Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Top 5 More Questions to Make You Wonder

5. Hands of Perón

Q: Who took the hands of Perón?
Juan Domingo Perón was an Argentine military officer and politician. During his lifetime, Perón was elected the President of Argentina on three separate occasions. He and his second wife, Eva Duarte, are immensely popular among many Argentines and are considered icons by the Peronists. After Juan Perón’s death in July, 1974, of heart failure, his body was embalmed and placed in a coffin in the Perón family tomb in Chacarita Cemetery, Buenos Aires. In July 1987, the Peronist Justicialist Party received an anonymous letter that claimed that Juan Perón’s hands had been removed from his body, along with his army cap and sword. The letter demanded that the party pay a US$8 million ransom for the items return.
After an investigation, it was confirmed that Juan Perón’s tomb had in fact been broken into and his hands were removed with a surgical instrument or electric saw. The perpetrators also took a poem from the tomb that was written by Perón to his last wife, Isabel. Following Argentina’s policy, the head of the Justicialist Party, Vicente Saadi, refused to allow the ransom to be paid. A criminal investigation was launched, but nobody was ever charged in the case and the hands of Perón remain lost to this day. In an interesting twist, many of the people involved with the case have since died under mysterious circumstances.
It has been suggested that the theft had some official support because the robbers used a key to enter the tomb. Some journalists feel that Perón’s hands were taken because they were seen as a symbol of his power and had a great cultural meaning in Argentina. People who have examined the case have written that the act may be an attempt to promote democracy in Argentina, as Juan Perón was seen as a dictator by some. In their book Unveiling the Enigma, Damian Nabot and David Cox wrote that the P2, also known as the Propaganda Due, were involved in the theft, and that they used a ritual ceremony to remove Perón’s hands.

4. Salton Sea

Q: What is the deal with the Salton Sea, Meteor Crater, lost ships in the desert, and the San Andreas Fault?
This entry will examine some bizarre geological occurrences in southern California and the Four Corners region of the United States. The Salton Sea is one of the strangest places in the world. The sea was formed accidentally between 1905 and 1907, when the Colorado River burst through poorly built irrigation controls. The resulting flood destroyed farms and communities. Currently, the Salton Sea sits directly on the San Andreas Fault in California’s Imperial Valley. It is the largest lake in California and occupies the lowest elevations of the Salton Sink.
In the middle of the 20th century, the Salton Sea turned from a freshwater lake to a sea. The Salton Sea’s salinity, about 44 g/L, is greater than that of the waters of the Pacific Ocean (35 g/L), but less than that of the Great Salt Lake, which ranges from 50 to 270 g/L. The salt is thought to have come from a prehistoric ocean. The Salton Sea is also home to a large amount of toxic run-off and industrial waste. The greater part of the Salton Sink is submerged under highly polluted water. The adjacent land is under military control and the habitat of the area has resulted in the death of millions of birds and fish.
The San Andreas Fault is a fault that runs for 810 miles (1,300 km) through California. In the past, the southern part of the fault has been the site for a large number of earthquakes. On average one every 180 years. However, such an event has not been recorded for 300 years. For this reason, researchers have become concerned that the current dams on the Colorado River are contributing to the quiet streak. If so, a large amount of pressure could be building up in the fault, which could ultimately cause an enormous earthquake.
The Lost Ship of the Desert is a legend about ancient ships found in California’s Colorado Desert. Since after the U.S. Civil War, stories have been told about buried ships hidden in the desert north of the Gulf of California. The most famous example is the Lost Galleon. The Galleon stories started shortly after the Colorado River flood of 1862. In the Los Angeles Daily News of August 1870, the ship was described as “a half buried hulk west of Dos Palmas, California, and 40 miles north of Yuma, Arizona.”
Finally, we need to discuss the Meteor Crater and its possible impact on the geological landscape of this region of the United States. Meteor Crater is an enormous hole and impact crater located approximately 43 miles (69 km) east of Flagstaff, Arizona. It is said to be “the first proven, best-preserved meteorite crater on earth.” It has been estimated that the crater was formed about 50,000 years ago, but others argue for a more recent date. The diameter of the hole is 1.186 kilometers (0.737 mi) and the impact is known to have devastated the area. Most studies on the crater examine the fact that it is an impact crater, but little is written about the predicted effect the object had on the geological landscape of America.

3. Oakville Blobs

Q: What was the gelatinous substance that fell on Oakville, Washington in 1994?
On August 7, 1994, a bizarre gelatinous substance fell on the town of Oakville, which is a small logging community on the western edge of Washington State. Over a period of three weeks, the rain was spotted a total of six times, mostly in the middle of the night. By the afternoon of August 7, the residents of Oakville began to complain of a mysterious illness. They described having difficulty breathing, extreme vertigo, blurred vision, and an increased sense of nausea. One of the town’s residence Beverly Roberts was quoted as saying that everyone in town contracted a flu-like illness that lasted two to three months. Additionally, several cats and dogs that came into contact with the substance fell ill and died.
A sample of the substance was taken to a hospital and found to contain a large amount of human white blood cells, but nobody could identify how it came from the sky. The sample was then sent to the Washington State Department of Health for further study and determined to have two species of bacteria, one of which lives in the human digestive system. Because of the findings, the substance was initially speculated to be human waste from an airplane, but that was disproven. Evidence from the sample has supported the fact that the substance was alive.
Some people have linked the strange rain with a series of U.S. bombing runs that were carried out over the Pacific in August of 1994, while others are convinced that the town was used for a U.S. military experiment designed to test a new form of biological weapon. During the event, Oakville residents reported a significant, almost daily increase in the amount of slow-moving military aircraft in the skies over their town, but not much ground traffic was observed. Before the first rain was reported, a series of black helicopters were spotted in the area.
Some people have also connected the history of gelatinous rain with chemtrails in the United States. The chemtrail conspiracy holds that some trails left by streaking jets are actually chemical or biological agents deliberately sprayed at high altitudes for purposes undisclosed to the general public. There actually is a patent (United States Patent 6,315,213) which describes a method for artificially modifying the weather by seeding rain clouds of a storm with suitable cross-linked aqueous polymer. However, the current benefit of such a process in unknown. Others have connected the Oakville blobs with the historic accounts of star jelly.

2. Hungarian Gold Train

Q: What happened to the paintings, gold, diamonds, and precious jewels stolen from the Hungarian Gold Train?
On March 7, 1944, as the Soviet Army was approaching Hungary, Hitler launched Operation Margarethe (the invasion of Hungary). At the time, the fascist government of Hungary, led by Ferenc Szálasi, was collaborating with the Third Reich, and forced over 800,000 Jewish citizens of Hungary to concentration camps. The government also took the people’s belongings, including gems, gold, jewelry, wedding rings, and anything else considered of high monetary value. In the spring of 1944, the Red Army was almost to Budapest, so Hungarian officials put together a plan to evacuate the Jewish loot by train to avoid Soviet capture.
A large collection of the valuables were placed on a 42 car freight train and sent to Germany. According to various reports, the contents included gold, gold jewelry, gems, diamonds, pearls, watches, about 200 paintings, Persian and Oriental rugs, silverware, chinaware, furniture, fine clothing, linens, porcelains, cameras, stamp-collections, and currency. In 1945, the estimated total value of the train’s contents was $350 million or almost $4 billion in 2007. In May of 1945, the train was seized in Austria by Allied troops, first the French Army and then the United States. The majority of the assets were sold through U.S. Army exchange stores in Europe in 1946 or auctioned off in New York City in 1948 with the proceeds going to the International Refugee Organization (IRO). The auction receipts totaled $152,850 or approximately $1.3 million in 2007.
In the end of the 1940s, notable objects from the train kept showing up in the possession of high ranking U.S. Army officers who were stationed in Central Europe, most notably chinaware, silverware, glassware, rugs, and bed linen. The fate of approximately 200 paintings seized from the train remains unknown. The art was deemed a “cultural assets” under U.S. restitution policy, so it should have been returned to the country of origin, but instead found its way to Austria and was lost. A huge amount of gold has also been unaccounted for.
Most of the details of the Hungarian Gold Train were kept secret from the public by the United States government until 1998. In that year, United States President Bill Clinton prepared a report which detailed the handling of the train’s assets by the United States, including a multitude of “shortcomings” of the restitution effort. In 2001, a lawsuit against the United States government was filed by Hungarian Holocaust survivors in Florida over the mishandling of assets on the Hungarian Gold Train. In 2005, the government reached a settlement worth $25.5 million. The money was allocated for distribution to various Jewish social service agencies for the benefit of Holocaust survivors.

1. Transhumanism

Q: How close are humans to achieving transhumanism?
As we move into the 21st century, people have begun to question the degree of scientific advancement in the world. There is no doubt that a large discrepancy exists in the proportion of money spent to discoveries made in the field of neurological science. In many countries, a large number of experiments are kept secret from the public in hopes of gaining a military edge. This is understandable, but it makes you wonder exactly what the human population has discovered. Could we have found a way to enhance human strength or intellectual ability? Is it possible that people could map a human’s brain and control bodily movements? Is it possible that we could eliminate aging?
Transhumanism is an intellectual and cultural movement that assumes scientists are trying to find a way to alter the human condition by developing a wide range of techniques to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. People who follow transhumanism predict that humans may eventually be able to transform themselves to have greatly expanded abilities. If this happens, it will cause a shift in the food chain, which will brand certain human genes superior. The theory states that the current version of humanity is not at an endpoint of evolution, but rather in an early phase.
Many transhumanist theorists seek to apply technology for the purposes of reducing poverty, disease, disability, and malnutrition around the globe, rather than the improvement of humans at the individual level. Basically, what makes you better than me? The theory states that humanity may eventually enter a state of existence where natural evolution is going to be replaced with deliberate change, either purposefully or not. Transhumanists who foresee this massive change generally maintain that it is a good thing, but should be handled responsibility. The theory has been condemned by one critic, Francis Fukuyama, as the world’s most dangerous idea. One proponent, Ronald Bailey, says the “movement epitomizes the most daring, courageous, imaginative, and idealistic aspirations of humanity.”

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