My latest novel, THE PHAROS OBJECTIVE, focuses on a team of remote-viewing archaeologists as they find themselves in a desperate struggle to find a lost artifact hidden under the remains of the ancient Pharos Lighthouse.
I came up with the idea after years of interest in archaeology and ancient mysteries... especially in things like lost wisdom, unexplained artifacts and historical mysteries. And then when I came across the study of Remote Viewing - and learned that even our government (in competition with the Soviets during the Cold War) operated a program with these types of psychics, attempting to remote-view the enemy, among other objectives- I had the idea for my book. I've since decided to make it at least a trilogy, mining many other great mysteries of the ancient (and not so ancient) world.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Top Ten things to View in the Middle Ages (give or take a few centuries):
10) Did Columbus and his crew experience a UFO sighting? From "The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus": Christopher Columbus and Pedro Gutierrez while on the deck of the Santa Maira, observed, "a light glimmering at a great distance." It vanished and reappeared several times during the night, moving up and down, "in sudden and passing gleams." It was sighted 4 hours before land was sighted, and taken by Columbus as a sign they would soon come to land.
9)Eldorado. What was the source for this myth? Was there ever such a place?
8) King Arthur. Camelot, Mordred and the Knights... Was it all just a fanciful tale built upon some reality? How much was true (and where's that lake and Excalibur now)?
7) Borobudur. The largest Buddhist monument in the world, Borobudur in Indonesia was built in the 9th century, constructed with an excess of two million stone blocks. There are also more than 2,650 individual relief panels, as well as a total of 504 statues of Buddha. Rediscovered in 1814, the mysteries have only piled up - mysteries about its construction, its purpose, its abandonment... and even what secrets still lie beneath it.
6) The Norse discoveries in America. How far did they get - and when? Lots of potential evidence that our Viking friends traveled extensively...
5) The Templar Treasure. Legends relate how, in 1307, just before the fated Friday 13th mass-arrest and subsequent killing of great numbers of Templar ranks, members loaded up their storehouse of treasure (and ancient relics) onto a fleet and set sail for..... somewhere. Was it Scotland? Greenland? Or as some claim, America or Nova Scotia?
4) The Taj Mahal. Supposedly construction began in 1632 - as a shrine for the lovestruck Prince's wife. Yet... numerous contradictions abound, relating alternate beliefs, including one that Shah Jahan merely expanded onto an original Shiva Temple (complete with catacombs and underground shrines) dating back almost two thousand years. http://www.world-mysteries.com/mpl_TajMahal.htm
3) Nuremburg 1561. The entire city seems to have witnessed an astonishing 'War in the Heavens'. At sunrise on the 14th April 1561, the citizens of Nuremberg beheld "A very frightful spectacle." The sky appeared to fill with cylindrical objects from which red, black, orange and blue white disks and globes emerged. Crosses and tubes resembling cannon barrels also appeared whereupon the objects promptly "began to fight one another." This event is depicted in a famous 16th century woodcut by Hans Glaser.
Was this just a latter-century hoax? If not... what really happened?
2.5) Genghis Khan's Tomb. The subject of my next book (The Mongol Objective). The greatest conqueror ever, he died around 1227. And the legends surrounding his funeral march and subsequent burial are as mysterious as they come. Reports that 20,000 laborers were slaughtered to protect the secret, and a secret clan continues to guard his true resting place - and the vast treasure amassed from his conquests.
2) The Voynich Manuscript. Dating back to sometime in the 15th century, "The World's Most Mysterious Manuscript" consists of some 250 pages of hand-written and illustrated vellum pages. It has been studied by American and British codebreakers from both World War I and World War II, yet it has defied all decipherment attempts. The mystery surrounding it has excited the popular imagination, making the manuscript a subject of both fanciful theories and novels.
1) The Shroud of Turin. I'm putting this in the 'Middle Ages' category since that's where the fun begins. The first 'certain historical record' of its existence begins around 1350. From there, it's had quite a remarkable history. According to former Nature editor Phillip Ball, "it's fair to say that, despite the seemingly definitive tests in 1988, the status of the Shroud of Turin is murkier than ever. Not least, the nature of the image and how it was fixed on the cloth remain deeply puzzling". The shroud is one of the most studied artifacts in human history, and one of the most controversial.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Okay, so 10 wasn't enough to cover all the mysterious stuff calling out for explanation. So here are the next ten...
10. Stonehenge. Sacrificial site, astronomical calendar? Did the Druids build it or just move in because it was already there? And of course, exactly how did they move those stones?
9. Buddha Statues at Bamiyan, Afghanistan. Supposedly built by monks in the 6th century, hewn out of the sandstone cliffs. They survived Genghis Khan's wrath - only to be dynamited by the Taliban in 2001. Still, a lot of legends and mystery. Some say there's evidence that the monks only built their temples in the caves around the statues that were already there...
8. Who really got to America first? And who visited before Columbus? Far from decided, the issue won't go away as stubborn artifacts and lost settlements keep turning up all across the Americas and messing with what I learned in history class. Then there's the matter of maize (a uniquely new world crop) being found in Egyptian tombs...
7. The Olmecs. Precursers to the Maya. Great sculptors who left behind massive stone heads across Central America. Yet almost nothing is known about them.
6. The Antikythera Mechanism. Built around 150BC, recovered from a shipwreck in the Greek Isles in 1900, it seems to be a mechanical computer designed to calculate astronomical positions... A device with complexity that wasn't seen until the 15th century.
5. Shamballa. Ancient texts predating Tibetan Buddhism speak of a legendary city of peace and tranquility, full of spiritual wisdom. Is it myth or reality?
4. Angkor, Cambodia. The largest religious site in the world. A Hindu temple complex and 170 square mile area at one time home to over a million people and one of the greatest civilizations of the time; mysteriously abandoned in the late 12th century. Overrun by the jungle and not discovered again until 1860. Locals claimed it was built by the giants. What did them in? And what about some of the more interesting myths about the temples' construction?
3. Puma Punku / Tiahuanaco - Bolivia. The 'port' city of Tiahuanaco, is dated around 200AD - but there's tantalizing evidence that it's much older. Huge blocks, weighing 100-200 tons are scattered about like matchsticks (large distances form the nearest quarry), while others are connected by metal clamps as sections of immense partitions and docks. The nearest body of water is twelve miles away, yet the site contains millions of fossilized sea shells. Something - possibly a geologic upthrust - wreaked havoc on this city, tossed the immense blocks about and lifted this area away from the shores of some ancient sea. Tons of questions, but the biggest one is -when did this all happen, and was this city really built 15,000 years ago or more, as some believe?
2. Gobekli-Tepe, Turkey. A recent discovery, still being excavated. Dated to around 11,500 BC. Purposely buried (why?) in 8000 BC. A Stonehenge-like temple, built and complemented over several millennia has been unearthed - and yet only about 5% of the expected structures have been revealed. What other secrets are there? Some are calling it the original Garden of Eden, but whatever it was, nothing like that, on this scale and sophistication, was thought possible for neolithic hunter-gatherers...
1. Mohenjo-Daro, Pakistan. Translated as "The Mound of the Dead", Mohenjo-Daro was one of the world's oldest cities, believed to have been built around 2600 BC. Along with its sister city, Harrapan, they were centers of the Indus Valley civilization. At some point both vanished suddenly from history until rediscovered in the 1920's. What's truly mind-boggling is that these sites have a high degree of radioactivity:
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Here's my list of ancient mysteries I'd remote view if I had the ability. Just off the top of my head... (okay, off the white board in my office where I've been jotting down ideas for months...) Just the ancient stuff for now - not the really burning mysteries like 'Where did I leave my wallet?' or 'What's my ex-girlfriend up to?' A later post will focus on more recent viewing objectives I'd like to see...
Post other suggestions as comments and I'll keep the best ones in mind.
10) Atlantis. Real or Plato's fictional prank? If the former, where's it at now?
9) Nazca Lines. How'd they make them so big and detailed - and why are the full depictions only appreciated from the sky?
8) The Maya. A whole civilization just packed up and disappeared. Where'd they go?
7) Easter Island. How did they drag those things all over the island - and why?
6) The Moon. Because I'm an astronomy geek too, how exactly did we get our moon (because no current scientific model works, and it's kinda creepin' me out.) Stay tuned for book 3 for my answer.
5) The asteroid impact that killed off the dinosaurs... just because it would be cool to see.
4) The Flood. Seriously, every mythology had one... When was it, and how bad was it?
3) The Ark of the Covenant. Where is it, who's got it? (Crate in a government warehouse? Secret vault in Ethiopia? That island off of Nova Scotia? Lots of good ideas...)
2) The construction of the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx (determining once and for all who really built it - Khufu, Moses, Atlanteans, aliens, time travelers... some giant kid playing with blocks?) And especially... the age of the Sphinx - whether the intriguing water erosion of the stone truly indicates its much earlier age.
1) Just because it's the most controversial and would once and for all settle the faith vs. reason debate... I'd view the origin of every major religion: The Crucifixion. Mohammad, Joseph Smith... you get the gist.