Wednesday, 5 July 2017

History's Mysteries: The Lost Indus Valley Civilisation



The Lost Indus Valley Civilisation

India’s oldest civilisation, the ancient peoples of the Indus Valley, are considered one of the greatest civilisations in history. This was an advanced culture with a highly sophisticated sewage and drainage system, and an incredibly hygienic way of life.

The ruins of one of their cities was discovered in 1832, and from that find, it was discovered that the civilisation spread from India, to modern Pakistan and Afghanistan.


There is no record found in any history documents of these people having armies, slaves or being involved in any war, so what happened to them, and why did their civilisation die out so quickly?


What do you think killed the Indus Valley Civilisation?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indus_Valley_Civilization
http://www.archaeologyonline.net/artifacts/harappa-mohenjodaro.html


© Allen Tiller – 2013
www.eidolonparanormal.net

first published 4 March 2013

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Curses: A Confederacy of Dunces



A Confederacy of Dunces


 "I think it’s cursed. I’m not prone to superstition, but that project has got bad mojo on it."  Steven Soderbergh (U.S.  film producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, editor, and a film director)

 The above statement speaks volumes about the apparent curse that plagues this particular movie project. A movie yet to get further than a script and a reading or too, but a project touted since the early 80's.

 A Confederacy of Dunces” is a novel written by U.S. Writer, John Kennedy Toole, the book was released posthumously, about 11 years after the writer’s death. It became a cult classic almost straight away in 1980, and went on to win a Pulitzer Prize in 1981. Initially, when Toole had approached various publishers with the book in the 1960's, every single one had rejected his work, this led to him suffering severe depression as he took the rejections very personally.

 John Kennedy Toole was born and raised in New Orleans and worked there at an all-girls Catholic School. He had previously been the youngest teaching professor at Hunter College in New York. It was noted by his close friends, that, upon his return to New Orleans after being away studying for his Ph.D., and then working as a professor, that Toole had developed a keen sense of paranoia, so intense and ingrained was it, that it was reported by one friend, that whilst, driving around New Orleans, Toole thought their car was being followed, so he drove to lose the shadowing car...
 Toole's paranoia and depression eventually got the better of him and he committed suicide in 1969.

  Almost as soon as “A Confederacy of Dunces” won an award, it was slated to be adapted into a movie. One of the first attempts was to come from Harold Ramis (Ghostbusters, Stripes) who was going to write an adaptation that would star Richard Pryor and John Belushi, but unfortunately, Belushi died of a drug overdose and the movie was never made.
 Later attempts at getting the project off the ground involved John Candy, who had a heart attack and died, and Chris Farley, who, like his hero, John Belushi, died of heart failure from his massive drug intake.
 John Goodman, “Dan” from TV’s “Roseanne” series, who happened to be a long-time resident of New Orleans, where the book is set, was also cast, at one point to play the role of Ignatius in the movie, however, this also fell through.
 British writer, Stephen Fry was commissioned in 1997 to go to New Orleans and write an adaptation of the novel for the screen, this too fell to the wayside as other, more important projects were taken at the studio.


 The closest the film has come to being made is the adaptation presented by Steven Soderbergh and
Scott Kramer. Their version of the film was set to be released in 2005, and star comedian Will Ferrall and long-time actress and comedian Lilly Tomlin. The pair did a reading of the script together at a film festival with several other cast members, but as of yet the film itself has gone no further. In this case, it has been cited that the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina postponed the production.
 The murder of the Louisiana State Film Commissioner could also be an influence on the decision not to go forward with filming and indeed, another path of the alleged curse!

Other big names attached to the project over the years include Jonathon Winters, Divine, Josh Mostel, Lily Tomlin, Mos Def, Drew Barrymore, Olympia Dukakis, Jack Black and Zach Galfianakis.
The Zach Galfianakis version did not go ahead due to the director, James Bobin, being attached to the movie The Muppets… Again!
The movie recently popped up again in 2016 with Seth Rogan touted to play the lead role, and James Franco directing, but it would seem that this has not happened, or a very different movie, based very very loosely on the book was made, so loose in fact, it is unrecognisable as Toole’s book.

I think I’ll leave you here, with a quote from the books lead, Ignatius, which kind of sums up the history of this book films adaptation - "My life is a rather grim one. One day I shall perhaps describe it to you in great detail."


researched and written by Allen Tiller, 2013
updated 2017 - previously unpublished.
© Allen Tiller - Eidolon Paranormal

Monday, 3 July 2017

Curses: The Curse of My Way




  The Curse of My Way

Can a classic Frank Sinatra sung tune be cursed?
Many in the Philippines are starting to ask that very question after a series of stabbing deaths in Karaoke bars across the small country.
 Between 2000 and 2010 at least 6 documented cases of fatal stabbings have appeared in the Philippines after, or during a karaoke performance of the classic song.

 The Philippines is one tough place, and to relax it is common place for the locals to have a beer and sing Karaoke, in fact, it’s almost a national pastime it is loved so much, perhaps that lends a little to the explanation for why so many people have murdered during, or after, performing the song, perhaps it’s just a statistical anomaly, or perhaps people love Frank Sinatra so much, they cannot stand his song being butchered by amateurs – I think I’ll go with the first one!
 It is indeed very bizarre that one song seems to attract so much violence towards a simple, much loved past time, but it isn’t the only place where people have died for their singing abilities, or lack thereof.
 A Thai man killed eight of his neighbours after they had sung John Denver's “Country Roads Take Me Home”, the song infuriated the man, and whipped him up into a rage, where he lost control and butchered the eight people....

So what is it in particular that installs such violent reactions about Mr Sinatra’s song?
 The song lyrics were written by another famous singer, Mr Paul Anka, for Frank Sinatra
and set the music of a French composition known as “Comme d'habitude”.

 The song lyrics are about an older gentleman who is reflecting upon his own life as he approaches his own mortality. He reflects about the challenges he faced in his life, and how he didn’t bend to other people’s philosophies, but stayed his course and maintained his integrity.

 Although other people would go on to record the song (including Anka himself), Frank Sinatra’s 1969 released version is considered the quintessential version of the song, and as such is highly respected, and incredibly popular. It has been cited as not only one of the most popular songs on the planet and one of the most covered by other artists...and, one of the most popular Karaoke songs of all time.

So why has performing a song about an old man, close to dying, reflecting on his past, become such an emotionally charged piece in the Philippines?

Could it be to do with the lyrics themselves, which in some ways could be construed as being arrogant and triumphant. In a society that is considerably violent where the males are often out to prove themselves, Karaoke, which in the Philippines is rated and scored upon, is the place to do it. Often bars employ gay men, who are seen as neutral (in other words they won’t steal macho-men's women) to engage in humour or other distraction techniques to stop outbreaks of violence, which can happen as easily as someone laughing, or someone looking “the wrong way” at someone else.

 So, is the song “My Way” cursed, or is it simply a cultural thing?
For me, I’d go with a cultural thing, the curse doesn’t seem to affect many other any other country in the world.
 So, remember, the next time you visit the Philippines and someone wants you to sing “My Way” at a karaoke bar...go with something a little less offensive, maybe some Steel Panther “What are girls for”?

Researched and written By Allen Tiller 2013
previously unpublished
 © 2017 Allen Tiller, Eidolon Paranormal

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Curses: "Otzi" – Curse of the Iceman




 "Otzi" – Curse of the Iceman


 In 1991, two German hikers making their way up the Otztal Alps, between Austria and Italy, in a place known as Hauslabjoch, discovered a well preserved human mummy.
 Much speculation has since ensued, as to what the man was doing up in the snow-covered Alps, how old he was and what his state of health was at the time.
Research was conducted on the frozen man, it was discovered he was 45 years old when he died, on his person, or nearby lay many tools, including a stone axe, a leather quiver, an unfinished bow, and a backpack frame made from larch and hazel.

 It is thought “Otzi” (as the mummy was known from then on) was from the Neolithic Copper-Age, more than 5,000 years ago.
Scientists then went on to discover what season he had died in, thought to be August, due to frozen pollen found on and around him.

 There has been debate ever since as to what this man was doing in the Alps, one side suggesting, from the findings that he was a simple Sheppard, searching, or caring for a flock, but the other side, suggests that he may have been a shaman of sorts.
 The second theory extends from finds of polished stones near him, which are said to hold spiritual powers, and tattoos on his skin, symbolising his shamanistic qualities. This theory further extends to the belief that he may have been killed by his rivals in this location to end his reign over a tribe or village.

 So how does a curse come to be attributed with a frozen corpse found in a frozen mountain range?
Like many curses, it comes down to the amount of people associated with the finding, that have died of mysterious or unexplained reasons, or mere conjecture in some cases, this “curse”, indeed has an ample body count that suggests something more sinister may be at play.

 The first death associated with Otzi in modern times, is that of Forensic Pathologist, Rainer Henn, a 64-year-old working out of the University of Innsbruck. Henn was driving his car to a research conference about his work with Otzi, when he died in a very nasty car accident. It has been stated that Henn, when recovering the body from the ice, helped move it into the body bag with his own hands.

The second death was that of mountain guide, Kurt Fritz, a 52-year-old who was killed by an
avalanche. It is reported in some versions of the official events that Fritz uncovered the face of Ozti in the ice, also touching him with his bare hands, like Henn previously.

Rainer Holz was the third person to associated with Otzi die. He died of a Brain tumour. Holz was a documentary film-maker covering the events of the discovery and the following attempts to uncover his identity.

Helmut Simon, the man, who along with his wife discovered the ancient body of Otzi, was the fourth person associated with the finding to die. Aged 69, Helmut was hiking through Austria’s Gaiskarkogel Peak, when he went missing. His body was discovered eight days later in a stream, it is believed he fell 300 hundred feet to his death after walking along an unmarked path.
 Helmut’s death led to the death of victim number five, Dieter Warnecke, a 45-year-old in charge of the rescue team searching for Helmut in the Alps, Warnecke died of a heart attack hours after Helmut Simon's funeral.

Konrad Spindler, the man who led the scientific team into the Austrian Alps to recover the body of Ozti, died at the age of 66 years old due to complications of Multiple Sclerosis – this death does not really fit the “curse” aspects that other deaths have had, it is not mysterious, nor unexplained, but who is to say that Spindler’s death was not untimely in the grand scheme of the curse?

The seventh death was a that of a molecular archaeologist named Tom Loy. Loy discovered human blood on the tools and weapons found near Otzi's preserved body. Loy suffered from a hereditary blood disease, first diagnosed in 1992, right after he began working on the research of the discovered iceman. The link here, like that of Konrad Spindler’s death is also tenuous at best, both being older men (66 and 63, respectively) and both dying from known established diseases.

So, is the Iceman, Otzi, cursed?

 I would question this one based on the fact that many, many more people than the seven who have passed away, listed above, had interaction with the corpse and the relics found with it. The number of people who may have interacted could be in the hundreds, if not thousands. This is the sort of curse that starts its life as speculation, then becomes an urban legend.

 It could be this is the type of “curse” that budding young journalists admire. Something to establish their careers, and sell newspapers...could this whole “curse” simply be a journalist’s interpretation, sensationalism for article sales, much like The Haunted Boy paintings by the Sun Newspaper?

Written by Allen Tiller in 2013, previously unpublished.
Revised 2017 ©Allen Tiller, Eidolon Paranormal

Photos Courtesy of South Tyrol Museum of Archeology