall of 1903, when several of Van Meter’s most well respected citizens reported a half human, half animal with enormous, smooth bat wings flying about.
The creature is described as moving at speeds the townsfolk had never witnessed before, plus it let off a powerful stench and shot a blinding light from its horned head.
Each time the townsfolk encountered the creature they fired their guns at it, but this appeared to have no impact on the creature.
Romanian nuns celebrate Easter among the skulls of their dead sisters as Orthodox Christians pack churches around the world
As thousands of Orthodox Christians celebrated Easter Sunday today with services around the world, worshippers in Romania visited an underground room of skulls to mark Jesus Christ’s resurrection.
The ossuary at Pasarea monastery near Bucharest contains mainly the remains of nuns who lived there.
A Romanian Orthodox priest led a service as nuns held candles and sang, while visitors looked on.
More than 85 per cent of Romanians are Orthodox Christian. They celebrate the resurrection of Christ on the evening before Easter Sunday, when a holy flame originating in Jerusalem is passed between churches.
Worshippers visit their local church with candles and take the flame – which is seen as a light from God – back into their homes for Easter Sunday.
The flame is brought from Jerusalem by members of the Romanian Orthodox clergy after an event called the Holy Fire ceremony at one of Christianity’s holiest churches.
The first evidence of agriculture appears in the archaeological record some 10,000 years ago. But the skills needed to cultivate and harvest crops weren’t learned overnight. Scientists have traced these roots back to 23,000-year-old tools used to grind seeds, found mostly in the Middle East.
Now, research lead by Li Liu, a professor of Chinese archaeology at Stanford, reveals that the same types of tools were used to process seeds and tubers in northern China, setting China’s agricultural clock back about 12,000 years and putting it on par with activity in the Middle East. Liu believes that the practices evolved independently, possibly as a global response to a changing climate.
The earliest grinding stones have been found in Upper Palaeolithic archaeological sites around the world. These consisted of a pair of stones, typically a handheld stone that would be rubbed against a larger, flat stone set on the ground, to process wild seeds and tubers into flour-like powder.
Once the stones are unearthed, use-wear traces and residue of starch grains on the used surfaces can be analysed to reveal the types of plants processed.
Europeans all shared a common ancestor just 1,000 years ago, new genetic research reveals.Scientists drew this conclusion, detailed today (May 7) in the journal PLOS Biology, by calculating the length of regions of shared DNA from 2,000 Europeans.
The same technique hasn’t been applied to other continents, but people in other parts of the world are just as likely to be closely related, the researchers said.
“In fact, it’s likely that everyone in the world is related over just the past few thousand years,” said study co-author Graham Coop, a geneticist at the University of California, Davis.
Texas anarchist group fires world’s first 3-D printed gun made entirely from plastic that can pass through airport metal detectors
A Texas anarchist group has successfully produced the first-ever gun produced on a 3-D printer and made entirely of plastic parts.
An era of unlicensed plastic guns, made on 3-D printers costing as little as $1,000, has long been forecast, but no one has previously designed a weapon that could withstand the pressure of firing modern ammunition.
On Sunday, the group Defense Distributed posted a video of founder Cody Wilson firing the ‘Liberator’ plastic pistol.
Mr Wilson says he plans to make the schematics for the weapon available for free online this week – meaning everyone with a high-end 3-D printer can create their own version of the gun.
The ancestors of people from across Europe and Asia may have spoken a common language about 15,000 years ago, new research suggests.
Now, researchers have reconstructed words, such as “mother,” “to pull” and “man,” which would have been spoken by ancient hunter-gatherers, possibly in an area such as the Caucuses or the modern-day country of Georgia. The word list, detailed today (May 6) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could help researchers retrace the history of ancient migrations and contacts between prehistoric cultures.
“We can trace echoes of language back 15,000 years to a time that corresponds to about the end of the last ice age,” said study co-author Mark Pagel, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom.
Tower of Babel
The idea of a universal human language goes back at least to the Bible, in which humanity spoke a common tongue, but were punished with mutual unintelligibility after trying to build the Tower of Babel all the way to heaven. [Image Gallery: Ancient Middle-Eastern Texts]
But not all linguists believe in a single common origin of language, and trying to reconstruct that language seemed impossible. Most researchers thought they could only trace a language’s roots back 3,000 to 4,000 years. (Even so, researchers recently said they had traced the roots of a common mother tongue to many Eurasian languages back 8,000 to 9,500 years to Anatolia, a southwestern Asian peninsula that is now part of Turkey.)
Molotov cocktails, a Romanian rifle, “white supremacist stuff”…
Today, the FBI announced the arrest of a Minnesota man believed to have been plotting a “localized terror attack.”
Buford Rogers, a 24 year-old from Montevideo, Minn., was arrested Friday and charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He appeared in federal court Monday, and will have a second hearing Wednesday to set the terms of his detention.
The investigation is ongoing, but a number of early details are available. Here’s what we know so far:
1. An attack was probably not imminent
Authorities believe Rogers was planning to attack an undisclosed area in western Minnesota, and that he’d possibly targeted local authorities. According to the AP, that target was likely somewhere in Rogers’ home town of Montevideo.
However, investigators believe Rogers was still in the very early planning stages, and that an attack was not imminent. Nonetheless, “the FBI believes that a terror attack was disrupted by law enforcement personnel and that the lives of several local residents were potentially saved,” the Minneapolis FBI office said in a statement.
Law enforcement officials have been quick to shoot down any speculation about whether Rogers was acting alone or as part of a group. They’ve also declined to say if more arrests may be on the way.
“This is an ongoing investigation,” FBI spokesman Kyle A. Loven told the Los Angeles Times.
Humans lived in South America at the height of the last ice age, thousands of years earlier than we thought, according to a controversial study. A team claims to have found 22,000-year-old stone tools at a site in Brazil, though other archaeologists are disputing the claim.
Christelle Lahaye of Michel de Montaigne Bordeaux 3 University in France and colleagues excavated a rock shelter in north-east Brazil and found 113 stone tools.
The team dated the sediments in which the tools were buried using a technique that determines when the sediments were last exposed to light. Some tools were buried 22,000 years ago – thousands of years earlier than any known human colonisation of the Americas.
For decades, archaeologists thought that the Clovis people were the first to enter the Americas, 13,000 years ago. But since the 1980s evidence has accumulated for an earlier colonisation, at least 15,000 years ago.
Why did European DNA suddenly change 4,000 years ago? Experts reveal evolutionary mystery – and say the makers of Stonehenge may hold the key
The genetic makeup of Europe mysteriously transformed about 4,000-5,000 years ago, researchers have discovered.
An Australian team found the unexplained change while analysing several skeletons unearthed in central Europe that were up to 7,500 years old.
They say the rapid expansion of the Bell Beaker culture, which is believed to have been instrumental in building the monoliths at Stonehedge, could hold the key.
‘What is intriguing is that the genetic markers of this first pan-European culture, which was clearly very successful, were then suddenly replaced around 4,500 years ago, and we don’t know why,’ study co-author Alan Cooper of the University of Adelaide Australian Center for Ancient DNA said.
‘Something major happened, and the hunt is now on to find out what that was.’
Oops! Moment Fox channel’s closed captioning identified bombing suspect as ’19-year-old Zooey Deschanel’… and a local TV reporter who admitted on air ‘I don’t know sh*t’
The Boston bombings and the subsequent hunt for the suspects had put all mainstream media outlets to the test with rapid developments and unexpected twists – and many of them failed miserably.
On Friday night, a tense police standoff with a bombing suspect unfolded in real time on live TV in Watertown, Mass., giving rise to much confusion that left some reporters feeling exasperated.
And one correspondent for the channel New England Cable News let his frustration show – and be heard – on air.
As veteran NBC presenter Brian Williams cut to the channel to get an update on the situation in Watertown, the unnamed reporter could be heard saying: ‘Oh, you’re not listening? Well, I don’t know sh*t,’ Gawker reported.
The initial discovery was made by Benjamin Troper, the training coordinator of the Kfar Etzion field school, who suddenly, while aiding a troubled tourist down a deep cave south of Jerusalem, turned to look at the nearby wall and saw an ancient stone column.
“I had gone down that hole dozens of times,” Tropper told Makor Rishon, “but this was the first time, because I was helping the tourist, that I came down looking in that direction.”
What he saw was a bona fide ancient column with a capital, which he recognized from his years as tour guide and from the time he spent working in excavating ancient Jerusalem.
That’s the story of a remarkably rare archeological discovery, which no one has heard about. For some reason, possibly political, the Israeli authorities have been trying to silence this discovery which could usher in a breakthrough in our understanding of the periods of King David and his son, King Solomon.
The column capital Tropper ran, or rather climbed down into, is very likely part of a complete temple or palace buried underground.
Tropper, who expected nothing short of a medal for his fortunate discovery, called over the field school’s director, Yaron Rosenthal, who in turn alerted a senior employee of Israel’s Antiquities Authority. But no medals were to come any time soon.
The find is really big, according to Rosenthal. It may also be a singular opportunity to unearth a whole structure that hadn’t undergone “secondary use,” meaning that it hasn’t been altered by later dwellers of the area. Often, later period folks utilize the components of older structures as building blocks for their own structures.
As details emerge about the Texas fertilizer plant that was the site of Wednesday’s fatal explosion and fire, a few tidbits can be gleaned from a 2007 lawsuit that the plant’s owners filed against agribusiness giant Monsanto Co.
The suit, filed as a potential class action in U.S. District Court for the western district of Texas, claimed that Monsanto had artificially inflated prices for its herbicide Roundup through anti-competitive actions. The suit did not relate to storing fertilizer, believed to be at the root of Wednesday’s blast.
The suit was filed by Texas Grain Storage Inc. The company now calls itself West Fertilizer Co.
In the suit, the company said that it was started in 1957 as a grain-storage business by the Plasek family in the town of West, Texas. It later built a small fertilizer-blend plant and started selling fertilizer to area farmers.
Zak Covar, executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, told a news conference Wednesday that the fertilizer storage and blending facility had been there since 1962.
A robot will soon begin exploring the last stretch of a tunnel found at the archaeological site of Teotihuacan in central Mexico, the third time anywhere in the world that such an automaton is used to design excavation strategies.The tunnel, discovered under the Temple of the Plumed Serpent, or Quetzalcoatl, is believed to lead to a chamber almost 2,000 years old, probably a place where dignitaries of the pre-Columbian city received their investiture or were buried, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.
The Tlaloc II-TC robot, which will be the first to travel the remaining 30 to 35 meters (100 to 115 feet) of the tunnel, is composed of three independent mechanisms, the first being the transport vehicle that reaches a length of over a meter (3 1/4 feet) once its arms are stretched out.
The robotic arms serve to deal with any obstacles in the vehicle’s path.
With the exploration of these areas, the INAH looks forward to making some of the most important archaeological discoveries at Teotihuacan, one of the largest cities of Mesoamerica in pre-Columbian times.
In an unreal scene, a massive explosion ripped through a fertilizer plant Wednesday night in the community of West, Texas, just north of Waco, sending a massive fireball into the sky and setting parts of the town ablaze.
As of 7:25 a.m. on Thursday we know this: Several buildings were reported damaged, including a nearby nursing home, and numerous injuries were reported with multiple ambulances requested after a fertilizer plant exploded.
According to some initial reports there were scores of deaths because of the explosion. West EMS Director Dr. George Smith told the local KWTX that as many as 60 or 70 people died and at least 100 were injured Wednesday night in a fertilizer plant explosion in West.
The number of dead and injured could not immediately be confirmed.
“We’ve heard that figure of 60 to 70 dead that’s coming from the county’s emergency management office down here,” said WFAA (Dallas) reporter Todd Unger a short distance from the blast epicenter. “I can tell you that a couple of law enforcement soucres expect that number to go up.”
Former Republican presidential candidate and longtime television preacher Pat Robertson implied on “The 700 Club” Wednesday that LGBT people are covertly out to destroy the family, the church and the state, in the vein of the Illuminati of the French revolutionary war.
“It has been said that those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to live them again,” he says in footage snipped and published online by Right Wing Watch.
“You go back in history to the French Revolution, you find there was a thrust, uh, spurred by the, uh, writings of a group called the Illuminati, to destroy the family, to destroy the state, to destroy capitalism, to destroy the church,” Robertson continues. “And it was lived out in the blood of the French Revolution.”
So, what exactly does that have to do with LGBT people? Robertson doesn’t quite make the connection, and instead explains: “We have here a debate over same sex marriage. But is it really just about marriage? Or does it go far beyond that? They’re destroying the traditional family and building a country without God.”