Monday May 14 11:59 AM ET

Explorers Comb Cuban Seas for Treasure, Mysteries

By Andrew Cawthorne


Most intriguingly, researchers using sonar equipment have discovered, at a depth of about 2,200 feet, a huge land plateau with clear images of what appears to be urban development partly covered by sand. From above, the shapes resemble pyramids, roads and buildings.

ADC is excited but reluctant to speculate until a joint investigation with the Cuban Academy of Sciences and the U.S. National Geographic Society takes place early this summer.

``It is stunning. What we see in our high-resolution sonar images are limitless, rolling, white sand plains and, in the middle of this beautiful white sand, there are clear manmade large-size architectural designs. It looks like when you fly over an urban development in a plane and you see highways, tunnels and buildings,'' Zelitsky said.

``We don't know what it is and we don't have the videotaped evidence of this yet, but we do not believe that nature is capable of producing planned symmetrical architecture, unless it is a miracle,'' she added in an interview at her office at Tarara, along the coast east of Havana.

ADC's deep-water equipment includes a satellite-integrated ocean bottom positioning system, high-precision side-scan double-frequency sonar, and remotely operated submarine robots. They plan to add two submersibles to take people down.

On the treasure trail, it has already located some 700 target sites where historic wrecks are thought to lie and it recently videotaped and identified three of them as large, 17th century ships with valuable cargo.

Bringing up treasure will finance the project. But Zelitsky said, ``Our agenda is much broader. We are very anxious about global environmental changes. Archeology is providing us with the means to conduct broader scientific ocean exploration.''

The other three foreign companies -- one Canadian, one French and one South African -- operate in shallower waters than ADC. Under contracts with Cuban state partner Geomar, all the firms have concessions to explore in different swathes of sea and would share profits with the government.

(Reuters, May 14, 2001)

Mystery Force Tugs Distant Space Probes

By BBC News Online science editor Dr David Whitehouse

An unexplained force is pulling on distant spacecraft. Researchers have come to this conclusion after a thorough analysis of the deep-space probes' trajectories.

It could be just a tiny unnoticed effect in the spacecraft themselves, but scientists warn it could also be the first hint that modifications need to be made to our understanding of the force of gravity.

"It is almost as if the probes are not behaving according to the known law of gravity," said Dr John Anderson, of the American space agency's (Nasa) Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and lead scientist on the study.

He said: "We've been working on this problem for several years, and we have accounted for everything we could think of."

Great detail

The unexplained force appears to be acting on four deep-space probes scattered around the Solar System.

Pioneer 10 was launched towards the outer planets in 1972. It is now well beyond Jupiter but still in radio contact with Earth.

By studying the Doppler shift (the "stretching") of the radio signals from the probe, scientists have been able to calculate how fast the craft is travelling. Since 1980, its trajectory has been mapped in very great detail.

The puzzle is that Pioneer 10 is slowing more quickly than it should.

It was initially suggested that this might be due to the force from a tiny gas leak or that it was being pulled off course by the gravity of an unseen Solar System object.

Unseen body

The mystery deepened further when an analysis of the trajectory being followed by its sister spacecraft, Pioneer 11, launched in 1973, showed that it too was being subjected to the same mysterious effect.

But Pioneer 11 is on the opposite side of the Solar System from Pioneer 10, about 22 billion km (about 14 billion miles) away. This means the effect cannot be the gravitational effect of some unseen body.

Add to all this hints that the same unexplained effect might have been acting on the Galileo spacecraft on its journey to Jupiter, and the Ulysses spaceprobe that is circling the Sun, and you have a Solar System-wide puzzle.

In a report soon to be published in a major astronomical journal, Dr Anderson and colleagues have carried out an impressive study of the state of the Pioneer spacecraft and all the tiny forces to which they could be subjected.

Planets unaffected

"Our analysis strongly suggests that it is difficult to understand how any of these mechanisms can explain the magnitude of the observed behaviour of the Pioneer anomaly," the team says.

It has been suggested that the spacecraft tracking data have shown a deviation in the force of gravity that is apparent only across vast distances. It has also been pointed out that the strength of the effect seems to be related to two of the Universe's physical constants: the speed of light and the speed of the expansion of the Universe.

But others have dismissed this as being too fanciful, arguing that if the Pioneer anomaly was really indicative of a change in our understanding of gravity, then it would be apparent in the orbits of the planets around the Sun - which it is not.

The effect is as yet unexplained and with all four affected probes never to return to Earth for analysis, it may well remain that way.

(BBC News)

Big Question?

How do astronomers know the size of the Universe? How big is the universe? Many astronomers think it has no end, so its real size cannot be measured. But it is possible to calculate the distance between the farthest known objects in ail directions and thus measure the diameter of the observable Universe.

The light from the most distant galaxies yet observed has traveled nearly 15,000 million light years before reaching Earth. So the diameter of the Universe, as far as we can see, is at least 30,000 million light years, or 180,000 million, million, million, million miles.

(How In The World? Readers Digest, 1990)

Chinese Say They've Seen Mysterious Objects

UFO sightings have been reported across China in recent weeks prompting a spate of stories in the Chinese media.

By Charles Hutzler.

P U S A L U V I L L A G E, China, Jan. 3 - Poor farmers in Beijing's barren hills saw it: an object swathed in colored light arcing heavenward that some say must have been a UFO. In Pusalu, a patch of struggling corn and bean farms 30 miles from Beijing, villagers believe cosmic forces were at play on Dec. 11.

They're not alone. People in 12 other Chinese cities reported possible UFO sightings last month. UFO researchers, meanwhile, were busy looking into claims of an alien abduction in Beijing. At the beginning of the new millennium, China is astir with sightings of otherworldly visitors. Such sightings are treated with unexpected seriousness in this country usually straightjacketed by its communist rulers. China has a bimonthly magazine - circulation 400,000 - devoted to UFO research.

The conservative state-run media report UFO sightings. UFO buffs claim support from eminent scientists and liaisons with the secretive military, giving their work a scientific sheen of respectability. "Some of these sightings are real, some are fake and with others its unclear," said Shen Shituan, a real rocket scientist, president of Beijing Aerospace University and honorary director of the China UFO Research Association.

"All these phenomena are worth researching." Benefits Predicted Research into UFOs will help spur new forms of high-speed travel, unlimited sources of energy and faster-growing crops, claims Sun Shili, president of the government-approved UFO Research Association (membership 50,000). A foreign trade expert and a Spanish translator for Mao Tse-tung, Sun saw a UFO nearly 30 years ago while at a labor camp for ideologically suspect officials.

"It was extremely bright and not very big," said Sun. "At that time, I had no knowledge of UFOs. I thought it was a probe sent by the Soviet revisionists." For thousands of years, Chinese have looked to the skies for portents of change on Earth. While China is passing through its first millennium using the West's Gregorian calendar, the traditional lunar calendar is ushering in the Year of the Dragon, regarded as a time of tumultuous change. "All of that sort of millennial fear and trepidation fits in so nicely with Chinese cosmology - and also the Hollywood propaganda that everybody’s been lapping up," said Geremie Barme, a Chinese culture watcher at Australia National University.

Villagers Tell Their Tale In Pusalu, a patch of struggling corn and bean farms 30 miles from Beijing, villagers believe cosmic forces were at play on Dec. 11. As they tell it, an object the size of a person shimmering with golden light moved slowly up into the sky from the surrounding arid mountains. "It was so beautiful, sort of yellow," villager Wang Cunqiao said. "It was like someone flying up to heaven." What "it" was remains a topic of debate. Many villagers are fervent Buddhists. But local leaders want to play down any religious overtones, fearing that government censure may spoil plans to attract tourism to Pusalu. Some say it was caused by an earthquake. Some say it was a UFO. Some say it was a ray of Buddha.

"I'm telling everyone to call it an auspicious sign," said Chen Jianwen, village secretary for the officially atheistic Communist Party. State media ignored religious interpretations and labeled the celestial events in Pusalu, Beijing, Shanghai and 10 other Chinese cities in December as possible UFOs. But UFO researchers have largely dismissed the sightings as airplane trails catching the low sun. "If the military didn't chase it, it's because they knew it wasn't a UFO.

"They were probably testing a new aircraft," said Chen Yanchun, a shipping company executive who helps manage the China UFO Research Resource Center. Chinese X-Files Operating from a dingy three-room flat in a Beijing apartment block, the Resource Center keeps a version of China's X-Files: 140 dictionary-sized boxes of fading newspaper clippings and eyewitness accounts of sightings. The collection has, among others items, accounts that the military scrambled planes in 1998 in an unsuccessful pursuit of a UFO. Chen said the center has had 500 reported UFO sightings in 1999, but after investigation confirmed cases will likely number 200 or so. He's currently checking on a worker's claims that aliens entered his Beijing home in early December and, with his wife and child present, spirited him 165 miles east and back in a few hours.

"The increase in flying saucer incidents is natural," said Chen, a former Aerospace Ministry researcher with a Ph.D. in aerodynamics. He cited more manmade aerospace activity and radio signals from Earth penetrating farther into space. Sun has another theory: He believes aliens may find China attractive for the same reason foreign investors and tourists do. "It's very possible that relatively rapid development attracts investigations by flying saucers, and here in China we're becoming more developed," he said. "Generally, well-developed areas like the United States have reported more sightings."

(Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.)

Planet 10

So it was only pure luck that Lowell's calculations on the moons of Uranus and Neptune had led to the discovery of Pluto. Astronomers are now asking what else could be pulling on Uranus and Neptune. The answer could be a massive planet lying much further out in our Solar System.

Bob Harrington, of the Naval Observatory, has calculated that this planet is currently in the southern part of the sky, where few people have looked for planets so far. Every few weeks, a telescope in New /Zealand takes photographs of Harrington's suspect part of the sky.

Hanington has allies in his research that no previous planet-hunter could call on, they are space probes. If Planet 10 is pulling on Uranus and Neptune, it should also disturb the paths of the 4 spacecraft - Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, and Voyager 1 and 2, as they leave our Solar System. Scientists are measuring their moons carefully, to see if Planet 10 is pulling them off course. So far the results are negative.

Other astronomers are not convinced by the calculations made so far. They believe that Planet 1O could be anywhere in the sky, and so they are taking a different approach. Planets produce copious amounts of infrared radiation. In 1983, the Infrared Astronomical Satellite scanned the whole sky, looking for objects in the universe that produced infrared radiation. If Planet 10 exists, then the satellite will probably have picked it up. The results from this survey were recorded on 60 miles of computer tape, and astronomers are still wading through this vast amount of data They have found many interesting objects such as comets, asteroids, new-born stars and dust filled galaxies, but Planet 10 has still to come to light.

(How In The World? Readers Digest, 1990)

Paranoid Planetoid

A newly discovered monster planet is an advance base for an eventual invasion of earth, a top psychic warns. The planet was discovered by an orbiting telescope in the vicinity of the constellation Orion and is so huge that scientist believe is may be as big as Jupiter, the largest of all previously known bodies.

Because it’s so close to the other planets, scientist think that it’s the 10th body in our own solar system, so shrouded in dust that it took an infrared orbiting satellite to expose it to man's view.

"AII I can tell you is that we don't know what it is," says a puzzled Dr. Gerry Neugebauer of California's Palomar Observatory and chief scientist for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Astronomers believe that the planet is so bitterly cob that it casts no light and as a result, has remained undiscovered until now. According to Dr. James Houck of the Cornell University Center for Radio Physics and Space Research, the planet's temperature is 456 degrees below zero.

While the discovery stunned scientists, it came as no surprise to famed Scandinavian psychic Sven Petersen. According to Petersen, "For the past five years, I've been getting mental impressions of an unseen but enormous planet mysteriously orbiting on the very fringe of our solar system. The psychic impressions I've been receiving have been frightening, but I've tended to dismiss them because I accepted scientists assertions that all the planets in our solar system had been discovered eons ago. This new discovery, however, has proved that my impressions were valid, and they're very frightening."

Petersen is concerned that the planet is populated by a huge army of space aliens placed there centuries ago. He claims that, "They were transported to the planet over a period of hundreds of years because the incredibly cold temperatures make it possible to keep the alien soldiers in a natural deep freeze until the time comes to invade the earth. They lie there in a state of suspended animation, awaiting the time when their leaders, in another galaxy, decide to launch their invasion of earth. My psychic impression is that the aliens are awaiting the time when mankind so weakens itself through warfare and pollution of earth that it won't be able to offer even token resistance."

(Anson Heath, National Examiner 2-21-84)

Super Signals

Are super being signaling us? Dr. Borris Fesenko, the eminent Soviet astronomer, has really made waves" with his new statement that a higher extraterrestrial civilization has already sent us a signal." Not in the form of any powerful radio waves, but something much more spectacular: a very hot, green star. It has been known for sometime and is named the Planetary Nebula/ NGC6453.

Dr. Fesenko believes the beings" behind this signal are so smart that they didn't want their effort to be lost in the maze of astronomical observations which man is now making. To avoid this, they created NGC6453 in such a way that our scientists, when they reached the required level of knowledge, couldn't possibly mistake it.

The technical details are difficult to understand. To sum them up: the object NGC6453 is located in a very unusual position at the north pole of the ecliptic. The chance of a bright star appearing there, naturally, is mathematically quite impossible.

More fascinating by far is the location of this star signal, it obviously is intended for only our earth to see. Also, the distance from the earth is such that the signal was first started some 3,000 years ago. So those intelligent types who placed H figured we earth people would be starting scientific development about that time. They were obviously right. They've been signaling us ever since the year 1,000 B.C. "We gave their signal a number some time ago, but only now are we waking up to this marvelous communication," said Dr. Fesenko.

Other Soviet scientists, like Dr. Lev Gindilis, think the idea is very attractive, but "I do not think NGC6543 is a beacon of some higher civilization. True, the formation of a planetary nebula like this is still unclear to us, but it must be a natural event."

Gindilis cautiously added that, "My statement doesn't rule out participation of Intelligent Forces in the formation of nebulae." He also recalls that the great Konstantin Tsiolkovsky believed that Advanced Civilizations were able to direct the course of natural. cosmic events. Gindilis believes that, "The Cosmos itself is more powerful than all the other force which controls it. This is more powerful than all the other forces of nature. This force is Intelligence."

So what could be more "natural" than the force of Intelligence creating an absolutely unique signal that can't possibly be confused.... it's for us alone. Many Soviet scientists now believe that what we call the laws of nature are, in fact, Intelligence of a kind that many people call God.

(Northern Neighbors, April 1985)

Lookout Below

Be assured that there exists below, everything that you see above. There are vast caverns, immense recesses and vacant spaces, with mountains overhanging on every hand. There are yawning gulfs stretching down into the abyss which have often swallowed up whole cities that have fallen into them. These retreats are filled with air, for nowhere is there a vacuum in nature; through their ample spaces stretch marshes over which darkness ever broods. Animals are also produced in them, but they are slow paced and shapeless; the air that conceived them is dark and clammy, the waters torpid through inaction.

(Roman writer, Seneca,. 4 BC to 65 AD)

Professional Perspectives

"The least improbable explanation is that these things (UFOs) are artificial and controlled. My opinion for some time has been that they have an extraterrestrial origin."

(Aerodynamicist and mathmatical phyicist, Maurice Bilot. LIFE magazine April 7, 1952)

ET Let Me Be

"The risks entailed in an encounter with another civilization (from Outer Space) would vastly exceed any possible interest, let alone benefit, and could easily prove fatal. Therefore, should we ever hear that "space-phone. ringing in the form of observational evidence which admits no other explanation, for Gods sake let us not answer, but rather make ourselves as inconspicuous as we can to avoid attracting attention!"

(Man and His Universe, by Professor Zdenek Kopal, 1972)

Heavenly Philosophy

Heaven and Earth are large, yet in the whole of space they are but as a small grain of is as if the whole of empty space were a tree, and Heaven and Earth were one of its fruits. Empty space is like a kingdom, and Heaven and Earth no more than a single person in that kingdom. Upon one tree there are many fruits, and in one kingdom many people. How unreasonable it would be to suppose that besides the Heaven and Earth which we can see there are no other Heavens and no other Earths?

(Teng Mu, 13th-century philosopher)

Star Treking

National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as Amended. Section 102.

a. The Congress hereby declares that it is the policy of the United States that activities in space should be devoted to peaceful purposes for the benefit of all mankind.

c. The aeronautical and space activities of the United States shall be conducted so as to contribute materially to one or more of the following objectives:

1. The expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space; 2. The improvement of the usefulness, performance, speed, safety, and efficiency of aeronautical and space vehicles;

3. The development and operation of vehicles capable of carrying instruments, equipment, supplies, and living organisms through space; 4. The establishment of bng-range studies of the potential benefits to be gained from, the opportunities for, and the problems involved in the utilization of aeronautical and space activities for peaceful and scientific purposes.

(Report From The National Commission On Space, 1986)

Radioactive Rockets

Scientists have proposed using the heat generated by deadly nuclear waste to power a space craft out of our solar system. A research team at the Marshall Space Flight Center's Analysis and Integration Laboratory said that the procedure would be "a method to resolve the problem of nuclear waste disposal for all time." The space waste system called NEWSTAR could help solve the problem of lethal waste during the 250,000 years it is radioactive.

(Associated Press, April 1976)

UFOs In Romania

A blizzard raged in South Romania on the night of February 15, 1991. Suddenly dazzling light flashed in the sky. A deafening sound woke up many citizens. Some of them ran out of their houses. They looked with amazement at the sky. A 150 to 180 meter long, emerald green cylinder-like object, 20 meters in diameter hovered noiselessly in the sky. A 30 to 40 meter long, bright-colored beam of light was observed in the back part of the object. Many citizens affirmed that three radiant balls came near to the high-tension transmission line, electric discharges were seen on the line. The supply of electric current was interrupted in consequence of strange phenomenon in forty towns and villages in South Romania.

The object went in a zigzag at a rate of 3 to 5,000 kilometers a hour. it changed its altitude very quickly. The light of the object dazzled a man near Calrasi, a town near the Danube who claimed, ''' felt an invisible force paralyze me as I was lifted up towards the mysterious object. I threw myself on the ground and while creeping on the ground I broke out from the attraction of the green light.

(ALTEEVA, October 1992, Romania)

UFOs Over The Danube

Vasil Dremev, a Bulgarian ship, plied the waters between Zazazda, Bulgaria and Corabia, Romania. On the night of December 22, 1989, Captain Georgij Monev was on duty. Suddenly he observed a bright flying object, 40 to 50 meters above the ship. It began to descend and moved faster and faster. The sailor on duty also watched the strange object. The UFO appeared on the screen of the radar too. When it was 15 meters from the ship, the outlines of the riverside became blurred, but when the UFO moved away, the outlines were clear again.

The UFO had an influence on the ship's men, when it passed in the vicinity the captain and sailors were weakened, and were seized by apathy.

(Hungarian UFO Magazine, January 1993)

Coincidences In Cluj

On September 19, 1968, thousands of citizens from Cluj, Romania, watched a strange triangle. A UFO hovered over the city for a few hours. It was not a meteorological balloon, because it had its own light, and though a strong wind was blowing, it remained stable. A few days before this sighting in Cluj, a similar object was seen over Madrid, in Spain.

(UFO #2 1994, Romania)

NASA Asteroids

A NASA team called yesterday for an international effort to save Earth from killer asteroids. In the plan, ground-based telescopes would scan the heavens to warn of impending danger as work began on interceptors that would deflect a doomsday rock headed for the planet.

The team, which studied the issue at the request of Congress, called the odds of a major collision in the next century "extremely small." But it added that asteroid impacts posed "a significant hazard to life and property" and called for an international effort "to provide insurance for our planet against the ultimate catastrophe." It gave no cost estimates but said that if construction began soon, a worldwide network of telescopes could be operating by 1997.

(New York Times, April 1, 1992)

Tokelau Meteorite

On February 1, 1994, the Earth's atmosphere was penetrated by an object so large that it was detected by six U.S. spy satellites, and according to some reports, led to President Clinton being woken by his Defense staff.

The incident, which happened over the western Pacific, is being greeted with both excitement and concern by astronomers. They are delighted at the speed with which the Pentagon has decided to release the satellite data, but they are concerned that, despite their own growing awareness of the frequency of cosmic visitors, military advisers still seem unable to discriminate between incoming meteorites and nuclear explosions.

Satellite data released so far has revealed that the object, presumably a meteor, turned into a glowing fireball as it entered the atmosphere, becoming almost as bright as the Sun and releasing about 10 terra joules of luminous energy in about one second.

The aerodynamic stress caused by its entry into the atmosphere at an estimated speed of 72,000 kilometers per hour, caused it to explode about 20 kilometers above the ocean, near the Pacific island of Tokelau.

Researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratories in New Mexico estimate that the meteor had an energy equivalent to a 100kilotonne blast, and a mass of well over 1,000 tons.

(NewScientist, April 2, 1994)

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