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meet the Blue Dragon




Copyright: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Permission of the authors is required for derivative works, compilations, and translations. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or views of Origins. The publisher, editor, contributors, and related parties assumes no responsibility of loss, injury or inconvenience of any person, organization, or party that uses the information or resources provided within this publication, website, or related products.


Issue 5 | Summer 2013 © 2012-2013 Origins, founded by Melanie E Magdalena in association with BermudaQuest.



featured contributor With a M.A. in Mathematics, Morgan is a word architect. She is passionate about writing and is pursuing an Associate’s degree in technical writing.

Morgan V Courage





The Root of it All

DNA uses the square root more than you’d expect; plus, how to solve a square root with just a pen and paper. mORGAN V COURAGE


Defining Archaeology


OOPA: Out of Place

Meet the culprits behind mis-defining this field of study. j. estrada, e. kellogg, m. magdalena When context does not help make sense of artifacts. karen meza cherit




are we all alone?


Aliens Up Close and Personal


Jarod Diamond vs Anthropology

The aliens within us aren’t what you were taught on TV. MORGAN V COURAGE



From the Editor Creature Feature Review It


From the Editor Due to our 1.5 million readers this past year, first I would like to say thank you for your never-ending support. Secondly, I am proud to announce the merging of Origins and BermudaQuest! This was made possible because of you and our wonderful team that continually produces interesting work for our global community to enjoy. Origins is not only a journal, but now is debuting as Origins Scientific Research Society. The key to a successful form of education is presenting knowledge in a manner that interests people. This issue was inspired by my courses at the University of New Mexico this past year and one recurring theme: why anthropologists and Jared Diamond don’t get along. Why the backlash? Mass media time and time again effectively gets attention due to communication skills. The media provokes interest in the public. Academia unfortunately fails to meet the appeals of the public because of inaccessibility to resources and publications focused on the academic community rather than the people who make the funding possible. Without public support, scientific research cannot expand and expect accuracy from people reporting on subjects outside of their zone of expertise. It all comes down to the medium of presentation which has inspired us all at Origins to continue our Open Source initiative. And, as a small spoiler alert, we are creating a grant program to further academic research available to the public. This funding will be available for undergraduates, graduates, post doctoral research. We are looking forward to another year with more public programs available for you starting with our new merged website that will host all of our publications and research. Thank you readers! Melanie E Magdalena

STAFF MELANIE E MAGDALENA Editor-in-Chief & Creative Designer

The Founder of Origins and BermudaQuest.


Anthropology undergraduate focusing on Japanese studies for her career in archaeology at the University of New Mexico.


Director of Donor Relations Specialist in marine animals and other exotic reptiles, birds, and amphibians.

CONTRIBUTORS MORGAN V COURAGE Word architect and mathmatician. JOSE-PIERRE ESTRADA Anthropology undergraduate teaching others that there is more to life than meets the eye. ETHAN KELLOGG Internet junkie and Level 6 human fighter; also our new custom graphics expert. KAREN MEZA CHERIT Undergraduate studying Business Management at El Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM).


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Creature Feature The Blue Dragon

Fidel Junco A "Pokemon" or Other Worldly

The blue dragon or sea swallow is a soft bodied mollusk, a relative of slugs and snails. Glaucus atlanticus was first described in 1777 by a German zoologist in the Pacific while traveling aboard the HMS Resolution which was captain James Cook’s second voyage to the region. These amazing creatures are found throughout the world’s oceans although they prefer temperate and tropical waters. The tiny animals spend their life floating upside down on the surface thanks to an air bubble it swallows and keeps in its belly. At first glance it would seem like a harmless critter just drifting being carried by the wind and currents, however it is quite the opposite. It utilizes an advanced from of camouflage called counter shading which provides protection from both flying as well as underwater predators. The blue underside of the glaucus which faces upwards blends with the water’s surface while its grayish back blends into the ocean when seen from beneath. A far more amazing adaptation is that it feeds on hydrozoans (a group of animals in the same family as jellyfish), especially the extremely poisonous Portuguese Man of O War. The blue glaucus like

other sea slugs has the ability to swallow its prey’s stinging cells (nematocysts) storing its venom for later use. The venom is collected into the tips of the slug’s feather like fingers called cerata and stored in specialized sacs. The blue glaucus has three pairs of cerata used for digestion, respiration and defense. Depending on the amount of venom stored, the blue glaucus can pack a deadlier sting than the feared Portuguese Man O War. Another interesting characteristic is that the blue glaucus like other slugs and snails is a hermaphrodite. There is much to learn about these and other strange wondrous creatures that often pass undetected in the world around us. The more awareness and understanding of their existence, the better the chances for their survival. ∆ Origins Scientific Research Society



There are myths that intrigue the world today. In many cases there is no evidence to prove or disprove these mysteries. The great myth of the Lake Monsters, Nessie and Champie, have questioned the existence of dinosaurs among us today. However, despite technological advancements, testimonials, and the belief in their existence, these supposed monsters living in Loch Ness (Scotland) and Lake Champlain (New YorkVermont-Quebec) remain a mystery.



Nessie, the monster believed to inhabit Loch Ness, is located in the Scottish highlands. This mysterious creature, whether it exists or not, has intrigued both scientists and the Lake’s experts. Despite the low lake levels and the small space available for the plesiosaurus, no one seems to have thought about what it could possibly eat. Loch Ness connects with the sea by a river which, if Nessie had a shrink ray, the alleged sea monster could freely travel to the ocean whenever wanted. Nessie was assigned to be a dinosaur known as the plesiosaurus because of descriptions given by individuals who have witnessed the creature roaming around the lake. Photos of these sightings are discredited as evidence though. Robert Kennet Wilson, in 1934, claimed to have taken the first photograph (‘Surgeon’s Photograph’) of the head and neck, though he refused to have his name associated with it when the image was published. Champie, Nessie’s cousin across the pond in Lake Champlain, has also been sighted. The two lake monsters spurred the creation of the hypothesis that these animals were survivors of the Ice Age - the period in which both lakes formed. Over 300 people swear to have seen movement in the water or have described a large snake somewhere between 25 and 30 feet long. The only way Champie could ever survive in Lake Champlain is if there was

Karen Meza Cherit





an underground duct leading out to sea, because, again, the lake is much too small for the enormous creature. Both lake monsters have caused quite the public outcry because no one can provide a definitive answer to whether something large is living in either lake. Lack of evidence has not affected the strong believers. Someday a final answer will emerge; but until then, what is the likelihood of two gigantic snake-like plesiosaurus dinosaurs living in two small lakes of the present day? ∆


T-REX AND THE CHICKEN: MILLION YEAR OLD REL ATIVES For more than 65 million years, animals have existed on the face of the earth that peak our curiosity about the past. Fossils give us something to work with but understanding the life of the animal is never complete. Although we may never get to know them, at least we have the opportunity to meet, to those who believe, their evolutionary descendants, such as the chicken. This idea, at first sounds very unlikely, but other paleontologists have made recent discoveries that indicate otherwise. Recently, thanks to a T-Rex bone perfectly preserved, protein, elastin, collagen and laminin were extracted from a fossil. The results revealed that the Tyrannosaurs Rex and the chicken belong to the same evolutionary branch. It’s almost impossible to believe that being an animal as large and imposing, has relatives millions of years later, is reflected small and helpless creatures. This mind-boggling revelation has opened a new spectrum of marvel: nature’s extraordinary ability to adapt and evolve in an environment to survive for millions of years. smcgarnigle | cc by 2.0

Added to this, it is amazing to see, as the fossil is more than 65 million years old, what may remain intact waiting forever to be revealed. There is hope that more details about life in the past can be revealed in fossils with new technology in the days to come. ∆

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The Root of it All


Morgan V Courage The sqrt button on the free Microsoft calculator references one of the earliest known calculations by man, the square root. This calculation is the corner stone for human logic, farmers, finance, construction, engineers, scientists, doctors, optometrists, nurses, pharmacists, architects, surveyors, cartographers, statisticians,educators, economists and even lawyers. The modern world thrives on a simple calculation written on a clay tablet by Babylonians around 1700 BC. But how many in this modern world can calculate a square root with pen, paper and the mind?


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) describe an algorithm for the manual method of calculating square roots by hand. The steps of this algorithm are best described by an example. Using a large random number, 60516, set up a “division” with the number under the radical. Mark off pairs of digits, starting from the decimal point and working left. The decimal point is a period (.) and commas (,) mark pairs of digits.

√6,05,16. Look at the leftmost digit(s) (6 in this case). What is the largest number whose square is less than or equal to it? It is 2, whose square is 4. Write 2 above and write the square below and subtract.

2 √6,05,16. -4 2

Now bring down the next two digits (05). The next divisor is double the number on top (2x2=4) and some other digit in the unit’s position (4_).

2 √6,05,16. -4 4_) 205


What is the largest number that can be put in the units and multiply times the divisor and still be less than or equal to what we have? Algebraically, what is d such that d × 40+d ≤ 205? It looks like 4 might work since 5 × 40 = 200, and 5 is too big, since 5 × 45 = 225:

24 √6,05,16. -4 44) 205 -176 29

It looks like 6 will work:

2 4 6 √6,05,16. -4 44 ) 205 -176 486 ) 2916 -2916 0 The square root of 60516 is 246. Continue for as many decimal places as needed by bringing down more pairs of zeros.

Repeat and bring down the next two digits and double the number on top (2 × 24 = 48) to make a “divisor” with another unit.

24 √6,05,16. -4 44 ) 205 -176 48_ ) 2916

The Egyptians were the first culture to demonstrate the practical usage of geometry. The Babylonians show evidence through the clay tablets they left behind of knowing how to apply Pythagorean relationships. Also the Greeks were the first culture that we know of to have written down the rules of geometry. They were written down by Euclid at around 400 BCE.


Did you know?

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Here is an example spanning the decimal point. When a number does not have a rational square root, continue calculating significant digits as long as needed.

1 6 . 8 4 0 4 2 7 5... √2,83.6 -1 26 ) 183 -156 328 ) 2760 -2624 3364 ) 13600 -13456 33680 ) 14400 -0 336804 ) 1440000 -1347216 3368082 ) 9278400 -6736164 33680847 ) 254223600 -235765929 336808545 ) 1845767100 -1684042725 161724375 The inverse of a square root is squaring, but can this be done as a mental wake up with morning coffee? Consider calculating any number between 30 and 70 in 5 seconds or less.

(55)2 = _____ The number between 30 and 70 is 50. Think in terms of proximity to 50. Half of 50 is 25. How many under or over 50 is the number

to be squared? Add that number to 25. 25+5 since 5 is 5 more than 50. 30 is the first two numbers of the square. Square the number more than 50. 5^2=25 Add this square to the last two numbers.

552 =3025. If the problem is (45)2, then how is this calculated? 50-45 =5 Subtract the 5 from 25. The first two digits for the squared number is 20. Square the number 5 which equals 25.

(45)2=2025. Check all mental calculations with a calculator and amazingly the calculations done with the mind and calculator are the same, with the exception of rounding. Fair to say, Mathematics is the root of all science and language. Clay tablets, pen and paper, slide rulers, and computing machines have all calculated the square and square roots of numbers and now the next evolution of Biocomputing is producing results in various laboratories around the world. The roots of human origin dates back 200,000 years ago in Africa through DNA, a chemical substance found in nearly every cell of a person. DNA is unique to only one person and yet connects all humans as one. What exactly is DNA? The National Human Genome Research Institute defines DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, as the hereditary instructions stored as a code made up of four chemical bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). Human DNA consists of about 3 billion bases. More than 99 percent of those bases are the same in all people. The order of these bases determines the information available for building and maintaining a person or most all organisms, much like writing machine code in a certain order to


form programs and software. An important property of DNA is that it can replicate, or make copies of itself. Each strand of DNA in the double helix can serve as a pattern for duplicating the sequence of bases. This is critical when cells divide because each new cell needs to have an exact copy of the DNA present in the old cell.

can be displaced when other molecules attach at either side. A gate can be loaded with molecules increasing the chance of displacement, which can be read as an output.

The pairs of gates create the AND/OR logic are based on levels of output. Output is low when both gates are off. OR is indicated by higher output simulating a one-on and oneDNA has become ubiquitous with the legal off. AND is indicated by high levels of output system and crime labs bleeding into major when both gates are on. The output is read by storylines of numerous television and movie using DNA molecules carrying a fluorescent productions, news and books. Research into tag. Through tests and manipulations, a sysDNA computations has produced interesting tem was constructed to calculate the square results. Lulu Qian and Erik Winfree of Caltech root of any four-bit binary number up to 15. proposed a simple DNA “seesaw� logic gate The calculation requires 74 different single architecture using base-pairing to create AND stranded molecules of DNA and somewhere /OR logic gates. The gate is a segment of DNA between 8 and ten hours to run. that can base-pair with different molecules to compete for binding. The base pair molecules At the Nanyang Technical University in SinOrigins Scientific Research Society


gapore, Dr. Jian-Jun Shu and a handful of students are also experimenting with the future of DNA computing. Currently the human body performs computations faster and more efficient than any silicon supercomputer. Dr. Shu believes increases in technology and more time in the lab will change the basic addition and subtraction operations to more sophisticated operations. At Duke University, engineer Chris Dwyer’s research shows DNA snippets and other molecules can be turned into logic circuits using light rather than electricity as a medium. This process adds light sensitive chromophores to the structure. When light is absorbed, the electrons within are excited. The energy is passed to a different chromophores, which uses the energy to emit light. The difference in wavelengths, a one or a zero, is the logic gate. Light sensitive DNA switches could be used to move signals at a much higher speed.


IBM researchers have combined lithographic patterning and DNA self-assembly to create semiconductors. Electron beam lithography aides in building patterned sites on silicon that create a lattice for DNA molecules

to self-assemble in a pre-determined Nano-structure. George Church, the Robert Winthrop Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and a founding core faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biomedical Engineering at Harvard University, and Sri Kosuri have successfully stored about 700 terabytes of data in a single gram of DNA. Each base in a strand of DNA represents a binary value; T and G are equal to 1 and A and C are equal to zero. These strands, storing 96 bits, are synthesized. To read the data, convert each of the TGAC bases back into binary sequences. Each DNA has a 19 bit address book allowing a large sample of DNA to be sorted. A vivid and clear picture of future biological computing is at hand. Emerging from mental calculations, the mind created an evolution of computing tools and now uses the very material that makes a person unique to calculate one of the most used mathematical concepts. Consider that the orange salamander has 10 times more DNA in each cell than a human. Is the future an “orange salamander” valley? ∆


J ose -P ierre E strada – Melanie E Magdalena

We all love today’s movies, video games and books that portray archaeologists as adventurers that scale mountains, machete through the rainforest, and discover ancient relics and lost temples. In reality, archaeology is all about careful planning, paced excavation, precise recording and thoughtful explication and explanation. The archaeology in movies, TV and video games replace traditional trowels and excavation with handguns and shootouts. The adventurous archaeologist portrayed in movies has created a common theme that other forms of media can adopt, and why wouldn’t it be? Treasure hunters wandering through jungles, hunting for ruins looking at their hidden secrets makes a great story, whether a vicious greedy dictator or a supernatural being protects the treasure. These movies and games do not portray the characters as archaeologists but rather as grave robbers, looters, and usually have the same plot lines such as an avid adventurer

in search of a relic or lost city. In their search they are faced with angry natives, competing archaeologists or an evil group of treasure collectors. The only “battles” archaeologists face are acquiring permits and enough money from funding agencies and organizations. The “quest” for finding artifacts is a long, slow and well organized process that involves more desk work than field time. Origins Scientific Research Society


FILMS BY PARAMOUNT GAMES BY SQUARE ENIX Tomb Raider and its main protagonist, English Archaeologist Lara Croft, bring sexy into the genre. And what’s sexier than a woman wielding pistols? As she searches for ancient relics, she comes across enemies both supernatural and militant. She is always portrayed in brown shorts, boots, dark green or blue sleeveless top, and holsters on both hips for dual wielded pistols. The video game counterpart of the same name provides the same thrills and adventures.

Video games have also been influenced by this genre. Games such as the Uncharted series bring the treasure hunting and shootouts to a more interactive experience.

GAMES BY SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT The games centers on the adventures of Nathan Drake, a supposed descendant of explorer Sir Francis Drake. He is a very athletic and has vast knowledge about geography, ancient civilizations, and mythology. Nathan and his associates adventure through South America in search of El Dorado and eventually take their adventures through Napal and the Rub’ al Khali Desert.


FILMS BY PARAMOUNT Indiana Jones is a college professor of archaeology that lectures about ancient civilizations. Whenever he has the opportunity to recover an important artifact, his tweed suit comes off and out comes his safari styled look with his trusty fedora hat, bull whip, pistol, leather jacket, and satchel.

FILMS BY UNIVERSAL STUDIOS The Mummy series portrays a pair that complement each other: an American adventurer named Rick O’Connell that provides the brawn, and Egyptologist Evelyn that provides the (book) smarts. Together they team up (and eventually get married) to prevent the potential destruction of resurrecting mummies. BOOK SERIES BY ANDY MCDERMOTT HEADLINE (UK) BANTAM DELL (USA) Archaeologist Nina Wilde and her bodyguard, ex-SAS soldier, Eddie Chase begin their adventure by discovering the sunken city of Atlantis. Nina, a descent of the Atlanteans, is hunted down book after book by evil organizations: their attempts to kill her. Eddie is a rather explosive character often times assisting the evil-doers in blowing up ruins, cars, buildings, submarines, airplanes... the list goes on. The two of them make a wonderful team discovering fabled sites including the Garden of Eden (which also experiences explosions) and the sword Excalibur. With eight books to the series, these captivating adventures will entice and thrill all readers.

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How to Make Your Own ) y f i t n e d I r Ancient (O Alien Landing Sites Step 1: Pick a Geographic Location Creating a site is very simple. First pick a part of the world you are interested in. This should be a mysterious location, preferrably with some archaeology near by. Once you have something in mind, pick your favorite map provider - we’re going to use Google Earth.

Step 2: Find Your Site The image to the right is of one of the Nazca lines. Now on Google Earth we are going to zoom into the location and adjust the image so it looks like a mysterious and possible alien site. When satisfied with what’s visible, take a screenshot.

Step 3: Modify Your Site Now to make your site “authentic” you have to share it with the masses. Simply open your screenshot in your favorite image-editing program and cover up the coordinates with your name and website/blog address so no one else can locate it.

Step 4: Publish

Your masterpiece is now ready to be shared. To gain the most fame for your discovery, post your modified image in a forum about aliens. **This guide was created for credibility assessment of information found on the Internet. If we could just create an “ancient alien landing site,” anyone can.


Ancient Aliens is an American television show currently running on the History Channel. It’s presented in a pseudo-documentary style and presents the ideas of popular ‘ancient astronaut’ theorists. Generally the main idea proposed is that extraterrestrial beings made contact and helped shape prehistory civilizations, whether through advanced technology, interbreeding with humans, or a number of other theories that, as the show claims, ‘mainstream science’ refuses to acknowledge. The show has been widely criticized by many reviewers stating that many of its claims are hugely speculative or far fetched, yet remains immensely popular with over 1.3 million viewers tuning in regularly. What makes Ancient Aliens so entertaining, while at the same time almost universally criticized as pseudoscience and pseudohistory? After reviewing the series, it becomes clear that Ancient Aliens is either ignorant of key archaeological, scientific, and critical thinking principles and techniques used to determine the validity of information, or is intentionally disregarding evidence so as to preserve their claimed validity in the eyes of the audience watching the show. Much of the source material Ancient Aliens uses for their episodes comes from Erich von Däniken. Author of Chariot of the Gods? and many other books, von Däniken claims that there is definitive proof found throughout history of beings from another planet coming to Earth and directly influencing its inhabitants. Von Däniken makes many appearances on Ancient Aliens to discuss his views and gives insight on how aliens could have shaped human civilization. Many of the other speakers on the show share Erich von Däniken’s opinions, sometimes repeating verbatim his words on how a particular event transpired. While some of his claims cannot be proven one way or the other, many of von Däniken’s explanations for extraterrestrial intervention have been found to be riddled with flaws. Tampering with evidence, lying and confirmation bias, favoring evidence that supports a held belief and disregarding evidence that does not, appears to be von

Däniken’s forte. In multiple interviews von Däniken has been presented with evidence against his claims, evidence which was easily available at the time when he first made his claims, and then proceeded to retract those original claims. He’s been presented with accounts of his archaeological visits never happening, and admitted to fabricating scenarios in order to sell more books. This is the same person whose work Ancient Aliens has based their series on. Where its speakers not only believe von Däniken’s work, but will regurgitate verbatim his unsupported, often false claims to the millions of people watching.





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The show itself is teeming with broken logic, unsupported claims, and just plain false information that seems to get more and more bizarre as the series goes on. Often setting up false dilemmas, Ancient Aliens presents a scenario where only one possibility for the outcome is presented, e.g., “... some of the stones are of such magnitude that modern machinery isn’t capable of putting them there, but somehow our ancestors were able to do this. … But if the moving, hoisting and setting of such massive stones was so incredibly difficult, then who or what placed them there and, perhaps more importantly, why?” Seemingly everyone in the show, from the regular speakers, the special guest speakers, and even the narrator regularly misquote ancient texts, present unsupported claims as fact, and disregard accepted ‘mainstream science’ because it doesn’t allow for ancient astronauts in history. Everything Ancient Aliens presents in its show has little to no credibility due to its sources, self proclaimed experts, and incredibly pseudoscientific approach to information presented for its claims. For those interested in looking more in depth into Ancient Aliens’ claims, and critically analyzing the information presented within, visit Watch the free, fully cited documentary that critiques point-by-point their claims and makes an effort to answer the questions presented by Ancient Aliens.

Sadly archaeology in real life does not involve ancient curses, car chases through jungles, nor shootouts at ancient temples. Possibly in the future, movies could show what real archaeologists do and video games can have excavation simulations rather than what media, and particularly Hollywood, has convinced audiences what “archaeology” is all about. ∆



david monniaux, sam lisker | cc by-sa 3.0; edward lund | cc by 2.0



The Hidden Mystery of Human Discoveries Karen Meza

Throughout time, across oceans and continents, defining lives and leaving many doubts, archaeology has seen amazing finds. Some of these have questioned our understanding of civilizations leaving more unsolved mysteries about origin and existence for the never ending puzzle archaeologists encounter every day. OOPA, or “out of place artifacts,” is a coined acronym assigned to archaeological discoveries that contain some form, design, message, or other impossible characteristic that defines all (known) knowledge of cultures and civilizations. OOPAs are often studied and authenticated only to be later debunked and characterized as fakes. Even with advancing technology, the original purpose of these artifacts remains a mystery to humankind. Among these discoveries is the Tri-Lobed Disc of Sakkara. This disk belonged to Prince Sabu, the son of Pharaoh Adjuib. The copper content indicates powerful individuals in ancient Egypt would be the only people who could access the resource. Discovered in 1936, the unusual shape and design provoked many questions that are still unanswered: “No satisfactory explanation has been produced regarding the curious design of this object” (Archaeology, 2011:1). Then we have the Nebra Sky Disc, discovered

in 1999 (promptly stolen and later recovered in 2002). The disc is unique with an astronomical representation of the moon, stars, and a circular shape. It could be a representation of solar or lunar eclipses. Even with an unknown (absolute) date of creation, the disc is the earliest example of astronomical writing that goes against 3,600 years of knowledge. It has been theorized one can calculate the seasons of the year, but everything remains speculative. Last, but not least, another OOPA example is the Phaistos Disc discovered in 1908 on the island of Crete. The disc has an undecipherable text on both sides. Experts believe it may be a combination of Linear A and Linear B script due to some similarities in the pictographs. Attempts at cracking the code have produced thousands of interpretations, all that could be entirely wrong. The artifact, and its lack of indisputable evidence, places its origin around 3,700 years ago. There are hundreds of unexplained objects in history. Such simple objects haunt their researchers with unknown origins and meanings. History will be rewritten the day OOPAs are deciphered and finally placed into their historical contexts. They will create a milestone in human history if the world can ever assimilate their knowledge. These objects remind us that mysteries are only mysteries until a lucky soul can release their secrets. ∆

dbachmann | cc by-sa 3.0




pra | cc by 1.0


All over the world there are mysterious objects of folklore and rumors that scientists and treasure hunters have been searching for. Over the years while archaeologists have come into contact with the possibility of finding these illusive objects they have also run into scandals and what have appeared to be curses left behind by the previous inhabitants. All these events and rumors have lead up to:




M yths & M ishaps of S cientific R esearch Margaret Smith

#10 the Fountain One of our ancestors’ and our current obsessions is how to stay young forever. This passion has spurred the thought of and search for the Fountain of Youth. Many explorers, treasure hunters, and scientists have tried to find the Fountain of Youth, but none have ever succeeded in doing so. Over the years many archaeologists have claimed to have found the Fountain of Youth or have named sites after the legendary possible find.


One of these sites is in St. Augustine, Florida, and is considered a possible location for the Fountain of Youth. Other archaeological work is underway at the site not focused on finding the alleged feature. The team is also looking into the original settlement of St. Augustine during 1565 and trying to uncover how the Spaniards interacted with the Native Americans and what caused the settlement to be abandoned within a year of its development. The team has found evidence that the Spaniards inhabited buildings already made by the Native Americans and that after a year or so of residing in St. Augustine the Native Americans attacked them with flaming arrows and destroyed many of the buildings.



The City of Troy is widely known as the battlefield mention in the epic Illiad, one of Homer’s famous poems. It features the legendary Hector, Helen, and Paris and the iconic fight between the Trojans and Greeks which supposedly lead to the Greek Dark Ages. The supposed site for the ancient city’s ruins was found in northwestern Turkey, but there is currently no definitive evidence on whether or not the site is actually that of the legendary Troy. When the site was first excavated by an archaeologist named Heinrich Schliemann, many interesting artifacts were found; but there is currently doubt on whether they are authentic or not. Other excavations of the site showed that there were nine cities built on top of each other at the site that all date back to the Bronze Age. They also found evidence of a huge battle during the occupation the seventh city that was dated back to 1200 BCE. Much of the site remains unexcavated, leaving the possibility for the ruins to be the true remains of the city converting mythical Troy into history.


#9 City of Troy

#8 Japanese


Paleolithic Archaeology Scandal Shinichi Fujimura was once considered to be the national hero of Japan because of his hard work and discoveries in the field of Paleolithic archaeology, but after he was caught faking artifacts and burying them: he became a disgrace. He participated and directed numerous digs in Japan and proceeded to have the luck to discover Paleolithic artifacts of increasingly older and older age at each one. After continuing his work from the 1970’s to 2000’s reporters from Mainichi Shimbun became suspicious about how lucky Fujimura really was. On October 22, 2000, Mainichi Shimbun recorded him burying stone tools at the Kami-Takamori site and released the information to the public on November 5th. Soon after Fujimura confessed to his crimes stating he felt pressured to find older and older artifacts. He also confessed to burying 61 of the 65 artifacts found at the Kami-Takamori dig and to faking 29 finds from the Soshin Fudazaka dig in Hokkaido.

Nebraska Man [pictured right, top] was a famous hoax back in the 1900’s. A weird tooth was discovered by Harold Cook in the Pliocene deposits of Nebraska and after being analyzed by experts; it was decided that it was the missing link of our ancestors that lived a million years ago. After further excavation the body that matched the tooth that was found, though that body was a pig’s body - not human!

Orce Man [pictured right, bottom] was discovered in Spain in 1982 and was thought to be another missing link of human evolution. A year after the discovery though, scientists revealed that the skull of Orce Man was actually a donkey skull instead.


Faked Forensics


Piltdown Man [pictured right, middle] was discovered in 1912 by Charles Dawson and Smith Woodward. It showed evidence of early humans having a large brain and ape like teeth, but this is the reverse of what future discoveries showed. After skepticism grew it was decide to retest the remains and they found that they were in fact faked. After testing, the skull and jaw fragments were not only less than 50,000 years old but were actually from two different species; one human and the other most likely from an orangutan.




of Gold

El Dorado is the legendary City of Gold that many Europeans came to search for as they traveled to the Americas. The legend originated in the Andes mountains from a tribe where a chief would cover himself in gold dust and throw himself and other precious jewels and gold into a lake to appease the god who lived under the water. Many men have died in search of this land of riches, but none have ever found it. As people continued the search for the golden city the legend grew more and more. It’s unknown location fuels its constant “relocation� in the Andean jungle. Many have scoured the Inca territory, but the fabled El Dorado remains hidden, or simply never existed. The Spaniards did find Lake Guatavita, in Columbia, and attempted to drain it and find sunken treasure. They did find hundreds of gold pieces, but they were unable to lower the water level enough to retrieve the riches they presumed were there.


The myth regarding the Holy Grail shows evidence of starting due to the wild imagination of a 12th century poet, named Chretien de Troyes. The original story was not very specific, but eventually it grew into present day’s Holy Grail as an object of desire. Over the years, it was adopted as the legendary cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper; his blood dripped into the cup during his crucifixition and was then placed in his tomb. Since, the Holy Grail fame has increased through Arthurian Legend and movies, such as, Indiana Jones.

Unfortunately no one knows the whereabouts of the treasure chalice, but there are many “theories” as to where it may have gone. One says the Knights of Templar stole the Holy Grail from the city of Jerusalem during the Crusades and was lost or destroyed afterwards. Another says the Holy Grail was carried to Glastonbury, England, by Joseph shortly after Jesus was crucified; this has never been confirmed. Today, at least five cups have been claimed, by variuos individuals, to be the Holy Grail; many scholars remain sceptical and believe it never existed outside the 800 year old story.

The Holy Grail #5

#4 The

Curse of King Tut’s Tomb The inscription that sparked the thought of the Mummy’s Curse, after its publication, is nowhere to be found. Despite the proof there never was a curse, many still believe in it and are hesitant to come into contact with ancient Egyptian artifacts.


When the tomb of the ancient Pharaoh Tutankhamun, commonly known as King Tut, was excavated in the 1900s many strange events involving those working on the find occurred. Lord Carnarvon died in Cairo after claiming he possessed the largest private collection of Egyptian antiquities. During the day of his death, his most loyal dog howled at the full moon and died. Later, further investigations of the deaths occurring after and during the dig revealed that the 25 deceased had lived the average life span over 70 years old.


#3 Petra and the Anunnaki

The Anunnaki and Petra people are considered to be an alien species which came down during ancient times and have either left since or have gone into hiding. The Anunnaki people are said to be roughly over seven feet tall, have white albino skin and hair, with red eyes except for when they put on eyelid covers. They also have a different cellular electrical capacitance making their presence easy to detect. Although some believers feel the Anunnaki consist of a number of different species and can take on several different appearances. Many people have claimed to meet the Anunnaki, but no concrete evidence is ever provided. Others think that the crop circles found in rural areas are signals the Anunnaki send to other planets as a form of communication; though other believers feel they would have a much superior form of communication. Believers say there are two factions of Anunnaki: those of the faction “Enlil” feel they are trying to kill and take over the planet versus those of the faction “Enki” where the Anunnaki are trying to help the human race. The evidence used to back up these theories and thoughts were first found in ancient glyphs and drawings. More recent evidence comes from crop circles and UFO sightings. Some have even drawn evidence from the Bible, using the story of “David and Goliath” since Goliath was a giant and could easily be molded into actually being an Anunnaki. The city of Petra, particulary its monumental architecture, has also been used as evidence of an Anunnaki settlement because it would accomodate their very tall stature. Did an alien race ever land on Earth to modify the human race with genetic experiments and call themselves the Anunnaki? We’ll let you decide the fate of this myth.

#2 Atlantis


Ever since the documentation that tells of an ancient city which sank over night due to a tsunami was found in famous philosopher Plato’s possession many have searched for its location. People have searched the Mediterranean Sea and other large bodies of water looking for it. Many have claimed they have found the city of Atlantis believing the city to have once been one of the islands Santorini, Sardinia, or Cyprus, but as those possibilities proved untrue they began to look elsewhere.

In the past 4 years or so however researchers have claimed to have found Atlantis not in the middle of the ocean, but in the mudflats of Spain. So far they have used digital mapping, deepground radar, and underwater technology to survey the site. Although researchers can not definitively tell whether or not it is actually the city of Atlantis they say it possesses certain traits which make it a top candidate. Archaeologists are now working on collecting artifacts near the site in order to gather more evidence.

Many people have wondered and tried to travel through time, but so far there have been no reliable sources to confirm it is capable for humans to be able to do so. Documentation over the course of history including myths and first hand accounts have been used to prove time travel is possible. Many have claimed to have traveled through time including archaeologist Pasko Kuzman, Hakan Nordqvist, a man known only as Vonhelton, Tim Swartz, Anne Moberly, and Eleanor Jourdain.


Yet the most realistic form of time travel was proven hypothetically by Albert Einstein. Einstein, one of the world’s most respected scientist discovered and theorized his own version of time travel and named it the theory of special relativity. Using the speed of light as measurement he reasoned that if one twin were to travel near or at the speed of light for a period of time; when and if he returned he would find his twin had aged faster than the one traveling would have, thus more years would have passed. Another form of possible time travel is cryonics; which is the method of basically freezing someone or something and then reanimating it. This method has been proved possible on mice, dogs, and pigs, but the exact amount of time the animals were left frozen is unknown. Also this is not exactly time traveling, but more of a way to stop you from aging and experiencing anything until reanimated. ∆





Aliens Up ClOse and PersOnal Us vs Them Morgan V Courage

Sight unseen, aliens fight battles microscopically throughout our body. As we buy antibacterial hand gels, soaps, disinfectant wipes, anti-fungal creams and sprays, and anti-viral treatments; the war rages on non-stop. The numbers are staggering, about 10 to 1, the alien microbes are 90% leaving only 10% human. They operate as a community shaping us in our digestive system, on our skin, everywhere inside and out. Joshua Lederberg, a microbiologist, coined the term “microbiome” for the number of microorganisms inhabiting the body influence human physiology and should be considered part of the human genome. Yet, we are born without bacteria and acquire most of the microbiome within the first three years of life during the time when the metabolic, immune, cognitive and reproductive systems are undergoing extensive development says Martin Blaser, a microbiologist at New York University Medical School. These numerous microbes fight disease, cause disease and can we to say what is truly dominant? Researchers study in detail all the genes our tiny tenants contain, and suggest a key factor in setting up microbial communities is determined by the kinds of carbohydrates present at various sites within the body. An astounding array of carbohydrates in nature include sugars, starches, and fibers with numerous branching patterns and other chemicals none of which are all present at the same place. Whole communities of bacteria can grow up around the local carbohydrates. Dr. Jeffrey Gordon, the director for Genome Sciences at the Washington University School of Medicine, says “Most of our interactions with microbes are beneficial and are healthy. Most people have this view of our encounters with microbes from the perspective of disease. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.” Treating a patient suffering from severe diarrhea caused from the bacteria Clostridium difficile with a transfusion of gut microbials from a healthy person’s feces improved the symptoms as the bacterial flora in the intestinal tract was restored. His research includes microbes associated with obesity. Mice that received microbial communities from obese donors gained more fat than mice who received microbial communities from lean donors. The relationship between obesity and certain microbes is not yet known. Dr. Gordon is directing research to determine if targeting certain microbes could lead to new therapies to treat obesity. A team researchers led by Dr. Paul Wilmes at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine developed a research method that allows scientists to study microbial communities at a deeper level to determine how they contribute to disease such as diabetes and how the disease can be effectively eradicated by a different microbial community. Says Dr. Wilmes “In order for us to understand the impact that microbes might have on human


Dengue in the bloodstream

Sanofi Pasteur | CC By-nc-nd 2.0

Origins Scientific Research Society


microbe world | cc by-nc 2.0

E. coli bacteria

health, we need to be able to measure the biomolecular information contained within the DNA, RNA (ribonucleic acid), proteins, and small molecules of microbes in a truly systematic way. This was not possible until now.” Researchers can now measure and integrate all the biomolecular information from a single sample giving a snapshot of the microbial community. Michael Fischbach, a University of California at San Francisco bioengineer says “The bacteria inside us ... are synthesizing hundreds of molecules in our mouth or our gut or our skin. We shouldn’t be afraid of that. We should learn more about it.” His lab focuses on three emerging principles that are changing our understanding of which microbes make natural products, what roles they play in the biology of their producers, and how best to discover them: natural products are produced by the human microbiome; natural products mediate interactions among microbial species and between microbes and multicellular organisms; and Connecting natural products to the genes that encode them accelerates discovery. Les Dethlefsen, a Stanford microbiologist, says, “We have co-evolved with the organisms

and communities inside of us, certainly for the hundreds of millions of years that animals have had guts. We have this phenomenally complex ecosystem inside of us, yet we know so little about how we interact with these internal inhabitants.” He is identifying as many varieties found in the human body and how they change over time. Understanding the ecological and evolutionary principles of humans and their bacteria may provide new strategies for restoring and maintaining health. As numerous research and studies occupy the medical, pharmacology and health and wellness fields, is this the only research being conducted? Are the aliens the microbes or beings from another world? As far back as the 1940’s, alien aircraft sightings and strangely mutilated livestock have also taken a spotlight in the news media and academia realms. People have reported that aliens abducted them, taken them to a craft and performed medical examinations or experiments on them. Most countries have reports of alien abductions from large cities to rural cities during both daytime and evening hours and among many different socio-economic



ian britton | cc by-nc 2.0

backgrounds. The most notable and first documented case was Barney and Betty Hill in 1961. The only consistent reason for these abductions is “for the greater good” but all those who experience these abductions have similar psychological traumas following the incident. Many explanations have been given to account for these alien invasions from reality to fiction to demonology and everything else in between. Harvard psychiatrist John Mack concluded, “The furthest you can go at this point is to say there’s an authentic mystery here. And that is, I think, as far as anyone ought to go.” The first recorded strange animal death took place near Alamosa, Colorado in 1967. A three year old horse, named Lady, was found with her head and neck had been skinned and de-fleshed, the bones were white and clean, the cuts seemed to have been very precise, there was no blood at the scene, and there was a strong medicinal odor in the air. By the 1970’s, mutilated cattle were reported in 15 states. In 1979, the FBI investigated Operation Animal Mutilation, spent $44,170.00

and concluded that the mutilations were predominantly the result of natural predation. More recently, on January 6, 2012, the Kansas City Missouri Police responded to a call from a Northland farmer. His cow had the vagina and udder removed with a precise cut while the animal was alive. There was no blood at the scene, no footprints or tire tracks and the gate was still locked. The cow did not die from the mutilation and yet the death has not been determined. Are aliens from another planet coming to this world for the purpose of experimentation, a feasibility study, or are we under attack by demonic strategies to stop the second coming of Jesus and explain the rapture? Many science fiction stories and theological narratives have explored these possibilities with predatory other-worldy creatures, but are the aliens really microscopic and living within us all at the bottom of the food chain controlling all life as we know it. Aliens versus Us. Is humanity really dominate? If so, is it our intellect or spirit that makes us the dominate force on this planet? ∆ Origins Scientific Research Society




Diamond’s recent works are criticized due his simplistic explanations of human behavior giving him the opportunity to use confirmation bias for his concluding points which provide no direct or clear reasoning. He manages to gloss over common material on different subjects and make, sometimes, wild conclusions which leave the well informed reader confused about how he managed to make that jump in logic. Several Anthropologists have criticized his work, including British Anthropologist Stephan Corry who commented “Had he left it at that, he would have at least upset only some experts in New Guinea… But he goes further, overreaching considerably by adding a number of other, what he terms ‘traditional’ societies, and then generalizing wildly.” Diamond also has the tendency of contradicting himself. In The World Until Yesterday, he looks at tribal communities as a means by which broken society can be reshaped. At the same time he claims tribal warfare is an outcry made by a community so governments can intervene and exert their control. In another book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, he delves back into how society as we know it is on the verge

of destruction. In Collapse, Diamond continues to only utilize information relevant only to his conclusion. He gives no counter argument to his rational and only uses basic data from anthropological research to prove his point. In other books, he returns to the premise that humans continually adapt. His book The World Until Yesterday does not take into account that hunter-gather societies have changed since our pre-agriculture ancestors began making permanent settles. Then is his book Collaspe, he neglects that it is possible for humans to adapt to the rising problem of today’s world and simply assumes civilization will come to an end and life on earth will start over again as hunter and gathers.

Guns, Germs, and Steel, the book that began the geographer’s fame looks at how external groups transform societies, in particular the conquistadors and the conquest of the Americas. People are always at fault and this includes the collapse of Easter Island (Rapa Nui). These contractions between “people are always evil” and “we need to use past societies as examples for the present” dominate the mixed messages provided by Diamond to the public. His writing is captivating, mesmerizing, and to the untrained eye an absolute truth about human behavior. Anthropologists have every right to disagree with Diamond’s interpretations. Now the field of anthropology needs to “fight” back and share their side of the story in a way that equally, or superiorly, captivates and mesmerizes the publics’ minds so the scientific reality replaces the commercialized version of truth. ∆


Over the course of his career Jared Diamond has managed to specialize in various scientific fields including physiology and geography, but over more recent years he has received tried to enter the field of anthropology. He has managed to gather a surprising number of critics through the publications of ‘popular science’ including his work The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies.

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An art exhibit had come to town at the Albuquerque Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico to display the artwork and craftsmanship of Japan during the 1920’s-1940’s This era of Japanese artwork, known as Deco Art, explores not only the beauty of the works and innovations, but the social impacts they represented during a chaotic time. The Art Deco movement began in France and quickly swept across the world, altering how crafts were developed and portrayed while cultures changed how they displayed themselves through their own creations. As the first exhibit on Deco Art of Japan outside its originating country it allowed unique insights into the development on Japan’s modern world today that has never before been seen by most of the world. It features works from ornaments and pottery, to paintings and postcards in order to explore the different aspects of the Deco Japan works and the traits of culture throughout Japan. This exhibit is sponsored by the Chrisholm Foundation, E. Rhodes, and the Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. On February 1st the museum had a community celebration that featured a taiko drum performance, traditional Japanese dance, and an ikebana demonstration commonly known as a flower arrangement, which was presented in partnership with the New Mexico Japanese Citizen League and the Japan America Society of New Mexico. The art displayed in the exhibit goes through the social movement of Japan and their adaptations of some western ideals. They depict the movement Japan made into a more open-minded and socially equal or free country while holding onto a sense of national pride. Many artworks include drawings and paintings of the modern woman or moga, smoking, democratic ideals, and representations of Japan’s strength. Smoking is a major recurring sub-theme in the exhibit: many ash trays, cigarette boxes, and lighters were featured crafts in the display in order to capture more common changing cultural norms Japan was experiencing during the 1920-1945 time Origins Scientific Research Society


frames. While holding on to their own culture they also expanded and incorporated western fashion and architecture into their works. The incorporation of abstract facets allowed new twists to hanging scrolls and other traditional artworks in order to add more depth and intrigue in many of the works. On the other hand many pieces from this era instead used geometrical precision to captivate the appreciation of the art world. Another unique aspect of the Deco Art period in Japan is the use of both expensive and unique materials in some works and incorporating cheaper materials and mass production in order to attract a wider audience base with the lower classes. Many of the ideas and concepts displayed at the exhibit are similar to those during the 1920’s of American culture, but with a mix of pre war and war era ideas from WWI and WWII. Because many artworks focused on the change in behavioral traits among women like wearing short skirts, expressing more independence, and taking on new roles in society the artwork can at times seem similar to the Flapper-Jazz Revolution America had previously experienced. These wonderful works of art combine Japanese history and their developing cosmopolitan culture by bringing forward their modern art movement of the Showa and Taisho periods. Though artwork is the medium showcased throughout the exhibit, the take-home message is embedded in every silk thread, carving, metal-work, and brush stroke – there is more to Eastern culture than what is commonly displayed and every culture has different aspects unique to itself which have many ramifications in all facets of their culture. This exhibit makes a difference because it shows us a new side, or perspective, to Japanese culture which is not limited to kimonos and origami, but expanded into social interactions experienced by the people who lived in that time. The Albuquerque Museum put together a very large collection of diverse objects from the time period showing Japan from a different perspective during a very important war and cultural development period in history.

◄ Taiko drummers and

Traditional Okinawa dancers Instead of focusing on nuclear destruction, or any relation to religion (Buddhism and Shinto), Japan is portrayed as a diverse culture embracing a global phenomena while looking forward to the changes time would bring. People are beginning to adopt aspects of Western society and alter social relationships in order to achieve a “Westernized” Japan while still holding on to some traditional values and norms. Deco Japan transmits this concept of social change to the audience and also displays how exterior influences can transform art. Overall, the exhibit was able to utilize the Deco Art theme of social transformation while including several relevant subthemes important to the time period. The subthemes of smoking, partying, drinking, external art styles, and the incorporation of culturally important motifs such as; fish, cranes, dragons, the elements, sun, moon, and other symbolism into mass media forms were equally displayed in order to leave a wholesome or well rounded effect, managing to emphasize their power and meaning within a culture when encountered during a visit. The exhibit itself was set up with new interesting material at each section in order to keep attention on developments in Deco Japan over the years. Even for those who know little about Japanese culture, the exhibit has information on what was culturally occurring in Japan at the time in order to give context for anyone viewing the artwork. Deco Japan is displayed in such a way that viewers can not only spend time appreciating fascinating artwork, but can learn about and appreciate a cultural different from their own. Japanese tradition comes with this visually and mentally stimulating package of Art Deco from a very small island across the Pacific, with a very large artistic voice providing a unique opportunity to finally see Japan through the eyes of Japan. ∆ Origins Scientific Research Society


UPCOMING LOCATIONS: 10-Jun-13 to 15-Oct-13 at Tyler, Texas 22-Nov-13 to 19-Jan-14 at Palm Beach, Florida 08-Feb-14 to 20-Apr-14 at Seattle, Washington 08-Nov-14 to 18-Jan-15 at Dayton, Ohio

If Deco Japan is not visiting a museum near you, check out the traveling exhibit’s catalogue available starting in July 2013 on Amazon.


BY RONDA L. BRULOTTE Ronda L. Brulotte uses her book Between Art & Artifact as a medium to commentate on the issue of local people continuing to create art similar or identical to the art of their ancestors and selling it to tourists and other interested parties. She addresses the issues that arise from their development from multiple points of view in order to incorporate the reader into the various aspects which can affect a person’s opinion on the matter while getting to the root of the issue. Through personal experience, narrative, and the knowledge of experts she manages to question and in many ways answers what the differences between art and artifact are and the authenticity they possess in the modern world. Between Art & Artifact makes for a unique read and outlook for any traveler looking to buy souvenirs from various places on their trip, while seriously addressing the ramifications of how doing so affects a culture and the legal entities that have the authority to decide on the importance of the items.


Craig Childs uses his past experience and interviews he has conducted over the years in order to address one of the major issues in archaeology today, the right to own material culture. He takes multiple perspectives in order to allow his readers to make their own decisions on the matter while providing information on the current laws governing archaeological evidence and events occurring across the world. The book addresses the interesting question of who is supposed to own artifacts found in from cultures around the world and who has the right to make the decision as to where they belong. While using a narrative style that makes the reader not want to put the book down, he manages to sneak in important information related to the subject and philosophical debate.



This book will profoundly affect anyone’s view on a person’s right to own an artifact, but may leave little comfort for those looking for a suitable solution to the dilemma. In what can be a bloody fight to determine ownership through greed, Childs tries to supply some comfort and knowledge as to how to navigate the muddy waters of cultural heritage and trinkets.

Charles H. Harris III and Louis R. Sadler have succeeded in writing a unique and interesting portrayal of World War I and the years leading up to its’ beginning. They go into detail on the significance of multiple governmental agencies and international relationships in order to give a wide outlook on the development of intelligence gathering and counter intelligence work. In the book, despite an overwhelming number of not commonly known facts, the authors are able to keep the reader wanting to read more and curious as to how everything will come together. This book is perfect for those who are interested in World War I, the growth of governmental agencies, past diplomatic issues, and the huge factor intelligence gathering plays in politics and war. Through an archaeological stand point the authors are able to record and interpret how spy work has affected the outcomes of America on a global scale. With special attention to the relations and political developments between Mexico and America and how it allowed the development of intelligence gathering techniques the Federal Bureau of Investigation would later on use to aid in thwarting German agents, a new and interesting facet of American history in unveiled.


Origins | Summer 2013  

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