A spokesman for Worcestershire Wildlife Trust told The Mail: “It is always possible that there is a panther, or other big cat, in our countryside but there hasn’t yet been any firm evidence to prove that they’re there.”
Werewolf stories go back centuries. The most famous was in France. The Beast of Gevaudan which killed around 300 people. Check out the documentary.
“The Iroquois, the Osage, the Tuscaroras, the Hurons, the Omahas, and many other North American Indians all speak of giant men who once lived and roamed in the territories of their forefathers. All over what is now the U.S. are traditions of these ancient giants.” 1
Did Giant humans roam Ancient America in the past? Did the Native American’s have a royal class of giant rulers entombed in massive burial mounds?
The historical record certainly seems to support this reality. Over a two hundred year period, more than 1000 accounts of seven-foot and taller skeletons have been reported unearthed from ancient burial sites in North America. Newspaper accounts, town and county histories, letters, scientific journals, diaries, photos and Smithsonian ethnology reports have carefully documented this. These skeletons have been reported from coast to coast in burial chambers, stone crypts, caves, ancient battlefields and massive mounds.
Strange anatomic anomalies such as six fingers, double rows of teeth, jawbones so large as to be fit over the face of the finder, and elongated skulls, were documented in virtually every state. Smithsonian scientists identified at least 17 skeletons that stood at over seven feet in their annual reports, including one example that was 8 feet tall, and a skull with a 36-inch circumference (an average human skull has a circumference of about 20 inches). The Smithsonian Institution is mentioned dozens more times as the recipient of enormous skeletons from across the United States.
In late 2014, an article from a satirical website claimed that a Supreme Court ruling forced the Smithsonian Institution to admit to the historic destruction of giant skeletons. It was published not long after our Search for the Lost Giants TV show that aired on History Channel. The headline read: “Smithsonian Admits to Destruction of Thousands of Giant Human Skeletons in Early 1900s.”2 The article was convincing, and this apparent exposé of the National Museum hit a chord with people. Right away, we were inundated with emails from people believing the story was real. In reality, if such a story were true, it would surely be front-page worldwide news. However, when an Internet post is mentioning a startling find and not verifying any of the professionals involved, or real organizations or institutions they belong to, one can quickly conclude that it is a misrepresentation of facts or an outright lie. Maybe someday, however, the Smithsonian will admit to the irony of this story.
The over-willingness to believe seems to be the culprit for such stories gaining life. This is the reality we have had to deal with when researching the strange case of the North American giants, as hoaxes and exaggerations were often reported as truth. This is further complicated by the lack of physical evidence, and the moral and ethical implications of investigating human remains. When the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was passed in 1990, any remaining giant skeletons and bones were removed from public display and buried according to the traditions of individual tribes.
Old postcard showing 7 ft. skeleton discovered at Serpent Mound, Ohio.
We often get asked: “where are the bones?” and we reply: “ask the Smithsonian and the Native Americans.”
Even with these obstacles, we have done our best to chase down every account to the end and to be as impartial as possible. The book Giants on Record, is not trying to be a long scientific paper but rather an assemblage of data and documents that have been hidden in libraries and local historical societies, and quietly shunned by orthodox anthropology and archaeology for over a century. The following accounts are part of this forgotten legacy, which carry implications that may someday shake the foundations of American academia.
THE SMITHSONIAN FILES
Most of the reports we have uncovered are from well-known newspapers such as The Washington Post and The New York Times, but we begin our analysis with this account from The Worthington Advance (November 18, 1897, pg.3) that describes the ethnological work of theSmithsonian Institution’s Division of Eastern Mounds, and quotes the Director of the Bureau of Ethnology at the time, John Wesley Powell. The image below accompanies the news report,
“It is officially recorded that agents of the Bureau of Ethnology have explored more than 2,000 of these mounds. Among the objects found in them were pearls in great numbers and some of very large size… It is a matter of official record that in digging through a mound in Iowa the scientists found the skeleton of a giant, who, judging from actual measurement, must have stood seven feet six inches tall when alive. The bones crumbled to dust when exposed to the air. Around the neck was a collar of bear’s teeth and across the thighs were dozens of small copper beads, which may have once adorned a hunting skirt.”
As part of the Search for the Lost Giants show, Jim and fellow researcher James Claryinvestigated the following account that had this heading:
“An Ancient Ozark Giant Dug Up Near Steelville: Strange discovery made by a boy looking for arrowheads, gives this Missouri Town an absorbing mystery to ponder.”
Highlights of the lengthy report from The Steelville Ledger (June 11, 1933)are given:
“…he turned up the complete skeleton of an 8 foot giant. The grisly find was brought to Dr. R. C. Parker here and stretched out to its enormous length in a hallway of his office where it has since remained the most startling exhibit Steelville has ever had on public view… An appeal to Dr. Aleš Hrdli?ka, anthropologist of the National Museum in Washington and celebrated authority on primitive races is expected to help. Dr. Parker has written to him, offering to forward the skull or the whole skeleton, if necessary for scientific study.”
Jim and James Clary found the exact location where the 8-foot skeleton was removed, which was from along the north wall of a cave. They met with several relatives of Billy Harmon, who all professed to the legitimacy of the find. They also found where R. C. Parker’s office once was, and ran into an old timer, who was Dr. Parker’s patient in his youth.
While reading through the microfilm at the Steelville library, three reports of the find where uncovered, including the photo that shows Les Eaton, a 6-foot man laid out next to the 8-foot skeleton in Dr. Parkers office (see image below).
Photo of Les Eaton next to giant skeleton
The Steelville Ledger also reported that the skeleton was packed up and shipped to the Smithsonian, never to be heard of again.
The San Diego giant was purchased by the Smithsonian for $500 ($14,000 in todays money) in 1895, although they later claimed it was a hoax.
The Smithsonian Institution is continually linked to giant skeletons, or at least the lack of them. Most of the reports end in something like this: “The bones were shipped to the Smithsonian Institution for further study.” This ongoing problem of the “missing bones” has become a matter of legend, as there are dozens of reports of the Smithsonian receiving artifacts and giant skeletons. Today, however, they deny their existence. We investigate this thoroughly in our book, and conclude that a cover-up may have been instigated in the late 1800s because it did not fit in with their new ideologies of ‘Manifest Destiny’ and ‘Evolution.’ Although the giants were sidelined in the early stages of scientific discovery, they were, thanks to earlier explorers of America, already in the written record.
As far back as the 1500s when the Spanish navigators were exploring the coast of the Americas, sightings of live giants were being recorded. Three captains of Spanish ships reported these taller-than-average native people on their expeditions to America, as well as Sir Francis Drake, Captain John Smith, a Smithsonian professor, and several other notable eyewitnesses.
In 1519, Spanish explorer Alonzo Álvarez de Pineda was mapping the coastline of the Gulf Coast, marking the various rivers, bays, landmarks, and potential ports, declaring that they belonged to the king of Spain. Not far from where the river empties into the Gulf of Mexico he “found a large town, and on both sides of its banks, for a distance of six leagues up its course, some forty native villages.”3 He also noted that other than giants, the tribes also had a race of tiny pygmies. Pineda described the tribes that settled near the Mississippi river as: “A race of giants, from ten to eleven palms in height and a race of pigmies only five or six palms high.” (Webster’s Dictionary defines a palm used as a unit of measurement to range from seven to ten inches, so the giants were at least 6 feet 7 inches to 8 feet tall).
On his return from Tampico to the Mississippi, Pineda unknowingly sailed right past a tribe of equally huge Texas Indians.3 A report on the Karankawas, John R. Swanton, of the Bureau of American Ethnology, describes the men as being:
“…very tall and well formed…Head-flattening and tattooing were practiced to a considerable extent.”
However it was also recorded that they:
“…do not eat men, but roast them only, on account of the cruelties first enacted against their ancestors by the Spanish.” 5
So that’s OK then!
A few years later in 1523, as the Spanish fleet discovered, dominated, and overran the Caribbean Islands, a strange report came forth via historian Peter Martyr who assisted at the Council of the Indies. The account was originally shared by a native who was Christianized and taken to Spain:
“The report ran that the natives were white and their king and queen giants, whose bones, while babies, had been softened with an ointment of strange herbs, then kneaded and stretched like wax by masters of the art, leaving the poor objects of their magic half dead, until after repeated manipulations they finally attained their great size.” 6
In early 1521, Francisco Gordillo and Pedro de Quejo undertook a secret voyage from Spain. They sailed over to America and along the Carolina coast to capture Native American slaves, and to scout out potential locations for new Spanish colonies. They managed to capture seventy members of the Chicora tribe to bring back to their homeland:
“The chiefs of the province of Chicora, a portion of what is now South Carolina, were famous for their height, which was supposed to prove their royal blood.” 7
While Gordillo and Quejo treated the enigmatic Chicora Indians with treachery, their relationships with the Duhare peoples were much more gentlemanly. This was probably because the inhabitants of Duhare were described as looking European, with red or brown hair, tanned skin and gray eyes. Strangely, for this part of the world, the men had full beards and towered over the Spanish. They did not appear to be Native American. He visited with many of the Native American tribes in the area and recorded their customs, rituals and ways of living. The report on the Duhare stated:
“Ayllon says the natives are white men, and his testimony is confirmed by Francisco Chicorana. Their hair is brown and hangs to their heels. They are governed by a king of gigantic size, called Datha, whose wife is as large as himself. They have five children. In place of horses, the king is carried on the shoulders of strong young men, who run with him to the different places he wishes to visit.” 8
The Spanish describe Datha as being the largest man they had ever seen. He had a wife as tall as him. He wore brightly colored paint or tattoos on his skin that distinguished him from the commoners.
This was all happening at the same time that the Patagonian giants (pictured below with Dr. Frederick A. Cook in 1898) were being witnessed on the southern tip of South America. For “Giants” became fashionable in the 1500s. In the summer of 1579, just north of San Francisco, Sir Francis Drake recounted his witnessing of living giants in his diary. In 1602, the California Channel Islands were ‘discovered’ by the Spanish, an area that has become a mecca for giantologists. Over 3,000 skeletons were discovered on the islands in the early 1900s, some being between 8 and 9 feet tall. Numerous mysterious reports of skulls containing ‘double rows of teeth’ were also reported on the neighboring islands.
Dr. Cook with two Patagonian giants standing at around 7 ft. tall.
DOUBLE ROWS OF TEETH
Reconstruction of skull showing double rows of teeth
Hundreds of skeletal exhumation reports across the United States have demonstrated some very unusual anatomical features. These include macrocephalic (large) skulls, elongated craniums, enormous jaws that were fit over the face of the finders, and double rows of teeth. They come from official Smithsonian reports (with one account describing a third set of teeth), newspaper articles, and letters and journals from doctors and respected members of the local community. The ‘double row of teeth’ phenomenon is what we will briefly look at here, as it has been described in multiple accounts with evidence going as far back as 6,000 years, from the area of the Canadian Great Lakes. 9
This first account from the California Channel Islands is reported in The Scientific American (Volume 6, 1862. pg.227). The finds were dated to between 3,362-8,000 years old:10
Exposing the Hidden History of Giants of the Americas
“The Indian skulls with double rows of teeth are said to have been found not only abundantly on San Clemente Island caves, but also often still on the neighboring Island of San Miguel, the San Bernardo or Juan Rodriguez of Cabrillo.”
Jim also uncovered further accounts from the opposite side of the country in New England. In The Town History of Deerfield, Mass (pg.78, 1895), Historian George Sheldon writes:
“At the foot of Bars Long Hill, just where the meadow fence crossed the road, and the bars were placed that gave the village its name, many skeletons were exposed while plowing down a bank, and weapons and implements were found in abundance. One of these skeletons was described to me by Henry Mather who saw it, as being of monstrous size—‘the head as big as a peck basket, with double teeth all round.’ The skeleton was examined by Dr. Stephen W. Williams who said the owner must have been nearly eight feet high.”
“Some 15 years ago the skeleton of an Indian Giant in almost perfect preservation was dug up in the same locality (Cedar Tree Neck), the bones indicated a man easily six feet and a half possibly seven feet high. An unusual feature was a complete double row of teeth on both the upper and lower jaws.”
“When the earth was removed from the top of the ledges east of the falls, a remarkable human skeleton, unmistakably that of an Indian, was found. Those who saw it tell the writer the jaw bone was of such size that a large man could easily slip it over his face and the teeth, which were all double, were perfect.”
“A few years ago when the highway was straightened and repaired, remains were found. When his skeleton was measured by Dr. Morrill Robinson and others, it was found that the thigh bone was four inches longer than that bone in an ordinary man, and that he had a double row of teeth in each jaw. His height must have been at least seven feet and eight inches.”
Map of New England states with tribal territories, circa 1600.
After scrutinizing the possibilities, the ‘double row of teeth’ phenomenon could be explained by there being either: 1) Literally two sets of teeth (double); 2) molars and premolars in the front of the mouth resembling ‘double’ teeth—an unusual anomaly in itself; 3) supernumerary teeth that are just occasional ‘extra’ teeth in the mouth, that could be seen as double sets of teeth, but not ‘full sets’; 4) teeth so worn down that only two roots exist that resemble two separate teeth. Further investigation clearly needs to be carried out before we can understand the origins of these unusual traits. Some accounts could be due to the parlance of the time, but it is notable that the historical record so frequently links the ‘double row of teeth’ phenomenon with giant skeletons.
ORIGINS OF THE TALL ONES
The origins of the North American giants are shrouded in mystery, but we know that they were involved in the sophisticated Mound Building cultures of the Mid-West, as the royal tombs are often found within them. There are legends that place them in the era of the Megafauna (mammoths, mastodons, sabre-tooth tiger etc.) at around 13,000 years ago. There are dozens of oral histories that revere them as gods, and sometimes as fearsome cannibalistic warriors. Great wars took place between these titans, and archaeologists have uncovered prehistoric battlefields containing oversized bones and weapons. They often possessed double rows of teeth and other anatomic anomalies; so who really were these people, and where did they come from?
This is the big question.
The origins of the North American giants are hotly debated by independent researchers, academics and skeptics, but there is now enough data to begin serious research into the subject. We cover the theories of their origins in our book, ranging from the Denisovans of Siberia to the Nephilim of the Bible Lands. There is also compelling evidence that the giants may have originated from the Americas.11
The Nephilim of the Bible are basically fallen angels. Here is a really good explanation from Dr Chuck Missler of the Koinonia Institute. Connecting UFOs with giants and the feared Nephilim.
Hundreds of creation myths and oral histories attest to this, and the giants are in stories from remote times. One example can be found in the writings of Tuscarora Indian David Cusick in his book Six Nations (1825). He states that when the Great Spirit made the people, some of them became giants. Ross Hamilton commented on this:
“It seems that the tall people at least shared the status of being the first inhabitants of Indian memory, and that the smaller-in-stature folk lived among or in proximity to them from remotely ancient times.” 12
Most people do not believe in giants, however, but rather scoff at the idea, regarding it as folklore that has been mixed up and sensationalized by newspaper journalists. We disagree, as there is ample evidence within Native American mythology, genetic data, ethnological studies, scientific reports, early excavation records, first-hand accounts, and discoveries featured in newspapers and Town History books. Now is the time for academia to take a look at this data, and to expose what really happened at the Smithsonian; for an important chapter in human history is on the verge of being lost forever.
Ross Hamilton. A Tradition of Giants: The Elite Social Hierarchy of American Prehistory. 2007.
About the Author
Jim and Hugh have been speaking at various events and hosting book launches in November 2015, including the Origins Conference in London on 7th, Glastonbury (UK) on 10th, CoSM in New York on 14th, Ashfield Massachusetts on 17th and Earthkeeper Conference on 21st-23rd in Arkansas. Full details about their work can be found at https://www.facebook.com/giantsonrecord.
Giants on Record is published by Avalon Rising Publications (UK) and is available in hardback, paperback, Kindle and other ebook formats on Amazon.com.
A handful of leftfield scientists have been trying to harness the power of gravity. Welcome to the world of Project Greenglow, writes Nic Young.
In science there exists a uniquely potent partnership between theory and engineering. It’s what’s given us atomic energy, the Large Hadron Collider and space-flight, to name a few of the more headline acts.
The theorists say: “This is theoretically possible.” The engineers then figure out how to make it work, confident the maths is correct and the theory stands up.
These camps are not mutually exclusive of course. Theorists understand engineering. Engineers draw on their deep understanding of the theory. It’s normally a pretty harmonious, if competitive, relationship.
Yet occasionally these two worlds collide. The theorists say something is just not possible and the engineers say: “We’re going to try it anyway – it’s worth a shot.”
There is one field of science where just such a contest has been raging for years, perhaps the most contentious field in all science/engineering – gravity control.
When, in the late 1980s, the aerospace engineer Dr Ron Evans went to his bosses at BAE Systems and asked if they’d let him attempt some form of gravity control, they should probably have offered him a cup of tea and a lie down. Gravity control was a notion beloved of science fiction writers that every respectable theoretical physicist said was impossible.
Project Greenglow and the battle with gravity.
Project Greenglow: The Quest For Gravity Control – written and directed by Nic Young – is a Horizon programme, broadcast at 20:00 GMT on BBC Two, 23 March – catch up on BBC iPlayer
As Evans himself admits, it was a tough sell. “Let’s be clear – there were many people in the company who felt we shouldn’t do it because we made aeroplanes and this was highly speculative.” Pushing against gravity with wings and jets was BAE’s multi-billion pound business, why dabble in scientific heresy? Because, as Evans puts it: “The potential was absolutely enormous. It could totally change aerospace.”
If it was possible to make gravity push instead of pull, they would have a potentially infinite – and free – source of propulsion. It would put BAE Systems at the forefront of the greatest technological breakthrough since the invention of powered flight. It might just be worth a small punt.
They asked Evans to go away, consult with his colleagues and come up with some concepts. He brought them a drawing of a vertical take-off plane, powered by an as-yet non-existent “gravity engine”.
He worried it didn’t look visionary enough, so he asked the artist to add some green rays emanating from the plane – a green glow. When Evans’s bosses decided to give him a small budget and an office, Project Greenglow was born. “It was incredible, everyone was captivated by what we were trying to do. We were overwhelmed.”
One of the original sketches for Project Greenglow
Evans soon discovered he was able to call on engineers at leading UK universities to help with the research, and it wasn’t just academic curiosity. Like BAE, everyone was looking for the next propulsion paradigm. Wings and jets had reached their limits.
In the US, Nasa aerospace engineer Marc Millis began a parallel project – the Breakthrough Physics Propulsion Program. Nasa had committed to getting beyond the solar system within a generation, but knew conventional rockets would never get them there.
According to Millis: “If you wanted to go to our nearest neighbouring star, and say you want to do it in 50 years, you’re having to go at a tenth of the speed of light. Well, the amount of propellant you’d need for that journey is about the mass of our entire sun. We needed something radically different.” Like Evans, Millis was told: “To think radical, and think big.”
Out of the blue, a Russian chemist called Dr Eugene Podkletnov claimed he’d stumbled on the answer by accident. By using rapidly spinning superconductors Podkletnov claimed he’d managed to create a “gravity shield”.
Around the world, gravity labs like Greenglow and Nasa jumped on the news and tried to replicate Podkletnov’s “breakthrough”. They failed.
In Dresden, Dr Martin Tajmar was given the funds to thoroughly test every possible avenue. Germany’s space programme was just as hungry as the US’s for a breakthrough. “Anti-gravity is a kind of synonym for saying, ‘I’m trying to do the impossible, yeah’. But always be ready for the surprise,” says Tajmar.
Yet to theorists like Dr John Ellis, at Cern, it was no surprise when nothing came of it: “So this guy had the idea that by messing around with superconductors he could change the strength of the earth’s gravitational field? Crap!”
Martin Tajmar of Dresden University
Further Podkletnov breakthroughs went the way of the first and there was no shortage of theoretical physicists to point out the reasons.
First of all, there was the big, big problem of scale. As Dr Clifford Johnson from the University of Southern California puts it: “We tend to think of gravity as very strong – after all it’s what binds us to the earth. But actually of all the forces we know in nature, gravity’s the weakest.
“Let me give you a number. It’s 10 to the power 40 times weaker than electromagnetism, that’s a one with 40 zeros after it!” It seemed that even if one could manipulate gravity in the lab, there was almost nothing there to create any meaningful effect.
In short, to alter the gravity of a planet, you need the mass of another planet.
USC’s Cliff Johnson: “Of all the forces we know in nature, gravity’s the weakest”
Yet just when it seemed the engineers were running out of ideas, it was theoretical physics which threw them a lifeline.
Recently it was discovered that the universe was not just expanding, but accelerating in its expansion, and suddenly the theorists had some explaining to do. According to Dr Tamara Davis from Queensland University: “Something’s accelerating the galaxies away from each other. Gravity appears to be ‘pushing’.”
Some theorists are now breaking ranks to offer radical explanations, among them Dr Dragan Hajdukovic at Cern, who has developed a theory that gravitational polarity does exist. He says: “So far, we believe that gravity’s only a force of attraction. It may be that gravity can also be a force of repulsion but not between matter and matter but between matter and anti-matter.”
It’s a theory Cern is gearing up to test next year. If Hajdukovic can show that anti-matter particles fall “upwards”, he not only opens the way to some form of demonstrable anti-gravity on earth, he almost certainly wins a Nobel prize into the bargain.
Yet even if he is proved right, harnessing such a phenomenon in any practical sense could be beyond our engineering capability.
What is Gravity
What is gravity
Newton’s law of gravitation states that any particle of matter in the universe attracts any other with a force varying directly as the product of the masses and inversely as the square of the distance between them (expressed in the equation above)
Isaac Newton put forward the law in 1687 and used it to explain the observed motions of the planets and their moons
Newton’s law was superseded by Einstein’s general theory of relativity, but it is still considered accurate enough for most small calculations
Other even more outlandish proposals are now on the table. For example one idea championed by Tajmar is to use a purely conceptual substance – “negative mass”. Theoretically when negative mass is brought into proximity with positive mass it would create a powerful repulsive force – an infinitely accelerating drive, or to borrow from Star Trek, a warp drive.
Johnson is quick to point out the theoretical problems – it would effectively invert Einstein’s accepted model of universal space-time and create a runaway physics nightmare. Davis’s objection is more practical: “[You had] better hope the people you want to visit in your warp-drive spacecraft are people you don’t like because you’d annihilate them in the process of getting there.”
Now there are theories of how anti-gravity might work, it’s the engineers who seemingly cannot provide practical ways to bring them to life.
Ron Evans retired when Project Greenglow was finally wound up in 2005, with no practical form of gravity control on offer. Yet the story does not quite end there.
One device survived, almost unnoticed, from the Greenglow days – a propellant-less electromagnetic or EmDrive, created by British aerospace engineer Roger Shawyer.
What sets the EmDrive apart from other concepts? As Shawyer puts it: “We’re no longer looking to control gravity itself. We’re beating gravity the smart way.” Because the EmDrive actually appears to do something. In tests, it seems to move under its own steam.
Roger Shawyer with the EmDrive
Shawyer claims his concept uses a known property of microwave energy called “cut-off” to generate thrust. According to Shawyer, the conical shape of the closed box causes the microwaves to effectively stop at one end of the cavity, while continuing to vibrate against the other, creating a difference in pressure.
With a solar power supply, Shawyer claims he would be able to accelerate the EmDrive in any direction almost continually. “You would suddenly have a lift engine, which simply hovers there, or indeed accelerates upwards. So you can envisage launching large payloads into space on an EmDrive-driven space plane.”
The theorists are deeply sceptical of these claims because the EmDrive seems to defy Newton’s law of conservation of momentum. John Ellis at Cern is particularly scathing: “With the EmDrive, unlike a rocket, nothing comes out of it. So I don’t see how you can generate momentum out of nothing.”
Yet engineers like Ron Evans are predictably unrepentant: “My view is, who cares? It’s the experiment that counts. If the experiment works, it’s up to the theoretical people to put a theory round why it works.”
The experiments and the debates continue. Meanwhile, Boeing has apparently licensed its own version of the EmDrive and the Pentagon has shown a keen interest.
As the saying goes – watch this space.
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Now here’s a strange video of ‘something’ defying gravity. What do you think it is? Alien, apparition, fake?
By News from Elsewhere…
…as found by BBC Monitoring
Contractors at a site in southern New Zealand have made an unexpected find while digging a trench – dozens of bones belonging to a long-extinct species of giant bird.
Workers spotted the bones during excavations in an area of South Canterbury which was once swamp land, the Stuff.co.nz website reports. They’ve been identified as belonging to a female South Island giant moa, an enormous flightless bird which roamed the area for millennia. One of the bones is thought to belong to a smaller male moa.
Stumbling upon moa bones is increasingly rare, according to South Canterbury Museum director Philip Howe. “This is quite a significant find because in this day and age we’re not finding moa bones all round the place like people did maybe 100 years ago,” he tells the site. “A discovery is quite a chance thing – it’s not something you can just hope to go out and find.”
Project manager Dave Sutton says the small size of the trench dug by his team made the discovery even more unlikely. “It’s not every day you dig a hole and find a moa,” he says. “Only one small hole and this is the result.”
Among the nine species of moa, the largest stood at about 2m (6.5ft) tall and weighed a whopping 250kg (550lb), while others were closer to the size of a turkey. Unlike other flightless birds, moa had lost all trace of ever having wings. They were hunted to extinction after Polynesian colonists arrived in New Zealand around AD1300.
How the newly excavated moa met their end isn’t clear. But Mr Howe says finding remains of both a male and female “begs the question: was this the tragic outcome of a Sunday picnic at the swamp with the moa family?”
Moa, extinct or not?
The moa is thought to have been eaten to extinction by New Zealand’s Maori people. But there are those who disagree. Like the people who claim to have seen one. Here’s a story of two me who claim to have seen a moa on New Zealand’s South Island.
A FISH with wings, creepy green eyes and a nose like a wizard’s hat has been branded an alien after being caught by a shocked fisherman. From the Daily Star
Evil eyed alien fish?
The slimy black creature, which has a ridge of pointed quills on its back, was spotted among the day’s catch and photographed. It’s the latest in a series of strange finds in the world’s oceans and comes after another fish was found with legs.
A terrifying new species of shark – with a pitch black body – has also been discovered in the depths of the sea. The newest find was caught 30 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, by a fishing vessel. When a crew member posted a picture of it online, the fish was described as an alien by Reddit users. “Wow, it looks like an link in evolution,” wrote one person. “What is that birdfish?” Another posted: “We don’t need no stinkin’ aliens – we already got them!”
But other eagle-eyed commenters identified the fish as a black long-nosed chimaera. Chimaeras, which are related to sharks, are usually found between 8,500ft and 660ft deep. Reddit user McGuire72, who posted his photo of the creature online, said it was thrown back in the ocean. He wrote: “Unfortunately, from what I’ve read here, he’s a deep-sea fish and likely didn’t survive to get back down to the bottom.” This from National Geographic Kids.
Want more underwater mysteries?
Check this out from the Animal X Natural Mystery Unit. A one hour special on monsters of the deep. Ever hear of the Bloop? or the Welsh sea monster? What about the Monster of San Francisco Bay?
The Northern Lights are one of the most spectacular natural phenomena.
The night sky is lit up by the most amazing colours.
WHAT ARE NORTHERN LIGHTS?
The bright dancing lights of the aurora are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere.
The lights are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres. They are known as ‘Aurora borealis’ in the north and ‘Aurora Australis’ in the south.
Auroral displays appear in many colours although pale green and pink are the most common. Shades of red, yellow, green, blue, and violet have been reported.
The lights appear in many forms from patches or scattered clouds of light to streamers, arcs, rippling curtains or shooting rays that light up the sky with an eerie glow.
WHAT CAUSES THE NORTHERN LIGHTS?
The Northern Lights are actually the result of collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere. Variations in colour are due to the type of gas particles that are colliding.
The most common auroral color, a pale yellowish-green, is produced by oxygen molecules located about 60 miles above the earth. Rare, all-red auroras are produced by high-altitude oxygen, at heights of up to 200 miles. Nitrogen produces blue or purplish-red aurora.
The connection between the Northern Lights and sunspot activity has been suspected since about 1880.
Thanks to research conducted since the 1950’s, we now know that electrons and protons from the sun are blown towards the earth on the ‘solar wind’. (Note: 1957-58 was International Geophysical Year and the atmosphere was studied extensively with balloons, radar, rockets and satellites.
Rocket research is still conducted by scientists at Poker Flats, a facility under the direction of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks – see web page http://www.gi.alaska.edu/
The temperature above the surface of the sun is millions of degrees Celsius. At this temperature, collisions between gas molecules are frequent and explosive.
Free electrons and protons are thrown from the sun’s atmosphere by the rotation of the sun and escape through holes in the magnetic field. Blown towards the earth by the solar wind, the charged particles are largely deflected by the earth’s magnetic field.
However, the earth’s magnetic field is weaker at either pole and therefore some particles enter the earth’s atmosphere and collide with gas particles. These collisions emit light that we perceive as the dancing lights of the north (and the south).
The lights of the Aurora generally extend from 80 kilometres (50 miles) to as high as 640 kilometres (400 miles) above the earth’s surface.
Scientists say this fossil dates back 90 million years
Amber-trapped lizard fossils reveal ‘lost world’
By Helen Briggs BBC News
Lizards locked in amber for 99 million years give a glimpse of a “lost world”, say scientists.
The ancient reptiles are preserved in “superb detail” down to scales of skin, the tip of a tongue and tiny claws.
Two of the fossils are related to modern-day chameleons and geckos, revealing how features such as sticky toe-pads evolved.
The lizards inhabited tropical forests in what is now Myanmar during the Mid-Cretaceous Period.
Researchers in the US have published their assessment of the specimens in the journal Science Advances.
“The fossilised amber provides a view into a lost world, revealing that the tropics of the Mid-Cretaceous contained a diverse lizard fauna,” Dr Edward Stanley of the Florida Museum of Natural History told BBC News.
Claw of lizard
Some of the lizards are representatives of modern groups such as geckos, while others have no modern equivalent and eventually died out.
One of the fossils appears to be a transitional form between the “standard” lizard form and chameleons, said Dr Stanley.
“This ‘missing-link’ is roughly 80 million years older than the next oldest chameleon fossil, and shows that features like the chameleon’s projectile tongue was present deep in its ancestry,” he added.
“But its strange fused toes (adaptations for climbing along branches) evolved later.”
Snapshot of the past
The amber fossils were obtained by private collectors and were acquired by museums in the US. They have now been collated and studied for the first time.
“They provide details of external morphology, which is something that is pretty rare to find,” said Juan Diego Daza, of Sam Houston State University in Texas, who led the research.
“These fossils represent most of the diversity of lizards with a superb amount of detail.”
The whole picture
Soft tissues and internal organs – as well as bones – can persist in amber for millions of years.
“We can pretty much see how the animals looked when they were alive,” explained Prof Daza.
“They provide a really nice snapshot of the past. To me it is like going back in time and doing a lizard collecting trip when we can see what these animals looked like.”
Some of the smaller specimens are whole lizards but others are fragments of animals.
Together, they could resolve some of the gaps in the family tree between ancient reptiles and their modern relatives.
From one of the smallest and oldest to one of the largest
Ever heard of the Megalania?
Megalania is a giant lizard that used to live in Australia. Part of the Mega Fauna that used to roam the continent. In fact it was the largest land-living carnivorous lizard that ever walked the the planet. It was top of the food chain in Australia.
Megalania has been extinct for tens of thousands of years.
It’s not the sort of animal you’d like to meet on a dark night, or bright day for that matter.
But one man from Sydney Australia claims to have come across one in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney.
Reg Gilroy, a fossil hunter, claims one day while walking in the bush he came across a megalania. He wasn’t the only one. As this story says.