Bruno, Where Are You?


What do you think is behind the story of the disappearance of a UFOlogist who left behind a bedroom covered in strange symbols and a coded language? Insane? Hoax? The real deal? Let’s take a look at Brazil’s Bruno Borges and his personal “X-Files” style life journey.

This past March the 24-year-old disappeared. Not only were the walls and ceiling of his room plastered with his life’s work, but he also had 14 books written in the same coded language that were ready to be published. Media images of his room reveal the organization of an ordered mind, although a tad obsessive-compulsive about order when the gringa compares own surroundings. I tend to be tidy with a splash of comfortably messy.

But Bruno was not just a fringe science recluse, shuttered away from the world, scribbling away in an alien tongue. He was also a psychology student at university.

But alleged coded languages from another world were not the only curiosities of his room’s décor. There was also a prized work of art, valued at nearly $3,000. Central to Bruno’s small room is a life-size statue of Giordano Bruno, a 16th century philosopher, set within a circle of symbols. Was this a tribute to a namesake kinsman or a tribute to the work of the philosopher?

6.27.2a

You see, the Italian Dominican friar, Giordano Bruno, was not just a philosopher. He was also a theorist as to the mysteries of the cosmos, which meant the Catholic Church eventually labelled him a heretic. He threw off his friar robes and converted to Calvinism.

However, Protestantism was no great fan of his science, either. Eventually he would be burnt at the stake in Rome with his tongue tied down to prevent him from addressing the crowd. In today’s science and philosophical circles, Bruno is considered a martyr to scientific truth.

Now, dear reader, don’t think that this means younger Bruno was also a misunderstood religious devotee of the Christian faith. More fascinating clues remain to be discussed. Also decorating the walls and floor of the young man’s room were sigils and symbols affiliated with the legendary Illuminati and Satanism.

But wait, there’s more. Lacking any furnishings typical to a bedroom, there was, instead, religious furnishings crafting a shrine. Instead of a religious shrine to a long, dead philosopher, Jesus, Mary or Satan, the shrine was dedicated to the extra-terrestrial world young Bruno Borges believed in.

One of the key elements of his shrine was a self-portrait of the young man standing alongside a bulbous-headed, glowing-eyed ET against a backdrop that obviously points to the two of them being on another planet. The gringa supposes the implication is that his true biological origins are from this alien world.

6.27.2c

For about a month young Borges locked himself away in this room and produced all of this. This is absolutely incredible. It defies, in the gringa’s mind, the rules of biology. It seems physically impossible. Especially since there is no bed in the room for the poor guy to get a good night’s sleep. How in the world could one remain super-humanly productive for 4 weeks?

Truly, this fellow was quite an enigma. But what does it all mean?

The first clue lies in one of his passages translated by a Brazilian cyber expert. It reads:

“It is easy to accept what you have been taught since childhood and what is wrong. It is difficult, as an adult to understand that you were wrongly taught what you suspected was correct since you were a child”

Now, although this quote indicates that Borges was faulting his parents for instilling false beliefs in him, it seems that they weren’t really so bad. After all, they were willing to pay for his college education, provide the funding for his project and patiently indulge a child they most likely considered an eccentric intellectual who would one day make them proud with his published works of brilliance.

And Borges, despite his seeming criticism of his upbringing, was not above taking money from those he blamed. When approaching his family for financial assistance in his project he assured them that he was going to “change humanity in a good way”.

From the moment the disappearance became known, Brazilian authorities have been investigating. The latest news indicates the possibility that the young man is alive and well and continuing his “humanitarian work”. Here’s the latest:

4/10/17 a page of binary code popped up online. It translates to the following:

“Hello. My name is Bruno de Melo Silva Borges and I am 24 years old, I am a psychologist and I am very smart, I left 14 books with messages with different letter, the answer will be revealed on 04/14/17 at 17:00, so stay tuned. The statue I bought and left in my room, I left the room all white and wrote many things. Good and this. #3301”

What does #3301 mean? It most likely refers to the Cicada 3301 organization, an internet mystery for codebreakers. It started January, 2012 and is, in effect, a test looking for the smartest individuals who are able to solve the puzzle.

Solving the puzzle delivers the clues necessary for the codecracker to find the Cicada organization. Each year leading up to 2016 (excluding 2015), new puzzles were posted. Speculations as to the organization that might be behind the Internet’s most fascinating mystery are groups like the NSA, CIA, MI6, cyber mercenaries. Then there are those who believe it is an alternate reality game, possibly from an off-planet source.

4/17/17 @ 17:00 hours, what happened? The Cicada website changed. Is this change what Borges’ message predicted? It seems so because the change made available an MP3 audio file named “Bruno”. So, seems pretty obvious that Bruno cracked the code and got accepted into Cicada. He informed the curious public, via cryptic message, of when a formal announcement would be made to that affect.

The audio ends at the 5:36.666 mark. “Oooh,” the gringa says to herself, “666. The legendary mark of the Beast from the book of Revelations of the Christian’s religious text.” So, does that have any significance?

It might indeed be a clue but not of the devilish variety. It is more likely related to that devil of devils, money. An amateur sleuth tracked down the number 5:36.666 and found it to be the number of a Mastercard debit card issued in… Brazil, Borges home country.

Thus far we have a missing Bruno, now a part of Cicada with traceable funds likely linked to his announcement. And the detective found more footprints along the Borges trail.

A new YouTube channel was found named Bruno GiordanoIt has 2 posted videos. The first video posted about a month ago. It’s entitled with a long list of numbers:

1/C12H2406/c1-2-14-5-6-16-9-10-18-12-11-17-8-7-15-4-3-13-1/h1-12H2 

It lasts only 35 seconds and sounds like the mumblings and ravings of someone who just dropped some ‘shrooms. The image is, of course, constant and depicts more symbols and code. What the heck does it mean?

There is a description listed for the content. It claims to be Borges’ magnum opus, accomplished directly and indirectly, consciously and unconsciously. He was able to achieve his goal through what he calls the “practice of the absorptive capacity theory, oCc9rs an inevitable large scale chemical reaction”.

He explains that there are exponentially decreased numbers of awakened people while the numbers of people sleeping through their potential of enlightenment is exponentially increasing. He claims that the truth enlightens although we are taught that this “truth” actually does the opposite.

He says that the “observer” is actually the “observed”. He encourages everyone to become a spectator and that through preparing for this enlightenment you will understand its meaning. Following your intuition is the next step toward enlightenment.

He notes that nothing happens by chance and says “Remind the future”. He claims that this enlightenment that he has achieved is available to every man. In fact, it lives within every man as a world that is the Universe itself, dwelling within each individual. The gringa subscribed and the video is posted here for the dear reader’s convenience:

4/21/17 A new message was discovered online in the paste bin of YouTube channel, If You Believe Anything Matters. The channel is accredited to Borges. He states that he is living in caves and does not want to be disturbed.

The gringa subscribed to that channel, too. There are now 13 videos although there were 8 when the gringa began the first draft of this post. It looks like uploading has been going on since around mid-May with 5 more being uploaded in just the last couple of weeks. The gringa explored the videos and will follow up with posts regarding them. They were incredibly interesting.

I will mention here, however, that one of the videos featured a comment by Borges. It was, of course, coded. Consisting of Roman numerals only, a code breaker provides a translation:

“I gave a cry of astonishment. I saw and thought nothing of the other four Martian monsters; my attention was riveted upon the nearer incident. Simultaneously two other shells burst in the air near the body as the hood twisted round in time to receive, but not in time to dodge, the fourth shell.”

Bruno Borges’ trackers have found comment threads in various other online sites, crediting the comments to Borges. He claims to still be alive and living in hiding to protect himself. That, even in hiding, he is still bothered by those who would harm him. He claims to be in Portugal and will continue to update the world on what is happening.

Psychics are even getting involved in the hunt for Bruno Borges. One claims that she channeled his own thoughts. She said that he was in contact with an extra-terrestrial species called “tall whites”. Apparently, these ETs gave Borges the mission that he is on. While sequestered in his room during the month that he drafted his coded writings, the psychic said he was in regular contact with these aliens.

So what the heck is going on with this guy? Well, the gringa doesn’t put much stock in psychics. What we do actually know is provided by the law enforcement officers on the case. Borges left his home and took a taxi to a hotel about half a mile away. The gringa wonders why he didn’t just walk that short distance unless he wanted a record of where he was going.

The taxi driver attested to a phone call between Borges and others, discussing the hotel destination. However, Borges never checked in. If Borges was intent on disappearing without a trace, he would not have had such a conversation with a taxi driver present. The gringa is convinced Bruno was leaving a breadcrumb with the driver for investigators to follow to the hotel. When they didn’t find him there, naturally they would look around outdoors, nearby. Which is where they found a gathering area in the forest behind the hotel that had 4 white chairs, one red chair and remnants of a recent fire.

A local seamstress testified to creating 3 white robes similar to one depicted in a painting in Borges’ room, embroidered sigil on back and everything. Because of its detail, she asked if it was for something related to the church and Borges allegedly said, “Almost that.”

6.27.2b

What could be going on with Borges is an hermetic initiation. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is an order of the Jewish Kabbalistic (mystical) tradition. It is ancient and devotees commit themselves to studying the occult, paranormal and metaphysics. The gringa’s read a few of their texts and it sounds like a reasonable enough explanation to me.

So, Borges wasn’t abducted by aliens and he’s not a raving lunatic. Instead, he has been initiated into a secret society that claims to be in contact with supernatural and extra-terrestrial beings. The gods of the religious community are the advanced alien species of the esoteric science communities. And Borges is inviting all of mankind to join him. His online communiques are creating a pathway to enlightenment for all who are interested in joining him.

Sources:

UK Mirror

NY Post

Britannica

World Socialist Website

Uncovering Cicada

WNYC

Hermetic Golden Dawn

Image Credits: Bing

Video Credit: Fright Knight

Bruno Giordano

If You Believe Anything Matters

Why Won’t Physics Give Ghosts A Chance?


Darn those scientists. They have gone and spoiled it for the gringa again. I mean, who doesn’t love a good ghost story? The reason such a tale is so tantalizing is because no one really knows if ghosts are real or not. Until now. Yeah. Thinks Neil Degrasse Tyson and Brian Cox, you ol’ fun-spoiling physicists, you.

The dear reader would probably like to know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about an experiment that took place with the Large Hadron Collider. And the results are being interpreted to prove that ghosts just don’t exist. At least according to the laws of physics. According to Cox, a British theoretical physicist, he explains that if there were information zipping about after a person’s dies, the Large Hadron Collider would detect those bits of data. This is how his theory goes:

-For a ghost to exist, after death, a pattern of information from living cells would travel through some other medium.

-The traveling pattern would interact with particles of matter from the human body it leaves while it makes the transfer from one medium to the other.

-The Large Hadron Collider has detected nothing like this.

Is it possible that there is a physics law not yet  known by today’s scientists which might then make it possible for ghosts to be real?

Cox’s answer for this is that scientists would need to invent a new model for Particle Physics. But, considering the energy scale by which particles interact with the human bodies, this is not conceivable with today’s knowledge or technology. So the gringa remains hopeful that ghosts still have a chance.

Tyson, however, likes to rain on the gringa’s ghost parade. He says that just because there are gaps in what physicists do know doesn’t mean that what they don’t know will automatically support the existence of things like ghosts. Darn it. In fact, he believes that Cox’ work at the European Centre for Nuclear Research is sufficient to definitively conclude that ghosts don’t exist.

Tyson references the law of entropy as proof. There is a complicated physics law related to entropy in thermodynamic states. In a nutshell, what it means for ghosts is that energy is simply lost, whether it is man-made energy or natural energy. Energy simply expends itself and is lost and you can’t get it back.

But the gringa says, “Whoa, there, Nellie!” I mean, entropy is about the relationship of matter and energy. There is also the principal that, although matter may lose energy and experience entropy, energy doesn’t cease to exist. Energy may simply change into another form and never cease to exist.

The gringa thinks that Tyson errs to use entropy to kill off ghosts. Entropy is what happens to the physical body when energy leaves the body. If the energy is consciousness, the inspiration and existence of thought and individuality, that energy would not cease to exist simply because the human body of matter lost control of it.

Cox answers this idea with the assertion that if consciousness exists as an energy that animates the human body, then it must interact with the particles the human body is made of. So far, with the precision instruments that he has at hand, he sees no evidence of such interaction. But does that mean it doesn’t happen? After all, there was a time when man couldn’t “see” an atom or a blood cell, but they still existed.

So, the gringa started out disappointed but, in the end, I find myself right back where I started from. Believing that ghosts might possibly be the consciousness energy of inspiration of each unique human being’s individuality. After death, this energy may very well transform into another existence, possibly residing in a dark matter universe. The gringa is still a believer in ghost possibility until physicists can come up with something better than “so far with what we know and the instruments we’ve got we have to say no to ghosts”.

After all, Cox nor Tyson were able to explain whether or not consciousness exists. They cannot explain why humans have individuality and how though originates. In other words, the only thing they do know are the laws of physics that relate to matter. A “ghost” has no matter. These guys need to get back to the drawing board. And the gringa suspects Tyson may secretly be a believer in ghosts:

Sources:

Physics-Astronomy

Image Credit: WDFYFE

Video Credit: StarTalk Radio

Did An ET Knock On China’s Space Capsule?


Sometimes, when the gringa is home alone at night, or early in the morning after the caveman leaves for work, my imagination goes into overdrive. I get a little spooked. Should an unexpected noise be heard, that’s it. No sleep for the gringa. But what if you were an astronaut, adrift in the vacuum of space, surrounded by nothingness for thousands of lightyears yet “something” came a-knocking?

I tell ya, the gringa would probably die of fright! There’s certainly no hope for fear to disappear when the sun comes up. No waiting around for the hubby to get back. No paranoid call to 911 for the comfort of a first responder to do a quick looksie around. Nope, an astronaut is all alone for the duration of the mission wondering what the heck just knocked on the door and when or if it’s coming back. Guess what? That actually happened.

Word has it that, back in 2003, when China’s first astronaut in space, Yang Liwei, was performing a 21-hour tour-of-duty aboard Shenzhen 5, something came knocking. He described the noise like the sound of a wooden hammer hitting against a metal bucket. So, he wasn’t spooked by a few creaks or phantom noises created in an over-active imagination like the gringa’s. He described a very distinct, and distinctly loud, noise.

If one eyewitness account of such is not enough for the skeptic, there were other Chinese astronauts who also reported the same banging noise. Consecutive missions, Shenzhou 6 and 7, had astronauts returning to Earth and sharing this news in their de-briefings.

The gringa believes it would be the opportunity of a lifetime to travel into space. Imagine the prestige an astronaut must be looking forward to when they get the news that they are slated for a mission. Certainly they envision a future shaped by this achievement. Success is at hand. With respect to their career, they have, indeed, arrived.

How, then, must it come to them as a terrible disappointment to realize that they will forever be haunted by their space experience. Do some astronauts return to an Earth-bound life, riddled with anxiety, swept up in paranoia that they are stalked by other-worldly watchers? Do they spend the rest of their life feeling a coward’s shame because they didn’t have the guts to answer the door and see who was there?

When interviewed by journalists from Xinhua, Astronaut Liwei explained some of these very emotions. He recounted that when he would hear the knocking, he would become very tense. The gringa thinks, “Yeah. I bet!” He would peek outside the windows only to see nothing. Returning to Earth he spent much time with researchers trying to replicate the noise with a variety of instruments and materials. But they were unsuccessful.

As crews for Shenzhou 6 and 7 were preparing, Liwie warned them that they should expect to hear the noise. He tried to put their minds at ease, assuring them that the noise must be a normal, natural phenomenon. But was Liwie telling the truth or making up a comfortable lie?

The characteristics of the noise were:

-random timing

-no rhythm

-acoustic quality of wood on metal

The Shenzhou spacecrafts are classified as cargo vessels. The craft’s name translates roughly into “magic boat” or “divine vessel of god”. When the craft was first put into use in 1999 by China it was an unmanned vessel. After several successful unmanned missions, Astronaut Yang Liwei achieved the first successful manned mission October 15, 2003, completing 14 orbits around Earth within 21 hours.

The 2 manned missions that followed also reported back the strange noises. Could this be why the 2011 mission was unmanned except for 2 test dummies? In 2012 manned missions resumed with a 3-person crew delivered to China’s Tiangong-1 space station in 2012, 2013 and a final mission in 2016 delivering crewmembers to China’s Tiangong-2 space station. One more mission is slated for 2018 but no details are yet available on whether it will be manned or not.

The spaceship’s technology has roots in Russia’s Soyuz technology. The modified Chinese version features 3 modules. Upon returning to Earth, only one module, the re-entry module, makes the return trip. That means that 2 modules, the orbital and service modules, do not have the same bulky heat shielding as the re-entry module.

The orbital module is constructed of aluminum. This is where the crew spends most of their time. If a piece of space debris came into contact with the outside of the module, it would probably make quite a noise.

But would a piece of debris make a single contact noise or might it bump around the perimeter of the craft a few times until it went on its merry way? Would a tiny bit of space junk, too small to see out a porthole make a noise as loud as Liwie described? Could the spacecraft survive an impact with a small piece of space debris? How likely is it that this is the source of the noise? Yes, the gringa is filled with questions.

NASA estimates more than half a million bits of space junk are floating around Earth. They can travel as fast as 17,500 mph. Even a pebble-sized bit of debris can wreak havoc and cause quite a bit of damage. Check out this picture provided by the European Space Agency (ESA). A solar array on satellite Sentinel-1A took a hit from a tiny bit of space junk (about a 1 millimeter bit) and it punched an enormous hole in one of the solar panels. The size of the damage was about 100 times the size of the junk that hit it.

6.1.2

In 2014, just 6 years after the last Shenzhou mission with a crewmember reporting the strange knocking noises, an important book was published. In “Forging China’s Military Might” much of the material discusses the nation’s space program. It is proposed that spacecraft design should feature a “bumper” to absorb meteor and space junk impacts. Proving the point that even micro-debris can be deadly, the author points to the Space Shuttle Challenger 7 mission. A tiny fragment of debris, and when the gringa says tiny, she means tiny, the debris was a FLECK OF PAINT… it caused so much damage the entire window had to be replaced.

6.1.3

So, did Liwie hear an ET knocking on his spaceship door? Probably not. It’s more likely that it was a bit of cosmic rubble knocking about.
Sources: NASA

QZ.com

Spaceflight 101

People

Physics-Astronomy.com

Image Credits:  VOA News

QZ.com

Video Credit:  Paparazzi News

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

Cosmic Explosions? What The Heck Is Going ON?


Have you heard the news? There was a big, bang, boom way out in outer space! What the heck was that? Is it the birth of a new universe? A star gone supernova? Has galactic war broken out? What the heck is going ON up there?

What We Know: Astronomers engaged in a bit of stargazing through a powerful X-ray imaging telescope called the Chandra Observatory. It is an orbiting observatory, launched and managed by NASA, and named after Nobel prize-winning astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. Observing astronomers witnessed several cosmic flashes (aka EXPLOSIONS). In order for these flashes to have been visible as they were, they had to have packed a punch with at least one thousand times greater energy than any other star in that neck of the deep space woods. The explosions occurred over a period of hours on a single day.

Although this event was witnessed in 2014, scientists are still scratching their heads over the phenomena. And, considering the scientific law about energy never ceasing to exist, transforming yes, but disappearing no, well, this head scratcher is a deep mystery. There seems to have been no energy trace left behind by these explosions.

Where It Happened: If you happen to have access to a deep space, X-ray telescope, you will want to take aim at an obscure, unnamed galaxy that is nearly 11 billion light years away (but chances are you will have to rely on what Chandra relays back to NASA). This is a region of deep space called “Chandra Deep Field-South”. Although the explosions are over, it may be worth staying tuned. Who knows what might happen next? I mean, after all, we don’t know what the heck actually happened.

The Big Question: How the heck can what seems like a cosmic cataclysm leave no footprint in the Universe?

What Experts Theorize (in other words, scientists’ best guesses):

  • A destructive event like a neutron or white dwarf star that died.
  • Merging of a star with a black hole (which would result in the death of a star)

Death Of A Star: When a neutron or white dwarf star dies it is actually an energy rich collapse of gases, plasma, and all other kinds of energy related “stuff”. This creates a gamma-ray burst which is a fancy way of saying massive explosion of energy. This is what is commonly called a supernova event.

Where’s The Aftermath Evidence? If a star went supernova, or got destroyed in a crushing black hole, where’s all the tidbits that would be left behind? Depending on the size of the star, several things will happen after the explosive excitement:

  • The star’s core shrinks back to form a tiny neutron star if it was about twice the size of our own Sun.
  • A black hole forms where the star used to be if the star was massively larger than our own Sun.
  • In a supernova, the layers surrounding the star’s core are blown out into space.
  • The shockwave of the final, spectacular explosion helps the blown out bits form new stars and, perhaps, a new galaxy.

What The Heck Is It? So, if there is not a new, tiny, neutron star or black hole in that particular part of space, scientists may eventually rule these likeliest theories out. But there’s more to consider, making a supernova/black hole theory unlikely:

  • Time: A Supernova event usually takes a few years of explosive activity to build up to the final KABOOM when the star finally collapses and explodes. This recent event occurred in a single day within a span of a few hours.
  • Experience: Scientists have a lot of experience identifying supernovas. In a galaxy the size of our Milky Way, supernovas occur about twice in a century. Throughout our Universe, scientists estimate, from their observations, that a supernova happens every single second. So, if this event wasn’t immediately recognized as a supernova by scientists familiar with what to expect, chances are it wasn’t one.

Now What? We have to continue to follow the logic. Which brings us full circle to the original question:

“What the heck just happened? What the heck is it?”

What is it that Sherlock Holmes or Spock would say?

“When you rule out what is most likely, whatever is left, however unlikely, must be the answer.”

What The Heck Are We Left With?  UFOlogists will be quick to conclude it must be evidence of alien life. Perhaps they are tinkering with catastrophic weapons. Maybe a devastating planetary conflict took place. It could have been an alien science experiment gone bad. Maybe it’s the deep space version of a telephone call or SOS. Perhaps a mega-asteroid impact with a star or planet occurred. You see, it could be a natural cosmic event. But it may be of a unique nature. One never observed by humans before. The simple explanation could be that scientists are flummoxed because no suggestion of such a thing exists “on the books” today. They may have to figure this one out from scratch, on their own.
In the unlikely event it does turn out to be a cosmic conflict between alien species or alien planetary natural disaster apocalypse, should Earth expect an influx of ET refugees? Well, if they do begin to show up, the gringa’s got a bit of advice for them. Don’t come to the US. Trump yanked up the refugee welcome mat a few months ago.
If you really want to live in the good ol’ U.S. of A, here’s a better plan for a space alien refugee. You see, since Trump is bent on building that stupid border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, he’s trying to come up with the dough to pay for it. Turns out he’s not the great business negotiator he made himself out to be. Mexico ain’t paying for it.
One clever plan he has for some quick cash is to slash the budget of the U.S. Coast Guard. All an ET refugee need do is camp out in a Mexican coastal town, buy a kayak and wait for construction to begin. Then, chances are there won’t be anyone on duty patrolling our coastal waters because their paychecks have been invested in that dumb wall. All a space alien refugee has gotta do is paddle north along the coastline!

Trump, what a dope! As if people can’t go under, over or around a stupid wall! And if brown-skinned “aliens” from other countries drive him loco, wait til they start showing up from other PLANETS, perhaps in shades of blue or green or gray! He’ll have a stroke for sure.
Sources: NASA

Nobel Prize Org.

Independent UK

Photo Credits: PodBean

Nobel Prize Org.

Video Credits:  Chandra X-ray Observatory

 

Ghostly Cats & Spectral Zookeepers


How many of the gringa’s dear readers believe in the existence of ghosts? According to the Pew Research Center, 18% of all Americans claimed to have seen a ghost, 29% claim to have felt a touch by a ghost, and more than 30% believe in the existence of ghosts. So, no need to feel embarrassed or alone if you are pro-ghost.

The gringa used to believe in the existence of ghosts until I became familiar with dark matter and learned that the human consciousness can exist outside the human body.

I even have two ghost stories of my own!

#1. When the gringa was in middle school, I spent a week at a lake cabin with a friend’s family. I got to have my very own room. The first night sleeping alone in this new space, I was awakened by the feeling of something jumping onto the foot of the bed. I then felt the sensation of what I assumed to be cat paws gently walking alongside my body then settling down to sleep beside me. It even felt warm. Since I was an animal lover and it was dark, I didn’t even bother to rouse myself enough to peek at the cat. I wanted to be a good bed partner and not disturb its desire to rest. This happened all week. I don’t remember what day during the week I mentioned my nightly visitor to my hosts. But I do remember their response and how tense my nights were after I found out that they had no cat. The gringa believed she was sharing her bed with a ghost cat, or, at least the consciousness of a cat. A friendly sort, though.

#2. My other ghost story is not really a ghost story at all, but a tale of how ornery the gringa can be. One of my sisters was a bit of a drama-mama. When we moved into a new house she was a bit freaked out by the news that the previous owner’s husband had died in the house. She was further convinced this was terrible news because, apparently, it had been his dream home, constructed according to his own design, and where he retreated for a pleasant retirement. Until he dropped dead just a few months into said retirement. She was convinced that an attachment like that could only mean that ol’ Mr. Walker would be haunting the place. The gringa was happy to oblige her imagination.

We shared a room so it was easy for the gringa to prank her. I would really step up my game if she annoyed me for any reason. She was a bit of a neat freak and very orderly. I would swipe things like a hairbrush or trinket box then put it in a strange place, like the closet shelf for her shoes or inside our shared stereo’s cabinet for the record player (yes, it’s been that many years ago). The gringa would then feign innocence, absolutely baffled and mystified how such things could happen. Then I would casually say, “Well, I guess it was Mr. Walker. Maybe he didn’t like it that you left your hairbrush out.” or something to that effect. It would get her every single time. And I have never told her different. Even now, as middle-aged adults, she thinks that old house is haunted or else she knows the truth and is humoring the gringa.

But is it possible for an old house to be haunted by a dead person’s consciousness who is so attached that they don’t want to leave? Can animal spirits inhabit the earth after their death? The gringa can only say that, according to what she knows of dark matter and conscious existence outside of our physical body, yeah, it’s possible. But it wouldn’t be a ghost as we traditionally know it. It would actually be that person or animal’s consciousness minus their physical body. Their consciousness existing in the dark matter universe, yet able, from time to time, to exercise whatever it is that allows them to somehow manifest themselves to us in this universe.

Now, the gringa doesn’t think that means that a person would be subjected to 24-hour surveillance by such. To exist in a state where physical form, or matter, doesn’t matter (pardon the pun), that means one could not exist in a world where the laws of physics makes matter, um, matter. What the gringa thinks happens is that hiccups in space or, perhaps, bursts of concentrated energy by a consciousness, allows for a breakthrough between the two worlds. A “ghostly” encounter then occurs.

For ghost-phobic individuals, there is good news if you are getting ready to re-locate. A website, DiedInHouse.com, is a database that links death announcements, certificates and law enforcement records to home addresses. It costs about twelve bucks for the service but you find out more than just if your prospective home might contain a ghost. You will discover if it was ever used as a lab for making methamphetamines, has a history of fire, if a sex offender was ever registered there and if it is in a flood zone. But I digress.

Is haunting a serious problem in homes? The gringa’s research reveals that hauntings are commonly reported. Sometimes they even lead to lawsuits. However, many people live with ghosts just fine. And it’s not just houses that can be haunted. In the gringa’s neck of the woods even the Houston Zoo is reported to be haunted by its first zookeeper who was a bit of a peeping Tom.

Houston media has made the most of this local legend. Just about every area newspaper, radio station or television news syndicate has a story about Nagel in their archives. Considering that he wasn’t just a zookeeper, but also a trainer of big cats, the gringa suspects Nagel had a consciousness bigger than life with that kind of courage and steely nerves. Maybe he really is still inhabiting the space of the Houston Zoo on a dark matter level.

He survived an alligator bite in 1924. The following year he had to take some time off after a raccoon incident and, later, a monkey attack. In 1928 a 5-ton elephant stepped on him. Three years later a leopard took a swipe and laid him open. He was also nearly killed by a 450-pound lion but his trusty assistants came to the rescue. There are numerous accounts of painful encounters between Nagel and badgers, bears, porcupines, tigers and zebras. Once, a python tried to make a meal of Nagel but he got the snake in a headlock and beat him at his own squeeze game.

Locals would also call Nagel out for neighborhood wildlife problems. He captured a bobcat that was eating the poodles of the rich ladies living in River Oaks. He lassoed a wayward bull elk and a lioness that both escaped the zoo and were wandering city streets. A city filled with bayous, he was also a very popular alligator catcher when populations would become problematic.

Nagel was quite a character who also carried a pistol whenever he was on duty. His pistol came in handy when he saved a guest to the zoo from being mauled by a Bengal Tiger. This action earned him a gold medal from the City of Houston. And it may be his feisty character that ultimately led to his controversial demise and dogged refusal to leave the Houston Zoo even after death.

You see, he got himself into a bit of trouble with the law. He was accused of abuses of power by the City Park Commission. Upon the Commission’s recommendation, Houston Mayor, Walter Monteith, rescinded Nagel’s special commission as zoo police officer. But, true to Nagel’s strong-willed character (after all, when military life didn’t agree with him he ignored the rules, jumped ship and went AWOL), Nagel continued with his armed zoo patrol which ended up getting him shot dead by a legitimate law enforcement officer in 1941.

When Nagel noticed some youngsters going at in their car in the zoo parking lot, he crept into some bushes and watched. A police officer on patrol also noticed the amorous pair (and Nagel, the peeping Tom). Stopping to question the pair, the officer asked if they knew that they had an audience which, indeed, surprised them. As the officer approached Nagel, intending to handcuff him and take him down to the pokey for a firm discussion about where, exactly, his jurisdiction was (within the confines of the zoo’s grounds), Nagel decided he would not be treated in such a way. He resisted arrest. And, he was armed with his pistol. Which the officer claimed he began to reach for. So, said officer blasted him 6 times with his own pistol until Nagel lay dead in the road.

And what of Nagel? Some say he is still around, particularly hanging out in the Commissary, overseeing the food preparation for all the animals. This seems reasonable since the Commissary is the closest building to the area where he died. Staff reports hearing voices early in the morning and seeing a shadowy figure that resembles a man walking about. Zoo officials have even gone so far as to have paranormal investigators get involved. The only thing this produced were a couple of electronic voice phenomena (EVP) recordings that do sound like human voices.

But who would he be talking to? The gringa thinks maybe to the consciousness of animals that have died at the zoo. Maybe death was the most wonderful thing to happen to a zookeeper devoted to all of those animals. Now there will be no nasty misunderstandings leading to getting bit or sliced and diced. Kind of makes dying not seem so scary after all.

Sources:

Pew Research

DiedInHouse

Houston Chronicle

Texas Archival Resources Online

Image Credit:

Mr. Wallpaper

Video Credit:

CrashCourse

New Thinking Allowed

houstonartsandmedia

Curses! Curses, I Say! Or, Maybe Not


If you’ve ever indulged in the fantasy of an Indiana Jones-style adventure, the gringa knows EXACTLY how you feel! Epic excitement and mystery! But what the heck is up with all of those curses? Are they real? Have people died mysteriously because they explored ancient Egyptian tombs? Is there any science to explain how it happened? Were ancient Egyptians magical booby-trap designers?

Let’s look at the curse of all curses, the Curse of the Pharaohs.  It claims that if you disturb the resting place of any ancient Egyptian (not just a pharaoh), you are in for big trouble. So, that would stand to reason, in the gringa’s mind, that if you messed about with a pharaoh’s tomb, you should get trouble on an exponential level.

The most famous ancient Egyptian pharaoh tomb in modern history to be explored is that of Tutankhamun, discovered by Howard Carter November 4, 1922. Was a curse released when the tomb’s seal was broken 3 months later on February 16, 1923? Well, apparently there were quite a few deaths that occurred:

George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert,  Earl of Carnarvon (we’ll just call him George-and, Downtown Abbey fans, yes, THAT Carnarvon!), was the fella who paid for the adventure.  About 5 weeks after the seal was broken, March 25, 1923, rich, ol’ George dropped dead from a mosquito bite that became infected when he cut himself shaving shortly after he arrived in Cairo.

Was such a death a rare occurrence, thus indicative of supernatural causes? Nope.  According to industrial records from 1923, contained within “The Industrial Bulletin, Volumes 1-5”, 16 deaths were filed with the US Workmen’s Compensation Bureas in a single MONTH, deaths caused by infection of cuts received on the job. As recent as 2010 more than 27,000 people died from sepsis specifically related to bedsores. In other words, they died when their wounds and sores became infected.

The gringa’s inclined to think that ol’ George’s death was not because of a pharaoh’s curse but just bad hygiene and bad luck. He also had a reputation for being a rather sickly fellow in the first place. No wonder, then, that a tiny mosquito back and contaminated razor cut did him in. But what of the other folks said to have died from Tut’s curse?

George had a half-brother, Colonel Aubrey Herbert, MP. He was a radiologist and X-rayed King Tut. He died six months after his brother, September 26, 1923, from arsenic poisoning.  Now, brother Aubrey had bad eyesight all of his life. He was practically blind and a dentist thought he could solve the problem.  Instead, he got poisoned. Crazy as it sounds, arsenic has a long and illustrious history of use in dentistry, often used as a pain reliever and root canal treatment. Was brother Aubrey a victim of supernatural vengeance? Probably not.  Just another victim in a long line of dental victims. Even today you get your teeth capped or drilled at your own risk. A dentist patient dies, on average in America, every other day.

So what about the American railway mogul, George Jay Gould? He died from a fever after he visited the tomb. Also quite common.

Then there’s Egyptian prince, Ali Kamel Fah. His wife shot him dead not long after he enjoyed a photo safari of the tomb. The gringa thinks the wrath of a wife probably has nothing at all to do with anyone that’s been dead for millennia.

Another guy who X-rayed the mummy, Sir Archibald Douglas Reid, also died. Supposedly from a mystery illness but the gringa’s pretty sure that travel to exotic places often resulted in all kinds of mystery illnesses in 1924 that are, today, considered quite common.

Another victim of gun violence who visited the tomb was the governor of Sudan, Sir Lee Stack. He was shot while driving through the streets of Cairo. Methinks the possibility of an assassin’s bullet, inspired by nationalist fervor, angry at all of these foreigners desecrating the revered resting places of their ancestors is more likely than a curse. Maybe it was a politically motivated assassination by factions unhappy with foreign powers involved in the Sudan. Or, it could have been the work of a greedy tomb raider who wants all these folks gone so they can stage a raid and enjoy some profit.

And then tragedy strikes George’s family, yet again, when his other brother, Mervyn Herbert, dies of malaria related pneumonia. But, there again, dying from malaria, even today, when visiting an exotic locale, is nothing mysterious.

Another guy on George’s team, A. C. Mace, also died of arsenic poisoning in 1928.  Rather than think sinister spirits were flitting about for five years wreaking havoc on unsuspecting curiosity seekers, the gringa thinks it’s more likely that Mace made an unfortunate visit to the dentist.

And what of Captain Richard Bethell? Dead from self-inflicted poisoning, munching on toxic tidbits in bed, much like how the gringa snacks on bon-bons while enjoying a good book. Stupidity or suicide, I say, not a curse. Most likely suicide because, a year later, his father committed suicide by jumping from the seventh floor of an apartment building.

Although it is disturbing to see the number of deaths that occurred within just a few years of opening King Tut’s tomb, the details reveal credible reasons, some with scientific evidence, to explain them as quite normal and of this world. So, if you plan to visit Egypt, don’t be afraid of any, ol’ curse. Visit the tombs. Explore the pyramids. Ride some camels. But get inoculated for malaria before you go, sleep under mosquito netting, use insect repellant, and wear long sleeves!

Sources:

World Travel Guide

South Coast Herald

Dallas News

National Institutes of Health

Mirror UK

Live Science

The Daily Beast

Google Books

Image Credit:  Unrated Film