March has been a landmark month for fast radio bursts with three of the unexplained signals from outer space picked up by satellites, including the strongest one ever recorded. But what’s really behind the mysterious phenomena?
The bizarre blasts can emit as much power as 500 million suns but they last only a few milliseconds and arrive without any warning. This makes them impossible to predict or trace to a source.
They were first noticed in 2007 when the ‘Lorimer burst’ was discovered in archived data from 2001. Since then they’ve been detected from 33 sources in total. In a dramatic uptick, three new bursts were picked up by the Parkes radio telescope in Australia this month. The first came on March 1, the second came just over a week later on March 9 and the third followed quickly after that on March 11.
The episodes are labelled FRB 180301, FRB 180309 and FRB 180311 in accordance with the convention of naming the bursts after the date on which they occurred. FRB 180309 is particularly interesting because it is by far the strongest burst that has been detected to date, with a staggering signal-to-noise ratio of 411. The previous strongest FRB had a signal-to-noise ratio of 90 and many of the bursts had ratios of less than 20.
“The burst on 9 March was by far the brightest one we’ve seen,” Professor Maura McLaughlin, from West Virginia University, told the New Scientist.
The signals almost always occur as one-off events, with just a single burst recorded from a single location. However, on one occasion in November 2012 signal FRB 121102 repeated itself. Some researchers believe that all of them do and we have just wait long enough until we observe it.
Scientists hope such observations will help finally crack what exactly is causing the strange astrophysical phenomena, about which remarkably little is still known. As recently as last April, researchers confirmed that the signals are from outer space – before that some thought that local interference was tricking astronomers.
A widely-held explanation for the fascinating signals remains elusive. Because of their remarkable brightness, some experts believe they must be produced by incredibly powerful events.
“FRBs travel billions of years to get to us, and only last a few milliseconds, suggesting the emission mechanism is short-lived. For us to detect them clearly after such a long journey, they have also to be insanely bright,” Danny Price of SETI explained.
The leading theory suggests that they are caused by cataclysmic events like the collision of very dense objects, such as black holes or neutron stars. However, others have offered even more outlandish explanations. One study even went as far as proposing that they might be powering ‘solar sails’ on a colossal alien spacecraft.
Tyler from Secure Team, presents a credible argument that perhaps something is coming our way. Something big, biblical.
Are the end times upon us or we just know faster what is going on in the world because of our new technology? We are all getting connected through the internet and we know what is going on on the other side of the world instantly. Perhaps this new technology IS biblical. I am sure glad to have seen it happen. In the old days, 30 years ago, we had TV with a few channels chosen for us by the elites, those who know better. Look at us today.
The red dragon on both of those patches represents planet X. It is moving towards us and disrupting the orbit of the earth. It is also causing the extreme weather patterns we are experiencing now. This planet will go into a pole shift as this thing gets closer, and the satellites are probably being launched to let those in power know how long we have until this happens.
What better way to test how people would react to an actual emergency! There have also been booming noises heard all over the world. Underground digging maybe? The elite building cities underneath us? Two words: Denver Airport…..
Senior Lecturer of Particle Physics, Lancaster University
Nov 3, 2017
Particle physicists have uncovered a large, hidden void in Khufu’s Pyramid, the largest pyramid in Giza, Egypt – built between 2600 and 2500 BC. The discovery, published in Nature, was made using cosmic-ray based imaging and may help scientists work out how the enigmatic pyramid was actually constructed.
The technology works by tracking particles called muons. They are very similar to electrons – having the same charge and a quantum property called spin – but are 207 times heavier. This difference in mass is quite important as it turns out it determines how these particles interact when hitting matter.
Highly energetic electrons emit electromagnetic radiation, such as X-rays, when they hit solid matter – making them lose energy and get stuck in the target material. Due to the muon’s much higher mass, this emission of electromagnetic radiation is suppressed by a factor of 207 squared compared to electrons. As a result, muons are not stopped so quickly by any material, they are highly penetrative.
Muons are commonly produced in cosmic rays. The Earth’s upper atmosphere is constantly bombarded with charged particles from the sun but also from sources outside of our solar system. It is the latter that provide the more energetic cosmic rays that can produce muons and other particles in a chain of reactions.
As muons have a relatively long lifetime and are pretty stable, they are the most numerous particles seen from cosmic rays at ground level. And although a lot of energy is lost on the way, muons with very high energies do occur.
Doing science with muons
The particles are fairly easy to detect. They produce a thin trail of “ionisation” along the path they take – which means that they knock electrons off atoms, leaving the atoms charged. This is quite handy, allowing scientists using several detectors to follow the path of the muon back to its origin. Also, if there’s a lot of material in the way of the muon, it can lose all of its energy and stop in the material and decay (split into other particles) before being detected.
These properties make muons great candidates for taking images of objects that otherwise are impenetrable or impossible to observe. Just like bones produce a shadow on a photographic film exposed to X-rays, a heavy and dense object with a high atomic number will produce a shadow or a reduction in the number of muons being able to pass through that object.
The first time muons were used in this way was in 1955, when E. P. George measured the overburden of rock over a tunnel by comparing the muon flux outside and inside of the said tunnel. The first known attempt to take a deliberate “muogram” happened in 1970 when Luis W. Alvarez looked for extended caverns in the second pyramid of Giza, but found none.
The easiest way to use muons to investigate large objects such as a pyramid is to look for differences in the muon flux coming through it. A solid pyramid would leave a shadow or a reduction in the number of muons in that direction. If there is a large hollow void inside the pyramid the muon flux would be increased in the direction of that void. The bigger the difference between “solid” and “hollow” the easier it becomes.
All you need to do is sit somewhere near the ground, look a bit upwards from the horizon towards the pyramid and count the number of muons coming from every direction. As cosmic muons need to be somewhat energetic to pass through a whole pyramid and as our detector “eyes” are relatively small, we need to sit there and count for quite a while, typically several months in order to count enough muons. In the same way as we have two eyes to get a 3D image of the world in our brains, we want two separate detector “eyes” to get a 3D image of the void inside the pyramid.
The interesting thing about the approach of this team is that they have chosen three different detector technologies to investigate the pyramid. The first one is a bit old fashioned but offers a supreme resolution of the resulting image: photographic plates which get blackened by the ionisation. These were left for months inside of one of the known chambers in the pyramid and analysed in Japan after data taking was finished.
For the second method plastic “scintillators” that produce a light flash when a charged particle passes through them were employed. These kinds of detectors are used in several modern neutrino experiments.
And finally chambers filled with gas, where the ionisation caused by the charged particles can be monitored, were used to look directly along the direction of the newly discovered cavern.
The electronic signal of those detectors was directly phoned back to Paris via a 3G data link. Of course a pyramid with three known caverns and a large hollow gallery inside is a bit of a complex object to take a muogram of (it only shows light and dark). So often these pictures need to be compared to a computer simulation of the cosmic muons and the known pyramid, with warts and all. In this case, a careful analysis of the pictures of the three detectors and the computer simulation yielded the discovery of a 30 metre long void, up to now unknown, inside of the Great Pyramid of Giza. What a great success for a new toolkit.
The technique can now help us study the detailed shape of this void. While we don’t know anything about the role of the structure, research projects involving scientists from other backgrounds could build on this study to help us discover more about its function.
It’s great to see how cutting-edge particle physics can help us shed light on the most ancient human culture. Perhaps we are witnessing the beginning of a revolution in science – making it truly interdisciplinary.
National parks are a source of pride for Americans. They provide beautiful, wild places to explore and reconnect with nature. But unfortunately, sometimes there’s a dark side to these historic places. One of those is that since the National Park Service was established in 1916, more than 1,000 visitors have disappeared while visiting a park, often without a trace. And because there is no federal-level database tracking how many people have gone missing from these federal lands, it’s very difficult to pin down an exact number of the missing.
That’s why Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know invited former police detective and author of the “Missing 411” series and documentary David Paulides to the show. Matt Frederick, Ben Bowlin and Noel Brown talk to Paulides about all the strange disappearances, unlikely patterns and wild theories in “Missing 411″ with David Paulides.
After leaving the police force, Paulides became a cryptozoologist and published books arguing the existence of Bigfoot. While researching a national park, a local ranger expressed his concern to Paulides about the missing persons cold cases involving the National Park Service. Intrigued, Paulides began to investigate. It wasn’t straightforward because the National Park Service doesn’t keep extensive records on missing persons; it instead leaves the job to local law enforcement to track and, in most cases, solve the disappearances.
But as Paulides dug in and through endless reports and cold case files, he noticed disturbing trends. In some cases, an easy answer was available: death by falling, animal attack, exposure to the elements or illness. But there were some stories that Paulides thought defied simple explanation. People seemingly vanished into thin air – they were there one minute and gone the next. Other stories involved tracking dogs that were brought in that either couldn’t – or wouldn’t – hunt for the missing. Still other disappearances seemed to occur more frequently near areas heavy with boulders or close to berry patches.
Some people were eventually located at much higher elevations than when they disappeared. In one such case, a toddler was found 12 miles (19 kilometers) away from where he vanished, a journey that would have had this 2-year-old traversing two mountain ranges and crossing over fences and through creeks. Perhaps a person abducted the boy and abandoned him miles later? But why?
These mysterious circumstances have led some to theorize these are abductions made by Bigfoot, or some other large animal or wild man (like the Wendigo). One family recounted a story of watching a little girl walk into the forest only to vanish with no trace. Could these missing people have come upon portals to other dimensions? Some think that’s a possibility, too.
Paulides has his detractors, of course. Skeptics like Kyle Polich have worked to debunk his claims, saying the statistics show that all of these cases have perfectly reasonable explanations. Polich is right; people can die in the wilderness without help from the supernatural. But there are shades to these stories that are hard to shake.
Roughly translated, many parts of the Voynich Manuscript say that women should take a nice bath if they are feeling sick. Here you can see a woman doing just that.
History researcher says that it’s a mostly plagiarized guide to women’s health.
Since its discovery in 1912, the 15th century Voynich Manuscript has been a mystery and a cult phenomenon. Full of handwriting in an unknown language or code, the book is heavily illustrated with weird pictures of alien plants, naked women, strange objects, and zodiac symbols. Now, history researcher and television writer Nicholas Gibbs appears to have cracked the code, discovering that the book is actually a guide to women’s health that’s mostly plagiarized from other guides of the era.
Gibbs writes in the Times Literary Supplement that he was commissioned by a television network to analyze the Voynich Manuscript three years ago. Because the manuscript has been entirely digitized by Yale’s Beinecke Library, he could see tiny details in each page and pore over them at his leisure. His experience with medieval Latin and familiarity with ancient medical guides allowed him to uncover the first clues.
After looking at the so-called code for a while, Gibbs realized he was seeing a common form of medieval Latin abbreviations, often used in medical treatises about herbs. “From the herbarium incorporated into the Voynich manuscript, a standard pattern of abbreviations and ligatures emerged from each plant entry,” he wrote. “The abbreviations correspond to the standard pattern of words used in the Herbarium Apuleius Platonicus – aq = aqua (water), dq = decoque / decoctio (decoction), con = confundo (mix), ris = radacis / radix (root), s aiij = seminis ana iij (3 grains each), etc.” So this wasn’t a code at all; it was just shorthand. The text would have been very familiar to anyone at the time who was interested in medicine.
Astrological images appear throughout the book too, mostly because medieval doctors thought the positions of the stars and planets could affect health
Further study of the herbs and images in the book reminded Gibbs of other Latin medical texts. When he consulted the Trotula and De Balneis Puteolanis, two commonly copied medieval Latin medical books, he realized that a lot of the Voynich Manuscript’s text and images had been plagiarized directly from them (they, in turn, were copied in part from ancient Latin texts by Galen, Pliny, and Hippocrates). During the Middle Ages, it was very common for scribes to reproduce older texts to preserve the knowledge in them. There were no formal rules about copyright and authorship, and indeed books were extremely rare, so nobody complained.
Once he realized that the Voynich Manuscript was a medical textbook, Gibbs explained, it helped him understand the odd images in it. Pictures of plants referred to herbal medicines, and all the images of bathing women marked it out as a gynecological manual. Baths were often prescribed as medicine, and the Romans were particularly fond of the idea that a nice dip could cure all ills. Zodiac maps were included because ancient and medieval doctors believed that certain cures worked better under specific astrological signs. Gibbs even identified one image-copied, of course, from another manuscript-of women holding donut-shaped magnets in baths. Even back then, people believed in the pseudoscience of magnets. (The women’s pseudoscience health website Goop would fit right in during the 15th century.)
The Voynich Manuscript has been reliably dated to mere decades before the invention of the printing press, so it’s likely that its peculiar blend of plagiarism and curation was a dying format. Once people could just reproduce several copies of the original Trotula or De Balneis Puteolanis on a printing press, there would have been no need for scribes to painstakingly collate its information into a new, handwritten volume.
Gibbs concluded that it’s likely the Voynich Manuscript was a customized book, possibly created for one person, devoted mostly to women’s medicine. Other medieval Latin scholars will certainly want to weigh in, but the sheer mundanity of Gibbs’ discovery makes it sound plausible.
See for yourself! You can look at pages from the Voynich Manuscript here.
Scholars have started to debunk these claims about the Voynich manuscript, noting that the translation “makes no sense” and that a lot of the so-called original findings were done by other researchers.
As soon as Gibbs’ article hit the Internet, news about it spread rapidly through social media (we covered it at Ars too), arousing the skepticism of cipher geeks and scholars alike. As Harvard’s Houghton Library curator of early modern books John Overholt put it on Twitter, “We’re not buying this Voynich thing, right?” Medievalist Kate Wiles, an editor at History Today, replied, “I’ve yet to see a medievalist who does. Personally I object to his interpretation of abbreviations.”
However, this isn’t sitting well with people who actually read medieval Latin. Medieval Academy of America director Lisa Fagin Davis told The Atlantic‘s Sarah Zhang, “They’re not grammatically correct. It doesn’t result in Latin that makes sense.” She added, “Frankly I’m a little surprised the TLS published it…If they had simply sent to it to the Beinecke Library, they would have rebutted it in a heartbeat.” The Beinecke Library at Yale is where the Voynich Manuscript is currently kept. Davis noted that a big part of Gibbs’ claim rests on the idea that the Voynich Manuscript once had an index that would provide a key to the abbreviations. Unfortunately, he has no evidence for such an index, other than the fact that the book does have a few missing pages.
The idea that the book is a medical treatise on women’s health, however, might turn out to be correct. But that wasn’t Gibbs’ discovery. Many scholars and amateur sleuths had already reached that conclusion, using the same evidence that Gibbs did. Essentially, Gibbs rolled together a bunch of already-existing scholarship and did a highly speculative translation, without even consulting the librarians at the institute where the book resides.
Graham Hancock reviews the evidence and the arguments, the new archaeology and the intriguing genetic clues, to bring us closer to the truth of what really happened during this astonishing lost period in history. Hancock suggests the survivors of earth’s lost civilization, left us unmistakable clues in the form of advanced technology and ancient ruins.
Graham looks at the clues scattered around the world in ancient myths, maps and monuments and in deliberately buried time-capsules, such as mysterious 12,000-year-old sites like Gunung Padang in Indonesia and Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, these clues appear to have been designed to reawaken humanity at a time when an advanced global civilization had once again emerged. Hancock concludes his lecture with evidence that a planetary awakening is underway, the birth of a new – or perhaps very old and long-lost – form of human consciousness.
“Our citizens should know the urgent facts…but they don’t because our media serves imperial, not popular interests. They lie, deceive, connive and suppress what everyone needs to know, substituting managed news misinformation and rubbish for hard truths…”—Oliver Stone