“THE GRIM TRUE STORY BEHIND HANSEL AND GRETAL” and More Strange True Stories! #WeirdDarkness

THE GRIM TRUE STORY BEHIND HANSEL AND GRETAL” and More Strange True Stories! #WeirdDarkness

Find Weird Darkness wherever you listen to podcasts: https://linktr.ee/weirddarkness

IN THIS EPISODE: When a great famine struck Europe in 1314, mothers abandoned their children and in some cases, even ate them. Scholars believe that these tragedies gave birth to the story of Hansel and Gretel. (The Grim True Story Behind Hansel and Gretel) *** Cultures all around the world have stories of tiny humans – elves, leprechauns, fairies, hobbits… but how can so many different communities have such similar descriptions of tiny people? Could there be evidence to prove the existence of tiny humanoids? (Little Human Subspecies) *** Traveling to the Superstition Mountains in search of the rumored treasure hidden there is not only a bad idea… it could be a fatal one. (Mysterious Visitors From Other Realms) *** Seeing an unidentified flying object in the sky is pretty common – even in cases where several people see the flying whatever-it-is at the same time. But when is the last time you and everyone around you looked up and saw an entire city flying in the sky? That’s what happened in 2011 in the Nigerian village of Bauchi. (UFO City) *** But first… according to GPS, off the California coast there are dozens, possibly hundreds of ships moving around in circles. But the ships, while clearly visible on the GPS system, are nowhere to be seen by the human eye. Are these ghost ships from the past? The oceanic version of crop circles? Sailing ships from a different dimension? Or could it be something more disturbing, like a new type of cyber attack? We begin with that story. (California’s Ghost Ships)
SOURCES AND ESSENTIAL WEB LINKS…
“Mysterious Visitors From Other Realms” by Ellen Lloyd for Ancient Pages: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/5yyuzzx
“The Grim True Story Behind Hansel and Gretel” by Joseph Williams for All That’s Interesting: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/4fhdp6vk
“Little Human Subspecies” by Mark Andrew Carpenter for Ancient Origins: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/2e3f8a9y
“UFO City” posted at Anomalien: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/3fwaysds
“California’s Ghost Ships” by Frank Jacobs for Big Ideas: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/ymtnfutw
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PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT…..

STORY: CALIFORNIA’S GHOST SHIPS==========

On June 5, 2019, the Nigerian crew boat Princess Janice made an impossible journey. Instead of ferrying crews to and from oil rigs in the Gulf of Guinea, it was somehow transported thousands of miles to the Pacific coast of northern California, just off Point Reyes. Even more amazingly, after a while it started to sail inland, ploughing across mountains and deserts all the way to Utah.

The Princess Janice was just one of a dozen ghost ships observed circling the seas off Point Reyes. And circling is the right word, as some ships seemed to ply the Pacific waters in mysteriously elliptical movements, at a constant speed of exactly 20 knots. Except that they didn’t. The Princess Janice never left its home waters. Nor did any of the other ships, which all continued to sail the seas off Equatorial Guinea, Malaysia, Norway, and other far-flung places.

It wasn’t the actual, physical ships that flew halfway across the globe, just their virtual positions, as reported by their AIS transponders. Some ships were displaced for just a few hours, but the Princess Janice‘s virtual trip to North America lasted about two weeks. And not all hung around Point Reyes. Some showed up near Madrid or Hong Kong.

The Point Reyes incident, publicized by Bjorn Bergman, a researcher for environmental watchdogs SkyTruth and Global Fishing Watch, was the latest example of a phenomenon known as ‘circle spoofing’, a refined and as yet unexplained cousin of GPS spoofing. It is unclear what–or who–caused these circles, and why: malfunction or manipulation?

Now, messing with GPS signals is not new. It’s been part of the electronic warfare arsenal for decades. Russia, notably, has been singled out as a ‘pioneer’ in this area. A report by the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS) in Washington DC claims the Russians have a mobile electronic warfare team that jams GPS signals whenever and wherever President Putin appears in public.

One step up from mere jamming is spoofing: tricking someone that a GPS-geolocated object is somewhere else than it actually is. The AIS transponders of ships seem particularly prone to this.

Russia has used GPS spoofing in a number of places, notably Crimea, Syria, and the Black Sea, says the C4ADS report. For example, in 2017, 20 ships in the Black Sea reported a position 32 km inland, near Gelendzhik Airport. It’s also been claimed Russia uses ‘spoofing’ to hide Putin’s now-infamous Black Sea palace, the existence of which was revealed by controversial dissident Alexei Navalny.

GPS spoofing has obvious strategic implications. Iran in particular has proved a quick student and seems to have learned to use spoofing to its advantage.

  • In 2011, Iran claimed to have used GPS spoofing to trick a Lockheed Martin RQ-170 ‘Sentinel’ drone, operated by the CIA above Afghanistan, to land at an Iranian airfield. The capture helped Iran clone its own drone within a year.
  • In 2016, Iran probably used GPS spoofing to lure two US Navy boats into Iranian territorial waters, where the Iranian Navy appeared to be ready and waiting for them.
  • And in 2019, British intelligence warned merchant vessels in the Gulf that Iran might use GPS spoofing to lure them into Iranian waters, as a pretext to seizing them.

And then there’s one step up from GPS spoofing: circle spoofing. In ‘regular’ GPS spoofing, the location (typically of a ship) is ‘transported’ to a static point somewhere else. In circle spoofing, the location is moved to a dynamic position, rotating in a circular pattern. This makes circle spoofing more difficult to read, and potentially more dangerous – although the actual intention behind the phenomenon remains unclear.
Circle spoofing came to light after July 2019.That’s when the American container ship MV Manukai, upon entering Shanghai harbor, experienced total failure of both its AIS transponder and its two GPS units. Just before all the alarms went off, its AIS display behaved in a very peculiar manner. It showed another ship approaching, disappearing, showing up docked, and then again moving towards the Manukai. All the while, a visual check confirmed, the other ship had been at dock.The crew of the Manukai reported the incident stateside, where analysts discovered an epidemic of spoofing attacks in Shanghai harbor which had started the previous summer and culminated on the day the Manukai was attacked, just one of around 300 vessels that were being ‘spoofed’ that day.

It’s unclear who’s doing the spoofing. Could it be the Chinese government testing out cyberweapons? Or perhaps criminals trying to confound the authorities? Illegal sand dredgers and oil smugglers are desperate to use any means to evade capture. The latter option would explain why one particular patrol boat operated by the Maritime Safety Authority, Shanghai’s river police, was spoofed almost 400 times over a nine-month period.

But what was even more remarkable than the sheer volume of the spoofing was its cartographic shape: the ships jumped from one location to another in a circular movement, centered on the eastern bank of the Huangpu River.

Why? How? Those questions have yet to be answered satisfactorily, but C4ADS found an ingenious way to discount the possibility that the ships’ AIS was somehow at fault. Analysts looked at anonymized location data provided by the Strava fitness app, used by a considerable number of Shanghai’s 10 million cyclists.

Turns out they too were apparently going in circles, when approaching the waterfront. This proved the spoofing attacks targeted all GPS devices, not just the ships’ AIS transponders.

But that still did not resolve the mystery of the circular spoofs, which were quickly dubbed ‘crop circles’ – an allusion to the mysterious figures that regularly appear in the grain fields of southern England.

Do the positions at which the circles are centered offer any clue? One such circle is positioned exactly around the Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Company. Does that suggest state involvement cloaked as private enterprise, or rather a rogue ‘commercial’ venture? Or are the circles themselves clever misdirections, activated by devices stationed elsewhere?

What does seem certain, is that circle spoofing is catching on. Following the incidents in Shanghai (involving vessels close by) and off Point Reyes (involving ships very far away), a report came in from Iran in March of 2020, where a GPS device was observed moving in a large circle in downtown Tehran (so nowhere near any coast), at a constant speed of 22 miles per hour.

The spoofing occurred near the AJA University of Command and Staff – the staff college for Iran’s Army, also known as the country’s ‘War University’. Again, a Strava heat map showed local athletes running (or cycling) in circles in that same area, apparently oblivious to local roads and buildings.

Meanwhile, the mysteries of circle spoofing–who is doing it, how and why–have yet to be cracked. Reports of circle spoofing near various oil terminals in China suggests that it may be a way to defend these installations from attack – in fact, a Saudi oil facility suffered major damage in an attack by an unidentified drone (rumored to be Iranian in origin) in 2019.

Another theory is that circle spoofing could be a sign that GPS spoofing, once so complex and expensive that it must have required state involvement, has now been ‘commoditised’: it can now be used by low-power, short-range devices that can target single ships instead of having to cover a wider area.

And that’s a scary thought: it could open up maritime traffic to a whole new kind of piracy – spoofing luxury yachts or ships with valuable cargo right into the lair of the 21st-century disciples of Long John Silver, armed with keyboards instead of cutlasses.

BREAK==========

Coming up… When a great famine struck Europe in 1314, mothers abandoned their children and in some cases, even ate them. Scholars believe that these tragedies gave birth to the story of Hansel and Gretel. (The Grim True Story Behind Hansel and Gretel)

Plus… From children eating gingerbread houses, to fully-grown humanoids only the size of children… or even smaller. Cultures all around the world have stories of tiny people like elves, leprechauns, fairies, hobbits… but how can so many different cultures have such similar descriptions of tiny human-like people? Could there be evidence to prove the existence of these tiny creatures? We’ll find out when Weird Darkness returns.

<COMMERCIAL BREAK>

STORY: THE GRIM TRUE STORY BEHIND HANSEL AND GRETEL==========

The notorious tale of Hansel and Gretel has been translated into 160 languages since the Brothers Grimm first published the German lore in 1812.

Dark as it is, the story features child abandonment, attempted cannibalism, enslavement, and murder. Unfortunately, the origins of the story are equally — if not more — horrifying.

Most people are familiar with the story but for those who aren’t, it opens on a pair of children who are to be abandoned by their starving parents in the forest. The kids, Hansel and Gretel, get wind of their parents’ plan and find their way home by following a trail of stones Hansel had dropped earlier. The mother, or stepmother by some tellings, then convinces the father to abandon the children a second time.

This time, Hansel drops breadcrumbs to follow home but birds eat the breadcrumbs and the children become lost in the forest.

The starving pair come upon a gingerbread house that they begin to eat ravenously. Unbeknownst to them, the home is actually a trap set by an old witch, or ogre, who enslaves Gretel and forces her to overfeed Hansel so that he can be eaten by the witch herself.

The pair manage to escape when Gretel shoves the witch into an oven. They return home with the witch’s treasure and find that their evil matriarch is no longer there and is presumed dead, so they live happily ever after.

But the true history behind the tale of Hansel and Gretel is not so happy as this ending.

Modern readers know Hansel and Gretel from the works of German brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. The brothers were inseparable scholars, medievalists who had a passion for collecting German folklore.

Between 1812 and 1857, the brothers published over 200 stories in seven different editions of what has since become known in English as Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm never intended that their stories be for children per se, but rather the brothers sought to preserve Germanic folklore in a region whose culture was being overrun by France during the Napoleonic Wars.

In fact, the early editions of the Grimm brothers’ work published as Kinder und Hausmärchen, or Children’s and Household Tales, lacked illustrations. Scholarly footnotes abounded. The stories were dark and filled with murder and mayhem.

The stories nonetheless quickly caught on. Grimm’s Fairy Tales had such universal appeal that eventually, in the United States alone, there have been over 120 different editions made.

These stories featured an all-star lineup of well-known characters including Cinderella, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, and of course Hansel and Gretel.

The true story of Hansel and Gretel goes back to a cohort of tales that originated in the Baltic regions during the Great Famine of 1314 to 1322. Volcanic activity in southeast Asia and New Zealand ushered in a period of prolonged climate change that led to crop failures and massive starvation across the globe.

In Europe, the situation was particularly dire since the food supply was already scarce. When the Great Famine struck, the results were devastating. One scholar estimated that the Great Famine impacted 400,000 square miles of Europe, 30 million people, and may have killed off up to 25 percent of the population in certain areas.

In the process, elderly people chose voluntarily to starve to death to allow the young to live. Others committed infanticide or abandoned their children. There is also evidence of cannibalism. William Rosen in his book, The Third Horseman, cites an Estonian chronicle which states that in 1315 “mothers were fed their children.”

An Irish chronicler also wrote that the famine was so bad people “were so destroyed by hunger that they extracted bodies of the dead from cemeteries and dug out the flesh from the skulls and ate it, and women ate their children out of hunger.”

And it was from this grim chaos that the story of Hansel and Gretel was born.

The cautionary tales that preceded Hansel and Gretel all dealt directly with themes of abandonment and survival. Almost all of these stories also used the forest as a tableau for danger, magic, and death.

One such example comes from the Italian fairy tale collector Giambattista Basile, who published a number of stories in his 17th century Pentamerone. In his version, titled Nennillo and Nennella, a cruel stepmother forces her husband to abandon his two children in the woods. The father tries to foil the plot by leaving the children a trail of oats to follow but these are eaten by a donkey.

The grimmest of these early tales, though, is the Romanian story, The Little Boy and the Wicked Stepmother. In this fairy tale, two children are abandoned and find their way home following a trail of ashes. But when they return home, the stepmother kills the little boy and forces the sister to prepare his corpse for a family meal.

The horrified girl obeys but hides the boy’s heart inside a tree. The father unknowingly eats his son while the sister refuses to take part. After the meal, the girl takes the brother’s bones and puts them inside the tree with his heart. The next day, a cuckoo bird emerges singing, “Cuckoo! My sister has cooked me, and my father has eaten me, but I am now a cuckoo and safe from my stepmother.”

The terrified stepmother throws a lump of salt at the bird but it just falls back on her head, killing her instantaneously.

The direct source for the story of Hansel and Gretel as we know it came from Henriette Dorothea Wild, a neighbor of the brothers Grimm who narrated many of the tales for their first edition. She ended up marrying Wilhelm.

The original versions of the Grimm brothers’ Hansel and Gretel changed over time. Perhaps the brothers were aware that their stories were being read by children and so by the last edition that they published, they had sanitized the stories somewhat.

Where the mother had abandoned her biological children in the first versions, by the time the last 1857 edition was printed, she had transformed into the archetypal wicked stepmother. The father’s role, too, was softened by the 1857 edition as he showed more regret for his actions.

Meanwhile, the tale of Hansel and Gretel has continued to evolve. There are versions today that are meant for preschoolers, like children’s author Mercer Mayer’s story which doesn’t even try to touch any of the child abandonment themes.

Every once in awhile the tale attempts to go back to its dark roots. In 2020, Orion Picture’s Gretel and Hansel: A Grim Fairy Tale hit theaters and hedged on the side of creepy. This version has the siblings looking through the forest for food and working to help their parents when they meet the witch.

It seems that the true story of Hansel and Gretel may still be darker than even the movie versions of the 21st century.

STORY: LITTLE HUMAN SUBSPECIES==========

From the lush oases of Africa’s Ethiopia, across the planet to the sweltering jungles of Mexico, beyond the horizon to the primordial coasts of Hawaii, and back again to the gardens, olive groves, and marble columns of ancient Greece, an obscure common thread of small human subspecies endures. Detailed accounts persist about human subspecies that were small in stature, nocturnal, seemingly gifted with advanced knowledge, who primarily dwelt underground, and emerged to the surface only at night. Is it possible that such specific parallels may be something more than just common mythological archetypes?

Is there really some collective subconscious dynamic that somehow triggers practically every indigenous ethnic group from around the globe to harbor the belief that in prehistoric times there existed two to three foot (0.6 – 0.9 meter) tall people who were skilled masons, astronomers, magicians/sorcerers, and who hoarded treasure? Or is there more than mere ‘belief’ to this story?

As interesting as the mythological parallels are, the beliefs and stories are tempting to dismiss as a widespread element of folklore. However, archaeological evidence in the form of megalithic ruins, stone spheres, platform temples, pyramids, and even remains do indeed exist and seem to have cultural connections with these human subspecies of ancient lore.

Several different Greek scholars, historians, and philosophers wrote about these legendary little human subspecies. In Aristotle’s  History of Animals  (300 BC), he writes: “these birds [the cranes] migrate from the steppes of  Scythia [modern Eurasia] to the marshlands south of Egypt where the Nile has its source [Ethiopia]. And it is here, by the way, that they are said to fight with the pygmies; and the story is not fabulous, but there is in reality a race of dwarfish men, and the horses are little in proportion, and the men live in caves underground.”

Lucius Flavius  Philostratus (third century AD) has written a similar account: “And as to the pigmies, he said that they lived underground, and that they lay on the other side of the Ganges and lived in the manner which is related by all. As to men that are shadow-footed or have long heads, and as to the other poetical fancies which the treatise of Scylax recounts about them, he said that they didn’t live anywhere on the earth, and least of all in India.”

Philostratus also recorded an account of a myth about  Hercules in which the demigod hero slayed a different demigod/giant warrior, and then fell asleep. But Hercules did not know that the  pygmies were related to the giant he had defeated. And he didn’t know they were watching and grieving from their underground realm. He goes on to detail how the pygmies lived underground in tunnels where they stored provisions, had little horses, and when Hercules fell asleep, they billowed forth from under the ground in waves and attempted to bind and capture him.

In 2019, Jason Daley of the Smithsonian Magazine wrote an article about what is believed to be the extremely ancient remains of a  Neanderthal child which was “eaten by a giant bird.” The remains are approximately 115,000 years old and were discovered in  Ciemna Cave , in what is modern day Poland. They were found along with animal bones in a cache which indicated that all the bones, hominin and animal, were preyed upon by and had traveled through the digestive tract of a giant, prehistoric bird. It’s important to note that the Neanderthal remains are few and very tiny, and it is this fact that leads scientists to believe that this was a small child.

Regardless, if these bones belonged to some very small human subspecies or an infant child hominin, either way it is a fact that in the very distant past of prehistory, little humans who were not Homo sapiens were attacked and eaten by giant birds. Modern day biologists have thoroughly studied the migratory patterns of a variety of crane species, and some species of  crane do in fact migrate from marshes in Eurasia all the way down to  Ethiopia.

The ancient Egyptian polytheistic belief system comes complete with all manner of deities, monsters, and so on, but the cult of the deity,  Bes, is unique.

Unlike most Egyptian deities, Bes was never portrayed from the profile position but always portrayed either in full-frontal two-dimensional form or full three-dimensional sculpture form. Bes was depicted as a diminutive or dwarf human with some subtle anthropomorphic features.

Bes was not a deity to be sought out at some luxurious temple, but his idol was kept at home and it was the dwelling which he guarded wearing his warrior’s tunic. He was a deity of music, protection, fertility, and domestic pleasures. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of Bes is that his cult was relatively new in that it only became widespread during the New Kingdom, and this is the result of its importation from the south ( Nubia, Somalia, or Ethiopia).

In other words, what is interesting about this is that the  ancient Greeks  relay to us that these pygmy human subspecies lived south of Egypt and it is from this same region that the cult of this dwarf god Bes originates.

Nubia brings to mind the many small pyramids that are a mystery unto themselves. While it is generally regarded as no great mystery, exactly who were entombed within these Nubian pyramids is not entirely clear as many of these tombs were allegedly looted in antiquity and today many have been flooded by a rising water table.

In what is now modern-day Mexico, on the eastern side of the Yucatan Peninsula, rests the ruins of the ancient Maya site,  Uxmal. This ancient Maya complex is held as one of the most important and is noted for its large and imposing structures. Among the most impressive and ancient of all these structures is the  El Adivino,  The Pyramid of the Magician, which is also known as The Pyramid of the Dwarf This name comes from the Maya people themselves who have several versions of how this pyramid was constructed, but in each case, it was constructed by the incredible feats of a mysterious and powerful little human subspecies.

This pyramid has been called the most distinct Maya structure on the entire peninsula (which is saying a great deal). It has very steep/rounded sides, is very tall and has an elliptical base. The simplest account the Maya kept about the pyramid was that a dwarfish sorcerer deity named Itzamna built the pyramid in a single night using only his strength and magic. In another version of the myth, a witch gives birth to a dwarf via an egg and the miraculous birth draws the attention of the king who challenges the diminutive boy to erect a temple in a single night or be put to death. The powerful little man ultimately completes 3 seemingly impossible challenges, kills the king, and becomes the new ruler of Uxmal.

The Maya story about a little person using some other worldly or ingenious methods to create grand structures in a single night brings to mind the  Menehune who were the small archaic human subspecies inhabitants of Hawaii. These mysterious prehistoric people are said to have inhabited the Hawaiian Islands long before Polynesians arrived, and were responsible for the construction of the impressive and massive buildings like platform temples and artificial fishponds.

The Hawaiians believe that the Menehune would only come out at night to build these structures and their goal was always to complete construction in one single night. Similar to these other accounts, they would be easy to dismiss if it were not for physical evidence like the ruined temples and still functioning fishponds, just as the Maya story has its magnificent megalithic marvel.

Now onto the islands and inlets of the North Atlantic, Scandinavia, Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, all of which are equally filled to the brim with ancient accounts also attached to strange ruins.  Skara Brae  in Scotland for instance, comes to mind due to the measurements of the doorways and beds which all existed in underground dwellings. All of these North Atlantic regions have deeply engrained within them stylized recollections (mythology) of these prehistoric predecessors: elves, dwarfs, leprechauns, and many other human subspecies.

In Homer’s epic poem the  Iliad (eighth century BC), an ancient race of Pygmies, as the Greeks called them, were engaged in perpetual conflict with this species of cranes. Apparently, there was a queen of the little people named Gerana who offended Hera with her arrogance and claims of surpassing beauty, and as punishment this queen was then transformed into a crane which sparked the never-ending conflict between the two species: “Now when the men of both sides were set in order by their leaders, the Trojans came on with clamour and shouting, like wildfowl, as when the clamour of cranes goes high to the heavens, when the cranes escape the winter time and the rains unceasing and clamorously wing their way to the streaming Ocean, bringing to the Pygmaian men bloodshed and destruction: at daybreak they bring on the baleful battle against them.”

The vast majority of the widely varied Native American tribes have oral traditions that recall coexistence between the Native Americas and a different, smaller, and more ancient, human subspecies. Common elements to these accounts include mischievous behavior like luring children into the forest by playing music.

Similar to the Greeks and North Atlantic people, the Native Americans believed that these little people lived in caves and could potentially be dangerous. For example, the Pryor Mountains of Montana are said to be home to this day of little people who the Crow tribe believe to be their sacred ancestors. The Crow are extremely weary and or cautious about entering into what they perceive to be the territory of the little people. Interestingly, the Pryor Mountains are a relative hotspot for strange phenomenon like disappearances, fairy rings, and reports of unusual sightings.

Growing up in a culture so rich in fiction, it can be hard to distinguish between the fairytales we learn as children and what seems to be actual historical evidence that in the distant past there may have been diminutive species or subspecies of humans who perhaps lived simply but also built unimaginable monuments and may have been preyed upon by a giant species of bird.

It is not that all these myths are suddenly becoming valid, but it is possible that certain historical events continue to echo in the form of stylized recollections which we call mythology. It’s worth considering for a moment that below the surface of the earth are miles upon miles of uncharted, unexplored cave systems. It is estimated that less than 1 % of known cave systems have been mapped.

This means that of the cave systems that are known, 99 % of the systems themselves have never been charted or explored. It must surely be then that the great majority of cave systems must be unknown entirely, meaning that we know very, very little about this part of the planet… and who might live there.

BREAK==========

When Weird Darkness returns… Seeing an unidentified flying object in the sky is pretty common – even in cases where several people see the flying whatever-it-is at the same time. But when is the last time you and everyone around you looked up and saw an entire city flying in the sky? That’s what happened in 2011 in the Nigerian village of Bauchi.

But first… Traveling to the Superstition Mountains in search of the rumored treasure hidden there is not only a bad idea… it could be a fatal one.

<COMMERCIAL BREAK>.

STORY: MYSTERIOUS VISITORS FROM OTHER REALMS==========

We now travel to a region where little people are also seen – but in a much more bizarre way. Strange lights have been known to occur and many people have either gone missing or been found dead in this place. People who have visited the area report sightings of peculiar small beings who look like children, but they are not. They are something entirely different.

It is said a vast system of tunnels and an artificial subterranean labyrinth could be home to unknown creatures who are dangerous to approach.

According to a legend many people have never returned when they went searching for an ancient treasure that is allegedly hidden somewhere.

When visiting this place, people report they have experienced a loss of time and displacement in space. Could some unknown force present in the area be the cause? What kind of force is responsible for peculiar levitation cases, numerous strange vanishings and deaths? Some people have simply vanished into thin air, which has led to speculations that there may be an invisible interdimensional portal in the region.

Something very strange is happening here, but no-one can explain what.

The Superstition Mountains are a range of mountains located just east of Apache Junction, Arizona.

They are anchored by Superstition Mountain that has become a popular recreation destination for Phoenix residents. These remarkable and beautiful mountains are often referred to as “The Superstitions” or “The Supes”.

According to the Lost Dutchman Mine legend, one of the most famous ancient treasures is hidden somewhere around the Superstition Mountains. The mine is named after German immigrant Jacob Waltz (c. 1810–1891), who purportedly discovered it in the 19th century and kept its location a secret. Many have tried to find the gold treasure and lost their lives while searching for it.

The Superstition Mountains are home to many strange tales and unexplained phenomena. Local Indians feared the sacred grounds of the Apache.

The place was most likely named by early settlers who had heard stories of scary incidents taking place there.

Some accounts can be the product of imagination caused by the hot desert sun and the fearful winds that howl through the mountains, but not all incidents can be dismissed as fantasy.

In May 1959, explorers reported seeing small children playing near a small creek. These “children”, who were visible for several days appeared to be five or six years old.

The men found it odd and unsettling. How could small “children” be playing in such a deserted place, so far from any residential area. At first, the two men did not react as they thought the “children” must be in the presence of their parents who were probably somewhere nearby.

Every day, while digging , the explorers saw the “children” in the same dry creek, but they were never accompanied by adults. In their opinion, this was  an unsuitable playground for small children without supervision especially because many strange deaths had occurred in the area.

One day, they decided to investigate and find out what the “children” were doing there. When they reached the creek, they discovered to their astonishment that the “children” had vanished.  The two men looked around and could see very fresh small footprints in the sand.

The prints appeared as “miniature duplicates of engineer boots”!

Over the next days, the two men returned to the same spot but they never saw the “children” again.

How could the “children” have vanished into thin air? Did they enter another dimension through a portal that was undetectable to the two explorers?

“Little children” have been sighted by other people who visited this region. Witnesses say that these beings look more like men than children. Some ranchers said that they could clearly see “little men” on the tops of ridges and mountains of the Superstition Range.

None of the ranchers tried to approach them and these curious little beings would only gaze silently at the humans as they worked.

Who are these “little men”? Where do they come from? Are they members of an unknown race that perhaps lives underground?

There are numerous caves and crevices in the region. Legends tell that beneath the Superstition Mountains, there is a vast system of tunnels that reaches as far as Central America. The caves are said to serve as camouflage for the entryways to a huge artificial subterranean labyrinth.

Do these “little men” emerge from the Earth’s underground to gather food and bring water to their subterranean homes? Or do they perhaps reside in an invisible world, next to our own?

Is it possible that an invisible, interdimensional portal is located somewhere between the mountains? It has been suggested that the line that divides our reality from other invisible worlds is especially narrow at this location. Several people who visited this particular location reported  a loss of time and a conscious displacement in space.

During this time, they experienced what could be described as a journey through portals to other dimensions where they made contact with extraordinary beings and visited unknown places.

The Superstition Mountains are surrounded by an intense group of magnetic fields. Scientists who have investigated the area estimate that there are almost ten such fields, which vary in intensity based on atmospheric conditions and tectonic activity.

It has been speculated that these powerful currents produce some sort of temporal shield that freezes time.  When a person is unexpectedly caught in one of these strong whirlpools, he becomes trapped, lifted off the ground and suspended in the midair. The person who is forced to levitation has no control over his body.

This type of levitation can be extremely dangerous because it can lead to death.

Once the field dissipates, the victim falls to the ground and ultimately dies. The magnetic fields and intense whirlpools can explain some of the mysterious deaths in the region.

It has been suggested that there is a trans-dimensional vortex near the Superstition Mountains and this could account for the numerous UFO sightings near Phoenix and around the mountains. Ufologists have proposed that unearthly visitors could use the vortex as a shortcut when travelling to our planet.

The Superstition Mountains remain without doubt as mysterious as beautiful.

If you are ever in the region, go and visit the Superstition Mountains, look at the skies, investigate the caves, but be careful because you never know who or what you might encounter.

STORY: UFO CITY==========

On March of 2011, according to residents of the small border village of Dulali in Lanzai South Ward, Darazo Local Government Area of Bauchi state, the global paranormal phenomenon of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO), also known as flying saucer, was sighted in Nigeria.

At that time, practically the entire village consisting of a few hundred people saw a bright light in the sky immediately after morning prayer at the local mosque. Soon after, they saw a massive “flying city” or “floating city” descending from out of the sky.

The place was a border village called Dulali, in Lanzai South Ward, Darazo Local Government of Bauchi State.

One of the eyewitnesses, Saidu Meshai Dulali, who makes a living brewing hot tea, coffee, and cocoa beverages for locals, tells journalists from a Nigerian newspaper that he saw the light in the sky after morning prayer at the local mosque while preparing to start the day’s work.

Suddenly, he became aware of a pervading bright light enveloping the atmosphere, followed by a sudden realisation that the heavens were falling on the village.

As he looked up at the encroaching sky, he saw the most amazing view of his forty years of existence. According to him, “There appeared a wide, large mass of something that looked like a cloud from nowhere and it was flying slowly over the village just at the height of an average tree.

“The cloud was transparent and I saw beautiful tall buildings inside it, with tarred roads and cars. It was like a flying city. And from it I could hear the sound of machines making noise just as you would hear at Ashaka cement factory.”

If Saidu were the only witness of this extraordinary experience, it would have been impossible to take his testimony as a fact. Interestingly, the ‘flying city’ was witnessed by almost all the villagers, hundreds of them, the Chief Imam of the sole village Mosque inclusive. Children and adults all saw and corroborated the story.

Dauda Mohammed, a farmer, also saw the while he was out in the fields. He said he noticed the UFO over the sky and that he was more astonished than scared. He also said he saw buildings in the “floating city” which appeared swathed in clouds.

A 10-year-old boy, Ibrahim, said he saw the “UFO” passing behind a tree and appearing on the other side. The young boy was evidently confused about his perspective view of the extraordinary object because he seemed to think the UFO passed through the trees.

“We believe that maybe Allah used those sightings to open our eyes to see how Jinns (spirits) live in their own world. Allah is great, and there is nothing he cannot do on earth. Exactly two weeks after appearing in our village, that flying object visited again at the same exact time, and stayed in the sky roving around the village for almost an hour before it went away. We are happy because it shows we are special village; other towns around were not even given that privilege.”

However, Brian Engler, commenting on the website, Doubtful News, thinks the “UFO” could have been a “fata morgana” mirage.

“This sounds like a ‘fata morgana’ mirage to me, although I have no idea whether the meteorologic conditions at the time and place would have supported that. Brian Dunning has described the effect several times on Skeptoid and there’s a description that starts out talking about ‘castles in the air’ which sounds a lot like what these folks described. Interesting in any case.”

When the villagers of Dulali were asked whether they had seen any living beings inside the UFO, they were all certain and specific with their response that indeed no living being was seen in that apparent ‘city’ in the sky.

Back then few had mobile phones in Nigeria. This is especially true for suburban residences. An amazing case remained only in the minds of the residents.

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