Saturday, October 08, 2011
By Jeff Nisbet - Photographic pioneer and artist Louis Daguerre’s 1824 painting, The Interior of Rosslyn Chapel, shows two workmen crouching by the base of a pillar, with three Templar Knights nearby. One workman is staring intently at some bones they have found beneath the flagstones.
For a bizarre example of life imitating art, let’s fast-forward 186 years.
On March 1, 2010, Scottish Television reported that workmen at Rosslyn, the chapel made famous by The Da Vinci Code, had discovered remains in an area with no recorded burials. The remains, continued the STV report, had been “removed from the site to be examined by archaeologists to discover their age, type and if they are human or animal.”
The local police confirmed the find but said “it was not being treated as a crime.” Rosslyn Chapel declined comment.
Two things aroused my interest.
First, I was sure that even an untrained eye would be able to distinguish between animal and human remains and wondered why the archaeologists could not do the same. Second, I wondered exactly where the remains had been discovered. The idea they might have been found in the spot Daguerre showed in his painting made me chuckle.
It would take me a year to get some answers.
During that time, I searched for news updates. There were none. I also broached the subject with two St. Clair/ Sinclair clan online forums. Since a William St. Clair had built the chapel in the mid-fifteenth century, these groups share an abiding interest in its history. No one knew anything.
Finally, on Feb. 21, I wrote to a Rosslyn Chapel executive. There was no reply.
Someone knew more, but no one was talking.
Two weeks later, however, my inquiries finally bore some fruit—an Email containing four remarkable photos of the excavation, before the remains had been moved.
One showed leg bones that were undoubtedly human, confirming that one of the stated reasons for their removal was, as I suspected, clearly bogus.
Two showed the exact location of the remains, but it was not the area shown in Daguerre’s painting. Instead, they had been found at the threshold of the west door.
The fourth showed a skull, face down, with a ragged-looking wound just a short distance above the foramen magnum, the natural aperture that allows the spinal cord to connect with the brain.
Taking just a small leap of the imagination, what might this tell us?
There’s a long-lived legend that Rosslyn’s master mason, returning from Rome after studying the design of an exquisite pillar in person, found an apprentice had carved the pillar in his absence. Flying into a rage, he slew the apprentice with a blow to the head, a legend that resonates with the eponymous murder of Hiram Abiff, chief architect of Solomon’s Temple, absolutely central to the Freemasonic ritual of the Third Degree.
Solomon's Temple: Myth and HistoryReligion & Spirituality Books)
Could the skull belong to the apprentice? The teeth were in remarkably youthful condition, and the shape of the head wound appeared consistent with the stone-trimming end of a mason’s hammer.
Researchers skeptical of the chapel’s claimed Masonic roots scoff at the legend, protesting that it’s not exclusive to Rosslyn. While there are indeed similar tales told about other ecclesiastical buildings of the day, I’m not so quick to throw the baby out with the bathwater. As a speculative researcher, and in the absence of the forensic evidence already more than a year in coming, I’m happy to present some speculative thoughts about the Rosslyn bones.
Above the area of discovery are three carved heads. Rosslyn tradition describes the one in the southwest, gazing northeast, as the head of the apprentice; the one in the northwest, gazing southeast, as the head of the master mason; and, on an adjacent wall, the apprentice’s mother, weeping for her son. The chapel’s website describes the master’s gaze as his punishment, forever condemned to look southeast towards the now-famous Apprentice Pillar. Not much of a punishment for murder, certainly.
Rosslyn: The Story of Rosslyn Chapel and the True Story Behind the Da Vinci CodeHistory of Scotland Books)
I have since received, however, another dispatch that suggests a stiffer sentence: There were two skeletons found at Rosslyn, in a single grave. Could one be the master?
That they were found at the threshold of the chapel conjures up a plump scenario of darkly poetic justice.
History records many examples of human remains being buried in the foundations of buildings, and at their thresholds, but the reasons are varied. Legend has it that Saint Dunstan ordered his own burial to be under the threshold of Winchester Cathedral as a testament to his humility; Scotland’s St. Columba, by contrast, is said to have buried a man alive at the foundations of a cathedral in order to ensure the building’s structural stability with blood sacrifice; and I will give a third example, later on, where the practice was meant as an insult to the deceased.
Life of St. Columba (Penguin Classics)Early Church History Books)
Another robust legend that may connect Rosslyn with threshold sacrifice is the widespread belief that the chapel’s ground plan is based on that of Solomon’s Temple, although skeptics point out that Rosslyn’s is identical to that of Glasgow Cathedral, which, except for the enormous difference in scale, is true.
But what if the similarities between Rosslyn and Solomon’s Temple, at least for Freemasons, were meant to be more symbolic than actual and that both skeptics and true believers have been looking at things the wrong way?
In Albert Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry is the following entry: “Over the Sacred Lodge presided Solomon, the greatest of kings, and the wisest of men; Hiram, the great and learned King of Tyre; and Hiram Abiff, the widow’s son, of the tribe of Naphtali. It was held in the bowels of the sacred Mount Moriah, under the part whereon was erected the Holy of Holies. On this mount it was where Abraham confirmed his faith by his readiness to offer up his only son, Isaac. Here it was where David offered that acceptable sacrifice on the threshing-floor of Araunah by which the anger of the Lord was appeased, and the plague stayed from his people. Here it was where the Lord delivered to David, in a dream, the plan of the glorious Temple, afterward erected by our noble Grand Master, King Solomon. And lastly, here it was where he declared he would establish his sacred name and word, which should never pass away—and for these reasons this was justly styled the Sacred Lodge.”
Encyclopedia of Freemasonry: And Its Kindred Sciences Comprising the Whole Range of Arts, Sciences and Literature As Connected With the Institution
Might not the floor of Rosslyn Chapel be symbolic, then, of a place that predates Solomon’s Temple—the threshing floor of Araunah and a place of great Biblical sacrifice, which in many ways it still is? Claimed as a holy place by Christians, Jews, and Muslims, the rock over which now stands Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock has become, over millennia, a most costly piece of real estate.
Also revered as “The Foundation Stone,” the rock from which the world was made, it was the place where Biblical patriarch Jacob is said to have dreamt of a ladder reaching to Heaven, with angels ascending and descending—which brings us to Scotland’s unique connection with the place. Whether or not the block of stone now safely enshrined in Edinburgh Castle is Scotland’s fabled Stone of Destiny, one of its popular monikers is “Jacob’s Pillow.” And then there is the theory that the Scots are, in fact, a “lost tribe of Israel.” When historians, Biblical scholars, and adherents to British Israelism debate that theory, things get noisy.
But let’s return to the Rosslyn bones, continuing to suppose that the remains belong to the jealous master and the slain apprentice. What better place for the apprentice to be buried than beneath the carved head of his grieving mother? And what greater insult to the master than to be condemned, forever, to be trod underfoot by God-fearing Scots?
As it happens, though, the head of the apprentice is also gazing at an exquisitely carved pillar—one attributed to the master’s hands. Curiously, there is evidence that the Master’s Pillar, as it is now known, had been concealed under a plain exterior for over 400 years and had been rediscovered by architect David Bryce during his 1860’s restoration efforts. Might it not have been concealed because it was, after all, the work of an arch sinner? The Scots have historically done much more about a lot less, particularly over matters of morality.
Whether or not there is any truth to the slain apprentice legend, it is the height of coincidence that Rosslyn’s most enduring legend involves the murder of one man by another, by a blow to the head, and that the murder has been memorialized by the carved heads of the murderer and the victim, on the wall above the unmarked grave of two recently discovered bodies, one of which shows indications of having been killed by a blow to the head.
But until the forensic experts release their findings, we must consider the possibility that the bones were put there more recently.
In 1846, during a lecture at London’s Institute of British Architects, antiquary John Britton criticized the lines in Walter Scott’s Lay of the Last Minstrel that suggest ten Rosslyn barons were buried, in full armor, below the chapel. Also in attendance was William Burn, architect in charge of the chapel’s 1830’s restoration. Burn supported Britton by claiming he had dug trenches up all three of the chapel’s aisles, finding only one vault with a wooden coffin (presumably the vault long known to be accessed under flagstones in the north aisle, towards the rear of the chapel).
The Lay of the Last Minstrel: With Ballads, Songs, and Miscellaneous Poems
Burn makes no mention of having found human remains in the center aisle. But since his work was mainly concerned with the exterior of the chapel, there remains the possibility that Burn lied to support Britton’s skeptical opinions, because the restoration of the chapel was the subject of a heated and ongoing debate. Thirty-four years later, in 1880, architect Andrew Kerr, under the direction of Robert St. Clair-Erskine, the 4th Earl of Rosslyn, added the bap-tistery to the chapel’s west end. If, as I suspect, the recently discovered bones stretched beneath the common threshold of both buildings, then there remains the interesting possibility that the bones were deposited there at that time, to be conveniently “discovered” at a later date. Kerr and the Earl have a well-documented conversation about the Slain Apprentice legend that appears on page 6 of the official Rosslyn Chapel guidebook, and it should be noted that both men were high-ranking Scottish Freemasons. The Earl, in fact, was the fraternity’s 63rd Grand Master.
While this article has been hampered by the lack of more available evidence, further revelations may soon be made public.
At the time of this writing, I have learned that Ashley Cowie, “resident historian” for STV’s The Hour Show, was recently seen at the chapel, shooting a new documentary series titled Legend Quest. Aired in July, the show is described as “an action-adventure series that follows real-life symbologist Ashley Cowie as he travels the world in search of hidden, mystical artifacts. Each episode is designed to combine Indiana Jones-style adventure and Da Vinci Code-type connections as theories are explored.” While that description hints the show will do for archaeology what The Deadliest Warrior has done for the history of military warfare, perhaps Cowie will surprise us. Stranger things, as we will now see, have happened.
Late in my research for this article, I stumbled upon a curious tale connecting the 4th Earl of Rosslyn with yet a third skeleton. This one, though, was the property of his widow.
On March 15, 2002, Sotheby’s auctioned the contents of Ken Paul’s London theatrical-prop company. One paragraph of the Sotheby announcement reads as follows: “The ultimate conversation piece has to be the mystery clock in a full-sized inlaid mahogany coffin, dated c. 1900—complete with real skeleton—used in the opening scenes of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The skeleton is rumoured to be the remains of the young Italian lover and secretary of the Countess of Rosslyn. After his death she couldn’t bear to be separated from him, so she immortalized him in the clock and took him everywhere with her!” Acquired by Ken Paul from an unnamed music-hall escape artist, the clock was won by an anonymous bidder for £35,000.
The Countess of Rosslyn at the time of the skeleton clock’s manufacture had been married to the 4th Earl from 1866 until his death in 1890. Her own death, in 1933, would have provided the perfect opportunity for the rest of the family to offload Grandma’s Italian paramour to the escapologist—at an eminently negotiable price, I’m sure.
Interestingly, besides appearing in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the clock had most recently been hired to appear in a then-unreleased film about Jack the Ripper, From Hell, which presented the theory that Jack was a Freemason.
From Hell [Blu-ray]
But the story of the clock’s connection to the Countess of Rosslyn seemed suspect. I knew of only one Scottish luminary who was intimately involved with an Italian secretary—none other than Mary, Queen of Scots. On March 9, 1566, secretary David Rizzio was stabbed to death in Holyrood Palace for being the queen’s confidant and lover and for being a Catholic. It has also been bandied about that he was the father of Mary’s son, the future king of both Scotland and England.
Although a plaque in Edinburgh’s Canongate Kirkyard reads “Tradition says that this is the grave of David Rizzio,” who really knows? Could the countess and the queen have traded places in the telling of the tale over the years? Might not the bones in the clock be the bones of David Rizzio? Moreover, in a macabre concordance with the Rosslyn bones, there is an Edinburgh tradition that Rizzio’s body was first buried at the threshold of Holyrood Abbey as a sign of disrespect.
My speculation that the clock’s skeleton is David Rizzio’s is not that outrageous.
It is well known that the Freemasons have made ritualistic use of skeletal remains. One short sentence in the 1896 minutes of Edinburgh’s Mary’s Chapel Lodge reads that “Brother Hay’s presentation of a skull was accepted with thanks,” and in the 1851 minutes we find an even more bizarre entry: “The Lodge was upon this occasion presented with two Thigh Bones of a Nun by Dr. McCowan.”
Just two years later, in 1853, the 4th Earl of Rosslyn is listed as Deputy Master of the Canongate Killwinning Lodge, still located on Edinburgh’s St. John Street, just a hundred yards or so from Rizzio’s Canongate Kirk grave. That’s 1,750 miles closer than Prescott Bush, President George W’s grandfather, trekked to bring the skull of Geronimo back to Yale University’s most storied secret society, Skull & Bones.
Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of PowerSociology Books)
Or could the escapologist have made the whole tale up?
Until the unnamed buyer steps forward and allows the bones to be studied, we can only speculate about the skeleton clock. - from The Rosslyn Bones - Jeff Nisbet
NOTE: Check out Jeff Nisbet's website at Mythomorph. Thanks to Jeff for the heads-up and use! Lon
Record 251 lb whopper!
A woman who took up fishing to see more of her angling-mad boyfriend has become a record holder after catching a 215lb catfish.
Alexa Turness, from Holland Park, West London, landed the giant while on holiday in Spain after battling to reel it in for half an hour.
It was more than 1.5 times the 28-year-old's weight and 8ft 4in long.
The fish was so big her boyfriend and tour guides feared she might get dragged into the river, and were ready to grab her as she fought to land it.
It is the biggest freshwater fish caught by a British woman anywhere in the world and beats the previous record by a pound.
Miss Turness easily outdid her boyfriend Kim Hamilton, who could only muster a fish weighing 189lbs during their trip on the River Segre in northern Spain.
Miss Turness, an events director, said: ‘My boyfriend is really into fishing so when we got together seven or eight years ago I got into it too. It was a case of go fishing with him or don’t see him.’
She said the catfish took the bait at about 11.30pm on the third night of the trip.
‘I just had to hold on for my life,’ she said. ‘It took about 30 minutes, but I wasn’t going to give up. I was amazed when I saw how big it was.’
She added: ‘My boyfriend is quite gutted. We took it in turns on the rods, and this just happened to be my turn.’ After Miss Turness posed with her catch and returned it to the water, the couple celebrated her achievement with a glass of Spanish brandy on the river bank.
Mr Hamilton, also 28, said: ‘It was Lex’s turn on the rod – just luck of the draw.
‘We were all going to sleep when suddenly we heard the line stripping from the spool and we knew it was going to be a monster.
‘We were all stood around Lex ready to catch her in case the fish pulled her in. Now I have to accept that my missus has caught a bigger one than me.’
The previous record for the biggest freshwater fish caught by a British woman was held by Sheila Penfold, 56, from Wandsworth, South London, who caught a 214lb catfish in Spain last year. - dailymail
Bride beat up pagan neighbour for being ‘white witch who cursed groom’s dad’
A bride spent her wedding night in the cells in a bloodied gown after turning up on her neighbour’s doorstep and attacking her.
Imogen Hope, 37, was found guilty of assaulting Samantha Pilling by Calderdale magistrates yesterday.
The court was told she and her new husband Keith, known as Homer, were on their way back from their reception when they confronted Mrs Pilling next door but one.
They had earlier married at Calderdale Register Office, Spring Hall, Halifax, before spending the evening drinking lager and spirits at The Shears Inn nearby.
Mrs Pilling told the court how she heard Hope drunkenly shouting abuse at her in the early hours of July 19 before coming up the path and banging on her door.
When she opened it, she said Hope tried to force her way into the hallway and punched her in the face around three times.
“I thought personally it wasn’t a way for a bride to behave on her wedding night. You don’t turn up at someone’s house and beat them up,” she said.
Mrs Pilling, a practising pagan, was accused of cursing the bridegroom’s parents, who live in the terraced house in between the two couples.
Mr Hope branded the mother-of-three a “white witch” who had given his father cancer.
Rubbishing the claim, Mrs Pilling said: “I don’t deal in curses. I work with crystals and herbs.
“In our belief system it’s the law of threefold - whatever you do will come back to you three times worse.”
When asked why she didn’t fight back, Mrs Pilling, who was in the Army before enrolling as a student nurse, told the court: “I am trained to kill.”
Her husband Stuart called police and when officers arrived to arrest Mrs Hope, she refused to change out of her wedding dress.
PC Stephen Young said: “It was suggested to her that she get changed out of her wedding dress. That was the initial agreement. She then changed her mind and decided to attend the custody suite as she was.”
He added: “There was a little bit of amazement from the lady and quite understandably on her wedding day. Her husband was obviously disappointed.”
Mrs Hope told officers she had bloodstains on her dress because she had earlier tripped on cobblestones and broken a nail, causing a cut to her finger.
She said she had confronted Mrs Pilling because she had been making her mother-in-law’s life hell by playing loud music and allowing her cats to breed “uncontrollably”.
The court heard there had also been a long-running dispute over a fence.
Mrs Hope was not allowed to return to her marital home in Clough Lane, Mixenden, for two weeks after her arrest due to her bail conditions.
Tearfully, she told the court she regretted the drunken confrontation but denied any violence.
“I was taken from my home for two weeks, I couldn’t see my kids, my husband, my dogs, for something I haven’t done, and it’s upset me,” she said.
She claims Mrs Pilling started the altercation by shouting insults from her bedroom window as she and her husband walked home.
Mr Hope told the court neither he nor his wife were violent and would not have started trouble on their big day without being provoked.
It was not the way they had planned to start their marriage, he added.
He said: “I remember her getting into the back of the police car. I said to the police officer: ‘Please don’t, it’s my wedding night.’”
Mrs Hope, a trainee nursery nurse’s assistant with no previous convictions, was sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge.
She was also ordered to pay £300 prosecution costs and £75 compensation to her victim. - halifaxcourier
Police hunt for Amish haircutting gang
A group of Amish men is being investigated for allegedly breaking into Ohio family homes and chopping their victims' hair and beards off, The Wheeling Intelligencer reports.
The Amish hair-cutting gang is being investigated by four different sheriff departments in Ohio. They face charges of burglary and felonious assault.
The group refers to itself as part of the Bergholz clan, a nearby Amish community led by bishop Sam Mullet, which was the subject of a disputed child custody raid in 2007 amid allegations of sexual abuse.
The spate of attacks began around three weeks ago and targeted other Amish community members, the newspaper said.
One of the victims in Holmes County described how the gang of between 20 to 30 men dragged him from his house by his beard. Others said they were accosted inside their homes before their hair was cut off.
Holmes County sheriff Timothy Zimmerly told reporters the victims also included a 13-year-old girl and a 74-year-old man.
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The gang's alleged getaway vehicle - a truck and horse trailer - was searched for evidence by police in Jefferson County.
Clumps of hair from the victims were sent to the sheriff's office for analysis. - heraldsun
Green glowing disc observed in Chicago
Date: Saturday October, 01, 2011
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Time: 23:00 (approximate)
How many witnesses: 2
My boyfriend and I were out for a late night stroll along the lakeshore, it was about 11:30 and we were headed back home along the Montrose Beach waterfront. As we headed toward the tunnel that leads us under Lake Shore Drive and our condo, a bright light caught our attention and we stopped and walked off the path toward the lake shore.
There about 200 yards from shore was a green glowing disc, it looked like a discus that you use during track and field events, except it was slowly oscillating and glowing green.
If I had to estimate, the object was roughly 40-60 feet across and maybe 12-15 feet in height, the object was totally silent and effortlessly hovered about 6-10 feet above the water.
As we watched, the object slowly drifted to the east for about 30 feet, again totally silent.
As we watched this object drifted over, a bright light began to emanate from the water and to our utter amazement/horror, a SECOND object arose out of the water!!
Both objects hovered above the water for about 45 seconds, then both objects suddenly changed color to a burnt orange and then suddenly shot off to the west, they both rose suddenly and were out of sight within a few seconds. My boyfriend and I were both left there with our jaws on the floor, we stared out over the water for about a minute, before we both looked at each other and tried to make heads or tails of what just happened.
We both sat down at a nearby bench and talked about what we had both seen, my boyfriend telling me about a couple of UFO sightings he had as a child, eventually we made our way to our condo.
Ever since, I catch myself looking out over the lake from our living room window, hoping to catch a glimpse of something again. - ufoclearinghouse
Friday, October 07, 2011
The Secret Destiny of America. The following is an excerpt from his text:
On July 4, 1776, in the old State House in Philadelphia, a group of patriotic men were gathered for the solemn purpose of proclaiming the liberty of the American colonies. From the letters of Thomas Jefferson which are preserved in the Library of Congress, there is considerable data concerning this portentous session.
If the Revolutionary War failed every man who was about to sign the parchment lying on the table would be subject to the penalty of death for high treason. It should also be remembered that the delegates representing the various colonies were not entirely of one mind as to the policies which should dominate the new nation.
There were several speeches. In the balcony patriotic citizens crowded all available space and listened attentively to the proceedings. Jefferson expressed himself with great vigor; and John Adams, of Boston, spoke and with great strength. The Philadelphia printer, Dr. Benjamin Franklin, quiet and calm as usual, spoke his mind with well chosen words. The lower doors were locked and a guard was posted to prevent interruption.
According to Jefferson, it was late in the afternoon before the delegates gathered their courage to the sticking point. The talk was about axes, scaffolds, and the gibbet, when suddenly a strong, bold voice sounded..."Gibbet! They may stretch our necks on all the gibbets in the land; they may turn every rock into a scaffold; every tree into a gallows; every home into a grave, and yet the words of that parchment can never die! They may pour our blood on a thousand scaffolds, and yet from every drop that dyes the axe a new champion of freedom will spring into birth! The British King may blot out the stars of God from the sky, but he cannot blot out His words written on that parchment there. The works of God may perish: His words never!
"The words of this declaration will live in the world long after our bones are dust. To the mechanic in his workshop they will speak hope: to the slave in the mines freedom: but to the coward kings, these words will speak in tones of warning they cannot choose but hear...
"Sign that parchment! Sign, if the next moment the gibbet's rope is about your neck! Sign, if the next minute this hall rings with the clash of falling axes! Sign, by all your hopes in life or death, as men, as husbands, as fathers, brothers, sign your names to the parchment, or be accursed forever! Sign, and not only for yourselves, but for all ages, for that parchment will be the textbook of freedom, the bible of the rights of man forever.
"Nay, do not start and whisper with surprise! It is truth, your own hearts witness it: God proclaims it. Look at this strange band of exiles and outcasts, suddenly transformed into a people; a handful of men, weak in arms, but mighty in God-like faith; nay, look at your recent achievements, your Bunker Hill, your Lexington, and then tell me, if you can, that God has not given America to be free!
"It is not given to our poor human intellect to climb to the skies, and to pierce the Council of the Almighty One. But methinks I stand among the awful clouds which veil the brightness of Jehovah's throne.
"Methinks I see the recording Angel come trembling up to that throne and speak his dread message. 'Father, the old world is baptized in blood. Father, look with one glance of Thine eternal eye, and behold evermore that terrible sight, man trodden beneath the oppressor's feet, nations lost in blood, murder, and superstition, walking hand in hand over the graves of the victims, and not a single voice of hope to man!'
"He stands there, the Angel, trembling with the record of human guilt. But hark! The voice of God speaks from out the awful cloud: ‘Let there be light again! Tell my people, the poor and oppressed, to go out from the old world, from oppression and blood, and build My altar in the new.'
"As I live, my friends, I believe that to be His voice! Yes, were my soul trembling on the verge of eternity, were this hand freezing in death, were this voice choking in the last struggle, I would still, with the last impulse of that soul, with the last wave of that hand, with the last gasp of that voice, implore you to remember this truth--God has given America to be free!
"Yes, as I sank into the gloomy shadows of the grave, with my last faint whisper I would beg you to sign that parchment for the sake of those millions whose very breath is now hushed in intense expectation as they look up to you for the awful words: ‘You are free.'"
The unknown speaker fell exhausted into his seat. The delegates, carried away by his enthusiasm, rushed forward. John Hancock scarcely had time to pen his bold signature before the quill was grasped by another. It was done. (*NOTE: After finalizing the text on July 4, Congress issued the Declaration of Independence in several forms. It was initially published as a printed broadside that was widely distributed and read to the public. The most famous version of the Declaration, a signed copy that is usually regarded as the Declaration of Independence, is on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Although the wording of the Declaration was approved on July 4, the date of its signing has been disputed. Most historians have concluded that it was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed. The original July 4 United States Declaration of Independence manuscript was lost while all other copies have been derived from this original document...Lon)
The delegates turned to express their gratitude to the unknown speaker for his eloquent words. He was not there.
Who was this strange man, who seemed to speak with a divine authority, whose solemn words gave courage to the doubters and sealed the destiny of the new nation?
Unfortunately, no one knows.
His name is not recorded; none of those present knew him; or if they did, not one acknowledged the acquaintance.
How he had entered into the locked and guarded room is not told, nor is there any record of the manner of his departure.
No one claimed to have seen him before, and there is no mention of him after this single episode. Only his imperishable speech bears witness to his presence.
There are many interesting implications in his words.
He speaks of the ‘rights of man,' although Thomas Paine's book by that name was not published until thirteen years later.
He mentions the all-seeing eye of God which was afterwards to appear on the reverse of the Great Seal of the new nation.
In all, there is much to indicate that the unknown speaker was one of the agents of the secret Order, guarding and directing the destiny of America.
Some time ago, an eastern publisher suggested to me that an interesting and important title for a book would be, One Hundred Thousand Years of Man's Unknown History. This publisher was a great reader of history; and it was his observation that nearly all great causes are furthered by mysterious and obscure persons who receive little or no credit for the part which they have played.
To write the history of these men would be to write the history of the Order of the Quest, the story of the unknown philosophers. Some, like Francis Bacon, come to high estate; but most of the unknowns work obscurely through other men, who gain the credit and the fame.
In an old book of rules used by the brothers of the secret orders, is the following: "Our brothers shall wear the dress and practice the customs of those nations to which they travel so that they shall not be conspicuous or convey any appearance that is different or unusual. Under no condition shall they reveal their true identity, or the work which they have come to accomplish; but shall accomplish all things secretly and without violating the laws or statutes of the countries in which they work."
Of those who did not ‘reveal their true identity', or the work which they came to accomplish, one is the mysterious Professor who inspired the design of our flag, and remains unknown and unnamed. And similarly, another is the unknown speaker whose words removed indecision about signing the Declaration of Independence; it is not known who he was, and the incident is preserved only in a rare old book, the very existence of which it is difficult to prove.
It is reasonably conceivable that in secrecy and anonymity well ordered aid has been given to the struggle for human equity and justice that has been America's destiny through the past into our present time. It is our duty and our privilege to contribute what we can to this Universal plan. It will go on, served by the unknowns, until the Platonic empire is established on the earth, and the towers of the new Atlantis rise from the ruins of a materialistic and selfish world. - 'The Secret Destiny of America' - Manly Palmer Hall - 1944
After his studies at Trinity College, Cambridge and Gray's Inn, London, Bacon did not take up a post at a university, but instead tried to start a political career. Although his efforts were not crowned with success during the era of Queen Elizabeth, under James I he rose to the highest political office, Lord Chancellor. Bacon's international fame and influence spread during his last years, when he was able to focus his energies exclusively on his philosophical work, and even more so after his death.
Throughout his life, Francis Bacon's fondest hope was the, creation of a Utopia across the Atlantic, the realization of his "New Atlantis" in the form of a society of free men, governed by sages and scientists, in which his Freemasonic and Rosicrucian principles would govern the social, political and economic life of the new nation. It was for this reason why, as Lord Chancellor, he took such an active interest in the colonization of America, and why he sent his son to Virginia as one of the early colonists. For it was in America, through the pen of Thomas Paine and the writings of Thomas Jefferson, as well as through the revolutionary activities of his many Rosicrucian-Freemasonic followers, most prominent among whom were George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, that he hoped to create a new nation dedicated to his political philosophy.
In his Secret Destiny of America, Manly Hall, Bacon's most understanding modern scholar, refers to the appearance in America, prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, of a mysterious Rosicrucian philosopher, a strict vegetarian who ate only foods that grew above the ground, who was a friend and teacher of Franklin and Washington and who seemed to have played an important role in the founding of the new republic. Why most historians failed to mention him is a puzzle, for that he existed is a certainty.
He was known as the "Professor." Together with Franklin and Washington, he was a member of the committee selected by the Continental Congress in 1775 to create a design for the American Flag. The design he made was accepted by the committee and given to Betsy Ross to execute into the first model.
A year later, on July 4, 1776, this mysterious stranger, whose name nobody knew, suddenly appeared in Independence Hall and delivered a stirring address to the fearful men there gathered, who were wondering whether they should risk their lives as traitors by affixing their names to the memorable document which Thomas Jefferson wrote and of whose ideals Francis Bacon, founder of Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism, was the true originator. - 'Great Secret: Count St. Germain' - Raymond Bernard
So who was 'The Professor'? Some say it was the spectre of Sir Francis Bacon. There was talk that the Count of St. Germain, the 18th-century adventurer/scientist/charlatan and mysterious gentleman who claimed to be centuries old, was the mystery man. His contemporaries referred to him as 'The Wonderman'. Manly Hall wrote:
In Robert Allen Campbell's "Our Flag" he details an obscure, but most important, episode of American history...the designing of the Colonial flag of 1775. The account involves a mysterious man concerning whom no information is available other than that he was on familiar terms with both General Washington and Dr. Benjamin Franklin. The following description of him is taken from Campbell's treatise:
"Little seems to have been known concerning this old gentleman; and in the materials from which this account is compiled, his name is not even once mentioned, for he is uniformly spoken of or referred to as 'the Professor.' He was evidently far beyond his threescore and ten years; and he often referred to historical events of more than a century previous just as if he had been a living witness to their occurrence; still he was erect, vigorous and active—hale, hearty and clear-minded, as strong and energetic every way as in the prime of life. He was tall, of fine figure, perfectly easy, very dignified in his manners, being at once courteous, gracious and commanding. He was, for those times, and considering the customs of the Colonists, very peculiar in his method of living; for he ate no flesh, fowl or fish; he never used for food any 'green thing', any roots or anything unripe; he drank no liquor, wine or ale; but confined his diet to cereals and their products, fruits that were ripened on the stem in the sun, nuts, mild tea and the sweet of honey, sugar and molasses. [ Editor's note: The Comte de Saint Germain's same abstemious behavior regarding food was well documented in Europe.]
"He was well educated, highly cultivated, of extensive as well as varied information, and very studious. He spent considerable of his time in the patient and persistent scanning of a number of very rare old books and ancient manuscripts which he seemed to be deciphering, translating or rewriting. These books, and manuscripts, together with his own writings, he never showed to anyone; and he did not even mention them in his conversations with the family, except in the most casual way; and he always locked them up carefully in a large, old-fashioned, cubically shaped, iron-bound, heavy oaken chest, whenever he left his room, even for his meals. He took long and frequent walks alone, sat on the brows of the neighboring hills, or mused in the midst of the green and flower-gemmed meadows. He was fairly liberal — but in no way lavish — in spending his money, with which he was well supplied. He was a quiet, though a very genial and very interesting member of the family; and he was seemingly at home upon any and every topic coming up in conversation. He was, in short, one whom everyone would notice and respect, whom few would feel well acquainted with, and whom no one would presume to question concerning himself — as to whence he came, why he tarried or whither he journeyed."
"By something more than a mere coincidence, the committee appointed by the Colonial Congress to design a flag accepted an invitation to be guests, while at Cambridge, of the family with which the Professor was staying. It was here that General Washington joined them for the purpose of deciding upon a fitting emblem. By the signs that passed between them, it was evident that General Washington and Doctor Franklin recognized the Professor, and by unanimous approval, he was invited to become an active member of the committee. During the proceedings which followed, the Professor was treated with the most profound respect and all his suggestions immediately acted upon. He submitted a pattern which he considered symbolically appropriate for the new flag, and this was unhesitatingly accepted by the six other members of the committee, who voted that the arrangement suggested by the Professor be forthwith adopted. After the episode of the flag, the Professor quickly vanished; and nothing further is known concerning him." - 'Our Flag' (The Evolution of the Stars and Stripes) - Robert Allen Campbell - 1890
NOTE: The incident with the mysterious speaker is most likely true. Thomas Jefferson noted that there was loud applause during the speech by this stranger. Is it too hard to believe that one person stirred this discordant group of men into a sudden unified body that declared their independence from the British Crown? Was it possibly divine intervention...or, by chance, an emissary from an alternate universe? The grand experiment of representative democracy may have been induced by the words of a supernatural being. Lon
- The Secret Destiny of AmericaOccultism Books)
- 'The Role of Kabbalah in the founding of the United States of America' - Rabbi Ariel Bar Tzadok - 1998
- Great Secret Count St Germain
- 'Washington and His Generals: or, Legends of the Revolution' - George Lippard - 1847
- 'Our Flag' (The Evolution of the Stars and Stripes) - Robert Allen Campbell - 1890
The Lost Keys of Freemasonry (Also Includes: Freemasonry of the Ancient Egyptians / Masonic Orders of Fraternity)Social Science Books)
The Secret Teachings of All Ages: An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy
Founding Fathers, Secret Societies: Freemasons, Illuminati, Rosicrucians, and the Decoding of the Great SealFreemasonry Books)
Fewer dangerous asteroids surround the Earth
The Earth is surrounded by nearly 50 percent fewer potentially dangerous asteroids than thought previously, a new NASA study has found.
According to the US space agency, a space telescope that meticulously mapped the entire sky has found that about 19,500 medium-size, potentially dangerous asteroids are orbiting near the Earth.
The discovery significantly lowers their number by 50 percent, as their number was initially estimated at 35,000, LiveScience reported.
The study suggests that the threat to Earth by dangerous asteroids may be “somewhat less than previously thought,” NASA officials said in a statement.
Still, there are thousands more of these asteroids, which can measure up to 3,300 feet wide, that remain to be found.
“Fewer does not mean none and there are still tens of thousands out there to find,” said study leader Amy Mainzer, principal investigator for NASA’s NEOWISE project at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif.
Additional research will also need to be conducted to determine if fewer medium-size asteroids also means fewer dangerous asteroids that could pass hazardously close to Earth, NASA officials said.
Scientists believe that asteroids measuring about 460 feet wide can cause widespread damage around their impact sites, but much larger space rocks would have to strike Earth to cause global devastation. - discoveryon
Collision Course: Asteroids and Earth (Jr. Graphic Environmental Dangers)
Will the Aliens Be Nice? Don’t Bet On It
The probability that there is intelligent life somewhere other than earth increases as we discover more and more solar systems that seem capable of sustaining life. The thought that there might be extraterrestrial intelligences (ETI) somewhere out there excites us and has led to organized efforts to contact any such beings. We have sent space probes with data about us, and we transmit signals with a structured content (like symbols expressing mathematical formulae) to what we hope will be an intergalactic audience. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence project (SETI) is obviously based on the assumption that the possible benefits of contact with ETI outweigh the possible harms. But do they?
A recent study by researchers at Penn State and NASA provides a useful outline of the various ways that encounters with ETI could be beneficial, neutral or harmful to us. The study faces up to the most chilling possibilities: ETI might “eat us, enslave us, attack us,” inadvertently infect us with horrible diseases or just decide to eliminate us for the greater good of the universe. (Regarding this last point, the report is especially concerned that ETI might be at least metaphorically green and see us a threat to the universe’s ecology.)
The report draws no conclusions about the wisdom of pursuing SETI, though it does urge the need to develop quantitative measures of possible harms and benefits. Its final sentence seems content with the idea that we will “continue the search for extraterrestrials into the future.” Especially after reading the report, I am not so content. Continue reading at Will the Aliens Be Nice? Don’t Bet On It
Alien Invasion: The Ultimate Survival Guide for the Ultimate AttackScience Books)
The Alien Invasion Survival Handbook: A Defense Manual for the Coming Extraterrestrial Apocalypse
Mangy Coyote...Blue Dog...?
A Simpson County man says he’s been hunting for 50 years but recently killed something he's never seen before.
“It’s an ugly looking beast,” Truitt Barnard, said. “I know it’s not a coyote. I’ve killed some mangy coyotes too, and I just haven’t seen something quite like it. “
Friend and family believe this could be a Chupacabra, which literally means goat sucker. Chupacabras are a legendary creature suspected of killing livestock and sucking their blood.
A couple weeks ago in the middle of the afternoon, Truitt was on his property in Simpson County just outside of Mendenhall, when a “funny-looking animal” walked through an open field about 130 yards away.
He could immediately tell the animal didn’t have any hair, but when he looked through his rifle scope, he knew this was something very strange. The animal’s back legs were several inches taller than his front legs, his ears were rounded, he had no hair and his teeth were very long, said Truitt’s son Scott Barnard.
And a group of buzzards wouldn’t even touch it.
“I’ve never seen anything a buzzard wouldn’t eat,” Scott said.
The mysterious animal has become pretty popular around Mendenhall and several people have reported sightings of strange animals since news of this one spread.
“I’ve seen several different things they say we don't have in Mississippi,” Truitt said, so finding this creature “wasn’t a big deal” to him.
Take a look at the pictures and decide for yourself, he said. - wlbt
Chupacabras and Other MysteriesControversial Knowledge in Religious Studies Books)
Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore
Swiss Couple Claim 'Forest Boy' Is Grandson
A Swiss couple have come forward to claim that the mysterious 'Forest Boy' Ray is their grandson.
Now the pair are due to give a DNA test which will be matched with Ray, who claimed last month in Berlin to have been living in a wood for five years.
Berlin's BZ newspaper reported on Friday that Ray's photo was seen by the couple in Switzerland and that they then contacted police.
There was no official comment from authorities in the German capital and no further details in the newspaper report.
Police and social workers began suspecting two weeks ago that his story was bogus and that his motives were suspect.
He is only 17 and now in the care of social workers after a legal guardian to represent his interests was appointed.
If it is found that he comes from Switzerland he will be deported back there.
The blonde, blue-eyed boy claimed to remember few details about his life and where he had been when he pitched up on the steps of a town hall in the east of Berlin on September 5.
He spun a tale - in accented English - that gripped the imagination of the world: that he had been living in a tent in a forest for five years with his father, called Ryan, and that his mother Doreen had perished in a car crash five years previously.
He said he began walking towards Berlin after his father died suddenly in the woods a fortnight before his arrival. He said he had buried him among the trees.
"I'm all alone, please help me," he bleated. He was taken into care at a cost to the German taxpayer of around £2,500 per month.
But the tall tale he wove began to appear to have more holes than a Swiss cheese.
A check of police computers in all 16 states of Germany showed up that no woman called Doreen had died in a car crash in Germany in the past decade.
No sign of a grave has been found in cursory searches of forests in the Harz Mountains, along the Bavarian-Czech border or in Thuringia.
He was unable to pinpoint the forest where he said he lived, he was also unable to say what nationality he was, although police soon suspected he was not British despite the words he spoke.
The tent he carried did not look like it had sustained five years of treatment in a German forest and he was well dressed and clean.
As Interpol was alerted to check with police forces for missing people in other European lands, Ray triggered more suspicion when he said he did not want to pose for photographs or make an appeal to try to find any of his family members.
"They're all dead," he said. "I just want to get on and make a new life for myself."
"Unfortunately it seems that the boy told his guardian that he wasn't interested in discovering who he was," said a police spokesman.
But now the Swiss link is the most promising development so far. If true, Germany would be in a position to make a claim from Switzerland for money towards his upkeep so far. - sky
Robert Zemeckis Plotting Spooky 'Charles Fort' at Universal
Universal Pictures is plotting a spooky feature called Charles Fort with producer Robert Zemeckis and screenwriter Evan Spiliotopoulos. Fort, which is being described by some who know the material as a "period Ghostbusters," is the first project set up under Zemeckis and his Imagemovers' newly minted first-look deal with the studio.
Charles FortParapsychology Books) was an early-twentieth-century American researcher and writer whose focus was "anomalous phenomena" and the unexplained. Books Fort wrote such as The Book of the Damned (1919) and New Lands (1923) were some of the first to explore everything from levitation and teleportation to alien abduction and other paranormal pursuits. Fort was essentially a curious skeptic who enjoyed collecting data to support explanations for things that he felt were no less possible than the scientifically accepted ones.
Dark Horse Comics published a four-issue series in 2002 titled Fort: Prophet of the Unexplained, which turned Fort into an adventurous investigator tangling with aliens and murderers in turn-of-the-nineteenth-century New York City.
In addition to Zemeckis, Dark Horse's Mike Richardson is producing the film, as are Imagemovers partners Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey. Dark Horse's Keith Goldberg will be an executive producer. Scott Bernstein is overseeing for the studio.
Repped by UTA and manager D.J. Talbot, Spiliotopoulos worked on the script for the Universal film Snow White and the Huntsman, which is filming now for a June release.
The CAA-repped Zemeckis is prepping to direct the drama Flight for Paramount this fall. As a producer, he most recently produced Real Steel, Mars Needs Moms and A Christmas Carol, which he also wrote and directed.
Dark Horse Entertainment also has an adaptation of its comic R.I.P.D. in production at Universal for a summer 2013 release. The writer of the source material, Peter M. Lenkov, created the Fort comics as well. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) and 30 Days of Night (2007) were also based on Dark Horse comics. - hollywoodreporter
The Complete Books of Charles Fort: The Book of the Damned / Lo! / Wild Talents / New LandsWitchcraft Books)
The Book of the Damned: The Collected Works of Charles FortUnexplained Mystery Books)
Charles Fort: The Man Who Invented the SupernaturalParapsychology Books)
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