Posts Tagged With: legends

Leon Trabuco’s Gold….


Leon Trabuco’s Gold

In 1933, Leon Trabuco was a Mexican millionaire. He believed he could use the Great Depression of the United States to increase his fortune. Convinced the United States would soon devalue the dollar and that gold prices would skyrocket, Trabuco and four other men bought up much of Mexico’s gold reserves to resell in the United States when the price went up.

At a makeshift Mexican foundry, gold coins and jewelry were melted down and cast into ingots. In less than three months, he and partners had collected almost sixteen tons of solid gold. They smuggled the gold into the United States, where if caught, they faced long prison terms. Trabuco searched for a safe place to hide the illegal treasure, but eventually, he decided it would be smarter to bury the gold. In the heat of the summer, he hired a pilot named Red Moiser to make several covert flights into the New Mexico desert for Trabuco.

It is believed that Trabuco chose a sparsely populated region near the Ute and Navajo Indian Reservations in New Mexico. Moiser allegedly made sixteen flights, carrying one ton of gold each time, taking them to pick-up trucks that transported them to burial site. Trabuco never revealed the location and was careful not to create a map. When the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 passed, the price of gold soared, but instead they waited for prices to soar higher.

Unfortunately, the Gold Act of 1934 made private ownership of gold illegal, and Trabuco was unable to cash in on his scheme. Over the years, he and his partners all died untimely deaths. Trabuco took the location of the gold to the grave.

Treasure hunter Ed Foster has searched for Trabuco’s Treasure in the desert around Farmington, New Mexico for over thirty-five years. He is convinced that he found the 1933 landing strip used by Red Moiser at a plateau called Conger Mesa. He has spoken with an Native American lady and Navajo woman who was six years old in 1933 who both recalled a plane that would land and take-off from there. Ed said she remembered several Mexican men who lived on the Reservation.

He also found an old Navajo home unlike any other on the reservation about twenty miles west of the mesa. It was probably meant as a guard post to guard the gold. It is a Mexican-style structure with windows, a front door, a back door and a veranda. Not far away is Shrine Rock inscribed with a date and the words: “1933 16 Ton.” Ed believes the gold could be hidden away somewhere in the vicinity of these three points.
Treasure hunter Norman Scott believes Trabuco’s Treasure has an air of authenticity to it. He believes that with available technology, it is only a matter of time before it is discovered.

It is believed that the treasure consisted of Mexican gold bought by several millionaires.

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Categories: gold, gold coins, gold ingots, hidden, Legends, Lost gold, Mexico, Old West, Treasure Hunters, Treasure Hunting, Treasure Legends, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ancient Race Of White Giants Described By Native American Legends….


Ancient Race Of White Giants Described By Native American Legends

Several Native American tribes, all separated by some distance, have a similar legend: that a race of white giants once walked the Earth but were eventually wiped out.

These are the legends.

Comanches.

Chief Rolling Thunder of the Comanches, a Great Plains tribe, once gave the following account of a race of white giants in 1857:

“Innumerable moons ago, a race of white men, 10 feet high, and far more rich and powerful than any white people now living, here inhabited a large range of country, extending from the rising to the setting sun. Their fortifications crowned the summits of the mountains, protecting their populous cities situated in the intervening valleys.

“They excelled every other nation which was flourished, either before or since, in all manner of cunning handicraft—were brave and warlike—ruling over the land they had wrested from its ancient possessors with a high and haughty hand. Compared with them the palefaces of the present day were pygmies, in both art and arms.”

Rolling Thunder stated that the Great Spirit wiped out the white giants when they forgot justice and mercy and became too proud.

Navajo.

The Navajo also spoke of a race of white giants, called the Starnake people. Their legend describes them as a “regal race of white giants endowed with mining technology who dominated the West, enslaved lesser tribes, and had strongholds all through the Americas. They were either extinguished or ‘went back to the heavens.’”

Choctaw.

The Choctaw tribe told of a race of giants that once inhabited what is now Tennessee. Their ancestors fought against them when they arrived in Mississippi during their westward migration. Their tradition talks of the Nahullo, their name for the giant race, and their wonderful stature.

Manta.

According to the Manta people of Peru, there were once giants that lived among them. According to their legend: “There arrived on the coast, in boats made of reeds, as big as large ships, a party of men of such size that, from the knee downwards, their height was as great as the entire height of an ordinary man, though he might be of good stature. Their limbs were all in proportion to the deformed size of their bodies, and it was a monstrous thing to see their heads, with hair reaching to the shoulders. Their eyes were as large as small plates.” The natives believe that heaven wiped them out due to their sexual habits, which the natives found revolting.

Paiutes.

The Paiutes have an oral legend of red-haired, white cannibals that stood about 10 feet tall and lived near Lovelock Cave, Nevada. It’s hard to know for sure if this oral tradition is true or if the truth has been distorted over time and these were just normal sized cannibals that lived near Lovelock Cave.

Some similar Piutes legends feature the same story just without the giants. Archaeologists have found remains of people with red hair in the area, but black hair can turn red with time.

Source:  higherperspectives.com

Categories: Ancient Treasure, Archaeology, artifacts, Legends, Myths, Strange News, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Search for Lost Confederate Gold….. By Hans Kuenzi The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable Copyright © 2008, All Rights Reserved


In late May 1861, Jefferson Davis, the former Mississippi Senator and the reluctant president of the seceding Confederate States of America, moved the capital of the CSA from Montgomery, Alabama to Richmond, Virginia to boost the morale of the Confederate troops and weld Virginia to the Confederacy. Had he known that in April of 1865 he, his cabinet and about $700,000 in gold and specie would have to evacuate Richmond to avoid capture during the waning days of the Civil War, he might have elected to remain in Montgomery.  (Note: ‘specie’ describes money in the form of coins, usually gold or silver, as opposed to paper money. Also called hard currency. Since the gold standard was abolished in the 1930s, gold coins, aside from their higher intrinsic value and demand as collectibles, no longer have any special worth as a standard of value in world trade. Dictionary of Banking Terms.)

Davis was attending church services on Sunday, April 2, 1865 when he learned that Lee’s defensive line at Petersburg had been broken and the evacuation of Richmond was imminent. President Davis pleaded with Lee to form defense lines for just one more day and informed his cabinet that Richmond was to be evacuated and that they would take the Confederate treasury with them. General Lee advised Davis that he had until 8 p.m. to load the gold, valuables and cabinet members onto two trains which would travel southward on the only line still open between Richmond and Danville, Virginia. All the Confederate officials would board the first train, while the second train would hold “special cargo”. Navy Captain William H. Parker was placed in charge of the second train and, knowing that the special cargo was comprised of gold ingots, gold double eagle coins, silver coins, silver bricks and Mexican silver dollars, he gathered the only available personnel to provide a military guard. This guard consisted of mostly young navy midshipmen from a training ship on the James River and some of them were only twelve years old.

The two trains left Richmond at midnight and when the tracks ended at Danville, Davis and his staff began to travel south on horseback. Captain Parker and the treasure, now moved to wagons, were directed to the old U.S. Mint at Charlotte, North Carolina, which was considered the safest storage place. Unfortunately, Parker found the U.S. cavalry already in the immediate area and made alternate arrangements. The treasure was placed into all kinds of containers that had once been used for sugar, coffee, flour and ammunition. Moving to the southwest, Parker and the wagons zigzagged across the South Carolina-Georgia state line several times to evade capture.  Eventually the responsibility for the treasure was passed on to the Secretary of War, John C. Breckenridge, who then placed Brig. General Basil Duke in charge. With slightly less than a thousand men in his command, Duke transferred all the treasure into six wagons and began his journey south with eight of his veterans on each wagon as guards and the rest of his command, along with the midshipmen, as escorts. In Washington, Georgia, Jefferson Davis and his cabinet met for the final time, where Davis signed his last official order, making Micajah Clark the acting Treasurer of the Confederacy.

The Chennault Plantation in Washington, GA where the Confederate gold reportedly disappeared


It was in Washington that the bulk of the treasure was captured along with Jefferson Davis and his staff. Some of the treasure had been retained by Brig. General Duke and his men as each man under his command received as payment the sum of $26.25, which amounted to a total of about $26,250. The balance of the captured treasure was assembled and loaded into wagons for transport to Washington, D.C. However, somewhere in Wilkes County, Georgia, the wagon train was bushwhacked. The bushwhackers were stragglers from both the Federal and Confederate armies who had heard of the treasure and the “handouts” being given to soldiers. Residents of Wilkes County who witnessed the event said that the bushwhackers waded knee-deep in gold and silver coinage before loading it in all kinds of bags and sacks and riding away. It was said that many riders were so overloaded that they later discarded or hid large quantities of the coins all over Wilkes County.

The belief that Confederate gold is buried in Wilkes County has persisted since the end of the war. However, despite searches conducted throughout the years, nothing of value has ever been found there. This rumor of buried treasure in Wilkes County nevertheless spawned a legend involving a family of local repute, the Mumfords, and the location of the lost Confederate gold.

This legend was first advanced by Martha Mizell Puckett, a former school teacher and Brantley County native, who spun her tale of Confederate gold in her book, Snow White Sands. Her book alleged that New York native and Confederate sympathizer Sylvester Mumford was present at the Confederacy’s final cabinet meeting in Washington, Georgia, and claimed that Jefferson Davis divided the gold among those present and instructed them to use the money as they felt best. Another account maintains Jefferson Davis entrusted the entire Confederate treasury into the care of Sylvester Mumford. A very prosperous merchant before the war, Mumford had established a cotton plantation near Waynesville. However, his business fortunes suffered great losses throughout the course of the war.

It was said that, after taking possession of the gold, Mumford transported some of the Confederate treasury southeast to North Florida and the Atlantic coast, where he boarded a British steamer bound for England. Puckett was rather vague about what Mumford did with the gold he allegedly transported to England, except to claim that he ordered enough seed corn from South America, by way of Great Britain, to replant the whole State of Georgia. The rest of the gold found its way into the hands of his daughter, Goertner “Gertrude” Mumford Parkhurst, in New York, where she lived and invested it well. Puckett claimed that when “Miss Gertrude” decided that the remainder of the Confederate gold should be returned to the people to whom it belonged, her personal lawyer, Judge J.P. Highsmith, suggested that an educational trust be established for the descendants of the Confederate soldiers.

As heir to the Mumford estate, “Miss Gertrude” allegedly made provisions to return the balance of the Confederate treasure to Southern hands after her death. In fact, when she died in 1946 at age 99 in Washington, D.C., she bequeathed almost $600,000 to the children of Brantley County through an endowment and two scholarship funds.

The Thornwell Home and School for Children as it stands today in Clinton, SC


Initially, with one-third of her estate, the will established the Sylvester Mumford Memorial Endowment at the Thornwell Orphanage in Clinton, South Carolina, which was founded in 1875 and is now known as the Thornwell Home and School for Children. The remainder of her estate was divided between two scholarship funds. The first was given to the Presbyterian Church, headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, in trust “for the maintenance and education of white orphan girls of Brantley County”. By 1960, this scholarship fund was creating more income from its principal investment than there were recipients for the scholarships. The church petitioned the court to expand the scope of the scholarships by including residents of counties which immediately surrounded Brantley and by defining an orphan as a child who had lost at least one parent. Due to the moral and legal concerns about restricting the fund to white orphan girls, the church then petitioned the court to open the scholarship to all ethnic groups. In 2002, the church awarded $32,000 to qualified women from Southeast Georgia, and in October 2003 there were fifteen women attending colleges or technical schools who were funded by the scholarship program.

A second scholarship, known as the Sylvester Mumford Memorial Fund, was to be awarded to students from Brantley County who attend Georgia College, then known as Georgia State College for Women. In recent years, the number of students receiving tuition assistance has fluctuated between ten and twelve.

Given this claim that the source of these scholarships was in fact a portion of the lost Confederate treasury, researchers throughout the years sought to confirm the veracity of the Mumford legend. However, their work created great doubt that any lost Confederate gold ever existed in the first place. Of particular note, Wayne J. Lewis researched the connection between the Confederate gold and the Mumford estate due to his personal interest in the legend. In April 1953, he and his three brothers were the first children from Brantley County to derive benefit from the Mumford funds at the Thornwell Orphanage in Clinton, South Carolina, after their father died from a heart attack in 1951 at age 47. Lewis graduated from Thornwell High School in 1958 and then from Clemson University in 1962 before serving on active duty in Germany and Vietnam with the U.S. Army. He resigned his commission as a captain after almost six years and he retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 2000 and still has family and friends in Brantley County.

Appreciative of the home the Mumfords provided and his opportunity for a college education, he set out to discover the facts behind the Confederate gold. He researched the archives of the Thornwell Orphanage and found no reference to the Confederacy or gold in any of the handwritten letters from Mrs. Parkhurst. He also interviewed local historians and librarians in Washington, Georgia, none of whom had heard of the gold’s connection to Brantley County. Moreover, he was unable to find any mention of the name Mumford in any record of the period.

After exhaustive research, Lewis concluded that gold from the Richmond banks and the Confederate treasury had in fact been evacuated from Richmond and shipped south to prevent it from falling into the hands of Union forces. However, although the banks and the Confederacy had shipped their gold on the same train, each had its own security forces and the gold was never commingled. Although Jefferson Davis’s family was on the train with the gold shipments, Lewis wrote that Jefferson Davis was not. The treasurer of the Confederacy was on board and made numerous and well-documented disbursements along the way to meet military payrolls.

Arriving in Washington, Georgia, Lewis reported that the Confederate treasury had dwindled down to about $43,000 in cash. The funds were then stored there in a vault at a local bank, and within days after the war ended, the Richmond banks had their funds returned to Richmond on five wagons. However, this wagon train was robbed on the first night that it stopped to make camp, and the robbers improvised ways to carry the loot: stuffed in their shirts, pants, boots and whatever else would hold their plunder. Unfortunately for them, their booty leaked and made it easy for a posse to follow. All but about $70,000 was recovered and transferred to Augusta, Georgia, where ownership of the funds was tied up in court until 1893. The courts eventually agreed with the federal government, who claimed the funds because the Richmond banks had aided a rebellion by making loans to the Confederacy.

Lewis concluded that the Brantley County Confederate gold legend was probably fabricated from a combination of the legend told in Snow White Sands and the actual gold shipments after the war. Indeed, no one who was an eyewitness to the events ever documented that the gold was actually lost. Martha Mizell Puckett, the author of Snow White Sands, had failed to include footnotes, references or even a simple bibliography to support the presence of gold in Brantley County.

In conclusion, historical research has determined only $70,000 of the gold belonging to the banks in Richmond is missing, but not lost, as it was accounted for in the robbery during its shipment back to Richmond. What remained of the Confederate treasury, in the form of gold and other valuable coins, was disbursed as payroll to Confederate troops during its transport south. By the end of the war, nothing remained in the coffers of the Confederate treasury except for its incalculable amount of debt.

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Welcome to Helltown, Ohio – The Abandoned Town Filled With Ghosts and Legends…..


helltown_3

Helltown is one of the most legendary areas of Ohio. Hundreds of legends surround the abandoned town, from ghosts to Satanic cults to chemical spills to mutants and more. It wasn’t always called Helltown and that is not its official name. The area is officially known as Boston Mills in Summit County. Settled in 1806, it is the oldest village in Summit County. In 1974, President Ford signed a legislation that allowed the National Parks Service to claim eminent domain over Boston Mills and take possession of the land. The idea was that they would raze the town and turn the area into a national park. Residents had to leave immediately, leading to graffiti that read “Now we know how the Indians felt.” However, the government being the government, they didn’t really get around to knocking down all the structures, so many streets would contain rows and rows of abandoned homes with “No Trespassing” signs, seated next to the burned-out remains of homes that had been used in fire department exercises.

With what is essentially an abandoned town, it is natural for ghost stories and legends to grow. While none have been confirmed, they are still really fun, spooky tales to share.

Helltown, Ohio

helltown

One common rumor involves an abandoned school bus in the woods. Stories maintain that the children in the bus were slaughtered by a serial killer, mental patient, or Satanic cult (depending on who you ask. In reality, the bus was used as a temporary shelter for a family whose house was undergoing renovations. It was not uncommon for vehicles and machinery that was no longer working to be left behind when residents left.

Another rumor maintains that the area was the site of a toxic chemical spill. The National Park story was just a ruse to cover up the abandoned houses and rumors of mutants living in the woods, including a monstrous snake nicknamed “Peninsula Python.”

Other popular legends suggest that two of the churches in town are used as meeting places for Satanic cults, home to ghosts that leave candles burning all night, and a strange man (possibly the one who killed the bus load of children) lives in the basement; a ghostly figure appears on a bench at the cemetery at night, even though there is no bench in the cemetery; a man who will chase you away with a hearse if you get too close to his property (which may have been based on a real resident who brought out a hearse on Halloween); and a road that leads to the end of the world, is haunted, will terrorize you, or something to that effect.

THE LEGENDS OF HELL TOWN

The stories currently circulating regarding Hell Town are so numerous that it is almost impossible to track them all. And in many cases, the stories often intermingle. But here are some of the more well-known legends, complete with the true story behind them:

Government Conspiracy
The Cemetery
The House in the Woods
The School Bus
The Church
The Hearse
End of the World
Highway to Hell
Dead-End Roads
The Slaughterhouse
The Funeral Home
Children of the Corn
Animal Mutilations
Figures in the Woods
“Satanic Activity” Warnings
Ghostly AAA

GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY

Legend:
The government is attempting to cover up the fact that they spilled deadly chemicals in the area. These chemicals are said to have caused bizarre mutations to area residents and their children.

The Truth:
Stories regarding a government conspiracy refer to the area where the chemicals were spilled as either Butane Town, Mutane Town, or Mutant Town-the first two named after the chemical said to have been spilled and the latter describing the results of the spill.

But records show that there never was a chemical spill of any type in the area, by the government or anyone else. These stories were no doubt created out of the need to tell the “truth” behind the various US Government signs affixed to the abandoned buildings.

THE CEMETERY LEGEND:

“The local cemetery is haunted by a ghost that sits on a bench and stares blankly into creation.”

The Truth:
To begin with, The Ghosts of Ohio have no idea what it means to stare “blankly into creation”. But oddly enough, that is almost always the way the ghost is described. And despite receiving numerous e-mails and reviewing postings on the Internet, The Ghosts of Ohio have yet to come up with any further description of this alleged ghost other than it “stares blankly into creation.” You would think that an eyewitness who was close enough to see a ghost’s eyes would be able to give a better description.

There is also the fact that the “blankly into creation” quote appears on a popular ghost Web site. This leads The Ghosts of Ohio to believe that many visitors to the Web site are reading the legend and passing it along verbatim.

The home to this spirit is said to be Boston Cemetery. And while people still continue to report seeing this ghost sitting on a bench in the cemetery, there’s one major problem: there are NO benches in Boston Cemetery.

Legend:

“The trees in the cemetery move”

The Truth:
This legend is another one that appears verbatim on a large number of Web sites. And again, no additional information is ever given. However, one e-mail The Ghosts of Ohio received said the trees were the work of a “Satanic cult” that caused the trees move in order to protect the cult’s secrets.

Needless to say, there’s nothing to this legend, although it did lend itself to a lot of sarcastic comments (“sure the trees move-whenever it’s windy”).

Legend:

The cemetery is a dark, foreboding place that sits atop a cliff:

•”The cemetery is possibly the creepiest place in northern Ohio.”

•”The cemetery road winds along a cliff.”

•”You could try to drive your car up there, but odds are you’d slide down the rocky cliff on the other side.”

The Truth:
The vast majority of descriptions of the cemetery describe it as a spooky cemetery that sits alongside a “cliff” at the top of a huge hill. And while this is not necessarily paranormal in nature, it does add to the sense of foreboding that is said to permeate the cemetery.

Boston Cemetery does indeed sit atop a small hill. And the road is unpaved and does wind around the top of the hill. But on our last visit to the cemetery, The Ghosts of Ohio were able to make up this hill in a Honda without effort. And if we did slide off the side of the hill, we would have simply slid down through the grass. Granted, there are some trees at the bottom of the hill, but it is a far cry from the steep, rocky ravine some would have you believe.

Legend:
Boston Cemetery contains the graves of a large number of children who were all killed in a bus accident.

The Truth:
As with any cemetery, there are children’s graves in Boston Cemetery. But none are the result of any bus crash. This legend was apparently started in an attempt to tie the cemetery to the legend of the school bus (see below).

**NOTE: Ohio cemeteries, gated or not, close at dusk. So if you are inside a cemetery after dark, you are trespassing. Due to the recent vandalism in Boston Cemetery, the area is now patrolled on a regular basis. If you are caught inside Boston Cemetery at night, you will be arrested. To put it another way: there is nothing inside Boston Cemetery worth going to jail for.

THE HOUSE IN THE WOODS

Legend:
“There is an abandoned house in the woods where one light always appears in the upstairs window.”

The Truth:
Believe it or not, there is house in Boston Township where a light stays on all night. It’s the local hostel-a lodging house for young travelers. The light stays on in since it functions as a boarding house that accepts guests 24 hours a day.

Saying that this house is “in the woods” is debatable. For while it does sit a bit off the road, there are several signs alerting you to the fact that you are approaching the hostel and one was even placed at the end of their driveway. It seems around the time of the signs being put in place, the story of the “light in the upstairs window” shifted away from the hostel and down the road a bit to the infamous “school bus house.”

THE SCHOOL BUS

Legend:
A whole busload of children were slaughtered in the woods by (choose your favorite from the list below):

•A serial killer

•A band of serial killers

•An escaped mental patient

•Several escaped mental patients

•A group of Satanists or cult members

The bus is still there, although all the seats have been removed. But sometimes (again, choose your favorite):

•The bus fills up with the ghosts of the murdered children, each one sitting in their ghostly seats.

•The ghost of a man (“the killer”) smoking a cigarette is seen at the back of the bus.

•Children’s screams and/or laughter are heard coming from inside the bus.

Locals have tried to tow the “cursed” bus away, but each time they attempted to do so, some mishaps, which often resulted in injury and even death, resulted. As a result, they decided to leave the bus there.

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Ten Discoveries of 2014 that Suggest there is Truth to Ancient Myths and Legends…..


Myths and legends have generally come to be viewed as work of fiction, superstition, or fantasy. However, many have theorized that myths were, in fact, a way for people to explain real—and perhaps perplexing—events using the knowledge and beliefs of their time. In support of this theory, a number of events described in mythology, which were once considered mere fairy tales, have now been proven through archaeology to have existed, or at least to have some basis in reality. Here we examine ten such myths, which may have some truth to them after all.

10. Are tales of mythical mermaids inspired by a real-life medical condition?

Mermaids have occupied our imagination for thousands of years, originating in ancient Assyria with the legend of goddess Atargatis, whose worship spread to Greece and Rome. In history, mermaids have been connected with hazardous events in European, African and Asian culture, including floods, storms, shipwrecks and drownings. Homer called them sirens in the Odyssey, who lured sailors to their deaths. They have been depicted in Etrurian sculptures, in Greek epics, and in bas-reliefs in Roman tombs. In 1493, Christopher Columbus even reported seeing mermaids on his voyage to the Caribbean. But could our concept of a mermaid actually have originated from a real medical disorder?

Sirenomelia, named after the mythical Greek sirens, and also known as ‘mermaid syndrome’, is a rare and fatal congenital malformation characterized by fusion of the lower limbs. The condition results in what looks like a single limb, resembling a fish tail, leading some to questioned whether ancient cases of the condition may have influenced legends of the past. It is known, for example, that ancient descriptions of sea monsters derived from sightings of real-life species such as whales, giant squid, and walruses, which were rarely seen and little understood at the time.

Whether or not the congenital condition may have influenced stories of women with fish-like tails will never really be known. Nevertheless, the likeness between the two has had one positive effect – it has helped children suffering from Sirenomelia to feel proud of their resemblance to the beautiful and mythical beings described in our ancient past and which has persisted through popular media to the modern-day.

9. Aboriginals knowledge of variable star Betelgeuse recorded in Dreamtime stories

Research published this year in the Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage suggests that an ancient Aboriginal love story written in the sky reveals the Aboriginals’ knowledge of variability in the star Betelgeuse, the ninth brightest star in the night sky and second brightest in the constellation of Orion. Betelgeuse, also known as Alpha Orionis, is a variable star whose magnitude varies between 0.2 and 1.2. This means that the star subtly brightens and fades over a period of about 400 days. The variation in Betelgeuse’s brightness was believed to have been observed with a telescope in 1836 by Sir John Herschel, when he published his observations in Outlines of Astronomy. However, the recent study suggests the Australian Aboriginals knew of its variability long before this time, and that it was recorded in their ‘Dreamtime’ stories.

One story, now referred to as “The Orion Story” involves the stars making up the constellations of Orion and Taurus. According to the legend, the story tells how the constellation Orion (called ‘Nyeeruna’), which is often portrayed as a male hunter, chases after the Pleiades star cluster, usually portrayed as a group of seven sisters (‘Yugarila’). Standing between Nyeeruna (Orion) and Yugarilya (Pleiades cluster), is their eldest sister Kambugudha, represented by the Hyades star cluster. Kambugudha taunts Nyeeruna by standing before him. The club in Nyeeruna’s right hand, which is the star Betelgeuse, fills with ‘fire magic’ ready to throw at Kambugudha. However, she defensively lifts her foot, which is the star Aldebaran and also full of fire magic, causing Nyeeruna great humiliation and putting out his fire. A detailed analysis of the complete story led researchers from the University of New South Wales to suggest that the reference to the ‘fire magic’ of Betelgeuse is an observation of the star in its bright phase, while reference to ‘putting out his fire’ is an observation of the fading of Betelgeuse.

8. Are mummified remains of unidentified creature proof of the mythological Kappa?

In ancient Japanese folklore, the Kappa is a water demon that inhabits rivers and lakes and devours disobedient little children. While some believe the legend originated from sightings of the Japanese Giant Salamander, a species still alive today, others maintain that the myth, or at least part of it, is real and that an unusual set of mummified remains, showing a webbed hand and a foot, is proof that the Kappa exists. Now people have the opportunity to see for themselves as the unusual body parts went on display for the first time this year at the Miyakonojo Shimazu Residence on the island of Kyuushuu in Japan. The remains, which include a foot and an arm with hand attached, are said to have been given to the Miyakonijo Shimazu family after a Kappa was supposedly shot on a riverbank in 1818.

7. Archaeologists believe they have found remains of the legendary Hell Hound of Suffolk

Archaeologists discovered the skeleton of a massive dog that would have stood 7 feet tall on its hind legs, in the ruins of Leiston Abbey in Suffolk, England. The remains are near where an ancient legend spoke of a hellhound called Black Shuck, said to have flaming red eyes and a rugged black coat, who terrorized villagers. The name Shuck derives from the Old English word scucca meaning ‘demon’. He is one of many ghostly black dogs recorded across the British Isles. Its alleged appearance during a storm on 4th August, 1577 at the Holy Trinity Church, Blythburgh, is a particularly famous account of the beast, in which legend says that thunder caused the doors of the church to burst open and the snarling dog crashed in and ran through the congregation, killing a man and a boy, before it fled when the steeple collapsed.

Brendon Wilkins, projects director of archaeological group Dig Ventures, said: “Most of these legends about dogs may have some roots in reality.” The remains of the massive dog, which is estimated to have weighed 200 pounds, were found just a few miles from the two churches where Black Shuck killed the worshippers. It appears to have been buried in a shallow grave at precisely the same time as Shuck is said to have been on the loose, primarily around Suffolk and the East Anglia region.

6. 800-year-old body found in Norwegian well supports accuracy of Sverris Saga

Over seven decades ago, an ancient skeleton was found in a well in Sverresborg, a medieval fortification located in Bergen, Norway. But World War II put an end to the excavations and the body was reburied and largely forgotten. Now, 70 years later, archaeologists rediscovered the remains and dated them to the 12th century AD, a period when the Sverris Saga was written, which tells the tale of a dead man thrown in a well in Sverresborg. Could it be that the recovered remains belong to that very man?

The Sverris Saga provides a detailed account of the Norwegian king Sverre Sigurdsson, along with a large cast of characters, elaborate scenes, and dialogue. King Sverre led the Birkebeiners (“birch legs”), a party of rebels that were so poor they made their shoes of birch bark, in a fight for the throne of Norway against the church-supported Baglers. The saga tells of a battle in Sverresborg (“Sverre’s Castle”) in Trondheim in 1197, where the Baglers won. The Sverre Saga says that after the battle: “the Baglers took all the goods that were in the castle, then they burned down every house that was there. They threw a dead man in the well, since they carried stone, and filled it.”

The Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research wrote: “We are more than reasonably sure that the skeleton in the well can be attributed to the dramatic tales in the saga when Sverre castle was destroyed.”

5. Icelandic government commission announces legendary sea monster exists

A government investigation carried out by the Fljotsdalsherao municipal council in Iceland has ruled that a legendary sea serpent named Lagarfljotsormurinn, which is rumoured to inhabit Lake Lagarfljot, actually exists. The commission ruled that a 2012 video of what is claimed to be Iceland’s most famous lake monster is authentic. The Lagarfljótsormur, or ‘Lagarfljót worm’ is an Icelandic lake cryptid which is purported to live in a freshwater, glacial-fed lake in Egilsstaðir. The earliest recorded sightings of the Lagarfljótsormur date back to the Icelandic Annals of 1345, and have continued into the 21st century. However, sightings increased exponentially after a home video shot in 2012 went viral. The home video shows what looks like a long, serpentine form swimming in the glacial lake in eastern Iceland.

If the video is authentic, and actually depicts a living creature, it may not be as monstrous as the legends say. Many species of fish have been found which resemble ‘sea monsters’ described in mythological tales, for example, the frilled shark (Chlamydoselachus anguineus), and the giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne). It might just be that a similar species may inhabit Lake Lagarfljot, leading to the development of legendary tales over the centuries.

4. Is this the creature that inspired tales of the legendary Kraken?

Captain John Bennett and his crew were stunned when they dragged onto their fishing boat a creature with tentacles like fire hoses and eyes like dinner plates, while fishing in Antarctica’s remote Ross Sea. It was an enormous 350 kg (770 pound) squid which they had hauled up from one mile below the surface. Could this have been the creature that inspired tales of the legendary Kraken, rumoured to devour men and crush ships? The colossal squid, which measures the length of a minibus, was caught 8 months ago and was kept frozen until September, when scientists finally thawed it out in a bid to unlock the mysteries of this rarely seen monster of the deep.

Kat Bolstad, a squid scientist from the Auckland University of Technology, said that it’s possible that ancient sightings of the colossal squid gave rise to tales of the Kraken, a giant sea creature in Scandinavian mythology, which was first mentioned in the Örvar-Oddr, a 13th century Icelandic saga. Kat Bolstad explained that sperm whales often eat colossal squid and are known to play with their food, so sailors may have mistaken that for epic battles.

3. Did ancient gold mining methods create REAL Golden Fleece and inspire legend of Jason and the Argonauts?

The mythical Golden Fleece is best known for featuring in the ancient legend of Greek hero Jason and his band of sailors, the Argonauts. Geologists have theorized from investigations that the Golden Fleece may have been more than a simple mythical plot device, and was instead a reality for the people of the Black Sea region. Evidence suggests that the quest for the Golden Fleece may have been based on an actual historical voyage to the ancient Colchis Kingdom. A field investigation study of the mythical ‘golden sands’ of Colchis published in Quaternary International theorizes that the story “took inspiration from an actual voyage sometime between 3,300 and 3,500 years ago”.

In the myth of Jason, the son of Aeson, usurped king of Iolcos, commissions a ship built by Argus, the Argo, and gathers a group of heroes, the Argonauts. They embark on a quest to find the fleece – the skin of a winged ram, a holy ram of Zeus, – so Jason might return his father to the throne of Thessaly, Greece. There are many interpretations of the symbolism and meaning of the Golden Fleece, including it representing royal power, the flayed skin of a Titan, a book on alchemy, the forgiveness of god, a fabric woven from sea silk, and the wealth of Colchis.

Geologist Avtandil Okrostsvaridze of Ilia State University in Tbilisi, Georgia, and his colleagues, stated that mountain streams of the Svaneti region contain small particles of gold which tumble through the water after eroding from rock formations. Locals traditionally immerse sheepskins in the streams to trap the metal, creating a fleece rich with gold. This technique has endured for thousands of years, suggesting to geologists and historians that the region is the same ancient Colchis Kingdom as referenced in the Golden Fleece myth. The researchers wonder if the story of Jason and the Argonauts may have been based on a real and ancient mission to learn the secrets of the technique of gold extraction, or to retrieve sheepskins glittering with flakes of gold.

2. Study reveals Vikings could navigate after dark using sun-compass and mythical sunstone

The Vikings have been reputed to be remarkable seafarers who would confidently head into unexplored waters. This year a team of researchers from Hungary and Sweden claim to have a clue as to how the Norse warriors managed to fearlessly navigate their way through unknown oceans to invade unsuspecting communities along the North Sea and Atlantic Sea coasts of Europe – it is believed that they combined the power of a sun-compass, with that of a sunstone to navigate their ships after dark.

A well-known ancient Norse myth describing a magical gem which could reveal the position of the sun when hidden behind clouds or even after sunset, was the subject of intrigue for many years, until researchers found a unique crystal in the wreck of an Elizabethan ship sunk off the coast of the Channel Islands. In March, 2013, a team of scientists announced that the crystal made of a calcite substance could have indeed acted as a remarkably precise navigational aid.

In the latest study, researchers examined a fragment of an 11th-century dial found in Uunartoq, Greenland, and attempted to extrapolate its features into something that would allow Viking navigators to detect the position of the sun from the twilight glow on the horizon passing through two calcite sunstones. The results found that when used in combination, the dial and the sunstones could find the position of the sun even after it had passed below the twilight horizon.

1. The rediscovery of ‘Noah’, a 6,500-year-old skeleton, who survived a Great Flood

Scientists at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia rediscovered a rare and important find in their storage rooms – a complete human skeleton who lived around 6,500 years ago in the Sumerian city-state of Ur. The aptly named ‘Noah’ was originally found within a layer of deep silt, indicating that he lived after an epic flood. The first known recorded story of a great flood comes from Sumer, now southern Iraq, and it is generally believed to be the historic precursor of the Biblical flood story written millennia later.

Sir Leonard Woolley, a British archaeologist who originally found ‘Noah’ in the 1920s, referred to the layer of silt, which was ten-feet thick in some places, as the ‘flood layer’, because, around 40 feet down, it reached a layer of clean, water-lain silt. The individual is known to have survived or lived after the flood as he was buried in its silt deposits. Woolley determined that the original site of Ur had been a small island in a surrounding marsh. Then a great flood spoken covered the land in the Ubaid-era. People continued to live and flourish at Ur, but many scholars believe it was this flood that was written about in the ancient Sumerian cuneiform tablets and retold by many cultures around the world. Some also believe it was the Sumerian account that later inspired the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark.

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