News Briefs 23-03-2015

Mysteries. Today's flavour: historical.

Thanks @anomalistnews, @tobadzistsini, and @djp1974.

Quote of the Day:

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Collective Brainwashing & Modern Concentration Camps

This is a clip from the highly-recommended film My Dinner with Andre (1981), which you can actually watch complete on Youtube. Incredible how after more than 30 years, this discussion seems more relevant than ever.

The movie mentions Findhorn repeatedly, which is a famous spiritual community and education center founded in Scotland in the early 1960s, based on the mutual cooperation between Man and the spirits of Nature. Robert Ogilvie Crombie (a.k.a. Roc), the illustrious Scottish mathematician is also mentioned in the film; Crombie was one of the original founders of Findhorn, and used to be hardcore materialist until they day when he allegedly had an ecounter with a faun, at which point his life experienced a dramatic shift toward Mysticism, magickal practices and communication with elemental entities --The book The Gentleman and the Faun [Amazon US & UK] is based on those encounters.

[H/T tobadzistsini]

News Briefs 20-03-2015

“Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible Sun within us.”

Quote of the Day:

“…Every man is a Microcosm, and carries the whole world about him.”

Thomas Browne

Fall of the Gods: What Caused the Collapse of Teotihuacán?

Before they became an empire, the Mexica --aka the Aztecs-- were a nomadic tribe looking for a place to settle. On their way to Mexico's central valley they passed through the ruins of a monumental city; so impressed were they with the majesty and sophistication of the ancient metropolis, they concluded no mortal men could have been able to build it.

They named the place Teotihuacán: The city where Men became Gods.

To this day, and despite some impressive archeological discoveries in recent years, there's still a lot of mysteries surrounding this Pre-Columbian civilization --our remaining ignorance is best highlighted by the fact that, after all these years, we still don't know the original name of the city, and are forced to identify them with the term given by the Aztecs. We know that by 450 AD Teotihuacán was the most powerful city in all of Mesoamerica, its influence reaching even the remote nation-states of the Maya in the south-east jungles; we also know that its end was not peaceful, given the evidence that its major monuments were burned around 550 AD. But why exactly did Teotihuacán fall into ruin?

Linda Manzanilla, an anthropologist with Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México has published a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in which she proposes Teotihuacan's collapse was not due external threats or natural catstrophes, but caused by internal clashes between groups with differing economic interests.

Manzanilla is basing her claims on her examination of parts of the ruins, along with an analysis of human remains and other artifacts that have been found in the area. She suggests that because of volcanic eruptions in the first and fourth centuries, people were forced to move from the southern basin, and wound up in Teotihuacan, which resulted in a mix of ethnicities. Activity markers, nutritional patterns, isotopes and ancient DNA analysis showed that the immigrants (some of whom brought specialized skills along with them) tended to live on the outskirts of the city in different neighborhoods and were given specific jobs by businessmen that helped to bolster the economy. But it also led to rivalries between the neighborhoods. As time passed, she believes that tensions arose between wealthy businessmen, neighborhood leaders and those that were part of the government. The tension was increased, she claims, by the government insisting on retaining control of all natural resources. Eventually, that tension boiled over and the result was an angry mob of people burning down major parts (administration and ritual buildings) of the city and trashing sculptures and other iconic structures, and eventually to total collapse of the city.

Manzanilla's theory supports another separate study --in which she also collaborated-- performed by academics from the Institute of Investigations in Applied Mathematics and Systems (IIMAS), who created a mathematical model which supports the theory that Teotihuacán was not ruled by a centralized authority --i.e. a king or emperor-- but rather was organized in a "co-government" represented in a collective, managerial division of the different neighborhoods conforming the city. This theory IMO might explain why recent attempts to discover the tombs of Teotihuacán's rulers have so far proved unsuccesful.

All these new ideas about Teotihuacán paint their culture more like an economic enterprise than a colonizing army. It's almost as if they were the Templars of ancient Mesoamerica --and just like their European counterparts, they attracted the envy and resentment of too many enemies.

In our modern times in which the 1% think of themselves as living deities, the ancient city where Men became Gods has now become a soberly prescient cuationary tale.


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News Briefs 19-03-2015

In a society where sanity is obligatory, the insane carries out a one-man revolution.

Thanks to Cármen Aristegui.

Quote of the Day:

“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.”


News Briefs 18-03-2015

The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.

Quote of the Day:

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.


Disney's Tomorrowland: Parallel Universes Instead of UFOs?

Next May 22nd --Memorial Day in the US-- will see the premiere of Tomorrowland, Disney's new live action movie directed by Academy award winner Brad Bird (The Incredibles & Ratatouille)

Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world—and them—forever.

This film created a lot of buzz in the Fortean circles since 2012, when Bird's involvement was announced. Back in those days instead of its final title the project was referred to by the codename 1952, which caused some people to speculate the film might have something to do with UFOs --July 1952 saw one of the biggest UFO flaps in modern history, which included sightings in Washington D.C. and forced an official statement by Air Force assuring the public the United States was not being invaded by Martians.

It was also said that 1952/Tomorrowland was also inspired by the discovery of a mysterious "box of files and documents" found in the Disney archives; again, this sparked the interest of UFOlogists who remembered the tales of how allegedly the Air Force had once contacted Walt Disney in order to produce a film intended to 'acclimatize' the American public to the idea of visitors from outside the Earth --for more about that, visit Grant Cameron's Presidential UFOs website.

But now it seems that the idea of extraterrestrial visitors is growing out of fashion, and it's being replaced by new concepts in pop culture like parallel dimensions and the non-synchronized experience of Time --Interstellar, anyone?

In any case, the film reminds me of Walt Disney's original vision for the Epcot Center (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), which instead of being just a corny collection of retro-futuristic displays, it was intended to be a testing ground of cutting-edge experimental urban technologies, which could then be implemented elsewhere for the benefit of all mankind. Epcot was in fact intended to become an actual city, a technological utopia which non-Disney workers would live in and call their home; probably the only one who took Disney seriously was Sci-Fi writer Arthur C. Clarke, and in his novel 2010: Odyssey 2 he envisioned Epcot transformed as an independent city, offering the most advanced medical services for the elderly --which given its geographical location made a whole lot of sense...

Will Tomorrowland become a worthy Sci-Fi movie, or just a 'teen-princess' version of Jupiter Ascending? Visit your nearest multiplex next May to find out.

News Briefs 17-03-2015

"The future is already here — It's just not very evenly distributed."

Quote of the Day:

“Sometimes it’s good to remember.”

William Gibson

Obama, Area 51 & Aliens, on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Once again, the subject of UFOs is brought up between a late-night talk show host and the president of the United States. Will it come a time when the subject is not treated as a gag on national television?

"That's what we're instructed to say." I wonder if Mr. Obama realizes the sub-rosa acknowledgement embedded in that joke: That at the end of the day, when it comes to certain sensitive matters, even 'the most powerful man in the world' has to follow orders from somebody else...

Mind you, this isn't the first time Mr. Obama has resorted to the 'cannot confirm or deny' pun in order to dodge the UFO bullet. Remember when Jaden Smith felt his belief in aliens was somewhat confirmed by the president?

Personally, I feel president Clinton's response to Kimmel was much more interesting and revealing:

Do I believe some people in the government are hiding important information about UFOs? I do. However, I'm more inclined to think that, rather than secret deals with the Grays or reverse-engineering programs of recovered disks, what they may be really hiding is their own befuddlement and astoundment with a phenomenon over which they have absolutely no control and explanation.

Meanwhile, given John Podesta's recent Twitter revelations expressing his personal frustration over his failure to disclose "the UFO files" --which were received with a deafening silence by most of mainstream media-- and his assured involvement in Hillary Clinton's upcoming attempt to secure the presidential nomination under the Democratic ticket, I'm very curious to see if anyone will dare to confront her with the UFO question on a public forum...

[H/T Open Minds]

News Briefs 13-03-2015

“Man becomes aware of the sacred because it manifests itself, shows itself, as something wholly different from the profane.”

Quote of the Day:

“In imitating the exemplary acts of a god or of a mythic hero, or simply by recounting their adventures, the man of an archaic society detaches himself from profane time and magically re-enters the Great Time, the sacred time.”

Mircea Eliade