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

If You Can’t Trust The CIA, Who Can You Trust?


Conspiracy theories seem to be taking center stage in American politics these days. That being said, the current president seems to find conspiracies believable. Now, why do so many people believe conspiracy theories? When Trump makes an outrageous claim with no evidence to back it up, why are there so many people jumping on the bandwagon?

Maybe it’s because some of the institutions in our country that should be reliable have done things that have damaged their credibility. When agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) lose public trust, then it’s easier to turn to conspiracy theories as reliable information. So how bad have the “good guys” become?

The CIA was created in 1947. It’s job has been to collect and analyze information about foreign nationals, organizations, businesses and government officials on the down-low. No one is supposed to know they are being spied on. However, thanks to whistle-blowers and the viral nature of the worldwide web, many of their nasty, little secrets have been revealed. And now, the CIA may have to suffer the consequences of being damaged goods unworthy of public trust.

Now, the gringa understands that the spy business is a nasty business. No one likes a snoop, a snitch or a turncoat. But, the reality is, if a country wants to know what the enemy is up to, spies are necessary. We may despise a spook, but without them, we would all be much more vulnerable. But what do we do if our spy community takes advantage of secrecy to abuse their broad authority? What if that results in our “good guys” morphing into the “bad guys”? Well, then the whole world is in trouble. For anyone to be truly safe, it has to be clear who, exactly, the good guys are.

Operation Ajax: Many people today may not even think about a serious power struggle in Iran that took place more than half a century ago. In 1951, the current Shah, Reza Pahlavi, survived an attempt on his life. It’s possible this assassination plan was cooked up by none other than his Prime Minister who wanted to reduce the Shah’s power. The CIA took interest because of, what else, oil. Particularly a British oil company, AIOC.

The Shah’s opposition considered this foreign oil company’s presence just one step too close to invasive British imperialism. Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh demanded an audit which AIOC refused. What’s a Prime Minister to do when his authority is insulted? Seize the company and make it a national asset.

The 1950s was the height of the Cold War. Every European nation, including the great island of the UK, kept oil supplies ready and at hand, their military capabilities primed should Russia strike. With British oil supplies in Iran threatened, which, in turn, threatened the readiness of their military, who else does the UK turn to but their powerful cousin across the pond, the US.

The Eisenhower Administration was on board, eager to flex its muscles for all the world to see. Especially Russia. And Mossadegh’s aggressive takeover of a British company was interpreted by Americans in the throes of the Red Scare as one step toward Communism for Iran.

Of course, the US was then “obligated” to save the vulnerable Iranians from Communism and “preserve” democracy”. Yep, the same old recycled story of preserving democracy as a cover for interfering in the sovereignty of a country in order to control their valuable oil.

The funny thing is that Prime Minister Mossadegh was actually an advocate of democracy. He, himself, was a democratically-elected official. His political goal was to diminish the power of the station of Shah who was a hereditary monarch. See the conflict here? In the end, however, the CIA launched Operation Ajax.  This is how things went down:

  • Iranian officials and mafiosos were bribed.
  • Staged protests were bought and paid for in every major Iranian city.
  • CIA agents were boots on the ground, using radios to transmit coverage of protests to the US and other media around the world.
  • The media covered this news, effectively convincing their respective populations that Tehran was about to be overwhelmed by a populist army of rebels. (Is this beginning to sound familiar, you know, like Syria?)
  • Mossadegh saw the writing on the wall and resigned.
  • The new Prime Minister was a British/US puppet who restored oil monies to the British and the power of the throne to the Shah.
  • The Shah responded with a security crackdown: secret police, traitors prisons for suspects without hearing or trial, and a major propaganda campaign to practically deify the Shah in the eyes of all Iranians.

Considering the outcome of the operation, it’s pretty easy to see that the “preserve democracy” justification was a sham.  The West’s only interest was to get rid of Mossadegh because the only goal was to preserve British control of oil interests. So long as the Shah followed the program, the CIA was more than happy for this bloody tyrant to stay in power.
As it turns out, the CIA, British and Americans were no real friend to the Shah. They stood idly by while Communists and radical Islamists oranized secretly right under his watchful nose. It took more than a quarter of a century but, eventually, these rebels rioted and drove the Shah right off his throne. This was followed up with massacres of those who supported the Shah and any foreigners in Iran exploiting oil interests. Children were not spared.

What happened next is the installation of the Shah most of us are more familiar with, Ayatollah Khomeni. And he was incredibly ruthless, loyal to none. Once in power he turned right around and slaughtered the leftists who had led the rebellion that ousted his predecessor. What a reward for loyalty! Tens of thousands were imprisoned. This is when the famous hostage crisis at the American Embassy occurred during the Carter administration.

Neighboring Iraq took full advantage of the chaos. They invaded Iran on their western border. It is this key invasion event that created a ripple effect of events that are still unfolding today in all that is going on in the Middle East. Because, if not for the original interference of the CIA in 1953 that resulted in a political and monarchal coup in Iran, the de-stabilization and continued conflict for superior power present today would not have resulted. Iran had been, up until that time, a stabilizing seat of power in the Middle East.

By organizing a revolution the CIA set the stage for Islamic radicals and political rebels to flourish. Nw these rebels and radicals knew that there were powerful nations willing to arm and supply them if profit and oil interests would be in their favor by doing so. The precedence was set for the US and UK to exploit mercenary Middle Eastern rebels and radicals as a means to maintain Western control of Middle East oil reserves. They would use these assets to threaten a leader who stepped out of line or replace a leader who dared to go rogue.

The gringa knows that lots of people like to blame the war on terror on George W. or other contemporary political actors. The reality is that the seeds were planted much, much earlier in history for this poisonous tree that is bearing toxic fruit today.

Sources: ColdWar.org

The Latin Library

CIA

Video Credits: AICBroadcast

SYRIA UPDATE: Commentary & Supposition


Let’s suppose for a minute that the allegations are true: that Putin promised the White House and a share in Rosneft to Trump in exchange for lifting Russian sanctions, blackmail of Ukraine’s leader and installing a pro-Russian Ukraine leader which would provide unfettered access to Ukraine’s pipelines. Those pipelines are worthless without the crude being shipped out of the Middle East. Russia’s only port for crude shipping in the Middle East is in SYRIA. What if Syria was part of the bargain?

Russia couldn’t very well topple its own ally it is fighting beside in a civil war. Could it be that Trump or Putin would stage a dark op to cast Assad in such a light that the US could justify a military action so crippling that Syria’s only survival becomes completely dependent on Russia? Russia could then install a new government in Syria, staffed by its own operatives. Trump and Putin would then become the most powerful and wealthy men in the entire world.

But what would happen if this dynamic duo had their plans exposed? It is suspected that Putin is the authority behind the assassination of those with vital knowledge. The suspected body count is now up to 10. What if Trump has become paranoid that he or one of his loved ones might become a Russian liability as US intelligence communities creep their investigations forward? What if Trump decided to cut his losses, that this is all getting too complicated and bothersome and he’s just not enjoying himself any longer? What if Trump tried to cut and run from his Putin obligations? What would happen then? What if this is what is happening?

What if a war is actually about to break out because one crook tried to double-cross another crook and these two crooks both happen to be in control of 2 of the most powerful and deadly military forces in the world? The world is watching 2 madmen on a stage and we have no idea what the real plot is.

The gringa has few solid answers, plenty of questions, and a treasure trove of US documented history that indicates that a dark operation by the US is entirely plausible. I can also guarantee you that Trump’s strike on Syria was NOT motivated by his great, big, humanitarian heart that was bleeding on behalf of suffering, gassed Syrian children. And damn his heretical invocation of the name of God for his actions.

Many dark operations have, in fact, already gone down in US history before. The gringa warns her dear readers to beware. Be very cautious moving forward as you attempt to decide your own position in this very dangerous situation.

The US mainstream media will most likely fall in line. For some news agencies it will be sudden. Others will deliver a slow drip, drip, drip of conditioning to gradually mold the minds of skeptics. But expect all US mainstream media to eventually get around to demonizing Assad and hail President Trump. Americans should beware of the same media that sold us the deceitful bill of goods that gave us Iraq during the Bush administration. Read media from other nations. As you do, you will become acutely aware that Trump, and viz a viz America, is being called every name in the book from rogue nation to terrorist.

State sponsored media in Russia is prepping its population to support, and even demand, a showdown with the US. America is being painted as monsters, the puppets of Zionist terrorists in Israel. Russian media is capitalizing on the love loss between Trump and US neighbors south of the border. Many leaders of countries in Central and South America are pondering over the same possibilities the gringa has mentioned here and in the previous Special Report of yesterday.

There have even been some US southern neighbors welcoming Russia. Just this month it was announced that Russia was shoring up its military and economic alliances with these South American countries that are practically at America’s back door: Argentina, Cuba, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. While Trump was busy denigrating neighbors that could make or break our national security, Putin was investing in a local strategy of power and influence. You see why the gringa say, “Take care, dear readers.”

Trump’s actions have been extremely immature and downright dangerous. His lack of sophistication has driven him to desperate actions. Trump has now painted targets on the backs of every American abroad, whether living abroad or traveling for business or pleasure. As the gringa discussed events with her dear caveman, he reminded her of the numerous kidnappings, tortures and murders of Americans that took place in the 70s as the reputation of America became diminished abroad.

Not only is Russia preparing for a confrontation with US sailors in the Mediterranean off the shores of Syria, but Russian ally Iran sits poised for Putin’s direction. Make no mistake about what is happening. Trump is the worst national disaster in the US since the Great Depression. I hope the few points his popularity polls crept upward are worth to him all the lives his megalomania is costing the world. The US president is a madman. And he is a madman who is either in league with another madman, Putin, or has double-crossed that madman. Either way, this is the worst news the entire world could receive.

SPECIAL REPORT: Trump, Putin & Syria


To understand the significance of what just happened, it is important to ask the right questions. Although the gringa would never deny the importance of humanitarian actions, we first have to determine if the American people have been told the truth of what happened in Syria or if we have been duped to support a dark operation. Please read on with an open mind. More importantly, follow the links to further your own personal research in order to draw the most informed conclusion. Even after the research the gringa has already done, she is still left with more questions. Although I am deeply moved by the suffering of the Syrian people, I cannot support Trump’s actions.

Trump had been quietly building up troops in the region of Syria’s conflict since February yet the mainstream media rarely reported these movements. Why?

Trump has always criticized publicizing intended military action as a stupid way of giving the target a head’s up. Yet he notified Russia and Syria officials of his intentions, though not the public. Russia and Syria had time to evacuate personnel and critical equipment and supplies. However, it appears that innocent Syrian civilians were left behind to become collateral damage, public sympathy insurance for Syrian and Russian anti-American propaganda. Also notice in Russia’s drone footage it only appears that outbuildings and insignificant runways were destroyed. Unscathed are major runways, earthen, concrete open hangars with aircraft parked within and aircraft parked in the open. Why?

Russia has troops deployed strategically around the world. Build-ups have been reported by many European nations that see Russia as a growing threat. Yet Trump did not think it necessary to be concerned of Russia retaliation to the US or our allies. Why?

Trump is an avid conspiracy theorist who has publicly insulted and questioned the integrity of the US intelligence community. Such intelligence would be required to verify the identity of who authorized the Syrian gas attack. Conflicting reports throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia raise possibilities that it was a false flag event staged by the rebels and terrorists designed to be blamed upon Assad. Yet Trump immediately chose to trust the US intelligence community and reject conspiracy possibilities intended to provoke this very response. Why?

Trump has consistently praised and supported the brutal leadership characteristics of Putin and Assad. Yet suddenly he changes his position and engages in an act of war with lightning speed. Why?

Historically, when a president is fraught with unpopularity, low employment, paralyzing controversy, and stagnant economy a war temporarily solves these problems. For a president accused, and being investigated, for treason and collusion with Russia, what more significant gesture to refute the accusations than to attack Russia through an ally proxy? Considering how much power and wealth is at stake between a Putin-Trump alliance, it is entirely possible KGB master of propaganda, deception & mind-molding, Putin himself, cooked up this plan because it is certainly too complex for Trump. This could all be political theatre at the cost of Syrian civilian lives.

Read history, dear readers. Look at Operation Ajax from the 1950s, perpetrated by the CIA on behalf of British oil interest in Iran. All the elements are the same. Staged civilian protest. Staged revolution. Arming of rebels and radicals. Bloody political coup. Massive propaganda and misinformation campaign to win US public support for a fake war that was the cover to install a puppet government to control oil interest. Delve into the documents of the CIA itself to discover that what has unfolded in Syria is simply a re-run of what happened in Iran nearly 70 years ago in Operation Ajax.

Read the works of Noam Chomsky. Hegemony has long been US foreign policy regardless of what party or individual controlled the White House. Trump is no different. That is why, by and large, Congress will support him regardless of party affiliation and even though his action was illegal, lacking Congressional approval. The US is a warmonger, always looking for justification to act on its power for profit or power expansion. And April, 6, 1917, 100 years ago yesterday, the US entered WWI. For a man who loves the taste of drama, don’t think such a detail as this significant anniversary escaped Trump.

Although Trump is justifying his act on the horror of civilians, especially children, being gassed, America has NEVER waged a war for purely humanitarian reasons. If Trump was motivated by humanitarianism, he would not reject desperate refugees seeking shelter in the US. He would not be ignoring the suffering of South Sudanese children caught up in their nation’s civil war. He would be inserting US military into Nigeria to stop the ethnic cleansing and religious genocide that is ongoing. There is only one reason Trump has intervened in Syria. Power and national interest. If you wonder what’s so darn important about Syria, check out the basics of the strategic interests of each party involved in this long, drawn out conflict:

US strategic interest in Syria: The importance of Syria is not because of the resources it has, but because of the countries that border it. Iraq is one neighbor, an oil production giant with many Americans on Iraqi soil and vulnerable to a Syria that might be controlled by a leader who is no friend to America. American allies Israel, Jordan and Turkey skirt 3 other borders.
Russia’s interest: Syria has provided naval station Tartus to the Russian Federation for the past 40 years. It is Moscow’s primary marine foothold in the Mediterranean region. The Mediterranean serves as the major corridor for Intra-European trade and the flow of oil in and out of the Middle East through Syria and, ultimately, to Russian interests.

ISIS interest: ISIS is composed mainly of fundamentalist Sunni Muslims who believe that the whole world should become a single Islamic community living under one Islamic State governed by Sharia Law. War in Syria would give them a golden opportunity to build a proto-state adjacent to countries where Sunni Muslims are a majority. Sunni majority nations bordering Syria or in extremely close proximity: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey. These Sunni rich nations are vast recruitment assets for growing the ranks of ISIS. For ISIS to control Syria would mean greater ease in accomplishing their global mission. It would solidify their grip on the Middle East. This would mean the rest of the world would see their oil interests strangled unless they submitted to ISIS. A nation without Middle East oil powering their military is a nation that is powerless in the face of ISIS. Control of Syria is crucial to winning, or losing, the war against ISIS.

At first glance, the war with ISIS is the most logical reason for Trump’s action. However, we must still consider that Russia has been no friend to ISIS, nor has Assad. There was really no real threat of an ISIS takeover of Syria. The civil war in Syria was beginning to turn in Assad’s favor with the helpful latest push from ally, Russia. Why would Assad then sabotage such progress by a reprehensible gas attack on his people? He is no naive child on the world stage. He had to know there would have been a backlash at least, retaliatory action at most. This is a puzzle many nations who have no oil interest in Syria are openly discussing. And their conclusions are quite dark and disturbing.

Is Trump’s action in Syria indicative of yet one more secret Trump-Russia pact? The election collusion has always centered around the power of oil interests. The allegations: Russia would gift Trump an oil interest in Rosneft along with the White House in exchange for the US lifting Russian sanctions. Trump was also to blackmail the leader of US ally Ukraine to step down making it possible to install a Russian friendly Ukrainian leader. The end result would be a Russian proxy Ukraine allowing unfettered access to lucrative pipelines. What if Syria was also part of the deal?

By destabilizing an already weakened Assad, Trump can create the conditions for Putin to gain control of Syria. Syria has a coastal border which has long provided Russia with port access to move oil. Is Syria to be another gift from Trump to Russia? Was this move to set the stage of pay off by toppling Assad which would enable Russia to tighten its control and install a puppet Syrian leader? Some nation’s are beginning to suspect just such a secret deal between Trump and Putin. Peruse the discussions taking place amongst foreign policy experts in Asia. Such a pact would then explain the inexplicable. Whereas Assad has nothing to gain from gassing his people, the US and Russia or the rebels have much to gain by staging a civilian attack and blaming Assad.

The dear reader may think these suggestions are preposterous. But stop and consider what happens if Middle East oil power is consolidated into the hands of one individual or a partnership between two individuals. If Trump and Putin have ambitions of controlling the world’s oil supplies, they will become the most powerful and wealthy men in the entire history of the world. Such an ambition is not beyond the realm of possibility with these two megalomaniacs. And to achieve their dream, regime change in Syria is necessary. To better understand how critical control of Syria is, read the analysis of the Communist Party USA. Even if you are virulently opposed to Communism, one cannot refute facts regardless of the messenger.

Although the missile attack is sensational, it is the motive that preceded it and the aftermath that ensues that really matters. Someone, or a group of “someones”, will pay the price for this action. Is death for the masses to be the

price of Trump’s low approval ratings? Would these lives be Syrian troops on the ground at the base during the missile launch? Assad, himself? Nope. Trump gave Syria and Russia a head’s up so they could evacuate critical officials, military personnel, equipment and supplies. The only ones paying the price for Trump’s low approval ratings right now appear to be the Syrian civilians left behind, the price Syria and Russia were willing to pay for public sympathy. And a future price may include the American and Russian soldiers who will die as a result of Trump’s desperation to turn things around for himself and deliver what is owed to Putin.

Russia’s navy and biggest guns are speeding to the region as we speak, prepared for confrontation with the US naval ships who launched the attack. And, in the grand scheme of things, every American who continues to naively accept being emotionally manipulated by a government bent on world domination will pay the price. The path of hegemony the US follows will continue to wreak havoc around the world. This will continue to destabilize populations. Desperate populations will continue to flee to America and other places. And they will always require our financial assistance.

Sources:

CIA

Asian Times

Communist Party USA

Image Source: Mappery

Video Source: Russian Defense Ministry

Young Mr. Daniel’s Moon Musings


One of the gringa’s dear readers shares the blog post over breakfast with his children. Thank you so much for the support, Neil. Now, Neil has reported that his 12-year-old wants to know why the heck no one seems interested in the poor, little Moon anymore. His son thinks we are simply wasting the opportunity of a lifetime for mankind to have an outpost that would make it easier to explore the Universe.

The gringa is impressed with such matter of fact, forward thinking. It does make perfect sense to establish a pathway of outposts. Rather than have to travel for months at a time, space explorers could station hop. So, indeed, why does an Earth orbiting space station receive all of our efforts? Is there any interest in a lunar outpost? Here’s what the gringa has found out.

The Arguments FOR A Lunar Orbiting or Fixed Base Station:

  1. Not only could all the research currently performed on the International Space Station (ISS) be done on a lunar orbiting station, but scientists would also have access to the surface of the Moon for hands-on terrestrial studies.
  2. Long-term opportunity from an orbiting lunar station would eventually result in the establishment of a lunar base on the ground. Reconnaissance for suitable habitat locations could be performed. Hothouses for growing food could be constructed. Eventually human habitats could be perfected.
  3. Astronomy studies would be optimized with telescopes that are much closer to targets.
  4. An orbiting lunar station would become a gateway to the rest of the solar system. Interstellar travel would be empowered, no longer requiring the massive amounts of fuel payloads in order to exit the Earth’s gravity and atmosphere.
  5. An orbiting lunar station could also serve as an intermediary warning system for near approaches of comets or asteroids. They could, perhaps, even be equipped to intervene should one pose a threat to Earth.
  6. Of course, ambitious politics would claim the importance of remaining relevant and dominant (pfft).
  7. Practice makes perfect. So, if the goal is to explore the far reaches of space, starting with a Mars base, having a trial run making a go of it on the Moon makes perfect sense. Technologies for constructing habitat, like 3D printers, can be tested and perfected before investing in a Mars mission, raising the potential for success on the first go round.
  8. To evolve and advance into an interplanetary species could result in unifying the world and contribute to world peace. Most wars are fought to gain dominance over the Earth’s limited supplies of natural resources. With the Universe within reach to all, such goals seem childish and unnecessary. And to achieve such a monumental goal will require cooperation of the best and brightest throughout the world.

What A Lunar Station Needs

  1. Radiation Protection: The ISS has shielding to protect it from Earth’s powerful magnetosphere. Further out, a lunar orbiting station or an outpost on the Moon’s surface would need sufficient protection from massive radiation exposure.
  2. Micro-Meteoroid Protection: Even a tiny piece of flying debris can be deadly if it pierces any protective layer, whether that layer be protecting a human or habitat.
  3. Supplies: Whether it is food, medicine, or power, supplies are necessary. Being so far from home means developing the technology for self-sustainability.

The Challenges

  1. Radiation shielding is heavy. All that heavy stuff would have to be transported. That would be very expensive.
  2. Rescue and escape from the current ISS can happen quickly. Crews can launch home in the Soyuz capsule and arrive home in a few hours. Time is critical especially for medical emergencies. Emergency transfer from the Moon would take days.
  3. Although the Sun is the primary source of the radiation challenge, it is also the primary source of power. Re-juicing solar panels on the ISS is easy with day/night cycles that occur every 90 minutes. On the Moon, a station in orbit or on the ground would go without sunlight for two weeks on a monthly basis. Alternatives to solar power reliance is a must.
  4. Climate: Apollo mission astronauts performed their duties in sealed spacesuits and space capsules. Yet, when they arrived home they all had toxic lunar dust in their respiratory systems. Inhalation most likely occurred when returning to the confines of their capsules and taking off dusty space suits.

Is There Interest?

The Russians are interested. They hope to achieve a semi-permanent lunar base by 2030. NASA is interested but wants to build a station on the dark side of the Moon. That means privacy away from the prying eyes of the public with high-powered telescopes. They are looking at “libration points” as part of the plan to get a manned crew to Mars. Libration points, also called Lagrangian points, are sweet spots in space where gravitational forces between two objects in space create a sweet spot to park a space craft. The Moon is considered just one leg of the journey, being a prime libration point. NASA has tentatively put a $10 billion price tag on a Moon base plan with hopes of mission accomplishment by 2022. It seems that the old space race between the US and Russia has been revived.

So, my dear, young Mr. Daniel, your bright, intelligent mind is on the cutting edge of space exploration ideas. By the time a US lunar station becomes a reality, you will be old enough to contribute your own talents and skills. Hone them and become part of the dream. Study math and science and geology and medicine and botany and robotics. Let your musings take you to the Moon, young Mr. Daniel!

Sources:  Forbes

space.stackexchange.com

www.space.com

Daily Mail UK

National Geographic

BBC

Image Credit: Thornhill Radio & TV

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frozen Siberian Secrets


When you think of Siberia do you think of a Russian gulag or political dissidents exiled to the frozen wastelands of the Siberian tundra? If the word “secrets” crosses your mind it may be from the perspective of the kinds of secrets political prisoners might have. It probably wouldn’t occur to the average person that Siberia would be home to some amazing historical and archeological secrets. The forbidding frozen landscape of Siberia is the perfect cryogenic environment to preserve the secrets of Russia’s ancient past. Here are some of the amazing finds archaeologists have found below the permafrost:

World’s Oldest Known Wooden Statue

Shigir is twice as old as Egypt’s Great Pyramid. He may not be much to look at but imagine the story attached to this carving thought to be about 11,000 years old! Carved from the trunk of a larch tree, the religious icon stands more than 9 feet tall, although some experts think that Shigir originally stood nearly 17 feet tall. Now what kind of tools did ancient Siberians have 11,000 years ago when they chopped down the 150-year-old tree that became Shigir? What kind of tools did they use to create this idol? Not only can a face be seen but there are decorative patterns and lines that run the length of his skinny body. No one has yet solved the mystery of what Shigir worship entailed. shigir-idol-worlds-oldest-wooden-statue_3.jpg

Siberia’s Amazons

Many cultures have their own legends of female warrior culture. None more famous than the ladies from the Isle of Lesbos, Nordic Valkyries and rainforest Amazonians. Now Russian women can join the annals of fierce females. The preserved remains of a Siberian teenager was uncovered in the Altai Mountains. She wore pig-tails and had a muscular body that experts believe reveals that she was an experienced horsewoman, which also explains why nine horses were interred with her. Needing very little interpretation was the fact that she was buried with battle axes, bows with quivers of arrows and multiple shields. A sixteen-year-old Siberian girl, possibly of the legendary elite Pazyryk warriors, received an extraordinary burial fit to honor a captain of the cavalry.

a3b12c99dd495f7bdb0a5358fb28db6b.jpg

True Love

Glazkov culture was typically comprised of Mongoloid tribes during the 18-13 centuries BC. Researchers believe they were most likely a hunting and fishing tribe since their civilization centered around the headwaters of the Angara river. Birch bark boats and sophisticated composite bows and spears have been discovered.

Despite stereotypes as a fierce warrior culture, ancient Siberians were just like humans everywhere. They fell in love. A 5,000 year-old burial site excavated by archaeologists revealed an ode to ancient love,  a couple interred holding hands.  Buried by the shores of Lake Baikal, the gringa wonders if this might have been a favorite spot for romance for the two lovers. Members of the Glazhov culture, the couple had their heads facing west, towards the sunset. This was a curious find in the burial since most Glazkov remains have been discovered to be buried in a crouched position with face orientation downriver. Perhaps, for this particular couple, their favorite thing to do was sit lakeside, hand in hand, and watch the sun go down.

Siberian-Couple.jpg

Image Credits & Sources: Realm Of History

scfh.ru

Siberian Times

Daily Mail

A Special UFO Dedication


Today’s post is dedicated to dear reader “mike7sedona”. Thanks “mike7sedona” for some interesting leads on UFO stories.

A dear reader commented on a recent post including three links to stories regarding statements made by a former Canadian government official on the existence of alien life. The gringa became curious about just how many government officials have gone on the record with statements. I am sure there is much more information than what I can include in a single post. However, the gringa doesn’t want to spoil all the fun for my dear readers. This should be enough to whet your appetites and get you hot on the trail of your own UFO story.

Former Canadian Defense Minister, Paul Hellyer, who served during the 1960’s, was interviewed on live television. These are a few highlights of his interview with regard to space aliens:

  • Aliens exist, live amongst us and have developed much of our technology such as microchips, LED lighting and Kevlar protective vests.
  • Aliens are hesitant to share more technology because mankind are poor stewards of humanity. They are particularly unhappy with our nuclear capabilities and the fact that nuclear weapons have been used.
  • They have become so unhappy with our pollution and wars and neglect of the needy that they have been warning key humans since the 1970s that we nasty humans need to change our ways.
  • He and his wife personally witnessed a UFO flying over Lake Muskoka about 120 miles north of Toronto. The sighting lasted for about 20 minutes
  • He discussed aliens with Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell. They concluded that there could be as many as 80 different species living among us, many humanoid and virtually indistinguishable from native humans. You could pass one in the street, live next door to one, share an office with one, and never know.
  • Tall Whites are a species who have two operatives working in the United States. Although, in general, they have rules governing their relations with other species such as non-interference.
  • The book “Millennial Hospitality”, written by Charles Hall, is about his relationship with one of the Tall White aliens working with the U.S. government.
  • Species “Nordic blondes” are virtually indistinguishable from natural humans.
  • Short Grey’s have very slim arms and legs, are short, barely taller than 5 feet, have big brown eyes in their very big heads.
  • Most are nice and want to help humanity but a couple of species are not so nice.
  • Their origins are varied such as: Andromedia which is one of Saturn’s moons, star systems like Pleiades & Zeta Reticuli.
  • Alien civilizations on Venus and Mars are thought to be communicating with each other.
  • A portal exists in the Andes, located in Peru that allows for space travel across vast distances.
  • They have been visiting Earth for thousands of years.
  • In 1961 50 UFOs left Russia, flew across Europe, buzzed the North Pole & returned to Russia which inspired a 3 year investigation by Russian officials who determined that the UFOs were of alien origin, four species to be exact.
  • A collaborative effort between powerful groups suppress information from reaching the public: U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, international banks, and specialized military personnel.

The source of this interview, Russia Today, is considered by Western journalists to be the strongest propaganda arm of Russia. However, considering the politics at play, the gringa understands why the West criticizes the East, attacking their credibility. If the U.S. did have a military edge with an extra-terrestrial alliance, of course they would want to discredit any revelation of this truth by Russia.

Unless the video is an absolute fake, edited piece, possibly even featuring a Hellyer doppleganger, there is no disputing the words spoken. Regardless of other reports that could be fake news, it seems that this interview would be difficult to classify as fake. The gringa tends to believe it is a genuine interview and that the former defense minister was entirely sincere.

But don’t just take the gringa’s word for it regarding the Russia Today video. Oh no, there’s more. In addition to the Russia Today interview, Hellyer testified at a Citizen Hearing On Disclosure (CHD) in Washington D.C. in 2013 which was also videotaped. He testified that aliens are indeed living among humanity with two operatives within the U.S. government. He testified before six former U.S. congressmen.

He then goes into the politics between the aliens and humans. The aim is for a one world government. He is also at odds with famed physicist Stephen Hawking who believes extra terrestrials have malevolent intentions toward humanity.

The gringa finds this incredible! Why was this not front-page headline news? However, I really shouldn’t be surprised. There’s actually quite a long list of government officials who have made public statements affirming the existence of extra-terrestrials and these reports have been equally buried or marginalized.

  1. Hillary Clinton campaign team-member John Podesta is an advocate for full disclosure of government information on UFOs and extra-terrestrials. He has succeeded in getting some documents declassified. The gringa can only wonder if this might have played a part in the FBI seemingly sabotaging Clinton’s presidential campaign? Hmmm.
  2. Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich claims to have personally witnessed a UFO.
  3. Former president of the Russian Republic of Kalmykia, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, also the current president of the World Chess Organization, claims he was abducted by humanoid extra terrestrials. He communicated telephathically during the experience on their spacecraft.
  4. Former NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell is an avid UFOlogist, active in conventions. His origins are from Roswell, New Mexico, site of the famous UFO crash.
  5. Former Air Force Captain Robert Salas claims UFOs commonly interfered with nuclear warhead testing. He claims one of his crews came upon a UFO that was triangular in shape and emitted a substance like molten metal.
  6. The entire U.S. government admitted that the Roswell, New Mexico crash was an alien spaceship then changed their story, claiming it was only a weather balloon. This reversal has created controversy over what is known as the Guy Hottel memo, as well as other FBI documents, which contain descriptions of extra-terrestrial bodies that were recovered along with eyewitness testimony, descriptions of cattle mutilations, NSA documents on UFO crashes and coded messages that were intercepted.
  7. NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong claimed that he and Buzz Aldrin were watched by “someone” with more advanced technology than mankind when they were performing their famous Moon mission.
  8. Nine other NASA astronauts claimed to have witnessed UFOs.
  9. Most recently NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, after returning from an historic one year mission on the International Space Station, included a reference to space aliens in a statement about the harsh effects of gravity upon humans. But this could have been a joke and not at all serious, however many UFOlogists wonder if it was a cryptic admission. Especially since:
  10. Kelly Tweeted a photo from the station on day 233 of his mission which UFOlogists claim contains a UFO in the top right corner.

So there you have it. Dear readers, you will have to follow the links, dig up the dirt and decide for yourself. The gringa is fascinated and by no means a full-fledged believer or a full-fledged skeptic. Just as I am an astronaut hopeful, I am also hopeful that there are other beings out there who are kind. Who have succeeded in creating societies that are peaceful, co-existing with one another without war and greed. Civilizations who care for the planets that make their lives possible. Species that are so generous that they are willing to help us learn how to do the same. Who are so patient that despite how stupid humanity continues to be, they haven’t given up on us. If they haven’t given up on mankind, then the gringa won’t either.

Sources: provided through links throughout the post

Image Credit: pctechmag.com