Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Fortean / Alternative News: Egyptian Secrets, Kid Discovers Supernova and Worldwide Paranormal Update

Hawass' Speculates Future Discoveries

discovery - The tomb of King Tut’s wife, a buried pyramid, the Great Pyramid’s secret doors, and the final resting place of Cleopatra and Mark Anthony: these discoveries could await us in 2011, according to Dr. Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Hawass, one of the world's leading Egyptologists, gave an exclusive interview to Discovery News at an exhibition of images from ancient Egypt taken by photographer Sandro Vannini. Hawass’ many-years-long effort to solve the mystery behind the Great Pyramid’s secret doors and Cleopatra’s burial place is well known.

Less publicized has been his search for a new tomb in the Valley of the Kings and a buried pyramid in the Dashur area.

“We took satellite images over an area in Dashur and we could see that a pyramid is buried underneath the ground. Right now we are excavating this pyramid,” Hawass told Discovery News.

Located some 50 miles south of the Egyptian capital, Cairo, Dashur is the site of several pyramids. The best known are the “Bent” pyramid, so named because of its sloping upper half, the “Red" pyramid, named after the reddish limestone from which it is built, and the “Black” pyramid of Amenemhat III.

Hawass believes the buried pyramid might belong to a king of the 13th Dynasty (1782-1650 BC), a period marked by rivalry over the throne, with many kings reigning for a short time.

“We do not know the name of the king yet. There are many missing kings in the 13th Dynasty,” Hawass said.

At the present time, Hawass seems to concentrate most of his efforts in the Valley of the Kings, where he hopes to uncover tomb KV64.

Indeed, 63 tombs have been already discovered since the valley was first mapped in the 18th century, with 26 of them belonging to kings.

Called KV64, as it will be the 64th tomb discovered, the tomb is likely to be a Queen’s burial.

“We found some indication that this tomb could be for Ankhesenamun, the Queen of Tutankhamun,” Hawass said.

Born as Ankhesenpaaten around 1348 BC, she was the third daughter of the Pharaoh Akhenaten and Nefertiti.

She probably changed her name into Ankhesenamun when she became the Great Royal Wife of Tutankhamun, most likely her half brother, at the age of 13.

Recent DNA tests have established that the two female fetuses buried in the tomb of Tutankhamun were most likely his offspring.

The mother is not yet genetically identified, although the data obtained from KV21A, one of two late 18th dynasty queens buried in tomb KV 21, pointed to this mummy as the mother of the fetuses.

Unfortunately, the researchers were not able to identify her as Ankhesenamun.

If KV64 is indeed Ankhesenamun’s tomb, new light might be shed on the family lineage of King Tut, especially if the Queen’s mummy is found.

“I hope this will be an intact tomb for Queen Ankhesenamun,” Hawass said.

NOTE: he's been predicting the discovery of the Great Pyramid’s secret doors for 20 years now. I give him a lot of credit for keeping interest alive though he is a fervent self-promoter...Lon

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Pa. Widow Builds Vault, Could Get Corpses Back

aolnews - It looks like Jean Stevens will be reunited with the two people she loved so much that she wanted them to keep her company after they died.

The 91-year-old widow who lived with the embalmed corpses of her husband and twin sister -- until authorities found out and took them away -- is hopeful they'll be returned soon.

Workmen at Stevens' rural property outside the northern Pennsylvania town of Wyalusing have been busy the past few months, erecting a gabled building with gray siding and a white door. It resembles an oversized shed, or a smaller version of Stevens' detached garage.

In reality, it's a mausoleum that Stevens intends as the final resting place of her husband of nearly 60 years, James Stevens, and her twin, June Stevens. And authorities have told her it's the only way she can get them back.

She can't wait.

"I think about them all the time," Stevens told The Associated Press a few days before Christmas, "and I always will."

The coroner, she said, "has them up there in the cold box, which makes me shiver. He says, 'They're all right, Jean, you don't have to worry about them.'"

Stevens had their bodies dug up shortly after they died -- James in 1999, June in 2009 -- because she couldn't bear not being able to see them again. She kept her husband on a couch in the garage, and her sister in a spare room off the bedroom, where "I could touch her and look at her and talk to her," Stevens told AP last summer.

"Death is very hard for me to take," she added then.

Stevens' tale touched a chord. She estimates she received about 70 letters from around the world, most of them expressing well-wishes and sympathy. She's written back to some. One of her new pen pals mailed a Christmas package with fruitcake, mints and a holiday tin stuffed with Chex mix. "Dearest Jean," wrote her correspondent, "you've sent us a Christmas treasure, your letter!"

Stevens also knows that some people think she's strange. She laughs heartily as she leafs through a pair of supermarket tabloids that had blared her story. She says Jay Leno once cracked a joke about her.

But it's Stevens who may get the last laugh.

Bradford County authorities, who have been storing the bodies in the morgue since they took them away in June, have told Stevens she can have them back if she builds an aboveground vault.

Coroner Tom Carman said he plans to release them once it's completed.

"I want to get Jimmy and June back to her just as soon as I possibly can," he said.

Carman has struck up an unusual friendship with Stevens. He's spent hours listening to her talk, mainly about the past. "She's a wonderful lady," he said.

Stevens plans to place her husband and sister in body bags with clear panels, so she can see their faces.

The mausoleum is large enough to hold as many as eight bodies. Stevens said she'd like to transfer the remains of several loved ones to the crypt, including those of her long-deceased mother and father.

One of the spots will be reserved.

"She means to be placed there, as well," Carman said. "She's made that very clear."

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10-Year-Old Discovers Supernova

space - It may have only appeared as a tiny, glowing spot hovering over a distant galaxy, but the sight made a precocious 10-year-old amateur astronomer the youngest person ever to have detected a stellar explosion called a supernova.

Kathryn Aurora Gray of Fredericton, New Brunswick in Canada discovered the supernova explosion in a galaxy, called UGC 3378, within the faint constellation of Camelopardalis. The galaxy is approximately 240 million light-years away.

"I'm really excited. It feels really good," Gray told the Toronto Star.

Gray made the discovery on Jan. 2 using images that were taken of galaxy UGC 3378 on New Year's Eve. The supernova was then verified by Illinois-based amateur astronomer Brian Tieman and Arizona-based amateur astronomer Jack Newton, who then reported it to the International Astronomical Union's Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams.

Gray reported the stellar explosion under the supervision of her father, Paul Gray, who has made six prior supernova discoveries, and family friend David Lane, who has found three others himself. The photos of galaxy UGC 3378 were taken using a telescope belonging to Lane.

Supernovas are powerful and violent explosions that signal the deaths of stars several times more massive than our sun. These cosmic blasts are interesting to astronomers because they manufacture most of the chemical elements that went into creating the Earth and other planets. Distant supernovas can also be used to estimate the size and age of our universe.

The last supernova found in our galaxy occurred several hundred years ago, and they are considered relatively rare events. Astronomers can increase their odds of discovering a supernova by repeatedly checking and comparing many different galaxies.

A new supernova reveals itself as a bright point of light that was not present in previous observations. And, since a supernova can outshine millions of ordinary stars, it is often easy to spot one with a modest telescope, even in distant galaxies like UGC 3378.

Despite being the discoverer of this one, Gray didn't get to bestow a name on the object, which is known simply as Supernova 2010lt.

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Alien Life, Paranormal Visitors Get Official Recognition

yahoo - Extraterrestrial life and paranormal beings are moving slowly away from the fringes, as more international governments conduct official studies and even census counts of the mysterious beings.

This week, the Argentine Air Force announced it is creating a commission to document and research all reports of unidentified flying objects in the country's air space, according to the AFP.

Although not fully formed yet, the commission will bring together meteorologists, air traffic controllers and pilots in order to give a more comprehensive scope to UFO sightings and to more officially record and investigate the phenomena.

Argentina is actually behind the times, as neighboring countries Brazil and Uruguay have already conducted similar measures to investigate sightings.

European Union lawmaker Mario Borghezio took a similar approach to researching possible alien life in June, when he submitted an official request asking all EU member nations to release their documents on UFO sightings, according to AOL News. In June, the declaration had received 17 signatures.

Colombian officials are looking to the spookier side of things this week, as its Medellin undertaker William Bentacur has decided to conduct a supernatural census of the city's eeriest residents, according to AFP.

The count, which Bentacur conducted alongside four other funeral parlor workers, has already revealed at least 215 spirits living within the city limits; 23 of those reportedly showed their faces in photos and videos.

The census is far from over, Bentacur told the AFP, as residents or tourists who spot spirits in Colombia's second-largest city may email him (censofantasmas@hotmal.com) or call the funeral home to report any supernatural sightings. He expects to take a year for the project, then write a book and try and snag a documentary deal.

Ghost hunters revealed that they're a pretty dedicated bunch when in November, a group announced they will voyage across the North Atlantic in April to meet with the Titanic's spirited guests, AOL News tells us.

Titanic expert William Brower, who will go on the trip, believes that the intense emotional trauma passengers endured during the shipwreck left supernatural imprints that still exist today, nearly 100 years after the gigantic cruiser hit an iceberg and sank to the bottom of the sea.

Brower says the investigators will try to recreate the ship's last night afloat by playing the same music that the doomed passengers heard and eating the exact meal served when the Titanic hit the ice; such attention to detail, he hopes, will bring out any residual emotional impressions left at sea.

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