A summary of all the stories and news briefs posted on The Daily Grail over the past week. Feel free to share anything interesting!
- The Cult of Mary: How Supernatural Apparitions and Miracle Healings Led to Veneration of the Mother of Jesus
- News Briefs 23-11-2015 (Monday)
- The Twin Peaks Tarot
- News Briefs 24-11-2015 (Tuesday)
- Michael Persinger Defends the 'God Helmet', says Richard Dawkins Was Affected by Alcohol When He Tried It
- News Briefs 25-11-2015 (Wednesday)
- News Briefs 26-11-2015 (Thursday)
- That Time Obi-Wan Kenobi Used the Force to Warn James Dean About His Impending Death
- News Briefs 27-11-2015 (Friday)
- Egyptologists Say They Have Likely Discovered a Secret Chamber Behind the Wall's of King Tut's Tomb
Have a good weekend!
Fresh off announcing that they may have discovered secret chambers in the Great Pyramid, Egyptian officials are now saying that they are 90% sure that they have identified a hidden chamber behind the walls of the tomb of King Tutankhamun.
Tut's tomb itself lay hidden for millennia, before Howard Carter famously opened the chamber in 1922, revealing a cache of treasures. Now, 93 years later, it seems that Tut's burial chamber was just one part of a larger complex.
Egyptologist Nicolas Reeves suggested in August that the famous Queen Nefertiti may actually be buried in a secret chamber beside Tut's tomb, after noticing a number of strange fissures and cracks in the walls of the room.
In a press conference, Egyptian officials announced that scans carried out recently are highly suggestive that a secret chamber does indeed lie behind the walls of Tut's tomb:
The primary results of the scan give us very positive results, very good results. We have here something behind the west and the north walls. It could be a burial chamber, especially behind the north wall. But this result...it is [a] primary result. We need more more time to solve the data and work to give us accurate results from the data, and [this will take] more than one month.
...But we can say now that we have defined behind the burial chamber of King Tutankhamun another chamber, another tomb, something behind - approximately 90% positive.
For more on about the discovery, see this National Geographic story which gives a nice insider perspective of the process of examining the tomb:
The room hushed, and Watanabe began to push the [radar scan] cart along the wall once more. After moving a little more than half of the distance, he broke the silence: “They changed the material here.”
This was exactly the point at which there seemed to be a doorway on the Factum Arte scans. Watanabe is not an Egyptologist, and he had not studied Reeves’s ideas closely, but what he observed on the radar matched up. He did one more scan of the west wall, and then he proceeded to the north. “It’s just a solid wall,” he called out, at the beginning. He reached the section of the wall that Reeves had proposed was a blocked-over partition. “There is a change from here,” Watanabe announced.
After he was finished, he studied the multicolored bars that ran across the computer screen. “Obviously it’s an entrance to something,” he said through a translator. “It’s very obvious that this is something. It’s very deep.”
We look forward to hearing more about this discovery - imagine the excitement if this does indeed turn out to be a previously unopened tomb, and of one of Egypt's most celebrated rulers!
- Has an Egyptologist Discovered the Lost Tomb of Nefertiti?
- Pyramid Scan Identifies an 'Impressive Anomaly' Behind the Blocks of the Great Pyramid
- Listen to the 3000-Year-Old Trumpets of King Tutankhamun
- Secret Pyramid Chambers: New Project Will Use Latest Technology to Search for Hidden Rooms in the Monuments of Egypt
"All great truths begin as blasphemies."
- A black hole at work.
- Sentient fish?
- Universe reveals new particle.
- The flood of civilization.
- It's all relativity, my dear.
- Einstein 100 years later.
- Sparking creativity for innovation.
- Tour the Manhattan Project sites
- When the black knight met Pepsi.
- Lab creates mosquito strain with malaria-blocking gene.
- The other side of evolution.
- Blindness cured by multiple personality.
- Pluto doesn't make the cut... again.
- Extinction: The key to diversity.
- When the black knight met Pepsi.
- Scalpel-free surgery?
- The recycled sets of Hollywood.
- This week’s evidence of the looming robot uprising… Attack 'bots.
Quote of the Day:
“There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.”
I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
Despite a long and celebrated career on stage and screen, this famous line from the original Star Wars will likely be the scene that most people remember in association with the name of Sir Alec Guinness.
As the Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi, Guinness is suddenly overcome when the entire population of the distant planet Alderaan is instantaneously killed when the Empire's "Death Star" destroys the planet. He feels this through 'the Force', a mystical power that gives him and other Jedi paranormal-like physical and mental abilities.
Interestingly, Sir Alec once had a real-life 'paranormal experience' of his own. In a talk on science fiction's use of parapsychological themes, researcher Dean Radin pointed out that in a 1977 TV interview with Michael Parkinson (post Star Wars release, in which he also discussed the film and how his 2.25% cut of the takings came about), Sir Alec told of a "very very odd, spooky experience" he had upon meeting James Dean, shortly before the iconic star's death in a car accident.
And when told by Sir Alec himself (see video below) - in the voice we all now know as Obi-Wan Kenobi - it certainly sounds like a manifestation of 'the Force'.
In September 1955, fresh off a plane and spending his first night ever in Hollywood, Guinness was out looking for a meal when James Dean approached him, asking the celebrated thespian to join him for dinner at the Villa Capri, a small Italian restaurant frequented by stars. But on the way into the restaurant, Dean first took them into the car-park, saying...
"Before we go in, I must you show something. I've just got a new car." And there in the courtyard of this little restaurant was a - I don't know what the car was, some little silver, very smart thing...all done up in cellophane with a bunch of roses tied to its bonnet. And I said, "How fast can you drive it". And he said "Oh I can do 150 in it". And I said "Have you driven it?" He said "No, I've never been in it at all."
And some strange thing came over me, almost a different voice, and I said "Look I won't join your table unless you want me to, but I must say something: please, do not get into that car. Because if you do," and I looked at my watch, and I said "if you get into that car at all, it's now Thursday"...whatever the day it was..."10 o'clock at night, and by 10 o'clock at night next Thursday you'll be dead if you get into that car."
[mimics James Dean's response with a wave of the hand] "Nonsense".
So we had dinner, a charming dinner, and he was dead the following Thursday afternoon, in that car. It was rather a very very odd, spooky experience.
Guinness does make the mistake in the interview of saying it was Thursday, when in fact James Dean died on Friday 30th September. Though in writing of the incident he has correctly said the dinner was on Friday the 23rd of September (and in the interview he also off-handedly notes "whatever the day it was"), with Dean dying within the week.
Also, when Michael Parkinson asks him if anything like that had ever happened to him before, Sir Alec replies "No, I'm glad to say". But this wasn't absolutely true: while serving in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve during World War II, he was tasked with taking his craft to the island of Vis to evacuate 400 women and children ahead of an anticipated German invasion. The day before the mission - New Year's Eve, 1943 - he was resting on his bunk when he heard a voice suddenly say "Tomorrow". He wrote in his diary that he took this as a premonition of his own death during the evacuation mission - and while he obviously survived, his ship was hit by a storm and had to be abandoned after being pushed onto rocks.
It seems that, just like in the Star Wars universe, in real life Obi-Wan Kenobi had mystical powers, and yet never actually seemed to stop anything awful from happening...
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I am grateful they still let me post here...
- Bad news, here's what that 'UFO' spotted from the space station really was.
- Good news, there are a bunch more photos taken by astronauts that still have debunkers scratching their heads.
- If you're going to Netflix and chill this holiday weekend, Insider Monkey counts down the 11 best alien documentaries on Netflix.
- Is there anything Pope Francis can't do? His kiss on a baby's noggin cured her brain tumor.
- Wanna find Nessie? Grab all your thirsty friends and invite them to Scotland according to one Tumblr user.
- Disney's lemmings have nothing on the spate of mass drownings of birds in the UK.
- Like all animals, spiders have personalities and understanding them can benefit humanity.
- Queensland's night parrot is no longer in the running for Hide and Seek champion, as a small population has been found. Thylacines still have the lead at 79 years.
- With the increasing relevance of quantum physics, will we have to rewrite Einstein's theory of general relativity?
- From the spooky-scary file, the terrifying case of the necklace and the poltergeist.
- Julia Shaw says regression therapy isn't real, blaming Hollywood for perpetuating the myth. Her take seems pretty narrow to me, fam.
- Cable channel Showtime's going to bring back Twin Peaks, but will these Japanese coffee commercials featuring Dale Cooper be considered canon?
Quote of the Day:
"Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business."
Which is weirder - our past or our future?
- Expansion of human species down to lack of trust.
- In related news: Humanity may be colonising space sooner than we imagine.
- Dark matter grows hair around stars and planets.
- Biologists induce flatworms to grow heads and brains of other species.
- Obama '"disappointed" by data on Rosswell and UFOs.
- First known ancient underground city in Turkey used for permanent living will rewrite history.
- Scientists create quantum entanglement at room temperature.
- How a missing inner monologue affects the sense of self.
- A classic formula for pi has been discovered hidden in hydrogen atoms.
- Li-Fi leaves the lab.
- The brain's miracle superpowers of self-improvement.
- Study reveals 'extraordinary' DNA of people in Scotland.
- Solved: the mystery of Britain's Bronze Age mummies.
- Not digging the future of archaeology.
- Never mind the AI robots, amateur inventors are creating monstrous machines: a knife-wielding robotic tentacle and a fire-breathing dragon toy.
- I prefer my dragons trodden into the snow.
- The 'real' Pooh bear's skull goes on public display.
Quote of the Day:
The world is still a weird place, despite my efforts to make clear and perfect sense of it.
Hunter S. Thompson
Michael Persinger Defends the 'God Helmet', says Richard Dawkins Was Affected by Alcohol When He Tried ItPosted by Greg at 09:16, 25 Nov 2015
Many years ago 'neurotheology' researcher Michael Persinger made news with his 'God Helmet', a head-mounted apparatus that generated weak, fluctuating magnetic fields, which was reportedly able to induce mystical experiences in those wearing it. However, a 2005 study by other researchers failed to replicate Persinger's results, and the effect was written off as being due to suggestibility rather than an actual, physical change in the brain.
The 'God Helmet' has slipped from the radar since that replication failure, but Persinger has now answered many of the criticisms/accusations about his research in a series of ten blog posts. The topics range from the set-up of the experiments, through related subjects such as his Tectonic Strain Theory and Chris French's 'Haunted Room' experiment, to even noting that Richard Dawkins was perhaps a little inebriated during his own (failed) encounter with the God Helmet:
Question: Richard Dawkins is seen drinking wine or wine mixed with soda water (a “Wine Cooler”) before his session with the God Helmet in the BBC video showing his visit to your lab. Had he been drinking before the session? Will alcohol interfere with the God Helmet effects?
Answer: Yes, he had been drinking. The scent was easily noticed. In addition, he was obliged to sit in hot lights within the chamber for almost an hour as the BBC director managed several television studio details before the experiment began. This forced us to deviate from our typical protocol where the person walks into the dimly lit chamber and we begin the experiment within a few minutes. We have found that intoxication, particularly ethanol, interferes with the experimental induction of the sensed presence.
In addition, Dawkins had a low score for temporal lobe sensitivity, as mentioned on several web pages (example). Ordinarily, there are ways we can compensate, but these conditions made it difficult. Getting a subject to relax can take time before the session begins, and on that occasion, we were already pressed for time.
For those not familiar with Persinger's God Helment experiments, the episode of Through the Wormhole embedded below gives a good, quick introduction:
You might also like:
- Archaeological study finds that Glastonbury myths were 'made up by 12th-century monks'.
- Are these medieval books really made of foetal tissue?
- Hitler's Supergun: The Nazi plot to destroy London (and why it failed).
- Was Titanic inquiry scuppered by Freemasons?
- This is how to store human knowledge for eternity.
- Hamas seizes chest of ancient gold coins accidentally discovered in Gaza.
- What on Earth is going on in this bizarre video of a Middle Eastern 'Sand River'?
- Trip advisors: The unusual couple behind an online encyclopedia of psychoactive substances.
- Psychic offering to help with murder case charged by police.
- How private are our thoughts?
- Hacking the brain to restore lost abilities.
- Thermoelectric furniture could charge your phone with energy from your coffee.
- Inside the bizarre genome of the world's toughest animal.
- Will our descendants survive the destruction of the Universe?
- Surgery could give men wombs of their own within five years.
- Sometimes noting patterns and theorising about shadowy groups planning in backrooms is correct: for example, the female meteorologist conspiracy.
- Video of the Day: Slow-motion fire tornado.
Quote of the Day:
Simplistic answers can be hugely emotionally satisfying, especially when you feel you need someone to blame.
The world, however, is a very complicated place, and simplistic answers are usually wrong.
It always seems so obvious in retrospect: artist Benjamin Mackey recently was inspired by a genius idead: to create a variant on the Rider Waite Tarot Deck, based on the cult television series created by David Lynch (which itself featured all manner of occult references: the Twin Peaks Tarot.
In the embedded podcast below, Mackey is asked whether he thinks the way in which many Twin Peaks characters seem to fit so well with the cards of the Tarot was by conscious design of David Lynch, or if it's simply down to the archetypal nature of story characters:
I think there are certain characters that David Lynch was purposefully basing off Tarot archetypes. There's one scene where Major Garland Briggs, he's talking about his experiences in the White Lodge, and there's a scene where he's sitting on this stone throne and he's surrounded by this lush greenery, and the pose he's striking is almost exactly the pose that the hierophant strikes. Then there's also a scene with Blackie at One-Eyed Jack's, she's at her table and she's playing the Tarot Cards. And it's a really small thing, you don't see her doing it a lot and they don't make a lot of direct references to it...but something like that, makes me think that maybe David Lynch has more of a conscious connection to the Tarot.
- Five things I learned infiltrating a paranormal convention.
- Mapping the cult of Mary: Apparitions and healings of the Virgin Mary across the world.
- In search of the Notorious B.I.G.Foot.
- Are you ready for a future of bug-eating?
- No, space station astronaut Scott Kelly did not take a picture of a UFO.
- Reclaiming the Goddess: Please stop using the name ISIS to describe a bunch of ignorant, murderous f**ktards.
- So many birds were startled by Oklahoma earthquake that they showed up on radar.
- Why do we disappear into the unconscious of sleep and dreams.
- The long, strange trip of the chemists behind the legendary LSD 'Orange Sunshine'.
- Five people charged over leaks alleging corruption in the Vatican.
- Secret pagan basilica in Rome emerges from the shadows after 2000 years.
- Evidence shows earliest Americans arrived 6000 years earlier than previously thought.
- Were elongated skulls an aid to human survival.
- Scientists discover how ocean fish magically disappear - now the Navy wants to know.
- The Doomsday Scam: Why terrorists have never been able to get their hands on the lethal substance known as red mercury.
- Scientists warn that the world is on the cusp of a post-antibiotic era.
- Image(s) of the Day: Medieval crusader art, if it was against Lovecraftian monsters.
Quote of the Day:
The apocalypse is not something which is coming. The apocalypse has arrived in major portions of the planet and it's only because we live within a bubble of incredible privilege andn social insulation that we still have the luxury of anticipating the apocalypse.