Tuesday, 11. November 2008
Bill Homann - Journeys with the Crystal Skull

There are a number of known crystal skulls in existence, but of these the Mitchell-Hedges skull is unique in its extraordinary craftsmanship. It has been studied by both scientists and psychics with no conclusive proof as to how old it is or even how it could possibly have been crafted from a single large crystal. Many, including Bill Homann, believe it to be a relic from Atlantean times, and the story he tells of what occurred when it was reunited with the Crystal Orb (recovered from a cavity in an undersea pyramid in 1970) is highly intriguing.


Bill Homann - Journeys with the Crystal Skull, 22 minutes




Related entries:
Anna Mitchell-Hedges and her enigmatic Crystal Skull
Free E-book on Crystal Skulls
Category: Movies & TV | Mysteries & Enigmas | New Legends & Claims |




Friday, 31. October 2008
Did Aliens Build the Pyramids?

Jason Martell on the Discovery Channel discussing if the aliens and ET built the pyramid and other ancient structures, for which there is no scientific explanation. You know those big stone structures out in Egypt? The ones which were supposedly built to house the remains of dead pharaohs??? The ones you thought were built by the Egyptians? Well, you are probably wrong ...

There are a few nagging questions, like why do they seem to appear out of the blue around the same time? How did the Giza Pyramids attain alignment with true North with an accuracy within 1/10 of a degree?

Journey deep into the ancient world of Egyptian Pyramids, Stonehenge, Balbek in Lebanon and the giant heads of Easter Island. Was extraterrestrial technology handed down to primitive man thousands of years ago to build these massive structures? If you are a strong sceptic, it might put a small doubt in your mind.


From the 'World's Strangest UFO Stories' series:
Did Aliens Build the Pyramids? by Discovery Channel, 2006
Duration: 43 minutes


Category: Movies & TV | Ufo's & Aliens |




Saturday, 25. October 2008
The Haunted History of Halloween

The History Channel has always put out some great programs and I think this one is an interesting and informative documentary that gets you in the spirit of Halloween.

On October 31, when pint-sized ghouls and goblins knock on doors, they're actually carrying on a tradition that goes back thousands of years to the Celtic tribes of northern Europe. For centuries this night has celebrated mystery and chaos, a time between summer and winter, a time between life and death.

Host Harry Smith leads this 3,000 year tour through the history of the quintessentially pagan holiday. Discover how trick or treat originated in ancient Ireland's harvest festivals, when food and sweets were offered to entice the dead to stay in the spirit world. See how Christianity tried to co-opt the celebration by turning it into All Saints Day, but how the underlying dark elements have survived, inspiring debate to the present day. From ghoulies and ghosties to the origins of the Jack-O-Lantern, this film is a delicious journey into the enchanting past of the spookiest night of the year.

'The Haunted History of Halloween' by History Channel, 2005
Duration: 45 minutes



See also:
The official website: The Haunted History of Halloween by History Channel

Related Entry:
Samhain, Halloween, Diwali, Tihar and Day of the Dead
Category: Incarnation & Death | Movies & TV | Myths & Sagas | Time & Calendar |


Saturday, 11. October 2008
The Yogis of Tibet

Since the invasion of Tibet over 50 years ago, China has systematically destroyed the Tibetan culture. One of the most profound losses is the tradition of the great master yogis. The entire system which supported these fascinating mind masters has been inexorably eliminated.

In order to record these mystical practitioners for posterity, the filmmakers were given permission to film heretofore secret demonstrations and to conduct interviews on subject matter rarely discussed.

This profound historical, spiritual and educational film will someday be the last remnant of these amazing practitioners

'The Yogis of Tibet', 2003
Directed by Phil and Jo Borack, JEHM Films
Duration: 77 minutes



See also:
The official website: The Yogis of Tibet
Article: Filming The Yogis of Tibet by Jo Borack
Category: Movies & TV | Religion & Early Cultures |


Sunday, 28. September 2008
Alien Planet

Alien Planet is a special on Discovery Channel about two internationally built robot probes investigating for alien life on the fictional planet Darwin IV. It was based on the book Expedition, by sci-fi/fantasy artist and writer Wayne Douglas Barlowe, who was also executive producer on the special. It premiered on May 14, 2005.

The show uses sophisticated computer-generated imagery, which is interspersed with interviews from such notables as Stephen Hawking, George Lucas, Michio Kaku, and Jack Horner. The show was filmed in Iceland and Mono Lake in California. -- wiki


'Alien Planet' by Discovery Channel, 2005
Duration: 93 minutes



See also:
Discovery Channel: Alien Planet I | Alien Planet II | Virtual Voyage
Category: Movies & TV | Ufo's & Aliens |


Saturday, 20. September 2008
Helike - The Real Atlantis

On a winter night in 373 BC, the classical Greek city of Helike was destroyed by a massive earthquake and tidal wave. The entire city and all its inhabitants were lost beneath the sea. What has bewitched archaeologists about Helike is that it was engulfed just when ancient Greece was reaching its height; when the philosophy and art that inspired the western world for thousands of years were invented.

Inspiring the myth

Its destruction was one of the most appalling tragedies of the classical world and most probably the reality behind the myth of Atlantis. But now, unlike Atlantis, a team of archaeologists may have found Helike - a lost city from the heyday of Greek civilisation. If it is as well preserved as everyone hopes, Helike could be a time capsule from this crucial time in human development.

For centuries there had been just no sign of it. All archaeologists had to guide them were obscure and often contradictory ancient texts. So, despite numerous expeditions trawling the waters off the coast of Greece and vast amounts of money and technology thrown at the problem, no one could find anything except two small coins, unearthed over a hundred years ago.

Not drowned but buried

Then, in 1988 Dora Katsonopoulou and Steven Soter took up the challenge. Dora had grown up with the legend from childhood and was determined to find the archaeological treasure on her doorstep. Together they went back to basics and re-examined the ancient texts. These said that Helike had sunk into a poros, which everyone had taken to mean Gulf of Corinthe. But Dora thought that a poros could also be an inland lagoon. If she was right, the lost city which had inspired Atlantis might not be under the sea, as everyone thought, but somewhere inland.

A landscape on the move

Studying the geology of the region, earthquake expert Iain Stewart argues that a large earthquake could well cause an inland lagoon. Small recent earthquakes in the region have caused ground liquefaction - a terrifying phenomenon where the ground literally turns to water beneath your feet. If the same had happened on a much larger scale then the whole city could have been plunged downwards, taking much of the city below sea level. But the earthquake in 373 BC could also have had a second more devastating effect. As well as liquifaction recent earthquakes have caused chunks of coastline to fall into the sea. If this happened on a large scale underwater landslides could cause a large wave, or tsunami. This would race across the Gulf of Corinthe, ricochet off the opposite bank and come charging back again, to crash over the sunken plain and fill in the lagoon.

Dora's theory makes sense, except for one thing. There is no lagoon in the region today. There is, though, a trail of clues that explains what could have happened. An ancient bridge that is strangely nowhere near water shows how river sediment coming down from the mountains changes the shape of the plain - over hundreds of years the lagoon would have silted up, hiding the lost city beneath solid ground. A host of boreholes drilled into the plain and a remote cave with the legend attached to it have helped pinpoint where the now underground city might lie.

Glimpses of Ancient Greece

Slowly Dora and Steven have pieced it all together, but there have been several false starts along the way. The first lot of ruins they found were Roman - a settlement built hundreds of years after Helike's disappearance to honour the famous lost city. Next they found ruins that turned out to be prehistoric - an early bronze age settlement built 2,500 years before Helike. It wasn't until 2001 that Dora and Steven at last got their breakthrough.

Whilst Horizon was filming, the team uncovered ruins from classical Greece. Securely dated by coins and pottery, the team are convinced they have at last found the city they've been looking for. It will take years to uncover Helike's riches, but for the first time in thousands of years, we have glimpses of the lost city that inspired Atlantis.

Source: BBC 2


'Helike - The Real Atlantis' by BBC Horizon, 2002

Duration: 48 minutes



You may also like to read The Transcript.

See also:
In Echoes of Atlantis, Dr Iain Stewart, who appears in the Horizon programme, explains more about Helike, Plato and the search for Atlantis.

And The Lost Cities of Helike by Helike Foundation.
Category: Buildings & Places | Movies & TV |


Saturday, 13. September 2008
Countdown to Armageddon

The divine chronology outlined in the Old Testament's 'Book of Revelations' has convinced thousands of Christians that the end of the world is rapidly approaching. This absorbing and startling documentary argues that the signals of Armageddon’s imminent arrival are everywhere.

Incredible High Definition footage of perilous natural disasters and manmade tragedies starkly demonstrates that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse may be closer than we think.

'Countdown to Armageddon' is a documentary film that reviews the history of apocalyptic literature (Armageddon). The documentary features archaeologist/historian Eric H. Cline, Orthodox Christian scholar John McGuckin, televangelist John Hagee, author Tim LaHaye and author Gershom Gorenberg.


'Countdown to Armageddon' by History Channel, 2004
Duration: 44 minutes



From the cover:

"The End is Near" is a cry that has echoed throughout human history. Every religion has stories of the end of the world, and believers in every era have prophesized that the time was at hand. So far, these predictions have come to naught, but a rash of unusual events and the rise of fundamental faiths have led to a new golden era of doomsayers.

Asteroids on a collision course with Earth, super volcanoes, global warming, killer viruses--all are potential catastrophes that threaten to wipe out life on our planet. Are these simply natural disasters that have been occurring since time immemorial? Or are these threats terrifying prophesies from the Bible that are at last coming true? Are our fears overblown? Or are the infamous Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse riding among us in a countdown to Armageddon?
Category: Movies & TV | Prophecies & Mediums |


Sunday, 31. August 2008
When UFOs Arrive

'UFO Files' is a documentary television series on The History Channel that covers the mysteries of the UFO phenomena. It first aired in 2004.

'When UFOs Arrive' examines the secretive government policies for dealing with extra-terrestrial visitation – from the military reporting guideline "JANAP-146", to a curious chapter in a FEMA disaster guide on what to do in case of a UFO crash.

'When UFOs Arrive' by History Channel, 2004,
Duration: 44 minutes



From the cover:

Go to the limits of human experience...and beyond. From the fringes of the galaxy to our own backyards, the UFO FILES searches for evidence of life beyond our world. Tracing the long, convoluted history of UFO encounters and research, this unique series opens new windows into the controversial field.

It's all hush-hush as we track a secretive global paper trail, delving into government plans on how to deal with other-planet visitors. Searching historical records, we find that protocols are in place--from the U.S. military's JANAP-146 reporting requirements to France's Cometa files, from Chapter 13 of the FEMA Fire Officer's Guide to Disaster Control titled "Enemy Attack and UFO Potential", to a now-repealed federal law titled "Extraterrestrial Exposure".
Category: Movies & TV | Ufo's & Aliens |


Sunday, 17. August 2008
The Lost Book of Nostradamus

Could it be that Nostradamus, the "go to" prophet of all time, is reaching forward into the 21st century to give us a last warning? Is it already too late?

In 1994, Italian journalist Enza Massa was at the Italian National Library in Rome conducting research on old texts, when she stumbled upon an unusual find in its stacks; a mysterious manuscript dating to 1629. The name of the book was surprising: NOSTRADAMUS VATINICIA CODE. On the inside of the book was the name of the author, in indelible ink—Michel de Notredame—the prophet Nostradamus. This find was particularly remarkable; the manuscript included over eighty watercolor illustrations that were painted by the master prophet himself. Contained in the pages of the book are cryptic, bizarre images that some say are prophecies of our future. Letters, symbolic objects, banners, candles, crosses, and even a burning tower are all included in the manuscript. Are these images visual manifestations of his quatrains, which extend to the 21st century, as some say? How did this book come to be in the library? Why was this book hidden for over 400 years? And are these images so frightening that Nostradamus deliberately hid them, as some say, until their time was near?

This special will follow the investigative trail of how the manuscript came to be found in the archives, and exactly how it got there. The story will also give new insight into the life of Nostradamus—his relationship with his son, Cesar, and his connection to the Vatican—in particular, Pope Urban VIII, who knew about this manuscript and in whose possession it was for many years.

Whether you are fan of the man or not, these drawings are fascinating!


The Lost Book of Nostradamus by History Channel, 2007
Runtime 86 minutes



Check out the website for an animated tour of the book itself and a cool logic game: Lost Book of Nostradamus.
Category: Movies & TV | Prophecies & Mediums |


Friday, 25. July 2008
Code Of The Maya Kings

Great cities in ruins, lost in the jungles of Central America and Mexico. Who would have built these cities? It would take more than a century and two extraordinary people to uncover the secrets of ancient Maya.

The american John Lloyd Stephens, together with his english companion Frederick Catherwood, enbarked upon the first of two epic voyages to central america in 1839. Facing many dangers and illnesses, they returned from the mysterious land with extraordinary stories and breath taking images from a once great civilization of native americans. One hundread years later, Mayan archaeology had made enormous advances, although the inscriptions that adorn the Mayan ruins had not been completely decyphered. It would be the extraordinary studies of the russian Tatiana Proskouriakoff, a woman in a world of men, that would reveal the true lives of the Maya to the world.


Treasure Seekers: Code of the Maya Kings by National Geographic, 2001
Duration: 52 minutes

Category: Buildings & Places | Movies & TV |


Sunday, 13. July 2008
ATOM

The discovery that everything is made from atoms has been referred to - with a strong claim - as the greatest scientific breakthrough in history. As scientists delved deep into the atom, they abandoned traditional beliefs, leading to a whole new science which still underpins modern physics, chemistry and biology. Upset everything we thought we knew about reality and maybe even life itself.

Even today as we peer deeper and deeper into the atom, it throws back at us as many questions as it answers.

In this three-part documentary series - first aired on BBC Four, 2007 - nuclear physicist Professor Jim Al-Khalili tells the story of this discovery and the brilliant minds behind the breakthrough.



In part one, Professor Al-Khalili takes us from the discovery of the atom to the development of quantum mechanics and looks how the discovery affected the scientific world.

Atom - The Clash of the Titans - Part 1 - 58 minutes.




In the second episode, Professor Jim Al-Khalili shows how, in our quest to understand the tiny atom, we unravelled the mystery of how the universe was created - a story with dramatic twists and turns, taking in world-changing discoveries like radioactivity, the atom bomb and the Big Bang. He tries to answer the biggest questions of all - why are we here and how were we made?

Atom - The Key to the Cosmos - Part 2 - 58 minutes.




In the final part, Professor Jim Al-Khalili explores how studying the atom forced us to rethink the nature of reality itself, discovers how there might be parallel universes in which different versions of us exist and finds out that 'empty' space isn't empty at all. He shows how the world we think we know turns out to be a tiny sliver of an infinitely weirder universe than which we could have conceived. Our reality is just an illusion!

Atom - The Illusion of Reality - Part 3 - 58 minutes.

Category: Energy & Light | Movies & TV | Philosophy & Metaphysic |


Sunday, 06. July 2008
Sacred Weeds - Salvia Divinorum

Sacred Weeds was a four part television series of 50 minute documentaries investigating the cultural impact of psychoactive plants on a broad array of early civilisations.
This is part two: Salvia Divinorum

Salvia divinorum, also known as Diviner’s Sage, aka María Pastora, Sage of the Seers, or simply by the genus name, Salvia, is a powerful psychoactive herb.

It has a long continuing tradition of use as an entheogen by indigenous Mazatec shamans, who use it to facilitate visionary states of consciousness during spiritual healing sessions. It was first recorded in print by Jean Basset Johnson in 1939 as he was studying Mazatec shamanism. He later documented its usage and reported its effects through personal testimonials. It was not until the 1990s that the psychoactive mechanism was identified by a team led by Daniel Siebert.

Each episode began and ended with Dr Andrew Sherratt inscribing his diary with his reflections on the series' scientific and cultural investigations. In each episode the series investigated one psychoactive plant and its cultural significance. Three specialists of various scientific disciplines were invited to monitor two volunteers who had taken each plant. After the four episodes, Sherratt assigned considerably more significance to the psychoactive properties of plants in ancient civilization and the prehistoric period than expert knowledge hitherto.

The scientists in this part:
  • Dr Françoise Barbira-Freedman, medical anthropologist and lecturer at the University of Cambridge
  • Dr Tim Kendall, psychiatrist and director of the Centre for Psychotherapeutic Studies
  • Dr Jon Robbins, pharmacologist at King's College London

    and the volunteers: Daniel Siebert and Sean Thomas


Sacred Weeds - Salvia Divinorum by Channel 4, 1998
Runtime: 68 minutes




You may also like:
Daniel Siebert's website:
The Salvia divinorum Research and Information Center

Salvia divinorum Scotland: Salvia Menu

Related Entry:
Sacred Weeds - Henbane
Category: Lunacy & Psychedelic | Movies & TV |


Sunday, 29. June 2008
Secrets Of The Parthenon

How did they build this magnificent temple with such incredible precision in a mere eight or nine years? How did they manage to achieve apparent perfection in a building that contains almost no straight lines or right angles? And, most baffling of all, how did they accomplish all this apparently without using the tools that a modern architect would find essential—a building plan or a blueprint?

Watch as NOVA takes on these mysteries with the help of some of the foremost experts on ancient Greek architecture, including the chief architect of the Acropolis Restoration Project, Manolis Korres, and scholars Barbara Barletta of the University of Florida, Mark Wilson Jones of the University of Bath, and Lothar Haselberger of the University of Pennsylvania.


Secrets Of The Parthenon by NOVA, 2008
Runtime: 53 minutes



You may also like to read the Transcript.


See also at the NOVA Secrets Of The Parthenon:
  • Take a trip back to the fifth century B.C. with art historian Jeffrey Hurwit.
  • See how architects, historians, and skilled masons are painstakingly reassembling the Parthenon.
  • Detailed line drawings reveal the tools and techniques of ancient Greek craftsmen.
  • Trace the building's various incarnations as a temple, church, mosque, and even an army barracks.
Category: Buildings & Places | Movies & TV |


Tuesday, 24. June 2008
The Pale Blue Dot

This excerpt from 'A Pale Blue Dot' was inspired by an image taken, at Sagan's suggestion, by Voyager 1 on February 14, 1990. As the spacecraft left our planetary neighborhood for the fringes of the solar system, engineers turned it around for one last look at its home planet. Voyager 1 was about 6.4 billion kilometers (4 billion miles) away, and approximately 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane, when it captured this portrait of our world.

Adapted from the Carl Sagan's book 'Pale Blue Dot: A vision of the human future in Space'.


What thoughts, what wonderful words by Carl Sagan!



"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."

"The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds."

"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves."

"The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand."

"It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

-- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994


Want more? OK.

Some time before he died in 1996, Carl Sagan recorded a partial audio version of his 1994 book "Pale Blue Dot", often described as the "sequel" to Cosmos. This video is "episode one" of an unauthorized attempt at producing a series of videos based on Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot" audio book combined with a soundtrack and appropriate video and still images intended to recall the feel of the classic documentary series "Ascent of Man" and "Cosmos".

It's an unofficial film version of chapter one by Lang Kasranov. In his blog, he said last September: "I wanted to advise everyone that PBD Episode Two is indeed coming."
Well - hopefully soon ...

Let me say, it it is a fantastic documentary worthy of PBS and a moving and fitting tribute to Carl Sagan.

Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan - Episode 1: "Wanderers"
Runtime: 40 minutes




You may also like:
The Carl Sagan Portal
Category: Astrology & Astronomy | Movies & TV |


Sunday, 22. June 2008
Religions of the World: Hinduism

This video is part of the "Religions of the World" series, narrated by Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley. You do not have to see the other videos for this one to make sense.

Learn how and why Hinduism has survived to be one of the oldest and largest world religions with nearly one billion followers located mostly in India. Hinduism encompasses wide practices and traditions largely due to its great capacity to integrate the new with the old.

You will learn about the descendants of the Indus River Valley, who, around 1500 B.C.E., used Sanskrit to transcribe their daily rituals and customs. You will also discover Hinduism's impact on the literary world with its library of tens of thousands of sacred hymns and poems known as the Vedas, which means "truth" or "knowledge."

I would recommend this video for those wanting to understand a bit more about Hinduism.

Religions of the World: Hinduism by Schlessinger Media, 1999
Runtime: 47 minutes

Category: Movies & TV | Religion & Early Cultures |


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