Biggest Pyramid Scheme Ever – Maybe

Do the gringa’s dear readers remember Sam, the big ball hunter of Bosnia? Well, the gringa found the subject of ancient big balls so fascinating, she continued to do a bit of digging around (pardon the pun) in Sam’s archaeological projects. Ol’ Sam, aka Semir Osmanagic, seems to have made quite a notorious name for himself in the scientific community where geometric relics are concerned. The Indiana Jones of the Balkans has also claimed to have discovered pyramids in Bosnia.

First reported shortly after his announcement of his discovery in 2001, serious archaeologists where quick to label his find nothing short of buffoonery. Sam, true to form, soldiered on despite his naysayers.  He is fully convinced he has discovered Europe’s first ancient pyramids and it begins with Bosnia’s Visocica hill that lies close to Visoko, a Bosnian town almost twenty miles northwest of Sarajevo.

Visoko was once the capital of Bosnia during medieval times. Roman and Illyrian ruins can be found nearby as well as Neolithic relics. Perhaps, then, thousands of years ago, it was a thriving capital city noted by architecture similar to ancient Egypt.

Dubbed by Sam as the “Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun”, excavation began in an official project in 2006. On hand, in addition to Sam’s international archaeological team, were tourists, curious locals, journalists and, interestingly enough, beauty contestants from the Miss Bosnia pageant.

As days and weeks passed, volunteers and crew members removed enough earth to reveal what they claim to be a system of tunnels. Sam reported the tunnels to be constructed of sandstone blocks and man-made mortar. His best estimate on the age of the pyramid and tunnel network is around 2,500 years old. The project had not discovered any bones, pottery, charcoal or other artifacts that might have been linked to any ancient Bosnian civilization.

As tourism to the site increased, Sam increased the size of the site for visitors to explore. Other hills were soon named: Pyramid of the Moon, Pyramid of the Earth, Pyramid of Love and Pyramid of the Dragon. Locals say business is booming with cash laden tourists buying all sorts of souvenirs, eating at the cafes, and staying overnight at the town’s inns. How fortunate for a region that has struggled to recover from the brutalities of the 1990s. Sam thinks this positive turn of events is just what Bosnians not only need, but also deserve after enduring such suffering.

Sam recognizes that the number of archaeologists that scoff at his discovery is legion. Some have even attempted to get his dig shut down. Others worry about how it will harm the integrity of “real” archaeology. Then there are those who worry that there may be true historical value to be studied in the area but that Sam’s “wacky” pyramid scheme could inadvertently destroy the evidence as he focuses on “creating” ancient pyramids.

The press has given him mixed reviews. Among those getting on the Bosnian bandwagon are ABC, Associated Press, Boston Globe, MSNBC, and the Washington Post. Archaeology magazine, however, criticized the press for being gullible. Mark Rose, the editor, attempted to smear Sam’s reputation by poking fun of his claim that Mayans could have been the ancestors of the mysterious Atlantis civilization. Now, the gringa has seen theories bandied about regarding this and language is usually the link. That is a possibility I could find plausible.

However, Rose went further and accused Sam of believing that Atlanteans were space aliens from the star cluster Pleiades. Here, the gringa just shrugs. The problem with such an accusation is that there is no evidence one way or another of the existence of Atlanteans and therefore no way to prove or disprove their ethnic (or planetary) origins. I believe, then, that is an unfair accusation because once accused, a person has no way to defend themselves wrong or right. To me, it is an empty argument. I don’t dismiss the possibility of something I can neither prove or disprove as being a “crackpot” consideration. I just shrug and say, “Who knows? Big deal.”

Despite all of this, Sam remains standing strong against the haters and insists that the pyramids are, indeed, quite real. The Bosnian government also supports him completely and in 2011 gave permission for Sam to thoroughly investigate the hills/pyramids. Their reasoning is that they expect archaeologists to criticize Sam’s discovery. To accept Bosnian pyramids, they have to reject what they have been taught as traditional history. That is a bitter pill many will find too hard to swallow. The gringa understands.

Traditional history attests that 2,500 years ago ancient Bosnians were living in tents or caves and cooking by campfire. Evidence to this effect has been found in ancient tools discovered in exploration of caves and suspected settlement areas. To claim that man-made monuments on the scale of pyramids were being built just seems outrageous. Sam knows he must deliver extraordinary evidence to change the minds of skeptics. The gringa needs to understand the evidence that is available.

As excavation progressed, the “hill” took on the shape of a stepped pyramid. Many geologists, archaeologists and scientists of related studies conducted their own examination of the site. They concluded that the shape of the hill is naturally occurring, despite its resemblance to a stepped pyramid. The formation is called a flatiron formation. The European Association of Archaeologists went a step further and published  a press release claiming the whole thing is a hoax perpetrated for financial and political gain.

In direct contradiction to these scientific professionals are others who have thrown in their support of Sam’s pyramid scheme. The Geodetic Institute, located in Sarajevo, sent out a surveyor. His measurements reported that the Pyramid of the Moon is a step pyramid with three triangular sides and a flat top. The sides are oriented toward cardinals points  making it highly unlikely this is an accidental occurrence of nature. When satellite images were thermally analyzed, they determined that the pyramid structures’ pattern of heat loss showed that it occurred more rapidly than the surrounding natural hills. This gave way to the theory that the hills suspected to be pyramids are man-made and containing voids such as chambers and access tunnels.

Sam theorizes that ancient Illyrians constructed the pyramids between 12,000 – 500 BC and construction could have been ongoing over a period of time spanning multiple cultures and civilizations. A tunnel system spanning over two miles connects the three main pyramids. Sea levels would have been 1,500 feet lower than today so, although the tunnels contain water now, they would have been high and dry thousands of years ago.

During medieval times, a fortress sat atop Visocica. Experts who stand firm as Sam’s critics claim the ruins he is excavating actually belong to this ancient Roman observation post. The gringa leans more toward this theory than an ancient pyramid considering the purported age of the pyramid. If the pyramid was constructed between 12,000-500 BC, this part of Europe would have been covered by a sheet of ice almost one mile thick. Where would they get the stones? If they found the stones and required ingredients for mortar, how would they have been able to make the foundation stones connect with the earth? They would need to excavate nearly one mile of ice over a span of several square miles to construct multiple pyramids. Then they would have to dig a tunnel system into a frozen earth.

Now, I understand the desire for fame and glory. The gringa also understands the desire for a people, impoverished by years of civil war, to take advantage of a profitable project. I’m not convinced these are genuine, man-made pyramids that are thousands of years old. I do think they are newly man-made pyramids constructed atop ancient Roman ruins. And even though archaeological purists would scream at just how wrong that is, the gringa once again shrugs and says, “What’s done is done.” Now I’m more concerned with the humanity factor of the locals who are alive today. They would like to eat well, live comfortably and have the means to educate their children. If a crazy pyramid scheme can do all that and everyone is aware of the controversy, who cares? It can only be a hoax if the criticisms are suppressed. As long as they are openly published, it is buyer beware. Everyone is free to believe what they want to believe. And I still like Sam even if he is off his nut.


Image Credit: 






Japan’s Underwater City of the Sea Gods

The gringa’s dear readers may find musings of the lost city of Atlantis as fascinating as the gringa. What if it has actually been discovered off the coast of Japan? Hey, stranger things have happened! Although it is more likely that it is a lost city from Japan’s ancient Jomon civilization, sunk into the ocean thousands of years ago after a cataclysmic earthquake, tsunami or climate upheaval after the last ice age, it is still fun to entertain fantastical theories as well as explore the real science behind this archaeological mystery.

Originally discovered by dive instructor Kihachiro Aratake in 1986, these amazing formations have come to be known as the Yonaguni Monument. This massive underwater complex, dated to have hailed around 8000BC, can be found off the coastline of the island Yonaguni which is part of Japan’s Ryukyu island chain. Extending over an area of almost 1000 feet x 500 feet, the complex consists of ten structures, some appearing to be in the shape of animals as well as to contain glyphs of human characters and animals. Roads and retaining walls can be seen connecting the structure in the pattern of a well designed city.

For decades scuba diving tourists, as well as scuba diving archaeologists, have explored ancient ruins of a castle, majestic archway, five temples, a step pyramid and a massive arena. As the gringa only gets to explore pictures of the ruins, it is still pretty obvious even to my untrained eye that these are man-made. Yet there are still scientists who prefer to believe these are natural formations that were enhanced by ancient people into functional structures. This really aggravates the gringa when scientists wave aside the obvious because they just don’t want to admit that ancient civilizations may have been far more advanced than modern “experts” have traditionally been taught to believe.

Just as the west has Aesop’s fables, Japanese culture has their own popular fables, myths and legends. The Mu civilization is a fabled Pacific people. The ancient tale explains that they disappeared under the waves of the sea. In 1996 Masaaki Kimura, professor of marine geology from Japan’s University of the Ryukyus, began his own research to see if this is the long lost home of the Mu. He, too, was of the belief that Yonaguni was most likely a man-manipulated complex of natural formations. However, he was completely converted after his first dive.

Kimura identified quarry marks on many of the megalithic stones. And, since nature does not normally lay out large stones in symmetrical patterns and create many stones with right angles, the gringa tends to agree with Kimura’s conclusion. He studied carvings that were distinctly human faces and animals. The style was clearly indicative of Asian art. He refers to Egypt’s famous sphinx as he described one underwater sculpture of what seems to be a king. A glyph resembling a horse and a painted relief resembling a cow are still discernible making it apparent that this was not a city of mermaids and mermen living under the sea but was actually a thriving, above-ground metropolis at one time.

This area of the Pacific is famous for earthquakes and tsunamis. In the spring of 1771 the largest tsunami ever recorded struck Yonaguni. With a height of well over 130 feet, a catastrophic oceanic wave such as this would have been powerful enough to blast this ancient city well below the surface of the Pacific. Also, 10,000 years ago the sea level would have been more than 100 feet lower than it is today. The geographical area that the Yonaguni complex sits on would, at the time of its existence, have been well above the sea and on dry ground, a coastal city. A land bridge would have also existed connecting the chain of islands with the mainland making it entirely possible for humans to settle there with their domesticated animals.

Although some experts date the ruins to be about 10,000 years old, Kimura’s estimate gives the complex a much younger age. He suspects it may be a 5,000 year old civilization. Either way, this still places the city’s existence during the time of the Jomon civilization. Evidence to be more specific about the age of the structures is hard to come by. Existing beneath the ocean means that things like pottery or wooden objects have long since decayed and disappeared forever. There is, however, the chance of analysis of the paint used on the cow to get a bit more specific at pinning down a particular century.

Jomon culture during the timeframe considered for these structures can be divided into two separate eras:

  • Incipient Jomon (10,500-8000BC)
  • Initial Jomon (8000-5000BC)

Incipient Jomon civilization has left behind archaeological remains that indicate that the Jomon people were primarily hunter gatherers who produced pottery identified by their pointed bottoms and corded markings.  The following period, Initial Jomon, was noted by rising sea levels and global temperatures. The land bridge between the islands and the mainland would have disappeared. Diet would have transitioned to primarily sea based fare and the development of agriculture and farm production animals since natural resources were limited on the island. Large refuse mounds consisting of large amounts of shells discovered on archeological digs on the islands  attests to this. Remains of stone religious figurines and tools such as knives and axes have also been discovered in island digs and dated to the same period as the underwater city.

Historians describe the culture of the Jomon era to be very complex and in the early stages of organized agricultural develpment. Similarities with Asia’s ancient northeastern cultures as well as the ancient indigenous peoples of the Americas can be detected in many of the artifacts discovered. The Jomon preferred to live in coastal or river communities in homes that were sunken into the earth. Ironic, then, that one of their greatest cities eventually sunk into the ocean.

Although the gringa is unable to scuba dive because of epilepsy, I am certain that at least a few dear readers could join the many tourist divers and send me pictures and a recount of your adventure. During winter months, shark enthusiasts sink beneath the waves to observe the hammerheads that frequent the area.  However, if sharks aren’t your thing, and you prefer the mystery of history, you can always take a detour to the ruins and share your thrills here on the gringa’s blog.

Since the late 90s the underwater city has become increasingly popular among tourists. Famous writers and photographers have braved the waves to record their own bit of history. The Discovery Channel and National Geographic have performed their own expeditions. So, if any dear reader does get the opportunity for a dive of their own, you must drop the gringa a line here and share your own exciting story.


National Geographic

Hidden Archaeology


Image source: Source: Hidden Archeology




CTs, Just As Interesting As ETs

The past couple of weeks the gringa has enjoyed exploring the veracity of claims that attempt to link extra-terrestrial origins to ancient Egyptians and ancient Peruvians. Writing about such topics can result in interesting messages imploring me to also explore conspiracy theories connected with the “space race”. I have been encouraged to delve into the “black ops” and “secret space programs” that have been ongoing for decades.

Now, although the gringa finds such ideas intriguing and fascinating, I have foregone writing on such subjects because of the principle of journalistic integrity. The very nature of a black operation or secret government program makes it impossible to verify any accusation. But I must admit my natural curiosity and love of science fiction has made it impossible for me to resist.

The compromise I will make is to write a post that makes no claim as to whether these programs really do exist or not but, rather, present the claims that have been made. Although I may offer opinions, sarcastic or otherwise, I will attempt to remain true to a policy of journalistic integrity. I encourage the dear reader to simply enjoy the read and please do not run out and invest in a prepper bunker.  Here goes…

What Is The Dark Fleet? 

According to certain conspiracy theorists the Dark Fleet is a secret, government black ops space program. These CTs (not ETs, dear reader, but CTs… conspiracy theorists) claim that there is grave danger to the public posed by this program. The aim of this program is to save mankind from extinction upon this slowly dying planet. However, the danger is that not all of us will be saved. Only the elite (wealthy) and highly skilled will be rescued. As a matter of fact, many of the these elite and highly skilled have already been removed from this planet and transferred to cosmic colonies throughout the twenty years this secret space program has been in operation.

Apparently the origins of Dark Fleet are found within Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Desperately developing advanced technologies that would help the Nazis win the war and rule the world, Hitler funneled huge amounts of cash into different research and development programs. The ranks of the Nazi party were conditioned to be naturally suspicious of everyone. Because of this many secret societies evolved, like-minded Nazis working together for specific group goals. Many of these secret societies were devoted to developing world changing technologies.

It is easy to peruse historical records of World War II and discover that Nazis ventured all over the world, expeditions dedicated to research as well as collection of unusual objects, sacred objects and esoteric objects. CTs claim that they were also looking for extra-terrestrial objects and technologies connected to ancient civilizations. But they assert that the expeditions actually commenced immediately after World War I. Now, World War I officially ended November 11, 1918. The Nazi party officially formed February 24, 1920. So, it’s possible this assertion is true that Nazis were searching for esoteric items long before World War II began.

Thanks to the gringa’s previous posts of the past couple of weeks, we can all rest assured that the Nazis didn’t find ET technology in Egypt or Peru. But, according to the CTs, that’s not where the Nazis searched. The Nazi expeditions were dispatched to China, India and Tibet. CTs claim that while there they discovered ancient texts which they confiscated as well as forcibly removing monks and scribes to serve as interpreters, transporting all back to Germany.

As Hitler and the Nazi party came into official power in the 1930s, the search for objects and texts that could contain the potential of amazing power grew with great fervor. The most active Nazi secret societies involved in this activity have been named by CTs as: Thule, Vril and Black Sun. Hmmm. Can anything be discovered about a secret society? Wouldn’t that be oxymoronish? Public access to information about a club that is secret so officially doesn’t exist?

Thule Society – Apparently these guys were not too good at keeping secrets. They actually have a Wikipedia page so they are no big secret. They sponsored the German Workers’ party which was later reorganized by Hitler into the National Socialist German Workers’ Party and was his political vehicle to power.

This not-so-secret secret society evidently has, at some time or other, published their old membership list which contains the names of some very illustrious Nazis. Of course, true to Nazi ideology, the tenets of belief were commitment to the purity of the Aryan race and denouncing relations to any non-Aryan. The name of the society is rooted in a belief that an ancient landmass named Thule once existed in the northernmost regions of Scandinavia and this is where the Aryan race originated.

Not only did Thule members believe in an Atlantis type motherland, but they also believed that the Earth was hollow. The hollow earth theory purports that the outer earth is a protective bubble housing an entire civilization secretly within. The Thulies believed that the inhabitants of inner earth had psychokinetic powers and if they could harness this power for the Nazi party they could rule the world.

The Thule Society is a favorite among CTs because this secret society had a belief in ETs, supernatural abilities and esoteric practices such as alchemy.

Vril – And yet another not-so-secret society with a Wikipedia page and all sorts of public information widely available. Interestingly enough, there is no hard evidence to prove or disprove this secret society actually existed so they were better at keeping secrets than the Thule.

The closest thing to “evidence” that such a society existed is a quote from a magazine article written by Willy Ley, a rocket engineer from Germany who was “relocated” to the U.S. in 1937. Ley claims that this “secret society” was founded based on an 1871 novel “The Coming Race” authored by Edward Bulwer-Lyton. Its premise was a fictional account of Earth’s sub-terranean “master race” who used their supernatural power that was called “vril”. Famous occultists like Helena Blavatsky claimed that this work of fiction was, in fact, based upon secret, esoteric truths. The gringa only says, “Mm hmm.”

The membership roll of Vril reads like a “Who’s Who” of old school psychics. Probably all on board because of their devotion to the queen of all psychics, Helena Blavatsky.

Needless to say, the gringa believes it to be one heck of a stretch by CTs to attribute any credibility to Vril ideology much less the actual existence of a secret society by the same name that has secret space technology. No, rather than a secret ET society, it sounds more like a secret book club.

Black Sun –  Not only does this not-so-secret secret society have a Wikipedia page, among many other information resources, they even have their own dot-org website. Yes, not a secret at all. They boldly proclaim their online presence. However, the gringa highly doubts that this is the original Black Sun secret society of Nazi era Germany. Rather, it is probably produced by CTs who desperately want to legitimize their cause. So, the gringa returns to Wikipedia.

This secret society has its own occult symbol that was openly used by Nazis, so, again, not so secret. The philosophy of Black Sun ideology is that when consciousness reaches ultimate enlightenment light and darkness reverse, thus what was hidden becomes revealed.

Experts on secret societies say that the Black Sun secret society was a secret society within a secret society. I know, I know, the dear reader is scratching their head saying, “What was that?” The Black Sun membership was comprised of the elite ranks within the Thule secret society. Aha, secrets within secrets because, like the gringa said, Nazis were hyper-suspicious and trusted no one, not even a secret society blood brother.

The secrets of this society have remained mostly hidden. Evidently, they had such a bad reputation (and a Heinrich Himmler connection) that even today it is illegal in Germany to reproduce their symbols and wear its insignia. This secret organization was strongly connected to the expeditions into Tibet.

The Tibet missions centered around the SS searching for sacred relics (the Holy Grail and Ark of the Covenant) and extra-terrestrial technology, presumably from crash-landed UFOs.

Their Activity Today

CTs claim that members of these secret societies are alive and well and working from secret bases in Antarctica and South America. Supposedly they have created advanced spacecraft and weapons. They claim this is the real reason behind Admiral Byrd’s Antarctica expedition, to lead an invasion force of 4,000 American, Australian and British troops into this secret Nazi base. In a mission dubbed “Operation High Jump”, CTs claim that Byrd’s forces met with strong resistance by Nazis using their advanced spacecraft and weapons.

Interestingly enough, much of “Operation High Jump” can actually be confirmed. For Byrd’s expedition to be only exploratory in nature, it is highly provocative to discover that among the naval vessels in the fleet were destroyers, submarines, and an aircraft carrier. It gets curioser and curioser to the gringa when U.S. National Defense archives record that one of the vessels, USS Pine Island (a seaplane tender) was not just sold and scrapped but was actually struck from all Naval records.

Upon the conclusion of Admiral Byrd’s “exploration mission”, he returned and recommended that allied forces establish a military defense base at the North Pole. Now, at the time of these recommendations the war was over. So, what was it that he perceived to be a threat? The gringa smells a mystery and upcoming research on all things related to Admiral Byrd.

CTs also claim that scientific and engineering experts within these organizations succeeded in building an anti-gravity spaceship and that it was confiscated by the American military and returned to the U.S. under the utmost secrecy. In fact, the conspiracy of CTs goes even deeper.

They assert that these secret societies populated by Nazi party members were actually not devoted to Nazi ideology. Rather, they exploited the resources and power of the party to further their own agenda. When Nazi Germany ultimately lost the war they then aligned themselves willingly with the United States who was willing to secretly fund the research and development of their highly advanced toys of war. The offshoot of this is the development of a U.S. dark ops space program called “Dark Fleet”.

And to discover the CT claims for the details of the “Dark Fleet” program, the dear reader will just have to come back for the next interesting installment.

A quick recap of what the gringa thinks are the only credible point of interest: the records of Admiral Byrd. I believe the secret society of Vril to be wishful thinking on the part of CTs. It was actually a book club which desperately wished for the story to be true. However, desperately wishing something so does not make it so. If the Thule secret society was based on the existence of a non-existence figment of an author’s imagination, Vril, then, although it was a real secret society, its basis for existence, the discovery of Vril’s location in order to exploit the supernatural power of its inhabitants, has no connection with reality. That would also mean that the secret society Black Sun within the secret society Thule was also based on something which did not exist. All of this would then mean that it is highly unlikely that “Dark Fleet” is a reality. But the gringa digs on.


Wikipedia (of course)

Image credit: Wikipedia





Hercules & Plankton

Most of the time when the name NASA pops up images of stars and far flung planets and rocket ships come to mind. We often forget that NASA is interested in studying life on ALL planets, including our own. Yesterday, November 12, NASA officially launched their airborne laboratory on a C-130H Hercules. It headed north to St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada to begin its earthbound mission “North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study” (NAMES). The Hercules was accompanied by sea by the research ship “Atlantis” that is operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Together, these two research vessels will study the yearly cycle of phytoplankton and the effect small airborne particles produced by the ocean have on the North Atlantic’s fragile climate. Data will be collected throughout early December. This location has been chosen to study because this is the where the Earth’s largest phytoplankton bloom occurs each year.

The organic compounds the bloom releases can be detected as far away as the waters surrounding Ireland. By studying the plankton’s ecological and biological processes year after year, the ocean’s health and biology can be documented and the relationship between the ocean and its gaseous exchange with the air, which in turn influences clouds and climate, can be better understood.

The Atlantis is in for a four week cruise on the Atlantic Ocean where it will routinely rendezvous with the Hercules so that the two laboratories can coordinate and share computer models, satellite data, and the input of all of the scientists on board each vessel.  They hope that their efforts will help improve readiness and response to the changes predicted to occur in Earth’s ecosystems due to aerosol changes within our world’s warming ocean.

Plankton, one of the smallest organisms on Earth, are, ironically, strongly connected with climate change. Plankton is the first stage of the ocean’s food chain. Changes there create a chain reaction that affects everything else in the world. At present, there are conflicting scientific theories as to the details of how plankton’s aerosol emissions create changes. One goal of these missions are to coalesce the arguments into one sound approach.

NASA is committed to leadership in tackling the serious environmental issues that affect the entire world today. NASA makes the gringa’s little heart swell with pride by freely sharing their knowledge with institutions worldwide. In fact, over twenty different research and academic facilities are involved in the research operations of this mission. NASA doesn’t just see the earth as interconnected environmentally, it also understands the interconnectedness of humanity. That’s one reason the gringa is their biggest cheerleader.