Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Ingressum

In an incident that little is known or understood about, Rome was under siege by an unknown force that appeared and then disappeared within a week.  They became known as Ingressum (latin for invaders)
The incident happened sometime between 37 b.c. and 22 b.c. and happened during the summer when Romans were all gathering for a festival in Antium when horns were heard in the distance.  Panic started to set in when the sounds of the horns seemed to grow louder and louder.
The mayor of the city sent a garrison of troops out towards the sound of the horns, and what they found were disturbing.  Around 1000 troops were marching directly towards the city.  Each one was reported to be wearing dark black armor with gold inlays.  Their skin was pale and their hair was reported to have been blonde.
When the garrison encountered the Ingressum, the Ingressum's horns got even louder and they started to sprint towards the garrison.  All but 10 of the troops were killed, while not a single Ingressum was laying dead.  The city was shut completely up, and they sent messengers to Rome to ask for help.
The Ingressum never directly attacked the city, but they did deflect several more attacks by the city's troops who did not manage to kill a single one of them.  They stayed outside the city for three days making loud sounds and blowing their horns before suddenly disappearing.  There were reports of sightings of The Ingressum all over Rome for the next century before the legends faded out.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Undecipherable Voynich Manuscript

Are you a fan of ciphers and codes?  Are you tired of solving said puzzles?  Then the Voynich Manuscript is right down your alley.
The Voynich Manuscript is thought to be written in the late 15th century and is named after a man who had purchased it in the 1900's.  It appears to be written in a coherent language with a pattern, but the efforts of codebreakers and linguists have all failed to make heads or tails of the content.
The Voynich Manuscript greatly resembles herbal books written around the same era, but none of the plants depicted match any known plant species living or dead.  Also, there seems to be some illustrations with imagery in some sort of mystic tradition that isn't known to anyone living or in the history books.
Many theories exist as to what the manuscript is about ranging from random letters to a complex cipher that is uncrackable without access to the codex it was written with.
What else is little known is the efforts of a German linguist named Heinrich R. Franz to the deciphering of the book.  He worked alone and proclaimed to have cracked the code to the manuscript back in 1989.  However, he refused to release the key, and ended up dying in a fire in early 1990.
As he worked on the text from the time he received photocopies of the manuscript till his death in 1990 he was said to become more and more withdrawn and was thought to be suffering from early onset dementia.
He did release a few details to the public.  He said that the manuscript was a double-negative substitution cipher and that it related to plants that were native to Austrailia and New Zealand before they were wiped out.
No one is for sure what the content of the text was, and if Heinrich was telling the truth or if he was a crazy man telling lies to gain attention.  

Monday, December 31, 2012

Edward Mordake / Mordrake

Edward Mordake was the heir to a 19th century English peerage.  He had an extra face on the back of his head that looked to be like that of a parasitic twin.  Most reports say that the face didn't show any emotion, but did appear to cry at times when Edward was laughing, and would laugh at the times when Edward was crying.
Reports say that he committed suicide at the age of 23 because of the face on the back of his head.  He pleaded to several surgeons to remove the face off of the back of his head but none would remove it after the first surgeon who had agreed to the surgery had died of mysterious causes the day before the surgery was slated to take place.  Edward complained openly that when he was alone that the face would start to whisper to him in a strange language and he started to refer to it as his "demon face"
His family would place a gag in the face's mouth and have Edward wear ornate head wraps when going out to any official function, and in his last three years alive was not allowed out in public at all.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Darkman of Culver House

Built in the early 1900's the Culver House had all of the hallmarks of a typical mansion in Decatur, IL.  All of the modern luxuries afforded at the time were installed in the house.  Originally build by Bryan Lockheart and taken over by the Culver family three years later after the family suddenly vacated the house.
After the Culver family moved into the house, they started to notice the house was not a normal mansion.  The "tower" in the front of the house was unique for Decatur at the time, and the library had a large array of occult books that the previous family had left.
In 1909 the family was gathered at the dinner table enjoying dinner when something came down the chimney and across the dining room then up the stairs.  When the family tried to follow the creature that had run up the stairs, they could not locate where it had gone.  Many family members described the creature as a small creature that fell down onto four limbs, then got up onto two "legs" and ran like "a drunken man".  
After the chimney incident, everything was quiet until the summer of 1910.  The Culver's youngest son, David, started talking about vivid dreams he was having at night where a man who appeared as nothing but a silhouette would be standing at the foot of his bed until he woke up and the man would turn around and walk out the door of his bedroom.  Soon, many of the other family members would report seeing the man standing at the foot of their bed until they awoke, when he would turn around and walk out of the room.  The events continued on for about a year until someone visited their house and commented on the strange man who approached them on the street.
The family noticed that things in the house started to move when the family was sitting around the dinner table.  The climax was in the spring of 1912 when they were seated at the dinner table and a glass candlestick flew across the room and almost struck Mr. Culver in the head.
The family reported seeing the man repeatedly until 1965 when Mr. Culver died and the family vacated the house.  Many people in the family reported seeing the darkman standing at the foot of the hospital bed of Mr. Culver as he was dying.  
People who live in the neighborhood have reported seeing lights on in the tower of the house, and seeing a shadowy figure in the window sitting in a rocking chair.  If you are ever in Decatur, IL and are approached by a shadowy figure, local legend says you should turn the other way.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Faces of Belmez

On August 23, 1971, María Gómez Cámara noticed that a dark spot in the shape of a face had appeared on the cement floor of her house.  After showing her husband Juan Pereira and their son, Miguel, the two men decided that the face on the floor should be removed.  The two set about the floor with a pickaxe and destroyed the face.
After they relaid the floor with cement nothing appeared for a few months.  In December of 1971 several dark spots began to appear on the floor and by February of 1972 they had all turned into faces, with new ones appearing and some seeming to move across the floor.  In the picture above is the original face that the family had destroyed and it reappeared after the floor was relaid.  
Maria contacted the local government who immediately thought that it was the source of fakery and had portions of the floor removed and sent to a lab.  After samples returned from a lab showing up negative, the city helped Maria and her family tear the floor up and relay the concrete in the room to see if the faces were going to show up again.
A chunk of the floor during demolition

one of the faces becoming more clear over the course of a few weeks
The room was sealed off from the rest of the house and Maria's family had agreed to the experiment as they had not used the room since the faces started to appear.  The doors and windows to the room were bricked up and the floor was covered in a clear coating so if someone were to tamper with the floor the faces would have only appeared on the top layer and not the concrete.  
After six months of nobody entering the room the mayor, the Pereira family, and a chemist entered the room for the first time.  All of the faces had reappeared on the floor and every square inch of the room was covered in figures and faces.  The chemist immediately took samples of the top coating for analysis and sent them off to a lab to check for any pigments or dyes on the coating that was put on the floor.  
The tests that were sent to the lab came back negative for any kinds of dyes or pigments.  The ICV in Spain had tested the samples and all of the materials found in the sampling were found to be within acceptable limits in concrete manufacture at the time.  
After the faces were confirmed to be a mystery people started to flock to the town and the city of Belmez.  Many people would visit yearly and would take photos to keep track of where figures and faces had moved along the floor.  
Many psychics have said that there are spirits who are drawn to the area and are projecting themselves upon the floor thoughtographically.   There have been numerous seances held within the house most people come into contact with a spirit of a woman name Anne Cordoza and a male spirit named Pedro Ortiz.  They both have purported to have been murdered in a massacre that had taken place in the 1700's.  
After Maria passed away in 2004 the faces started to slowly disappear and today only one face remains on the floor.  Many have said it was because she was perpetrating a hoax and keeping the faces fresh, but the faces would not have disappeared completely like they have.  Continued chemical analysis of the floor has show that there has been no change in the chemical composition from the time they appeared to the time they disappeared.   

Aokigahara: The Forest of Suicide

At the base of Mt. Fuji lies a small(14sq miles) and dense forest that is renown around Japan and around the world as a popular place for people to commit suicide.  One step into the forest and the air grows silent and noticeably colder than the temperature outside.  Few animals choose to call the forest home, even prey animals which could easily take advantage of the dense cover and ample hiding places from predators.  The calls from a few carrion birds can be heard, but the chirping and singing of birds that is common on the outlaying areas of the forest quickly stop once one is only a few hundred feet into the forest.

This forest has become home to over 2,000 suicides since the 1960's when Japanese officials started to keep statistics after the book Nami No To by Seicho Matsumoto had the novel's two protagonists commit suicide within the forest and attracted more attention to the forest's whispered reputation.  The forest was used for ubasute(abandoning the elderly or infirm and allowing them to die especially during times of drought or famine) since the 1800's according to local lore.
The suicides have become such a problem that Japanese officials have started to do "body sweeps" every year in order to find and remove the remains of those who have chosen to end their lives within the forest.  The last numbers were published in 2003 with 123 people choosing to end their lives.  The local government has stopped publishing numbers and has tried to keep the times of the body sweeps quiet as to keep attention off of the forest.
 The people who do the sweeps also have to contend with tourists that come to the forest every year to visit the two caves located within a km of the entrance to the forest.  Many tourists make their own unofficial trails with tape so that they don't get lost within the forest once they start exploring.  Over 31 bodies have been reported to the local authorities within the past five years with one person choosing to take their own life within the ice cave.
The first kilometer or so of the forest is where human activity is the most present with humans rarely venturing  in deeper towards Mt. Fuji.  This has lead to problems for authorities as people wishing to commit suicide have started to venture in deeper to the forest where Yurei(dark spirits of the abandoned ones) are said to reside.
The few who have ventured deeper into the forest have said to hear whispering voices through the trees.  One man who ventured deep into the woods to commit suicide decided against it when he ventured into a makeshift shelter that had a pile of human remains scattered within and said, "I want to have dignity in death not to be discovered by wanderers."
Despite signs posted in English and Japanese begging those who enter the forest with the intent of killing themselves, the suicides still occur.  Why this forest is a hotspot for people who want to commit suicide is open to debate.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Osiris' Tomb Under the Sphynx in Egypt

95 feet underneath the hind legs of the Sphinx in Egypt lies the tomb of the god Osiris, which few people outside of the archaeological world know about.  The tomb has been called "symbolic" by a few members of the Egyptology community, but several archaeologists express doubt that the tomb is only a "symbol" and not an actual tomb.  Many have pointed out that the Egyptians did not believe that their gods were able to die, let alone build a "tomb" to house one.  It has also been pointed out that this would be the only example of a "symbolic" tomb in ancient Egypt.  Osiris was also one of the main gods of Egyptian mythology and to say anything of him dying would shine doubt upon their whole religion and great abandonment of their theology would have followed none of which have been shown as of record. 

A view of the tomb showing the water that leads down to the blue sarcophagus which is believed to be the "true" sarcophagus of the tomb 

After descending the ladder down into the antechamber of the tomb, the only place that is available to stand is the stone "sarcophagus" that is supposed to house Osiris.  The rest of the tomb is flooded with water which is at least 500ft deep and a clear blue color. 
The tomb is located 95 feet beneath the Sphinx.  There is a "sarcophagus" which x-ray imaging has shown there is at least several layers of inner sarcophagi located beneath the stone.  They have not been able to x-ray all of the way through it and even using advanced sonar imaging technology have proved fruitless to see all the way through. 
If one looks down through the water, there is another sarcophagus that is very faintly visible.  The second sarcophagus is a light blue color and looks to be partially clear, but it is unintelligible what is farther than the lid.  The symbol of Osiris is visible with advanced imaging technology.
Only one dive has been allowed(in 2003) to the second sarcophagus before the Egyptian decided to disallow all access to the tomb for reasons that have not been explained.  The divers who went down to the second sarcophagus were said to visibly shaken when they emerged from the water and only would say that the sarcophagus was, in fact, see through but they would not comment much on what was inside, except that there was a golden mask that appeared to be glowing from the inside.  The divers will not comment and all of the pictues that were taken of the sarcophagus were confiscated by the Egyptian government.
There is a lot of speculation about what is located in the second sarcophagus ranging from its just an illusion created by the blue water with limited visibility making it look as if something is down there to some sort of alien body. 
With the recent instability in Egypt and the lack of pressure from the public to explore the tomb, there seems to be little hope in anyone figuring out what is down there.