“ZANA: THE BIGFOOT THAT BRED WITH HUMANS” and More Freaky True Stories! #WeirdDarkness

ZANA: THE BIGFOOT THAT BRED WITH HUMANS” and More Freaky True Stories! #WeirdDarkness

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Listen to ““ZANA: THE BIGFOOT THAT BRED WITH HUMANS” and More Freaky True Stories! #WeirdDarkness” on Spreaker.

IN THIS EPISODE: A young woman falls unconscious and awakes with a fantastical story about fairies kissing her, how she was treated like a princess by them, and falling in love with one of the fairy men. While you might say it was just a fanciful dream, how do you explain that this girl also woke up with clairvoyant abilities? (The Fairies and Anne Jeffries) *** On 15 July 1910 the Sheffield Evening Telegraph recorded the anniversaries of the day. One particular entry was this: “Prison hulks first seen on the Thames…1776”. But what were the prison hulks, and what was life like on board these ‘floating hells,’ as they came to be known? (Floating Hells) *** Depending on whether or not you want to get the scare of your life, you will either want to, or not want to honk your car’s horn three times on Burnt Mill Road in the Pine Barrens area of New Jersey. If you do, you risk an encounter with the Atco Ghost. (The Atco Ghost Legend of New Jersey) *** Archaeologists excavating the tomb of an ancient Egyptian queen just discovered something chilling… a 13-foot long scroll – a lost chapter from Egypt’s “Book of the Dead”. (Queen Nearit’s Book of the Dead) *** Feeling the Lord Ganesha wanted milk, a man ran to get some and placed it before the elephant headed statue in a temple near his home. Then it happened… the milk disappeared as if the statue had consumed it. And then the same thing happened to others… and others. (The Hindu’s Milk Miracle) *** It was in 1975 when the first skull of what was believed to be Bigfoot was found. But the owner of the skull hadn’t been dead too long, for the local people said they remembered the creature before it died. And even more shocking – they personally knew some of its descendants – a cross-breeding of Bigfoot and human beings! (Villagers Remember Descendants of Bigfoot)
SOURCES AND ESSENTIAL WEB LINKS…
“The Fairies And Anne Jeffries” by Brian Haughton: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/yf4vany4
“Floating Hells” by Rose Stavely-Wadham for British Newspaper Archive: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/jjrumumw
“The Atco Ghost Legend of New Jersey” by Christina Skelton: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/hy5jehz6
“Queen Nearit’s Book of the Dead” posted at BuggedSpace.com: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/ukz7vnds
“A Mass Scientific Mystery in India” by Michael Gross for Consciousness Unbound: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/7tac5377
“Villagers Remember Descendants of Bigfoot” by Ron Strickler for Phantoms and Monsters:https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/2hrahhdx
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PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT…..

STORY: THE FAIRIES AND ANNE JEFFRIES==========

A well documented and peculiar folktale involving a human’s alleged dealings with fairies, which was also widely publicised at the time, is that of Anne Jefferies of St Teath, Cornwall, England. The sources for the events in this particular fairy tale are a March 1647 letter in the Clarendon Manuscripts (documents dealing chiefly with English history from 1608 to 1689) and a printed letter from publisher Moses Pitt to the Bishop of Gloucester, written in 1696. Pitt was writing from experience as he was born in St. Teath and was the son of Anne Jefferies’ former master and mistress.

Anne Jefferies was born in St. Teath in December 1626, the daughter of a poor labourer. She was, by all accounts, a bright and curious girl though, in common with the majority of the population at this time, she never learned to read. West Country tales of fairies and pixies held a strong fascination for the girl and she often ventured out after dusk searching the valleys for the Good People and singing a fairy song:

‘Fairy fair and fairy bright;
Come and be my chosen sprite.’

When she was nineteen Anne went into service at the home of the wealthy Pitt family. One afternoon the girl was knitting in an arbour outside the garden gate when something so alarming happened to her that she fell to the ground in a convulsive fit. Anne was later found by members of the family and taken up to her bedroom where she remained ill for some time. When she finally regained consciousness the girl related an incredible story.

Anne said that she had been in the arbour knitting when she heard a noise in the bushes, then six tiny men appeared, all dressed completely in green, with unusually bright eyes. The leader of the fairy group, who had a red feather in his cap, spoke to her lovingly and then jumped onto her palm, which she placed on her lap. The little man then climbed up her body and began kissing her neck, which she apparently enjoyed. He then called his five companions who swarmed all over her body kissing her until one of them put his hands over her eyes and she felt a sharp pricking sensation, and everything went dark.

Anne was then lifted up into the air and carried off. When she was set down again she heard someone say ‘Tear! tear!’ and her eyes were opened. The girl found herself in a paradisiacal land of temples, palaces, gardens, lakes and brightly-coloured singing birds. The richly adorned people  who lived in this magical land were human-sized and spent their time dancing and playing, and Anne herself was treated like royalty. She again met her fairy friend with the red feather in his cap, but whilst they were alone together his five companions arrived accompanied by an angry mob. In the ensuing struggle her fairy lover was wounded trying to protect her and the same individual who had blinded her before did so again. Anne was once more taken up into the air, this time with a great humming noise, and finally found herself back on the ground in the arbour.

There seem to have been various side-effects of Anne’s apparent visit to fairyland. According to Moses Pitt, after the incident she ate no food at their house as she claimed to be nourished by the Good People themselves. Apparently Anne soon began to exhibit powers of clairvoyance and healing, on one occasion healing her mistress’s injured leg by the placing on of her hands. Before long hordes of people from all over the country were visiting her for her cures. It was said that Anne could also foretell the identities of the people who would visit her, where they came from and what time they would arrive.

Kids love folktales, especially ones that involve traveling with fairies to mystical places. Many of these stories originated in Europe or Asia and were spread throughout the world as people travelled by boat to different places. Many of these stories are still told today. By touring England on a Selene Yacht, you can visit the same places as Anne Jefferies and re-live her incredible story.

 

BREAK==========

When Weird Darkness returns… on July 15th, 1910 the Sheffield Evening Telegraph recorded the anniversaries of the day. One particular entry read: “Prison hulks first seen on the Thames…1776”. But what were the prison hulks, and what was life like on board these ‘floating hells,’ as they came to be known? We’ll find out, up next. (Floating Hells)

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STORY: FLOATING HELLS==========

On 15 July 1910 the Sheffield Evening Telegraph recorded the anniversaries of the day. One particular entry was this: “Prison hulks first seen on the Thames…1776”

But what were the prison hulks, and what was life like on board these ‘floating hells,’ as they came to be known?

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As the Sheffield Evening Telegraph recalls, prison hulks were first seen on the Thames in 1776. But what did a prison hulk consist of? The Leeds Patriot and Yorkshire Advertiser, 5 January 1833, gives us the following description in an article entitled ‘Convicts on Board the Hulks at Woolwich:’ “The hulks are large vessels without masts, which have been line of battle ships or frigates, fitted up for the reception of the convicts sentenced to be transported.”

In charge of the prison hulk would be a captain, who was accompanied by a ‘certain number of inferior officers, with a chaplain and surgeon.’ Also onboard would typically be a hospital.

But even before the transportation of sentenced criminals to Australia began, prison hulks were in use to provide accommodation for Britain’s ever-expanding prison population. Transportation begun in 1787, and prison hulks were in use some time before this.

Here’s an excerpt from the Stamford Mercury, 8 January 1778, which demonstrates how prison hulks were in use to accommodate Britain’s prison population:

Most of the convicts at Newgate, under sentence of ballast heaving, were early this morning taken from that gaol, and put on board a lighter at Blackfriars-bridge, in order to be conveyed to the Justitia hulk, off Woolwich.

But with the advent of transportation, hulks became a method of housing prisoners before they were sent on the grueling voyage across the world to Britain’s new colony of New South Wales.

Britannia and Eve, 1 August 1936, recalls the arrival of the so-called ‘First Fleet’ to Botany Bay, the first ship Supply arriving in January of 1788. The ‘First Fleet’ would become:

…the forerunners of a long succession of vessels which, for more than half a century, sailed regularly from Portsmouth, Sheerness, Cork, Dublin, and, of course, from London River with their freight of human vice and human misery. During that time, nearly a hundred and forty thousand men and women were transported to New South Wales, Van Dieman’s Land, Norfolk Island, and, finally, to the Swan River settlement in Western Australia.

But before this, many who were set to be transported spent time in prison hulks. We find examples of this in our newspapers, such as these reports from the Hereford Journal, from March 1787 and September 1790 respectively: “Yesterday 210 male convicts were taken from on board the hulks at Woolwich, and set out in wagons, under a proper guard, for Portsmouth, in order to be put on board the ships that are to carry them to Botany-Bay. Thursday seven convicts under sentence of transportation from Cardiff, were lodged in our gaol, and yesterday morning they set off for Woolwich, in order to put on board the hulks.”

With the beginning of the Napoleonic wars, prison hulks were also to become home to prisoners of war. We found this curious excerpt from the Chester Courant, 23 October 1798, detailing one such prisoner: “A French prisoner on Monday died on board the Hero hulk, at Chatham. The agent, on inspecting his chests, discovered cash and notes to the amount of near 7,000l.”

So this leads us on to ask, what exactly was life like onboard these hulks for prisoners awaiting transportation, prisoners of war, and those serving their sentences on the water instead of on land?

We find a contemporary account of life onboard the prison hulks from the final speech of a condemned criminal named Williamson, who, according to the Derby Mercury, 13 October 1791, was ‘executed at Lancaster’ on 1 October 1791. His last words were a condemnation of the prison system, as he explains how ‘when a lad is sent to prison, it proves a school of wickedness to him. If he went half a rogue thither, he comes out a finished one.’

But he saves his harshest condemnation for the hulks: “But what shall I say of hulks! A college of villainy – from whence every man comes out a master of arts; having taken every possible degree of scoundrelism.”

Williamson’s complaint is that the confinement of prisoners together is more likely to lead to more crime, for ‘if every felon [was] kept separate, prisons would then, and not till then, answer the true purpose.’ He believed that had he been punished in some other way, such as being ‘severely whipped,’ he would have gone ‘about his business’ and walked away from a life of crime.

So not only did hulks represent a potential breeding ground for further criminality, their cramped conditions meant they were also breeding grounds for disease. The Evening Mail, 17 December 1810, published a report by a French captain, Rousseau, to the French Minister of Marine, in which he details ‘the deplorable situation of the French prisoners in England, crowded in hulks, where they are deprived of all exercise:’

In the hulks, French prisoners breathed ‘fetid and corrupted air,’ which led to the inevitable contraction of ‘contagious diseases, which carries them off by the hundreds.’ This is corroborated by the memories of Jørgen Jørgensen, a Danish adventurer who was captured by the British in 1808 and taken prisoner. In the course of his career, Jørgensen had declared himself king of Iceland. He was eventually transported to Tasmania.

Jørgensen, as reports Britannia and Eve, describes Britain’s prison hulks as ‘sinks of misery and iniquity.’ He echoes Williamson’s sentiments of the hulks’ potential to cause more crime, rather than preventing it. Jørgensen describes the hulk Justitia and its fellow vessels as: “…‘schools of abominable pollution’ and ‘nurseries of deep crime,’ adding that ‘those who have been discharged from them have overrun England and spread vice and immorality everywhere in their track.’”

He goes on to narrate the cruelty of the men in charge of the hulks, and the impossibility of complaint ever being made against them: “I have seen a captain knock a poor fellow down with one blow merely for not getting quickly out of his way when passing forward on the deck….Woe betide him, who should dare to open his lips except to say that the treatment on board was humane and kind.”

French painter, Ambroise Louis Garneray, echoes Jørgensen’s testimony. Garneray was an official marine painter for the French navy, and The Sphere in November 1934, in article by Cecil King entitled ‘The Wooden Walls of Old England,‘ tells of how he was captured in 1806.

Garneray went on to give ‘a lurid description of life on board’ the hulk Protée, comparing the hulk to ‘an immense sarcophagus.’ He describes how the prisoners ‘wore a suit of yellow material, stamped with the T.O. of the Transport Office,’ and how: “The prisoners were herded together amidships and spent their time in gambling, often with tragic results, or in making bone-ship models…”

Perhaps gambling was where the wealthy prisoner in 1798 gained his funds? But by 1824, with the Napoleonic wars long over, the prisoners of war freed, the Morning Post details how: “The reports usually made respecting the state of the convicts in the prison hulks were presented by the proper officer, and read to the judges. It appeared that discipline and good-order had not been interrupted.”

However, the Leeds Patriot and Yorkshire Advertiser in 1833 is reporting how ‘several symptoms of insubordination have lately taken place’ upon the hulks stationed at Woolwich. It uses the example of one McGuinnis, a young lad who ‘was lately removed from Newgate, where his behaviour was of a bad description, and he began to play his pranks at Woolwich.’

Showing the severity of the punishment on the hulks, McGuinnis was then: “…brought up, and in the presence of several hundreds of his companions received a good flogging, which we understand has had a salutary effect, and he has ever since been docile and tractable.”

Another instance of so-called ‘insubordination’ was reported by the Leeds Patriot, as prisoners found ingenious ways to smuggle money aboard the hulks. The newspaper fears that the money would be used ‘to carry into effect some unlawful object,’ whilst including a letter from one these ‘adroit rogues:’ “My dear, I am very short of every thing; I want particularly money, some of which I hope you will send me. Send me down some writing paper and a stone bottle of ink. In order that the money may come safe (i.e. free from observation) empty out the ink, and then put as many sixpences as you can spare in the empty bottle; when you have done this, pour on some melted pitch, which will fix the money at the bottom, and then you may pour in the ink again.”

For all the Leeds Patriot’s scaremongering about the ingenuity and insubordination of prisoners onboard the hulks, it does give a fascinating contemporary account of what life was actually like for those imprisoned on the water. For example, the newspaper describes what a newly-arrived hulk prisoner might face: “On their arrival the convicts are immediately stripped and washed, clothed in coarse grey jackets, and breeches, and two irons placed on one of their legs, to which degradation every one must submit, whatever may have been his previous rank and station in the world.”

Meanwhile, ‘strictest discipline is maintained on board the hulks,’ with ‘extreme cleanliness enforced.’ Rations onboard the hulks were as follows: “The diet daily is 1 ½ lb of bread, a quart of thick gruel, morning and evening, on four days of the week a piece of meat weighing 14 ounces before it is cooked, and on the other three days, in lieu of meat, a quarter pound of cheese, also an allowance of small beer; and on certain occasions, when work peculiarly fatiguing and laborious is required, a portion of strong beer is served out to those engaged in it.”

Prisoners onboard the hulks were often put to work, the hulks being ‘securely moored near a dock-yard or arsenal, so that the labour of the convicts may be applied to the public service.’ For every shilling earned, the prisoner would be entitled to one penny – however, funds were saved on the behalf of a prisoner, so that when they were freed after six or seven years, they would be ‘put in possession of £10 or £15,’ approximately £670 or £1,000 today.

There were also, if the Leeds Patriot is to be believed, opportunities for betterment onboard the hulks. ‘Orderly conduct’ might result in having your irons lightened, or ‘being promoted to little appointments,’ relieving a prisoner from ‘severer labour.’ Indeed, onboard the Bellorophon at Sheerness, which housed boys younger than sixteen, trades were taught like bookbinding and shoemaking.

However, those beyond apparent reformation were often sentenced to transportation. And even when transported, such convicts could still be subject to the cruelty of the prison hulks.

In September 1907, Maurice Downey for the Weekly Irish Times wrote about ‘Britain’s Last Convict Ship‘ the Success, which was then at anchor in the River Liffey. He observes how: “She serves to recall the shameful days, when as a floating Convict prison, she was not inaptly described by a Colonial writer, as an ‘Ocean Hell.’”

In 1852 the Success, a merchant ship, arrived in Melbourne. It was the height of Victorian gold rush, and she was abandoned by her crew. An opportunity was quickly seized, as ‘she was acquired by the British Government to serve as a convict hulk at Hobson’s Bay,’ with 72 cells built to accommodate prisoners.

Maurice Downey relates how: “The unfortunate convicts who were confined below in ‘durance vile’ numbered 120, not one of whom escaped, and no wonder, seeing that they were completely at the mercy of 27 inhuman warders, who made their lives a very hell within their ocean habitation. A mere inspection of these cells and the instruments of torture with which they were amply furnished, is sufficient to make one shudder.”

The Success was not the only prison hulk at anchor in Hobson’s Bay; she was joined by the President, Lysander, Sacramento and Deborah, to cope with Australia’s overflowing prison population. The Success, however, was notable for the ‘brutalities’ enacted on board, with prisoners subject to punishment by the dreaded cat-of-nine tails, with some receiving ‘as many as 100 lashes…with this hellish device.’

Further means of punishment included: “Leg-irons, spiked iron collars, straight iron jackets, body irons, with hand-cuffs attached, were also used on some of the prisoners doing their sentences on board the Success. The spiked iron collar was a shocking means of punishment, and was so constructed that the wearer was obliged to remain always in a stooping attitude, which induced ill-health in many, and was the cause of death to not a few.”

One observer recalled all the horrors of dungeons and prisons from across the world, ‘but not one of these is to be compared in refinement of cruelty and multiplication of horrors to the floating hells of Victoria.’

The Success’s career as a prison hulk came to an end with ‘the dreadful murder of Inspector-General Price by a large number of convicts.’ John Price was murdered by convicts from the Success in 1859, and the Weekly Irish Times notes how: “His murder was the direct means of leading to the abolishing of the hulk system in Australia, and more than one Australian paper stated openly that as he had sown the wind he had reaped the whirlwind.”

Meanwhile, in 1868 the system of transportation to Australia finally ceased, but years of abominable cruelty, especially on the hulks, had left their mark on many.

But the Success was not to be left alone, even after she had been converted to a store hulk. In 1890 she was purchased by entrepreneurs with the intent of making her into a floating museum. They installed former Success prisoner Harry Power as a sort of showman for the former prison hulk, as reports The Sketch.

A ‘fine, hale old man,’ who had robbed ‘no fewer than 114 persons during’ his life of crime (although he was ‘especially polite’ to women), Power was a well-behaved prisoner and was released at the end of his sentence.

The author of The Sketch article, however, is unsupportive of the Success being made into a tourist spectacle: “A curio – interesting indeed; but her weather-worn face and draggled appearance tell us too plainly that she belonged to another age than ours. She has lived her life, done the duty allotted to her; pity it is she cannot be left in peace.”

And although she was scuttled in 1891 with the venture being unsuccessful, she was soon after refloated and sent to tour the world, arriving in England in 1894. She was still touring in 1912, when crowds gathered at Cobh, Ireland, ‘to give a parting cheer to the venturous old ship,’ as reportsthe Suffolk and Essex Free Press. The Success was setting off to cross the Atlantic, where she was exhibited at the Great Lakes and San Francisco, before being sunk in 1918 or 1919, and then again refloated. The Success appeared at the Chicago World Fair in 1933.

C. Fox Smith, writing for Britannia and Eve in 1936, was highly critical of this use of the Success, deeming her display to represent ‘a floating Chamber of Horrors.’ But for many the Success served as a reminder of a supposedly bygone age of cruelty, which saw the torture of prisoners and the creation of ‘heartrending tales’ from the tightly-packed cells.

But for Cecil King in The Sphere: “Even when entirely bereft of their masts and rigging, the old wooden hulks presented a picturesque and romantic aspect, and their almost total disappearance is one of the many sacrifices which we have made to progress.”

We are not sure, given contemporary accounts and subsequent writings, exactly how ‘picturesque and romantic’ the hulks were. Indeed, they were quite the opposite, and they form an important part in the history of British and Australian crime and punishment. Hopefully, a time that will never be re-lived again.

BREAK==========

Coming up…

Archaeologists excavating the tomb of an ancient Egyptian queen just discovered something chilling… a 13-foot long scroll – a lost chapter from Egypt’s “Book of the Dead”. (Queen Nearit’s Book of the Dead)

Plus… Feeling the Lord Ganesha wanted milk, a man ran to get some and placed it before the elephant headed statue in a temple near his home. Then it happened… the milk disappeared as if the statue had consumed it. And then the same thing happened to others… and others… (The Hindu’s Milk Miracle)

But first… Depending on whether or not you want to get the scare of your life, you will either want to, or not want to honk your car’s horn three times on Burnt Mill Road in the Pine Barrens area of New Jersey. If you do, you risk an encounter with the Atco Ghost. That story is up next on Weird Darkness! (The Atco Ghost Legend of New Jersey)

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STORY: THE ATCO GHOST LEGEND OF NEW JERSEY==========

Probably one of New Jerseys more popular urban legends, the Atco Ghost is said to appear when drivers honk three times on Burnt Mill Road in the Pine Barrens. Legend has it that the ghost boy haunts the site where he was struck by a drunk driver.

Anyone who has lived in Southern New Jersey has heard of the Pine Barrens. Scattered throughout the Pines, are a bunch of little old towns. One of them is Atco (Waterford Township). Atco is right in the thick of the Pines and is bordered by Wharton State Forest in many places.

Anyone living in this town or any town near Atco has heard of the Atco Ghost. Down a dark road in Atco, supposedly Burnt Mill Road, there is a house, and apparently a few years back a little boy was playing with a ball in the yard. Now understand that Burnt Mill Road is a long straight road that goes for quite a while and heads straight out into the forest. It is pretty common for cars to go pretty fast down this road and in fact you could say they race down this road.

Well, the little boy chased his ball into the street, where he was hit by a speeding car and killed. The car and its partying occupants took off and were never found. Another version of the story says that a speeding truck came out of sewer treatment complex at the end of the paved part of the road and the drunkin driver hit the kid.

Over the years, people have been going to the spot of the tragedy to see the little boys ghost chasing his ball into the road. Legend states that if you are to go at midnight and park in a specific spot, then flash your lights at the area across from the house. The house is one which is suppose to have a fence in the front with an opening leading up to the home.

You are to park three telephone poles away from the opening in the fence and face the area in front of the house. Sound your horn 3 times, blink your headlights 3 times and if you wait long enough and the paranormal conditions are just right, an image of the dead boy is supposed to be seen chasing the ball into the street with headlights coming at him. Almost all of the people that have seen this have described it in the same way. Some have seen slightly different scenes but the basic story is the same.

Despite all that is contained within the legend of the Atco Ghost, there was never any record of a little boy being hit by a car (or truck) on Burnt Mill Road, and killed. So probably just a legend passed down through the years.

But if you do go down Burnt Mill Road at night and keep going beyond where the pavement stops and then keep going a little farther you’ll probably end up with some ghost stories of your own. It’s a “DARK as dark can be” road. You can easily end up lost and even if you’re lucky enough to end up back on paved road before morning you’re not going to know where you are anyway.

STORY: QUEEN NEARIT’S BOOK OF THE DEAD==========

This ancient Book of the Dead scroll, discovered recently in Egypt’s Saqqara necropolis, isn’t bound in human skin like the infamous Necronomicon from the Evil Dead films, but it does serve as a chilling guide to the afterlife.

A team of archeologists led by D, Zahi Hawass have unearthed a cache of treasures at the 4,200-year-old funerary temple belonging to Queen Nearit, next to the pyramid of her husband pharaoh Teti, who ruled Egypt from approximately 2323 B.C. to 2291 B.C.

The temple dedicated to Queen Nearit is made of stone, with three mud-brick warehouses on the southern side where offerings to the queen and her husband were kept.

The treasure also includes more than 50 wooden sarcophagi, a Senet board game, a riverboat with rowers, wooden masks, a statue of Ptah-Sokar-Osiris, and a burial sanctuary dedicated to an Old Kingdom queen, in addition to the 13-foot-long ‘Book of The Dead’ scroll depicting paths to the netherworld of the deceased.

These expansive burial grounds exist in what was once the capital of ancient Egypt, Memphis.

The coffins, which appear to date from the New Kingdom era (1570–1069 B.C. ), were discovered in 52 burial shafts measuring 33 to 40 feet deep by Egyptologist Zahi Hawass and his colleagues. The sarcophagi are adorned with paintings of ancient gods and excerpts from the Book of the Dead, which was thought to aid the deceased in navigating the afterlife.

According to Hawass, researchers began excavating the site in 2010, which is next to the pyramid of King Teti, the first of the Old Kingdom’s Sixth Dynasty rulers (2680–2180 B.C.). However, the team couldn’t find a name inside the pyramid to tell us who owned it.

One of the most fascinating objects found in the burial shafts is a 13-foot-long papyrus that contains chapter 17 of the Book of the dead, a manuscript used by ancient Egyptians to assist the deceased in their journey through the afterlife.

The name of the papyrus’s owner, Pwkhaef, is written on it. This identical name was also found written on one of the wooden coffins and on four shabti figurines meant to serve the deceased in the afterlife.

Other copies of Chapter 17 contain a series of questions and answers — a sort of cheat sheet for people trying to navigate the afterlife. The newly discovered copy of Chapter 17 may or may not have the same question-and-answer format.

According to Dr. Hawass, this was the first time such a long papyrus had ever been discovered inside a burial shaft.

According to Owen Jarus of Live Science, the coffins discovered in the burial shafts likely hold the remains of followers of a Teti-worshipping cult formed after the pharaoh’s death. Experts believe the cult existed for over 1,000 years, and members would have considered it an honor to be buried alongside the king.

These discoveries will rewrite the history of this region, particularly during the New Kingdom’s 18th and 19th dynasties, when King Teti was worshipped and the citizens were buried around his pyramid.

Saqqara, a vast necropolis of the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis that has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to more than a dozen pyramids, ancient monasteries, and animal burial sites.

The sealed wooden coffins, which were unveiled alongside statues of ancient gods, dated back over 2,500 years and belonged to top officials of Ancient Egypt’s Late and Ptolemaic periods. Khaled al-Anani, the minister of antiquities and tourism at the time, predicted that “Saqqara has yet to reveal all of its contents.”

The archaeological team discovered a stela belonging to a man named Khaptah, who was the overseer of the pharaoh’s military chariot, and his wife, Mwtemwia, inside the burial shafts. The top half of the stela depicts the couple paying homage to Osiris, the Egyptian god of the underworld, while the bottom half depicts the couple seated on chairs in front of six of their children. Their three daughters are seated, smelling lotus flowers, while their three sons are shown standing.

A bronze ax, board games, Osiris statues, and several mummies were discovered in the burial shafts near the pyramid, including the mummy of a woman who appears to have suffered from familial Mediterranean fever, a genetic disorder that causes recurring fever and inflammation of the abdomen, joints, and lungs.

Near the burial shafts, there was also a shrine dedicated to Anubis, the god of the cemetery, as well as statues of the god.

STORY: THE HINDU’S MILK MIRACLE==========
Just before dawn (on a day in 1995) a man from New Delhi dreamed that Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom, wanted milk. The man dashed out to the first temple to make a milk offering to the statue of Ganesha; much to his amazement he watched the milk disappear before his eyes.
The impossible nature of what he saw was obvious. Others joined him and witnesses multiplied. By the end of the day, reports of statues “drinking” milk were coming from all parts of India and from Hindu communities in London and other parts of the world.
The entire phenomenon, witnessed by millions, seems to have ended after about 24 hours. “The `milk-miracle’ may go down in history as the most important event shared by Hindus of this century, if not in the last millennium,” reported Hinduism Today in 1996.
Ordinary life in New Delhi came to a standstill while liter upon liter of milk vanished into thin air. The stock market in (what was then called) Bombay came to a halt as people rushed to temples to witness and participate in the wonder. Disbelievers sneered and called it “mass hysteria.”
The initial response of the Indian press condemned the reports as ignorant and superstitious. Newspaper reporters who witnessed the phenomenon from the UK, USA, Denmark, Germany and Canada were less glib. Reporters from the Washington Post did not reject as illusion what they personally witnessed at a Maryland Hindu temple.
UK reporter Rebecca Maer visited a temple in Southall and wrote in the Daily Express, “It’s difficult to dismiss something you have seen for yourself.”
The diehard denier will simply respond by saying that people can be convinced they saw something that was in fact an illusion. True, but proof is needed that it really is an illusion. What I saw on CNN was no illusion. It was perfectly clear; the white liquid, from inside its container, slowly diminished in size until it was all gone. Period.
Two Hindu students of mine were in India at the time of the phenomenon and wrote accounts of what they personally observed. One of them confirmed a fact I had read about in the newspapers. There was a milk shortage around the country as a result of all the milk that Lord Ganesha drank up!
Here is the story from my other student, Deepak Bhagchandani: “I have personally witnessed and experienced the opportunity to feed the Lord with my own hands in a temple, in New Delhi. I stood and waited in a queue at the Ganesha temple. It was astonishing and unbelievable when my turn came to offer milk to the Lord. I took a spoonful of milk in my hands and placed it near the sculpture. The milk disappeared slowly and gradually. It was not flowing down or being wasted. As a matter of fact, I could see no traces of milk anywhere.”
Deepak adds that he returned to the queue three times for a repeat performance. (Deepak also wrote an account of his witnessing “bhabutti,” or sacred ash, materialize from a Sai Baba photo, a widely reported phenomenon.)
Remarkably, this story of Ganesha, altogether astonishing, quickly vanished from public consciousness; it seems to have made a very slight impression on the Western mind. Disbelievers came up with lame objections.
A reporter for the Indian Express complained about wasting milk! Others bemoaned the loss of time on the job, so many people having fled their workplaces to witness the wonderfully amusing but superfluous miracle. They complained about the “absence of a scientific temper” without putting the issue to a test themselves.
The disbelievers were so frantic they moralized about the “failure of the education system.” Miracles, according to Malini Parthasarathy, writing for Chicago’s India Tribune, were “anachronisms incompatible with the vision of a secular and scientifically oriented India.” How rude!—how lower class of miracles! Don’t they know their place?

By the way, while this story occurred one day in September, 1995. A similar phenomenon was repeated in 2006, 2008, and 2010. The phenomenon so far has no clue to explain it. I’ll start to worry when people, instead of milk, start to dematerialize.

BREAK==========

Coming up… Is it possible that Bigfoot interbred with humans and had children, with descendants of those children possibly living among us today? We’ll look into the possibility with a specific case, when Weird Darkness returns! (Villagers Remember Descendant of Bigfoot)

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STORY: VILLAGERS REMEMBER THE DESCENDANTS OF BIGFOOT==========

In 1975, the skull of the first Bigfoot was excavated for the first time in history. People residing in the area for years still remember meeting it when it was still alive.
Local residents who buried a mother and a son indicated location of their graves. A rubber shoe branded 1888 was removed from the woman’s burial (a mirror at the head indicated it was a female). Approximately the same time Zana, a Bigfoot, died.
The researcher’s heart was beating with anticipation of the unusual find, as never before scientists laid their hands on a Bigfoot, alive or dead.
The excavation was conducted by Igor Burtsev, at the time, a young scientist, and today a leading Russian cryptozoologist. He spent several years trying to obtain the right for graves excavation in the Abkhazian village Tkhina, where Zana used to live. As luck would have it, his old college friend, an Abkhazian, became a local official upon his return to the motherland from Moscow.
“I could not have seen Zana myself, she passed away 50 years before I was born,” says Apollon Dumava, former chair of the local Council. “But my older relatives remembered her. How could you forget her? She was 6.6 feet tall, had long strong arms covered with hair, curvy hips that inspired the desire of local men, large hanging breasts, flat forehead and huge red eyes.
Zana was very strong and easily carried 110 pounds sacks with grain to the water mill with only one hand.
Apollon said his father told him that Zana was caught in a gulch of the Adzyubzha River.
She was hunted down by a local merchant. Zana was incredibly smart and could disappear a second before she would be caught. Yet, the hunter outsmarted her. He left red male underwear at the meadow frequented by the hairy creature. She was caught while trying to put the underwear on her head and hips.
The captive was named Zana (zan means black in Georgian) and placed in a ditch enclosed with a fence made of sharpened logs. She was growling, throwing herself at kids who bothered her with sticks and dirt clods. Only a few years later, when Zana was slightly tamed, she was moved to a woven hut. She slept on the ground in a cave she dug out. She never learned how to use a spoon and a plate so she ate with her hands. She was always naked. She never learned to speak, but recognized her name. Zana could take boots off her owner’s feet. She was also great at imitating the sound of squeaking gate, and it made her very happy every time she did.
Zana was not surrounded by angels. Locals made her drink wine, it did not take her long to get drunk and become sexually aggressive. There were always those willing to entertain themselves with a monster. They say during drunk orgies her owner would establish a prize for the one who “mounts” Zana. The prizes would always find their winners.
When Zana gave birth to her first child, she took it to a creek and washed it in ice cold water. The baby died. The same happened to her second child. After that, the locals decided to take babies from the silly mother. Her next children survived. There were four of them, two boys and two girls. People had no idea who their fathers were. Years later, before a census, children were assigned to a local resident Kamshish Sabekia, who acknowledged “playing” with Zana before he got married.
Locals remember Khwit the most. He was 6.6 feet tall, had grayish skin like his mother’s, thick curly hair and full lips. He had lived in Tkhina all his life and passed away in 1954 before he turned 70. Apollon remembers him well. Like his mother, Khwit did not like children who used to get into his garden to steal grapes and pears. Once Khwit had a fight with his relative and jumped him. Defending himself, his opponent hit him with a mattock and cut his arm along the elbow. The arm had to be amputated. Apollon has a memory of this incredibly strong person plowing his lot with one left arm.
Khwit was a human being, he could speak, got married twice and had two daughters and a son.
Kwhit’s grandson, Robert Kukubava, provided pictures of his family album.
Faces of Khwit and his sister bear resemblance to Zana’s. Khwit’s older daughter Tatyana does not look like her grandmother apart from her eyes. Raisa and her brother Shuliko are undoubtedly Khwit’s children. They have similar lower jaws, protruding cheekbones, full lips and dark skin.
Within 30 years Igor Burtsev found nearly all Zana’s descendants. His main goal, however, was to find Zana, or, her skeleton and skull, as well as Khwit’s remnants.
A female skull was excavated at the Tkhin cemetery. Yet, the anthropological analysis provided evidence that the skull belonged to a black woman who somehow got to the Caucuses.
The skull of Khwit that was observed for a long time was only partly human.

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