Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Paranormal Pizza Kitchen?

There are plenty of videos on the internet featuring people who claim to have experienced paranormal activity and showing the room or hallway where they describe what they saw or felt, but what is somewhat unique about the video above is the fact that it contains footage from a security video showing objects moving, apparently without explanation, in an ostensibly empty restaurant.

Another uncommon aspect of the above video, which was posted recently on the website of a local Louisiana television station,  is that the alleged paranormal activity took place in the kitchen of a friendly little corner pizzeria, rather than an old Victorian mansion or aging beachfront hotel.

Skeptics may say that the two large ice scoops that can be seen flying through the air to the floor in the security footage might have been pulled by someone off-camera using monofilament fishing line, or some other trickery in order to gain attention and possibly increased business, and that is certainly a possibility to investigate further.

However, the worker who claims to have found the scoops on the floor the next day and then gone back through the security footage to find the video evidence also claims to have been hit in the back by a flying bottle of Tabasco sauce and to have experienced other strange events involving moving objects while working.

Skeptics may then wonder what Tabasco sauce is doing in a kitchen where pizzas are prepared, but keep in mind that the scene of the alleged activity is in Louisiana, the home state of the flavorful hot sauce created by avid gardener Edmund McIlhenny in the 1860s.  Perhaps the pizzeria in question has a secret sauce that contains Tabasco (if so, it may be worth a visit).

While it is of course important to apply critical analysis and "due diligence" to any evidence which appears to contradict the well-entrenched models or paradigms which form the foundation for our understanding of the universe, it is also true that just because these frameworks are well-entrenched or long-standing does not necessarily mean that they cannot be incorrect or incomplete.

As more and more "data-points" of evidence turn up which appear to call the conventional model into question, it is only reasonable to keep an open mind rather than resort to dogmatic dismissal and ridicule (which, unfortunately, appears to be the first response of many defenders of the existing paradigm in many fields of human experience today).

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Upton Chamber

Special thanks to the authors of the Rock Piles blog for posting a link to the recent discussion of Professor Gordon Freeman's analysis of the Sun Temple at Majorville in Alberta, Canada.

The Rock Piles site contains a host of descriptions and photographs and links to reports about the numerous stone sites of the New England region of North America. It is truly an incredible resource for those who are interested in studying or visiting these amazing places and learning more about humanity's past.

Many of these sites are completely unknown to the "academic community," which generally ignores evidence that might threaten the dominant historical paradigm, such that many sites go unprotected and largely unstudied (except by the intrepid individuals operating outside of the mainstream of academia and publishing their work in outlets such as Rock Piles).

As I wrote in this blog after a visit to the Gungywamp site in Connecticut last year:
The fact that the academic and conventional historical community stubbornly refuses to consider any explanation for these sites that includes ancient civilizations from other continents dooms these areas to obscurity and discourages their examination by large numbers of talented thinkers who might otherwise contribute some valuable perspectives to their study. Even though there are many such sites that have been photographed and written about, there are no doubt many more which are unreported by landowners who see no benefit to talking about them, but who see several disadvantages to doing so (especially when reporting their existence invites disrespectful trespassers who deface the ancient sites and leave their junk and charred firepits all over the area). It is also a sad reality that many of these ancient stone sites have no doubt been dismantled over the centuries to furnish materials to build other structures, to clear farmland or grazing land, or simply to get them out of the way.

The cavalier treatment these important sites have received from an academic and archaeological community that jeers at any explanations other than the approved solution is a true disservice to those who wish to pursue the truth.
This problem is reflected in the header of the Rock Piles title banner, which states: "This is about rock piles and stone mound sites in New England. A balance is needed between keeping them secret and making them public."

Fortunately, there are engaged individuals and groups who are taking steps to try to preserve some of these critically important locations in New England. One of these is the New England Antiquities Research Association (or NEARA), which along with the Upton Historical Commission and numerous concerned individuals recently concluded a six-year long effort to rescue and preserve the impressive stone chamber generally known as the Upton Chamber, in Upton, Massachusetts.

Less than two weeks ago, the Rock Piles blog posted a link to a report in the Boston Globe describing the successful completion of the Upton Heritage Park, now open to the public. This is an extremely important example of coordinated action for the preservation of a site that truly should be open to everyone. The story reports that the town of Upton spent $400,000 to purchase the acreage containing the stone chamber so that it would not become the site of a new housing development.

The map above shows part of the town of Upton, using the Google Maps terrain visualization feature. I've added a small black rectangle at the site of the stone chamber, which is located in the acreage west of Elm Street (and is accessed from Elm Street) looking northwest across the Mill Pond. This rectangle is actually too large to represent the actual chamber, but it's as small as I can make it.

The chamber itself is reached through a low entrance with a massive lintel stone across the top. Inside the entrance there is a long corridor (about 14 feet in length) leading to a circular "beehive" chamber about 12 feet in diameter and 12 feet high. Corbelled stone architecture was used in its construction, very similar to corbelled stone chambers in Ireland (where the chambers are often covered in earth, just as the Upton Chamber is). This article from November of last year has a good photograph of the entrance to the Upton Chamber, and this site contains a hand-drawn diagram of the plan of the chamber with a top view and side view.

This site also contains a photograph of the entrance to the Upton Chamber, as well as some discussion of the research of James W. Mavor, Jr. and the late Byron E. Dix, who spent several years examining the Upton Chamber, beginning in the 1970s. Through their efforts, they determined that its northwest-facing entrance provides a view of the horizon on Pratt Hill, about a mile away, and upon exploring Pratt Hill they located several mounds or cairns that provide precise markers for the observation of heavenly bodies from the vantage point of the chamber itself.

In their excellent and essential book on the stoneworks of the New England region entitled Manitou: The Sacred Landscape of New England's Native Civilization (1989), Mr. Mavor and Mr. Dix discuss the Upton Chamber and the Pratt Hill alignments in great detail and with numerous diagrams. They demonstrate that the cairns on Pratt Hill indicate the setting position of the summer solstice sun and for the stars of the Pleiades.

The map above shows the sightlines from the Upton chamber to the horizon created by the top of Pratt Hill to the northwest of the chamber, based on a diagram found in the Manitou book on page 39. Pratt Hill is now heavily wooded, but the authors explain that records from the nineteenth century indicate that it was not always so.

Their analysis suggests that the alignments may have been designed circa AD 700. They certainly believe that the chamber predates colonial settlers who began to arrive on these shores in the centuries after Columbus. While Mr. Mavor and Mr. Dix do not make this assertion, the celestial alignments, passage entryway, and corbelled "beehive" architecture are similar enough to structures in Ireland and elsewhere around the world to suggest the possibility that the Upton Chamber and corresponding cairns on the horizon of Pratt Hill might be the work of ancient Celts or other "Old World" seafarers (see discussion in this previous post, among others).

I had the opportunity to visit the Upton Chamber in September of last year (and to help the archaeologists and other individuals involved with the preservation efforts who were there that day to move a large stone that vandals had tumbled down in front of the entrance from one of the stone walls that emanate outward from the site of the chamber itself). Below is a picture showing the entrance as well as a picture I took from the impressive inner chamber looking outwards towards the entrance.

We should all be grateful to those involved in chronicling and especially preserving the sacred historical sites of the New England region such as the Upton Chamber, including those involved in the Rock Piles blog, the NEARA, the Upton Historical Commission, and should do whatever we can to support their efforts.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Professor Gordon Freeman and Canada's Stonehenge

Above is an eye-opening presentation by Professor Gordon Freeman of Saskatchewan, an Oxford- and University of Saskatchewan- and McGill-trained scholar and Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta.

Professor Freeman's deep background in chemistry enables him to perceive patterns that others don't notice, which is very interesting in light of the fact that Dr. Reinoud de Jonge (one of the authors of the previously mentioned examination of stone sites in the "New World" and the Old entitled How the SunGod reached America c. 2500 BC) is a Dutch physical chemist and teaches chemistry and physics. 

In the video below beginning at about the 1:30 mark Professor Freeman explains how his childhood and the enthusiasm of his father influenced his interest in the stone relics he found in Canada, and how his professional training in chemistry helped him to see "patterns of stones all over the place" (4:08).

He says:
My life career -- what they paid me to do for thirty-seven years -- was complex systems in chemistry and physics, and pattern recognition is the strongest analytical tool, and so I'm automatically hooked into recognizing patterns when I see them, and patterns in biology, and patterns in geology, and patterns in lightning strokes: if you see similar patterns you can take them back nearly always to similar mechanisms.  They don't involve the same entities, but the general mechanisms are the same.
In the slide show at the top, he explains some of his remarkable pattern-recognition, and what it led him to discover about a remote sacred circle near an old abandoned city known as Majorville in Alberta (and hence sometimes called the Majorville Sacred Circle, and other times the Sun Temple in Alberta).

His slideshow illustrates the evidence he has found pointing to the conclusion that this Sun Temple is at least 5000 years old.

The beautiful photographs clearly show that this Sacred Circle incorporates "V-shaped notches" on the horizon.  Readers of this blog may remember a post from earlier this year entitled "Aligned stones, V-shaped notches, and massive but subtle sculptures found in India, New Zealand, and Peru" which presented clear evidence of remarkably similar stone monumental technique in locations as widely dispersed as India, New Zealand, and Peru.  According to the evidence presented by Professor Freeman, we should add Canada to this list.

Further, Professor Freeman in his book Canada's Stonehenge: Astounding Archaeological Discoveries in Canada, England and Wales explores undeniable similarities of patterns between the Sun Temple in Alberta and ancient stone circles in the British Isles*.  Such connections are extremely damaging to the conventional isolationist paradigm which currently grips academia but should not come as too great a shock to those familiar with the incredible mass of evidence which refutes that outmoded view.

The entire world should be grateful to Professor Freeman and his wife Phyl for their diligent work in perceiving and communicating this extremely important find, which has such powerful implications for human history.  Their work is truly advancing the cause of the truth.

His book deserves wide examination and careful consideration.

*  An extended second edition of Professor Freeman's book has recently been published under the title Hidden Stonehenge.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Genetically-modified sugar beets, food labeling, and related issues

A few days ago, the US Department of Agriculture announced its decision after one year of studying the potential impact of genetically modified sugar beets. The specific sugar beets that they were studying are officially known as "Glyphosate-Tolerant H7-1 Sugar Beets."

These transgenic sugar beets were first tested in the US beginning in 1998 under close regulation and supervision, and approved for nonregulated planting and harvesting in 2005 by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

However, in January of 2008, four citizen groups (the Center for Food Safety, the Sierra Club, the Organic Seed Alliance, and High Mowing Organic Seeds) filed a lawsuit in the US District Court of the Northern District of California challenging this determination of nonregulated status. That court ruled in September of 2009 that the earlier ruling had failed to consider certain potential impacts of this genetically-modified crop, and in August of 2010 vacated the earlier decision, making H7-1 sugar beet planting again subject to certain regulations which require permits before planting or transporting this crop (among other regulations).

An Environmental Impact Study was then undertaken in order to present the regulatory agency's decision-maker with extensive details about the case, and the pros and cons of three different alternatives: in the first alternative, the agency would take no action and H7-1 would remain regulated; in the second alternative the H7-1 sugar beet would be fully deregulated; and in the third alternative the production of these genetically-engineered sugar beets would be partially deregulated.

The study was completed in May of this year and it is 801 pages long. You can read the entire thing online or download it onto your own storage at the USDA APHIS website here. The report recommends option 2 -- full deregulation -- as its "preferred alternative").

Four days ago, the USDA regulatory decision-maker announced their decision, which was to fully deregulate H7-1 sugar beet production and usage in the US.

As the 801-page USDA report explains, about 60% of the sugar consumed in the US comes from sugar beets. This means that much of the sugar found in US food products (and it is found in an astonishing number of US food products) will potentially be derived from genetically-modified sugar beets in the future.

I have already published a fairly extensive post discussing genetically modified food earlier this year, which started out with the statement: "This post does not purport to tell you what to think about genetically-modified crops (although I have come to some of my own conclusions about the subject, some of which you might detect as you read on)."

There are reasons why genetically modified sugar beets are desired by some farmers, and it is a complicated issue (have a look at the 801-page report for a full rundown). Sugar beets are very susceptible to weeds and do not compete well with them, and thus almost all those who grow sugar beets spray the area heavily with herbicides.

The genetically-modified H7-1 variety is resistant to glyphosate, which enables growers to use less of other chemicals (because they can now simply spray glyphosate over the entire field, beets and all, knowing that the beets are engineered to be glyphosate-resistant).  Some of the chemical herbicides which glyphosate replaces do seem to be much more toxic to animals and humans than glyphosate according to the 801-page report, although glyphosate itself is not something you want to consume either. When fed to lab animals, glyphosate caused the following damage:
Rabbits exposed to glyphosate showed mortality, diarrhea, and nasal discharge at 350 mg per kg per day in a developmental toxicity study. A developmental study in rats showed incomplete development of the sternebrae (a structure similar to the sternum or breastbone in humans) and decreased body weights in the offspring of mothers exposed at 3,500 mg per kg per day. At the same dose, the mothers were found to have mortality, decreases in the total number of viable offspring, decreases in implantation of fetuses in the uterus, decreased body weight gain, diarrhea, inactivity, and red matting on the head, forelimbs, nose, and mouth. On the basis of developmental studies in rats and rabbits and reproductive findings in rats, glyphosate exhibited no evidence of increased qualitative and quantitative susceptibility. page 364 of the USDA report.
More concerning perhaps is the introduction into the plant of foreign genetic material (hence the term "transgenic"), which in the case of the H7-1 sugar beet, as in most other genetically modified organisms (or GMOs) is accomplished through the mechanism of bacteria and viruses, since bacteria and viruses make a living by invading the cellular material of other organisms.

The genetic material that alters conventional sugar beets to create the glyphosate-tolerant H7-1 sugar beet consists of a "promoter sequence" from the genetic material of the figwort mosaic virus, a "chloroplast-targeting sequence" from the arabidopsis thaliana or mouse-ear cress plant, and a "coding sequence" and a "terminator sequence" from the agrobacterium sp strain CP4 and E 93'.

As the USDA report explains, the modified DNA in the sugar beet does not seem to make its way into the sugar that is produced from these sugar beets, and when Japanese regulators were looking into the labeling of sugar from genetically-modified beets they decided that it was impossible to detect what sugar came from what kind of beets, and so the health threat to humans may be negligible from sugar produced by these beets (pages 343-344 of the APHIS report).

However, there are other potential concerns, including the fact that these sugar beets are also fed to animals that end up in the food chain (and fed to them without being turned into sugar, so that their  genetically-modified DNA does make its way into their gut), as well as the real likelihood that genetically-modified sugar beets will cross-pollinate or "outcross" with other members of the beet family, including table beets and swiss chard (all of which are sexually compatible with sugar beets).

There is also the concern that the potential impacts of the consumption of genetically-engineered food are not fully understood, and may pose unforeseen dangers for human beings, for the beneficial bacteria that live in our guts and which are essential to our health and perhaps our survival, and for all kinds of ecosystems including those that sustain our agricultural activities.

The other major problem with the ongoing proliferation of genetically-modified organisms in the food chain is that many consumers may be completely unaware that the food they are consuming now contains GMOs. Genetically-modified plants are a fairly recent development, and were not in the food supply at all when I was growing up. They have not been explained to the public by any means, and many will undoubtedly be surprised to learn that much of the sugar found in their food already comes from genetically-engineered sugar beets, and that more will no doubt come from genetically-modified sources in the future. Sugar is found in an amazing array of foods, and unless the list of ingredients specifies that it comes from sugar cane, it often comes from sugar beets (more than 50% of the time, in the US).

Below is a photo of the ingredients of a peanut-butter jar prominently labeled as "natural," with "sugar" listed as the second ingredient. The source of the sugar (whether from cane or beets) is not specified, and since this "natural" peanut butter is not organic, there is certainly the possibility that it came from genetically-modified sugar beets.

However, there is really no way for the consumer to know (short of calling the company), and for the consumer to thus make an informed decision as to whether he or she should purchase this peanut butter for a certain price, or search for a different peanut butter at possibly a higher price if the consumer wishes to avoid feeding genetically-modified foodstuffs to his or her children (or to himself or herself). As it stands, he or she must assume that anything that says simply "sugar" may contain GMOs, if he or she feels strongly about the subject.

There are ballot initiatives in the US which would make it mandatory to label ingredients as GMO when they are present in foods, so that consumers can avoid them if they want to. This is not the same as prohibiting GMO foods -- consumers would have a choice to buy what they wanted to buy, and farmers would have a choice to grow what they wanted to grow, and food companies could decide to make foods with GMO ingredients and without GMO ingredients to appeal to different segments of the market, if they so desired.

One such ballot initiative was recently approved for vote in California, having gathered nearly a million signatures, and voters can find it as Proposition 37 when they go to the polls this November. The initiative language can be found here. It would require that a food made with a GE ingredient must carry a label stating that the product may contain genetically modified ingredients, effective July 01, 2014. There are certain exemptions, such as alcoholic beverages, animals that have not been genetically modified themselves regardless of whether they were fed or injected with genetically modified substances, and food crops that were not "knowingly and intentionally genetically engineered."

Who could possibly be against labeling so that consumers could know whether or not their sugar or other ingredients came from genetically engineered sources? Well, it turns out that a lot of people could and are. Some of them may have financial incentives for being against it (just as some who are for it may have financial incentives to be for labeling).

The best philosophical argument against the initiative, in my opinion, is the argument that companies can already choose to label their products as GMO free (if they truly are), and consumers can exert pressure with their own purchasing decisions, without the government getting involved with laws and regulations forcing such labeling.  This argument is philosophically better than others, in my opinion, because it takes the perspective that the individual is an adult, without the need of a paternalistic government which constantly passes laws to interfere with issues that the individual should be able to decide for himself or herself.  It assumes that individuals who care about GMOs will make the effort to become informed, and avoid ingredients that might contain transgenic ingredients, and that corporations run by other individuals may make the decision to cater to those GMO-avoiding individuals without having to be told to do so by the heavy hand of government.

However, as we've already seen, the array of foods derived from genetically-engineered crops is truly stunning. It is very unlikely that any but a very small minority of consumers are aware that more than half of sugar in the US is derived from beets, and that transgenic sugar beets have been used to produce some of that sugar for years.  While a small percentage of consumers may be aware of their potential exposure to GMOs, it is so difficult to avoid them (and becoming more difficult, especially with the addition of most sugar to the list) that the individual is at a severe disadvantage in this case.

Similarly, over 80% of corn and over 90% of soy produced in the US is genetically modified, according to some information sources. The number of products containing corn and corn derivatives in the food supply is truly staggering. Because this change has taken place without any real widespread perception by the public that consumes that food, what I believe to be the best philosophical argument against mandated labeling loses some of its force.

There are many interests that might have a financial reason to oppose labeling, including producers of food that contains genetically-engineered ingredients, who may fear that such labels will place them at a competitive disadvantage. Those who argue publicly against labeling of GMO ingredients typically argue from one or more of these three positions: 1) that because transgenic organisms are safe, there is no need for such labels, 2) that such labels will raise food prices due to the costs involved with regulating and labeling, and 3) that such labels will "scare consumers" unnecessarily.

Here is the website of an organization that donated a significant sum of money to oppose California's upcoming Proposition 37. While their specific argument against the idea of providing consumer labeling for free choice is not specified on their website (even on their "Resources and Information" and "Issue Briefs" and "Fact Sheets" sections), they do provide a link to an argument from a state senator from a state other than California arguing against the concept of labeling GMO products.

That page provides a link to the state senator's full argument, which argues that if states are allowed to mandate their own labeling for food, "our food would start to cost more" and some parts of the country might try to scare consumers with "skull-and-crossbone images." Moreover, he argues that "The labels wouldn’t make food safer because biotech ingredients are already 100-percent safe." Finally, he calls the efforts of his opponent's an "anti-scientific agenda that will make it harder for families to feed themselves."

The use of the term "anti-scientific" is often employed by those who want to undermine the arguments of their opponents, even if their opponents are using arguments that are based on evidence, or that are calling for more studies before dogmatic assertions are accepted without question. Which is more scientific -- to say that some evidence appears to support other possible conclusions and to ask that such evidence be examined, or to declare that there is no opposition to the conventional wisdom and that any arguments to the contrary do not deserve to be examined?

Further, the idea that people should not be informed because some segment of the population might become "scared" (and that because of this, information should be withheld from everybody else) is actually the truly frightening prospect for the elected leaders of a free people to be arguing.

I personally do not find any of these arguments against the requirement to label GMO ingredients to be convincing. Further, unlike the first objection highlighted above, which is philosophically superior in that it argues from the position that the individual is an adult who can figure things out himself without regulated labels, all of these arguments take the philosophically distasteful position that the people are like immature children, who need to be told what to do and who are incapable of reasoning on their own.

The argument that labels might "scare" consumers argues that the mass of the people are like sheep, too irrational to make an informed decision.  The argument that "biotech ingredients are 100-percent safe" is not really an argument at all -- it is a pronouncement, like a parent telling a child "the way it is" and that no questions will be tolerated. 

This issue is very analogous to the debate over alternative theories regarding mankind's ancient past, in which those who want to examine the massive amount of evidence suggesting that the conventional wisdom is wrong are reflexively labeled as "anti-scientific" or purveyors of "pseudoscience." However, I would argue that swallowing a false narrative about ancient history can be as dangerous as ingesting food that contains DNA from bacteria and viruses whose effects on the human body cannot possibly be fully understood at this time.

The recent decision by the USDA to allow the full unregulated production of genetically-modified sugar beets makes the need for labeling seem more important so that consumers who care can make more informed purchasing decisions, which may create market pressures for alternatives to such ingredients.

These are important issues and they highlight the need for good analysis in every area of our lives.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A good day to contemplate the concept of comets


Today is a good day to spend some time contemplating comets, those lonely travelers of the solar system, whose orbits sometimes take them on incredibly remote journeys far from the familiar planets.

The reason July 23 is such a good day to consider the mysterious case of the solar system's comets is that July 23 is the day of the year that Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp simultaneously and independently of one another discovered the comet in 1995 when they saw it in the constellation Sagittarius, which is one of the more brilliant constellations dominant in the night sky this time of year, guarding the southern end of the Milky Way not far from the Scorpion. 

Here is a link to a blog post I published a year ago, on the previous anniversary of the discovery of the comet that would become one of the most spectacular comets for viewing in modern history.  That post and other previous posts dealing with the phenomenon of comets (such as this post and this one) discusses the aspects of comets which defy the conventional explanations for the origin of comets (all of which have serious difficulties with observed comet behavior, and the reason that Walt Brown's hydroplate theory may provide the best explanation for the origin of these icy apparitions.

To help appreciate the incredible distances that comets such as Hale-Bopp travel (and to see how very different the plane of orbit of some of these comets can be from the plane of orbit followed by the earth and the other planets), take a look at this excellent site provided by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  That site contains a graphic "map" of the orbit of Hale-Bopp in relation to the solar system, with three different "slide bars" that you can manipulate in order to shift and rotate the viewing angle, as well as zoom in and zoom out to get a real feeling for the enormity of that comet's orbit.  There is also a series of controls that enable you to change the date (and year) and go forward into the future (only until the year 2200, it seems) and backwards into the past.

Below is the view from the outer reaches of the solar system, showing the extreme angle that Hale-Bopp enters the solar system when it visits -- it follows a plane of orbit almost perpendicular to the plane of earth's orbit, and spends almost all of its time "below" the plane of the solar system, shooting above it only as it approaches perihelion (closest orbital point to the sun) before turning and diving back down again.

As you can see from the image, which is for the current date, the comet has already moved so far from the sun and the solar system that it doesn't even fit into this screen shot.  It is already 33.113 Astronomical Units (AU) from the sun (one AU is the approximate mean earth-sun distance).

The screen shot below is zoomed out much further, in order to get a glimpse of Hale-Bopp on its incredible orbit.  Even at this range, we cannot fit the entirety of the orbital path onto the screen.

Hale-Bopp's orbit was apparently altered by a close encounter with Jupiter on its last visit to the solar system, and so it will "only" get out to about 370 AU, rather than 575 AU as it previously did.  The comet is not scheduled to make another return until approximately AD 4385.

Dr. Walt Brown devotes an entire chapter in his book on the hydroplate theory (the entire text of which is available for free viewing online) to the question of the origin of comets, here.   He provides extensive scientific evidence to support the theory that comets originated from a catastrophic eruption of high-pressure water from beneath earth's crust (the same event which unleashed a global flood responsible for most of the geology we see on earth today).

In that chapter, he explains why long-period comets (Hale-Bopp is certainly a long-period comet) often have steeply-inclined orbital planes, in contrast to short-period comets, which often orbit in planes close to the plane of the earth and the other planets.  He also explains that long-period comets often have retrograde orbits (clockwise in motion around the sun) rather than orbiting counter-clockwise the way that the earth and the other planets -- as well as almost all the short-period comets -- orbit the sun.  He explains:
A ball tossed in any direction from a high-speed train will, to an observer on the ground, initially travel almost horizontally and in the train’s direction. Likewise, low-velocity cometary materials launched in any direction from Earth received most of their orbital velocity from Earth’s high, prograde velocity (18.5 miles per second) about the Sun. Earth, by definition, has zero angle of inclination. This is why almost all short-period comets, those launched with low velocity, are prograde and have low angles of inclination.

Cometary materials launched with greater velocities than Earth’s orbital velocity traveled in all directions. They formed long-period comets with randomly inclined orbital planes. Prograde cometary materials launched with the highest velocities escaped the solar system, because they had the added velocity of Earth’s motion. This is why so many of the remaining long-period comets are retrograde. [See Table 12 on page 288.] (Almost all other bodies orbiting the Sun are prograde: planets, asteroids, meteoroids, and short-period comets.) 
Sure enough, Comet Hale-Bopp also orbits the sun in a clockwise (retrograde) orbit, in addition to being steeply inclined.
The enormity of the distance that Hale-Bopp travels should fill us with awe if we really sit down and contemplate the path of this comet.  It should also cause us to question the origin of comets and the many aspects of their mysterious orbits which are better explained by the hydroplate theory than by the theories currently in vogue among conventional academics.
Strictly speaking, it should be noted that Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp only re-discovered this incredible comet.  There is some evidence that the ancient Egyptians saw it the last time it came through prior to 1997 (in the 23rd century BC).  

Even though Comet Hale-Bopp is not visible right now, it is still streaking along its orbital path, although so far away from everything else in the solar system that it almost boggles the mind to think about it.  Today is a good day to spend a little time focusing on that lonely far-traveling object, the incredible vastness of space, and the amazing forces that move the symphony of objects that speed along their many paths around our sun.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Happy Birthday to George Clinton

 A true music pioneer and an explorer of the connection between music and consciousness!  Born on July 22 -- Happy Birthday!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ancient knowledge of accurate latitudes and ocean landmarks prior to 3500 BC

I recently received a book as a birthday gift, and what a wonderful book it is!  Entitled How the SunGod reached America c. 2500 BC, it presents detailed evidence compiled by authors Dr. Reinoud M. de Jonge and Jay Stuart Wakefield that numerous ancient megalithic sites around the world encode detailed sailing charts for crossing the world's oceans and finding specific landmarks and navigation aids at specific and accurate latitudes.

The book is illustrated with numerous diagrams, drawings and maps, as well as selections of ancient Egyptian papyri and panels showing that the ancient Egyptians were active participants in voyages to the "Western Lands."  

The authors argue that the most ancient sites including Newgrange and other megalithic mounds contain clear coded references to discoveries of islands to the west, the Azores being among the most important of these, and that the lands to the west held great religious significance in the worship of the SunGod to these ancient peoples.  

Significantly, they find that the nine major islands of the Azores, in three major groups, are depicted in ancient sites dating to 3500 or 3600 BC, such as Gavrinis, including coded references to the latitudes of the Azores (they describe references to 38 North, the latitude of the Central Azores and the number most associated with the Azores, as well as references to numerous other important nautical reference points, including Dunmore Head in Ireland at 52 North and the Cape Verde Islands at 16 North).

Below is an image of two of the engraved stones from Gavrinis, showing the labels that de Jonge and Wakefield give to the inscriptions.


One of the most interesting sections of the book concerns the site at Mystery Hill, New Hampshire (also known as "America's Stonehenge"), which I have visited and written about in previous posts such as this one and this one.  

The authors present convincing arguments that Mystery Hill functioned as a "religio/travel center for crossing the ocean to Europe in the bronze Age," saying: "We think this was a teaching center about oceanic geography and sailing routes, a place to get accurate predictions for the safe timing of oceanic voyages, and a place to make the sacrifices that would ensure safe passages" (10-1).

Above (top of this post) is a diagram from Mystery Hill showing the many extended stone walls, which seem to wind about with no purpose (certainly their layout defies the theory that these stone walls were produced by early colonial settlers clearing the land).  Authors de Jonge and Wakefield provide convincing arguments that these walls depict the coastlines of the world's oceans, most detailed in the region of the North Atlantic [most of the stone structures in the "Main Site" area, not shown in this larger view], but also depicting the Equator as well as a route for a "southern passage" across the Atlantic in the region of the Equator, as well as coastal features in the Caribbean, Central America, and even the eastern edge of Asia and a route marker aimed towards Australia.

Among the evidence that the authors present are indications that the site encodes the latitude of Cape Sao Roque, the northeast point of Brazil, at latitude 5 South, the latitude of the north coast of Honduras at 16 North, and even the latitude of Cape Race in Newfoundland, at 47 North!

The authors present similar evidence that Stonehenge encodes latitudes and landmarks for oceanic crossings as well.  This is astonishing, but it is in line with the arguments that Martin Doutré has outlined in support of the conclusion that nearby Avebury Henge also functioned as a large "open-air university" for the training of mathemetician-seafarers to cross the bluewater oceans.

The extensive mathematical patterns that de Jonge and Wakefield find at sites around the world which indicate knowledge of accurate latitudes as early as 3000 BC and even earlier, however, is perhaps the most astonishing aspect of their argument.  It is difficult to deny that people who could determine accurate latitudes understood that the earth is a sphere, and what is more, that they understood its size to a high degree of precision.  

If ancient mankind knew the size and shape of our spherical earth to such a degree of sophistication prior to the construction of Stonehenge, then this knowledge completely stands our conventional view of human history on its head.

There is extensive other evidence from around the world, however, that ancient civilizations did have this knowledge (see this previous post, for example).  

How did they know so much, so many thousands of years ago?

Conventional textbooks will of course continue to depict the builders of Stonehenge as primitive and superstitious innocents wearing rough skins, and to argue that at the early dates of the many megalithic sites described above, mankind was just beginning to emerge from a hunter-gatherer mode (which had prevailed for hundreds of thousands of years, during which discovery of the size and shape of the spherical earth would have been difficult to imagine).  Dr. de Jonge and Mr. Wakefield have shown that this conventional view cannot be correct.

How the SunGod reached America c. 2500 BC thus becomes an incredibly important piece of analysis, contributing critical evidence that should be examined carefully by everyone interested in uncovering a truer picture of the most ancient past of mankind.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Ancient origins of the circus, and reflections on the "Wheel of Death"

Above is a clip from the Cirque du Soleil's amazing Wheel of Death performance in the Koozå show, which I was fortunate enough to see with my family in 2007.

As incredible as it appears in the video, it is even more breathtaking in person.

The word "circus" literally means "circle," and comes from the Greek word "kirkos," which also meant "circle" but which also clearly the root of the name of the sorceress Circe in Homer's Odyssey, who transforms men into different animals.  Astronomical and precessional imagery in the Odyssey are discussed in the Mathisen Corollary book.

It is quite clear that the ancient circus was closely connected to the circular motions of the heavens, and in particular the motions of the planets, as discussed in this previous post from a year ago entitled "The chariot race in Ben-Hur and the motions of the planets."

That post demonstrated that the ancient "circus" (which involved a horse-race in an oval stadium, in the same direction that the planets orbit the sun) clearly had celestial significance.

For one thing, ancient sources explain that there were never more than seven circuits around the track (corresponding to the number of visible planets, including Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn), and for conclusive evidence, the authors of Hamlet's Mill point to ancient sources who relate that the central lawn of the ancient circus featured a pyramid dedicated to the sun, as well as altars dedicated to the Moon and the five visible planets.  These features, added to the direction of the motion of the race, clearly indicate a celestial connection to the ancient "circus."

The "Wheel of Death" is of course a modern invention, first designed in the 1930s, but there appear to be elements of continuity between this amazing feature of the modern circus and its ancient namesake (the ancient circus that represented the circling planets), including the fact that travel to the mystical "circles of the planets" has long been seen as a crossing of the boundary between the realm of the living and the spirit world (see discussions of shamanic tradition, as well as the intriguing work of Dr. Jeremy Naydler who argues that ancient Egyptian priests and pharaohs deliberately went right up to "the threshold of death in order to travel into the spirit world") (120).

The imagery of the Cirque du Soleil Wheel of Death performance in Koozå is obviously deliberately evocative of death and otherworldly scenes (including the horned costumes of the main performers, and the skeletal costumes of the supporting performers, as well as the otherworldly music and atmosphere). Further, the overall name of the transformative modern "Cirque du Soleil" evokes the circle or circuit of the sun, which has deep ancient significance, as discussed in previous posts about the solstices and the equinoxes (see here and here) and the video "Precession = The Key."

The cosmic importance of the circle, from which the "circus" takes its name, is discussed by the authors of Hamlet's Mill on pages 48 and 49:
"What is eternal," Aristotle said, "is circular, and what is circular is eternal."  That was the mature conclusion of human thought over millennia.  It was, as has been said, an obsession with circularity.  There is nothing new under the sun, but all things come back in ever-varying recurrence.  [. . .]  The cosmos was one vast system full of gears within gears, enormously intricate in its connections, which could be likened to a many-dialed clock.  Its functions appeared and disappeared all over the system, like strange cuckoos in the clock, and wonderful tales were woven around them to describe their behavior; but just as in an engine, one cannot understand each part until one has understood the way all the parts interconnect in the system.
The same could be said of a circus, which seems to be many bizarre and awe-inducing parts that each have their own strange fascination, but taken as a whole they add up to something more -- something that evokes the awe-inspiring "gears within gears" of the universe itself.

Even more profound, circus performances such as the Wheel of Death performance shown in the video above illustrate the awe-inspiring capabilities of the individual human being (in this performance, two human beings who must balance their finely-honed skills with one another in order to bring about a display that could not be accomplished by one man alone).

The ancient esoteric traditions insisted that man as an individual is a "microcosm," an embodiment of the universe in both his body and his mind.  The awe-inspiring aspects of the macro universe were thus reflected and embodied in the micro universe of the individual.

When we see individuals achieving heights of performance such as those on display in the Wheel of Death performance above (and in many other acts in Cirque du Soleil's Koozå and indeed in many other circuses around the world and throughout the centuries), we are reminded that we human beings are something far beyond the diminished vision we are brainwashed into believing by the keepers of the (demonstrably false) conventional paradigm of human history and their ideology of materialism.

To the extent that Koozå and other modern circuses remind us of this incredible capacity of the human being, they tap into a very ancient and profound truth that stands against the tide of modern mediocrity and materialism.  We should support them at every opportunity and in every way possible.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

One of the most moving performances of all time

Above is a video of a live performance by the late great Israel Kamakawiwo'ole that is guaranteed to induce chills, first when Brother Iz launches into singing after his spoken-word introduction, and then when his former bandmates from the Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau join him on stage to sing.

This performance is from the prestigious Na Hoku Hanohano Hawaiian Music Awards from May of 1996, only a year before the passing of Brother Iz.

The song is "Kaleohano," written by his brother-in-law, Moon Kauakahi, who can be seen singing to the right of Iz (Iz's right, or to the left as you look at the video) when he and the other Makaha Sons come up out of the audience to join in the song (which takes place at about 4:18 in the video, and the camera focuses in on Moon Kauakahi at about 4:57 in this video).  His birthday is coming up on July 30.

Here is a reprint of an article describing the show-stopping performance at that 19th annual Na Hoku Hanohano awards, with Brother Iz describing it from his own perspective:
Yeah, that wasn't planned. I didn't know what was going on. I just had my eyes closed. I heard Moon's voice and I opened my eyes and looked to the side and there he was. That was cool, really really cool, awesome.
I was crying, yeah, I was crying. There was a lotta emotion, a lotta feeling of love, an awesome feeling of aloha. That was the perfect example, the epitome, of aloha spirit. Everybody in the state talks about aloha spirit; that was the perfect display. It's all about love, it's all about being Hawaiian, and just love, man, family. 
In the introduction to the song, before he begins to sing, Brother Iz confesses his conviction that the soul lives on beyond the body, saying:
It's only a facade, brah.  It's a thin curtain.  It's only temporary.  Us guys is forever.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Rise early to see the pre-dawn lineup of the Golden Age

Early risers who have a clear view to the east (worth driving a little ways to find one if you do not) can see a spectacular morning array of stars, planets, and constellations right now, and one with great historical significance for the human race.

Above is an image from Sky & Telescope's excellent "Interactive Sky Chart" application (which is free to use once you create a login ID and password), showing the morning sky at 4:30 am, looking to the east, for a viewer at latitude 35 North.

In the image above, one can see that Orion dominates the horizon, with nearby Gemini also above the horizon and waiting for the sun to come up in their vicinity as the earth continues to rotate towards the east (think of the horizon plunging "downwards" in the direction that you are looking as you stare at the image).  

Above Orion is the distinctive "V" shape of Taurus the Bull, with his long horns.  The planets Venus and Jupiter are close to one another and to reddish star Aldebaran and clearly visible in this image.  Just out of view in this image but clearly visible in the predawn sky is the waning crescent moon, which is just above the top of the image and roughly in line with Venus and Jupiter (a bit to the right of them as you look east) and close to the beautiful Pleiades (also out of view on this image above the top edge of the image).

To see a helpful diagram of the waning crescent moon as it becomes thinner and thinner and its "lead" in front of the sun gets shorter and shorter over the next few mornings, see this Sky & Telescope discussion of "This Week's Sky at a Glance" and the first diagram in that article.

What makes the morning lineup so exciting right now is the fact that it is very similar to the morning lineup of stars prior to the sunrise on the important Spring Equinox (March Equinox) back in the Age of Gemini, four "Ages" ago (prior to the Age of Taurus, which was prior to the Age of Aries, which was prior to the current Age of Pisces, which is now almost over as well).

In their seminal 1969 work Hamlet's Mill, Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend present a plethora of evidence, primarily from world mythology, that this lost Age of Gemini was recorded in myth as the "Golden Age."  For more discussion of that concept, see this previous post.  

Due to the phenomenon of precession, the entire sky has been "delayed" in the view that it presents on the same day each year (such as on the morning of the March Equinox, or on the morning of July 14, etc).  For more on that concept, you may want to view the recent video entitled "Precession = The Key."

In any event, try to make plans during the next several days to rise before the sun and observe the stunning array of heavenly bodies making up this historic spectacle.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Is the Cavalier Hotel really haunted?

I recently had the opportunity to revisit Virginia Beach, Virginia and to see the historic Cavalier Hotel again, a famous old hotel which opened in 1927.

Known as the "hotel that made Virginia Beach famous" and "the aristocrat of the Virginia seashore," the hotel has hosted several US presidents and once was the largest hirer of big bands in the world, entertaining the guests of its Beach Club with artists such as Glen Miller and Cab Calloway.

As is the case with many icons of past glory -- especially those with one or more tragic events in their past -- the hotel is reputed to be haunted.

Here is a link to a section of the book Haunted Virginia Beach by Alpheus Chewning which describes the many ghost stories associated with the "Grand Dame of the Shore," many of them involving lights, noises, and other activity in the upper storeys during the months that the hotel is closed (it is only open to guests during the period between June 15 and Labor Day).

Here is a link to an eerie photograph and account from a recent visitor who was in the area in April of 2011 and decided to have a look around, even though the hotel was closed for the off-season.

You can decide for yourself what to make of the many descriptions of paranormal encounters at the old hotel.  At the very least, these sorts of accounts, which are found the world over, raise questions about human consciousness and whether consciousness survives the death of the body -- a proposition which is denied by the "ideology of materialism."

A few previous posts which have touched on this important question include:
Recent posts have also explored the work of Jeremy Naydler, who finds evidence that the ancient Egyptians knew that consciousness could move into a realm beyond the material and who deliberately participated in rituals designed to enable out-of-body travel into the spirit world.

If you ever find yourself in Virginia Beach, you may be interested in paying a visit to the historic old Cavalier Hotel.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Precession = The Key

I just uploaded a video entitled "Precession = The Key." 

Its purpose is to provide a clear overview of some of the most important concepts discussed in the Mathisen Corollary book and this blog.

Please have a look and, if you find it worthwhile, please feel free to share it with friends and to give it a "like" or write some feedback -- thanks!

Why is it important to understand the precession of the equinoxes? Because precession is the key to seeing the evidence that the very most ancient civilizations were far more advanced than conventional historians and academia will admit.

Precession also enables us to see evidence of global trans-oceanic contact long before Columbus. It can even enable us to see evidence that the ancients may have known the size and shape of our spherical earth -- before the construction of the Great Pyramid!

This shocking conclusion completely upends the fabricated myth of linear upward progress from early civilizations to modern civilization. It has far-reaching consequences.

There are numerous previous posts dealing with all of the topics covered in the video. If you want more detail on anything discussed in the video, you can use the handy "internal search" window at the top-left of this page (for terms such as "precession," "Orion," "Osiris," "consciousness," "linear," "solstices" and so forth).

Thanks for watching, sharing and responding!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Birthday of Nikola Tesla (1856 - 1943)

July 10 is the birthday of Nikola Tesla, born this day in 1856 in Smiljan, Croatia.

Tesla was an amazing genius and creative thinker, a designer of new inventions who explained that he could visualize an apparatus in his mind, assemble it in his mind, test it in his mind, and then disassemble it and inspect it for wear and binding and friction . . . in his mind! (Autobiography, cited in The Tesla Papers, edited by David Hatcher Childress, 13).

The introduction to the Tesla Papers (cited above) explains that, although he is not popularly given credit for the following inventions, it appears that Tesla's designs were the first in many areas that are usually attributed to later inventors:
Ask any school kid: "who invented radio"? If you get an answer at all it will doubtless be Marconi -- an answer with which all the encyclopedias and textbooks agree. Or ask most anyone: "who invented the stuff that makes your toaster, your stereo, the street lights, the factories and offices work?" Without hesitation, Thomas Edison, right? Wrong both times. The correct answer is Nikola Tesla, a person you have probably heard of. There's more. He appears to have discovered x-rays a year before W. K. Roentgen did in Germany, he built a vacuum tube amplifier several years before Lee de Forest did, he was using fluorescent lights in his laboratories 40 years before the industry "invented" them, and he demonstrated the principles used in microwave ovens and radar decades before they became an integral part of our society. Yet we associate his name with none of them. [. . .] His practical career started in 1881 in Budapest, Hungary, where he made his first electrical invention, a telephone repeater (the ordinary loudspeaker) and conceived the idea of a rotating magnetic field, which later made him world famous in its form as the modern induction motor. [. . .] Another one of Tesla's inventions that is familiar to anyone who has ever owned an automobile was patented in 1898 under the name "electrical ignitor for gas engines." More commonly known as the automobile ignition system, its major component, the ignition coil, remains practically unchanged since its introduction into use at the turn of the century. Nikola Tesla also built prototypes of a unique fuel burning rotary engine based upon his earlier design for a rotary pump. Recent tests that have been carried out on the Tesla bladeless disk turbine indicate that, if constructed using newly developed high temperature ceramic materials, it will rank as the world's most efficient gas engine, out-performing our present day piston type internal combustion engines in fuel efficiency, longevity, adaptability to different fuels, cost and power to weight ratio. 12-15.

Tesla is perhaps best known today, however, for his ground-breaking work in the transmission of electricity over distances, and the dramatic propagation of bolts of energy from high-energy Tesla coils. His later work led into extremely low frequencies including the resonant frequency of planet Earth, the production of huge bolts of artificial lightning, the search for signals from extraterrestrial life in outer space and the creation of devices that could send signals to other planets, the investigation of radiation, and the investigation of the science of plasma energy (which remains a largely open field for study to this day).

Through his science, Tesla was able to transmit electricity wirelessly to remote devices, using wireless electrical power to light the lamps at his own laboratories. However, his efforts to deliver inexpensive or even free power were stymied by business rivals (most notably Thomas Edison, who went to great lengths to portray Tesla's AC power as dangerous in comparison to Edison's DC power, including funding a road show in which Edison's representatives electrocuted dogs and one time even an elephant).

As explained in the Tesla Papers, Tesla believed our planet's conditions could provide free and abundant energy for all:
Tesla wrote in Century Magazine in 1900: ". . . that communication without wires to any point of the globe is practicable.  My experiments showed that the air at the ordinary pressure became distinctly conducting, and this opened up the wonderful prospect of transmitting large amounts of electrical energy for industrial purposes to great distances without wires.  Its practical consummation would mean that energy would be available for the uses of man at any point of the globe.  I can conceive of no technical advance which would tend to unite the various elements of humanity more effectively than this one, or of one which would more add to and more economize human energy . . ."  This was written in 1900!  After finishing preliminary testing, work was begun on a full sized broadcasting station at Shoreham, Long Island.  Had it gone into operation, it would have been able to provide usable amounts of electrical power at the receiving circuits.  After construction of a generator building (still standing) and a 180 foot broadcasting tower (dynamited in World War I on the dubious pretext of being a potential navigation reference for German U-boats), financial support for the project was suddenly withdrawn by J. P. Morgan when it became apparent that such a worldwide power project couldn't be metered and charged for.  14-15.
Whether Tesla had really discovered the secret to providing free and abundant power to heal the divisions between a divided mankind remains unknown.

It is indisputable, however, that powerful business and political interests sometimes labor mightily to prevent new and less expensive forms of power being made available -- in fact, it can be demonstrated that such efforts to block sources of new or less expensive or more abundant energy continue to this very day.

It is also indisputable that Tesla was an incredible genius, an example of the incredible power of the human mind, and an inventor who truly sought to benefit others.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Scorpion and the Smoky Abyss

Back in May a previous blog post alerted readers to the return of the constellation Scorpio (or Scorpius) to the early evening sky (back then it was rising out of the horizon in the east in the hours before midnight), along with some links to posts describing the best way to locate this distinctive constellation as well as some discussion of its ancient mythological significance, much of it based on the work of Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend in Hamlet's Mill.

Almost two months later, the Scorpion is "culminating" (reaching its highest point, or "transit" point, in the sky) at approximately 10:30 pm -- a very accessible time for stargazing.  It is a beautiful sight, as Scorpio is a very long and brilliant constellation, like a string of jewels in the southern sky.

As you can see from the image above, which indicates celestial latitude, the Scorpion stretches from about twenty degrees south of the celestial equator at the top of the constellation (its pincers) down to nearly forty-five degrees south of the celestial equator (the graceful curve of its stinger-bearing tail).

Because it stretches so far below the celestial equator, viewers in the northern latitudes of the northern hemisphere rarely see the full constellation -- it can often be seen rising above the horizon, but the lower parts of its long sinuous tail are often obscured by the horizon. Your best opportunity to see the entire constellation is when it reaches its highest point on its arc across the southern sky, which (as mentioned above) is now taking place at about 10:30 pm (and getting earlier by about four minutes each night).

The entire constellation of the Scorpion is a glorious sight to see, and well worth the effort.  For incredible time-lapse videos that feature the Scorpion and the Milky Way (and some discussion of the importance of the Scorpion's station at the southern end of the Galaxy) see this previous post

The Scorpion is located "just to the right" of the shining band of the Milky Way where the Galaxy rises up from the horizon to arc across the sky (at the other end are the Twins and the Crab).  Higher up in this beautiful path across the heavens from Scorpio are the constellations of the Eagle and the Swan, flying towards one another -- they are now beginning to be clearly visible in the east during the hours after sunset, and as summer progresses they will be seen further and further across the sky until they dominate the center-stage of the nightscape.

Hertha von Dechend and Giorgio de Santillana provide evidence in Hamlet's Mill that ancient cultures -- from the world over -- saw the shining path of the Milky Way as the road the soul took between incarnations.  The two points where it met the horizon were seen as gateways between this world and the other world.

They also present evidence that various ancient myths describing a column of smoke rising up from the abyss are actually coded references to the Milky Way rising up from the southern horizon (and if you look at the Milky Way from a dark location you will see that it does resemble a silvery column of smoke emanating from the edge of the horizon).

These coded mythological descriptions often contain a reference to the two zodiac constellations who flank the Milky Way on either side: Scorpio and Sagittarius (the Archer, often traditionally portrayed as a centaur wielding a bow and arrow).  Von Dechend and de Santillana argue, following the work of German philologist Professor Franz Boll (1867 - 1924), that references to an abyss or a well that goes down to the underworld and which is guarded by scorpion-beings or centaurs (or both) refer to this portion of the night sky.

In Appendix 36 of Hamlet's Mill (the entire text of which is available online here, and Appendix 36 of which can be found online here), the authors write:

The well, closed by a stone [. . .] is not unfamiliar to us [. . .].  There are more curious connections between wells and stones that ask for consideration in future investigations, such as the following three items:
[. . .]
(3) The falling star that opened the abyss, according to Revelation -- a future event, for a change.  Out of this well ascends smoke which darkens the sun and air, and Franz Boll pointed aptly to the "smoke-barrel," south of Sagittarius and Scorpius: Ara, the Altar in the Galaxy [footnote: Thymiatherion, or thyterion.  Michael Scotus still made it "puteus sive sacarius."  See F. Boll, Sphaera (1903), p. 446; Boll, Aus der Offenbarung Johannis (1914), p. 75.], and under this very Altar are the souls of the witnesses of God waiting for the last day (Rev. VI.9).  According to Eratosthenes' catasterisms, at this Altar Zeus and his followers took their oath before attacking Kronos.
[. . .] Franz Boll (Offenbarung, pp. 69ff) has recognized in those strange locust demons of Revelation -- they come out of the well of the abyss -- who resemble horses with human heads, and have wings, and tails of scorpions, the Sagittarius-Centaur of Mesopotamian boundary stones, also to be found on the rectangular zodiac of Dendera.  Revelation also states that they had wreaths of gold on their heads; the Egyptian Sagittarius wears a double crown, the Teukros tradition ascribes to the constellation "the royal face" (to prosopon basilikon, Boll, Sphaera, pp. 181f).  In the Gilgamesh Epic Scorpion men watch the way to the other world; Virgil (Aeneid 6.286) makes it centaurs.  Hamlet's Mill, appendix 36, pp 423-424.
 The reference to Revelation is primarily concerned with the description that makes up Revelation chapter 9.  There, the characteristics of the scorpion are clearly present, and emphasized several times (in verses 3, 5, and 10).  So is the concept of smoke rising up out of a bottomless pit (in verses 1, 2, and 3).  The "locusts" described in verses 3 through 11 are probably describing the constellation Sagittarius (and combining the aspects of the nearby Scorpio).

Sagittarius is a constellation that could be described as resembling a locust almost as much as a centaur -- in modern star-charts viewers are often directed to look for the sub-set of stars in Sagittarius that resemble a teapot and which could also be seen as resembling a locust:

Sagittarius is located just on the other side of the rising "smoke" of the Milky Way from Scorpio ("to the left").  Below is a diagram of the complete constellation of Sagittarius in which the tail of the Scorpion can be seen coming in from the right side of the picture:

In the above diagram, I have added blue lines to give the outline of the constellation as suggested by H.A. Rey in his indispensable book The Stars: A New Way to See Them.  As usual, his outline is far more helpful to viewers looking for the constellation than either the flowery allegorical pictures common in previous centuries or the spare geometric abstractions common in more modern star maps.

Note that the Revelation passage does make reference to making a sound like horses running to battle in regard to the locusts (in verse 9), which reinforces the assertion that they are related to the constellation Sagittarius who is traditionally a centaur.  Further, they are described as having the "faces of men" (in verse 7), which is also indicative of centaurs.

Additionally, they are described as having "crowns like gold" -- and one can see in the diagram above that the constellation of the Southern Crown (Corona Australis) is extremely close to the constellation Sagittarius.  Below is a detail of the Southern Crown with lines drawn along the arc of stars that make up the crown; H.A. Rey notes that it is difficult to see from the middle northern latitudes (only the southernmost US latitudes can see it), as its stars are much fainter than those of the bottom of the Scorpion's tail, which are at about the same celestial declination.

Significantly, in the passage cited from Hamlet's Mill appendix 36 cited above, the authors note that the gateway to the other world is guarded by scorpion-men in the Gilgamesh series (see Tablet IX, which can be read online in this web version), while the gateway to the other world is guarded by centaurs in Virgil's Aeneid (Book Six, line 400 and the surrounding passages).

As the summer goes on, the "rising smoke" of the Milky Way will become more and more visible.  However, there is perhaps no better time to get out and see the entirety of the beautiful and significant constellation of the Scorpion than right now.