; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Friday, October 28, 2011

Just the Facts? Blackbeard's Cannon Retrieved -- Charles and Vlad...Blood Brothers -- New 'End Times' Scenario

Blackbeard's cannon retrieved

A one-ton cannon from the wreck of Blackbeard's pirate ship has been raised from the seabed after nearly 300 years.

The cannon was onboard the Queen Anne's Revenge which ran aground and sank off the coast of North Carolina in 1718.

Blackbeard, whose real name was thought to be Edward Teach, became one of the world's most notorious and feared pirates as he roamed seas around the West Indies and the east coast of the American colonies.

The British pirate's reign of terror only lasted two years before the Royal Navy was sent out to sea to capture him.

He was eventually killed in a battle with Lieutenant Robert Maynard who cut off his head and hung it from the bow of his ship as a warning to other pirates.

When Blackbeard died he took the secret of where his treasure was hidden with him.

The Queen Anne's Revenge was found in 1996 and over 250,000 artifacts have already been recovered from it.

The cannon will be put on public display for one day before it is taken to a laboratory for tests.

After almost three centuries underwater, the cannon has become encrusted in sand, barnacles, salt and shells.

Blackbeard has inspired books and films over the years.

Parallels have been drawn between his character and Captain Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp, in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. - sky

Blackbeard: Or: The Pirate of Roanoke

Blackbeard: The Real Pirate of the Caribbean

Blackbeard's Secrets


Charles and Vlad...blood brothers

The truth is out: Prince Charles is related to Vlad the Impaler.

The heir to the British throne says he is related to Vlad the Impaler, the cruel 15th-Century Romanian warlord who helped inspire Bram Stoker's 1897 vampire novel "Dracula."

He makes the comments on an upcoming TV show to promote his interest in protecting the forests of Romania's Transylvania region.

Charles says genealogy shows that he is related to Vlad, giving him a stake in the future of Romania. The prince has long worked to conserve the forests and has bought a home in the region.

On a visit to Romania earlier this year, he called Transylvania a national treasure because of its unspoiled landscape and centuries-old rural farming traditions. - THP

Vlad Dracula: The Dragon Prince

Vlad the Impaler: The Man Who Was Dracula


A plausible end-of-the-world scenario you’ve probably never thought of

You've seen the world end with fire, earthquakes, and WTF in movies like 2012 and The Core. But to find out about truly horrific, plausible scenarios you need to ask a scientist. We talked to Cal Tech's Joe Kirschvink, a geobiologist who studies the ancient history of life — and mass death. He gave us a nightmare scenario where one evolutionary shift in ocean microbes leaves humans unable to breathe.

Kirshvink is an expert in one of the most dramatic transformations that's ever shaken our planet. You may not realize this, but for almost 2 billion years of the 4.5 billion year history of Earth, our planet's atmosphere was dominated by methane and other greenhouse gases. There was no free oxygen, and therefore no life as we know it could survive. But then, about 2.35 billion years ago, microbes called cyanobacteria — also known as blue-green algae — began to produce free oxygen as a byproduct of the photosynthesis process. The algae did this by breaking apart water molecules during their digestive process, freeing the O (oxygen) from H2O (water).

As a result, these cyanobacteria poisoned the world. At least, that's how it would have seemed to all the microbes around them, known as stromatolites, who breathed methane. Suddenly, all this oxygen was in the air and the stromatolites began to die out. Eventually the oxygen-based atmosphere allowed life as we know it (including humans) to evolve. Over the dead bodies of those methane-breathing stromatolites.

So that's the backstory. The thing is, we really aren't sure what caused the cyanobacteria to start photosynthesizing and throwing off all that free oxygen in the first place. And there's no reason such an evolutionary shift couldn't happen again, with equally disastrous results for all life on Earth.

"Here's my nightmare scenario," Kirschvink began. "And it really is a nightmare. It's chemically unreasonable. But I suppose the microbes living 2.35 billion years ago would have said the same things about oxygen." Warming to the topic, he spun out microbial death tale. "Let's say that there's some damn diatom that learns to grab a photon and take salt," he mused. Instead of grabbing a photon and taking H2O like the cynaobacteria, this microbe takes salt from the ocean waters instead. Salt, if you recall your basic chemistry, is NaCl, or sodium chloride. The diatom breaks this in half, leaving a sodium metal which Kirschvink says it could store in "a little organelle." And instead of releasing free oxygen as a byproduct, this new diatom releases chlorine gas — a deadly poison.

"You have chlorine gas poisoning the atmosphere," Kirschvink concludes. "It would do to us what oxygen did to those juicy stromatolites." Could such a scenario come to pass? "It's just one small change in the metabolic pathways" of the diatom, Kirschvink noted. Of course, there is no known evolutionary advantage to such a shift taking place. But then again, there is no known advantage to cyanobacteria developing a metabolism that farted out oxygen 2.35 billion years ago, either.

Next time you're looking for a doomsday scenario, consider the humble diatom. - io9

How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times

The Source Field Investigations: The Hidden Science and Lost Civilizations Behind the 2012 Prophecies

Beyond 2012: Catastrophe or Awakening?: A Complete Guide to End-of-Time Predictions



My friend Chris Halton from Haunted Earth returns to the haunted airfield. Chris notes..."As an investigation this was beyond any doubt a most memorable occasion and we hope you will enjoy this special for Halloween by `liking` on Haunted Earth Paranormal Television and on this blog.

We have new investigations coming up soon, and the possibility of investigating a private home with a very active and unpleasant poltergeist.

Happy Halloween from all of us here at Haunted Earth TV!"

You won't want to miss this one...another fantastic production!

Click for video

The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories

Ghosts and Earthbound Spirits: Recognise and Release the Spirits Trapped in this World

Complete Ghost Stories of M.R. James