Re-Blog: Ancient Spaceports In Iraq? Ya Don’t Say?!


(Originally posted 9/28/2017 on Read With The Gringa)

Well, the gringa’s at it again… de-bunking UFO conspiracies. Sorry to spoil everyone’s fun. But, I assure you that there is no ancient alien connection inspiring countries like the US to embark on military strategies in order to gain control of Iraq. A review of the “evidence” will prove this to be so.


We’ve all heard of the stories of how Iraq’s antiquities have been looted because of the long, on-going conflict in that country. The nation is a wealth of history and artifacts. Iraq was once the famed Babylon of old. It was the heart of education, art, religion and science. 


A diverse, cosmopolitan population was comprised of the brightest minds invited to come and enrich the academic world of ancient Babylon. Artists, composers, and every other creative mind once longed for those dreamy deserts and never-ending horizons of the Middle East. But the knowledge and the scientific and cultural advancements that accompanied higher thinking is not to be credited to space alien influence.


Ancient alien theorists and UFOlogists are attributing ancient spaceship launches to a speech recently delivered by Iraq’s Transport Minister. What, exactly, did this man say? Was there something misunderstood in translation? Was he speaking in satire rather than literally? Let’s examine the words of Minister Kadhem Finjan Al-Hamami when he spoke at the opening ceremony of a new airport in Dhi Qar of southern Iraq:

“It’s a long story, maybe you don’t know about it. Maybe even people from Dhi Qar don’t know – the first airports that were built on planet Earth were built in the 5th Millenium BC in Dhi Qar. There were Sumerians who launched spaceships and headed to other worlds.”

Al-Hamami’s remarks were met with confusion by the panel behind him as well as the people in the audience. It also turns out that he has a reputation for making outrageous statements. He once claimed that he was so old that he had also ridden on Noah’s Ark. Needless to say, the gringa doubts he really believes this Sumerian spaceship nonsense. What he more likely believes is political strategy.


What would be politically strategic about making such an outrageous claim? Why risk your political integrity and credibility? Well, one reason would be to normalize a fringe belief on behalf of a benefactor that has a vested interest in normalizing something otherwise considered crazy.


The theory that Sumerians were more than scientists, architects and astronomers as well as space travelers is the work of Russian professor Samuel Kramer. Russia has a desire to gain influence in Iraq in order to protect its big oil interests more effectively. And what better way to stroke the national ego of a country than to provide historical information that proves that country had once been superior to every other country on the planet?


But why the space alien angle? Because it can neither be proven or disproven, for one thing. But Russia has been working to normalize space alien theories for decades. Why? For Russia, it would mean opportunity. In fact, many opportunities. 


Who are the nations that represent the largest threat to Russian dominance? The US and allied western European nations. The discovery of space alien life would throw such nations into an existential crisis. For countries structured around Judeo-Christianity, their societies would suddenly be in cultural upheaval. Everything they believed would become falsehood. And in such chaos is opportunity to then re-form an entire society’s thinking.


And if those society’s learned that their governments had been keeping such a secret, those governments would no longer be trusted. There would be political revolution. And before that revolution stabilized into a new national version based on new knowledge, there would be years and years of factional division and chaos.


If this past year’s political chaos has not made a believer out of a person that Russia thrives when other nations are in chaos, then you have been sleeping straight through history being made. And Russia is wholly committed to the space alien angle as just one more way to keep everyone else knocked off balance and distracted from what Russia is really doing.


Over and over Russian operatives seed explosive space alien related stories. In 2010 they claimed to have discovered alien micro-organisms in comet space dust. 2014 brought an announcement from Russia’s International Space Station mission chief, Vladimir Solovyev, that space sea plankton had been found. NASA denied the reports but no such denial ever was issued from Rocosmos, Russia’s space agency. And about one month later, Germany’s space agency, The German Aerospace Center (DLR), called the material “bacterial DNA” rather than sea plankton.


So, when it comes to what may seem very credible reports because they link with what seems to be a legitimate organization, the gringa says, “Beware!” Although, so far, Americans have been lucky enough to have our own NASA unblemished by political agendas and ambitions, the same is not true for Rocosmos. That being said, trace back to the source any UFO or space alien claims. If they originate from Russia, consider the political motive. Then consider the scientific credibility as dubious.


The gringa does not deny the possibility that space aliens exist. I also don’t deny the possibility of ancient Earth civilizations that were highly advanced. But, thus far, I have yet to find any confirmation through credible evidence. I simply keep an open mind and I keep reading! And I always  READ SMART!

Sources:

Albawaba

Newsweek

The Hill

Image Credit: BECUO

Video Credit: MEMRI TV

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Re-Blog: What Were Pyramids For?


(Originally posted 9/12/2017 on Read With The Gringa)

What do you think about pyramids? A mystery? A fascinating bit of architectural engineering? Monuments to an ancient civilization? Cool place to visit? Tourist trap? Biggest tombs ever built?


If those were your answers, you might have been right on all accounts except one, maybe. There seems to be some wiggle room about whether or not the pyramids were originally constructed as the final resting places of Egypt’s ancient pharaohs. Here’s what we know:

  • No mummies have ever been found within any of the 3 great pyramids of Giza. 

But does that mean that these amazing structures were not tombs? The gringa says, “Not so fast.” Despite the insistence of UFOlogists and ancient alien enthusiasts who argue that, if not tombs, then power generators of celestial origins, there is still plenty of other evidence to support the traditional belief that the pyramids were burial complexes.

With regard to the 3 great pyramids of Giza, they were constructed from 2550-2490 BC. The tallest was built by Pharaoh Khufu. His pyramid is flanked by smaller ones dedicated to Pharaoh Khafre and Pharaoh Menkaure. But Khufu’s remains have never been found. Khafre’s pyramid was also empty. Menkaure’s mummy may or may not have been found. 

There are allegations that part of Menkaure’s mummy may be in the British Museum of London’s Egyptian artifact collection. But there is much controversy that surrounds the authenticity of the remains. Within his pyramid was found a wooden coffin inside a chamber believed to be the king’s chamber. The coffin contained mummified fragments.

So, despite the fact that mummies were not actually discovered is no reason to discount the pyramids as tombs. There have been plenty of other artifacts, burial paraphernalia and relics of Egypt’s ancient death rituals that makes it clear that these were the resting places of ancient Egyptian royalty. The following items were found in Khufu’s great pyramid when it was unsealed in 1925:

  • Access shafts filled in with limestone masonry, bedrock and plaster until solid to prevent entry from outsiders.
  • An entry at the end of the access shaft featuring a doorway bearing the official seal of King Khufu. 
  • A small entry chamber, 15’x8′, clad in gold and bearing inscriptions identifying the contents of the chamber as the burial belongings of Khufu’s mother, Queen Hetepheres.
  • A gold and ebony carrying chair belonging to Queen Hetepheres.
  • The Queen’s palace furniture: golden gilt bed, chairs and storage chests.
  • Jewelry of silver, lapis-lazuli, turquoise and carnelian wrought in the shape of butterflies.
  • Golden toiletry set of wash bowl, water jug, razor, and cosmetic jars.
  • Alabaster chest containing the mummified internal organs of the Queen.
  • The Queen’s empty sarcophagus.

9.12.2a

There are also those who point to how small many of the coffins and sarcophagi are. They claim that they were never meant to house a human body. But once you understand what happened to the human body during an ancient Egyptian burial ritual, you understand why the coffins are so small. 

For one thing, the dehydration process performed resulted in significant shrinkage. So, no, ancient Egyptians were not small, dwarfish half-alien/half-human creatures. I mean, think about it. When adventurers encountered deep jungle tribal people, got slaughtered, and their remains cannibalized and leaving behind a shrunken head trophy made to commemorate their ill-fated visit, nobody supposes that those adventurers were diminutive space aliens traipsing about South American jungles.

So, just because no one seems to be found to be at home and receiving guests at the pyramids, that doesn’t mean they were not originally intended to reside there. Tomb raiders have had centuries to ransack these resting places. Once notorious tomb raiders made local ancient headlines, there is no doubt that many Pharaohs built their elaborate burial shrines with instructions for a burial service with all the pomp and circumstance royalty deserves. But then a secret plan to actually bury the kings and queens at an unknown address was carried out in the dead of night. 

Why should such a possibility be beyond belief? After all, doesn’t that sound familiar to those dear readers with a Judeo-Christian background? Doesn’t the bibilical story go that god hid Moses’ body when he died in the wilderness? Why would such a strange detail be a part of the story? Because at that particular time in ancient history, the local cultures were rife with bad guys who would rob the burial places of famous leaders hoping to enrich themselves with a tidy stash of loot.

So, sorry to all you dear readers who are still holding out hope that ancient extra-terrestrial ancestors shared natural power generator technology with the Egyptians. That’s not what happened. The great pyramids are the result of something very common: mankind’s desire for immortality, the desire to never be forgotten, and incredible ego that demands a monument to its greatness.

But, really, when you study the real history of ancient Egyptian culture, religion and the kings and queens who led each kingdom, it’s fascinating. Why would you need to make up something else like space aliens?

Sources: 

Image Credits: 

Ancient Egypt

Video Credit:

Getty Museum

Was Jesus A Buddhist Monk?


In a world where groups of people continue to wage war in the name of their religion, what would happen if a group suddenly realized they were practicing the wrong religion? Or, at least, using the wrong label? What kind of identity crisis might be created if Christians realized their messiah was actually Buddhist? Yeah, the gringa’s going there. What if Jesus was actually a Buddhist monk?


First of all, Jesus and his disciples never called themselves Christians. They called themselves things in Aramaic and Greek that has been translated into English words like “believer” and “church”. But what did those foreign words really mean in the context of their culture and historical era?


There are innumerable versions of the Christian Bible. However, the earliest and most widely used English version is the King James Version. The New Testament translation was based on the ancient Syrian language, Aramaic, and ancient Greek. The words these ancient authors used to refer to themselves with respect to religion are:

  • Greek ecclesia, the equivalent of the Hebrew term kahal, used by ancient Jews to refer to any assembly of people, translated into church.
  • Greek adelphos, translated into brethren, denoted a religious relationship between non-familial people that was equal to that of a biological sibling.
  • Greek electus, translated into elect, literally meant chosen for a specific public service.
  • Greek christos, translated into christ, the equivalent of Hebrew mashiach, which referred to an Israelite chosen by God to rule as a religious leader, like a priest, or as a political leader, such as in King David, and were anointed with oil by religious leaders to symbolize their special role.

When the words of Jesus are examined, the gringa discovers some very interesting and provoking conundrums that today’s Christianity would do well to resolve. First of all, Jesus most often refers to an enlightened being who has tasked him with the mission of correcting the false religious practices of the Jewish people. Although his mission was to the Jews, he admits that what he teaches can be believed by anyone. Jesus most often refers to this enlightened being as Father, or, Abba in Aramaic. But what does all of this mean?

Abba’s most simple translation is a slang term for Father, as in calling someone Daddy. So Father is a stretch. The gringa looks to other meanings in the Aramaic language for the choice of Abba by Jesus. It’s most literal use is to call someone teacher. 

Mankind, hoping to craft a religion that could be used politically to control a populace, would naturally choose the patriarchal. However, patriarchies and monarchies were the very things Jesus was resisting in his teachings. That’s why Jewish high religious society murdered him by exploiting Roman law. 

So why would Jesus use a patriarchal term? He wouldn’t. He didn’t. But today’s organized Christian religious leaders want you to believe that he did. But Jesus was referring to an enlightened being who was his mentor and responsible for his re-birth into enlightened spiritual life. He became transformed into an immortal being by following the teachings of this mentor.

The enlightened being who tasked Jesus with his mission is considered by Jesus to be the Creator of mankind. Creation is performed through the power of words. Jewish Kabbalistic mystics teach this as well. The power of syllablic resonance is practiced throughout Buddhism and many other ancient Eastern mystical belief systems. 

What was it Jesus said about the power of words? Perhaps it is best understood through John’s interpretation of what he learned about the power of words from his teacher, his Abba, his Father, his monk, Jesus: 

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” John 1:1

What this means is that Jesus’ enlightened mentor did not create the physical world. Jesus was never interested in the physical world. He always taught detachment from the physical. The creation Jesus spoke of was the creation and the world that mattered, the non-physical creation, the non-physical world. And to reside there one must become enlightened or, in the preferred English, re-born.

The enormous gap of time from Jesus as a 12-year-old until he arrives on the religious scene in Israel as a 30-something-year-old man, organized Christianity ignores. But it was during this time that he was becoming the great teacher that he was and achieving immortality through re-birth. 

All of his teachings are indicators of where he learned his ideology, which was by no means Jewish or anything like today’s Christianity. It is, in fact, very Buddhist. The words of Jesus found in John chapters 3 & 5; Luke chapter 4, and Matthew chapters 5, 6, 7 are the most revealing:

  • Works prove what one believes 
  • Fame and concern for what other people think of you will prevent enlightenment and immortality
  • Enlightened religious leaders seek to teach those the enlightened being prefers: the impoverished, the sick, the addict, the depressed, the emotional needy, etc.
  • A truly enlightened teacher will be recognized by the rejection and criticism leveled at them by the most powerful and popular religious institutions who feel threatened 
  • The attributes of the enlightened faithful: lack of greed, emotionally sensitive, meek, integrity, kind, gentle, followers of peace, quiet when slandered and criticized 
  • Good works are required to demonstrate what you believe 
  • Anger is as destructive as murder 
  • Forgiveness and reconciliation with enemies required for enlightenment 
  • Physical isolation from physical/emotional temptation may be required to become enlightened until self-discipline is achieved 
  • Accept that you have no control over life 
  • Do good unto all, friends as well as strangers and enemies 
  • Prayer, meditation, charity and kindness is private 
  • Sacrifices for the sake of another’s service should be done privately and with no outward indication of discomfort, but, rather, a show of happiness
  • Wealth is not to be pursued and should be given away generously to those in need, keeping only what you need for the basic necessities of life
  • Mind your own business and don’t pass judgment on the lives of others being lived differently than your own
  • Don’t waste time with those uninterested in following the path of enlightenment
  • True believers in Jesus will live the lifestyle he taught
  • The most dangerous situation a person can find themselves in is to claim the label of Jesus’ “god” yet live a life contrary to the teachings of Jesus. Such people can never achieve enlightenment

Now for a history lesson to tie all of this together. During the time that Jesus would have been a young adult making his own way, discovering what he believed, Buddhism was alive and well. It was going strong throughout India. And there are indications in Jesus’ neck of the Middle Eastern woods that Buddhism was also reaching his home shores as well. And its influence may have inspired a young Jesus to seek the origins of this faith, seeing how his own people’s religion had become a mockery of what it taught.

Ancient documents in Tibet were revealed to a traveling Russian doctor who convalesced in a Buddhist monastery, Hemis, in 1887. It took seven years of painstaking translation and literary work but Dr. Nicolas Notovitch eventually published The Unknown Life of Christ. It chronicles the time of a young adult Jesus, Issa, who spent his lost gap years under the tutelage of Buddhist monks in Tibet. 

Regardless of whether or not a person believes this history, there are a few things that can definitively be said:

  • If you consider yourself a Christian yet are supportive of the depravities of war, any kind of war, particularly a war you consider to be a “war on terror” which is code for “war on Islam”, you are not living a life in accordance to the teachings of Jesus. 
  • If you call yourself a Christian, yet are not committed to replacing a capitalist economy of greed with a socialist economy of service to humanity, you are not living a life in accordance to the teachings of Jesus.
  • If you call yourself a Christian, yet pursue goals that deprive anyone of the right to live their own life different from yours, a life that causes no harm, you are not living your life in accordance to the teachings of Jesus.
  • If you call yourself a Christian, attending a huge “mega-church”, where staff roll in to the parking lot in gleaming, high-end cars, passing the homeless along the way, you are not living your life in accordance to the teachings of Jesus.
  • If you call yourself a Christian, believing in “prosperity theology” or “name it, claim it” theology, you are pursuing greed and not living your life in accordance to the teachings of Jesus.

Jesus’ ideology is one of non-judgment, austerity, kindness, no violence, no war, and becoming your brother’s keeper. It’s not rocket science. He also taught that mankind’s innate flaws of greed and pride are the two main reasons people will convince themselves they are following his teachings while actually following that which satisfies themselves. And they will be shocked at “judgment day” when they see him frolicking in “heaven” with prostitutes, non-heterosexuals, and other “sinners”. And these same people will get a second, much greater, shock when Jesus tells them to get lost. After all, the money, the luxuries, the glory of a grand reputation, etc. were their “heaven”. They have already enjoyed it. It’s just not a “heaven” that was meant to last forever. Too bad for them.

So, in essence, most Christians today are blowing it big time. And the ones who truly do follow the teachings of Jesus are actually Buddhists. They just haven’t realized it yet.

Sources: 

Image Credit: YouTube

Dargavs, Russia – The City of the Dead


With all the paranoia seeping into American society over Russia, thanks to the Trump administration, the gringa would like to take a moment to share some good and interesting stuff about Russia. You see, it’s so easy to generalize and say, “Russia bad” and forget all about the human element. Just because Trump and Putin and their respective governing bodies may be ruthless, greedy megalomaniacs, the Russian people are generally just like people everywhere. Some good. Some bad. And the nation of Russia is filled with rich history just like every other place on earth.

The gringa feels a bit guilty of all the complaining and criticizing I’ve been doing lately. It’s about time to focus on some good stuff. And the Russian good stuff I plan to focus on is all dead. In fact, an entire city of the dead.

Believe it or not, a city of dead Russians gets 4 out of 5 stars from travel experts as a must-see place to visit for guests to Russia. So, if you are planning your own tour, put the city of Dargavs on your bucket list. Also, pack your best Sherlock Holmes gear because this little gem is filled with mystery. Maybe you can crack the case and take your place in history as well.

When you arrive you will not be greeted with an eerie sight of Russian zombies and fog-filled ancient cobbled streets. You will discover a hillside burial ground set against the rugged backdrop of the Greater Caucasus mountain range.

Dargavs is found in North Ossetia. Stone structures, most with steep tiled roofs, house the resting places of ancient citizens called the great Alans who were a sub-set of the Sarmatian tribes. Although they are well-known as a nomadic, pastoral people speaking an ancient Eastern Iranian dialect, who lived around the first millennium of our current era.

The surviving ancestors of the great Alans buried belongings with their loved ones when they were entombed. Among the relics concealed in the crypts of this mysterious necropolis are:

  • Open, boat-like vessels to hold the corpse rather than a traditional coffin (curious since there are no rivers nearby)
  • Oars
  • Coins
  • Clothing

Despite some UFOlogists convinced the great Alans were really extra-terrestrials, the gringa thinks they were just regular humans. It seems they had beliefs and lifestyle practices that link them to every other group of humans trying to eke out an existence with primitive means in a harsh climate. Consider the stuff that researchers and archaeologists can all agree on that is very “humanizing”:

  • The crypts house the remains of entire families throughout multiple chambers and sometimes multiple levels.
  • Criminals were entombed in “exile”, their tombs constructed outside the collection of crypts for the Alan clan in general.

5.9.2b

  • Each tomb features a well at the entrance to the crypt that contains coins. So, the great Alans were sophisticated and human enough to understand economics, earnings and wealth.
  • They practiced some sort of religion or superstitions that had a belief in the afterlife hence the construction of a symbolic watchtower to guard the tombs and is, perhaps, the explanation for entombment with boats despite not being a river-faring people.

5.9.2c

There are many theories to explain some of the mysterious features that are, indeed curious, as well as to try to understand what the story was for the great Alans.

Religion: It is presumed that the boats and wells with coins are possibly related to the great Alans’ religious beliefs. The ancient Ossetians are believes to be pagans. However, a pagan is not an atheist. They do have religious beliefs, or superstitions, if you will.

Many religions feature boats and rivers as the means of travel to the world of the afterlife.  The river Styx of Greek mythology is, perhaps, the most well-known.  However, Acheron was also a river the dead navigated to the underworld on a ferry with Charon at the helm who served the king of Hades. It was known as the river of pain and at times, in legends and myth, is interchangeable with the River Styx.

An interesting note is that ferryman Charon also required a fee of a single coin. Non-payment meant a soul was left to wander aimlessly the banks of the River Acheron, presumably in great pain and anguish. However, if you are entombed with your own boat, why would you expect to need the services of another boatman? Perhaps the rivers Styx/Acheron were not the ultimate destination for the great Alans.

Ancient rivers of the underworld are also:

  • Lethe, also known as the river of forgetfulness and oblivion of sleep (no fee required).
  • Phlegethon was written about by Plato who believed it led to the deepest parts of Tartarus. Dante also penned a bit about this river in his legendary “Inferno”, it existing in the Seventh Circle of Hell, a boiling river where souls were tormented in cages by Centaurs tasked with dipping them in to the river’s scalding depths. Probably not the intended afterlife river for a people who hoped to arrive with their own boats.
  • Cocytus, the River of Wailing, joins with Acheron, ultimately leading to a frozen lake. It is the destination of traitors and all who commit sins against humanity. This may have been the destination of the criminals entombed in the outer circle, the Cocytus being a river that encircles the underworld.
  • Oceanus, another afterlife river that encircles the entire underworld, this freshwater stream was where the edge of the world met the cosmos. Although some think this would have been a gloomy, lonely afterlife existence, the gringa thinks this may have actually been the most coveted locale of the dead because they would be the ones nearest the realm of the gods. This may have been where the great Alans hoped their souls would be headed after death and they would need their own boats to navigate the waters of Oceanus. So, then, what was the coin for?

History of the Wishing Well: Wishing wells are common all over the world. Toss in a coin for good luck. We all do it. Anthropologists date the practice as far back as ancient Egypt and the Mesoamerican cultures. It was common practice to placate the gods with gifts. Want your natural water resources to remain sweet and pure? Toss in a valuable coin as a gift and hope for the best. This lends credence to the local legend that loved ones of dead great Alans would toss a coin in the well for good luck with regard to the afterlife situation of a family member who had passed.

Of interesting note is the local legend that the entire clan was wiped out by a plague. This is to explain the small, rectangular open entries into the tombs rather than be sealed crypts. It is said that once a person’s entire family died, having no one left to bury them, once becoming sick, the remaining survivor would climb into the tomb and await death. The gringa wonders if they tossed a coin into the well for themselves since they knew no one else was left alive to wish them well on the other side?

If you plan to visit, expect quite a trek to get there and plan to be your own guide. The place is remote and rarely visited. Even the locals avoid it on pain of death. It’s about a 3 hour drive from the nearest thing that can be called civilization. And the road has a reputation for danger. But, from the looks of things, if you like adventure, history and mystery, this will be a very satisfying jaunt!

Sources:

Encylclopedia of Sacred Places, Volume 1 by Norbert Brookman

RT

Theoi

University of California Irvine Anthropology

Dante’s “Inferno

English Russia

Image Credits: Atlas Obscura

Video Credit: Sam Conney

Were Ancient Giants Vegetarian Intellectuals?


What are some of the most common references for giant humanoids? The Christian Bible, European legends and fairy tales, cultural folk tales, the Q’ran, ancient Chinese mythology, Hindu mythology, ancient Norse mythology, and the list goes on and on.


What about artifacts? Is there archaeological evidence to support the existence of a giant humanoid race in earth’s ancient history? Of course, there are lots of fringe science groups who claim all sorts of archaeological evidence indicating a giant race. The most credible testimony, however, would come from accredited colleges and groups like the Smithsonian and National Geographic who have conducted exhaustive efforts to verify claims of researchers. So, what do they say? 


Well, sometimes that’s not always clear. News agencies have published reports referencing respectable institutions. These types of hoaxes have been going on for some time. However, with the advent of social media and its ability to create viral content, once a fake story is out there, it is difficult to ever overwhelm it with the truth. Especially if the truth is boring. 


But, dear reader, the gringa says, “Not so fast!”. Although a fake news story about National Geographic discovering giant remains did occur, a REAL story about REAL giant humanoid remains WAS published by National Geographic itself. See how confusing chasing the truth can get? So, let’s disseminate some of the more common giant-related news stories and separate fact from fiction.


FAKE News: Published in 2014 by World News Daily Report, an article claimed that the US Supreme Court ruled in a case that would force the Smithsonian Institute to de-classify documents that covered up an archaeological find in the 1900s of thousands of giant humanoid skeletons. And plenty of fake pictures accompanied this fake story. Unknown to many readers of this “news site” is what is clearly stated in the website’s fine print: it is a news satire publication. In other words, they intentionally publish fake news. So, reader beware!


FAKE News: In 2004 a hoax was perpetrated involving a doctored photo of an “archaeologist” who had uncovered the remains of a giant in a dig in Saudi Arabia. National Geographic was credited as funding the expedition and breaking the story but that was simply untrue. Stories like this often have a financial motive to stimulate tourism.


REAL News: Published in 2012 by National Geographic is a report on ancient skeletal remains of a giant humanoid in what would have once been ancient Rome. The entire skeleton was intact and stood, get this, a whopping 6’8″. Yeah, not fake news but not really that much of an impressive “giant” either. Although this ancient Roman would have stood head and shoulders above his contemporaries, by today’s standards, among many Americans and Europeans, um, not so much. He probably wouldn’t even generate a second glance at the shopping mall. If he played on a professional basketball team he would simply be “average”.


Now, there is no doubt that occasionally a person is born with a genetic condition that will result in giantism. But the question about the past is if an entire race of giants existed, not just a blip on the genetic radar from time to time.


And think about this. Giantism is really a matter of perspective. In the US, the gringa’s considered short at 5’4″. However, I was in for quite a surprise the first time I traveled outside the US to a south-of-the-border country. In photo after photo of the gringa with locals or family from Peru, I am, practically, a giant in comparison. There is actually a related story that is quite amusing.


On one of our first trips to Peru we planned to go to the deep jungle. It is difficult for villages to get US goods, especially textiles. I decided to pack favorite name-brand clothing and shoes and give them all away when we arrived. While there I would purchase locally crafted textiles. Sure, the gringa arrived home with a wardrobe that was intrinsically linked to Incan culture, bright fabrics, vibrant patterns, etc. The only problem was that “pants” were “pedal-pushers” and “long-sleeve” shirts were actually “three-quarter” sleeve shirts. As for shoes, the best I could find to fit my big American feet was a pair of men’s sneakers and several pairs of flip-flops. So, giantism is relative to time and place.


NEVER Debunked: In 1912 an archaeological dig conducted by Beloit College found giant skeletal remains in several ancient mounds, thought to be burial mounds, in Wisconsin. Beloit College is a credentialed higher education institution still instructing students today. The site was near Delavan Lake, which was probably a prime habitat location for ancient peoples. It is thought that humans inhabited the area as early as 1000 BC and at one point, a mound building culture thrived in the area for centuries. And, apparently, they were quite large! 


The Wisconsin Historical Society states that archaeologial evidence indicates that more than 200 mounds were studied by the college in the 1800s. At that time the area around the lake was still populated by the Potawotomi Indians. 


Delving into the mounds revealed skeletal remains of individuals ranging in height from 7’6″ to an extraordinary 10′. Their skulls were enormous, even by today’s standards. Even stranger, many had an extra digit on their hands and feet. Their jaws featured a double row of teeth and, instead of having incisors for their front teeth, there were molars. Considering that incisors evolved to tear the flesh of meat and tough-skinned fruits, it is possible that these ancient giant humanoids were vegetarians. There was also evidence that they were different races. 


This was not the only archeological dig in Wisconsin to find giants interred in burial mounds. They were also found in Maple Creek, Lake Mills, and Lake Lawn Farm. The Wisconsin remains have never been debunked as a hoax. So, they are either the real deal or the most successful prank ever perpetrated on the historical sciences communities about ancient mound builder societies.

JUDGE For Yourself: This is the story that the gringa hopes is true. Although skeletal remains were not found in an ancient Prague Castle to indicate a past population of giants, there is evidence to suggest that Slavic giants did exist and that they might have been scholars and intellectuals. The gringa’s talking about the legendary “Giant Library of Prague Castle”. Considering, however, that curators of the castle’s historical artifacts claim no connection with the photograph that gave birth to this legend, and no giant tomes have ever been found, the gringa believes she must remain disappointed.


And the credibility of these curators really shouldn’t be in question. Prague Castle is the largest castle in the Czech Republic. Construction began in 880 and was inhabited by royalty well into the mid-1900s. Wars often resulted in damage but the castle would faithfully be repaired. Now accessible to the public, visitors can enjoy acres upon acres of gardens, stables, historical architecture, period furniture, priceless art and the coveted opportunity to take a peek at the Czech Crown Jewels.

But even if no giants ever lived there and the library features no books big enough to swallow the gringa whole, it is still a delightful and entertaining prospect to imagine giant Czech kings and queens. The gringa can picture in her mind’s eye a sedate and very mindful giant mentoring a pint-sized human who sits upon the knee like a child. Perhaps they argue heatedly over a particular philosophical point, the tiny human hopping up to stand on the giant’s lap, attempting to make eye contact and poking a stubby finger into the giant’s chest in frustration, trying to make his point. And then there would be the rumble of speech that would come forth from enormous lungs and vocal chords that might create enough force to blow back the itty-bitty antagonist’s hair from his face. The good-natured, intellectual giant would chuckle at the audacity of the little creature. His good humor would surely be infectious and the two would soon be best friends again. The gringa can totally see this happening. But, alas, it can only happen in our imaginations! But, what else is our imagination for?


Sources:


Snopes


World News Daily


National Geographic


Delavan History


A True Ott, Ph. D


Sia Magazine


My Czech Republic


Hotel & Restaurant Administration – Czech Republic


Image Credit: Mission Galactic Freedom


Video Credits: 


UFOmania – The truth is out there


Rick Steves Europe


ReelNostalgia

Incredible Incas, Chapt 1, Pt 3


We continue to follow the journey of author Loren McIntyre across the land of the Inca Empire. We reach La Paz, the sacred Lake Titicaca and hear stories of Viracocha who created humanity and walks on water (sound familiar?).

Let’s discover the ancient Incan Empire together at “Read With The Gringa”!

Image Credit: Bhakti Anandas Collected Works

 

Incredible Incas, Chpt 1, Pt 2


We continue following the account of the journey through Peru of author Loren McIntyre in the first chapter “The Silent Strings”. We follow him thru Lima, old temples, Nazca, Cuzco & Bolivia while we learn history along his travels of the Pan American Highway.

 

Let’s read about the Incan civilization together!

Image Credit: Cruising From Stockholm