Moving the Stones of Baalbek–The Wonders of Roman Engineering


Previously I had talked about an amazing piece of computational engineering from the ancient world, the Antikythera mechanism, which was also posted up at A Tippling Philosopher. In the comments there, a discussion came up about another wonder of antiquity which has attracted all sorts of speculations among alternative thinkers. This is the construction of the temple complex at the city of Baalbek, also known as Heliopolis, in modern-day Lebanon, about 70 kilometers* north of Damascus. The site has considerable antiquity, but it is the large stones at the temple, especially the three known as the Trilithon, that have garnered the greatest attention, each weighing in around 800 tons.* And deservedly so, as they are some of the largest single objects ever moved in the pre-modern era.

There are standard explanations for this place, but as noted, alternative scholars like to also propose other ideas. So, here I will look at what sorts of strange hypotheses have been proposed, and then I will describe what is the most likely explanation based on current knowledge of the site. No matter which explanation (giants, aliens, Romans), the structure is a wonder all its own and should inspire awe. If only we could have seen it in its heyday.

First off, a little bit about the location. Baalbek is in the Beqaa Valley, which in the Hellenistic period was called Coele Syria. The location of the megalithic structures is atop of a hill in the region, known as Tel Baalbek. Numerous archaeological expeditions have gone to the site starting in the 19th century, primarily German and French groups, and into the 20th century research continued. To this day there is still literature published about the location and calls for further looks into the chronology of the place.

The site has a long history, and newer expeditions have extended that history even farther than many would have known. The first German expeditions had been unable to find anything there before the Roman period (after the conquests of Pompey in c. 64 BCE), but later expeditions have found Persian, bronze age, and even neolithic artifacts, making the place a settled area for thousands of years. After the time of Constantine, the temple complex there became devoted to Christianity, many of the pagan artifacts destroyed, and later the region would be under the jurisdiction of the Islamicate with its own architectural features and history, including the brickwork portion of the walls.

With its long history and monuments, many legends have been attached to the megaliths. While the summary by Alouf (1949) is very much out of date, it relates many of the legends of that region, mostly from Arabs. Some believed that the monument was the construction of the Nephilim, the giants mentioned in Genesis that were destroyed by the Deluge, and some creationists believe this today (see also here). For those that don’t believe in the supernatural in Genesis, they may instead see the giants as somehow related to aliens. Also related to the Bible, some believed that the structure was created by Nimrod, ordering the giants to built up the location. Others claim that this was the location of the Tower of Babel. Still others say that it was built by Adam’s son, Cain, making this the oldest building in the world.

In modern times, new legends have been attached to the site, probably the most notable one is due to one person (and rarely can we pin a legend down to an individual), Zecharia Sitchin [EDIT: Jason Colavito informs me that the following idea is older than Sitchin; in fact, it was Soviet propaganda.]. Starting in the 1970s, Sitchin made all sorts of claims about Sumerian culture and their contact with aliens from the planet Nibiru, very much of it getting academic ire. What Sitchin believed was that the site, especially the trilithon stones, acted as the landing pad for extraterrestrial space craft, probably shuttles coming from their mother ship (cf. Sitchin 1999). He also claimed to find evidence of the use of Baalbek in the Epic of Gilgamesh, though unfortunately it appears to be wishful thinking. Nonetheless, this is the idea presented in Ancient Aliens, though the show is also inconsistent in saying the Nazca Lines were runways.

Along with these legendary claims comes the belief in the extreme antiquity of the site. Various sources will claim the megaliths there are over 9000 years old, and this also fits into the idea of Genesis (the earth is less than 10,000 years old) and its race of giants, aliens making civilization-forming contact with the pre-human apes, or some sort of Atlantis-like civilization. It is of the opinion of David Childress (2000) that the construction was from a civilization known as the Osirian Empire which existed before the Egyptian dynastic period and contemporary with Atlantis. So not only are there amazing claims about who is responsible for creating this site, there are claims of extreme age.

Baalbek_2_1906Lastly, when it comes to legends, there are some attached to just a single stone, and one that isn’t even part of the Baalbek temple complex. It is a stone about 800 meters from the tel, still not taken out of the ground. Known as the Stone of the Pregnant Woman, it has a mass of 1000 tons!* Stories surround the object. One gives it its name: a woman was said to know how to lift the great rock, but she was pregnant and would only reveal this knowledge should she receive prenatal care and her costs of living until her due date. Once the time came, no great secrets were revealed. Others have said that touching the stone helps ones fertility. In just the last few decades, another even larger stone was found south and across the road from the Pregnant Woman stone; it was mostly buried, but it appears to have a mass on the order of 1200 tons.* These stones appear to be the same as those used in the trithilon, though they were not completely worked into shape, let alone detached from the quarry rock (Ruprechtsberger 1999). Nonetheless, these stones help show where much of the building material at Baalbek came from.

So, how on earth were these dense pieces of earth moved before the innovations of gas-powered engines or any of the machines we take for granted? Sure, we have cranes that can lift these rocks, but we have modern alloys and steel, powerful motors, and years of experience and education for engineers. How could this have been done in antiquity? According to Alouf (1949), to move the Stone of the Pregnant woman would require a team of 40,000 men, an effective impossibility of concentrated humans with the needed coordination. Doesn’t it require some sort of otherwise unknown advanced civilization to do the job?

Now, there has been a fair amount of literature on the subject, and some of it has been made accessible to the layman by Michael Heiser and the documentary Ancient Aliens Debunked, but the story isn’t complete, especially on the point of dating the quarrying and moving of the trilithon. So, I will explore here, best I can, what seems to be the mainstream view of how the stones were moved, and what evidence is used. I provide my sources at the bottom of this post.

But before I get into that view, I have come across one other idea for the moving of the stones without and Atlantis-like or ET civilization, and the idea is to use a canal and so using the buoyant force to make the stones weigh less and thus easier to transport and put into place. It’s not a crazy idea, and the Romans did have the ability to move water in such a way to make it plausible. However, 800 ton stones would need to displace 800 cubic meters of water, and that will require a rather large ship, such as the ones designed to go on the Nile for moving obelisks to Rome. It would be difficult to produce a large water canal, a large enough ship, and it still seems like a fair bit of lifting of the trilithon stones would be needed at the construction site. The key thing, though that could show such a hypothesis is correct is find some sign of early plumbing. Then again, a good source of water will be needed, and in large quantities, and in a place such that it can go uphill enough to fill in this canal that is above the Beqaa valley. While I don’t know of anything that would kill this hypothesis, it seems that it is not the most probable solution.

So, to begin looking at the standard view, it is necessary to date the site. While artifacts going back thousands of years before the Roman occupation have been found, there is no record of Baalbek in Assyrian records. One particular silence is a war during the reign of Shalmaneser III (9th century BCE), in which a coalition of kingdoms of north Syria, headed by the ruler of Damascus fought the Assyrian forces. In the tribute list after that war, numerous cities are mentioned, but Baalbek is not one of them. The silence continues into the Babylonian and Persian occupations of the Beqaa valley, suggesting that the location was of minimal importance (Jedijian 1975). After Alexander the Great the region would go back and forth under the control of the dynasties Alexander’s generals had formed, and in the Beqaa another dynast formed and had its own currency. By the time the Roman general Pompey conquered the region, the place was noted by the geographer Strabo as mountainous with high regions controlled by robbers, and the plains had farming communities. There are no indications of any great structures there, let alone some of the largest stones ever moved.

The literary silence from a multitude of sources is already suggestive that this wonder of the ancient world did not yet exist. That leads us to the archaeology to see how much antiquity we can put into the great stone structures there.

To understand how to date the site, we first need to note what was built there besides the amazing western wall that houses the trilithon. There were several temples built there, the largest being the Temple of Jupiter, in the past boasting a multitude of huge Corinthian columns. These are some of the largest columns in antiquity, and they were hewn from the local stone sources. These columns are not a single, solid piece, but instead there are several pieces (or drums) that had to be stacked together, with the capitol placed at the top, holding up the roofing structure as well as having its own classical elegance. The other temples there, such as that of Bacchus and Venus, also have these columns, a staple of Greek and, later, Roman architecture.

This is important because of what is found underneath the base stones that are themselves under the trilithon. As you can see in this picture, below the three great stones are other impressive stones that act as a base for the trilithon.

While not as massive as the trilithon stones, these base structures each have a considerable mass. However, below them was discovered a part of a drum to a column. The size of the drum corresponds to the columns used for the Jupiter temple, so this was likely a leftover or no longer useful piece of one of those columns. Because it is underneath the base stones, this drum must have been place there before the trilithon was put into place. Also, on top of one of the trilithon stones there is a drawing of the plans for the Temple of Jupiter, which was built over by the Romans when it was no longer needed. By having pieces of the Jupiter temple below the trilithon and these drawings on top, we can be reasonably certain that the trilithon stones were put into place contemporaneously with the construction of the Temple of Jupiter (Kalayan 1969).

So already, by having the trilithon stones contemporaneous with the temple we have established the Roman provenance of the structure. However, we can do more to pin down the dating of the megalith’s placement. In the rubble found at the temple complex, the top drum of a column of the Temple of Jupiter had an inscription placed on it which dates itself to the reign of Emperor Nero. Dedicated to Fortuna, the inscription was likely made just before it was placed into the column structure. As such, we know that the temple was still being built during the reign of Nero (Kalayan 1969). However, it likely began before he took control of the empire. Recent research indicates that before the great Temple of Jupiter was built, there was an earlier, unfinished temple there built perhaps during the reign of King Herod the Great. This temple would have been worked out before the time of the great retaining wall with the trilithon, so we can say that the construction and placement of the trilithon must have been after Herod’s time (dying in 5/4 BCE) and before the end of Nero’s reign (Kropp & Lohmann 2011).

So not only can we discount the fanciful ideas of the structure having been built by aliens in the great and distant past, but we can actually narrow down to several decades when the structures were being put into place. Moreover, when it comes to the cultures we know of, the Romans are far and away the most plausible people that could have built this place up. While the Egyptian pyramids are a marvel, the average stones that were moved are not within two orders of magnitude of the mass of the trilithon stones (2.5 vs. 800 tons), and the Egyptians didn’t have tools such as cranes or compound pulleys. The construction of these buildings required a level of technology that would not exist until the Hellenic period, and the Romans would perfect it. Moreover, the Romans had the political stability in the region, the finances, and the technical know-how. In particular, they had a lot of knowledge and practice with the use of the crane.

We can reasonably know the Romans used cranes for construction at multiple sites, including at Baalbek, and one of the tell-tale signs are “dents” in the stones that were lifted. In order to lift up an object and be able to set it down with precision, you won’t have much luck having ropes or other things wrapped around and going underneath. Once the object is set down, you now have to get those ropes out of there, which can be challenging if you are moving multi-ton stones. Pulling the ropes like that will also not allow for precision in laying the stones in place. Only being able to gradually put the stones in place without anything in between the surfaces will be up for the job.

To do this lifting, you will need grip, and there are two primary ways to get grip on stones without having to specially shape them. One could use the lewis which will fit into a pre-fabricated hole and get an excellent grip on the rock. The hole is placed over the center of gravity of the object, so this cannot be what was used at many of the Baalbek stones which have holes places well above the center of gravity and along the length of the stones.

More likely what was used were iron forceps or tongs (ferrei forfices), which were even faster and easier to use than the lewis. In the same way you apply a force onto paper when using scissors, the forceps grip into the holes made in the rock and hold into place. Once the pressure is released, then the forceps let go. There were limitations with the use of this tool, so they tended to be used on average-sized stones; there were limits on how wide you can get the forceps (not a problem with a lewis) and there is always the risk of slipping. Details are provided by Adam (1994).

However, there is another thing notable in the large stones at Baalbek: there are several holes in a side of the stones, usually in a line. It’s hard to find a picture of this, but there is a good example on the base stones under the trilithon for figure 84 in Jidejian (1975) (see also here), but not in all cases. It’s hard to tell, but in some cases perhaps forceps were used, and in other cases lewises were used, leaving no exposed holes as there are stones covering them on top. Either way, there are several of them, and it needs explanation, to which we must turn to what you need once you have a grip: lifting force.

If you want to lift something up, it tends to be easier when you use a pulley and can pull down with all your weight. However, that simple pulley also means the maximum you can lift if your own body weight. If you are planning on lifting objects several tons in mass, consuming a lot of hot dogs and cola isn’t going to do the trick; but never fear, mechanical advantage is here! As first-term students in college physics will learn, when you draw a free-body diagram of the forces in a system of pulleys you cut down on the force you need to apply in lifting an object by the number of pulleys used. If you have an apparatus with 3 pulleys, you will only need to apply one third the force to lift the same object using only one pulley. This wouldn’t be exactly true in practice, in part because of the friction in the system, among other issues. Nonetheless, a large number of pulleys can greatly multiply ones lifting potential, and this was understood by the Greeks as it is discussed in treatises by Hero of Alexander, Vitruvius, and someone in Aristotle’s school in the 3rd century BCE.

But that is not all. There is also the ability to use cranes. The invention of the crane is usually placed in the 6th century in Greece, with evidence coming from archaeological finds of lifted stones with lewis holes (Coulton 1974). After this time the lifting potential of the Greeks and then later still the Romans sky-rocketed as the use of the compound pulley was put into practice. There were limitations with the designs at first, but the Greeks in the fourth century BCE and later the Romans greatly advanced their methods. The cranes they would create would be amazing machines, some even using humans in a wheel acting as hamsters to drive up a load. Apparently these machines were well-regarded as they were put into the funeral relief of one rich Roman family, the Haterii.

In addition, if one combined a crane that would lift vertically with a capstan that pulls horizontally or with the tread-wheel design seen in the Haterii tomb relief, a couple of people could lift something on the order of ten tons (Adam 1977). However, even that much would not be sufficient to lift many of the stones at Baalbek. But we also noticed that there were several gripping holes in those heavy stones, so it is likely that multiple cranes would be used to lift such objects. As such, several compound pulley cranes were used in tandem to lift some very heavy rocks. This becomes particularly impressive when one of the reliefs that went into the Temple of Jupiter had to be lifted up 19 m and had a mass of about 100 tons!

However, this ignores one major thing about the trilithon stones: there are no signs of lewis holes on the top and no forceps grips on the sides that are visible. Perhaps there are holes on the ends we cannot see, but that would leave little space to fit all the gripping points to lift the 800 ton masses. Also, there were not likely to be forceps 20 m wide to grip the trilithon stones, an iron tool that probably would have been heavy enough on its own. What this means is that there are no signs that the trilithon stones were lifted. So how to get them into place?

IMG_1044There is a feature of the stones that needs consideration, and that is the elevation of the quarry vs. the current location of the trilithon stones. According to the reliable sources on the site, the quarry is actually slightly higher in elevation (Adam 1994). To check this, I looked at a late 1940s US Navy topological map of the area (that was what I had at the university library), which I have placed here (click to enlarge). The scale is that 1 mm is equal to 200 m (1:200,000). In the image I put a yellow circle for the approximate location of the Stone of the Pregnant woman, and it’s just about on or next to the 1150 meter line, while the temple complex is below that, though you can pretty much follow the 1150 line from the quarry to the temple, providing an almost perfectly level route. I also verified this with relief map data from US space-based sources (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission 3 [SRTM3]), where again the elevation difference was small and the temple location of the stones was slightly lower. What that means is that you could get the stones from the quarry to the ground level of the temple without ever having to lift them an inch.

If you want to check for yourself, here is the Google maps image of the Stone of the Pregnant Woman with coordinates; there are two stones like it in the area, but this is the correct one because of that red-roofed house you see in the northeast corner–you can see it in some modern pictures of the stone in the background (i.e. here, here, and here).Untitled 3

South and west of that is the other major stone that was uncovered a couple of decades ago.

Untitled 4

Now, the terrain between the quarry and the temple isn’t flat today, but there has been 2000 years of soil erosion. Still, this wouldn’t matter because of all the things the Romans could do, they could build flat roads. A little bit of leveling and no worries about ever having to push the trilithon stones uphill at any point on the way to their resting place. As for how to get there, Adam (1977) provides the key insights. As you can see with the unfinished stones in the quarry, the stones are pointing upward a bit, giving space between the ground and their bottom surface. This process means there is space to place rollers; when the stone is finally freed from the mountain, it will already be on a bed of rollers, never even needing to be lifted onto them.

Now, many think that a sled for the stone would be good, which would reduce the friction between the rollers and the stone. However, this probably won’t be a good idea because you will need to get the stone off the sled in order to get it slid into place on the base stones; with 800 tons, that is no easy task. So it would be all rollers from the quarry site to the temple mound. This sort of use of rollers was done for the 600 ton stone for the obelisk of Mussolini, all done with human and animal power, plus a lot of ingenuity (Adam 1994). The largest single stone ever moved, the Thunder Stone, had similar principles, though it used a sled on top of what were effectively ball bearings to greatly reduce the friction. In antiquity, the trilithon is comparable to the largest stones at the modern Wailing Wall, namely the Western Stone, massed at around 520 tons, which we know was put into place during the Julio-Claudian dynastic period, starting under King Herod. In other words, a stone of a bit smaller mass than the trilithon stones was placed during about the same time as the great Baalbek stones were.

Another feature is that the base stones that were mentioned earlier will be in place and have reached the level of the ground, which is also about the level of the of the quarry. So, as seen in the diagram above, the trilithon stones continued to slide along rollers until reaching the base stones, and it just continued to slide. Never was it necessary to build ramps, lift the stone, or create some new soil structures to get the stones from their quarry to their resting place; it’s a flat road from the quarry to the destination.

But there is still the issue of dragging the stones, and there will be a whole lot of frictional force. However, if the workers used a bunch of capstans, then it would be possible to pull the stones into place using a mere 144 workers (Adam 1977). (Note that in the diagram below, the soil marked 4 is temporary during the construction, and afterwards it will go away; it is only the soil behind the wall that will remain, and on the outside the ground level will be where it is marked 3.)

So now the project has gone from needing an estimated 40,000 workers to get the stones out of the quarry to a matter of hundreds for pulling the stones into place. It’s almost easy. Well, not easy. and considering the two stones found in the quarry, that indicates that work was stopped on that front, probably because it was found to be unnecessary and extremely labor-intensive (making it expensive and time-consuming).

This also brings up the question about where these other two large stones would have been placed. According to Ruprechtsberger (1999), it seems that these stones would have finished wrapping around the main temple complex. As can bee seen in this picture of the wall, the trilithon stone did not go all the way into the corner of the base, but the size of that gap (~4 m) is just the size to fit another such stone going perpendicular to the trilithon (also note, the brickwork in place is an Arab construct, not part of the original wall). On the other end of the trilithon, another massive stone would have been similarly placed perpendicular to the current trilithon stones. This way the great stones would have surrounded much of the base of the Jupiter Temple, as can be seen in this reconstruction of the temple mount with the current trilithon in place (from Adam 1977):

But why were these large stones put into place at all? What’s wrong with using smaller stones?

This gets to the purpose of the wall that the trilithon is part of: it is a retaining wall. Because of soil erosion, the ground of the tel with the massive temples being constructed would not be stable over time. As the soil gives way, the buildings will settle, lean, and stone isn’t good when it comes to that. You can expect the structures to collapse in a relatively short period of time, making the religious project a waste (not to mention pissing off your preferred deity). But building a retaining wall will block the soil from moving downhill. The most effective retaining walls will use the most massive, solid blocks, so that they are not moved by the force of the soil. The shape of the base, which does not simply provide a vertical wall but widens near the bottom, also resists the torque of the soil pressing at the top of the wall. So, in order to make the temple complex safe from eroding down the hill and taking the buildings with them, the Romans built some of the most massive retaining walls in history. And considering how well they stand after 2000 years, that is mighty impressive.

With all the above, we can say when the stones were placed, what civilization was involved, likely how the stones were moved and placed, and why it was done. Compare this to the alien claims: the wall cannot have great antiquity because of the archaeological context; we don’t know if such beings even exist, let along came by and did things with rocks (and why); the methods of moving are unknown and seem to differ between stones for no explicable reason (why lifting holes in some stones but not others); and there is no plausible reason why the wall was constructed (it would have been rather thin for a landing pad with just the trilithon stones). Same issues when it comes to the Nephilim of the Bible. Plausibility and evidence are all on one side of this ancient mystery.

But that isn’t to say there isn’t more to learn. Archaeologists have noted how the designs and plans changed multiple times, and while construction may have begun under Herod the Great, structures were still being worked on throughout the second and into the third century. The nature of these changes and how they affected the construction of the rest of the temple complex is not completely understood. Other points of why the workers and engineers decided not to continue in using the most massive monoliths are also worth exploring. So there is plenty to research; it’s just that there isn’t anything that aliens/giants can explain better.

*Note: all measurements will be in metric units, so ton will mean 1000 kg of mass, etc.

Sources:

  • Adam, Jean-Pierre. “À propos du trilithon de Baalbek: Le transport et la mise en oeuvre des mégalithes”, Syria 54, 1/2 (1977): 31–63.
  • Adam, Jean-Pierre. Roman Building: Materials and Techniques. Indiana University, 1994.
  • Alouf, Michael M. History of Baalbek. American Press Beirut, 1949 [1890].
  • Childress, David. Technology of the Gods: The Incredible Sciences of the Ancients. Kempton, IL: Adventures Unlimited Press, 2000.
  • Coulton, J. J. “Lifting in Early Greek Architecture”, The Journal of Hellenic Studies 94 (1974): 1-19.
  • Jidejian, Nina. Baalbek: Heliopolis, “City of the Sun”. Dar el-Machreq Publishers: Beirut, 1975.
  • Kalayan, Haroutune. “The Engraved Drawing on the Trilithon and the Related Problems about the Constructional History at Baalbek”, Bulletin du Musee de Beyrouth 22 (1969): 151-5.
  • Kropp, Andreas J. M. Lohmann, Daniel. “‘Master, look at the size of those stones! Look at the size of those buildings!’ Analogies in Construction Techniques Between the Temples of Heliopolis (Baalbek) and Jerusalem”, Levant 43, 1 (2011): 38-50.
  • Ruprechtsberger, Erwin M. “Vom Steinbruch zum Jupitertempel von Heliopolis/Baalbek (Libanon)”, Linzer Archäologische Forschungen 30 (1999): 7–56.
  • Sitchin, Zechariah. The Stairway to Heaven. HarperCollins: New York, 1999 [1980].

29 thoughts on “Moving the Stones of Baalbek–The Wonders of Roman Engineering

  1. Pingback: Moving the Stones of Baalbek–The Wonders of Roman Engineering | A Tippling Philosopher

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  4. Absolutely superb article on the stones of Baalbek! Much appreciated. BTW: It is possible work stopped on the Temple because of funds running out after the Fire of Rome, the Galba-Otho-Vitellius war, and the Jewish War, which would have diverted both men and resources from Baalbek. Thanks again for the article. Cheers.

  5. I loved the article! It answered soo many questions and possibilities of how ancients could have accomplished such great feats… I still have one mystery that needs debunking tho…
    The coral castle in Florida… Ed Leedskalnin did something extraordinary and was said to do it all by him self… Any thoughts on this one???

    • Thanks for the kind comment.

      As for Coral Castle: I have been there a few times, and from what I have seen and read, I think much of the mystery is via marketing. For example, when it is claimed that no one saw how the maker of the place moving stones, that isn’t true. You can search online for skeptics pointing that out. As for actually moving things, most likely it was through combinations of simple machines. There isn’t anything that requires advanced technology of unknown sources of energy.

      But it still have a nice romantic story attached, and who can say they don’t like a love tale? Even if it’s exaggerated?

    • Insults don’t really make a point. But if you want to see how such a structure was made, there is a recent book on the subject: http://www.amazon.com/CORAL-CASTLE-CONSTRUCTION-Created-Megalithic/dp/0988429705

      I haven’t read it to note its quality, but others have seen that it’s not supernatural in its construction. Besides, the guy had decades of work put into it and had access to pulley systems the Egyptians didn’t (but the Greeks and Romans did). You can read a bit about it here as well: http://www.livescience.com/680-mysterious-coral-castle-fanciful-myth.html

      • I went to see the Coral Castle a couple of years ago, and was disappointed to hear that the fabled revolving door was “out of order.” I talked to one of the guides about it, who said the bearing had worn out. So the carefully balanced stonework had ground away after all these years, before I had a chance to see it?
        “No, no, the truck bearing that the door revolved on gave out.”
        Sure enough, there was no magic or clever Masonic engineering involved in the stone door that could be opened with a fingertip; in a case in the gift shop was a crushed wheel bearing that it had spun on, which had been replaced, apparently, several times in the past.

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  7. Wonderful piece. While I am of the opinion that the universe is ROTTEN with intelligent life it’s always been my opinion that any species capable of inter stellar, inter dimensional, or inter temporal travel would only be seen if they desired to be seen. While I have some personal thoughts that advanced species may have intervened here in the past those are purely circumstantial and based on large scale anomalies as found in the major religions on this planet as well as the sudden appearance of certain technologies (no stone lasers or any of that stuff) in a few key points. I won’t get into them here as it isn’t my blog.

    Suffice it to say that I find both sides of this, at times, to be very biased. ET people wanting to believe, and “we are alone and their ain’t no Santa Claus” bunch just as non-objective. There remain anomalies in our past and present that defy explanation by current knowledge. However, while we can state at times we don’t know how something was accomplished that’s all you are left with. It’s scientifically absurd to claim to know WHO did something if you have no clue HOW it was done.

    Your objectivity and logic here is excellent. I had never even remotely connected Baalbek with aliens or whatever, but have always been curious as to just how this might have been done. I am confident in the essential correctness of your hypothesis. The ancients were FAR more advanced than we’ve believed in the past. Roman plumbing, the Antikythera mechanism, the Lake Nemi shipts, the great grain mill at Barbegal…these thing all have shown how much was lost in the decline of Rome.

    Thanks for a great read! This would make a fine History channel piece.

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  9. Wow! And here I thought I was going to read an explanation for this site. But you’re speculating as well. Let me tell you what you missed. This site was used to worship Baal, which was how long ago? It’s well known that the Romans built on top of an earlier site here. Did they move these stones, or didn’t they? Neither you or I know, but chances are they did not.

    I suggest you check the wailing wall. The only stones close to this size that were moved in antiquity that I know of were in the foundation of Herod’s Temple, the largest being 450 tons. One of the tribes of Israel reverted to worshiping Baal, and the Jews were master builders. If you will think about it, I believe that you will realize they are the best candidate.

    • Actually, I looked at the historical record and archaeological context and proved it was a Roman construction. I noted that there is a column drum under the retaining wall stones from the Jupiter temple. That means the stones on top are later and thus put in concurrent with the Roman temple. And I explained in detail how the stones were moved and how many workers it needed.

      • Wrong mate, you have not proved anything. I appreciate your ideas and I even like some of your rock movement explanations but there is a tremendous amount of reconstruction at this site. Your dating hypothesis is akin to the “dating” of the great pyramid by the cartouche painted on a lower chamber wall. The Khufu symbology is done in red ochre and Egyptologists refuse to date the material in obvious fear that it is merely a later graffiti. We must be extremely careful in assuming that certain inscriptions date anything. I can carve an inscription anywhere on the empire state building and when it’s found six thousand years later, should they assume it was built in 2014? Also, consider the dating of the sphinx as an example of erroneous dating in my opinion. The Egyptian high priests of the day (given high praise and status by the Greeks btw) told Josephus that the sphinx had always been there. No where in ANY inscription or cartouche or written record or hieroglyph ever found is there a claim to the sphinx. Yet, mainstream science has concluded it was approx. Khufu’s reign. Any amateur can plainly see that the sphinx is FAR more archaic than anything in the region so the “accepted paradigms” of our current mainstream archeologists are astoundingly assumptive and stubbornly close minded in their scope. Our actual history is remote and complicated and we have barely discovered anything. Gobekli Tepe should have taught us a valuable lesson and revealed our ignorance of all things ancient but apparently we are slipping back into our ego driven ideals. We must keep our minds open to all possibilities concerning our views of the evolution of civilization. Anthropology has admitted to a “missing link” albeit reluctantly. It’s high time that archeology admitted to theirs. Our past holds a huge “missing gap” of time and we simply are at a loss to explain it. Sumeria didn’t burst forth from the ether a fully formed civilization, something must have happened before. There are two basic choices: either there was a long period od development that has thus far escaped our shovels OR something or someone has interjected biologically. It’s really that simple. We burned Bruno at the stake for even suggesting alien life existed and we jailed Galileo for his brilliant ideas. Let’s use the scientific method to explore both sides and accept the consequences of what we find and discontinue the stubborn denials of each opposing theories or new ideas. It’s counterproductive at the very least and criminal to infect the minds of the young with counterfeit history. Columbus did NOT discover America, so why do we deceive our children? Sumeria was NOT the first civilization, so why are we lying to our college students? Evolution is a convenient theory contemporarily but it has huge gaps and MAJOR flaws, so why has it become the new religion? We have a tremendous amount of work to do to discover our true origins and the mystery is so tantalizing it hurts. So let’s keep an OPEN mind, explore ALL avenues and enjoy the ride. As long as we avoid the deceptions and suppressions of evidence by the “mainstream scientists” and the “accepted paradigms” then we can reveal the honest answers and stop being afraid of the truth. There were over 1200 newspaper articles around the world of remains of giant humans being found. Unless there was a worldwide conspiratorial hoax going on, then we should be studying this extremely important facet of human development. The Smithsonian institute was involved in over 90% of these recorded finds and they are obstinately silent. Gentlemen, what are we afraid of finding? Why are we hiding such things? It’s ridiculous and frankly, embarrassing. I don’t care if my forefathers were slimy, gelatinous cretins from some nameless galaxy on planet butthole and they have raped the entirety of the living universe using their evil telepathic brains. I just want to know the truth. Don’t you?

      • You want to undo a lot of science, but you show your desire to be based on a lack of information. For example, the cartouche could not have been a later addition to the pyramid because it was in a chamber sealed by the very construction of the pyramid. It took dynamite in the 19th century to reach that marking. Also, it says it was left by the “friends of Khufu”, a workforce; hardly something to be left by people centuries after the construction. So why date the ocher, which won’t even date when the markings were left? Moreover, there are other lines of evidence to date the pyramids at Giza, such as the dating of the work sites. You clearly are unaware of both how things are dated and what things have been used to date the pyramids.

        As for how I dated the main constructions at Baalbek, what false assumption did I make? Do you have an explanation for how a Roman column drum was placed under hundreds of tons of stone centuries after the original supposed construction? The reality is that the archaeological context does not allow for any other dating of the trilithon prior to the Roman constructs. The literary evidence I also provided makes it impossible to believe there was some great structure there for centuries before the Romans (and yet all signs point to the Romans).

        As for the Sphinx: how can you say it is “obvious” that it is more antique than anything else? How do you make such a deduction? It’s in rough shape, yes, but that hardly helps date something thousands of years old. Also, the sphinx has been falling apart for centuries since it absorbs water and the crystals in the rock cause it to shatter. There were even attempts by the Greeks to fix it. So if it’s thousands of years older than what is its likely age, then you have to explain how it could survive another thousand-plus time period (and some want to push it back nearly 10,000 years!). Instead, we have to look at the context and make the best estimate. It’s hardly certain, but we have nothing else to go on, and baseless speculations from “hey, it looks old” won’t cut it.

        Gobekli Tepe: how do you think it was dated? Same way as other constructs. So if you accept its dating, then why don’t you accept the dating of other sites using the same methods? You are being inconsistent to claim that archaeology is closed-minded foolery, yet you will accept what archaeologists discover when you like it. And so on with the rest of your diatribe. If you think it is so easy to redate the monuments of antiquity, you are free to do so and try to convince experts that they are wrong. But you have to actually know what you are talking about and make a consistent case. I mean, you want to know the truth, don’t you? So actually know what you are talking about before arguing that those who study this as their life’s work don’t know what they are doing.

  10. Ok, one at a time: The man who “found” the cartouche is Campbell, hence the name Campbell’s chamber. He was accused by his own workmen for faking it because they saw him enter the chamber late at night with a brush and red ochre paint. Also, ever heard of the Robber’s Tunnel? Dug approx. 820 AD by Caliph Al Mamun, I’ve been there and the reason I know of it is because………drum roll please……The tunnel is now how ALL tourists enter the Great Pyramid.
    Soooo, explain to me again how there was no access? It is you who does not know how things are dated there. Egyptologists primarily use two methods: by matching astronomically what the Egyptians left behind AND carbon dated wood from the worksites themselves. See Lehner’s excellent work. His work is the only trusted dating referenced in scholarly pubs.

    Next, the sphinx: There is ONLY one scientific discipline that counts with respect to dating the big cat and it’s Geology, something neither of us is qualified in. So, I take the word of the majority of the world’s leading geologists when they explain that the water erosion dates it far older than you claim. Also, you shot yourself in the foot: “it absorbs water and the crystals in the rock cause it to shatter.” Absolutely correct. But there hasn’t been a rainy season AT ALL in the region since between 6-9000 BCE. Not to mention that the sphinx was buried up to the crumbling head when archeologists found it. Josephus states he was told the same thing by Egyptian priests during his visit. So if it’s been buried many times and protected AND there has been no rainy seasons to account for ALL that damage and millennia of erosion (not centuries), then when and how did it happen? A few freak rainstorms?

    Lastly, Gobekli Tepe: You don’t even cite HOW it was dated but you accuse ME of being ignorant of it. So allow me to expound please: stratigraphic dating puts it in pre pottery Neolithic which is around 10,000 BCE. Also, radiocarbon dating from the lowest levels of charcoal found. Lastly, from the Ua sampling from the coatings on the pillars, which dates when the site was abandoned only. All of these samplings at this site reinforce the other. SO, I totally accept the dating at GT.

    You said GT was dated ‘same way as other constructs’. WTF are you jabbering about? Same way as WHAT other constructs? The pyramids? No. The sphinx? No. Baalbek? They have CD ‘d some wood found there but that’s about it. Then you spend several sentences insulting and claiming I don’t know what I’m talking about so I should leave it to you, who does. I just cited specific methods, gave examples, provided names and dates and references. YOUR diatribe did none of that. Just you insulting me and rambling on. I’ll give you Baalbek, I’m not an expert on that site…yet. But I clearly just ate your lunch on the other three. If you respond, please refute with specificity as I just did, I just gave you material to poke holes in so do it.

    • You are showing that you rely on really bad sources.

      The cartouche and Campbell’s chamber: the chamber is named after Campbell, but he did not discover it. That was discovered by Richard Vyse, and Giovanni Caviglia named it after Campbell, as he named several other chambers after contemporary explorers. So you claiming that workers saw Campbell with red ocher and a brush to fake the cartouche is without a fact in its favor. Also, as I noted, the space the cartouch was found had to be reached with explosive, and the explorers had to break through several previous chambers. There was no evidence anyone else got there before. Other had entered the pyramid (even Al Mamun thought robbers got in before him), but they didn’t reach every possible chamber. That space had been closed off then until the 19th century. And there is no evidence that the cartouche is fake; there is also a crack in the stone that would make putting a cartouche on there now impossible, so it must be ancient. There is no evidence for fakery (nor a reasonable motive), and the context now established for the pyramid is all consistent with Khufu being its builder.

      Precession: I am guessing you are going for the hypothesis of Robert Bouval that the Giza pyramids were aligned to correspond to the stars of Orion and would align properly c. 12,000 years ago. The problem is that the hypothesis doesn’t work. First, there are dozens of pyramids in Egypt, including others at Giza, and yet they don’t fit any constellations. Not even Orion is complete, as only the three major pyramids are said to fit the belt of Orion (and you have to ignore all other Giza pyramids). And that alignment with the belt only works if you flip the sky around. This makes the entire hypothesis nonsense–it has to ignore most data points, it has to flip its coordinate system arbitrarily, and then it arbitrarily changes the date to find the sought-after alignment. With that method, you can get any set of monuments to fit whatever you want. This makes the whole thing non-scientific.

      The Sphinx: only one geologist has claimed the sphinx is old and had rain water eroding it, Robert Shoch, who takes most fringe positions about antiquity. Instead, more geologists thing the erosion is due to absorption of water from the air and even more so from the ground. That groundwater is seeping into the sphinx even now, and you can see it crumbling before you even today. This is a process that has been ongoing for a long time; it is neither just ancient nor just modern. So your claim that most world-renowned geologists argue for pre-dynastic dating of the sphinx is simply wrong.

      On GT: I mentioned how it was dated because the same methods used there are used at other monuments. For example, C-14 dating is used at the work sites at Giza to help date the pyramids. Archaeological context is also the big one, used at Egypt as well as at Baalbek (such as how I did, and you now seem to agree with it). I know how GT was dated, and it’s the same general method archaeologists use everywhere. Don’t pretend you know better than me on that when you don’t seem to be aware on how the pyramids and other things have been dated.

      Also, GT does not change the date of the start of civilization. Civilization has the defining features of cities and written language. Neither of those fit GT. It was built by hunter-gatherers, not farmers (let alone city-dwellers). What GT does show is that temples and religion predate cities and writing. Very interesting, but it doesn’t change when civilization started; The Sumerians still seem to be the oldest users of writing.

  11. A couple of other points I forgot: Clearly, you would want to date the red ochre to CONFIRM that it wasn’t faked AND to get a legitimate ORIGINAL date, since that is the ONLY thing in or on the pyramid that attributes it to Khufu. Anything else is external. How could you NOT want to date it? And yes, you can access the chamber (by snaking through four other chambers) through the robber’s tunnel which is now the main entrance. So, how exactly was there NO access until they dynamited it?
    Also, I do think the Egyptians built the pyramids, even though there is virtually nothing we have found to prove it, no blueprints, no plans, no hieroglyphs explaining construction, etc. However, there is enough other circumstantial evidence to prove they did build it. Most of my issues surround the unreal accuracy of their astronomical alignments in tune with the earth’s 26,000 year progression. There is something MAJOR missing in our understanding of their culture. Something that goes far back into time and we are ignorant of it.
    Lastly, my background is in physics and engineering. After I retired from the military (after 21 years of constructing underground bases), I contracted for the govt. doing more of the same. I am intensely familiar with most of the largest and most powerful construction and drilling equipment that exists. So, I DO know what I’m talking about when it comes to building things. My calculations on the building of the great pyramid alone puts it at around sixty years work using a constant 50,000 man workforce. My theory is they built extended canals leading to the ports they found last year and hoisted them up ramps from there, using sand and water to defeat friction forces. They used canals for the obelisks, so why not the megablocks?
    I respect your essay on Baalbek and I am reasonably assured that you know what your talking about, therefore I never set about insulting you. What I cannot understand is how you guys can just automatically align your own views with the “mainstream” and leave no room for anybody elses theories or new ideas.
    You never addressed my comment on GT at all. How is it we could have been so wrong about dating the earliest civ? Do you disagree with the dating of GT? Or do you blame it on our virtual total ignorance of all things ancient, like myself?

  12. Your correct on Vyse. I did mean to credit Colonel Howard Vyse, my mistake. He did have motive to fake the cartouche, he was under extreme pressure to find something. The biggest reason he may have faked it is because his original notebook drawings and the cartouche itself isn’t even close. Check this out: http://www.rickrichards.com/egypt/Egypt6.htm: Pretty decent layout of both major discrepancies and motives.
    As far as you telling me I don’t know how the pyramids are dated and you do, blah blah….
    Let me shout it because you still can’t hear apparently: YOU CANNOT DATE THE PYRAMIDS. You know this already. You can look at OTHER things around it and try to correlate but in the end it’s just speculation and guesswork. No one has EVER definitively proven by ANY scientific method the age of the sphinx either.
    I want to believe your easy and convenient explanations for everything. Skeptics seem to believe that EVERYTHING can be completely and succinctly packaged into a neat explanation. But our universe isn’t like that. There ARE anomalies. Sometimes there just isn’t an explanation or a ready made answer. I think psychologically, you guys have a NEED for everything to fit and therefore you cannot accept anything out of the ordinary. It’s the only way to makes sense of your stubborn refusal to even look at things differently.
    When I looked at the SOHO satellite photos starting a few years back, I and hundreds of thousands of others saw the same thing. Incredibly detailed pictures of the sun with unexplained objects dancing around nearby. When definitive structure was seen on several that were earth size and smaller and they were performing maneuvers that involved millions of G’s, it quickly became almost frightening. People everywhere, including some prominent astronomers, had no explanations. Then NASA began sanitizing the photos and videos. Then they supposedly just turned the satellite off for some obscure reason. Then they said it was broke.
    Bottom line is this: I know what was seen and people aren’t stupid. But skeptics DON”T WANT TO SEE THINGS THEY CAN”T EXPLAIN. So they throw a ridiculous blanket of excuses all over it in an effort to make it go away.
    These things are not going away. Keep on trucking with your website, most of it is good stuff. But PLEASE inform me and others when you come up with a valid explanation for ANY of the unbelievable phenomenon that happen all the time. We can argue semantics over pyramids until we are both dead. But you still haven’t explained the 1942 battle of LA incident. 1400 artillery shells fired at some sort of craft hovering in the spotlights of the Army during a blackout and then it just floated away over the ocean and left. That was a weather balloon too. LOL
    And you still cant explain the objects that circled DC for several hours in 1952 while being chased by AF jets. Happened two weekends consecutively. Flew directly over the white house. I know you’ve seen the video. Weather balloons again? Swamp gas?
    Where is the great James Randi on those two? Bill Nye? Anybody?
    But I suppose I’m wasting my breath here because you have already convinced yourself of some rational reasons I guess. But I would LOVE to see you break those incidents down. Forget the pyramids for a moment and challenge yourself with the 42 battle of LA and put it on your website.
    HOW ABOUT IT? I for one would really appreciate something like that and it would generate huge attention for your website. Especially if you could actually come up with something plausible.
    But I predict you won’t because NO skeptic ever has. Six people died from the panic and shrapnel. A hundred thousand witnesses. Video, audio, and a irrefutable and fantastic front page photo that CLEARLY shows a craft with shells exploding all AROUND it. Not ON it. It’s the most fascinating event I’ve ever discovered. But no skeptics EVER touch that one. Too much evidence to gloss over, way too messy, way too obviously real. So thanks for playing.

    • And you found another ignorant source about cartouches. how many other bad sources will you use to argue for the impossible? First off, there is no mystery in the cartouche not being spelling “correctly” because it wasn’t left by professional scribes but the workers. And why would Vyse fake part of the cartouche only to not correctly show what he misidentified in his own journal? That makes no sense. Also, it would be impossible for Vyse to have faked the cartouche for two reasons: Vyse’s discovery was made before hieroglyphs were well-understood; the first breakthroughs only came about a decade earlier, and it wouldn’t be until near the end of the 19th century that Egyptology could claim a good grasp of hieroglyphs. Second, the ocher goes into the masonry, a feature only possible during the construction of the pyramid. Unless Vyse lifted up the stones and the top of the pyramid to make this cartouche. As for why there is inconsistency between what Vyse drew and what is there: bad lighting in a tight space in the corner of the chamber, and drawings back then usually weren’t that accurate (others drew elephants as Mayan hieroglyphs, for example). You can read up on the impossibility of forgery here: http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=172788

      Dating the pyramids: if you can date the work sites of the pyramids, then you can date when the pyramids were built. We have dated the work sites. Therefore we can date the pyramids. How is it speculation that a work site dates to the same time as the thing that was worked on?

      Now you want to jump to modern UFOs? Looks like you are unable to defend plenty of other claims about the ancient world, so you have to avoid being shown you don’t know what you are talking about and run to something else. Sorry, I don’t play that game. Stick to the topic at hand. Also, I don’t know much of anything about these alleged incidents, and I’m not willing to through out speculations and unfounded claims like you do just to seem like I have a defensible position. But you may find something by Robert Sheaffer on this, since it is his area of interest.

      I would also caution you about psycho-analyzing skeptics. You aren’t doing well with plenty of other sciences, so making things up in another won’t work well. The reality is that those making extraordinary claims are not providing the sorts of extraordinary evidence required to make it believable while also ignoring evidence that makes their claims untenable. After all, you have over and over made claims to be easily shown to be wrong, such as ‘no mummies ever found in tombs’, not understanding that GT does not redate civilization, your changing claims about the Khufu cartouche being faked, and not knowing how the chamber the cartouche was found was inaccessible until the 19th century which you confused with access to the pyramid itself. Perhaps that explains why skeptics and experts are dismissive of claims like yours, because they are poorly informed and require ignoring so much background knowledge. This isn’t to say that Egyptologists are right about everything, But they are far more likely to know what they are talking about and concluding than you or your poor sources do. And considering I am not an expert in any of this, and yet I can find things very quickly to show your beliefs are demonstrably wrong, it should show you how much you need to discover before you try to rewrite history.

  13. You could be right about the dating of the pyramids. You may be correct on the ways that ancient’s moved megalithic blocks. You may be right about all of the evidence that you cite. It’s true that I probably allow or give too much credence to circumstantial evidence. I have admitted that my background does not make me an expert in these areas, therefore I’m an amateur. Amateurs make mistakes. Debating with you and others on these topics is helping me to better assess the evidence and possibly draw better conclusions. For that I thank you.
    There are episodes of our history however, that I just cannot overlook or explain away. Such as the ’42 LA incident. I’ve just NEVER heard any plausible explanation for what happened. The front page newspaper photo alone is just beyond spooky. Absolutely no doubt as to it’s authenticity. My uncle was part of the civil air defense squadron that shot over 1400 artillery rounds at it while it was held in the myriad high powered spotlights during the citywide blackout that was protocol after they spotted it on radar coming in from the coast. He said it made two passes over the city, very slowly and deliberately and everyone originally assumed it was a Japanese raid, especially since Pearl Harbor had just happened months prior. But Jap planes can’t hover over a major city for 45 mins. and they can’t withstand artillery barrages from only several hundred feet altitude. Neither can blimps, weather balloons or anything else in 42 for that matter. Nowadays, who knows?
    Anyway, I just thought that since you are a competent defender of the skeptic viewpoints that maybe you could take a look at the incident and possibly come up with a theory. At the very least, you would be fascinated by it. I have searched the internet and libraries and I have never seen anything plausible to explain it. It was this incident that got me started on mysterious events in the first place. Skeptics abroad don’t seem to want to touch it at all. In fact, Bill Nye on Larry King just studdered and stammered his way through a ridiculous weather balloon and blimp explanation that was laughable and the other panel members (including an astronaut) did laugh.
    As I mentioned previously, I did 21 years in the military and I was party to underground construction events that would frankly scare the average citizen in the area of what we are currently capable of. I retired many years ago now, so what is happening now would probably frighten even me. I can’t say much because I don’t like prison or hospital food but I will say I assisted in the construction of tunnels that span between air bases in the U.S. that allow cargo and personnel trains to travel at mach plus. And some of them are BEYOND the 8,000 foot depth range. I even heard rumors from several coworkers on our biggest job in N.M. that other tunnels were found (well crafted tunnels) that WE weren’t responsible for. My clearance was high and my fairly lofty rank and position had me convinced that I could get some answers if I tried. So I did. Suffice it to say that I was told in no uncertain terms to shut the f%^& up unless I wanted to finish my career counting penguins in the Artic. Incidentally, I got the same reaction years earlier while stationed at Ft. Wainright when I inquired about our topo maps that I needed for work, why certain areas in Alaska and further North were completely whited out. That was twenty years ago. It opened my eyes to many things and forced me to think outside the box. So I know firsthand about the suppression of knowledge. There are MANY levels of top secret clearance that are compartmentalized and certain things NEED to be secret for national security reasons. I appreciate the fact that we lead the world in technology and militarily for I would hate to think of what could happen globally if what we have was in the hands of some dangerous govts like N Korea or even Iran with their “wipe Israel off the map policy.” However, I also can spot subversive and illegal suppressions as well and they do exist.
    I don’t believe in ghosts, magic, black-eyed children, abductions, cattle mutilation, bigfoot, etc. and I’m not a conspiracy theorist. BUT, there are things and events that seem to defy any logical explanation and those are the things that interest me. There seems to be a large gap of prehistory that we just don’t know what happened. Say what you want about GT but it says a LOT more than just what you allow. It says that post ice age till around Sumeria culture, we are quite lost as to how to fill in that gap. Surely, you could at least admit that much.
    The dating of certain sites around the world became curious to me when I first read Arthur Posnansky’s writings on the age of Tihuanacu. A very competent and respected archeologist in his day, he spent 50 years studying the site and I’m sure your aware that he claims 15,000 B.C. I’m also sure you disagree with that. But I just can’t wrap my head around how the skeptic mind works, which is what I alluded to in my previous post. How can YOU OR I flippantly dismiss the opinion of a man that spent his entire life just about trying to decipher the truth about a very important site in my view. It just seems as if the modern day skeptic view is that NO MATTER WHAT evidence may be relevant or even has a nugget of authenticity to it, it’s just not going to be convincing enough. The panda bear was a ridiculous tale until they finally found one. The gorilla was BS until one was brought back to England in a crate. The coelacanth was extinct until one was found. There are new species found ALL the time. Troy was a fairy tale just like Atlantis until they dug it up. Nobody would have guessed at GT until they stumbled upon it.
    Things are possible, we do NOT have the answers to everything. Tube worms live in environments in our oceans that science claimed was impossible a short time ago.
    Extraordinary claims DO require extraordinary evidence. But it works both ways. For instance, when I use that logic on the Roswell incident, it just doesn’t compute. Now, I don’t believe they found dead aliens but let me utilize the Sagan logic on it. So the world’s only nuclear bomb unit at the time (trained specifically on weather balloon technology) finds something on a ranch. They inspect it, gather it up, assess the radar data and the material and conclude it’s otherworldly in nature. They even go so far as to admit it to the press. Then they retract in obvious panic. And we are supposed to believe that they cannot tell the difference between a weather balloon (they retrieved them often) and ET craft. Really? THEIR EVIDENCE is a tiny collection of weather balloon parts spread out on an office floor. THAT is extraordinary evidence? That is what we are supposed to believe they mistook for a spacecraft? Seriously! And they are surprised when people keep the story alive with further investigations. You would also have to discount the testimony of over a hundred reluctant witnesses, to include the actual PA officer himself and Major Marcel and the county medical examiner and many others. And the fact that many generals and Dept of defense personnel were documented there at Roswell and Wright Patterson during those weeks. And then, as usual, we can’t find any official records from the military cause they mysteriously went missing. Surprise, surprise.
    Holding up a flimsy piece of a weather balloon is NOT extraordinary evidence. And saying that nothing happened in the face of a huge amount of evidence to the contrary is an extraordinary claim! So in my eyes, it works both ways. I can’t date the pyramids. I can’t say what type of civ that GT really was. I can’t say how old Tihuanacu really is. I don’t really know how the ancients moved 1,000 ton megaliths. I don’t know how Stonehenge was built. I can’t say if ufo’s are real or not. I don’t know if intelligent life exists in our universe. I can’t prove that God exists. Is that a fairy tale too? I can’t prove the sphinx was made prior to the Egyptians. I can’t convince YOU especially that ANYTHING out of the ordinary has ever happened or has ever existed. But that’s where my frustration lies. When blatant mysterious evidence is in my face, I can recognize the possibilities. But for u guys, it’s ALL explainable. No mystery. No excitement. No way.
    Remember that Isaac Newton had the entire world of science completely convinced that the universe was explained under his theory. Until an unassuming little patent clerk who was rejected for a job teaching physics decided to change the world. He called his miraculous papers “thought experiments.” And like Tesla and a few other very smart men, Einstein claimed that he did not come up with that information all by himself. He wrote that he was able to access some area of the universe that held secrets and when he was able to concentrate and focus hard enough he could access it. I believe Albert. I believe Tesla. And I believe the great Leonardo Da Vinci when he claims to have put himself into a trance with a candle and become enlightened. You don’t apparently believe in anything extraordinary and I find that sad actually. What a boring and explainable universe that is. I think it’s awfully presumptuous to think we know everything and can explain away everything. But that’s ok because every time something incredible turns out to be credible, I look to the reaction of the former naysayers and skeptics. Know what I hear? Crickets…..and that’s the greatest satisfaction of all.

    • Since I am seeing your changing your position with my arguments, I’m thinking much better of you and our back-and-forth. You at first seemed to come at this stubbornly, but I see you considering the evidence.

      As I mentioned, I won’t be getting into the Battle of LA and the modern UFO phenomenon since I have little knowledge there. I will only note that a look on Wikipedia mentions that the photo in question was doctors for print, as was the normal practice in the day. I don’t know what was happening in 1942, but I don’t think you can take the details of the photo without critical look.

      On Tiwanaku and Stonehenge: we can date both sites now with C-14; we look at the organic materials under the stones, and we know they are not as ancient as some have claimed. Posnansky’s method was unsound to begin with; he assumed there must have been a solar alignment, and he had to move stones into place (the site was ruins by Spaniards centuries earlier), and his reconstruction of his assumed alignment got a staggeringly old date. C-14 puts it in the modern era (1st millennium CE).

      As for believing and wondering about the unknown: believe me when I say I don’t know it all, and science and skepticism haven’t provided all the answers. We don’t know what dark energy is; we don’t know how life began; we don’t know if something existed before the Big Bang; we don’t know so much of pre-contact American history. I wonder about plenty, and I allow my imagination to soar there. But I must always look for the evidence to know how best to guide my speculations. And I hope that is how all scientists and skeptics work. Knowing some things really well doesn’t ruin the wonder out there, and we don’t have to invent it just to feel better about our place in the cosmos.

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