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IN THIS EPISODE: (DARK ARCHIVES DOUBLE TROUBLE episode featuring stories from December 15-16, 2018) *** One night about 60 years ago, physicist Enrico Fermi looked up into the sky and asked, “Where is everybody?” He was talking about aliens. So why haven’t we met them yet? (Strange, Scientific Excuses for Why Humans Haven’t Found Aliens Yet) *** If you buy a used camper, knowing someone died in it, and with the bloodstain still clearly visible, you shouldn’t really be surprised later to find that it is haunted. (The Haunted Camper) *** George Barrington was a well-known author… and a well-known pocket picker. Oh yes, and he also says he saw a ghost ship. (Encounter With a Phantom Ship) *** A doppelganger is a strange creature that looks exactly like a real person, but is not that person’s twin. And seeing your doppelganger is considered a very bad omen. (Doppelgangers and Spirit Doubles) *** Nazi camp guard Maria Mandl sent half a million women to their deaths – and loved every minute of it. (“The Beast” Maria Mandl) *** The dragon is one of the most well-known creatures in ancient mythology, and many cultures have this creature (or one of its related forms) in their folklore. One of the lesser known dragons is that of the zmaj, a dragon that can be found in Slavic folklore. (The Dragon Zmaj) ***Whenever we see a pirate ship on television, cinema or in comic books we also see an extremely ancient symbol – the skull and crossbones. This however, was not a symbol of death – at least not in the beginning. (Hidden History of the Skull and Crossbones)
MENTIONED IN THE PODCAST…
“Eerie Late Night” horror movie website: http://www.eerielatenight.com
“Housewife of Horror” horror hosts: http://www.housewifeofhorror.com
“Emails from the Dead” (Dopplegangers story): http://weirddarkness.com/archives/2874
STORY AND MUSIC CREDITS/SOURCES…
(Note: Over time links can and may become invalid, disappear, or have different content.)
“Hidden History Of The Skull and Crossbones” by Philip Gardiner: http://bit.ly/2RpiSLm
“The Haunted Camper”: http://bit.ly/2YiBldU
“Doppelgangers and Spirit Doubles” by Ellen Lloyd: http://bit.ly/2Yk4zsV
“Strange, Scientific Excuses for Why Humans Haven’t Found Aliens Yet”: http://bit.ly/2DOpSJz
“The Beast: Maria Mandl” by Gina Dimuro: http://bit.ly/2rmjhmS
“The Dragon Zmaj” by DHWTY: http://bit.ly/2DQzSSM
“Encounter With a Phantom Ship” by Garth Haslam: http://bit.ly/2Lr8Pl2
Background music provided by EpidemicSound and AudioBlocks with paid license. Music by Shadows Symphony (http://bit.ly/2W6N1xJ) and Midnight Syndicate (http://amzn.to/2BYCoXZ) is also sometimes used with permission.
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“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” — John 12:46 *** How to escape eternal darkness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IYmodFKDaM
SKULL & CROSSBONES
The skull and crossbones.
It was an image that has kept cropping up in my researches, whether Masonic or Templar or even as the symbol that the Christian Jesuits found themselves being inaugurated on, and so I decided that I needed to look deeper into the mysterious rise of this peculiar image.
Many researchers of Templar and Masonic history have pointed out the links between this symbol and the one used by the Knights Templar on their ships.
If we take into account the fact that the Templars had the world’s biggest fleet in the 13th century, and that they were well known for acts that we would call today ‘piracy’ then there is no wonder.
The latter Knights of Malta were also well known for piracy and we find that these Maltese Knights were in fact the very same as the Templars – having been formed or joined by the remnant of the dissolved Templars
These new Templars or Knights of Malta were accused on several occasions of piracy and henceforth we have tales of piracy on the high seas.
There is a direct link therefore between the creation or use of the skull and crossbones by the Knights Templar and our modern day idea of it being a symbol of piracy.
But, I wondered, what explanation did the Knights Templar give for using the symbol? Where did they get it from?
I found a strange tale that is told by most Templar researchers to link the symbol to them and this tale surprisingly involves the number 9, a mother earth image and a skull.
In The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail, Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln tell the tale:
A great lady of Maraclea was loved by a Templar, A Lord of Sidon; but she died in her youth, and on the night of her burial, this wicked lover crept to the grave, dug up her body and violated it.
Then a voice from the void bade him return in nine months time for he would find a son. He obeyed the injunction and at the appointed time he opened the grave again and found a head on the leg bones of the skeleton (skull and crossbones).
The same voice bade him ‘guard it Well, for it would be the giver of all good things’, and so he carried it away with him. It became his protecting genius, and he was able to defeat his enemies by merely showing them the magic head. In due course, it passed to the possession of the order.
In another version this Lord of Sidon actually ritualistically marries the corpse.
I told this tale to several colleagues in-order to judge the response and in each case the response began with horror and disgust and ended with a lot of head scratching and bewilderment – the reaction that the story in fact was intended to provoke.
Now such stories are naturally seen as macabre and the ‘hidden message’ therefore still evades us – which is the idea. But as I was to discover, what is really being conveyed in these stories, is the importance of the union or balance, which creates a state of enlightenment akin to that spoken of by the Gnostics, alchemists and mystics.
But before I decided this to be the case I wanted to delve deeper and found myself in an ancient world of symbolism and secrecy. There were more nuggets of information in this text, which needed investigation and I decided that it was about time the code was broken. I turned firstly to the main character in the tale, the infamous Lord of Sidon.
As a Titular metropolis of Pamphylia Prima, Sidon, dates as far back as Neolithic times. In the tenth century B.C. Sidon had its own coinage that bore the head of Athena (also Minerva a serpentine, feminine deity linked with healing.) I found that Athena was indeed the patroness of the city even though its people were sometimes termed ‘a piratical horde’ and Constantine Porphyrogenitus called Sidon a ‘nest of pirates.’
However the place did go on to play host to one of Alexander the Great’s garrisons for a while, which was used to subdue this piratical element for Alexander’s own purposes. Under his successors Sidon became known as the ‘holy city of Phoenicia’ and enjoyed relative freedom, with games and competitions attracting people from far and wide.
In 1111 AD the crusader Baldwin, who was later to become King Baldwin of Jerusalem, besieged the city and it was later to become one of the four baronies of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
It was a very commercial, and in fact, warlike city, with a powerful navy – something the Templars looked up to and emulated.
From early on, Sidon was a rendezvous for pirates, and even the slave trade continued after the fall of slavery elsewhere.
However, by the 14th century, and following the downfall of the Templars, Sidon was on the ‘way out’ as a player on the world market. The lack of water and resources – added to Turkish invasions – led to lack of interest. Sidon was not yet dead in the water though and flourished again briefly in the 17th century when it was rebuilt by Fakhreddine II – the then ruler of Lebanon.
Under Fakhreddine’s guidance it became a base for French merchants who used it as a staging post to further their commercial conquests. Slowly however Sidon again declined until the late 20th century when again it has risen from the ashes to become an important commercial and agricultural centre.
So this was a brief but relevant history of Sidon and its relationship to my story was remarkable. The fact that it was well known as a ‘nest of pirates’ was startling.
I considered also the link of the skull and crossbones to piracy, especially as it was linked to the Templars, and the fact that the Lord from the skull and crossbones story was Lord of Sidon.
So was this Lord of Sidon mentioned in the Templar story really a pirate?
The links between Sidon are strong: Templars were highly commercial and indeed linked to slavery, so was Sidon.
It collapsed in the 14th century, and so did the Templars. It had a huge fleet, and so did the Templars. In fact they were one and the same in many respects – both feeding from one another. The leaders of Sidon were linked with the Templars and would have seen the Templar’s banking system as highly important.
As the Holy Land finally fell to the Muslims in 1291 I found mention of a Templar knight by the name of Tibald Gaudin who is thought to have carried off the famous Templar treasure. When Gaudin finally arrived at the Templar port of Sidon he was elected the next Grand Master – or Lord.
It seems that there were ample financial reserves held at the Sidon Preceptory and so the treasure of the Templars cannot have been gold or otherwise it would not have been mentioned. I am of the opinion that the treasure was the secret of the Holy Grail.
If Sidon had a hidden message in the text then it was simply that the Lord of Sidon was to get the Grail from the Lady of Maraclea – as intimated in the story quoted above – which reveals, and rather symbolically, the means through which he could claim it.
Having now established a link between Sidon and the Templars story I wanted to move on to the other name given that caught my eye – Maraclea.
This peculiar name I found was taken from a site that the Templars had previously held in the 13th century. I wondered whether the name had a symbolic meaning – a name with a hidden message in the language – why else would she be from Maraclea and not Antioch or Acre?
Initially I found the site was called Maraclea because it simply means ‘Clear Waters’ or ‘Sea.’ But I wanted to know why the Templars had used the term and began with the standard etymological practice of breaking the word up into two parts – Mara and Clea. Taking the first part I delved into the world of etymology once more and found some remarkable ‘coincidences.’
Mara in Hebrew means, ‘bitter’ and was a common alternative for Mary – whether the Mother of Jesus or the Magdalene. In Latin it equates to mare, which is ‘water,’ ‘lake,’ ‘sea’ and indeed linked to ‘horse’ (female horse.) In Anglo Saxon I found that the term mara meant ‘greater’ or ‘more.’ In Buddhism Mara is ‘death’ or ‘evil one.’
Mara is said to tempt us like Eve and indeed it was Mara who tempted Buddha on the night before his enlightenment experience. I found this rather intriguing as in the Garden of Eden it was the serpent who supplied the fruit of the tree of knowledge to Eve and therefore he was supplying enlightenment just like Buddha (and Eve as Havveh is equated with female serpent.)
This Mara of the Buddhists I discovered was also closely related to Rama, where ma equates to black or dark, a term associated with beauty and a term also meaning ‘Great Mother.’
Baffled, but also excited by these etymological results and their relationship to the story of the enlightenment or ‘shining’ I quickly moved on to the second part of the word – clea.
When I did look at this word I felt rather stupid as it was perfectly ‘clear’ what it meant. Clea means simply ‘to clean,’ ‘to clear,’ ‘to be clear,’ ‘to be pure,’ ‘to be bright’ or ‘to shine!’
I also noted that this lady of Maraclea, according to theologians and scholars was thought to have come from Armenia. Rife in Armenia at the time was what is known as Paulician Christianity – a Christianity that would not be recognized by most today.
I decided not to delve too deeply into this theology, but did find that this spawned the Bogomils who have been linked to, and were even called the same as the infamous Cathars or ‘Perfect Ones’ – i.e., ‘Illumined/Shining Ones’ or ‘Pure Ones.’
I ran through the variants that were now possible:
• Mary Pure – well no, that didn’t work.
• Water Bright – this didn’t really relate.
In fact there were numerous configurations that I could have made.
In the end I landed on two that just seemed to make perfect sense and related etymologically in the Anglo Saxon for both words – without mixing up the languages. The result sent a shiver up my spine as I realized the two meanings of Maraclea.
The first one was,
• Black-Clear or Dark-Clear.
Well this was significant in the Gnostic sense, as the contradictory nature of the words revealed the duality spoken of by the Gnostics and Manicheans – light and dark, male and female.
These were the two sides of our minds – a revelation of our own divided consciousness. It was in fact the very same element spoken of throughout time as the generative source of all religions – for by overcoming this duality and finding balance and union, or a neutral state, we become enlightened to our own true self and often enter a spiritual state of illumination or ‘shining’.
The other meaning of the name Maraclea was equally astounding and related even more to the concept of illumination. It was ‘Greater Shining’.
However, there was even more meaning in this interpretation. Standing back for a moment I wondered about the whole thing. Here I have a Lord of Sidon, possibly a Templar knight, if indeed not a Grand Master, coming into union with the ‘Greater Shining.’
What could it possibly mean other than this Templar was a ‘Shining One’ and therefore experienced the Holy Grail of enlightenment for himself?
The result of his union would be the head or skull 9 months later (although another version says 9 years,) and as I was to discover in my researches into the Temple of Jerusalem, the number 9 was of paramount importance to the Templars.
The head was also definitely being used as a metaphor for this internal process, which actually involved the head or something within it. This in itself gives us a greater insight to the argued over Baphomet head that the Templars were said to have worshipped.
Strange also then that 9 Knights set up the Templars and 9 years later return to Rosslyn Chapel with supposedly the Holy Grail tucked away in a bag. But, I decided maybe I should take another look at the number 9, which is a reversed P – something, which would soon become strangely more relevant.
I decided in this instance to just take a look at language rather than numbers and so consulted the Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson.
Nine days’ Wonder – Minor marvels, things that cause great sensations for a short time and then pass into limbo… Kittens, puppies, and other young animals have their eyes closed for a number of days  and then open them and see the light….
Amazingly this is mirrored in folktales, myth and legend and therefore in the significance of the number we have here a period of 9 months where the female is pregnant (and thus rebirth); 9 months or years for the Lord of Sidon to receive his prize; and 9 days before the new born animals see the light – it all made complete sense.
So, the skull and crossbones is linked to the number 9 and again, enlightenment and the Holy Grail – which are both seen as good, pure and holy. Indeed, was not the Holy Grail said to be the giver of all good things, just like the head in the Templar tale, ‘guard it Well, for it would be the giver of all good things.’ If this Greater Shining were truly the Holy Grail then it would bring him good things for sure.
It became his protecting genius.
Others have found this part of the text very strange, however I understood what it meant immediately, and for confirmation I looked up the meaning in a standard dictionary and found perfect corresponding evidence for the Greater Shining.
Genius, inborn faculty. (L.) – L. genius, the tutelary spirit of any one; also wit, lit. ‘inborn nature.’ Allied to genus.
So, this ‘Greater Shining,’ this ‘head,’ became his inborn faculty or inborn nature. The two were the same.
There is a subtle underground symbolism going on here. The Lord of Sidon (a Templar) mates with the Lady of Maraclea (a Cathar) and we have an inborn nature called genius. Suddenly the Skull and Crossbones symbol, as explained in the Templar text is revealed before our eyes.
At this point it crossed my mind that I had only gone back to the Templars. I wondered just how far back in time I could possibly go with this skull and crossbones image?
The earliest reference to the actual skull and crossbones I could discover was the Templar reference. However, taking the image as symbolic, which is what it indeed was, then we are looking for the shape – a skull or head with a diagonal cross or saltaire below.
Amazingly, I found this in Ancient Egypt and on the tomb of Tutankhamen.
Carrying a staff or sceptre was, in ancient Egypt, a symbol of universal power. The Flail was used to beat animals (or indeed people) into submission and shows authority like the sceptre – hence their interchangeable nature.
The crook was a shepherd’s tool, used to pull stray animals by the neck without hurting them. Here we have an image of push and pull. This shepherd aspect of the king is as old as Mesopotamia and possibly beyond.
These two symbols reveal the two opposites of the duality spoken of by the Gnostics, the push (positive/male) and pull (negative/feminine). Anyone therefore that mastered these symbols had mastery over the self and the enlightened connection or ‘shining’.
Tutankhamen was seen with these devices held upon the chest in the diagonal cross form, making a replica of the skull and crossbones in form, whereas many other Pharaohs held them outwardly away from each other.
When dead, the king becomes Osiris, and I find that this same image is seen upon Osiris and is therefore his symbol – a symbol of the ultimate universal power and borrowed by his earthly representative the Pharaoh.
Osiris is the archetypal resurrecting god – a symbol of regeneration, akin to the power of the Templar in the text.
So the Templar is symbolically the same as Osiris on Earth. No wonder that Christ is called the ‘good shepherd’ – as was Osiris who was called the ‘good god.’
So here I was tracing back the image of the skull and crossbones back into ancient Egypt and even Mesopotamia. It should have been no surprise, as this is the home of the ancient and original Shining Ones. And yet, amazingly there was more to come. I turned my gaze even more laterally and found another symbol related entirely to both the skull and crossbones and the Egyptian influence.
This separate and more obscure image also closely resembled the skull and crossbones and over it a ‘holy war’ has raged for decades.
The symbol is now commonly known as the Chi-Rho – so-called because it is composed of the Greek letters chi (X) and rho (P).
The war over these two letters is fought between Christians and historians; between fundamentalists on both sides and yet both sides are missing the point.
The Christians claim that the Chi-Rho form the first two letters of Christ (Cristos) and the historians claim that the symbol can be found hundreds if not thousands of years before Christianity and was therefore usurped by them. I needed to look into this to discover the origins, meaning and why it so resembled the style of the skull and crossbones.
An identical symbol to the Chi-Rho has been found inscribed on rocks dating from 2,500 BC Sumeria, and was interpreted as ‘a combination of the two Sun-symbols’ – symbols of the ancient shining ones.
It was also used on the coins of Ptolemeus III from 247-222 BC, as well as being an emblem of the Chaldean sky/sun god and has the definition ‘Everlasting Father Sun’ (From An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols)
I then noted that other meaning for clea, – which was ‘pure.’ Could it be that this link was even well known in Templar times?
The feeling of stupidity quickly drained away as I suddenly realized what the term Maraclea meant – a word that has been missed by thousands of Templar historians the world over and yet is a key to unlocking the secret of this peculiar text.
According to Sir Flinders Petrie – the Egyptologist – the monogram Chi-Rho was the emblem of the Egyptian god, Horus, thousands of years before Christ and is therefore a link between Horus the savior, and Christ the savior.
I had already noted on several occasions the links between these ancient characters and so this was highly believable and conclusive.
To others it is in this second century B.C. where the secret of the monogram lies with the Greek Ptolemy’s who are said to have ‘borrowed’ it from the Africans. In this scenario the Greeks called their version of Horus, Herecles or Hercules and applying the Greek Xpnc (Chres) to him. This suddenly gave the ancient Horus the title of Lord, Chrestos, and inevitably ‘Christ.’
This, if true, shows again the direct link between Horus, the Chi-Rho monogram and Christ.
Indeed many European scholars have actually identified Heracles or Hercules as none other than an emblem of Jesus Christ. I had to bear in mind that the name Heracles, is related to Hero and Hu, which means, ‘shining,’ but are also related etymologically to Christ, showing that these titles of the Messiah are directly derived from the word Heru which is of African origin and can be found the world over as a word for the sun.
But there were even more links, as I discovered. The Greek title Christ is, like Heru, also derived from an Egypto-African word Karast, and Kristos or Christos is the KRST (Karast).
Karast is a person who is anointed (enlightened or shining) as a Heru (Hero) during his or her own lifetime. It is only when deceased that one receives the great term ‘a KRST’ or Ausur. This Ausur is none other than Osiris, the same Egyptian god I found with the skull and crossbones symbol with the flail and sceptre.
The anointing, in the physical sense, (as the anointing also applies in the spiritual sense,) derived from the body or cadaver being anointed with spices, oils, and resins to preserve it. The body is then wrapped in bandages, placed in a coffer, which is then placed upright to symbolize resurrection.
It was believed that in the plural, the Herus (Heroes) or Krst’s (Christs) would rise again to save the world as fully divine beings and thus become the ‘once and future king.’ It seems then that this tradition came out of Africa, through Egypt and into Greek and Christian legend and brought with it the original symbols of Osiris.
So, amazingly we have a link between the Chi-Rho and the symbol of Osiris – god the father of Horus or Christ. No wonder that a philological and historical war rages and that Christianity refuses to accept this remarkable link.
So, I wondered, what do the Christians believe this Chi-Rho to derive from? Well, I found that it goes back to Constantine and was an amazing propaganda device to establish the new Roman, and therefore to become, Catholic Empire.
The story goes that Constantine had a vision before a great battle and was told that with the symbol of the Chi-Rho, which they called the Labarum, he would gain victory – ‘By this sign, you will conquer.’
Using the new Labarum as his battle standard, which would relate to everybody, Constantine took the field and the Empire was ‘born again.’
In fact, the Christians had been using this symbol secretly as a sign of their faith and Constantine (or somebody who advised him) simply picked up on the fact that this symbol and the whole savior process was as ancient and widespread as I am outlining here – and according to some – it was used to plunder the treasuries of the pagan temples.
Amazingly, on the coinage during and after Constantine’s death, we see the Laburnum or Chi-Rho (image right), underlined with the serpent – a symbol used throughout time and especially by the Gnostics for wisdom and the enlightenment process.
Strangely, just as the biblical term, Elohim, is a plural word used for God (EL), and in reality means the ‘Shining Ones,’ the X part of the monogram is also plural (X=10) and is the number of Yahweh.
Chi also has another meaning – ‘Great Fire’ or ‘Light’ or even ‘Shining.’
The P (Rho) part is more difficult but has been related to ‘Pen’ (pen means, ‘head’) in etymology thus implying that the loop on the top of the P is a head, in the very place that a skull would be on the skull and crossbones. [One thing is sure, Rho stood for ‘Pater’ or ‘Patah’ (the Egyptian god Ptah), which is ‘Father.’ Together they therefore make ‘Shining Father’ (Dyaus Pitar) – which later became the Roman ‘Jupiter’ (Hu Ptah=father sun) – the Roman version of the Greek father-god Zeus.]
I found that the symbol of the skull and crossbones then, stretches back over thousands of years and relates entirely to the ancient ‘Shining Ones’ – and directly to Osiris, the Egyptian version of the original ‘Shining Father’ incarnated on earth.
Not only that, but geographically it goes right into the heart of original Shining territory.
But, I again had questions: Why the X?
I believe that the X marks the spot in more ways than can be imagined. It is the crossing point of the two dual energies and it is the centre where the true enlightenment is engaged – where the two opposites meet. With the upright world axis running through the X we also have a dividing line, but it is also a six-pointed symbol and is akin to the Star of David or Seal of Solomon, which is also an ancient symbol with much the same meaning.
The six points are important, as they reveal the seventh point and most holy – the centre of the X.
I was tempted to look into the infamous Skull and Bones secret society of Yale University so famously joined by Bush Senior and Junior, as well as many other extremely powerful individuals, but decided I was straying too far into the world of conspiracy theories that had little or no substance and so I left well alone.
However, as I was to discover with the Jesuits, who swear an oath upon the symbol of the skull and crossbones, I found that the Freemasons also have this symbol and utilize it without too much knowledge of its origin – or so we are led to believe.
However, what was intriguing was the ‘degree’ that utilized the symbol – the Knights Templar.
In the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Virginia, USA, there is an anteroom with a large portrait of the Colonial period Grand Master Lafayette wearing the Templar Apron bearing the ‘skull and crossbones.’
The same apron images have also been found elsewhere, such as Michigan, Detroit and Jackson and I am sure that these are not the only ones, as several members have also pointed out to me that they too have seen the aprons.
According to Masonic history the apron can only be dated back to the late 18th century and to the revisions carried out by Thomas Smith Webb where he pointed out that,
‘The flap black, and a skull and cross bones embroidered in silver thereon.’
On another apron is described by Cornelius Moore in 1859:
An Apron of black velvet of a triangular form, trimmed in silver lace.
On the top or flap is a triangle, with twelve holes perforated through it; in the centre of the triangle is a cross and serpent; on the centre of the apron is a scull and cross bones, and at equal distance from them, in a triangular form, a star with seven points; in the centre of each star a red cross.
~From The Craftsman and Freemasons Guide, 1859
The reasoning behind having this skull and crossbones on the Masonic apron, is revealed in a story about a Lord of Sidon… but we don’t have time to even begin to get into that.
For those not familiar with the term, The Fermi paradox, or Fermi’s paradox, is named after physicist Enrico Fermi; it is the apparent contradiction between the lack of evidence and high probability estimates for the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations. In other words, with all of those billions of planets and galaxies and stars, the chances of there being other intelligent life in the universe is extremely high – yet we have solid evidence that any exists apart from our own planet. So… where are the aliens? Here are a few strange answers to that question, from scientists.
The aliens are hiding in underground oceans.
If humans hope to converse with ET, we’ll need to have a few icebreakers handy. No, seriously — alien life is probably trapped in secret oceans buried deep inside frozen planets.
Subsurface oceans of liquid water slosh beneath multiple moons in our solar system and may be common throughout the Milky Way, astronomers say. NASA physicist Alan Stern thinks clandestine water worlds like these could provide a perfect stage for evolving life, even if inhospitable surface conditions plague those plants. “Impacts and solar flares, and nearby supernovae, and what orbit you’re in, and whether you have a magnetosphere, and whether there’s a poisonous atmosphere — none of those things matter” for life that’s underground, Stern told Space.com.
That’s great for the aliens, but it also means we’ll never be able to detect them just by glancing at their planets with a telescope. Can we expect them to contact us? Heck, Stern said — these critters live so deep, we can’t even expect them to know that there’s a sky over their heads.
The aliens are imprisoned on “super-Earths.”
No, “super-Earth” is not Captain Planet’s dorky cousin. In astronomy, the term refers to a type of planet with a mass up to 10 times greater than Earth’s. Star surveys have turned up oodles of these worlds that could have the right conditions for liquid water. This means alien life could conceivably be evolving on super-Earths all over the universe.
Unfortunately, we’ll probably never meet these aliens. According to a study published in April, a planet with 10 times Earth’s mass would also have an escape velocity 2.4 times greater than Earth’s — and overcoming that pull could make rocket launches and space travel near impossible.
“On more-massive planets, spaceflight would be exponentially more expensive,” study author Michael Hippke, a researcher affiliated with the Sonneberg Observatory in Germany, previously told Live Science. “Instead, [those aliens] would be to some extent arrested on their home planet.”
We’re looking in the wrong places (because all aliens are robots).
Humans invented the radio around 1900, built the first computer in 1945 and are now in the business of mass-producing handheld devices capable of making billions of calculations per second. Full-blown artificial intelligence may be right around the corner, and futurist Seth Shostak said that’s reason enough to reframe our search for intelligent aliens. Simply put, we should be looking for machines, not little green men.
“Any [alien] society that invents radio, so we can hear them, within a few centuries, they’ve invented their successors,” Shostak said at the Dent:Space conference in San Francisco in 2016. “And I think that’s important, because the successors are machines.”
A truly advanced alien society may be completely populated by super-intelligent robots, Shostak said, and that should inform our search for aliens. Instead of focusing all our resources on finding other habitable planets, perhaps we should also look to places that would be more attractive to machines — say, places with lots of energy, like the centers of galaxies. “We’re looking for analogues of ourselves,” Shostak said, “but I don’t know that that’s the majority of the intelligence in the universe.”
We’ve already found aliens (but are too distracted to realize it).
Thanks to pop culture, the word “alien” probably makes you envision a spooky humanoid with a big, bald head. That’s fine for Hollywood — but these preconceived images of E.T. could sabotage our search for alien life, a team of psychologists from Spain wrote earlier this year.
In a small study, the researchers asked 137 people to look at pictures of other planets and scan the images for signs of alien structures. Hidden among several of these images was a tiny man in a gorilla suit. As the participants hunted for what they imagined alien life to look like, only about 30 percent noticed the gorilla man.
In reality, aliens probably won’t look anything like apes; they may not even be detectable by light and sound waves, the researchers wrote. So, what does this study show us? Basically, our own imagination and attention span limit our search for extraterrestrialsy. If we don’t learn to broaden our frames of reference, we could miss the gorilla staring us in the face.
Humans will kill all the aliens (or already have).
The closer we get to finding aliens, the closer we get to destroying them. That’s one likely eventuality, anyway, said theoretical physicist Alexander Berezin.
Here’s his thinking: Any civilization capable of exploring beyond its own solar system must be on a path of unrestricted growth and expansion. And as we know on Earth, that expansion often comes at the expense of smaller, in-the-way organisms. Berezin said this me-first mentality probably wouldn’t end when alien life is finally encountered — assuming we even notice it.
“What if the first life that reaches interstellar-travel capability necessarily eradicates all competition to fuel its own expansion?” Berezin wrote in a paper posted in March to the preprint journal arXiv.org. “I am not suggesting that a highly developed civilization would consciously wipe out other life-forms. Most likely, they simply won’t notice, the same way a construction crew demolishes an anthill to build real estate because they lack incentive to protect it.” (Whether humans are the ants or the bulldozers in this scenario remains to be seen.)
The aliens triggered climate change (and died).
When a population burns through resources faster than its planet can provide them, catastrophe looms. We know this well enough from the ongoing climate-change crisishere on Earth. So, isn’t it possible that an advanced, energy-guzzling alien society might run into the same issues?
According to astrophysicist Adam Frank, it’s not only possible but extremely likely. Earlier this year, Frank ran a series of mathematical models to simulate how a hypothetical alien civilization might rise and fall as it increasingly converted its planet’s resources into energy. The bad news is that in three out of four scenarios, the society crumbled and most of the population died. Only when the society caught the problem early and immediately switched to sustainable energy did the civilization manage to survive. That means that, if aliens do exist, the odds are pretty high they’ll destroy themselves before we ever meet them.
“Across cosmic space and time, you’re going to have winners — who managed to see what was going on and figure out a path through it — and losers, who just couldn’t get their act together, and their civilization fell by the wayside,” Frank said. “The question is, which category do we want to be in?”
The aliens couldn’t evolve fast enough (and died).
File another excuse under “the aliens are dead already” category. The universe may be teeming with hospitable planets, but there’s no guarantee they’ll stay that way long enough for life to evolve. According to a 2016 study from Australia National University, wet, rocky planets like Earth very unstable when they start their careers; if any alien life hopes to evolve and thrive on such a world, it has a very limited window (a few hundred million years) to get the ball rolling.
“Between the early heat pulses, freezing, volatile content variation and runaway [greenhouse gases], maintaining life on an initially wet, rocky planet in the habitable zone may be like trying to ride a wild bull — most life falls off,” the study authors wrote. “Life may be rare in the universe not because it is difficult to get started, but because habitable environments are difficult to maintain during the first billion years.
Dark energy is splitting us apart
The universe is expanding. Slowly but surely, galaxies are moving farther apart, with distant stars appearing dimmer to us, all thanks to the pull of a mysterious, invisible substance that scientist call dark energy. Scientists speculate that within a few trillion years, dark energy will stretch the universe so much that Earthlings will no longer be able to see the light of any galaxies beyond our closest cosmic neighbors. That’s a scary thought: If we don’t explore as much of the universe as possible before then, such investigations may be lost to us forever.
“The stars become not only unobservable, but entirely inaccessible,” Dan Hooper, an astrophysicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois, wrote in a study earlier this year. That means we’re on a serious deadline to find and meet any aliens out there — and to keep a step ahead of dark energy, we’ll have to expand our civilization into as many galaxies as we can before they all drift away.
Of course, fueling that kind of growth won’t be easy, Hooper said. It might involve rearranging the stars.
Twist ending: We ARE the aliens.
If you left your house today, you saw an alien. The woman delivering mail? Alien. Your next-door neighbor? Nosy alien. Your parents and siblings? Aliens, aliens, aliens.
At least, that’s one implication of the fringe astrobiology theory called the “panspermia hypothesis.” In a nutshell, the hypothesis says that much of the life we see on Earth today didn’t originate here but was “seeded” here millions of years ago by meteors carrying bacteria from other worlds.
Proponents of this theory have variously suggested that octopi, tardigrades and humans were seeded here from other parts of the galaxy — but unfortunately, there’s no real evidence to back up any of that. One big counterargument: If bacteria carrying human DNA evolved on another nearby planet, why haven’t we found traces of humanity anywhere besides Earth? Even if this hypothesis turns out to be plausible, it still doesn’t help us answer Fermi’s nagging question … Where is everybody?
“My ex and I purchased a camper and moved it onto our property. The old man who lived in it before had fallen in the camper, hit his head on the corner of the kitchen counter top, and died. There was still a bloodstain on the carpet. The man’s children were from out of the area and didn’t want to deal with the hassle of moving the camper, so they sold it for next to nothing.
Not long after we moved the camper next to our home, I was sleeping on the couch in our living room. I was laying with my back facing out towards the room, nearly asleep, when something touched me and I jerked awake. My first instinct was that my child had come to wake me because he couldn’t sleep. I turned around to ask him what was wrong, but nothing was there.
I then thought it was my cat because he would occasionally come up and tap me with his paw. I got up and looked around for the cat, but he was sleeping in my child’s room on his bed. I was creeped out and almost went back into the bedroom, but decided to go back to the couch. To this day, I’m convinced that something inhuman touched me that night. I had a few other strange things happen, and I feel like it had something to do with moving that camper to our house.
Another time, I was home alone, watching TV in the living room. My chihuahua was laying in the corner of the room facing towards me. All of a sudden, he got up and started barking as if he saw something. At first, I thought he was barking at me, which was unusual, but I realized he wasn’t looking directly at me but in front and to the side of me. He then went from barking to whimpering and running around in circles in the room, as if something was chasing him.
He continued on into the kitchen which is when I noticed he was not only running in circles and crying, he was also peeing on the floor as he ran. I picked him up and tried to comfort him and looked to see if there was anything wrong. I was so concerned I called my boyfriend and asked if I should bring him to the vet. His sister worked at a vet clinic, so I drove him down there just to make sure there wasn’t anything wrong with him. They looked him over and said he was fine and couldn’t explain the strange behavior.
I don’t know, but part of me thinks maybe he was barking at something he saw and that something didn’t like it. I think the thing started to chase my dog and scared him to the point of pissing himself. My dog had never behaved that way before and never did again. It was just a weird, inexplicable freak out.”
he existence of so-called Doppelgangers and spirit doubles is an ancient and widespread belief.
According to legend, Doppelgangers (German for “double-walker”) is a duplicate of a real person. It is someone that looks the exact same as another person, yet is not a twin. Mystics throughout the ages have believed Doppelgangers and spirit doubles are supernatural creatures. They are either spiritual copies of the person or downright demonic twins.
According to legends and folklore, seeing one’s own double or “alter ego’ is considered a bad omen.
If people saw the double of their relative in a place that he or she was not actually there, it meant that they had seen their spirit double and that particular relative was to meet his death. According to some beliefs and superstitions, doppelgangers are supposed to be the ‘evil twin’ that suggests and insinuates to its human counterpart to do bad and unlawful things.
One of the earliest references of double spirits can be found in the Zurvanite branch of Zoroastrianism. It deals with the abstract duality of Zoroastrianism into a concept of manifest twins “born” of a monist (first) principle Zurvan “Time.” In this cosmological model, the twins Ahura Mazda (Ormuzd) and Angra Mainyu (Ahriman) were co-eternal representatives of good and evil.
However, the idea of a dual nature is by no means restricted to Zoroastrianism. This belief can be found in many religions. Perhaps even God and the Devil can be sees as opposite sides of the same nature.
In Norse mythology, a Doppelganger was called a vardøger. It was believed this was a ghostly double that preceded a living person performing their actions in advance. Many stories of vardøger include instances that are nearly déjà vu in substance, but in reverse, where a spirit with the subject’s footsteps, voice, scent, or appearance and overall demeanor precedes them in a location or activity, resulting in witnesses believing they’ve seen or heard the actual person before the person physically arrives.
In Breton mythology as well as in Cornish and Norman French folklore, the doppelgänger is a version of the Ankou, a personification of death. There are many tales involving Ankou, who appears as a man or skeleton wearing a cloak and wielding a scythe and in some stories he is described as a shadow that looks like a man with an old hat and a scythe, often atop a cart for collecting the dead. He is said to wear a black robe with a large hat which conceals his face.
Ancient Egyptians believed in the existence of a “ka”. The “ka” was considered a spiritual double born with every man. It lived on after a person died as long as it had a place to live. The ka lived within the body of the individual and therefore needed that body after death. This is why the Egyptians mummified their dead. If the body decomposed, their spiritual double would die and the deceased would lose their chance for eternal life.
Native American myths believe that there is an Upper World and an Under World. While the good people reside in the upper world, their evil doubles live in the underworld.
There are also several curious modern stories of Doppelgangers. It happens that a doppelganger cannot be seen by the person at all, but instead manifests to other people in a completely different location. How the existence of Doppelgangers can be explained remains a question that no-one has been able to solve yet. Traditional scientists explain the manifestation of a spirit double or Doppelganger as nothing but electrical glitches of the brain, or mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. However, there are also those who believe in the presence of a “double you” (or double self).
There are many intriguing examples of how certain historical figures have claimed to be haunted a Doppelganger. One such person was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a famous German writer, poet, and politician. Goethe encountered his doppelganger while riding his horse on the road to Drusenheim. His double approached him, riding in the opposite direction. This being was dressed in a gray suit trimmed in gold.Eight years later, Goethe found himself riding on the same road, in the opposite direction. He remembered the strange encounter and was even more shocked to realize that he was wearing the very gray suit trimmed in gold that he had seen.
One of the most intriguing Doppelganger stories concerns Emilie Sagee, who never saw her doppelganger. Everyone else did, though. Sagee worked in an exclusive girls’ school. She was a very good teacher, but for some reason she kept moving from one job to another. In 16 years, she had changed positions an impressive 19 times. In 1845, the school found out why. Sagee was allegedly the center of some very strange doppelganger activity. Her spectral twin was first seen during a class, as 13 students witnessed the doppelganger standing by Sagee’s side and mirroring her movements.
Next, it stood behind her as she ate, pantomiming her movements. Sagee herself was completely oblivious to the apparition, despite the fact that everyone else could see it clearly. However, she did become strangely groggy and powerless during the times the doppelganger manifested, and the wraith was often seen doing things Sagee later said she had been thinking about at the moment, suggesting that she may have had some subliminal control over it..
Soon, the doppelganger ventured beyond Sagee’s immediate vicinity. At first, it appeared to a classroom full of students, sitting calmly in the teacher’s chair while Sagee herself was outside, working in the garden. The few people who dared to approach the doppelganger found they could pass through it, yet it had a texture that reminded them of thick fabric.
Time went by and the apparition became a permanent fixture of the school’s life, freaking people out on a regular basis. The girls’ concerned parents started removing their children from the school. Although Sagee was a model employee on all non-paranormal accounts, the headmistress had no option but to fire her and her ghostly double.
French writer Guy de Maupassant said he was haunted by his own doppelganger near the end of his life. One incident involved his double entering his room and sitting opposite to him, then dictating what Maupassant was writing.
Carl Sandburg’s biography of Abraham Lincoln includes a strange account, reportedly told by Lincoln and confirmed by Mary Todd Lincoln, of the appearance of a double image of himself in a mirror on the night he was first elected to the presidency.
Lincoln said he was extremely tired and had returned home to rest.
When he looked into a bureau mirror across the room he saw a double image of himself.
The second Lincoln was pale in comparison to his first image. This phenomenon occurred twice before the second image disappeared. Lincoln mentioned it to his wife who said she thought it was a sign that he would be elected to a second term, and that the death pallor meant that he would not live through his final term.
There are of course many other intriguing stories of Doppelgangers, but what is most fascinating is perhaps the possibility that a copy of you could exist in a parallel universe. MessageToEagle published and articled called Are Some Of Our Dreams Glimpses From A Parallel Universe?. There it was discussed how in this world there could be a copy of yourself making different decisions and seeing places that somehow later manifest themselves in your dreams. Is it not possible that Doppelgangers are in fact beings that exist in an alternate reality and occasionally enter our realms? It is a theory worth exploring further.
THE BEAST MARIA MANDL
Maria Mandl was among the first group of women to work in Nazi concentration camps, having volunteered to do so in 1938. Born in Upper Austria in 1912, she began her career as a guard at Lichtenberg, one of the earliest camps and the first to be used exclusively for female prisoners.
Mandl showed an early enthusiasm for the work, as her brutality set her apart from other guards. Holocaust survivor Lina Haag recalled how Lichtenberg inmates would be beaten for the slightest infraction; they were stripped naked, tied to wooden posts, and Mandl “would then beat us mercilessly until she could no longer lift her arm.”
Mandl’s penchant for using physical violence to keep prisoners in line ensured she quickly rose through the ranks of guards. In 1939, Lichtenberg was replaced by Ravensbrück, a much larger women-only camp where Mandl relished her new role as an Oberaufseherin, or chief guard.
One prisoner recalled how Maria Mandl and her fellow guard Dorothea Binz “preferred to beat people themselves rather than have someone else do it,” earning her the nickname “The Beast.” The Beast would go out of her way to find reasons to savagely beat the inmates. One of her preferred methods was to look for women who had curled their hair (against camp regulations) and either beat them or force them to shave their heads. Once, prisoner Maria Bielicka witnessed Mandl kick a fellow inmate to death.
In contrast to her insatiable bloodlust, Maria Mandl was described as “a highly intelligent and sophisticated woman, with nuanced tastes in literature, cuisine, and most famously, in music.” Bizarrely, shortly after Bielicka had watched The Beast kill a prisoner during roll call, another inmate reported hearing “the most beautiful music” while cleaning the guards’ quarters and found Mandl playing it, “lost in a world of her own – in ecstasy.”
In 1942, Mandl was sent sent to work at Auschwitz where she oversaw all female inmates. Whether inmate or guard, every woman at the camp was subordinate to her. In addition to doling out punishments, Mandl was responsible for choosing which prisoners were sent to the gas chambers and which would be subjected to grotesque medical experiments. During her time at the infamous camp, she sent an estimated 500,000 people to their deaths. Survivors recalled Mandl’s “hatred of Jews” along with her “bestial enjoyment of inflicting pain.” One female prisoner noted that “her violence against us was unprovoked; performed for her enjoyment, clearly.”
Maria Mandl took savage pleasure in her job of selecting women, and particularly children, to be gassed. Sometimes she would pick prisoners as “pets” and have them work for her personally, only to send them to be murdered as soon as she tired of them. Her whims and mood swings meant the difference between life and death to the women she oversaw. One of them recalled how Mandl had once selected a child whom she dressed up “in fine clothing, parading it around like a puppet.” For a while “the child was constantly with her. She led it around by the hand,” but when “she’d grown tired of her little game, she herself took the child to be gassed, throwing the screaming little one into the chamber.”
Mandl indulged her love of classical music by setting up a women’s orchestra at Auschwitz, which consisted of inmate musicians who were often spared from the gas chamber. Heinrich Himmler was said to be a great admirer of Mandl’s orchestra and the sadistic Dr. Josef Mengele was reportedly brought to tears by some of their music.
Maria Mandl’s reign of terror came to an end as the Allies advanced into Germany. She was captured by the American forces after attempting to flee to Bavaria and finally made to account for her crimes at the Auschwitz trial in Krakow in 1947. The Beast was declared a war criminal for her role in the torture and murder of countless prisoners. She was executed by hanging in Jan. 24, 1948.
The dragon is one of the most well-known creatures in ancient mythology, and many cultures have this creature (or one of its related forms) in their folklore. In East Asian countries, for instance, dragons are regarded as symbols of power, strength and good fortune. They are believed to be benevolent creatures that have power over bodies of water, rain and floods. In Western Europe, by contrast, dragons are viewed as malevolent creatures that are the embodiment of evil. One popular motif of Western European art is that of St. George slaying the dragon. One of the lesser known dragons is that of the zmaj, a dragon that can be found in Slavic folklore.
In certain Slavic countries, dragons can viewed either as good or evil, depending on their sex. In Bulgarian legends, for instance, male dragons are believed to be the protectors of crops, whilst the female ones are bent on destroying the fruits of man’s labour. In other parts of the Slavic world, the dragon is seen as a wicked beast, similar to those of Western Europe. In Russia and Ukraine, a particular dragon-like creature, Zmey Gorynych, is a dangerous beast with three heads that spit fire
In Serbia, however, the zmaj is generally regarded as a benevolent being, just like the dragons of East Asia. These creatures have been described as having “a ram’s head and a seductive snake’s body”. These dragons are said to protect the people from the Ala, or Azjada, a creature believed to bring bad weather and storms that destroyed crops.
In addition to great strength and wisdom, the zmaj are also reputed to be able to take on different forms, including that of human beings. In this form, they were able to pursue one of their favourite hobbies – the pursuit of women. Some zmaj are thought to be so engrossed in this activity to the extent that they neglect the protection of farmlands from bad weather. If crops were destroyed by bad weather, villagers would gather to expel the zmaj from the houses of local women. The lust of the zmaj for mortal women is also a major theme in a Serbian folk tale known as The Tsarina Militza and the Zmaj of Yastrebatz .
In this tale, the Tsarina Militza is said to have been visited by a zmaj from Yastrebatz every night for a year. When her husband, the 14 th century Serbian ruler, Tsar Lazar, hears this, he tells the tsarina to ask the zmaj if he feared anyone besides God, and whether there is a hero on this earth superior to himself. The zmaj is tricked into revealing that there is indeed one that he feared, the Zmaj-Despot Vook, who lived in a village called Koopinova in the plain of Sirmia. The next day, the Tsar sent for the Zmaj-Despot Vook, who arrives, and subsequently slays the zmaj of Yastrebatz.
It has been pointed out that the Zmaj-Despot Vook is actually based on a real historical figure, Despot Vuk Brankovic, who lived during the second half of the 15 th century, and was believed to be a descendant of a dragon. The portrayal of Vuk Brankovich as a hero shows how history and legend could be merged to suit a ruler’s needs. Vuk was not the only Serbian ruler to employ the legend of the zmaj to bolster his image. There are other rulers who claim that their fathers were actually zmaj. These include Tsar Lazar’s son and successor, Stefan Lazarević, as well as Stojan Čupić and Vasa Čarapić, two important figures of the First Serbian Uprising that took place in the early 19 th century.
Some years ago, there were plans in Serbia to capitalize on the country’s rich dragon lore, and turn it into a tourist attraction. Numerous landmarks, including castles, fortresses and churches where the zmaj are said to have visited would be incorporated into a ‘dragon trail’ for tourists. Today, such a trail, known as the “Paths of Dragons through Serbia” is in existence. The route begins in Fruška Gora in the north, passes through the country’s capital, Belgrade, and ends at the fortress of Markovo Kale in the south. In a way, this might help to preserve the legends of the zmaj for future generations, and also contribute to Serbia’s tourism industry.
George Barrington [1755-1804] is well-known for two things: picking pockets, and writing books. One led to the other, you see.
Barrington had been caught picking pockets in London — yet again — in 1790, and was sentenced to ‘transportation’… which means the authorities had given up trying to make him stop picking pockets, and instead put him on a boat to anywhere not England. As a result of this unexpected trip, Barrington wrote books about his sea voyages.
Of course, this is Anomalies… so I have a strange reason for explaning all of this. In Barrington’s first book — A Voyage to New South Wales, Vol. 1, published in 1795 — he appears to provide not only one of the earliest mentions of the legend of the phantom ship called the Flying Dutchman, but he also seems to have recorded the first published claim of an actual encounter with the ghostly vessel! Here’s the legend of the phantom ship, as Barrington explains it in his book:
“I had often heard of the superstition of sailors respecting apparitions, but had never given much credit to the report: it seems that some years since a Dutch man of war was lost off the Cape [Cape of Good Hope, Africa — Garth], and every soul on board perished; her consort weathered the gale, and arrived soon after at the Cape. Having refitted, and returning to Europe they were assailed with a violent tempest nearly in the same latitude. In the night watch some of the people saw, or imagined they saw, a vessel standing for them under a press of sail, as though she would run them down; one in particular affirmed it was the ship that had foundered in the former gale, and that it must certainly be her, or the apparition of her; but on its clearing up, the object (a dark thick cloud) disappeared. Nothing could do away the idea of this phœnomenon on the minds of the sailors; and, on their relating the circumstances when they arrived in port, the story spread like wildfire, and the supposed phantom was called the Flying Dutchman. From the Dutch the English seamen got the infatuation, and there are very few Indiamen but what has some one on board who pretends to have seen the apparition.”
As you can see, Barrington was by no means a believer in the actual existence of the ghostly ship… but he felt the need to write this clarification of the legend because he then had to explain what happened to him when his ship was leaving the Cape of Good Hope itself.
Barrington’s book covers the years 1790-1792, when he was sent to Botany Bay, Australia; and it was sometime in this initial trip that Barrington’s ship had made anchor at the Cape of Good Hope, Africa. When the time came to leave, Barrington’s ship found itself having to anchor near the coast for 24 hours as it waited for a tropical storm to pass. Barrington had the keys for the cabinet that the alcohols were locked up in… which is why the boatswain woke him at 2:00AM. The boatswain was clearly frightened; he stated he had just seen the Flying Durtchman. Barrington sums up what the boatswain told him:
“I was just looking over the weather bow, what should I see but the Flying Dutchman coming right down upon us, with every thing set — I know ’twas she — I cou’d see all her lower-deck ports up, and the lights fore and aft, as if cleared for action. Now as how, d’ye see, I am sure no mortal ship could bear her lower-deck ports up and not founder in this here weather: Why, the sea runs mountains high. It must certainly be the ghost of that there Dutchman, that foundered in this latitude, and which, I have heard say, always appears in this here quarter, in hard gales of wind.”
After a couple of swigs of drink, the boatswain seemed to have composed himself some… so Barrington asked him if he was afraid of ghosts. The boatswain answered that he was as good as any other man on that, but admitted that as a child he was frightened. He then also said that the man who was at the helm, a Joe Jackson, had not seen the phantom ship though it had appeared plain as day to the boatswain himself.
Barrington, convinced there was no phantom ship, headed up to the deck with the boatswain to see if he could figure out what happened. The weather had cleared up by that time, and the moon was shining bright with no clouds in sight. In talking to the others awake on deck, Barrington found that the sky had been very cloudy just a half an hour earlier. The sea was still ‘running high,’ and the wind was still blowing strong enough for Barringotn’s ship to hold it’s position until morning.
Barrington eventually concluded that the boatswain had seen luminous spots in the high water of the night — luminous spots caused by sea creatures, which Barrington had seen at differing points in his trip — and that the boatswain had interpreted these lights, seen through a passing cloud, as being open ports and lights on a ship that wasn’t actually there.