stonehenge3One of the world’s most famous monuments, Stonehenge abounds in mysteries and anomalies.

Why was Stonehenge built in the first place?  Why was it radically transformed shortly before 2500 BC into a masterpiece of megalithic architecture?  What explains the intricate, changing patterns of the stones over time?   Why the extraordinary effort?

We now have answers to these and other questions, but to get to them we need to set aside preconceptions and come to terms with something that isn’t simple. Continue reading »

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Inquiring of the Dao at the Cave of Paradise

What caused ancient China’s gigantic floods?  Who was the real Yellow Emperor?  Who was Archer Yi, what was his vermilion bow, how did he target and shoot down nine of ten suns, and why were there ten suns in the first place?

We now know the answers to these and other questions about ancient China.  These answers can lead us to a new understanding of Chinese history, of the worldwide Bronze Age catastrophes, and of the history of climate change.

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Lunar Eclipse

Curiously, even though the Babylonians reported many details of celestial phenomena, the astrologers of Babylon are said not to have relied on actual observations.

According to a leading expert, “The existence of Babylonian omens for eclipses beginning and clearing in all four directions, or areas of the moon, despite the fact that a lunar eclipse will never begin on the western edge of the moon, indicates a lack of concern with observational veracity in favor of schematic order.”1

But there is another explanation that makes more sense of what the Babylonian astrologers were up to. Continue reading »

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Among the deepest mysteries of ancient Egypt sphinxis the Great Sphinx of Giza.  Researchers, both professional and amateur, have painstakingly investigated its every aspect.1  Yet key puzzles remain, above all the question of why this colossal structure, the ancient world’s largest monument, was built in the first place.

It’s not that serious researchers and free-ranging speculators have not proposed explanations.  But every theory put forward falls well short of true persuasiveness or stumbles over inconvenient facts.  Here are three anomalies a correct theory should explain. Continue reading »

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KarnakSometimes we just need to listen carefully.  Definitely in regard to Karnak.

Egyptian priests told Herodotus, a careful listener, that four times since Egypt had become a kingdom “the Sun rose contrary to his wont; twice he rose where he now sets, and twice he set where he now rises.”

This evidence, and much else, was interpreted by Continue reading »

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Roman Art (Powerpoint)


On November 29, 2010 the University of California Washington Center hosted a seminar, sponsored by UCLA, on the 2001 anthrax mailings investigation.

At the first session, attended by 45, four panelists discussed the investigation itself, with the consensus emerging that FBI had made a series of errors and that its allegations against U.S. Army scientist Bruce Ivins lacked substance.   (The case has never been tried in court because Ivins committed suicide.)   The second session, for which 25 remained, analyzed the lessons learned and the broader implications of the case, which was the largest criminal investigation in American history.   Continue reading »

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The European Economy, 1500-1650

I. Framework

  • climate: warm to 1600; Little Ice Age, 1600-1850
  • population: 1500: 80 million; 1600: 115 million, then stagnation

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caracolThe civilizations of Mesoamerica were full of mysteries.  What explains their fixation on Venus?  What led them to develop their intricate, highly precise calendars?  What can explain the little pecked-cross circles embedded in the landscape?  Why were these peoples so keenly bent on human sacrifice?  What were the Aztecs referring to when they said that this was the age of the Fifth Sun?

Fortunately, there is a skeleton key that can unlock these old secrets. Continue reading »

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[December, 2008]  No matter how deeply he or she gazes into a crystal ball, the world’s most far-sighted economic guru would not find it easy to predict the long-term outcome of the current Global Financial Crisis (GFC). So it might seem a bit premature to start drawing inferences from the collapse of renowned financial firms, market gyrations, and massive government interventions, especially if these inferences relate to the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). Nonetheless, there is a compelling reason to endeavor to do so: correctly assessing the impact of the GFC and its economic consequences on how the War can or should be fought may save us from making serious errors. Considering how many serious errors have already been committed in both the GWOT and the GFC, this seems highly desirable. Continue reading »

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9112001terrorismThe apparent misdeeds and cover-ups of the administration of George W. Bush related to the terrorist attacks of 2001 remain in historical limbo.  Neither presidents, nor the Congress, nor the media have gotten to the bottom of these tragic events.  (The 9/11 Commission Report, while providing hundreds of useful details, did not ask fundamental questions and so must be considered in effect a cover-up.)  As a result, the American public has not come to closure on the 9/11 attacks or on the anthrax mailings of 2001, nor is there a shared understanding of such a critical issue as the real reasons that the US attacked Iraq in 2003.

These failures have left the field open to wild speculations regarding these events, generally termed “conspiracy theories”, though this term obscures the crucial distinction between elaborate prospective plots involving many actors (silly in the context of an open society) and retrospective cover-ups that government officials who have made embarrassing mistakes are all too prone to engage in (very realistic and plausible).  However, it is also true that simple prospective plots involving two or three individuals can occur.

Failure to reach a full, shared understanding of major events that led to unending wars and occupations in the Middle East and Southwest Asia as well as to the undermining of civil liberties has helped to alienate Americans from their government and media, a  triumph for America’s enemies.  So we must make every effort to establish a clear common interpretation of what actually happened.

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hammurabishamash2Atop the famous stele containing Hammurabi’s Code is a depiction of Hammurabi and Shamash, the Sun god, who was also the Babylonian god of justice.  The swirling headdress of Shamash in this image might seem merely decorative, but in fact it possesses a dynamic meaning.

At the back of Shamash’s neck is an oval object that has no obvious purpose.  It appears to be attached to the coiled shape of the headdress, as if it were the head of a serpent.  But why would Shamash be wearing a serpent on his head?

To answer this question, one must become aware of the compelling new evidence for and reinterpretation of Continue reading »

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