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[P]
Scientific evidence of previous Earth civilization discovered?

By onyxruby in News
Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 11:21:20 AM EST
Tags: Science (all tags)
Science

Cosmiverse, Pravda and Outside Asylum have a rather interesting series of articles about some stone maps that have been found in China that may date to some 120 million years ago. The map appears to be a topographical relief map done on a scale 1 : 1.1 Kilometers. To blockquote:

The map indicates the use of civil engineering to create a system of channels about 12,000 km in length and 500 meters wide, and 12 dams that are 300-500 meters wide.

Their work is being peer reviewed in the scientific community, so there is some hope and reasonable possibility that this is not a hoax.


The map was found by scientists who were working on researching possible Chinese immigration to Ural and Siberia. When this was originally found, it was thought that it had been carved by hand and was some 3000 years old. Upon examination, it became obvious that this was machine made. It was also discovered upon x-ray examination that the map is made up of three layers, including a layer of a type of ceramic that has never been used in China. To blockquote the article:
"During the searches, notes dated the 18th century were found in archives of Ufa governor-general. They reported about 200 unusual stone slabs which were situated not far from the Chandar village, Nurimanov Region. Chuvyrov and his colleague at once decided that slabs could be connected with Chinese migrants. Archive notes also reported that in 17th-18th centuries, expeditions of Russian scientists who investigated Ural Region had studied 200 white slabs with signs and patterns, while in early 20th century, archaeologist A.Schmidt also had seen some white slabs in Bashkiria. This made the scientist start the search."
If these are indeed the same slabs that were referred to in the 18th century, then the technology available then simply would not have been capable of making such a map. Even the technology available today for information needed for such a map is only under the development phase by the US and is not expected to be finished until the year 2010. These are excellent signs against an elaborate hoax.

To quote one Pravda article

At first we thought that the stone was about 3,000 years. Though, that age was gradually growing, till we identified the shells ingrained in the stone to sign some objects. Though, who could guarantee that the shell was alive while being ingrained in the map? The map's creator probably used a petrified find." ... While examining the stone, two shells were found on its surface. The age of one of them - Navicopsina munitus of Gyrodeidae family - is about 500 million years, while of the second one - Ecculiomphalus princeps of Ecculiomphalinae subfamily - is about 120 million years.
If the dating is correct, and it is not a hoax, then it could not have been man-made. This means either an advanced civilization whose remains have just been found, or interstellar travelers. In either case, it would be an unprecedented and terribly interesting find.

I think it is perfectly reasonable that a civilization could have evolved here naturally, and died off well before humans evolved. Consider that involved in a time span of about 250,000 years, and first branched off from chimpanzees about 6 million years ago. For something that is 120 million years old, that is more than ample time for such a previous species to have risen and fallen. Consider the asteroid that wiped out 99% of life on Earth 65 million years ago, and you have a perfectly plausible reason said species was wiped out in totality.

The obvious response to this would be to ask why we haven't found artifacts from such a society yet? If the date of 120 million years ago is correct, than it would be difficult for anything to have survived time, the asteroid blast that wiped out the dinosaurs, weathering, and tectonic forces. To put this in perspective, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, one of the more popular found dinosaurs, has only been found a few hundred times over the years worldwide - with most of these finds only fragmentary. To date this in comparison, T Rex lived 75 million years ago. In short, I am saying that it is reasonably possible for a species to have lived and simply not be found yet. New species of dinosaurs are discovered on a consistent basis, and many of them lived for tens of millions of years.

According to the Cosmiverse article, the map was carved into a stone and discovered upside down. If one wanted to make something last a very long time, this would be an excellent way to do it. By putting the stone upside down, the map is protected from the elements and erosion. It is of course possible that tectonic forces ripped it apart and placed it upside down. One theory is that this may possibly be one of 348 pieces, making a total map of 340 x 340 meters in size.

One obvious clue as to authenticity would be to examine the maps for tectonic changes. Mountain ranges may seem eternal to us, but they rise and fall like the tides by a geological standard. Simply put, look for the mountain ranges, and use those to obtain secondary dating. Indeed, this type of secondary dating is present. To blockquote:

"How did we manage to identify the place? At first, we could not imagine the map was so ancient. Happily, relief of today's Bashkiria has not changed so much within millions of years. We could identify Ufa Height, while Ufa Canyon is the main point of our proofs, because we carried out geological studies and found its track where it must be according to the ancient map. Displacement of the canyon happened because of tectonic stabs which moved from East. The group of Russian and Chinese specialists in the field of cartography, physics, mathematics, geology, chemistry, and Old Chinese language managed to precisely find out that the slab contains the map of Ural region, with rivers Belya, Ufimka, Sutolka."
Thus, the map has the appropriate tectonic changes that would be required for this to indeed be accurate for a date of 120 million years ago.

Is this for real? That is an answer that can only come from credible third party Scientific review. Luckily said review is already underway. To blockquote the review process:

What could be the destination of the map? That is probably the most interesting thing. Materials of the Bashkir find were already investigated in Centre of Historical Cartography in Visconsin[Sic], USA. The Americans were amazed. According to them, such three-dimensional map could have only one destination - a navigational one, while it could be worked out only through aerospace survey.

In the meanwhile, Bashkir scientists send out information about their find to different scientific centres of the world; in several international congresses, they have already given reports on the subject: The Civil Engineering Works Map of an Unknown Civilization of South Ural."

If this is real, the implications for the likelihood are enormous that life has evolved on other planets, for it means either that intelligent life could strike twice on one planet, or the map came from an extre-terrestial source. Personally, I am much more inclined to believe in life evolving here naturally. All blockquotes are from any of the three already referenced articles.

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Poll
The map
o Hoax! 38%
o Nifty 27%
o Aliens 4%
o Who cares 4%
o Proof that previous civilization evolved on Earth 9%
o There really is life out there 2%
o The Scientists have it all wrong 1%
o Fool! God created the Earth in 6 days. 12%

Votes: 139
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Scientific evidence of previous Earth civilization discovered? | 201 comments (171 topical, 30 editorial, 0 hidden)
Dating (4.63 / 11) (#13)
by Simon Kinahan on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 07:38:47 AM EST

This is fascinating, but I don't think they have sufficient grounds for claiming the slab was made 120m years ago.

They claim to have tried radiocarbon dating, and a "uranium clock" (not sure what that means), and to have gotten conflicting results. Radiocarbon dates only apply to biological matter, so how you could use them to date a rock is unclear. The data of 120m years comes from shells on the surface. Now, unless I'm very confused, shells in rocks are used to get the date the rock was laid down at, not the date it was made into a human artifact. 120m year old rocks are nothing very unusual.


Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate

Third verification method is unclear (4.00 / 1) (#15)
by onyxruby on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 07:42:38 AM EST

They mention a third verification method in the Cosmiverse article.
The age was finally determined to be 120 million years, the time when the Earth's magnetic pole was situated in today's area of Franz Josef Land
I did not include this as there was no reference as to how the magnetic north pole was relevant to the dating. Perhaps this may be good evidence, but since I haven't the foggiest how this is relevant, or was determined, I have to wonder about it.

The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.
[ Parent ]

If only... (3.66 / 3) (#17)
by tps12 on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 07:50:13 AM EST

...we had GeologyGenius here to answer these questions.

[ Parent ]
Magnetic dating.. (4.50 / 2) (#28)
by Curieus on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 08:11:41 AM EST

Disclaimer: I am not a geologist.

IIRC, the earth magnetic field is not constant. It is easy to check that the location of the north pole of the earth magnetic field has not always been where it is now. There is a drift.
However, for some reason, once in a while (between few 100.000 and several million years, the polarity of the earth magnetic field reverses. Link to scientific american

When magma cools down, the resulting basalt takes on the orientation belonging to the earth magnetic field at that moment. This is a way to date magma flows and rock ages. Of course this doesn't work for sandstone and rocks of similar type


[ Parent ]

So ... (5.00 / 1) (#40)
by Simon Kinahan on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 09:03:04 AM EST

... that would also be dating the formation of the rock, no the creation of the artifact.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
I hate to argue (4.00 / 1) (#61)
by gauntlet on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 12:02:29 PM EST

I think this is a hoax, too, but I think what they might be saying is that they were able to magnetically date the "artificial" portions of the map, particularly the porcelain protecting the surface.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Ah ... (4.50 / 2) (#65)
by Simon Kinahan on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 12:40:40 PM EST

Well that would be more interesting, but I thought those kinds of magnetic effects only applied to rocks that had been liquid (not just dissolved or suspended in water - actually molten), and which additionally contained lots of iron.

I'm not sure whether this is a hoax, well-meaning people deluding themselves, genuine but not that old, or genuine yet. Bets are on one of the firsy three, though.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]

Magnetically date a man-made object?! (5.00 / 3) (#81)
by awgsilyari on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 03:22:26 PM EST

How the hell could they magnetically date a porcelain slab? The reason palaeomagnetic measurements work is because we're fairly certain that the orientation of the sea floor rift hasn't changed much over time. If it were otherwise, we'd still know that the field has been changing, but we could never figure out which WAY it was pointing.

A slab of rock, on the other hand, can be rotated. How can we have ANY CLUE what orientation it had when it was solidified?

This is all assuming the porcelain is even CAPABLE of embedding a magnetic field..

--------
Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
[ Parent ]

Sandstones do (none / 0) (#203)
by thrig on Sun Jun 30, 2002 at 11:59:46 PM EST

Yes, cooling will produce aligned grains as the temperature drops below the Curie point (~580C, above which thermal agitation of the atoms prevents permanent magnetism) in the resultant igneous rock.

Additionally, weak (yet permanent) alignment can be found in certain sedimentary rocks— settling magnetite particles will align themselves before being locked into the sediment.

Now I need to read the articles to see what the folks are up to... :)

Source on the Geology mumbo-jumbo: The Dynamic Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology (mine is 2nd Edition).



[ Parent ]
Magnetic North (5.00 / 1) (#142)
by WhiteBandit on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 02:20:44 AM EST

I'm not really a geologist (just a shmoe in college who's taken quite a few geology classes :)

I myself am not too sure how magnetic north's alignment is relevant to the dating. Yes, it's true, magnetic north does flip every 250k - 300k years.

The only reason we know this is because of divergent zones in the ocean usually expand at a fairly constant rate, for example, the Mid Atlantic ridge only expands about 3cm a year on either side (if my memory serves me correctly) Some expand faster So you can use this fairly constant rate to find out how often the pole is flipping

Now if you were to look at the ocean floor, the basalt is high in iron content. Now the iron crystals are aligned a certain way (with magnetic north). The reason we know about these flips of magnetic north is because we see equal bands of flipped crystals aligned with the south pole. Not sure exactly how much the segments are in real life, but 3cm per yr * 250k yrs = 7.5 km segments. I'd have to check the books on that.

*Back On Topic: I really don't see how knowing where magnetic north is really has any relevance to dating an artifact found in a cave? The iron could be aligned a certain way, but who is to say the artificat has been moved since the iron was cooled? This is probably most likely in anycase, since someone has to pick up this slab of rock to make the carvings.

Perhaps a more logical conclusion: It was a rough draft of the ten commandments? :)



[ Parent ]
Shells and hoaxes (4.00 / 1) (#70)
by dachshund on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 01:15:47 PM EST

Now, unless I'm very confused, shells in rocks are used to get the date the rock was laid down at, not the date it was made into a human artifact.

From the Pravda article, I got the impression that the shells were applied to the rock as part of the design or inscription. The article then goes on to mention that the authors could still have used a petrified sample, which would have produced the same dating effect.

On balance, I find nothing to indicate that this isn't a hoax, other than the historical reports of a "bunch of white stones" found by previous explorers (which hardly proves anything.) In fact, a dedicated hoaxer could easily have based the entire hoax off of his knowledge of these old reports.

[ Parent ]

Hoax (3.22 / 9) (#14)
by marcos on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 07:41:51 AM EST

Well first of all, there is ABSOLUTELY no reason any human being can give to doubt the existence of Aliens or of an old civilisation on earth. Look at yourself. The human being is very intricate and complex, and if nature can develop such a lifeform here and now, then it can do it elsewhere and at another time.

That said, I think this is a hoax. One 1 map was found, and it was found after the scientists had told everybody that they were looking for such a map. I think that some rock-cutter just took a slab of old rock and cut it in a way that would satisfy the scientists needs. This is just a personal opinion, and not anything I can prove.

And also, why those two news sites? Why not BBC and CNN? Those are not exactly the most reputable news sources.

Hoax (5.00 / 5) (#18)
by onyxruby on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 07:50:45 AM EST

It is certainly possible that it is a hoax, and I think I quite fairly cover that possibility. Supposedly about 200 similiar maps were found in the 18th century. If these could be recovered, and are of the same construction methods, it would be the best possible evidence against a hoax.

We know it wasn't made by hand, that it was very definitely machine made per the precision. The articles all do confirm that it was machine made. Assuming someone had the modern precision tools to make this, why would they transport it to China and put it under some guys house?

All things considered, I am also reasonably skeptical and believe that this may indeed be a hoax. This is why when the article originally ran in Cosmiverse May 6th, I did not submit anything. Since I saw two more articles about, and one had pictures, along with notation about the scientific peer review process it is going under, I thought it now had enough credibility to be discussion worthy. There were a number of things mentioned in the articles that also were positive signs against a hoax, and I tried to point most of them out.

The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.
[ Parent ]

doubt (4.50 / 2) (#136)
by roju on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 12:41:41 AM EST

sure, any reasonable human could doubt it. Suppose that at some point in time, there have been X different civilizations on Earth. Now, turn back the clock until there have X-1 civilizations. Keep at it until there has been only 1 civilization. There you have it. There must be a first civiliation. It is possible that humans are that first civilization. It is possible they are not. But any reasonable person must not just assume "certainly there have been previous civiliations," rather they should assume "humans may be the first civilization, or, they may not be. no one knows."

[ Parent ]
obligatory topical quote (4.75 / 16) (#16)
by martingale on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 07:48:37 AM EST

"Oh my God ... I'm back .. I'm home ... all the time. We finally, really did it. You maniacs! You blew it up! Augh... Damn you... damn you all to hell!" -CH

Or how about (3.00 / 6) (#41)
by imrdkl on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 09:03:49 AM EST

My God! It's full of stars!

[ Parent ]
The poster also neglected to mention (4.50 / 8) (#67)
by Wah on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 12:50:58 PM EST

that the slabs have a slightly obfuscated signature at the bottom.

Sla__iba_tfa_t

is all they've managed to make out.
--
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]

scientific peer review? (3.88 / 9) (#23)
by danny on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 07:59:38 AM EST

Neither Pravda or Cosmiverse are scientific journals. Frankly, until some more reputable source is found for this, I dont think it's even worth looking at. There are way too many of these stories going around to be worth bothering with.

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]

Scientific review (5.00 / 1) (#26)
by onyxruby on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 08:06:21 AM EST

I did not represent either one of those sources as scientific peer review journals, they were merely the source for articles on this map. Near the very end of the article, you'll see that I provided as much information about the scientific review process this is undergoing as I could gather. All things considered though, I would like to know which institutions are doing the reviewing. However, none of these factors reasonably limits the discussion worthy value of this during the interim. You will note that at no time did I ever claim this to be factually accurate, I gave what sources I could, and pointedly covered the peer review process. All things considered, I have more than reasonably covered the possibility of a hoax.

The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.
[ Parent ]

topical, not editorial (nt) (none / 0) (#34)
by tps12 on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 08:24:54 AM EST



[ Parent ]
possibility of a hoax (5.00 / 1) (#37)
by danny on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 08:32:41 AM EST

Until there's been some kind of scientific evaluation, I'd say the probability of either a hoax or self-deception has to be pretty close to 1.

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]
[ Parent ]

Pictures (3.14 / 7) (#25)
by Simon Kinahan on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 08:03:22 AM EST

Am I missing something, or does the picture look like a picture of a badly cracked lump of rock ?

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
I agree (4.00 / 2) (#42)
by martingale on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 09:09:37 AM EST

You'd think that with a story like that, the journalists would try to provide a nice closeup to really convince the skeptics. Either they've reduced the pictures for web consumption, or they really don't have good pictures, in which case I'm left skeptical...

[ Parent ]
Also (4.00 / 1) (#86)
by salsaman on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 03:51:26 PM EST

You would think if they'd discovered untranslatable heiroglyphics, as suggested in the article, that they'd put copies of the heiroglyphs somewhere on the net so that people around the world could have a go at decyphering them.

[ Parent ]
Well (4.00 / 4) (#43)
by AmberEyes on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 09:10:40 AM EST

Make sure you're wearing your "I BELIEVE IN UFOS" baseball cap, first.

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
The scientists are too sure. (3.50 / 8) (#29)
by MickLinux on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 08:14:01 AM EST

The "scientists" in the main article sound entirely too sure of themselves, and carry the term "scientist" entirely too high.  

The net message that I get from this is "China is #1!", which is all well and good -- surely it is obvious to all that China is indeed number one, but the statement is mathematically self-verifying by standard inductive reasoning , and thus no further proof is necesary.<p>

However, if people <b>really would like this kind of thing</b>, I can find a whole bunch of links to unity generators, gas-saving devices that will reduce your fuel consumption by 120%, and the biological data from the Area-51 martian corpses (including the entire DNA map of each one of them).  Indeed, if I can't find such a site I can make one up.  

And, in case anyone should worry about it being untrue, I can put those fears to rest by providing them with evidence that each of these was first discovered in Communist China.<p>

I make a call to grace, for the alternative is more broken than you can imagine.

Smells a bit like 'Chariots of the Gods' to me (3.66 / 3) (#31)
by 8ctavIan on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 08:21:03 AM EST

And if you don't know what that is: then check this out

But Pravda means truth in Russian, so hey, it must be true!


Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice. -- H.L. Mencken

Debunked, but not forgotten (4.00 / 2) (#39)
by imrdkl on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 08:46:00 AM EST

Chariots was a favorite book of my young teenage years. It certainly was thought-provoking, like Kon-Tiki, for example. But if I recall, the author never had any real maps, such as this one, to base his claims on. The maps were largely fitted to some intricately engineered ancient sites which seemed to him to fit a pattern. This map seems more like a real map, albeit not one that could be carried around in a backpack.

Ancient Astronauts are a boggler. I am skeptical about the 120 million years dating of this find, but topographical maps don't seem so far fetched, given other existing and unreplicable achievements.

[ Parent ]

The age of the rock (4.53 / 13) (#36)
by sto0 on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 08:26:39 AM EST

"At first we thought that the stone was about 3,000 years. Though, that age was gradually growing, till we identified the shells ingrained in the stone to sign some objects. Though, who could guarantee that the shell was alive while being ingrained in the map? The map's creator probably used a petrified find."

This seems to indicate to me that, as with many non-scientific reports, the most sensational answer has been used. Chuvyrov clearly seems to state that he believes that the creator used a petrified find. This would be by far the most probable possibility. If we can't go on the actual age of the raw rock then another method for dating it has to be used.

Secondly:

"When the research was at its height, a small stone - chalcedony - got to professor Chuvyrov's table, containing a similar relief. Probably somebody, who saw the stab wanted to copy the relief. Though, who and why?"

This is highly suspicious as well. I really want to believe that the scientists have not been the victims of a really sad person, but this may not be the case. The machined nature of the rock further enhances this possibility.

Having said all this, hopefully this will be investigated by more people, and therefore reduce the risk of hoaxes and poor scientific reasoning.

I'm reminded of that X-Files poster (4.37 / 8) (#45)
by Gord ca on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 09:19:27 AM EST

"I Want To Believe" - under a fuzzy picture that looks like a flying saucer to some. Here it's an unclear picture of a slab of rock, which some guy claims to be an alien artifact.

It'd be so cool if this were for real, but the chances of that don't look good right now.

If I'm attacking your idea, it's probably because I like it

1 : 1.1 scale? (3.16 / 6) (#49)
by jabber on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 10:29:50 AM EST

That's a pretty big map.

Somehow, I think this should be in the 'humor' section, but I'm giving it a +1 anyway.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

BS (2.28 / 7) (#51)
by evilpckls on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 10:39:33 AM EST

but well written.

-------
"This is proof that fish geeks are just weird. You look like you've wet your pants, and I have a fish in my coat." --nstenz

What's it a map of? (2.00 / 15) (#52)
by jabber on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 10:42:57 AM EST

Does it depict present day land formations? Wow! Those aliens from 120 million years ago were time travelers too!! Or is it of the land formations from their time? Did these 'scientists' travel back in time to verify this? It's truly fascinating to me that the reasons given for the unlikely survival of such an 'artifact' are precisely the ones which invalidate the idea in the first place - and nobody's noticed.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

Perhaps you should read the article ... (4.80 / 5) (#55)
by DeHans on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 11:08:45 AM EST

to quote a quote:
"Happily, relief of today's Bashkiria has not changed so much within millions of years. We could identify Ufa Height, while Ufa Canyon is the main point of our proofs, because we carried out geological studies and found its track where it must be according to the ancient map. Displacement of the canyon happened because of tectonic stabs which moved from East. The group of Russian and Chinese specialists in the field of cartography, physics, mathematics, geology, chemistry, and Old Chinese language managed to precisely find out that the slab contains the map of Ural region, with rivers Belya, Ufimka, Sutolka."
Thus, the map has the appropriate tectonic changes that would be required for this to indeed be accurate for a date of 120 million years ago.


[ Parent ]
Read the article? (2.60 / 5) (#58)
by jabber on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 11:31:46 AM EST

The article claims/suggests that little green men made this 'map'. Reading the article for proof of what the article claims is like reading the Bible to find God.

The cracks in my driveway, when viewed at the proper scale, and adjusted for the passage of time, resemble the Canals of Mars, assuming that water once flowed through them.

Aliens, apparently from Mars, MUST have put the cracks there as proof of their existence. The recent discovery of water ice on Mars makes this proof undeniable.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Yup (4.00 / 4) (#75)
by yooden on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 02:01:52 PM EST

The articles cannot prove themselves, but the logical flaw you pointed at does not exist.

[ Parent ]
A Dose of Healthy Scepticism (5.00 / 1) (#89)
by Ruidh on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 04:08:00 PM EST

If the map indeed dates to 120 million years ago and requires tectonic changes to make it fit the current topography how do they know that it is accurate to .5 meters?

I find it very hard to believe that the area hasn't changed significantly in 120 million years certainly it has on the scale of meters.  The conclusion that this map is that old is just absurd.  Ockham's razor cuts this theory to shreds.

The ironic thing is that Pravda has never been taken as a reliable source of information in the West.  Since the end of the Soviet Union, it has become more like the Weekly World News than the New York Times.
 
"Laissez-faire is a French term commonly interpreted by Conservatives to mean 'lazy fairy,' which is the belief that if governments are lazy enough, the Good Fairy will come down from heaven and do all their work for them."
[ Parent ]

Things to swallow (2.40 / 10) (#56)
by Yellowbeard on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 11:19:02 AM EST

"Consider the asteroid that wiped out 99% of life on Earth 65 million years ago, and you have a perfectly plausible reason said species was wiped out in totality. "

First of all, I don't buy this statement at all, and it seems to have far more people duped than 120 million year old stone maps. This whole "wiped out by an asteroid" bit is really stupid in a lot of ways. I can't believe so many people are taken in by it. But, you know - whatever. However, the rest sounds like it should be in one of those books that claims that the pyramids were made by aliens.

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


well... the asteroid crater could be.. (4.00 / 1) (#57)
by boxed on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 11:25:45 AM EST

...the site of some really nasty weapon, who knows. We've always been scared what would happen if we started using nukes but that's nothing compared to the one single hit on the yukatan peninsula. Oh well, I don't really buy this without lots more proof of course.

[ Parent ]
so.. (3.00 / 1) (#66)
by juju2112 on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 12:48:56 PM EST

<i>This whole "wiped out by an asteroid" bit is really stupid in a lot of ways. I can't believe so many people are taken in by it.</i>

Then, what is the K-T boundary?

[ Parent ]

K-T (4.00 / 1) (#94)
by djotto on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 04:22:52 PM EST

It's a meteorite strike.

Two unusual events at the same time (approximately - we're talking geology here) ain't proof, though.

[ Parent ]

If you really want a good answer to this (none / 0) (#157)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 10:14:47 AM EST

take Walt Manger's "Extinction and Life History" over in the Geology department. It is worth the time. He is a brilliant teacher and, IMHO, a really solid thinker.

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
<gulp> (4.00 / 1) (#76)
by yooden on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 02:04:31 PM EST

This whole "wiped out by an asteroid" bit is really stupid in a lot of ways.

Please name some.

[ Parent ]

Ok (4.50 / 2) (#98)
by Yellowbeard on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 04:53:18 PM EST

Since you asked.

  • There are a lot of inconsistencies with who gets nailed at the K-T - all the dinosaurs, but not what would become birds - nor larger lizards, amonites but not nautaloids, are a couple of examples. These species shared similar environmental niches and similar life ways - some species got nailed and some didn't - why?
  • An extinction of this magnitude looks /really/ fast, but that doesn't mean it happens over night. Really fast in Geologic time is 10,000 years - not necessarily one year - there is no need to posit the litterally overnight cataclysm represented by celestial body impact
  • The impact theorists keep changing their tune. This whole idea came about /before anyone even knew there was a crater/. It was postulated originally by Walter Alvarez based solely on the fact that there was an anomolous layer of iridium at the KT boundary in most places on earth. Since iridium doesn't occur a lot on earth, he postulated an impact. There followed a bunch of different ideas of how this could have killed the dinosaurs - First, the idea was that it got too cold (too much dust), then scientists said, no no, it got to hot, then there was some stuff about worldwide firestorms due to methane release, now they are back to too cold. The tune keeps changing. That worries me about scientific hypothesis
  • Yes, there /was/ an impact at about that time, but correlation does not mean cause and effect
  • There are only 2 ways to kill off a species: 1. Line every single on that exists up and put a bullet in each one, or, 2. Hit them in the reproductive cycle. If you choose # 1 for meteor impact, then why didn't it nail /everyone/. If you choose #2., then why are so many animals that shared similar reproductive habits with dinos still around?
  • There are other, better, less Ockham's razorable theories that explain the extinction just as well, but aren't as sensational.
  • Finally, though the KT extinction is talked about all the time, what about the extinction at the end of the permian? It was far larger (95% of the earth's species died) and there is no associated impact - but there is vulcanism and assuciated climactic change - exactly as there was at the K-T.

The thing is, impact /might/ be a plausible explanation, but there are a whole lot of other, simpler, better explanations that just happen to be a little more boring. Remember the key thing: Mass extinction does /not/ mean overnight - merely geologically overnight - which is a very long time indeed.


"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
Other, less occam's razorable theories (4.00 / 1) (#130)
by sgp on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 08:04:00 PM EST

I'll bite... this isn't really my field, but fancy citing some?

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

My geology professor always favoured (none / 0) (#156)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 10:05:41 AM EST

vulcanism. I think there are several ways to go, but let me give you a simple one: The environment stays virtually the same for a long period - say an era (like for the entire cretaceaous, for example). During this time, certain species, who, by chance, had the upper hand at the outset in this particular type of environment, began to thrive. As the environment continued to stay /basically/ the same, they continued to adapt to it - to get better and better at thriving in it.

Now, any time a species gets a really long time to get used to a particular environment, there are both advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that the species or species has/have a really long time to get /really/ specialized and learn how to exploit every bit of that particular environment's resources.

The disadvantage, as you no doubt are already thinking, is that if that environment changes rapidly, the species who live within it sudden;y find themselves in trouble. It doesn't always mean they will go extinct - just that they have to adapt. In fact, a species will /not/ go extinct due to environmental change unless the environment changes in such a way that, a. it suddenly, literally, kills every last member or, b. the change that occurs is one that causes a disruption in the reproductive cycle of the species.

These are really the only two ways to go about it. If you, say, just make the environment poisonous, then the odds are that they will evolve around it. There is a great case of some rat control measures in Brooklyn in the earlier part of this century that illustrates this where the rat population actually adapted to be able to eat stricknine and survive.

So, back to the theory - let's say these dinosaurs (as well as the large variety of other species which get the axe at the K-T) are bopping along, really well adapted to a particular environment, and the environment goes through rapid (and by rapid, geologically, we mean, say, 100-1000 years) shifts - several variables could come into play like maybe vulcanism, maybe a meteor impact, maybe a lot of things (although, in this case, I am really betting against a meteor impact being able to cause the kinds of major changes necessary all by itself - if one does the math on the amount of greenhouse gasses or dust put in the atmosphere by impact it turns out to be a hell of a lot less than steady, thousand year volcanic activity). One of these things hits several specialized species in the reproductive cycle in some way. Hell, one part of the possibility is that the rising new mammals were eating the dinosaur's eggs - that wouldn't do it alone, but could contribute. This change causes death.

The thing is, if you posit an impact catastrophy big enough to kill the species that get killed, it turns out a little strange, because a bunch of species that are very morphologically similar (at least, their hard parts - remember - all we have to work with are fossils, here) /don't/ get dead while others do. It just doesn't make sense in terms of a cataclysmic event like impact. And we already /have/ good evidence that there was intense volcanic activity at this time.

But it's just not as sexy, is it?


"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
actually... (none / 0) (#202)
by micmatic on Sat Jun 29, 2002 at 07:43:51 AM EST

I find volcanoes to be very sexy..
they have something orgasmic about them.

beep.

[ Parent ]

Sounds like bulls*** (3.25 / 4) (#59)
by CitAnon on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 11:31:48 AM EST

So some guys took 120 million year old rocks, slapped them together with some cement, and made a bunch of cuts. Wohoo! We've found an ancient civilization.

If this was done 120 million years ago, how could they tell, with all the erosion and weathering of the tablets that would take place, if mechanical cutting was used or not in the first place? But it's made by an advanced civilization. Right, and I'm really E.T.

And what's a uranium chronometer anyways?

Still, +1 section so we can have an interesting debate and people who know something about archeology can strike it down.



Well (4.00 / 1) (#60)
by Yellowbeard on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 11:34:01 AM EST

This wouldn't be archeology. It doesn't involve humans, as they evolved into something resembling their present state only as far back as 1 million years ago. It falls more into the realm of geology, but I can assure you that there is no other geological evidence whatever to support the claim that there has ever been sentient life other than H Sapiens on the planet.

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
No evidence of ancient inhabitation of Earth? (none / 0) (#189)
by bunnytricks on Sun Jun 09, 2002 at 10:27:16 AM EST

Then you've never read Forbidden Archaeology.

Oh wait, as none of the hundreds of anomalous specimens included in its pages don't conveniently fit into your worldview, each and every one has to be a hoax.

[ Parent ]

Better Translated as Uranium Clock (5.00 / 1) (#121)
by Boronx on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 06:20:55 PM EST

"And what's a uranium chronometer anyways? " Is a method of dating rocks by looking at the conentrations of various isotopes found in the Uranium decay chain.
Subspace
[ Parent ]
Cosmiverse? (3.66 / 6) (#62)
by Groby on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 12:06:02 PM EST

It's on Cosmiverse? For crying out loud, those guys are the net equivalent of the National Enquirer!

Probably even worse :)

Add This To The Junkpile of Xenoarcheology (3.11 / 9) (#63)
by thelizman on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 12:20:09 PM EST

Not suprisingly, there is a preponderance of evidence that several very advanced civilizations, some as advanced at mid 20th century, may have existed. Ancient Hindu texts talk about jetlike aircraft, and 'arrows that explode with the fury of the rising sun'. With wonders such as the pyramids at giza, or the Plateau Des Jarres in Cambodia, there are a lot of whys and hows that defy conventional thinking about the ancient world. It should also give us pause to reconsider our own fragile civilization.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Also in the Bible (4.00 / 1) (#84)
by salsaman on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 03:36:57 PM EST

Ezekiel 1:

4 And I looked, and, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, a great cloud, with a fire flashing up, so that a brightness was round about it; and out of the midst thereof as the colour of electrum, out of the midst of the fire. 5 And out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man. 6 And every one had four faces, and every one of them had four wings. 7 And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot; and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass.

[ Parent ]

And the greeks... (5.00 / 1) (#97)
by richieb on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 04:47:25 PM EST

don't forget the Greeks and Romans, who saw chariots moving the Sun around the sky...

...richie

P.S. Is my sarcasm showing?
It is a good day to code.
[ Parent ]

hal·lu·ci·na·tion (4.50 / 2) (#117)
by Rk on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:38:01 PM EST

hal·lu·ci·na·tion Pronunciation Key (h-ls-nshn)
n.

Perception of visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, or gustatory experiences without an external stimulus and with a compelling sense of their reality, usually resulting from a mental disorder or as a response to a drug. The objects or events so perceived. A false or mistaken idea; a delusion.

http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=hallucination&db=*

Why not just apply Occams Razor? After all, the Bible talks about turning water to wine and various other unscientific mythological deeds. It cannot reasonably be viewed as a source of unquestionable truth. There's hallucinations, dreams, misinterpretations (the people who alledgedly witnessed these events were uneducated shepherds), or just stories out of someone's particular lucid imagination. It's hard to give up the belief in some kind of greater being, whether it be a deity or an extraterrestrial visitor. But to believe in such a being without evidence is to delude oneself.

[ Parent ]
Water/wine (3.00 / 1) (#152)
by PixelPusher on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 08:32:01 AM EST

"After all, the Bible talks about turning water to wine and various other unscientific mythological deeds."

Pshh!!  Turning water into wine is easy!  I can do it no problem!  Sure with me, it's a month instead of instantaneous, and I need a few other things to help, but hey, who's keeping score?  =)


[ Parent ]

Not in Cambodia (none / 0) (#115)
by durian on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:34:39 PM EST

The Plain of Jarres is in Laos, not Cambodia!

[ Parent ]
I'm An American (4.50 / 2) (#119)
by thelizman on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 06:08:05 PM EST

You're lucky I was even in that corner of Asia dammit! If we did'nt bomb it today, I don't care! : )
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
You did bomb it (4.00 / 3) (#137)
by durian on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 12:47:05 AM EST

Laos has the dubious honour of being the most bombed country in this war America denied it fought there.

[ Parent ]
Learn to Read, Dumbass (none / 0) (#160)
by thelizman on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 12:13:22 PM EST

"if we did'nt bomb it today"...

Some people are just born as semi literate dumbass trolls.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Cultural evidence? (5.00 / 3) (#139)
by bodrius on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 01:29:09 AM EST

There's a tendency in the human mind to, once acquired a certain cultural pride, refuse to admit that other "primitive" cultures could have been equal or superior to what they consider the highest point in the history civilization.

This also makes people think some technology is inherently "advanced" and requires all the baggage of current civilization simply because the correct chain of events led to its discovery relatively late in the current worldview. Things like antibiotics and modern medicine techniques come to mind.

For those willing to accept the possibility of those advances, though, the problem is still there. There is a temptation to interpret any "high-tech" as necessarily implying all the baggage it implies in the current civilization.

So if the Egyptians had calculated the circumference of the Earth and the distance to the moon, they must have also known about firearms. If the Chinese had thousands of years of pharmacological tradition, they must have also learned to fly. If the Incas could fly, they also had transatlantic navigation...

Reading the texts of ancient civilizations, it's very tempting to interpret them within the full context of contemporary civilization.

That's why stories of pagan demons and spirits were interpreted as demons, saints and angels by the monotheists, and stories of these latter are interpreted as aliens by UFOists. A sword of fire can very easily be a sword of light, which can very easily be a laser. But maybe it was meant to be a sword of fire, after all.

What does "arrows that explode with the force of a rising sun" mean? For a contemporary reader it might be missiles. But we didn't know what the "force of a rising sun" was until very recently, in the 18th century it might as well have meant a cannonball. But in the 15th century it might have been thought of as a bullet. In the 12th century it would be Greek fire.

But maybe it was just a legend about arrows that stroke with the force of the rising sun.

Cultural evidence is impossible to interpret properly in a context that is different from the original context. Since we don't have the original context, we can only reconstruct it from the physical evidence. We cannot speculate about the context, because the context is our basis for speculation. Extrapolating the context from metaphorical description is as bad as we can get.

So, before deciding that something sounds we read about sounds "jetlike" just because we think of modern objects in terms of jets, we should stick to the "naive" interpretation and take it at face value until we find something physical that we can confidently say is "jetlike" and was described thusly.
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]

Simple (3.50 / 2) (#170)
by Chairman Kaga on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 05:53:31 PM EST

Just consult your Civ III tech chart, it is easy to see what technologies are required for other ones.

[ Parent ]
Ghost stories, extraterrestrials... (4.28 / 7) (#64)
by Humuhumunukunukuapuaa on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 12:33:21 PM EST

What next? - the new K5-plan diet? Gossip about Rusty's love life? Elvis sighted on /.?
--
(&()*&^#@!!&_($&)!&$(*#$(!$&_(!$*&&!$@
Elvis on /. (5.00 / 2) (#146)
by J'raxis on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 06:32:01 AM EST

Sighted twice in 1999, and not seen since.

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

Maybe not a hoax, but probably not aliens... (5.00 / 18) (#68)
by bodrius on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 12:56:43 PM EST

Or "reptilians" either, so David Icke should probably calm down.

I would stick with the scientists title for their report: "Civil Engineering works of an Unknown Ancient Civilization", and would take a more conservative approach to the age.

Why? Because I do not see convincing evidence in the articles that the scientists themselves are sticking to the 120 million years date.

They identified the shells to be 120 million years old. I think we can find some of those these days too.

They seem to have identified some materials in the rock to be 120 million years old, but the articles don't seem to me specific enough to say they identified the manufacture date of the piece to be the same. If they did, I would expect a decent explanation on how do you identify the manufacture date of each material, and when were they put together.

I'm perfectly willing to believe some unknown civilization created this, as unlikely as it seems without our "great technological achievements", but my first hypothesis would be a human civilization, even if that means one thousands of years old.

Each human civilization in a time of relative prosperity has historically underestimated both its peers and its predecessors achievements. It would not be the first time we encounter a relatively advanced technological accomplishment and judge it would have been "impossible" for X or Y people to create it; traditionally we then turn to the supernatural, the divine or the "alternative" to explain it.

In the 20th century that means aliens, but before we had Atlantis, Lemuria, the Lost Tribes of Israel, the Ancient Aryan People, the Masters From The World Below, etcetera, etcetera.

We have used them to explain pyramids, complex structures, Chinese materials found in America, American materials found in Egypt, and other stuff. The idea that someone found an alternative way to do what we have just learned to do now, thousands of years earlier, is always unthinkable.

Today, however, we have reasonable scientists arguing that yes, the Incas may have discovered flight before us, the Chinese were indeed travelling all over the seas, the American civilizations may have traded with Asia, Africa and Europe, and ancient peoples everywhere had very interesting ways of moving rocks with ropes, leather and wood, we had not thought of before.

All of that without God, aliens, the Chosen Race or the demi-human civilizations of yore showing them the way.

Basicly, that people with more limited means may have been smarter than us, long ago.

Unthinkable.

But unless I see conclusive evidence that the researchers themselves believe, from their priviledged access to and knowledge of the evidence, that this thing is 120 million years old, I will not assume they do.

And unless this researchers provide convincing evidence to the scientific community and the public in general that they are being reasonable and scientific about this, I will not assume this thing is 120 million years old.

It seems to me that some reporter saw the 120 million years old, heard the words "the creator" (of the artifact), and went nuts during editing mode, so I don't trust the context for now.

After what they did with the Qunram texts controversy or other examples I would be not very surprised. Heck, I once saw a "journalist" manage to get a poor scientist to confirm that "it might be possible" the Shoemaker-Levy comet crashing on Jupiter "represents a danger to Earth" through able interruptions, editing, and abuse of the line "we have no idea what exactly will happen".
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...

Forget the aliens (4.50 / 4) (#72)
by dachshund on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 01:26:21 PM EST

I'm perfectly willing to believe some unknown civilization created this, as unlikely as it seems without our "great technological achievements", but my first hypothesis would be a human civilization, even if that means one thousands of years old.

Even that would be an incredible discovery, far and away more interesting a lot of the others that you mention (Chinese sea travels, etc.) It would indicate that this ancient civilization either had an amazingly advanced system of ground-based cartography (far in advance of anything we've ever had), or that they had flight.

Applying Occam's razor, however, I find it infinitely more likely that the whole thing is just a hoax, an modern-day machine carving made with the help of modern day maps and techniques.

[ Parent ]

Unfair use of Occam's Razor (3.60 / 5) (#101)
by xee on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:01:04 PM EST

Under the guise of Occam's Razor you could just say that the simplest explanation is that you're dreaming. Who can argue with that? Or my personal favorite: everything was created moments ago, memories and all. That's pretty simple, it explains everything, and there's no way to prove it wrong. Wow.

Your hoax is my dream, which was all created moments ago -- memories and all. Occam's razor occam's razor occam's razor.




Proud to be a member.
[ Parent ]
That's not how you shave (4.40 / 5) (#104)
by Yellowbeard on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:04:40 PM EST

Occam's razor says that, given competing explanations for an event, the one in which you mast make the /least assumptions/ is /probably/ true. Not "the simplest" whatever that means. I guess you could say "I'm just going to assume that everything I am doing is a dream" but that seems to me to be a bigger assumtion than just "it's reality."

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
Splitting hairs with Occam's razor. (3.00 / 1) (#163)
by Kyle on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 01:53:09 PM EST

I didn't actually read this page about Occam's Razor that I found through Google, but it seems to say something a teeny bit different. Specifically, it says "pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate" (translated as "plurality should not be posited without necessity"). Fortunately there's another 11 paragraphs to explain what the heck that means.

[ Parent ]

Yeah (3.00 / 1) (#169)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 05:45:41 PM EST

There are certainly several interpretations - but the basic idea is "the less steps, the better, probably." But that's hard to define. I would say that the hyothesis with the fewest presumptions is the simplest - the shortest way to explain something with the fewest assumtions and the most facts. Of course, this flies in the face of "Will's Rule number 3" which says "It's probably more complex than you think."

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
As the lovely ana put it: (3.00 / 2) (#162)
by greyrat on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 01:21:12 PM EST

"The most boring explanation is usually the right one."
~ ~ ~
Did I actually read the article? No. No I didn't.
"Watch out for me nobbystyles, Gromit!"

[ Parent ]
It could be an incredible discovery... (5.00 / 2) (#116)
by bodrius on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:37:21 PM EST

My point is precisely that.

It is remarkably interesting that the Incas may have had flight... it would be revolutionary to find out that some other civilization 3000 years or older had similar or better technology, that they had civil engineering projects which may or may not have been feasible (the fact that we have Dyson sphere description doesn't mean we have built them), etc.

I can easily imagine the scientists ranting about this with glazed eyes. I probably would too. Going on and on about how this radically changes our assumptions on the beginnings of civilization and human history, etc. The greatest scientific discovery  in the last century, since the "life in Mars" asteroid, or something like that.

I can also easily imagine a journalist's abstracting the scene into the following:
- Scientists say it's revolutionary
- They say they don't know who made it ("the creator", complete with thunder at background)
- It precedes all known human civilizations
- Stuff has been dated as 3000 years old, earlier than 3000 years old, and 120 millions years old

Which leads to:
- Therefore, it's 120 million years old earlier than any known human civilization.
- Therefore, it's possibly extraterrestrial (or if "religion" is your thing, it's a sign of God, disproves evolution, or something like that).
- Therefore, the link extends all over the mass media network, then through the underground UFO-believers network, and ends up in Kuro5hin.

At some point, the poor scientists in charge will wonder what went wrong in that interview. For now, I will not consider them incompetent or cranks.
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]

Underground UFO network (5.00 / 2) (#128)
by onyxruby on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 07:47:10 PM EST

Underground UFO-believers network? Piffle, I don't believe in UFO's as being anything other than unidentified flying objects - in other words, stray frisbees. I don't believe in things like aliens, area 51, x-files or any other such crap.

I originally read about this in Cosmiverse on May 6th. That article had no further links or photographic evidence, so I did nothing with it. Only when I saw the other two articles with pictures and more detail did I think this could be discussion worthy. I have by no means claimed that what I am reading is factual. I have had to be base my arguements for this story on the presumption that details presented (such as being precision made vs hand made) are accurate.

By all means be skeptical, I am, that's why my headline has a quetion mark on it. I thought this interesting, and with enough potential to be discussion worthy.

The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.
[ Parent ]

Then change the order of the causal chain... (4.50 / 2) (#135)
by bodrius on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 12:32:27 AM EST

I was wrong then and I apologize for attributing the posting to the fact that the subject entered the "Underground UFO Network", but I'm afraid my argument holds.

Just change the order to:

- Therefore, the link extends all over the mass media network, ends up in Kuro5hin, and also in the underground UFO-believers network.

The point stays the same. The Pravda article seems pretty much the only official journalistic report of the story, yet I find it hard to believe that it's true to the official scientific report of the story.

Does it warrant discussion? Of course.

Do we have enough material for discussion? Not yet, because we don't know what it is we're discussing (a 120 million years old map? a 3000 years old map? a 20000 years old map?)

I'm afraid currently the discussion can only center on whether the information is trustworthy or not, either at the level of the newspaper, the scientist, or the guy who casually found the rock they were so publicly trying to find.

I doubt that's the discussion you were looking for, but without a solid secondary source (that's not a quote/translation from the first one), it's hard to discuss anything else.
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]

Other problems (3.37 / 8) (#69)
by hatshepsut on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 01:09:41 PM EST

From the articles, the dimensions of the slab were 148 cm x 106 cm x 16 cm and weighed "at least 1 ton", that gives it, if my math is correct, a density of 0.28 g/cm3 (or just over a quarter the density of water). With a 14 cm thick base of dolomite (hard rock with density more like 2.8 g/cm3) it would have to be MAGIC, not extraterrestrial, to have that density. I have trouble believing they would underestimate the weight by a factor of 10.

Also, when you search for uranium chronometers, you find that U-238 has a half-life of 4.47 billion years and is sometimes used to determine the age of stars. Information I could find on Google indicated that this was not a good method to date objects on earth as the "closed-system" assumption was almost always invalid.

Sure, the whole thing is "cute", but until I can see more than a fuzzy picture that looks like it is of a dried river bed, and can read something more than breathless sensationalism, I'll err on the side of skepticism.

your math is fuzzy (5.00 / 7) (#71)
by crazycanuck on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 01:18:14 PM EST

unless I'm horribly mistaken...

148 cm X 106 cm X 16 cm = 251 008 cm3

1 ton = 1000 kg = 1000 000 grams
1000 000 / 251 008 = 3.9839 grams / cm3

[ Parent ]

metric vs. english (4.00 / 2) (#99)
by xee on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 04:54:17 PM EST

1 metric ton = 1000 kg
1 ton = 2000 lbs




Proud to be a member.
[ Parent ]
Correction (3.50 / 2) (#105)
by hatshepsut on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:11:06 PM EST

Thanks! Apparently I am reading things upside-down today - I worked out cm3/g.

So, using the 1 ton (imperial) = 907 kg (whereas 1 tonne = 1000 kg), your math is pretty much correct anyway.

I will salvage what pride I have left by telling myself that I still don't appreciate the sensationalistic reporting, the fuzzy dating techniques (using unapproved methods including the uranium degradation and assuming that shells in the slab can be used to date the creation of the "map"), and the dubiousness of giving big flashy news reports before having the material peer-reviewed.

50 lashes with a wet spaghetti noodle for me, and no more posting until at least tomorrow!

[ Parent ]

Atlantis (2.50 / 6) (#73)
by dirvish on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 01:26:56 PM EST

It must be Atlantis or one of the other ancient maritime communities.

Technical Certification Blog, Anti Spam Blog
I seriously doubt the age of this (3.42 / 7) (#74)
by toganet on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 01:37:26 PM EST

Using the dates for the two species of shells that are embedded in the artifact can only be used to determine a maximum possible age.  That is, the artifact cannot be older than its constituent parts.

A clearer picture would be nice, too.

My personal theory on this:  Aliens, hitching a ride on Inca spacecraft, installed this map, complete with "you are here" marker, and then were struck down by an evil US-gov't engineered time-travelling "retro" virus and were unable to return.  Seriously, that's got to be what happened!

Wow, I even worked a pun into that.  I better grab some lunch before I really start sounding stupid.

Johnson's law: Systems resemble the organizations that create them.


Inca spacecraft? (5.00 / 1) (#138)
by bodrius on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 01:02:57 AM EST

This might be a content-free, Slashdotish comment, but I cannot believe I did not think of "Inca", the game, before in the context of this discussion.

The French may be into something there.
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]

Obscure reference relating to subject: (4.40 / 5) (#77)
by LilDebbie on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 02:50:31 PM EST

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl ftagn!

If anyone recognizes that, I'll be impressed. And if you do recognize it, check my spelling. Chee!

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

H.P. Lovecraft? (n/t) (3.00 / 1) (#78)
by Jevesus on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 03:00:12 PM EST



- Jevesus
[ Parent ]
Lovecraft (none / 0) (#155)
by sparkchaser on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 09:52:49 AM EST

Who was H.P. Lovecraft? Just the greatest horror writer of the 20th Century.

Rob in Lynchburg
"Radiation Shield Since 1998"
sparkchaser@adelphia.net
AOL IM: sparkchaser1998

Hidden DOS secret: add BUGS=OFF to your CONFIG.SYS


[ Parent ]

Actually (5.00 / 1) (#79)
by salsaman on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 03:16:34 PM EST

It's 'fhtagn' and not 'ftagn'. Don't they teach you anything at school these days ??

[ Parent ]
"Cthulhu" (4.00 / 1) (#80)
by J'raxis on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 03:20:30 PM EST

Even though it looks rather obscure, the fact that you used the name Cthulhu in there made it obvious.

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

Yes, but... (4.00 / 1) (#88)
by LilDebbie on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 04:00:54 PM EST

can you tell me the translation, and how it relates? Most people know Cthulhu from Metallica of all sources.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
No they don't. (5.00 / 1) (#100)
by Rocky on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 04:55:18 PM EST

Most people know Cthulhu from H.P. Lovecraft.

"In His House at R'lyeh Dead Cthulhu waits dreaming"

The Necronomicon was required reading at my old alma mater.

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
[ Parent ]

Can't speak for "most people" (4.00 / 1) (#129)
by sgp on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 07:51:52 PM EST

but I recognised it as "that Metallica 'call of...' song", with a K or a C. Don't know Lovecraft.

2p.


There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Maybe the stars aren't properly alligned yet (5.00 / 1) (#103)
by panum on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:04:19 PM EST

Well, the scripture is translated as follows:

In his house in R'lyeh dead Cthulhu lies dreaming

About your point, it apparently is releated to La mayyitan ma qadirun yatabaqqa sarmadi Fa idha yaji' al-shudhdhadh fa-l-maut qad yantahi." - "That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die."

If your suggestion of the map is a correct one, the scientists should NOT meddle with things not meant for mortals! Do the stars seem to be a bit closer at those points? Aliens? You'd better believe so!

It seems like most of the K5'ers are not too familiar with Lovecraft. I am fond of his workings, but unfortunately the Cthulhu mythos suffers from additions and extensions by other authors. The Elder Gods, who oppose the Lord of R'lyeh suck vacuum big time.

For the Metallica part, Ride the Lighting had an instrumental piece called "The call of Kthulhu". With a K, not C.

Gyaagin, gyaagin, Hastur degryon Yoggo-Sothothe!



[ Parent ]
that is not dead... (none / 0) (#161)
by twi on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 01:03:53 PM EST

I was wondering if that's proper english, although it's always written as you say. Would it not be "which can eternally lie" ?

[ Parent ]
Here's a 40 second Google search (4.00 / 1) (#82)
by greyrat on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 03:27:46 PM EST

for you.

Thanks greenrd
~ ~ ~
Did I actually read the article? No. No I didn't.
"Watch out for me nobbystyles, Gromit!"

[ Parent ]

Define "Obscure," please (4.00 / 1) (#102)
by Macrobat on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:01:36 PM EST

Obscure? I'd be surprised if >50% of K5's membership didn't recognize a Lovecraft reference.

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
[ Parent ]

(off-topic) Cthulhu 101 ? (5.00 / 1) (#124)
by bugmaster on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 06:53:46 PM EST

Hey, I always wanted to get into the whole octopus-faced-god thing, but never had a chance to. Which Lovecraft book should I read first, as an introduction to the whole mythos ?
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
instructions (5.00 / 2) (#134)
by martingale on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 12:24:32 AM EST

Hey, I always wanted to get into the whole octopus-faced-god thing, but never had a chance to.
First, walk in front of an octopus-faced-god thing. Second, open its beak. Third, climb in. Fourth, close the beak, and wait for the gastric juices to do their thing. You won't need a book, it's not boring.

[ Parent ]
Suggestions (5.00 / 2) (#143)
by Obvious Pseudonym on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 03:58:34 AM EST

Well, if you're into roleplaying games then I would suggest getting the Call Of Cthulhu game. Both versions - the original is published by Chaosium and the new one (using the d20 rules) is published by Wizards Of The Coast - are excellent games and provide a good grounding (actually, I think that the d20 version is more faithful to Lovecraft's original vision).

As for fiction, Arkham House produce an excellent three-volume collection of Lovecraft's own work, and Chaosium have produced an outstanding series of books of collections of mythos tales by other authors - worth it just for Robert M Price's introductions in my opinion.

Sorry - I can't give ISBNs because I am at work at the moment...

You know, I'm almost tempted to post about the Mythos and it's role as literary 'open source' as my first Kuro5hin story.

Obvious Pseudonym

I am obviously right, and as you disagree with me, then logically you must be wrong.
[ Parent ]

Well... (none / 0) (#153)
by Rocky on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 09:44:03 AM EST

...this tome has always been my favorite intro.

It has a novelette and a few classic stories.

After that you can move on to The Call of Cthulhu and other fun stuff...

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
[ Parent ]

Another book + how I started with HPL (none / 0) (#180)
by ofnadwy on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 06:49:55 AM EST

Yes, it's a good one - I've got it too. Another HPL book I recommend is: Best of HP Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling tales of horror and the macabre
I still remember how I got hooked upon HPL - I was bored when in school, so I went over to the library... there I found a very cheesy book called something like "The labyrinths of horror" or something like that... Well, when I got to "The Colour out of Space" I was totally hooked...
And not to talk about "The dreams in the witch-house"... I got nervous about my own room even though it's a totally normal room with a flat, horizontal ceiling and vertical walls :-)

[ Parent ]
"Dreams in the Witch House" (none / 0) (#181)
by sparkchaser on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 08:23:42 AM EST

I hear ya; when I first read "Dreams in the Witch House", it scared the crap outta me. None of Lovecraft's other stories really did that.

Rob in Lynchburg
"Radiation Shield Since 1998"
sparkchaser@adelphia.net


[ Parent ]

My Favorites (none / 0) (#154)
by sparkchaser on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 09:50:31 AM EST

Definitely get yourself:

"The Best of HP Lovecraft"
"At the Mountains of Madness"
"The Case of Charles Dexter Ward"
"The Dream-Quest of Unkown Kadath"

Stay away from the stuff written by his "successors", especially August Derleth.

And yes, the role playing game is very, very good to have as well.

Rob in Lynchburg
"Radiation Shield Since 1998"
sparkchaser@adelphia.net
AOL IM: sparkchaser1998

"If a man does his best, what else is there?" - General George S. Patton


[ Parent ]

Lovecraft online (none / 0) (#185)
by wkandek on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 09:49:03 PM EST

Take a look at this site: http://www.gizmology.net/lovecraft/works/index.htm for instant access to his stories

[ Parent ]
No.... (none / 0) (#182)
by dasunt on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 11:11:07 AM EST

That's Antarctica.

The map was found in Asia.



[ Parent ]
Ia! (none / 0) (#192)
by pwhysall on Sun Jun 09, 2002 at 06:32:22 PM EST

(:=
--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown
[ Parent ]
Big flaw (2.12 / 8) (#83)
by awgsilyari on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 03:27:48 PM EST

The biggest flaw in this HOAX is the claim that the map is more accurate than humans can currently produce.

If we don't have the technology to create such an accurate map, how can we possibly know that this map is MORE accurate?

--------
Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com

you moron (4.00 / 3) (#87)
by crazycanuck on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 03:52:35 PM EST

assuming 1 meter is the best resolution we can achieve from a satellite photo, do you assume we wouldn't be able to recognise a photo taken at a .5 meter resolution?

[ Parent ]
Ok (3.50 / 2) (#91)
by awgsilyari on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 04:12:31 PM EST

Good point, but see ucblockhead's post for another problem I hadn't considered.

Why the rudeness? Does my skepticism hurt your feelings?

--------
Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
[ Parent ]

no (4.25 / 4) (#95)
by crazycanuck on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 04:34:31 PM EST

I'm naturally rude and adversarial. I don't know why. I apologise for that.

[ Parent ]
accepted, live long and prosper [n/t] (none / 0) (#106)
by awgsilyari on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:11:20 PM EST



--------
Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
[ Parent ]
Actually (3.00 / 1) (#110)
by CitAnon on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:25:41 PM EST

crazycanuck's remark was fairly comical. I got a chuckle out of it at your expense.

[ Parent ]
some areas of the earth (3.00 / 1) (#114)
by techwolf on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:32:26 PM EST

have not changed so much that you couldn't recognize it in over 200 million years. depends on the area, if this is one of those places I couldn't say.


"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

plus (4.75 / 4) (#90)
by ucblockhead on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 04:08:47 PM EST

Given how much the geography of the Earth has changed in the last 120 million years, one wonders how they possibly measured the accuracy.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
I don't get it (5.00 / 1) (#125)
by BLU ICE on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 06:59:40 PM EST

How is this map more accurate than what we produce? Say we can get 1 M res with our satelites. Now how can they say these ancients did better than that whan they have a map in which 1.1 Km= 1 M? A map with that scale wouldn't show meter wide features.

I think this is a hoax. Too many things are wrong.

"Is the quality of this cocaine satisfactory, Mr. Delorean?"
"As good as gold."

-- I am become Troll, destroyer of threads.
It's like an encyclopedia...sorta: Everything2

[ Parent ]

or maybe it's just... (none / 0) (#195)
by florin on Mon Jun 10, 2002 at 12:45:54 AM EST

...the stupidity of a journalist who misinterpreted what he/she heard. I mean, even the geometry's theorems could sound like a hoax if reported by brain-dead journalists.

[ Parent ]
artifacts (3.50 / 6) (#85)
by marimba on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 03:39:36 PM EST

The obvious response to this would be to ask why we haven't found artifacts from such a society yet?

What makes you think we haven't? I've always thought that iron ore deposits are the junkyards of a former civilization.



Hmmmm. (4.00 / 1) (#108)
by techwolf on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:21:22 PM EST

That is an interesting thought. alothough our current undestanding of how the erath moves was formed, ect... tells us otherwise.


"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

It's just for fun. (4.00 / 1) (#123)
by marimba on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 06:38:47 PM EST

Or someone's doctoral thesis.(I want credit for the idea, though, unless you can point to an earlier reference.) It was just one of those fun things to think about. "What kind of signs of a previous culture would still persist after a hundred million years? What would happen to a pile of ten thousand rusty swords lying on the ground for a hundred million years? What route would it take through the earth? How would the swords decompose over time?" It's not an impossibility, given the turnover of the earth's crust. I have no idea what the period is, though. A hundred million years would be my first guess. I'm sure the paleo- and geo- types have measured subduction rates, and it's probably well known, I'm just to lazy to go look it up.

[ Parent ]
My prediction (2.60 / 5) (#92)
by CrazyJub on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 04:17:18 PM EST

is that in the very near future, this story will be eported as fact on the Art Bell show, and be used to prove another theory all together. Which one? Pick one.

Alien rods
Atlantis
That aliens built the pyramids
That aliens HELPED us build the pyramids
or that Elvis had something to do with it....or the Illuminati.


Release time (4.66 / 6) (#93)
by mujo on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 04:22:16 PM EST

I've noted that the news on cosmiverse is dated May 6th. If this had any credibility wouldn't this have been posted on some more reliable scientific sites by now??.I mean given the importance of such a finding...

When searching on google you only get the 3 sources mentionned in the article. No trace of it elsewhere. What about sources from the peers who are reviewing it?

Shell game? (2.50 / 8) (#96)
by mingofmongo on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 04:36:31 PM EST

You know, the Weekly World News had an article a while back about a hole in the earth that lead to Hell! And a World War 2 bomber found on the moon (quoteing Russian sources also). In light of all this, what's the big deal about 120 million year old maps?

"What they don't seem to get is that the key to living the good life is to avoid that brass ring like the fucking plague."
--The Onion

raiders of the lost and found (5.00 / 1) (#145)
by stpna5 on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 05:47:55 AM EST

just so long as batboy is workin' on it......

[ Parent ]
Slightly O/T (3.00 / 4) (#107)
by Comblock on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:15:45 PM EST

Hoax or not, thoughts of a previous Earth civilization is facinating stuff to ponder.

Here's another bit of previously unknown information, to muddy up the waters even more.

I know of two World Class Cave Exploreres, who each seperately, and at differenty locations, have discovered a shiney, tubular, metal object deep (like minus 400 meters) in alpine caves in South America.

These objects appear to be man made, and unlike anything they have ever seen, as far as materials workmanship goes. No visable seams, and no machining marks, yet obviously not natural.

In both cases, they were deeply embedded in the Limestone Matrix of the cave, and could not be removed because they had no tools with them to do so. But enough of the object was weathered away for them to get some idea of it's size and dimensions.

Ok, I'll admit that's kinda weird, but what's really weird, is that the age of the limestone deposits is about 65 million years old. So these objects had to exist before that time!

Both of these guys won't talk about their experiences, it shook them up so much. One of them did write a short 'fictional' story about his experience that was published in a closed circulation caving magazine.

However, in private, he will tell select people that he trusts, that the story is totally true.

Both of these individuals are honest, and straightforward, not at all prone to practical jokes. It REALLY shook both of them up badly.

No, you won't find a Google record about this anywhere...

Make of it what you will.

Are they sure it was not natural (4.00 / 1) (#109)
by CitAnon on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:23:35 PM EST

It could just be metallic crystals.

[ Parent ]
not likely (4.00 / 1) (#111)
by techwolf on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:28:28 PM EST

because crystals have very sharp and angular edges, not smooth and round ones.


"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Yes, they were sure... (3.00 / 1) (#113)
by Comblock on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:31:49 PM EST

Oh, I'm sure all right.

Seriously hardcore cavers really know their rocks and minerals, and there is nothing that occurs in nature like what these guys found.

They both described them as highly polished, metal cylinders, being about 12 inches in diameter, with a perfectly round end, and about a foot long section was sticking out of the matrix.

[ Parent ]

Why didn't they try to go back and retreive it? (4.50 / 2) (#118)
by CitAnon on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 06:07:15 PM EST

If it's the case that they look artificial, shouldn't your friends at least make an attempt at retrieving them?

[ Parent ]
I agree (4.50 / 2) (#127)
by gnovos on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 07:39:08 PM EST

Not going back becuase the whole situation "unnerved" him is like somone fiding a bowling-ball sized perfect clarity diamond and not going back to chisel it out becuase he is afraid the diamond merchants around the world will put a hit out on hum.  If he or she really did find something like this from 65 million years ago, and it's authentic, the implications would be staggering.  Your friend would instantly win a nobel prize, become fabulously rich and famous and be revered as one of history's greatest explorers for the next 5,000 years.  To not go back makes no sense, and makes it sound VERY much like a lie.  If nothing else, get him to tell you where the hell this thing is so that I can go there and get the riches and glory.

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]
Agreed (5.00 / 2) (#131)
by CitAnon on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 08:23:00 PM EST

Get him to post the locale so that those of us who are any combination of:

bored
rich
greedy
crazy
gullible
adventurous
courageous
South American drug lord
mercenary
explorer

Can go and claim it for science and glory.

[ Parent ]

You don't get it... (none / 0) (#167)
by Comblock on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 05:03:37 PM EST

>> Not going back becuase the whole situation "unnerved" him is like somone fiding a bowling-ball sized perfect clarity diamond and not going back to chisel it out becuase he is afraid the diamond merchants around the world will put a hit out on hum.

Can I get some of what you're smoking? It must be good stuff to come up with a comparison like that.

>> If he or she really did find something like this from 65 million years ago, and it's authentic, the implications would be staggering.

Absolutely, I agree!

>> Your friend would instantly win a nobel prize,

Ummm... that's not what the Nobel Prize is all about...

>> become fabulously rich and famous...

Oh sure... just like the scientists who discovered these 'supposed' maps, in the parent article, right? They must be getting rich, right? They have made an amazing discovery, right?

>> and be revered as one of history's greatest explorers for the next 5,000 years.

Seeing how people react to information like this, I seriously doubt it.

>> To not go back makes no sense...

You weren't there, you have no idea of the hardships involved.

>> and makes it sound VERY much like a lie.

Whatever...

>> If nothing else, get him to tell you where the hell this thing is so that I can go there and get the riches and glory

Cavers never tell non-cavers where a significant cave is, period. Besides, you would die there, it's not for novices, no matter how macho they talk.

[ Parent ]

Why didn't they try to go back and retreive it? (4.00 / 1) (#149)
by Comblock on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 07:48:05 AM EST

First, they are not my friends, I don't know them, but I know people who do know them, very well in fact. They were attempting to 'bottom' the respective caves they were exploring, in an attempt to get a world depth record

Second, they were discovered during multimonth long expeditions, in extremely remote places, which require months of prior planning, and securing of permits, and is quite expen$ive to visit. Most cavers I've ever known usually don't have a lot of extra money around to sport expeditions to South America.

Third, both discoveries were made deep down in remote vertical caves. Long, multi pitch rope drops, usually with time consuming multiple re-belays, are the only way in or out.

Both of the fellows were waiting for others to climb the rope out, which can be a loooong wait when someone is climbing a rope pitch that is 200 meters (about 600 feet or so.) or more, and decided to take a look around in some side passages, and that's where they saw these objects.

In both cases, it was the end of the respective expeditions, and everyone was extremely tired and glad to be heading to the surface after days underground in the damp cold.

Fourth, one guy will not speak about it at all anymore, even though it happened over ten years ago. The other guy, will speak to those he trusts, but he was also deeply touched by what he saw, and has no desire to go back.

I agree, they should put together an expedition and recover these objects, but they will not, for whatever reasons.

Heh, and there's no way that they will tell a non-caver where the caves are.

Nobody else knows where these objects are except those who saw them. They were off the surveyed part of the cave, in uncharted territory. In fact, they might not even be able to find them agin if they wanted to.

Like I said, I am just throwing this out there because I thought it was quite interesting, but unfortunately, unsolvable.

[ Parent ]

They were attempting to 'bottom' (3.00 / 1) (#151)
by Shren on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 07:58:40 AM EST

They were attempting to 'bottom' the respective caves they were exploring, in an attempt to get a world depth record.

Did they succeed?

[ Parent ]

Did they succeed? (none / 0) (#165)
by Comblock on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 04:20:41 PM EST

No, they haven't bottomed them yet.

The world depth record is one of the caving 'holy grails', there are yearly expeditions all over the world to promising areas in an attempt to find the deepest cave, and the deepest through trip (i.e from top entrance to the bottom entrance, if they discover one.).

These caving expeditions have been ongoing for decades now, and these are extremely dangerous and difficult caves to explore, due to their high altitude, remote locations, and being vertical.

It's not just something one says, 'hey, let's go caving', it takes months of organization, and planning to pull off one of these expeditions.

And it takes days just to rig the cave with ropes, just to continue where they left off the exploration the year before.

These caves kick your ass, and many who have attended just one expedition, never return because it's just so extreme.

There are many good reasons why these guys don't want to go back to these caves.

[ Parent ]

oh, I'm not impugning thier character... (none / 0) (#196)
by Shren on Mon Jun 10, 2002 at 12:23:40 PM EST

There are many good reasons why these guys don't want to go back to these caves.

I'm not insulting them or anything. I can understand how spending 6 months in a hole in the ground might be a once-in-a-lifetime thing for many people. It was really just a shallow offhand trick to lure you into revealing clues as to thier identity.

[ Parent ]

Usefulness of information (none / 0) (#199)
by slippytoad on Tue Jun 11, 2002 at 12:15:25 PM EST

In both cases, it was the end of the respective expeditions, and everyone was extremely tired and glad to be heading to the surface after days underground in the damp cold. Fourth, one guy will not speak about it at all anymore, even though it happened over ten years ago. The other guy, will speak to those he trusts, but he was also deeply touched by what he saw, and has no desire to go back.

Well, why tell anybody then? If you don't want to be ridiculed for what is basically a "one that got away" story, or a "I saw bigfoot but didn't even have my handicam."

Heh, and there's no way that they will tell a non-caver where the caves are. Nobody else knows where these objects are except those who saw them. They were off the surveyed part of the cave, in uncharted territory. In fact, they might not even be able to find them agin if they wanted to.

Then this information is of no use to anyone. Their characters may be beyond reproach, as you so assiduously argue to establish, but their story still stinks of bullshit and doesn't cause more than a passing blip of irritation for the "non-cavers" of the world.
If I were the al Qaeda people right now I would be planning a lot of attacks in the next few days and weeks -- John "Bring 'em On" McCain
[ Parent ]

Or at least go back down with a geiger counter (4.00 / 1) (#120)
by CitAnon on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 06:13:12 PM EST

If they actually believe that what they found were artificial objects that somebody buried in the limestone long ago then chances are it might be something like spent fuel rods for nuclears reactors.

[ Parent ]
at least go back down with a geiger counter (none / 0) (#166)
by Comblock on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 04:40:49 PM EST

>> If they actually believe that what they found were artificial objects .

They have absolutely no doubt that what they saw wasn't natural.

>> artificial objects that somebody buried in the limestone long ago ...

Actually, they couldn't have been buried there, as they are under thousands of feet of solid rock.

And due to the way the objects were embedded in the matrix, and had partially weathered out, they both believe that the objects were in the prehistoric seas that spawned the limestone before the rock formed around them.

I fail to see how going back with only a geiger counter would answer any meaningful questions.

Recovery of these objects is the only answer to this mystery, and it's just not going to happen.

[ Parent ]

Not going to happen (none / 0) (#190)
by khallow on Sun Jun 09, 2002 at 03:04:50 PM EST

Recovery of these objects is the only answer to this mystery, and it's just not going to happen.

I keep hearing this refrain. Usually, when it's repeated so often is because the object in question doesn't actually exist. I think you just heard a fish-that-got-away story (or two). Even if the objects in question are too big to move, one can take multiple pictures (ok, lots of pictures) of them (with appropriate object like a ruler, tool, or person in foreground to give it scale. Extensive written observations on site would help too. At least, then one can look at the pictures and determine whether the object in question is interesting enough to go after.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

recovery _is_ possible... (none / 0) (#194)
by florin on Mon Jun 10, 2002 at 12:40:18 AM EST

...if you just convince them to tell you the exact location, and then publish it on the Internet, on K5, whatever.

[ Parent ]
When you're burying radioactive waste (none / 0) (#197)
by CitAnon on Mon Jun 10, 2002 at 07:54:42 PM EST

You better bury them under a lot of rock.  See www.ymp.gov

[ Parent ]
Doubtfulness (none / 0) (#200)
by slippytoad on Tue Jun 11, 2002 at 12:43:44 PM EST

They have absolutely no doubt that what they saw wasn't natural.

But, I am full of doubts, and I have absolutely no reason to believe any of this. Can you possibly understand why, given how persistently evasive you are on this thread about why these objects can simply not be examined any more by any independent third party, who is not an initiate to the "caver elite" and is simply incapable of the incredible fortitude (not to mention personal wealth) that must be required to spend six months going down a dark hole and yada yada yada, and yes you've definitely made the point that we mere mortals do not have the stuff to see these fantastic objects.

Which means for my part that I can dismiss this story as utter balderdash.
If I were the al Qaeda people right now I would be planning a lot of attacks in the next few days and weeks -- John "Bring 'em On" McCain
[ Parent ]

Where can I find... (none / 0) (#178)
by CAIMLAS on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 10:53:29 PM EST

...the information in the said caving magazines? I'd like to read this person's 'truthful' piece of fiction first-hand. Do you happen to have a copy?

I'm very unlikely to believe something unless I have  at least a first hand account, and then it's still iffy.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

RE: Where can I find... (none / 0) (#179)
by Comblock on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 01:36:25 AM EST

>> the information in the said caving magazines?

I'm not positive, but I believe you'll have to join the NSS to buy publications from them, it was in an issue of the NSS NEWS about ten years ago. I'm sorry, I don't recall which specific issue it was in.

>> Do you happen to have a copy?

Yes, but all mine are in storage. But if you are really interested, and not just a tRoLL, I'll look for them over the next few weeks, and email you at your K5 addy if I find it, and send you a scan of the article. It's quite thought provoking.

>> I'm very unlikely to believe something unless I have at least a first hand account, and then it's still iffy.

I haven't asked anyone to believe me, I was just reading the parent article and rememberd the stories I'd heard from friends, and thought it might be interesting to some other K5 readers.

I see no reason that there couldn't have been others here before so called 'modern man', and one of the best places to 'store' an artifact for an extremely loooog time, would be in a forming ocean bed.

As a hard core caver, I've been in Lechuguilla Cave, in New Mexico (USA), and I've personally seen large 5"-7" Permian Age cepholopod fossils that are quite well preserved in the limestone matrix of the cave, despite it's uplift from the ancient Permian sea which spawned them.

I'd love to go and recover one, but for many reasons, it's not going to happen.

[ Parent ]

mr. comblock (none / 0) (#201)
by almostpoetry on Tue Jun 11, 2002 at 11:32:37 PM EST

can you e-mail me the article when you do find it? i am REALLY curious. as a matter of fact, i'm in the process of looking through the NSS NEWS from that time period. so far, i haven't been able to hunt down that specific article. if you can e-mail me the article, it would be great. the library i'm using does not have all the monthly editions from that time period. thank you in advance. -hai

[ Parent ]
Bad translation? (4.55 / 9) (#112)
by ebatsky on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 05:30:24 PM EST

I haven't read the english version of the article because pravda's translations tend to be pretty horrible, but I'll try to clarify some things people have mentioned that may be caused by bad translation.

First, the dating of the plate wasn't established because two methods they used to date it produced different results. It says that they're using 120 million years old as an approximate date 'for now' because it could be a lot older or younger than that but its the best they can come up with. Also, I thought you could date organic material like those shells using carbon dating, which is a lot more precise and was used to date dinosaur bones and such?

Second, the article says that humans today would not only be unable to make that map, but that we wouldn't be able to create even a tenth of the irrigation system like the one they found on the map, with huge dams (a LOT bigger than any that exist today), etc. This is all from the first paragraph of the article about the press conference. I looked at the english version and it doesn't even have that paragraph, the translation starts right from the second one.

By the way, if you don't already know, 99-100% of content on cosmiverse is just (poorly) paraphrased articles that they find on other websites so you should probably disregard anything you read there and just look at the original article which, in this case, is pravda's.

carbon dating (4.00 / 1) (#122)
by gauze on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 06:33:31 PM EST

quick note, carbon 14 dating is only good for a scant few dozen thousands years I believe. Certainly not up to 120,000,000 anyway.
There's nothing wrong with a PC that a little UNIX won't cure.
[ Parent ]
c-14 (4.00 / 1) (#126)
by KnightStalker on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 07:37:08 PM EST

I think recent improvements in the technique have pushed the range of c-14 dating to the neighborhood of 100,000 years. I don't have a source for that though. I think I read it in Natural History.

[ Parent ]
The half-life of C-14... (4.66 / 3) (#150)
by rsidd on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 07:55:16 AM EST

is around 5700 years. That means that after 100,000 years you'd expect to have something like 1/200,000th of the original quantity. Just possible to detect, perhaps; I don't know.

However, after 120,000,000 years you'd have something like 10^-6337 of the original quantity, which is equal to zero (since the answer has to be rounded to an integer and there aren't enough atoms of any kind in the known universe). In other words, carbon-14 dating won't work and will never work with any conceivable improvement in technology.

[ Parent ]

Dating (none / 0) (#198)
by slippytoad on Tue Jun 11, 2002 at 11:52:09 AM EST

C-14 is definitely unsuitable for a claimed date of this age. Other methods include isochron dating, and there's of course the readily available geologic data (to place the sample in context). Radiometric dating is an insanely complicated topic for a layman, even one who likes this kind of stuff, and to be able to present one's argument that a sample is such-and-so age because of two shells found pressed into the rock whose ages supposedly differ by 300 million years is, well, highly suspicious. I was thinking Piltdown Man the minute I started reading it.
If I were the al Qaeda people right now I would be planning a lot of attacks in the next few days and weeks -- John "Bring 'em On" McCain
[ Parent ]
Unless I misread the article (none / 0) (#183)
by RegularFry on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 12:44:52 PM EST

the shells were fossilised. That means there's no organic material left to carbon-date. As far as I know, although IANAPaleontologist, aren't fossils usually dated by the stratum of rock they come from, or by comparison to known samples?

There may be troubles ahead, But while there's moonlight and music...
[ Parent ]
Unlikeliness of prior civilizations (4.70 / 10) (#133)
by Dyolf Knip on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 09:30:45 PM EST

We don't find much evidence of T-Rex and other multi-mega-year old creatures because the creatures themselves are the only evidence left behind. Humans and our civilization are in a whole different category.

Consider how long one of our landfills will be around, containing objects obviously of artificial creation. Barring air and water erosion, a glass jar can last for hundreds of centuries. Some would last much, much longer. Consider how much processed iron and steel there is laying around. Is aluminum found by itself and not in an ore, ever? Spent uranium rods and other radioactives, especially the ones in underground facilities, would attract immediate attention by any post-human archaeologists. If every human disappeared tomorrow the artifacts of our civilization could still be found a billion years from now. We can find shards of sun-baked mud from a village thousands of years old. Wouldn't we be able to find the screws and bolts (literally and figuratively) of an entire civlization on time scales far larger?

A world-spanning civilization would simply be impossible to hide. There is just too much stuff associated with it for all of it to disappear completely. Not even continental drift, slowly stuffing the entire crust into the mantle a piece at a time, could do it, as there are parts of today's plates that are ancient beyond belief. Any junk left over on those would be found.

To suggest that the only things left behind by this super-advanced civ are some stone tablets is silly. Alien visitors, _perhaps_. This line of thought would have the advantage on not requiring two space-faring intelligences coexisting in the same time frame. And they'd leave much fewer and more ephemeral traces. I cannot fathom why they'd be carving stone maps with tools supposedly beyond today's ken, but hey... the thing about aliens is that they're alien.

Still, from what others have said about the news sources in question, I'd be a little more convinced if it wasn't left to Pravda to report it.

---
If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

Dyolf Knip

Not so sure. . . (5.00 / 2) (#171)
by McDick on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 06:09:07 PM EST

I am not so sure that a civilization 120 million years old would leave any traces, or if they did, they would look way to natural for us to concider it alien. We have problems locating civilizations from over 10,000 years ago. There are several places in the Caspian Sea (which does NOT degrade wood unlike every other body of water) where we have found civilization sprawlings from 10,000 years ago, and boats from 5000 years ago. The Caspian Sea Sunken Ship So it does not suprize me that it is difficult to find a whole civilization from 120 million years ago. With the earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, weather, erosion, etc. . .

That said, I am not sold on this yet, Science magazine has not even touched it, and there is no word of it on any other sites. Very stange for such a discovery, even if the map is genuine but not 120 million years old, even if it is 100 years old, it is still something to regard as important for Cartography. Your point about "why stone" is certainly valid. I hope this gets resolved soon! I want to know the truth! ;)

McD

McDick Technologist
[ Parent ]

Stuff doesn't last that long (5.00 / 1) (#172)
by sheldonl on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 06:19:28 PM EST

Some of the synthetics might last that long (I don't know b/c I'm not a materials scientist). However, I remember from archaeology that, depending on the soil acidity, metals, bones, even some types of stones will not last that (120 million years) long. The problem is that acid soils and oxidation eventually destroys them so that only a green deposit or stain is left. When it comes to organic materials, forget it. The best things that survive are stone tools. Some are over 2 million years old, but 120 million would be pushing it. Fired clay and pottery last a while as well, but not as long as stone.

[ Parent ]
Most things wouldn't survive (5.00 / 1) (#186)
by Dyolf Knip on Sat Jun 08, 2002 at 11:17:40 PM EST

But consider how old some of the originally organic fossils we have are. Trilobites are a ood 300 million years old and we have tons of their fossils. The vast majority of dead creatures decay into their component bits because they didn't turn into stone. Humans, on the other hand, have a tremendous number of artifacts that are already made of stone.

How long would it take for the pyramids to disappear? Not just fall into ruin or be unrecognizable for what they originally were, but for every last rock to wither away to nothing. It'd probably take a direct asteroid strike to do something like that. And what about the thousands of castles across Europe? The climate is less forgiving but the rocks will remain.

Our cities would certianly be overgrown and ruined within a century or two. But the ruins aren't going anywhere, and there are an awful lot of them. Even if only one obviously artificial item out of a trillion lasts for a few hundred megayears, there'll still be tons for future archaeologists to play with.

Plus there's the fossil record we'd leave behind. Even if the only thing a sucessor archaeologist had to go on was the few fossils that survived, the fact that they were found in every last corner of the planet implies that we were more than simple primates. Not to mention the animals that instantly appeared across the globe as a result of our bringing them along. Cats in Australia? Horses and cattle in the Americas?

I stand by my previous post. There is no way for a civilization of any magnitutde to disappear completely. Not over a million years, not over a billion.

---
If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

Dyolf Knip
[ Parent ]

I think you're wrong. (none / 0) (#193)
by Inoshiro on Sun Jun 09, 2002 at 07:03:32 PM EST

It may take "forever" for natural errosion to remove every last stone, but it doesn't have to do that to make the resulting legacy struture unrecognizeable to the human eye, or any other one. Much like a half-life for radioactive materials (beyond which detectors would have a hard hime finding it), there is a half-life for structures beyond which humans would have a hard time finding and recognizing them.

Think about the relatively short period of the Aztec destruction, and how their ruins are in many ways worse off than the pyramids in the dessert (which helps to preserve things).



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Someone (1.00 / 2) (#140)
by medham on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 01:43:11 AM EST

Here needs to read the Annales historians and do some pondering before posting this right-wing gibberuling.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

Oh, that's funny! (none / 0) (#141)
by BobRobertson on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 01:54:10 AM EST

"right-wing gibberuling"!!!!!

I am so impressed. Here I thougth it was only the left-wing intelegencia using absurd computer models who try to pull hoaxes on the world.

Bob-

September 11, 2001. The most successful day for gun control and central planning in American history.
[ Parent ]

I saw the creators of this map on TV... (3.33 / 3) (#144)
by taiwanjohn on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 05:35:18 AM EST

Finally! proof of the existence of the Sleestaks from Land of the Lost!!

I can't wait till they unearth one of those groovy Pylons! Then we can use it to contact the pilots of the Hale-Bopp comet and beg them to return and launch a new era of peace and harmony.

Hallelujah!!

--jrd

Uh... (5.00 / 2) (#147)
by J'raxis on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 06:54:13 AM EST

On the map, a giant irrigative system could be seen: in addition to the rivers, there are two 500-metre-wide channel systems, 12 dams, 300-500 metres wide, approximately 10 km long and 3 km deep each. The dams most likely helped in turning water in either side, while to create them over 1 quadrillion cubic metres of earth was shifted.

If fragments of this map survived, why didn’t at least some physical evidence of these dams also survive?

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]

This one is easy (4.50 / 2) (#164)
by Pac on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 03:43:03 PM EST

The text claims the fragments were made to endure, having even an outer coating of different material. Jumping far and large, and assuming the whole story is true, we can not have absolutely any idea of the map creator real intent. It may have been a work of art or a map designed to endure the extreme pressures of the creator's original planet (hehe).

The larger works of engineering are another matter enterely. Dams, specially, would have been wiped out in such a time frame. Remember almost no human building to date survived more than a couple of thousand years.

Another reasons for not finding such an evidence maybe that no one in his/her right mind would be looking for evidence of civilization in the 120 million year layer of the fossil evidence.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
Was it a project? (none / 0) (#188)
by Anphitea on Sun Jun 09, 2002 at 06:06:32 AM EST

There is a simple explanation. A map weighing more than one ton is not very practical for navigational purposes; but a model with a 3-D representation of a hydrological project makes more sense. The plan was abandoned or discontinued for reason we'll probably never know. This, of course, assuming that it's really an ancient map, and not a hoax or a gross blunder, and waiting for clear pictures of the reported multi-layered structure, unrecognizable inscriptions, etc.

[ Parent ]
some questions... (4.00 / 1) (#148)
by joto on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 07:27:22 AM EST

Why Pravda instead of a scientific publication?

Why was "the doctor of physical and mathematical science, professor of Bashkir State University, Alexander Chuvyrov" involved in this, instead of some archaeologist, geologist, or anyone else more likely to do field excursions? Is it because "physical and mathematical sciences" sound more impressive?

How can they look at the squiggles at an age-old map and decide that it represents a canal-system. It could be roads, irrigation systems, borders, etc.. Why insist on the absolutely most unlikely scenario?

I am not even sure I understood how they tried to determine the age of the rock, but given that it was made from three pieces, at least two of them which seems to not be "rock", but rather cement, and porcelain or glass, it should be possible to find a better dating method.

Why all the extraordinary claims of stuff not being able to make this rock with modern day technology? I seriously doubt that. It really makes you sound like a Dänecken.

Interesting, but... (5.00 / 1) (#158)
by wormboy on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 10:24:05 AM EST

First off, somebody beat me to the Lovecraft reference. Damn.

Anyway, I had never heard of the Centre of Historical Cartography, so I did a little googling. I tried Center/Centre and of/for, given some of the translation issues apparent in the linked articles. Unfortunately, the only references I could find were to those same articles. Does anybody have any other info?

Also, I'm a bit confused as to how the could be so sure that the slab was a relief map of the area, but with a bunch of channels and dams. Wouldn't the dams and channels change the topography by their existence and even more by their destruction? Rivers were used to establish the location, but if there were dams that broke (or were destroyed by their makers) would the rivers have new courses?

Also, the articles claim that the technology to create a three-dimensional relief map won't be available until 2010 or so. Actually they are available commercially right now - see http://www.maps4u.com/PhxMappingService/AZ3DRasiedReliefMap.html for an example.

A lot of people are saying "hoax", but it seems to me that it could be errors and exuberance, compounded by translation issues and journalistic stupidity.


Pictures (5.00 / 1) (#173)
by onyxruby on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 07:40:04 PM EST

JCB, I have also emailed requesting more pictures with better detail (and some more info that would help on the potential hoax aspect). If you are able to get some more pictures, would you be willing to email me a copy? I'm certainly willing to send copies to whoever if I have any luck with my inquiry. Thanks

The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.
[ Parent ]

Pictures (none / 0) (#184)
by mujo on Fri Jun 07, 2002 at 01:42:52 PM EST

Thanks to JCB for the pics.

I was wondering if anybody found topographic maps of the area supposedly represented on that slab?

Coz now it just looks like any rock, also no hieroglyphs anywhere...

[ Parent ]
Is anyone else thinking... (4.00 / 1) (#159)
by marktaw on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 10:38:50 AM EST

Is anyone else thinking "Potato that Looks like Elvis?"



Clear pictures? (5.00 / 1) (#175)
by wytcld on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 09:49:49 PM EST

Why would the photographer not show closeups of the surface of the slabs, with samples of the symbols and writing, and cross-sections of the edge? Maybe because it takes a lot of imagination to see the stuff there, and they didn't have anyone around good at PhotoShop?

I've got a couple more clear pictures (none / 0) (#177)
by onyxruby on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 09:57:55 PM EST

JCB found a couple more clear pictures. He posted one of them on a webpage, which quickly exceeded it's bandwidth limit. Email me if you want, and I'll email what I got to you.

The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.
[ Parent ]

Scientist Interviewed (5.00 / 1) (#176)
by onyxruby on Thu Jun 06, 2002 at 09:55:45 PM EST

Apparently the scientist behind this claim has gotten some 20,000 emails about it. He has also been contacted by various TV stations, and journalists for other forms of media. The interview where he answered questions can be found here. He has stated that more detailed pictures of this map will be published soon. He also claims that five other such stones have been found and are awaiting recovery.

The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.

well maybe. (none / 0) (#187)
by /dev/trash on Sun Jun 09, 2002 at 01:24:55 AM EST

If you believe in God or a god, then yeah there must have been other attempts at humans.  Look at certain chapters in the Old Testament.

If you don't believe in a God or a god, scientifically all matter for life came from the sun, some ( which would have created carbon based lifeforms) came from asteroids etc etc.  So it is feasible that another based lifeform was here.

Of course we'll never really know.

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site

strong signs of a hoax here (none / 0) (#191)
by khallow on Sun Jun 09, 2002 at 03:28:55 PM EST

The original slab was first seen by the researchers under the porch of the ex-chairman of the local agricultural council. This guy apparently approached the researchers rather than the other way around. Also, he has motive (increased tourism, for example), opportunity (probably can get the appropriate tasks done cheaply or even for free), and complete lack of risk (so what if it's fake - he's apparently retired). Second, the map shows lots of dams. Dams are the pride and joy (if you will) of that part of the world. It's a little suspicious to me that the predecessors would apparently feel the same exact way.

Finally, despite all the protestations to the contrary, there's no evidence that the slab in question is more than a few years old. Namely, no accurate dating (aside from eyeballing some shells glommed on top which incidentally differ in ages by 300 million years). Incidentally, if we take the claims at face value (and the origin of the shells), then the slab has been underwater at least part of its lifespan - so how come it shows recognizable river valleys and mountains? This leads to the obvious question whether the dams purportly shown actually exist on the ground. Again, no evidence has been seen for extensive ancient dams. This is peculiar since the region was no doubt heavily surveyed for the prospects of hydroelectric power. Previous dam building would stand a good chance of getting noted (perhaps glaciation would remove the obvious traces before around ten or twenty thousand years ago - I don't know). Further, the researchers who discovered the original stone slab seem unable to locate one either (and they are looking for them). In summary, it fails the smell test.

Stating the obvious since 1969.

Stone Map? lump of rock more likely... (none / 0) (#204)
by Iarnulfr on Sun Jul 14, 2002 at 11:24:41 PM EST

After a quick look at the admittedly bad pictures on the Pravda article, it looks like a lump of stone with extensive fracturing, probably conjugate tectonic joint sets or extension fractures, which often show up as intersecting diamond patterns of cracks. Dating? Uranium, Argon, Rubidium and Sr isotopes are generally only good for volcanic rocks or some metamorphic rocks, and at that they date the crystallisation age, so would only give a maximum age. The material sounds like a limestone to me (given that it had shells in it) so your only easy dating options are the fossils, again giving only a maximum age. Carbon dating is only good for recent biological material, anything more than 40,000 years starts getting very large errors, although some techniques can push it back to maybe 70,000, but with less accuracy. Sounds like a hoax. Cheers Iarnulfr
Who'll stop the cavalry?
Scientific evidence of previous Earth civilization discovered? | 201 comments (171 topical, 30 editorial, 0 hidden)
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