Saturday, September 17, 2011

Just the Facts? Medieval Irish Zombies, Wild Boy in Germany and UFO Abduction Attempt



Did Zombies Roam Medieval Ireland?

Two early medieval skeletons were unearthed recently in Ireland with large stones wedged into their mouths -- evidence, archaeologists say, that it was feared the individuals would rise from their graves like zombies.

The skeletons, which were featured in a British documentary last week, emerged during a series of digs carried out between 2005 and 2009 at Kilteasheen, near Loch Key in Ireland by a team of archaeologists led by Chris Read from the Institute of Technology in Sligo, Ireland and Thomas Finan from the University of St. Louis.

The project recovered a total of 137 skeletons, although archaeologists believe that some 3,000 skeletons spanning from 700 to 1400 are still buried at the site.

The "deviant burials" were comprised of two men who were buried there at different times in the 700s.

One of the men was between 40 and 60 years old, and the other was a young adult, probably between 20 and 30 years old. The two men were laid side by side and each had a baseball-sized rock shoved in his mouth.

"One of them was lying with his head looking straight up. A large black stone had been deliberately thrust into his mouth," Chris Read, head of Applied Archaeology at IT Sligo, said.

"The other had his head turned to the side and had an even larger stone wedged quite violently into his mouth so that his jaws were almost dislocated," he added.

Initially, Read and colleagues thought they had found a Black Death-related burial ground. Remains of individuals buried at the end of the Middle Ages with stones stuck in their mouths have hinted at vampire-slaying rituals.

It was believed that these "vampire" individuals spread the plague by chewing on their shrouds after dying. In a time before germ theory, the stone in the mouth was then used as a disease-blocking trick.

Since the vampire phenomenon didn't emerge in European folklore until the 1500's, the archaeologists ruled out this theory for the 8th century skeletons.

"In this case, the stones in the mouth might have acted as a barrier to stop revenants from coming back from their graves," Read told Discovery News.

Revenants or the "walking dead" tended to be people who lived as outsiders in society, according to Read.

The two Irish men could have been considered potentially dangerous people, such as enemies, murderers, rapists or they could have been ordinary individuals who died suddenly from a strange illness or murder.

Anything outside the norm would have caused the community to fear that these people could have come back to life to harass their loved ones or others against whom they had a grudge.

The mouth was seen as a key part of the body for such a transformation.

"It was viewed as the main portal for the soul to leave the body upon death. Sometimes, the soul could come back to the body and re-animate it or else an evil spirit could enter the body through the mouth and bring it back to life," Read said.

According to Kristina Killgrove, a biological anthropologist at the University of North Carolina, the burials' dating is particularly interesting as it appears to predate historical records on revenants.

"I'm also intrigued by the fact that the two males were not buried at the same time but were nonetheless buried side-by-side in this non-traditional manner, which suggests these burials were not accidental or careless," Killgrove told Discovery News. - discovery

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English speaking 'wild boy' emerges from German forest

An English-speaking teenager who walked out of the forest near Berlin told police he had been living in the woods for five years with his father, but had no idea who he was or where he came from.

Authorities have launched a Europe-wide appeal for information about the boy, who is somewhere between 16 and 18 years old, and says his name is Ray.

“We have sent appeals for help to all European countries via Interpol. The boy speaks English and a little German but we really have no idea where he comes from,” Michael Maaß, spokesman for the Berlin police told The Local on Friday.

The boy emerged from the woods on September 5, and said he had been living wild with his father for about five years.

The pair had left civilisation when his mother, who the boy said was called Doreen, died. The boy said he and his father, who he said was called Ryan, had not set up a home but had kept moving.

They had slept in a tent and huts they found in the woods, he told them.

Maaß said the boy had told youth workers he could remember nothing about where he came from, nor anything much more than his own first name.

Two weeks ago he found his father had died, and buried him in a shallow grave which he covered with stones, he told them.

“His father had told him to look at his compass and go north, if anything should happen. And this is apparently what he did, walking for two weeks before reaching Berlin,” said Maaß.

“There he found a youth emergency centre and walked in. We have never seen anything like it. We have no evidence to contradict what he has told our colleagues at the youth services, although we are still investigating, and very much want to find out who he is.”

He said Berlin police would have to enlist the help of colleagues in Brandenburg and possibly other neighbouring states. “I don’t know if you can walk through Brandenburg in two weeks,” said Maaß.

He said the boy had been medically examined and was physically healthy, while there was nothing to suggest he was the victim of any kind of abuse or violence.

“We have no evidence of a crime having been committed,” said Maaß.

“The boy is being cared for by the youth services, while we in the police force are responsible for trying to find out who he is,” he said. - thelocal

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Not exactly 'Weekend With Bernie'

Jeffrey Jarrett was 43 years old when he died last month. How he died is still under investigation.

It's what happened after his death that has the family upset.

Two friends are accused of loading his body into a car, hitting a bar in Denver, then another bar in Aurora, before taking Jarrett home.

Robert Jeffrey Young and Mark Rubinson then ended their night at Shotgun Willie's in Glendale. They allegedly took $400 out of Jarrett's account.

Published reports say Young and Rubinson now face charges of abusing a corpse, identity theft and criminal impersonation.

"I'm horrified, I'm absolutely, I can't even put into words, I can't imagine anybody thinking that maybe their friend is in trouble and not calling 911," a horrified relative of Jarrett's said. The relative accused Young, Jarrett's roommate, of neglecting to call for help when he found Jarrett dead in their home.

Instead, it was only on the way home that the duo reportedly flagged down a Glendale police officer and told him about the body at home.

Family members--who describe Jarrett as a loving father, graduate of Colorado State University, and a hockey player--say the treatment his body was given is something they are struggling with.

"I'm horrified, I'm absolutely, I can’t even put in to words, I can’t imagine anybody thinking that maybe their friend is in trouble and not calling 911,” said a relative.

Jarrett's family says that while they will continue to mourn his loss, they hope for justice in this case. - kktv

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Abduction attempt: High-speed UFO chase on Australian highway

A Territory man was involved in a wild UFO chase on the Stuart Highway in a desperate bid to avoid abduction.

The man, who only wants to be known as Aiden said he was about an hour south of Tennant Creek, when a bright light approached him from behind.

"I was traveling south of Tennant Creek on my way to Melbourne. I had left Tennant around 3.30am after spending the night there and about an hour after I had set off I looked in my side mirror and noticed a light behind me.

"I thought nothing of it as it was probably another car."

Watch the video of a similar occurance on an Australian highway here

Aiden said he noticed the light getting brighter.

"I thought geez they must be driving fast as I was doing 120kph.

"When I looked again after a few minutes the light was really bright but it was in the bloody sky."

Aiden said when he noticed the light was not coming from another car or truck behind him he "started to get freaked out and put the foot down a bit more".

"Then I looked back again and this time the light was huge and the most brightest light I had ever seen but the strange thing is that the light had like an orange colour to it but was white at the same time.

"The light was about the size of a large car and stayed with me for around 20 to 30 mins.

"There was also like a faint drone as well but at the time I put it down to road noise but who knows."

Aiden said he was sure the mysterious light was not another car when he came to a windy stretch of road.

"I went around a bend on the road (and) it was still behind me in the same spot even when the road went left and right," he said.

"It was I suppose about 700 to 800 metres behind me in the sky.

"I said to myself: No, no, not me, go and take someone else, I am not interested."

Aiden said when he looked in the mirror again the light had suddenly disappeared.

"It was gone ... completely, so I stopped got out and there was no light to be seen anywhere at all," he said.

"That freaked me out heaps and in some strange way got me hooked as well due to witnessing something that was incredible to see and thinking this is not from here."

Territory top UFOlogist Alan Ferguson said the sighting was not a surprise.

"This has happened many times to people travelling down the track here in the Northern Territory," he said.

He said two of his friends have had a simular experience a couple years ago when they were heading to UFO hotspot Wycliffe Well, south of Tennant Creek.

"They were travelling late at night and the same thing happened that a light started to follow them.

"As it got close they would freak out then the light would go back for awhile then speed up.

"Then - just like Aiden'ss sighting - it just disappeared without a trace."

Mr Ferguson said sightings of lights in the sky at the Wycliffe Well area have been around for tens of thousands of years.

"The Aborigines called them 'min min' lights," he said. - katherinetimes
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