Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Daily 2 Cents: Horrendous! Mayan Pyramid Bulldozed -- Saudi Arabia Hiring Eight New Executioners -- Buying & Selling Haunted Real Estate


Horrendous! Mayan Pyramid Bulldozed by Road Construction Firm

A construction company has essentially destroyed one of Belize's largest Mayan pyramids with diggers and bulldozers to extract crushed rock for a road-building project, authorities have announced.

The head of the Belize Institute of Archaeology, Jaime Awe, said on Tuesday that the destruction at the Nohmul complex in northern Belize was detected late last week. The ceremonial centre dates back at least 2,300 years and is the most important site in northern Belize, near the border with Mexico.

"It's a feeling of incredible disbelief because of the ignorance and the insensitivity … they were using this for road fill," Awe said. "It's like being punched in the stomach, it's just so horrendous."

Nohmul was in the middle of a privately owned sugar cane field, and lacked the even stone sides frequently seen in reconstructed or better-preserved pyramids. But Awe said the builders could not possibly have mistaken the pyramid mound, which is about 30 metres (100ft) tall, for a natural hill because the ruins were well known and the landscape there was naturally flat.

"These guys knew that this was an ancient structure. It's just bloody laziness," Awe said. Continue reading at Mayan pyramid bulldozed by road construction firm

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Saudi Arabia Hiring Eight New Executioners ('Headhunters' Busy Looking For Applicants)

Saudi Arabia, which executes more criminals than any nation except China and Iran, wants to hire eight new executioners. A surge in executions has been witnessed under new King Salman’s rule.

The job description published online on Monday says no special training is required from applicants. The executioners would be required to behead condemned criminals in public as well as carry out amputations on those convicted of lesser offenses, Reuters reported.

The executioners would be considered as ‘religious functionaries’, since they would be serving religious courts and be on the lower end of the civil service pay scale, the ad said.

The recruitment drive comes a day after Saudi Arabia executed the 85th person this year. The number reached in less than five months is compared to an estimated 90 executions over the whole 2014, according to Amnesty International.

Saudi Arabian authorities do not officially explain the surge in executions. Some observers suggest that since King Salman ascended the Saudi throne in January, additional judges have been appointed and managed to deal with a backlog of appeal cases by death-row inmates.

Criminals are usually executed in Saudi Arabia by public beheading, although occasionally death by stoning or firing squad is ordered. The crimes punishable by death range from violent crimes like murder and rape to blasphemy, adultery, drug crimes, witchcraft and sorcery.

About half of those executed are Saudi nationals. Most of the others come from countries like Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Jordan, India, Indonesia, Burma, Chad, Eritrea the Philippines and Sudan, according to Human Rights Watch.

While beheadings are public, filming them is forbidden. In January, footage of a woman’s execution was leaked online, leading to the arrest of the person responsible.

In 2014, Saudi Arabia was ranked third on Amnesty International’s list of countries that carry out the most executions, surpassing Iraq and the United States. China and Iran were ranked 1st and 2nd respectively. Twenty-two countries are currently known to practice capital punishment. - ​Saudi Arabia hiring 8 new executioners after 2015 beheadings hit 85

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Buying & Selling Haunted Real Estate

When it comes to real estate, it's currently a seller's market.

Realtors in West Michigan say there's a shortage of homes for sale.

And that's turning home buyers' attention to older houses.

But what do you do if that home has a paranormal past?

Newschannel 3 talked to a local realtor about what you need to know about haunted real estate.

When putting their house on the market, homeowners often have a lot of concerns.

"The most common is cleanliness," said Amy Turley, a Real Estate Agent for Pearse Realty in Battle Creek.

But sometimes there are some things you just can't get rid of: ghosts.

"I've had that a few times. It's a very touchy subject," Turley said.

Turley said home sellers are required to fill out a Seller's Disclosure Statement.

"And on it, it talks about your roof and basement, everything about your home," Turley said.

In Michigan, there's no requirement to tell a buyer they're moving into a haunted house.

"It's kind of up to the individual," Turley said.

You may not know if your new digs played host to a serious crime or grisly murder.

"Have I been asked about that? Yes. Again, there's no place in the seller's disclosures," Turley said.
You can use the home's haunted history to your advantage.

A recent survey on realtor.com found 62% of people wouldn't mind living in a house they knew was haunted.

"If they want to disclose it, we'll put it out there. And it could hurt or help you. There are some people out there who really believe in this and are passionate about this, and are going to want to buy the home," Turley said.

Brave souls who don't believe may take their chances and move in anyway.

But if your house ghosts are scaring buyers away you still have options.

"I do have a couple people who have equipment and they feel they can monitor activity so I could guide them to that person," Turley said.

People called "house cleaners" with special paranormal abilities can also be brought in to sweep away the dead.

"If it's not selling, we have to change something. And that's typically the price," Turley said.

The realtor says every home has a history.

And you never know what's been left behind.

"The house that we're in was built in the 1930s. Probably has had several families. Lots of life has been lived here. If walls could talk," Turley said.

Realtors also suggest talking to neighbors.

They'll know if the house has any major problems you should know about.

Paranormal experts say that hauntings may be attached to people and not the house, so there may be a bigger problem that can follow you to a new location.

Turley added that saying your house is haunted will most likely not hold up as a reason to get out of a home sale or lease. - WWMT

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Newlyweds' Ghostly Visitor

Paranormal Investigator Damon Simms has explored the dingiest corners of some of Staffordshire's spookiest places. Here he recounts the tale of a woman who had an unexpected visitor at her Shelton home in the 1970s.

Despite some of the preconceptions you may, or may not, have about ghosts – they become manifest in many different guises; as noises, smells and some in a more visible form.

It is also true that they can visit a certain place for a prolonged period or appear in isolation.

There is no set methodology when you experience something truly paranormal.

And that's true for the woman at the centre of this week's tale – a newlywed lady named Laura who was living with her husband in Shelton in 1974.

Late one July evening, she was getting ready for bed alone as her partner was out working a night shift.

They were both 27 years old at the time and had been childhood sweethearts; life was good.

They'd recently moved into the modest terraced house and the neighbourhood was quiet with a really community feel; Laura felt at home.

The evening had thus far been uneventful, and Laura felt tired as she walked up the stairs and into the bathroom to clean her teeth before bed.

As she walked across the landing to the stairs towards her bedroom she noticed a strange smell, like that of cigarettes. Not inherently strange, but neither Laura nor her husband smoked.

Confused, she attributed the smell to the fact that one of them may have picked it up on their clothes from the local pub or a relative's house.

She continued into her bedroom and slipped her bathrobe and slippers off and snuggled into her warm, cosy bed with a book. At 3am she was woken by a strange sensation – what felt like static electricity against her face and hair.

It left like her hair was lifting with the charge surrounding her head, then came the smell again, a much stronger smell of cigarettes as if someone was blowing it against her face.

This unnerved her as she had never experienced anything so unnatural before and she was alone.

Sitting up fully she looked around her dark bedroom and tried to make sense of what she was experiencing.

At that moment the heavy bed cover seemed to shift. It felt like someone had pulled at it a little, but nobody was there.

The room was dark but she could see to the foot of her bed, but there was nothing there.

Then suddenly she felt what she describes as a strong, cold hand grab her around her ankle.

She tried to pull her leg away but the invisible entity would not let go – its grip was formidable.

She screamed as she was pulled towards the open door, she turned and grabbed the headboard hoping for salvation but her spirit assailant continued to drag her from the relative safety of her bed into the darkness of her room – and towards the ominous open door.

Then…nothing. Her body fell to the bed, still holding onto the headboard and drenched in a cold sweat she looked towards the open door.

The smell had gone, the electricity sensation was no more. Her ordeal was, seemingly, over.

That night, Laura is convinced, she was the victim of poltergeist – and a bored one too.

She had been its plaything for a few seconds before it ceased teasing her.

She never experienced anything again in her home, but she's never forgotten that paranormal encounter. - Stoke Sentinel

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