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Museum’s Dead Sea Scrolls Are All Forgeries



Museum’s Dead Sea Scrolls Are All Forgeries
Photo Credit: National Geographic

The Dead Sea Scrolls, the first bundles of which were discovered in 1946 in the Qumran Caves in the Judaean Desert on the northern shore of the Dead Sea, date back to the 3rd century BCE and are believed to be some of the oldest known surviving manuscripts of books in the Hebrew Bible. Are they? Sixteen fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, currently in the possession of the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, were recently studied by art forgery experts and … get ready to be disappointed … were identified as excellent fakes. What does this mean for the Hebrew Bible?

“The Museum of the Bible is trying to be as transparent as possible. We’re victims. We’re victims of misrepresentation, we’re victims of fraud.”

If this story sounds familiar, it was just last year that of the Museum of the Bible – a non-sectarian museum in theory – was informed that six of its Dead Sea Scrolls fragments were forgeries. The collection was donated to the museum by founder and CEO Of Hobby Lobby Steve Green, who refuses to say where he obtained them nor how much he paid, but it’s estimated to be millions. Now it seems that even if Green kept the receipts, he admitted to the National Geographic that he was duped by unscrupulous sellers on his entire collection of scroll pieces.

“After an exhaustive review of all the imaging and scientific analysis results, it is evident that none of the textual fragments in Museum of the Bible’s Dead Sea Scroll collection are authentic. Moreover, each exhibits characteristics that suggest they are deliberate forgeries created in the twentieth century with the intent to mimic authentic Dead Sea Scroll fragments.”

At a recent conference in Washington, Colette Loll, founder and director of Art Fraud Insights, released a 200-page report on an investigation of the Green family’s scrolls. The report shows that the museum’s fragments were leather hide parchment, which may have come from ancient Roman shoes of the era. They were coated with a shiny substance, possibly glue, which came from one source, indicating all of these forgeries were handled by the same forger – even though the Green family says they came from four different sellers. This was one slick forger … the fragments were coated with minerals from the Dead Sea caves area.

While these scroll fragments fooled a number of so-called experts, CNN reports that the real ones used 3D microscopes, infrared spectroscopy and “energy dispersive X-ray analysis” and found some pretty glaring errors. Perhaps the biggest was discovered by labs in Germany which determined that the ink was recent and lettering was applied after the fake creases and tears were made to the leather.

Does this mean all of the estimated 100,000 Dead Sea scroll fragments may be fakes? Fortunately, most of those are in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and those have undergone intense scrutiny for years to authenticate them. It’s the fragments showing up in black markets and on eBay that should be questioned.

It’s too bad these forgers don’t actually read the documents they’re copying … especially the parts about stealing and bearing false witness. And those who try to own these antiquities for themselves should remember the part about coveting their neighbour’s goods. When it comes to ancient historical artifacts, religious or otherwise, we’re ALL neighbours.

This article (Museum’s Dead Sea Scrolls Are All Forgeries) was originally created for Mysterious Universe and is published here under Creative Commons.

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Watch: Clap In Front Of The Mayan Kukulkan Pyramid & It Mimics The Sound Of The Quetzal Bird



Mayan Kukulkan Pyramid
Photo Credit: Pexels

What’s written in our history books about the Pyramids is best taken with a grain of salt. When you do your own research and look at the work of many scholars who are vested in this subject, one thing becomes abundantly clear: We practically know nothing about the Pyramids, including why they are here and who built them.

It’s fascinating that these structures were built by multiple societies, all over the world, across different time periods, and they had absolutely no contact with each other whatsoever. That alone should raise an eyebrow. Why did they all build pyramids? What were their purpose? We simply don’t know, and we only have bits and pieces of this mystery solved.

Anybody that tells you that they know how the pyramids were built is not telling the truth, because we don’t know. The great pyramid contains a number of mysteries. It weighs 6 million tonnes, it’s footprint is 13 acres, it spans more than 750 feet along each side, it’s 481 feet tall, and it took more than 2 and a half million individual blocks of stone to construct. And it’s not just large in size, it’s really precise. The great pyramid is locked into the cardinal directions of our planet, and is targeted within three sixtieth of a single degree. No modern builder would create a large building and align it to true north within a fraction of a single degree … yet these ancient civilizations did.” – Graham Hancock

There are uncountable strange mathematical anomalies when it comes to the great pyramid in Egypt. There are too many to name here, but if you’re interested in that, I suggest you check out the work of Graham Hancock. I’ve also included some information and a few links to articles that go deeper into this subject toward the end of this article. But for now, I want to focus on the Castillo pyramid at Chichen Itza (Mayan ruin).

Scientists have shown how sound waves ricochetting around the tired steps of the El Castillo pyramid create sounds that mimic the sound of the Mexican quetzal bird, a sacred animal in Mayan culture. This was actually first recognized by California-based acoustic engineer David Lubman in 1998. The ‘chirp’ can be triggered by clapping your hands at the base of the staircase and only at the base of the staircase. (source)

Below is a video demonstration of this on youtube.

How remarkable is that: The ancients could build this pyramid to make the exact sound of the sacred animal they worshipped. It’s mind-altering to think about. It’s a temple dedicated to Kukulkan, also known as the “feathered serpent.” Quetzalcoatl was also a “feathered serpent” and many scholars believe that Kukulkan and Quetzalcoatl were one in the same person.

Considered to be a mythical tale, Spanish chronicler Juan de Torquemada states that Quetzalcoatl was ‘a fair and ruddy complexioned man with a long beard.’ Another describes him as follows:

“A mysterious person… a white man with strong formation of body, broad forehead, large eyes, and a flowing beard. He was dressed in a long, white robe reaching to his feet. He condemned sacrifices, except of fruits and flowers, and was known as the god of peace…When addressed on the subject of war he is reported to have stopped up his ears with his fingers.”  (source)

Graham Hancock, one of the world’s foremost researchers into such things, gives another description from Central American Mayan tradition in his book, Fingerprints of the Gods:

“He came from across the sea in a boat that moved by itself without paddles. He was a tall, bearded white man who taught people to use fire for cooking. He also built houses and showed couples that they could live together as husband and wife; and since people often quarrelled in those days, he taught them to live in peace.”

This figure is spoken of the Mesoamerican culture.

Strange Pyramid Findings

If you take the height of the great pyramid and multiply it by 43,200, you get the polar radius of the Earth. If you measure the base perimeter of it, and multiply it by the same number, you get the equatorial circumference of the Earth.

“The number 43,200 is derived from a key motion of the Earth, which is called the precession of the Earth’s axis.” (Graham Hancock)

The 43,200 number represents the number of days in 20 epochs of precession.

“In other words, during all the centuries of darkness experienced by Western civilization when knowledge of our planet’s dimensions was lost to us, all we ever really needed to rediscover that knowledge was to measure the height and base perimeter of the Great Pyramid and multiply by 43,200. How likely is this to be an accident?” – Graham Hancock (Fingerprints of the Gods)

How on Earth did they do this? Where did this knowledge come from? There is also a lot of evidence suggesting that all of the pyramids on our planet are much older than we think.

And then we have other strange findings, like when Archaeologist Sergio Gomez discovered “large quantities” of liquid mercury in a chamber underneath the third largest pyramid of Teotihuacan (feathered servant), an ancient city located in Mexico. Rosemary Joyce, a professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, said that archaeologists have found mercury at three other sites around Central America. So this isn’t something new, but why? (source)

One explanation, outlined in research published in Science in 1975 by archaeo-astronomer John Carlson, demonstrated that a hematite object excavated at the Olmec site of San Lorenzo in the Gulf Coast of Mexico could act as a compass oriented to magnetic north if it was floated on liquid mercury. Carlson suggested that the Olmec might have used liquid mercury for this purpose. Other scholars have stated with absolute certainty that liquid mercury was used as early as 1000 BC.

In 2005, a giant pyramid complex consisting of 11 structures was discovered in Bosnia. One of the structures is larger than the great pyramid. The majority of scholars brought in to study it have little to no doubt that these are real. This complex is also associated with strange electromagnetic phenomenon, suggesting that they could have been some type of perpetual motion or energy machines. You can learn more HERE.

The Takeaway

The truth is, as Graham Hancock once said; we are like a species with amnesia. We have bits and pieces of a humungous puzzle that we are only beginning to understand now. Human history and evolution are in large part unknown, and there are so many things that challenge our current theories. From extraterrestrials to the pyramids to stories about civilizations like Atlantis, there is still so much to uncover. It’s quite clear that we have to unlearn what we’ve been taught and re-gain our thirst for knowledge to uncover any sort of truth on this matter. You will never see things like this within the mainstream, despite the fact that many prominent academic leaders are heavily vested in these subjects.

This article (Watch: Clap In Front of the Mayan Kukulkan Pyramid & It Mimics The Sound of the Quetzal Bird) was originally created for Collective Evolution and is published here under Creative Commons.

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2,000-Year-Old Scrolls From Vesuvius Eruption To Be ‘Virtually Unraveled’ With A.I.

The fragile scrolls from the ancient city of Herculaneum have been destroyed by physical unwrapping, and so scientists plan to use A.I. and machine learning to virtually read their text.

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99% Of Those Who’ve Died From COVID 19 Had Other Illness, Italy Says
Photo Credit: Getty

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. decimated the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Everything, including an invaluable library of scrolls, was lost to the inferno. According to The Guardian, however, artificial intelligence and high-energy x-rays could make these documents legible once more.

“Although you can see on every flake of papyrus that there is writing, to open it up would require that papyrus to be really limber and flexible — and it is not anymore,” said lead researcher Prof. Brent Seales, who chairs the computer science department at the University of Kentucky.

The two unravelled scrolls Seales and his team will use in their project belong to the Institut de France in Paris. In 1752, a staggering collection of 1,800 carbonized scrolls were unearthed at Herculaneum, a coastal town to the west of Vesuvius and less than 10 miles from Pompeii.

In terms of historical significance, this collection comprises the only intact library from antiquity. Most of it housed in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples. Some archaeologists believe the structure in which the scrolls were found — aptly named the Villa of the Papyri — belonged to Julius Caesar’s father-in-law.

To date, reading the scrolls has proved extremely difficult. When scientists have tried to unroll them, they’ve mostly come apart, and whatever ink is left fades after exposure to the air.

And so Seales and his team have devised a method using cutting-edge technology that doesn’t risk destroying the precious scrolls.

One of the many fragments of scrolls carbonized during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D.
One of the many fragments of scrolls carbonized during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D.

Seales and his team have already proven their mettle when they used high-energy x-rays to “virtually unravel” a 1,700-year-old Hebrew parchment that was found in the holy ark of an Israeli synagogue in En-Gedi. It was found to contain text from the book of Leviticus.

Unlike the En-Gedi scroll, however, many of the Herculaneum texts weren’t written with metal-based ink. As such, there’s no visible contrast between the charcoal or soot-based writing and the papyrus itself in x-ray scans.

That’s where the U.K.’s advanced synchrotron, which is capable of projecting light brighter than the sun, comes into play.

The facility uses electrons to produce a remarkably bright light, which can be used to study everything from fossils and airplane engines to vaccines and viruses.

Seales thinks the facility, called the Diamond Light Source, will provide key information about the Herculaneum scrolls. From there, he and his team will use a type of artificial intelligence called machine learning to detect hard-to-spot fractions of the ancient writings.

The team has been teaching its machine learning algorithms how to detect hidden ink. Once that process has been refined, Seales plans on scanning hundreds more.
The team has been teaching its machine learning algorithms how to detect hidden ink. Once that process has been refined, Seales plans on scanning hundreds more.

With the ultra-bright light, “we will immediately see the internal structure of the scrolls in more definition than has ever been possible,” explained Seales.

“The machine learning tool we are developing will amplify that ink signal by training a computer algorithm to recognize it — pixel-by-pixel — from photographs of opened fragments that show exactly where the ink is — voxel-by-voxel — in the corresponding tomographic data of the fragments.”

They’ll then apply that same logic to the still-rolled scrolls, enabling the machine to spot ink that is otherwise invisible to the naked eye.

Seales’s team has finished collecting x-ray data and are now focused on perfecting the system’s algorithms — with application expected in the next few months.

“The first thing we are hoping to do is perfect the technology so that we can simply repeat it on all 900 scrolls that remain [unwrapped],” said Seales. “For the most part the writings [in opened scrolls] are Greek philosophy around Epicureanism, which was a prevailing philosophy of the day.”

There’s a strong possibility that some of these 900 unfurled scrolls contain Latin text. Classical libraries are thought to have had both a Greek and a Latin section, but only a fraction of analysed Herculaneum scrolls were written in Latin.

University of Oxford papyrologist and classicist Dr. Dirk Obbink, who’s worked with the scroll team, can’t wait to find out what ancient literary wonders will soon be discovered.

“A new historical work by Seneca the Elder was discovered among the unidentified Herculaneum papyri only last year, thus showing what uncontemplated rarities remain to be discovered there,” he said.

Obbink hopes some of the soon-to-be unveiled texts will contain works thought to be lost forever. The ancient collection could include poems by Sappho, for instance, or the treatise Mark Atony wrote about his drunkenness. Obbink, at least, is pulling for that particular outcome.

“I would very much like to read that one.”

This article (2,000-Year-Old Scrolls From Vesuvius Eruption To Be ‘Virtually Unraveled’ With A.I.) was originally created for All That Interesting and is published here under Creative Commons.

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New Species Of Extinct ‘South American Yeti’ Discovered In Ecuador



Palaeontologists Offer New Clues to One-Ton ‘South-American Yeti’ That Went Extinct 10,000 Years Ago
Photo Credit: Truth Theory

Paul Seaburn, Mysterious Universe

Among the many theories about what a large, upright, fur-covered creature seen in various sizes and setting around the world might be, one that doesn’t get much attention is the idea that Bigfoot/Yeti/Sasquatch might be a giant sloth. Extinct for far less time than Gigantopithecus, the giant ape also considered to be a possibility, belief in the non-extinction of one or more “Oreomylodon wegneri” in deep hiding doesn’t get as much airplay. Perhaps it will now, as paleontologists working in Ecuador have uncovered remains of what they’ve determined to be a new species of the ‘South American Yeti’ or Bigfoot that adapted to mountain living. Could it have adapted well enough to live until today?

“This new species has previously unknown characteristics, especially in its wide snout, adapted so that this animal can withstand the low temperatures and the mountain climate.”

In a press release by AgenciaCTys, the Institute of media for the National University of La Matanza in Argentina, Dr. Luciano Brambilla, a researcher at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Rosario (Argentina) and CONICET (National Council for Scientific and Technical Research), announced the recent discovery of numerous skulls across central and northern Ecuador, along with bones that enabled researchers to assemble a complete body of this new form of giant sloth that conceivably crossed paths with humans before going extinct 10,000 years ago. Or did they? (Video here.) (Photos here.)

Depiction of giant ground sloth (Credit: National Park Service)
Depiction of giant ground sloth (Credit: National Park Service)

There have been reports over the years of a creature living in Guyana called the Didi – enough that an expedition by the U.K.’s Center for Fortean Zoology mounted an expedition in 2007. They heard many accounts of fur-covered humanoids, but the descriptions and reports of usage of tools led them away from the sloth towards an ape-like creature. No concrete evidence was found. Research into giant sloths in Patagonia found strong evidence that the creatures lived at the same time as humans and may have been hunted into extinction by them – with help from climate change. Specifically, a warmer climate allowed humans to hunt for longer periods and kill more giant sloths who were being driven from their hiding places by changes in foliage caused by climate change. Did the creatures in Guyana manage to survive humans AND climate change?

Depiction of white great sloth
Depiction of white great sloth

“The finding of three examples in the same place makes us think that these animals lived in herds, a completely new fact for all terrestrial sloths.”

Dr. Román Carrión, lead author of the study published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, reveals the new data which could explain alleged recent sightings. Living in groups, something new in giant sloths, could have helped them resist humans by group cooperation (then again, look what that did for the American bison), while the skulls show a unique wider snout that evolved to help them breath in more air and moisten its dryness. Was that enough to allow them to survive in areas humans could not? Could it have allowed them to escape saber-tooth tigers and other predators?

The new research is proof of the existence 10,000 years ago of the Oreomylodon wegneri. Does it prove that this is the South American Yeti? That would thrill cryptozoologists, not to mention those wondering anything will help humans and animals survive climate change.

About the Author

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as “The Tonight Show“, “Politically Incorrect” and an award-winning children’s program. He’s been published in “The New York Times” and “Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humour. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humour to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn’t always have to be serious.

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Mysterious “Bonehenge” Structure Made From Mammoth Bones Has Experts Puzzled



Photo Credit: Science Daily

A mysterious circular structure in Russia that was made from mammoth bones around 20,000 years ago is baffling experts. Nicknamed “Bonehenge”, it is located at a site called Kostenki 11 on the Russian Plain where approximately 70 bone structures have already been discovered. Kostenki 11 is thought to be the oldest of all the sites.

It is believed that the bone circle was built by Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers during the last Ice Age when temperature dipped as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 degrees Celsius) during the wintertime. In fact, the structure was built during the coldest time of the Ice Age. The last Ice Age lasted between 75,000 and 18,000 years ago with the coldest and most severe times being between 23,000 and 18,000 years ago.

Dr. Alexander Pryor, who is a Palaeolithic archaeologist from the University of Exeter and who led the study (which can be read in full here), talked about the harsh environment humans would have encountered during that time.

“Archaeology is showing us more about how our ancestors survived in this desperately cold and hostile environment at the climax of the last ice age,” adding, “Most other places at similar latitudes in Europe had been abandoned by this time, but these groups had managed to adapt to find food, shelter and water.”

As for the oldest continuous bone circle, it measured 12.5 meters in diameter (41 feet) and was built mostly from mammoth bones which included 64 skulls and 51 lower jaws. More bones were found lying inside the interior of the structure as well as in three large pits located at the edge of the circle. While the vast majority of the bones were from mammoths, there were others belonging to horses, reindeer, wolves, bears, arctic foxes and red foxes. Pictures of this structure can be seen here.

In addition to the bones, soft plant remains and charred wood was also found in the structure which indicated that people burned wood and bones as well as cooked and ate plants although the plants could have also been used for medicines, fabric, string, or even poison. Furthermore, they found evidence of tool-making projects. “These finds shed new light on the purpose of these mysterious sites,” noted Dr. Pryor.

So, who built this mysterious ring structure and why? “Kostenki 11 represents a rare example of Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers living on in this harsh environment,” Dr. Pryor stated. As for why they were living in that area, he provided an explanation, “One possibility is that the mammoths and humans could have come to the area on masse because it had a natural spring that would have provided unfrozen liquid water throughout the winter – rare in this period of extreme cold.”

The 70 bone structures were possibly used as houses and could have had people living in them for numerous months in a row but they may have been abandoned due to a lack of food and plants as the winters were especially rough during that time. The circular structure, however, may not have been used as a dwelling as not much evidence was found to suggest that humans remained there for extended periods, meaning that its purpose remains a mystery for the time being.

This article (Mysterious “Bonehenge” Structure Made From Mammoth Bones Has Experts Puzzled) was originally created for Mysterious Universe and is published here under Creative Commons.

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