What killed the Dinosaurs?

Sixty-five and a half million years ago, dinosaurs vanished from the earth. The fate of these magnificent beasts remains a mystery to this day. However, new evidence has recently emerged that might help solve this mystery once and for all. So, what killed the dinosaurs?

Dinosaurs & the Mysterious K-Pg Boundary?

Dinosaurs roamed the earth for about 160 million years, encompassing large parts of the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods. While the size, shape, and features of dinosaurs varied extensively, they all share one thing in common. Sixty-five and a half million years ago, all non-avian dinosaurs perished in the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, or the K-Pg extinction event. The K-Pg boundary is a layer of sediment in the earth’s crust that marks the switch from the Cretaceous Period (K) to the Paleogene Period (Pg). Non-avian dinosaur bones are never found above this layer, which indicates that dinosaurs became extinct at or before the same time it was created.

Did an Asteroid or Comet Kill off the Dinosaurs?

In 1980, the father/son team of Luis and Walter Alvarez discovered that the K-Pg boundary contained iridium, an element not usually found in the earth’s crust. After eliminating other possible sources, they concluded that the iridium most likely arrived via comet or asteroid. Although hotly contested at first, this theory later found broad acceptance due to the announced discovery of the Chicxulub Crater. The crater, located under Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, measures over 110 miles in diameter. Most scientists today believe that an asteroid or comet, measuring over six miles in diameter, impacted the earth sixty-five and a half million years ago. In the process, it created the crater and drove the dinosaurs to extinction.

The Problematic “Fossil Gap”?

However, not everyone believes the official story. These individuals point to the fact that dinosaur bones become less frequent as they approach the K-Pg boundary. Also, there is a “fossil gap” since no bones have ever been found within the boundary itself. Taken together, these things indicate that the extinction predated the impact at Chicxulub. If this is the case, then dinosaurs were probably killed off more gradually, by things such as a volcanic winter, the Deccan traps, falling sea levels, and/or climate change.

That brings us to the present. While working in Montana, a team of Yale scholars recently discovered a dinosaur bone just thirteen centimeters below the K-Pg boundary. This marks the closest a bone has ever been found to the boundary, beating the old record by twenty-four centimeters. The discovery, made by Yale anthropologist Eric Sargis and graduate student Stephen Chester, indicates that dinosaurs were still alive a few thousand years before the impact event.

“Here we have a specimen that basically goes right up to the boundary, indicating that at least some dinosaurs were doing fine.” ~ Tyler Lyson, Paleontologist, Yale University

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

The discovery is exciting and lends weight to the theory that dinosaurs were still alive at the time of the impact event. However, it hasn’t ended the debate as to what killed the dinosaurs. This particular bone could’ve easily belonged to one of the few remaining dinosaurs as they gradually became extinct. Unfortunately, without more bones there’s no way to be sure.

In March 2010, forty-one experts from across the globe reviewed evidence in the fields of paleontology, geochemistry, climate modeling, geophysics, and sedimentology. They concluded that a giant asteroid caused the Chicxulub crater, triggering mass extinctions of the dinosaurs. So, it would appear that there is a sort of scientific consensus in support of the impact theory.

But does that even matter? History is full of scientific consensuses that were later overturned. Heck, thirty years ago, no one believed that an asteroid caused dinosaurs to go extinct. Now, its the most popular opinion. Who knows what the next thirty years will bring?

Was Alexander the Great Poisoned?

In June 323 BC, Alexander the Great died in Babylon after a two-week battle against an unknown ailment. Since then, historians have blamed his mysterious death on any number of things…excessive drinking, malaria, and typhoid fever to name just a few. However, new research points to something far more sinister…poison.

The Mysterious Death of Alexander the Great?

Alexander the Great was a king of Macedon. Considered a mighty warrior, he built one of the largest empires in history. In late May 323 BC, he grew ill after a night and a day drinking with Medius of Larissa at the Babylonian palace of Nebuchadnezzar II (located in modern-day Iraq). He took to bed for the next two weeks, complaining of a high fever, liver pain, and joint pain. After falling into a coma, he never awakened. Alexander the Great died on either June 11 or June 12, at the young age of thirty-two.

Rumors of an assassination soon began and his close friends suspected a poison procured from the legendary River Styx. Supposedly, the waters of the River were so corrosive that they dissolved any drinking vessel, short of one made from a horse’s hoof. Intriguingly, while their contemporaries doubted the poison rumors, they never doubted the existence of the River Styx. Regardless, the problem with the poison theory has always been the fact that Alexander suffered for about twelve days before dying. A long-acting poison of that nature seems doubtful in those ancient times.

Was Alexander the Great Poisoned?

In August 2010, Adrienne Mayor and Antoinette Hayes, both from Stanford University, proposed a new theory that breathed life into the possibility of an assassination. Similar to the ancient rumors, they speculate that Alexander might have died from ingesting a vial of water from the River Styx.

While the River Styx is popularly known as the mythological gateway to the underworld, Mayor and Hayes believe that it is based on a real-life river, namely the Mavroneri Stream, or Black Water. The Mavroneri has a strange history and the local people were once known to avoid it, claiming that its waters caused damage to metal and clay vessels.

Mayor and Hayes further speculate that the river once held a highly lethal bacterium known as calicheamicin. Calicheamicin, which was only discovered by modern science in the last few decades, grows on limestone deposits, some of which are found in the Mavroneri. While scientists have not yet looked for calicheamicin in the Mavroneri, there may be an expedition to do so as soon as October 2011. However, we do know that drinking water containing the bacteria would result in “an agonizing death over several days, a course of events compatable with those described in the ancient sources recounting the death of Alexander.”

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

The true cause of Alexander’s death may never be known. However, Mayor and Hayes have gotten closer to unraveling it than anyone else in recent memory. If evidence of calicheamicin is discovered in the Mavroneri, it will provide additional support to the assassination theory. But the mystery won’t end there. If Mayor and Hayes are correct, than we have a whole new set of questions to consider such as: Who killed Alexander the Great?

And why?

The Mystery of Thomas Edison’s Ring

Thomas Edison is rightly known as one of the most brilliant inventors in history. After his death, he left behind a strange metal ring which was later found in his laboratory. Its purpose remained unknown…until now.

Thomas Edison’s Talking Doll?

Thomas Edison is the third-most prolific, patented inventor in American history, behind Kia Silverbrook and Shunpei Yamazaki. He is credited with inventing the phonograph, the motion-picture camera, and the light bulb.

In 1890, after many years of experimentation, development, and business warfare, Thomas Edison released a new invention into the marketplace.  It was called the Edison Talking Doll. The dolls stood about two feet high and weighed four pounds apiece. Inside their bodies, Edison installed tiny phonographs with pre-recorded cylinders. Children were supposed to turn a crank at a steady speed in order to hear a six-second nursery rhyme.

The voices of the little monsters were exceedingly unpleasant to hear – Thomas Edison

The dolls debuted at the Lenox Lyceum in New York City. One month later, production ceased due to poor demand and complaints about the easily-damaged phonograph system. Very few of these dolls exist today.

Thomas Edison’s Mysterious Ring?

That brings us back to the ring. It was discovered in 1967. Observers noticed that it contained grooves, similar to those used by a phonograph. Unfortunately, the ring was bent and damaged, making it impossible for anyone to play the recording.

That all changed recently when scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory used image analysis to digitize the grooves. It turns out that the ring holds an old recording of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” The recording, made in the fall of 1888, was originally developed for an Edison Talking Doll. However, wax records subsequently replaced metal ones and thus, the ring was never used for its intended purpose.

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

According to historian Patrick Feaster, the ring represents “the oldest American-made recording of a woman’s voice that we can listen to today.” The speaker is unknown. But until someone proves otherwise, she has earned her place in the history books as the world’s first professional recording artist.

Ark of the Covenant: Lost Technology?

The Ark of the Covenant is, perhaps, the most famous lost artifact of all time. According to biblical accounts, it contained the Ten Commandments and was used by Moses to communicate directly with God. Its ultimate fate remains an enduring mystery to this day. However, not everyone is convinced that the Ark was a mystical object. They believe that the Ark can be explained by science, specifically electrical engineering. Do their claims hold any merit?

Intriguing observations about the Ark of the Covenant

The Ark of the Covenant was a rectangular box made of wood (probably Acacia arabia), measuring about four and a half feet long, two and a half feet wide, and two and a half feet tall. All surfaces, interior and exterior, were plated with gold. A gold crown or molding wrapped around the structure. Gold rings were attached to each corner, to be used in conjunction with carrying poles. A gold lid sat on top of the Ark. On top of the lid rested opposing gold cherubims, with their wings stretching out towards each other.

According to the Book of Exodus, Moses built the Ark of the Covenant based on instructions he received from God while atop Mount Sinai. The Israelites proceeded to carry it for the next forty years while they wandered through the desert. While at rest, they stored it inside a portable, sacred temple-like structure known as the Tabernacle. The Ark performed many strange, mystical feats. To mention just a few:

Nikola Tesla’s Speculations on the Ark of the Covenant

For centuries, the Ark was viewed as a mystical object from God, beyond the knowledge of man. However, that changed on September 9, 1915, when the famous scientist Nikola Tesla published an article entitled The Wonder World to be Created by Electricity. In it, he made the following astounding claim:

…Moses was undoubtedly a practical and skillful electrician far in advance of his time. The Bible describes precisely and minutely arrangements constituting a machine in which electricity was generated by friction of air against silk curtains and stored in a box constructed like a condenser. It is very plausible to assume that the sons of Aaron were killed by a high tension discharge…

The term condenser is an older word for what we now know as a capacitor, or an electrical machine capable of storing energy. Tesla thought that the Ark generated static electricity by causing air to rub against curtains. This created static electricity which was then stored inside the Ark, turning the box into a giant Leyden Jar. But how did this work exactly?

The Secret of the Ark of the Covenant?

According to Michael Blackburn and Mark Bennett, the true secret lies within the Tabernacle (in the picture below, the Ark is in the foreground while the Tabernacle is being constructed in the background). The Tabernacle was a roofless, three-walled wooden structure. It was closed off with curtains made of different materials, including goat’s hair and rams’ skins. These curtains rubbed against each other, creating an initial static charge. As this charge built up, the entire structure along with the Ark became highly electrified. At full tilt, Blackburn and Bennett estimate that the Ark would’ve been capable of carrying a charge in the range of fifty thousands volts.

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

The theory that the Ark carried massive amounts of static electricity accounts for the oddities mentioned above. First, anyone foolish enough to touch it risked death by electric shock. Second, the enormous build-up of static electricity within the Tabernacle would’ve been more than enough to keep Moses from entering it. And third, the communications from God could be explained by an electrical discharge. In other words, when the static electricity within the Ark reached a certain level, it would’ve been able to overcome air resistance and in effect, jump from one cherubim to the other one. This would take the form of “an intense burst of brilliant light of considerable duration and power.”

It must be noted that this theory doesn’t explain everything. According to the Bible, the waters of the River Jordan parted before the Ark. Also, after being captured by the Philistines, they suffered boils, tumors, and other plagues which they attributed to the Ark. In addition, the Ark was instrumental in bringing down the walls of Jericho, acting as a sort of ancient weapon of mass destruction.

So, was the Ark a piece of ancient, brilliant technology? There seems to be a distinct possibility that this is the case. But until adventurers manage to locate it, its exact nature will remain one of history’s most enduring mysteries.

The Nazi Plot to Bomb America

In the film, Captain America: The First Avenger, the Red Skull (SPOILER ALERT) attempts to attack the United States by flying over it and attacking from the air. While fictional, the plot line bears resemblance to a real-life Nazi plot. What was the mysterious Amerika-Bomber project? And how close did it come to achieving its goal of leaving New York in flames?

The Amerika-Bomber Project?

Even before America’s entrance into World War II, Adolf Hitler was intrigued by the idea of attacking New York City via long-range strategic bombers. On May 12, 1942, a formal plan, coined the Amerika-Bomber Project, was submitted to the Minister of Aviation, Hermann Göring.

The plan was to fly planes to the Azores, refuel, and then take off again, on course for America’s east coast. Along with New York City, the Nazi’s hoped to drop bombs on nineteen strategic American targets and two additional Canadian targets. Most of these targets built aircraft parts so it seems probable that the goal of the Project was to cripple America’s air force capabilities.

Numerous planes were considered for the Project. Ultimately, the Ju 390 (pictured above) was selected for production. However, before it could be produced in mass quantities, the Nazi’s abandoned their efforts.

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

While the Amerika-Bomber Project appears feasible in retrospect, it lacked the necessary resources and aircraft parts to become a working operation. Even if it had been green-lit, its ultimate impact on the War would’ve been minimal since Germany lacked the ability to deploy atomic bombs.

The idea of Nazi’s attacking New York City seems fanciful today. And yet, it came close to reality…far too close for comfort. The Amerika-Bomber Project was put into motion, a feasible plan was developed, and an aircraft was selected. Only lack of time and intense Allied bombing raids on the Nazi supply chain kept New York City safe from flames.

(This is the third article in a three part series. Go here for Part I: Captain America and Suspended Animation and here for Part II: The Nazi Super-Soldier Program).

The Nazi Super-Soldier Program

This week’s big movie, Captain America: The First Avenger, features a fictional super-soldier serum developed during World War II. This serum is capable of turning a sickly, small man named Steve Rogers into the physical peak of human perfection known as Captain America. With the world aflame during the 1940’s, the very thought of wielding a force of super-soldiers must’ve gained strong interest from all sides. But did any of the warring nations actually attempt to create a real-life super-soldier serum?

Nazi Super-Soldiers?

The Nazi’s were deeply interested in developing a permanent master race. In 1935, they set up the Lebensborn, or Spring of Life, as a sort of breeding/child-rearing program. Some of its practices included kidnapping and “Germanizing” Aryan children from occupied countries as well as providing special breeding clinics where SS soldiers could mate with suitable, handpicked women. The goal of the Lebensborn was to create a large and lasting Aryan race who would serve as the super-soldiers of the future.

However, that wasn’t the Nazi’s only effort at creating super-soldiers. The average Nazi soldier received a regular intake of pills designed to “help them fight longer and without rest.” Surviving records show that the most pervasive pill was Pervitin, which was made of methamphetamine or as it is now called, crystal meth. Between 1939 and 1945, over two hundred million Pervitin pills were provided to Nazi soldiers.

But this was hardly a unique situation. Troops from all sides took various types of drugs during World War II, a practice that continues to this day. But Nazi scientists weren’t satisfied. In 1944, they started a top-secret program to develop a drug named D-IX. They hoped to use this drug to create temporary super-soldiers who would eventually turn the tide of the war.

D-IX Super-Soldiers?

D-IX was a cocaine-based cocktail, consisting of five milligrams of cocaine, five milligrams of oxycodone (a morphine-related painkiller), and three milligrams of Pervitin. It was first tested on inmates at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. After taking the drug, the prisoners were forced to march in circles while carrying forty-five pound packs. With the aid of D-IX, these individuals were able to march between fifty-five and seventy miles before collapsing. Highly encouraged by the results, Nazi scientists planned to supply D-IX to all German troops. Fortunately, the war ended before it could be produced in mass quantities.

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

Despite their best efforts, the Nazi’s never succeeded in creating super-soldiers. Nowadays, researchers are hard at work, hoping to achieve the same goal with different means. In 2008, DARPA announced a $3 billion dollar program to create a “metabolically dominant soldier.” If scientists have their way, someday soon super-soldiers may not be all that super…they may, in fact, be commonplace.

(This is the second article in a three part series. Go here for Part I: Captain America and Suspended Animation & here for Part III: The Nazi Plot to Bomb America.)

Captain America & Suspended Animation

In honor of the upcoming summer blockbuster, Captain America: The First Avenger, I will be devoting the next three days to some of the real-life history, mysteries, and science that underlie the film. For those of you who don’t know, Captain America is a fictional, World War II super-soldier. Based on previews, we know that part of the story involves him being frozen in a block of ice towards the end of the war, only to be revived decades later from a state of suspended animation. Is suspended animation possible? Has anyone ever experienced it?

Surviving Suspended Animation?

On October 7, 2006, Mitsutaka Uchikoshi vanished while climbing Japan’s Mount Rokko with friends. On October 31, rescuers discovered him. His organs had shut down. His body temperature had dropped to 71 degrees Fahrenheit. But despite a reported twenty-four days in the freezing cold without food or water, he still had a pulse.

“He fell into a hypothermic state at a very early stage, which is similar to hibernation. Therefore, his brain functions were protected without being damaged and have now recovered 100%.” ~ Dr. Shinichi Sato

When he was discovered, Uchikoshi’s metabolism was barely active. He was treated for “severe hypothermia, multiple organ failure and blood loss” and remained hospitalized until December 19. But he survived, apparently by entering a state of suspended animation. While astonishing, Uchikoshi’s case is not exactly unique.

Other Cases of Suspended Animation

Here are a few similar cases from the annals of history:

These cases of accidental suspended animation bear resemblance to hibernation, an activity undergone by certain animals during wintertime. Hibernation is characterized by reduced body temperature, minimal cell activity, shallow breathing, and a decreased metabolic rate. It allows animals to survive for days or weeks when food and water are difficult to procure.

Possible Breakthroughs in Suspended Animation?

But is suspended animation just a rare human response to extremely cold conditions? Or can it be induced artificially? Already, physicians use cool temperatures to reduce patient’s metabolisms. Now, many researchers believe that significant breakthroughs in human hibernation are within our grasp.

“If we could discover the genetic and molecular basis for this protection, and for the mechanisms that underlie the reduction in metabolic demand, there is the possibility that we could derive new therapies and medicines to use on humans to prevent osteoporosis, and disuse atrophy of muscle or even to place injured people in a type of suspended or reduced animation until they can be delivered to advanced medical care – extending the golden hour [when medical intervention is most effective] to a golden day or a golden week.” ~ Dr. Brian Barnes

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

The future looks bright. Even as we speak, scientists are hard at work developing drugs and treatments intended to induce suspended animation within people. These things could be used to slow cell expiration, giving physicians more time to treat fatal diseases. They could also be used to help astronauts journey to the far reaches of the universe. Someday soon, the story of Captain America’s suspended animation will no longer be relegated to fiction…it will be a part of life.

(This is the first article in a three part series. Go here for Part II: The Nazi Super-Soldier Program & here for Part III: The Nazi Plot to Bomb America.)

The Lost Treasure of Charles Dickens’s Shipwreck

On October 25, 1859, the Royal Charter crashed into rocks off the coast of Wales during a horrendous hurricane. With over 450 lives lost, it remains one of the biggest maritime disasters in history. Charles Dickens himself visited the site and wrote about it in his short-story collection, The Uncommercial Traveller. The other day, divers shocked the world when they announced the discovery of treasure while searching the shipwreck.  How much did they find? And is there more?

The Royal Charter Disaster

In late 1859, a steam clipper by the name of Royal Charter set sail from Melbourne, Australia to Liverpool, England in what should’ve been a sixty day journey. Historians estimate that it carried 371 passengers, 112 crew members, and other employees. As the ship rounded Anglesey, a force 12 hurricane struck the area.

Powerful wind slammed into the ship. Massive waves crested against its side. The crew attempted to anchor but the chains snapped. As the gusts drove the Royal Charter towards shore, the crew cut the masts and revved the steam engines. But it was to no avail. After crashing into rocks, gigantic waves, driven by one hundred mile winds, battered the Royal Charter into pieces. Twenty-one passengers and eighteen crew members, all men, survived. The rest, an estimated 459 people, perished in the destruction.

Charles Dickens & The Royal Charter

At the height of his fame, the author Charles Dickens visited the site and reported on the tragedy. His words, initially published in his magazine All the Year Round, helped memorialize the horrible disaster.

So tremendous had the force of the sea been when it broke the ship, that it had beaten one great ingot of gold, deep into a strong and heavy piece of her solid iron-work: in which also several loose sovereigns that the ingot had swept in before it, had been found, as firmly embedded as though the iron had been liquid when they were forced there. – Charles Dickens

Lost Treasure on the Royal Charter?

Recently, a team of divers led by Vincent Thurkettle announced the discovery of over two hundred artifacts as well as substantial amounts of gold dust, nuggets, and coins. It turns out that some of the passengers who sailed on the Royal Charter‘s last voyage were gold miners. At the time of the storm, they carried over 79,000 ounces of gold. Today, this treasure is estimated to be worth about $125 million dollars.

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

The Royal Charter‘s story is a sad one. Ordinary people as well as miners who’d struck it rich were on the verge of returning home after a long, two-month voyage. But with just a few hours to go, a vicious, merciless storm ended most of their lives and forever changed those of the survivors. However, it wasn’t all for naught. The destruction of the clipper led to the first gail warning system, improved weather forecasting, and the development of other safety measures.

Today, the remains of the Royal Charter lay under ten to fifteen feet of water, a solemn reminder of nature’s fury. It is believed that about twenty percent of the ship’s gold remains with the wreck. If so, then close to twenty-five million dollars of treasure, buried under a thin layer of sand, still waits to be recovered.

The Federal Reserve Conspiracy

On November 22, 1910, seven men secretly boarded a private railcar in New Jersey. Between them, they represented more than 25% of the entire world’s wealth. Under the cover of darkness, they stole away to Jekyll Island, Georgia where they proceeded to lay the groundwork for the mysterious entity known today as the Federal Reserve. What exactly is the Federal Reserve? And why is it, perhaps, the most incredible conspiracy of all time?

The Federal Reserve Conspiracy?

The Federal Reserve, or the Fed, is a bonafide, wide-open conspiracy. It was hatched in 1910 by bankers in order to increase profits at the public’s expense. In the following years, representatives of those same bankers sold it to the public as a way to protect people from the banks. It was unconstitutional at the time of its passing and it remains unconstitutional to this day.

Its actions have exaggerated the boom-bust cycle, leading to nearly twenty recessions and/or depressions (including the current one). It enabled the creation of America’s massive debt, stole money from the poor, and along the way, wiped out 96% of the public’s purchasing power. Wow!  How can such an institution still exist? The answer lies in the details. The Fed doesn’t hide its existence. But it is an incredibly complicated beast. Few know about it. Even fewer understand it.

It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning – Henry Ford

How does the Federal Reserve Work?

The Fed is America’s central bank. It is a monopoly, having complete control over the setting of interest rates and the printing of money. The Fed and its member banks generate profits by printing money, loaning this money to others, and then collecting interest on it. This is possible because U.S. dollars are inherently worthless. They do not represent claims on gold or silver or anything else. They are just pieces of paper. The only reason they have any value is because the U.S. government requires citizens to use them.

Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value…zero – Voltaire

The Federal Reserve Conspiracy: Winners & Losers?

So, the Fed is able to create as much money as it wants and profits handsomely from this practice. But printing money does not create value for the public. Instead, it dilutes the worth of existing money, causing prices to rise (this is often called inflation). This is a “hidden tax.” And like all taxes, there are winners and losers. Some of the winners include:

  • Bankers: As I already mentioned, banks make enormous profits by creating money out of thin air and charging people, businesses, and governments to borrow it.
  • Politicians: By printing money, the Fed allows politicians to spend money without raising actual tax rates.
  • The Well-Connected: Government employees and well-connected individuals and businesses are the first ones to receive newly-printed money. They are able to spend it before it loses purchasing power.

The losers include everyone else, most tragically savers, poor people, and those on fixed incomes. These individuals suffer from the hidden tax of inflation and thus, lose purchasing power that they can’t afford.

Government spending is always a “tax” burden on the American people and is never equally or fairly distributed. The poor and low-middle income workers always suffer the most from the deceitful tax of inflation and borrowing – Congressman Ron Paul

Some might forgive all of this if the Fed managed to provide a financially stable, growing economy over the long haul. However, since its inception, America has suffered eighteen recessions or depressions.

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

For nearly one hundred years, the Fed has wreaked havoc on the American economy. It has stolen wealth from ordinary Americans and redistributed it to bankers and those with connections. It has lent endless amounts of money to politicians, leading to the creation of a massive public debt. And yet, it has failed to stabilize the economy.

The Federal Reserve is a genuine, ongoing conspiracy. And remarkably, it exists in plain sight, protected by a shroud of secrecy and poor understanding amongst the general public. However, all of that is starting to change. For the first time in decades, the Fed is under real pressure, led by the efforts of Ron Paul and others. Will it survive the onslaught? Or will someone finally find a way to end the Fed?

Lost Secrets of the Ancient Physicians?

In 1974, divers discovered a 2,000 year old trading vessel near the port of Piombino in Tuscany, Italy. Fifteen years later, a medical kit was located amongst the wreckage. And just last week, DNA sequencing allowed scientists to analyze the kit’s contents and, in effect, crack open some of the ancient secrets of the ancient physicians. So, what did they find?

Ancient Secrets of Ancient Physicians

The trading vessel in question sank sometime around 130 BC in sixty feet of water. It measured about fifty feet long and was used to transport large jars of wine, glassware, ceramics, and oil lamps. However, to modern archaeologists, its most significant holding isn’t the cargo but rather, a simple wooden chest.

The chest held a variety of medical supplies, including spatulas, suction cups, a mortar and pestle, as well as one hundred and thirty-six tin-lined, sealed wooden vials. Ancient pills were found inside these vials.

The pills contained ground-up plants and herbs such as celery, onions, carrots, cabbage, alfalfa, and chestnuts. Separate extracts of parsley, nasturtium, radish, yarrow, and hibiscus were also discovered. Researchers believe that the pills were either taken orally or dissolved and rubbed on cuts and infections. Interestingly enough, the various ingredients match those recorded in ancient Greek and Roman texts.

The plants and vegetables were probably crushed with a mortar and pestle – we could still see the fibres in the tablets. They also contained clay, which even today is used to treat gastrointestinal problems. – Dr. Alain Touwaide, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

The pills represent the “oldest known archaeological remains of ancient pharmaceuticals.” And as stated by Dr. Touwaide, they were most likely used to treat gastrointestinal disorders such as dysentery and diarrhea.

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

The DNA analysis of this lost medical kit represents a significant breakthrough. It has already shed much light on the ailments facing ancient sailors as well as the treatments devised to deal with those ailments. We have only touched the tip of the iceberg of ancient medical knowledge. But as the kit and other discoveries like it yield new information, we will continue to unearth lost secrets…the lost secrets of the ancient physicians.