Monday, October 31, 2011

Dead man walking? Hunters' camera captures ghostly image

CONECUH COUNTY, Alabama -- Zach Davis spent that warm Saturday afternoon working on land he hunts, then about 4 p.m. joined his father-in-law watching deer come and go from a food plot until sundown.
Nothing seemed unusual, he said, until he saw the photograph snapped by a game camera.
Checking the digital pictures the next day, he said, he was startled by the ghostly image captured at the spot he had watched.
"At first I thought it might be me, from when we were working — but we were wearing camo head-to-toe," Davis said. "I looked at the time stamp, and we were sitting out there watching, and we never saw it."
The image is unmistakably a man in khakis and a plaid shirt, though it appears blurred from motion.
Davis, 26, and a Conecuh County Sheriff’s employee, said folks around L-Pond are saying it’s the ghost of Pot Weaver, who lived on the property until his death in 1984. Others say it could be his brother Horace, who died in a log truck accident years ago.
Davis said he checked the camera’s time settings, and they were right. The time stamp on the image in question showed the date and 5:12 p.m.
"We went right over and looked for footprints, and there weren’t any on the ground. I remember about that time the wind was blowing pretty hard, and deer on the food plot got spooked by something and ran."
Davis said he checked the photos before and after that frame to see if somehow another image was transferred, but the other shots showed only deer or the landscape. Since then, he said, there have been images with spots of bright glowing light, but nothing like the first one.
A friend took the image to a local business to see if photographic enhancement would help, but it only raised more questions, he said.
"It’s looking right dead at the game camera," he said, "like it knew it had gone off. It flashes a red light when it takes a picture. We never saw or heard anything."
Davis said the old house where Pot Weaver lived still sits nearby, with most of his belongings still there.
Peggy Sue Weaver, Davis’ mother, said Pot Weaver used to walk through the area on his way to feed his dogs every day. Weaver’s husband is a relative of the family who lived at the old place.
Her son picked Pot Weaver out of an old family photograph as looking most like the ghostly image, she said.
"It was shot with that game camera," said Weaver. "If we found it was faked, I’d be the first to say so. But it seems like the more we try to prove it’s not a ghost, the more questions we find."
It seems spooky, she said, enough to keep her away from the food plot. Others, she said, are more skeptical.
Davis said he’s not afraid to go back and hunt the spot.
"I figure if it didn’t do anything to us that day, it won’t ever," he said. " My father-in-law and I would have seen it if it was meant for us to see."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Have Scientists Found Irrefutable Evidence of Siberian Yeti?

Tracks — check. Probable den — check. Hair sample — check.

Supposed footprint left by a yeti.

To a group of international scientists, this all of this adds up to “irrefutable evidence of the existence of the Yeti in Mountainous Shoria,” according to a release from the Kemerovo administration (via Huffington Post). The release goes on to say the researchers are 95 percent sure of the existence of a yeti in the Kemerovo region of Siberia, based on the evidence they found.

According to PhysOrg, a group of scientists from the United States, Canada and other countries, set out at the invitation of Kemerovo’s governor to find the yeti and then reconvened to share their evidence and stories:

“They found his footprints, his supposed bed, and various markers with which the yeti marks his territory,” the statement said. The collected “artifacts” will be analysed in a special laboratory, it said.

Yetis, or Abominable Snowmen, are hairy ape-like creatures of popular myth, that are generally held to inhabit the Himalayas.

But some believe Russia also holds a population of yetis, which it calls Snow Men, in remote areas of Siberia.

Could These Be the Oldest Surviving Christian Documents?

They could be the earliest Christian writing in existence, surviving almost 2,000 years in a Jordanian cave. They could, just possibly, change our understanding of how Jesus was crucified and resurrected, and how Christianity was born.

A group of 70 or so "books", each with between five and 15 lead leaves bound by lead rings, was apparently discovered in a remote arid valley in northern Jordan somewhere between 2005 and 2007.

A flash flood had exposed two niches inside the cave, one of them marked with a menorah or candlestick, the ancient Jewish religious symbol.

A Jordanian Bedouin opened these plugs, and what he found inside might constitute extremely rare relics of early Christianity.

That is certainly the view of the Jordanian government, which claims they were smuggled into Israel by another Bedouin.

The Israeli Bedouin who currently holds the books has denied smuggling them out of Jordan, and claims they have been in his family for 100 years.

Jordan says it will "exert all efforts at every level" to get the relics repatriated.

Incredible claims

The director of the Jordan's Department of Antiquities, Ziad al-Saad, says the books might have been made by followers of Jesus in the few decades immediately following his crucifixion.

"They will really match, and perhaps be more significant than, the Dead Sea Scrolls," says Mr Saad.

"Maybe it will lead to further interpretation and authenticity checks of the material, but the initial information is very encouraging, and it seems that we are looking at a very important and significant discovery, maybe the most important discovery in the history of archaeology."

The texts might have been written in the decades following the crucifixion

They seem almost incredible claims - so what is the evidence?

The books, or "codices", were apparently cast in lead, before being bound by lead rings.

Their leaves - which are mostly about the size of a credit card - contain text in Ancient Hebrew, most of which is in code.

If the relics are of early Christian origin rather than Jewish, then they are of huge significance.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Google Puts the Dead Sea Scrolls Online

Now, anyone around the world can view, read and interact with five digitized Dead Sea Scrolls. The high resolution photographs, taken by Ardon Bar-Hama, are up to 1,200 megapixels, almost 200 times more than the average consumer camera, so viewers can see even the most minute details in the parchment. For example, zoom in on the Temple Scroll to get a feel for the animal skin it's written on—only one-tenth of a millimeter thick.

You can browse the Great Isaiah Scroll, the most well known scroll and the one that can be found in most home bibles, by chapter and verse. You can also click directly on the Hebrew text and get an English translation. While you’re there, leave a comment for others to see.

The scroll text is also discoverable via web search. If you search for phrases from the scrolls, a link to that text within the scroll viewers on the Dead Sea Scrolls collections site may surface in your search results. For example, search for [Dead Sea Scrolls "In the day of thy planting thou didst make it to grow"], and you may see a link to Chapter 17:Verse 11 within the Great Isaiah Scroll.

This partnership with The Israel Museum, Jerusalem is part of our larger effort to bring important cultural and historical collections online. We are thrilled to have been able to help this project through hosting on Google Storage and App Engine, helping design the web experience and making it searchable and accessible to the world. We’ve been involved in similar projects in the past, including the Google Art Project, Yad Vashem Holocaust photo collection and the Prado Museum in Madrid. We encourage organizations interested in partnering with us in our effort to archive historical collections to enter their information in this form. We hope you enjoy visiting the Dead Sea Scrolls collection online, or any of these other projects, and interacting with history at your fingertips.

See The Scrolls Here