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Mystery of Oak Island – What Secrets does the Island Hold?

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The Oak Island mystery is a set to stories about hidden and buried treasures, artifacts and unexplained objects on Oak Island in Nova Scotia, one of Canadian Provinces. There have been many different attempts since the 19th century to find and retrieve treasure and artifacts.
Although there are many different theories and possible connections to various time periods and artifacts, no significant discoveries have been made yet.

Earliest Information (1790s–1856)

A very limited amount of verified information is familiar about the early treasure hunting activities on Oak Island.
Only decades after them did the publishers pay attention to all the activity and rumors surrounding the island, so they decided to investigate. The earliest recorded story of a treasure score is that of a settler called Daniel McGinnis.

It first appeared in print in 1856, with the excavation information on the Onslow and Truro Company appeared in the early 1860s. Everything before this should therefore be considered as legends, stories, myths and mouth stories at best, going back to the late eighteenth-century.
The first of these involve a dying sailor from the crew of famous Captain Kidd (1701). It is allegedly stated that a treasure worth approximately £2 million is buried somewhere on the island.

Img source: luzs.cz

The First Excavations (1861-1898)

The “The Oak Island Association” company made a big attempt at digging out treasure. They drilled from the side to avoid the flooded shaft. During the excavation, collapsed, and it was said that the treasure fell into a void. Speculations of booby-traps also occurred. The new shaft became flooded as well. The first of the six deaths happened when a pump engine boiler burst, killing a man. The project was abandoned when money ran dry in 1864.

Two years later, an unknown group came with steam pumps and boring equipment. The pumps were useless and unable to keep the water out of the side shaft. Boring samples were acquired however. One of these samples had a small piece of sheepskin parchment with two letters, “vi” or “wi”, written in India ink, on it. The second a death occurred on March 26, the following year when Maynard Kaiser fell to his death.The following year, the group poured red paint into the flooded pit. This revealed three exit holes present on the island.

Further Attempts (1909-1939)

Captain Henry L. Bowdoin came to Oak Island in August of 1909. He represented the Old Gold Salvage Group, and one of their members was none other than Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The area received the intriguing nickname the “money pit”. Around 113 feet (34 m) were cleared out, with divers investigate the area.None of the borings revealed interesting details anywhere.
Bowdoin examined Smith’s Cove as well, and reported the discoveries of drain tunnels and a ringbolt in a rock. Again, nothing of value or interest came out. Bowdoin later examined the “stone cipher” in Halifax, and found it a basalt rock with no symbols. This group finally left the island in November, however Roosevelt always kept up with the news and developments from the island, until his death.

In 1928, one of the New York newspapers published a story on Oak Island. William Chappell was intrigued, and went on to excavate the pit in 1931, southwest of what he thought to be the 1897 shaft. At 127 feet, or 39 m, a many artifacts were found, including a fluke anchor, an axe, and a pick. Al of these were from previous excavations, but the owners were impossible to trace.

Img source: oakislandtours.ca

Gilbert Hedden was an operator of a steel fabricating company. He was also interested in the 1928 article, and was fascinated by the problems in engineering at the excavation site. He took six trips to Oak Island, and also collected books and articles on it. He went so far and travelled to England in order to consult with Harold T. Wilkins, who wrote Captain Kidd and His Skeleton Island. Hedden began to dig during the summer of 1935. After this he purchased the southeastern end of the island. His excavations were unfortunately, like all the rest, unsuccessful.

From the ‘60s to the ‘90s (1959-1990s)

Robert Restall came to the island with his 18-year-old son, as well as with his work partner Karle Graeserin 1959, before which he had signed a contract with one of the owners of property. In 1965, they attempted to seal a storm drain in Smith’s Cove, or so they believed, and dug a shaft 27 feet down. On August 17, hydrogen sulfide fumes overcame Restall who passed out. His son then went to try and save him, but he too lost consciousness. Graeser and two other people, Cyril Hiltz and Andy DeMont, went next to save the two. Finally, a visitor Edward White lowered himself using a rope on a rope, but only managed to rescue DeMont. Sadly, Restall and his son, as well as Graeser and Hiltz all died that day.

During this year, Robert Dunfield leased some parts of the island. He dug 134 feet (41 m) deep and 100 feet (30 m) wide with a 70-ton clam bucket crane. The transportation of this enormous crane required the construction of a causeway, which still exists today. It stretches from the western end of the island, all the way to Crandall’s Point on the mainland. It is two hundred meters long.His lease on the island ended in August of 1966.

Img source: oakislandtreasure.co.uk

Next attempt came in January 1967, when Daniel C. Blankenship, Robert Dunfield, David Tobias, and Fred Nolan formed a syndicate meant to explore Oak Island. After two years, Blankenship and Tobias established Triton Alliance and purchased the majority of the island.Former landowners like Mel Chappell became shareholders in Triton. In 1971, the company excavated a 235 feet (72 m) shaft, known as Borehole 10-X. It was attached to bedrock by a steel caisson.

Reportedly, they lowered cameras into a cave, that recorded chests, human remains, wooden cribbing and tools. These images were unclear however, ant nothing was confirmed. The shaft collapsed, after which the excavation was abandoned one more time. It was revisited and dug to 181 feet (55 m) all the way to bed rock, which was followed by the lack of funds, and the breaking of partnership finally stopped it.

Img source: oakislandtreasure.co.uk

In 1983, Triton Alliance took Frederick Nolan to court and sued him over the ownership of seven lots on the island. Two years later, his ownership was confirmed, however he had to pay damages for interfering with the tourism business of Triton Alliance. Triton lost on appeal in 1989, when Nolan’s damages were lowered.

In the 1990s, the overall exploration stalled due to legal battles between the Triton partners, and the lack of funding got in the way as well.A part of the island became available for sale in 2005 for US$7 million. Oak Island Tourism Society hoped for the government of Canada to buy it, but instead a group of American drillers ended up as the owners.

Oak Island Tours (2005 – Present Day)

In April of 2006, brothers Rick and Marty Lagina from Michigan purchased 50% of Oak Island Tours from David Tobias. Blankenship owns the rest of the company. Center Road Developments, Allan Kostrzewa and Brian Urbach, who are members of the Michigan group, bought Lot 25 from David Tobias for $230,000 a year before Tobias sold his share. The Michigan group and Blankenship resumed operations on the mysterious island, hoping to find buried treasure and solve the centuries old mystery.

In July of 2010, Blankenship and the rest of the stakeholders got the license from Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, meaning they can resume their activities until December 31, 2010.After this date passed, they repealed the license and replaced it with the Oak Island Treasure Act.It is power from January 1, 2011, and allows treasure hunting to continue on the island under the terms and the license issued by the Minister of Natural Resources. Lagina brothers have a reality TV show that documents their discoveries and operations on the island. It started airing on the History channel in 2014, and is now in its sixth season.

Img source: showbizpost.com

Myths

The earliest theory is that the money pit holds a pirate treasure buried by Captain Kidd. He allegedly conspired with Henry Avery, and the island was their bank. The second pirate theory involves Edward “Blackbeard” Teach, who buried his treasures “where none but Satan and myself can find it.”

Another theory tells that the pit was made by Spanish sailors and holds treasure from a wrecked galleon, or maybe even by the British troops during the American Revolution. Some say that the British marines dug the pit because they need a place to store the loot from their invasion of Cuba. The value of this is treasure was reportedly around £1,000,000 pounds, which is about $180,000,000 in today’s economy, adjusted for inflation and currency rates. John Godwin wrote that the size and complexity of the pit show that is was the French Army engineers who hid the treasury of the Fortress of Louisburg, which fell to the British during the famous Seven Years’ War.

Marie Antoinette’s jewels

Marie Antoinette’s jewels are widely missing, except for some in museum collections. They are also thought to be on the island. On October 5, 1789, a mob of angry Parisian women workers encouraged by revolutionaries marched to the Palace of Versailles. Marie Antoinette told her maid to run with the jewels. She went to London and then Nova Scotia with the jewels and other treasures and important documents. Through royal connections, and in collaboration with the French Navy,they build the Oak Island pit. The first possible evidence for this theory appeared in 2017, when a 500-year-old brooch with a large garnet was discovered.

Img source: documentarytube.com

Bacon-Shakespeare Connection

Penn Leary wrote in his 1953 book, The Oak Island Enigma: A History and Inquiry Into the Origin of the Money Pit wrote that the pit was used for hiding manuscripts that indicates that Francis Bacon was the author of Shakespeare’s works, as well as the leader of the Rosicrucian’s. “The Second Cryptographic Shakespeare” from 1990 identified ciphers in Shakespeare’s works that point to the authorship of Bacon.

Masonic and Rosicrucian’s Connections

In Oak Island Secrets, Mark Finnan wrote how many Masonic markings are present on Oak Island, and that the pit replicates some aspects of a Masonic initiation rite, complete with a hidden vault containing treasure. Joe Nickell draws parallels between Oak Island, the “Secret Vault” allegory in York Rite Freemasonry, and the Chase Vault on Barbados, while Steven Sora speculates that the money pit is the work of the exiled Knights Templar. It may also contain the Holy Grail, or the Ark of the Covenant.

One more theory suggests how Rosicrucian’s and Francis Bacon had plans to make the island the home of their legendary vault that hides ancient manuscripts and artifacts. Researchers and cryptographers such believe they have found codes hidden in Shakespeare’s works and other 16th and 17th century art and documents, as well as rock formations on the island. Daniel Ronnstam believes that the stone found at 90 feet or 27 m contains a dual cipher, created by non-other than Francis Bacon.

Img source: oakislandmoneypit.com

Other Theories

Joy Steele, an author, thinks that the pit is a tar kiln from when “Oak Island served as a tar-making location as part of the British naval stores industry”.A marine biologist, Barry Fell, tried to translate the symbols on the stone in late 1970s. He said that they resembled Coptic alphabet and read, “To escape contagion of plague and winter hardships, he is to pray for an end or mitigation the Arif: The people will perish in misery if they forget the Lord, alas.” Fell’s theory is that the Coptic migrants sailed from North Africa to the island and made the pit themselves.

Roman Gods and Goddesses – Mythology You Should Know

Usually, when we think of mythology, Greek mythology comes to mind. The Greeks influenced other cultures including the Romans and their empire which stretched across Europe, parts of Asia and northern Africa. Roman Gods aren’t as famous as the Greek and people nowadays don’t know much about them. However, they are just as powerful and we will refer to the gods and goddesses which shaped the destiny of Rome and minds of the plebeians.

Saturn

It is believed that Saturn was the ruler of the Earth during the “lost” Golden Age which epitomized the balance between peace, harmony, stability and prosperity. When we look at the Greek mythology, similar role belonged to Cronus, which means that Saturn can be perceived as the god of time. Stoic philosopher Quintus Lucilius Balbus said:
“By Saturn, they seek to represent that power which maintains the cyclic course of times and seasons. This is the sense that the Greek name of that god bears, for he is called Kronos, which is the same as Chronos or Time. Saturn for his part got his name because he was “sated” with years; the story that he regularly devoured his own children is explained by the fact that time devours the courses of the seasons and gorges itself “insatiably” on the years that are past. Saturn was enchained by Jupiter to ensure that his circuits did not get out of control, and to constrain him with the bonds of the stars.”

source: youtube.com

Jupiter

Jupiter is the Supreme deity among the roman gods and its equivalent in the Greek mythology is Zeus. Jupiter was seen as a bearded male who personified the light, thunder and sky. Speaking in the language of history, Jupiter was one of the personalized deities of the Etruscan kings, who made their ways to the triad of gods. The three gods – Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus were worshiped in the early Roman state. To show how much the citizens appreciated and respected Jupiter, the impressive Temple of Jupiter was risen on the Capitoline Hill.

source: youtube.com

Juno

Juno is a wife to Jupiter, the main god in the Roman mythology, which makes her just as important. She was given the title of Regina. When we look at the genealogy, Juno was the daughter of Saturn, which technically makes her the sister to Jupiter. Furthermore, she is the mother to other gods such as Mars, Juventas and Vulcan. In comparison with the Greeks, Juno is linked to Hera.

source: youtube.com

Neptune

Neptune is Jupiter’s brother and he controls all the waters on this planet. Neptune belongs to the most powerful gods in the Roman mythology and he is associated to Poseidon from the Greek culture. Both gods carry a trident and artworks found in North Africa find them to be very similar. Furthermore, Neptune was also worshipped as the god of horses, just like it was the case with Poseidon.

source: youtube.com

Minerva

Perhaps the best description of Minerva comes from Ovid. He said that she was the “goddess of thousand works” and she was indeed. Minerva was in charge of wisdom, poetry, medicine, art, crafts and commerce and there is only one equivalent in the Greek mythology – Athena. According to the legend, Minerva was created from Jupiter’s forehead after the supreme god swallowed her mother Metis. However, history tells it differently and Minerva has much older heritage, just like the other Roman gods and goddesses.

source: bbc.co.uk

Mars

While Jupiter is considered the supreme god in the Roman mythology, Mars could be perceived as his right arm. He was the god of war and according to some agriculture. Although it is often compared to Ares from Greece, Mars is much more complex and able. Instead of being impulsive and chaotic like wars usually are, Mars is composed and he was the protector of the Roman way of life and its people. He defended the cities and state borders against its intruders and he was often portrayed as a father figure to Romulus and Remus.

source: youtube.com

Venus

The goddess of beauty, love, desire and sex was Venus whereas its equivalent in Greek mythology is Aphrodite. And just like it is the case with other Roman gods in comparison with its Greek counterparts, Venus is more complex than Aphrodite. She is also the goddess of victory and fertility while some assign her prostitution as well.
It comes to no surprise that she had many children with Mars and some of their names include Timor, Metus, Concordia and Cupids.

source: youtube.com

Apollo

Apollo is the name for the God who was the entity of light, music, poetry, medicine, prophecy and archery. Interestingly enough, Apollo is one of few Roman gods who was directly translated from the Greek mythology. He is one of Jupiter sons and the first table that was established to honor this god dates back to the late 5th century BC.

source: wagwalking.com

Diana

Diana was the virgin goddess of hunt, wildlands, nature and Moon. She belonged to the triad of female Roman deities, including Minerva and Vesta and they were all maidens. Perhaps the best explanation of Diana comes from Quintus Lucilius Balbus who said:
“People regard Diana and the moon as one and the same. … the moon (luna) is so called from the verb to shine (lucere). Lucina is identified with it, which is why in our country they invoke Juno Lucina in childbirth, just as the Greeks call on Diana the Light-bearer. Diana also has the name Omnivaga (“wandering everywhere”), not because of her hunting but because she is numbered as one of the seven planets; her name Diana derives from the fact that she turns darkness into daylight (dies). She is invoked at childbirth because children are born occasionally after seven, or usually after nine, lunar revolutions…”

source: youtube.com

Vulcan

Vulcan is one of the oldest Roman gods and its origin is traced back to approximately 7th century BC. He was the god of fire and forges and his forged was believed to be located under the Mount Aetna in Sicily. Its equivalent in the Greek culture was Hephaestus, the god of fire and metalworking.

source: youtube.com

Vesta

Vesta is the daughter of Saturn and sister of Jupiter and she is considered both the oldest and the youngest of Roman gods. Yes, it is a paradox, but according to the legend, she was the first to be swallowed by Saturn and the last to be released from the confines of his father. Even though she was beautiful, she rejected Apollo and Neptune who wanted her for their wife. Instead of marrying one of the gods, Vesta remained a maid and that is why she is the goddess of hearth, home and domestic scope. Her equivalent in Greek mythology is Hestia.

source: youtube.com

Mercury

Mercury is one of the younger gods in Roman mythology and he represented wealth and trade as well as financial gains that go with it. He is often connected to the Greek counterpart Hermes also knowns as the messenger god. Even though Mercury was one of the “smaller” gods, he was extremely popular in Gaul and Britain, according to Julius Caesar.

source: youtube.com

Ceres

Ceres was a beloved god that represented agriculture, crops, fertility and mother relationships. She was the daughter of Saturn and sister to Jupiter, however, often associated to this god is her daughter Proserpine. Their relationship is interesting and Ceres actually lost her daughter, who was kidnapped by Pluto, the god of the underworld. Proserpine could return to Earth only from spring to autumn and you can see how that corresponds with seasons. Her equivalent in Greek mythology is Demeter and her daughter Persephone.

source: youtube.com

Bacchus

Bacchus is the god wine and wine making and he is a copied version of Dionysus, from the Greek culture. The changes between the two gods are so small. Dionysus and therefore Bacchus, was famous for private ceremonies that were considered secret and during which people would get drunk and enter a different state of mind. You must be familiar with the term “bacchanalian” that means a “drunken feast”.

source: commons.wikimedia.org

Mithras

One god that originated in ancient Persia was called Mithra in their culture and Mithras in Greco-Roman mythology. This god had a solid number of followers and in its heydays this religion was one of the rivals to Christianity. It was mainly practiced by the members of the Roman military, but it originated among the upper classes and it was quite mysterious at the time.

source: tertullian.org

Greek and Roman Gods: What is the Difference?

You might be familiar with Greek Gods more than with Roman Gods, but both of these mythologies often have the same Gods but with different names. The main reason behind this is the fact that most of the Roman Gods are borrowed from Greek mythology. If you want to know more about the difference between Greek and Roman Gods, keep reading.

The Difference Between Greek and Roman Gods

Img source: 3dexport.com

Greek Gods

The Gods which are part of Greek mythology originate from the collection of stories or myths of the ancient Greeks. These stories were about the natural world as well as their heroes and gods. There is no exact date when the Greek Mythology started, but many myths are chronicled in the book The Iliad by Homer which is believed to date 700 years before the Roman civilization. Moreover, it is also thought that Greek mythology may have come from the Egyptians.

Greek Gods were all based on human traits and their actions were determined by their own characteristics. Greek mythology is based on the belief that both deities and mortals are crucial for the progression of life and that the individual’s actions had more consequences than the actions of the group. Likewise, physical works were less important than creativity and each of their Gods were good-looking.

Each Greek God had a perfect physical appearance and was based on human personality traits. According to Greek mythology, the afterlife wasn’t very important and none of the Gods showed interest or concern about the afterlife. The Greeks were definitely more interested in the physical life on earth and thus, mortals used to be rewarded for their good deeds.

Some of the most prominent Greek Gods and Goddesses are considered to be Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Cronus, Aphrodite, Hades, Demeter, Apollo, Athena and Ares.

Img source: historyoftheancientworld.com

Roman Gods

The Gods in Roman mythology originate from the mythological beliefs about gods in the city of Ancient Rome and are believed to date 1000 years after the Greeks Gods. The Roman myths and Gods are chronicled in the book Aeneid.
The Roman Gods weren’t given any human personality traits but are based on objects. In fact, they were only represented in the imagination of the people. According to the Roman mythology, the mortals were required to do a good deed during their life so they can be rewarded in the afterlife. All mortals aimed to do a good deed in order to gain a place among the gods in heaven after they die.

The myths were based on the heroic deeds of gods and were focused on the actions instead of words and mortal life.
Most of the Roman Gods have been borrowed from the Greek Gods, but come with different traits and names. The Roman mythology didn’t care about the actions of mortals as their life was no longer important after doing good deeds to achieve good status in the afterlife. The Roman mythology was considered much less individualistic.

Some of the most well-known Roman Gods and Goddesses include Jupiter, Juno, Neptune, Saturn, Venus, Pluto, Ceres, Apollo, Minerva and Mars.
In a nutshell, according to the Antigone Mythology, both the Greeks and the Romans believed in the same gods but the gods were named differently. Nevertheless, the main difference is that Roman Gods are considered to be part of peoples’ imagination while Greek Gods are portrayed as beautiful. Likewise, although the Gods from both mythologies possess the same traits and personalities, they have completely opposite physical appearances. Last but not least, each of the mythology was created in a different era and based on a different reason.

15 Lesser Known Facts About Oak Island

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Oak Island is a reality TV show that is all about finding a hidden treasure that is supposedly located somewhere on the island. Here are some things might not have known about Oak Island.

Img source: showbizpost.com

1. It wasn’t easy acquiring an archaeologist that is an expert on the show

There has been a lot of skepticism related to how true the rumors about the treasure are. It took a lot of effort to have an expert come aboard and participate in the mission. Laird Niven is one of the best archaeologists of Nova Scotia and he is one of the residents that oversees the digs.

Img source: nocookie.net

2. “The money pit” is most likely not real

The story of the legend goes that two teenagers took a boat over to Oak Island back in 1795. After digging for the treasure they gave up after a while but that left a belief that they might not have dug deep enough.

Img source: viamediatv.com/

3. They don’t talk about money

When the Lagina brothers were asked about their money resources for their project it was very clear that they don’t wanna talk about it, the only thing they admitted was that they are the ones financing it.

Img source: library2.smu.ca/

4. Laird Niven is considered unconventional

Most of the people that share Niven’s profession take great care when they remove the dirt so that anything important won’t be destroyed or damaged. But in this tv show it is not the case. The ground is dug up very violently and with industrial machines.

Img source: tvgcdn.net

5. Digging through the whole island was an idea at one point

They were debating on digging through the whole island but eventually agreed that that would have too many consequences and do too much damage to the environment and it would require too much money to do so.

Img source: youtube.com

6. They actually do spend a big portion of their time on the island.

The brothers Rick and Marty have said that they do go to the island a lot. Rick definitely goes more because he is retired and Marty isn’t. Their families also come over a lot and they are even helpful with finding the treasures.

Img source: amazon.com

7. Not everyone in their families believes in what they are doing

Even they are all somewhat involved with what Rick and Marty do not everyone has faith in their dream. They didn’t explicitly tell who the unbelievers are they did admit they there are some who don’t.

Img source: stuff.co.nz

8. The death of Matt Chisholm is still a mystery

News about his death didn’t get out almost a year after it had happened. That was very peculiar because of the fact that he was a beloved person. Another strange fact is the the people of the show didn’t honor him in any way and just didn’t mention it ever.

Img source: stuff.co.nz

9. He may have had precious information

The great-granddaughter of a Nova Scotia Masonic Grand Master revealed an important secret to Matt and not even two hours later he was found dead.

Img source: people.howstuffworks.com

10. He was about to share his secret but didn’t finish it

He told a colleague about what he learned and he was debating how to go about it but never got the chance to go through with his plans.


11. The secret made the crew issue a statement

When the news came out shortly after there were allegations about the possibility that Matt may have been a drug user, there is no evidence to this though.

Img source: amazon.com

12. The producers are staying quiet

At this point it is not certain if they even have any information about it but one thing is for sure – they are not saying anything about it.

Img source: koreaportal.com

13. Three new plots are coming to the show

For the seasons that are coming up the plan is to find the map Matt was talking about, find the shrine of secrets and a storyline of 90 foot stone.

Img source: kingandcountry.tv

14. Susan Conway might know something important

She was working with Matt so she seems to be a good choice for an interview as she might know something that could be of importance

Img source: amazon.com

15. With everything being said, Oak Island is meaningful

One thing is clear, what is happening at the island is of substantial value. It could resolve a mistery that people have tried to figure out for decades.

The Knights Templar’s History And Symbols

During the Crusades, biggest series of religious wars, the Knights Templar had many symbols that represented them. Since it all was nine centuries ago, it is hard to find relics, but we still have the knowledge about those symbols and what they meant back then. We made a list of the most significant ones, so let us tell you more about it.

Img source: 1000flags.co.uk

Knight Templar Seal

In the period from 1167 to 1298, Grand Masters commonly used an image of two knights upon a horse as one of their seals. There is no true answer about what it represents, but people came up with interesting theories. Some of them believe it represents a „buddy system“, for the knights that were operating in pairs. Others connect the symbol with duality and balance, since knights had dual function as both monks and warriors.

Img source: pinterest.com

Red Cross

A cross is expected to be one of the symbols of a Christian warrior monks. The red cross represented martyrdom and the sacrifice of Christ. The symbol was approved as an ornament in 1147 by Pope Eugenius III, and it was emblazoned upon the mantles.

Img source: marysrosaries.com

The Lamb Of God (Agnus Dei)

A lamb with a halo that is holding a cross or a flag with its cocked foreleg is one of the symbol that is known as The Lamb of God or Agnus Dei. „Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world“, were the words of John the Babtist while baptizing Jesus, so this symbol represents martyred Christ.

Img source: nocookie.net

Beauceant

The war flag of the Knights Templar which was composed of a black section above a white one, was named the Beauceant. Theory about its meaning was that the black represents the sins of the world, while the white represents the purity. The flag was powerful. The knights were not allowed to stop fighting while it was flying.

Img source: volusion.com

The Lion

The lion symbolizes courage, justice and power. Also, the Lion of Judah was one of the references about Christ, and the lion was the sigil of the Israelite tribe of Judah.

Img source: wikipedia.com

Calvary Cross

A Latin cross standing on a base of three steps is also known as the Calvary Cross. Golgotha, the hill where Christ was crucified, has its Latin word, which is Calvary. So there is that reference. The three steps symbolize virtues of Faith, Hope and Love.

The Guided Missile Cruiser USS Belknap Collision with the Aircraft Carrier USS John F. Kennedy

When the USS Belknap was launched in 1963, she was the first of her class of the new guided missile cruiser vessels in the United States Navy. Named after Rear Admiral George E. Belknap and Reginald Rowan Belknap, she was the pinnacle of naval warfare technology at the time. Belknap class was designated as single-ended guided missile cruisers, referring to their main guided missile armament placed only at the forward part of the ship. Unfortunately, that is not why Belknap is best known for. She is usually remembered for her collision with the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67).

In 1975, both ships were deployed to the Mediterranean Sea, in response to the tensions in the Middle East after the Yom Kippur War under the command of the Sixth Fleet. On 22 November 1975, USS Kennedy’s task force, of which Belknap was a part of, was performing night-time flying drills. Ships were running parallel to each other when Belknap made the turn and rammed the huge carrier.

One of the jet fuel lines on the Kennedy was ruptured in the collision, and highly flammable JP-5 fuel started spraying decks of both ships. Fires broke out almost immediately and soon the Belknap was engulfed with flames. Damage control teams tried to suppress the fires, but the ship’s superstructure was made of aluminum, which soon started to melt, adding to their troubles. Two nearest ships, the guided missile destroyer the Claude V. Ricketts and the destroyer Bordelon, flanked Belknap on both sides and added their fire hoses to the effort, concentrating on midship, which Belknap crew couldn’t reach.

Source:commons.wikimedia.org

Rickets also assisted with the removal of the wounded personnel from Belknap, but some men refused to be evacuated, remaining on board to try and save their ship.

It took two hours to subdue the flames. Seven members of Belknap’s crew died, and the entire superstructure of the ship melted, leaving a huge gap. USS Kennedy fared better, losing one member of the crew and suffering minor damage due to the fire and collision. It also earned nicknames “Can Opener” and “Jack the Tin Can Killer.”

One of the major consequences of the collision was that the US Navy gave up on aluminum and switched to the all-steel superstructure. Belknap went through an extensive repair and rehaul process in Philadelphia Naval Yard, where she spent the next four years. She continued to serve as the flagship of the Sixth Fleet and was used as a testbed for new Aegis systems. In 1989, President George H. Bush was accommodated aboard Belknap during the Malta Summit.

She was decommissioned in 1995 and sunk as a target three years later.

Source: warhistoryonline.com

Founding Fathers – Button Gwinnett

Born in England in the parish of Down Hatherley in the county of Gloucestershire in 1735, Button Gwinnett came to America in 1762. By then he was married to Ann Bourne, whom he met in Wolverhampton while working as a merchant in that town.

At first, Gwinnett traveled between Newfoundland and Jamaica conduction his business. This didn’t prove very successful, and in 1765 the couple settled in Savanah. They opened a store which soon went bankrupt. Gwinnett raised a credit and bought St. Catherine’s Island, just off the coast of Savanah, planning to start a plantation there. Despite his lack of success in both business and farming, he managed to get elected to the Provincial Assembly. It was during this time that his long-standing rivalry with Lachlan McIntosh started.

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In 1775, Gwinnett was elected as Delegate from Georgia to the Continental Congress. In 1776, he was one of 56 delegates which signed the Declaration of independence, which marked the beginning of the American Revolution. He went back to Georgia carrying a proposed state constitution written up by John Adams.

In early 1776, Gwinnett was elected commander of Georgia’s Continental Battalion but was forced to reject the post due to accusation regarding his election. The position went to Lachlan McIntosh, his political rival, something Gwinnett never forgot.

During his tenure at the Continental Congress, Gwinnett sought the position of brigadier general commanding the 1st Regiment in the Continental Army. The position went to McIntosh, which further deepened their rivalry and made Gwinnett extremely bitter.

As a member of Georgia General Assembly, he has drawn the original draft of Georgia’s first State Constitution. Soon afterward, he was elected the Speaker of the Assembly, a position he held until 1777 and the death of Georgia’s Governor Archibald Bulloch. The Assembly’s Executive Council voted Gwinnett to fill the vacancy.

His term as a governor was marked with frequent clashes with McIntosh and his allies, which culminated in April 1777 when the Assembly approved Gwinnett’s plan to attack British Florida. As McIntosh’s superior, he ordered him to carry out the attack. At the same time, he arrested McIntosh’s brother, charging him with treason.

Source:allthingsliberty.com

The invasion of Florida failed in a disastrous way, mostly due to poor planning. Gwinnett and McIntosh exchanged accusation, blaming each other for the disaster, with McIntosh calling Gwinnett “a scoundrel and lying rascal.” Gwinnett challenged him to a duel, which was fought on May 16, 1777. Both men shot pistols at 12 paces, and both were wounded. Gwinnett died of his wounds three days later, while McIntosh recovered. Gwinnett was just 42 at the time of his death.

Source: ushistory.org

The F-23 Fighter: The American Super Plane That Never Was

In 1991, the Pentagon chose YF-22 as the winner of the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) competition, even though there are people claiming to this day that its main competitor YF-23 was a better aircraft at the moment. YF-22 was more maneuverable, but YF-23 has superior supercruising speed even with Pratt & Whitney YF-119 engines. When equipped with more powerful Pratt & Whitney YF-120, it could easily exceed cruise speed of Mach 1.8.

Although YF-22 final production version reached that speed as well, its smaller gas thanks severely limited its range. Raptor pilots find it not very practical in daily operations. “Supercruise is impressive on paper but not very practical in a fighter with limited fuel,” a senior Air Force F-22 pilot said. “I would much rather have an aircraft that accelerates and gains energy back quickly than one that supercruises.”

Source:aviationweek.com

The top speed of both models was the same, about Mach 2.2. It was limited by their geometry, which in turn was derived for the stealth requirements Pentagon put in place for ATF. F-22 Raptor even has its top speed limited at Mach 2, due to the fact that its stealth coating is prone to fall apart at higher speeds, thus jeopardizing one of the plane’s most important characteristics. Northrop’s version didn’t have such problems. So how did YF-23, with its higher cruising speed, superior range, and arguably better stealth characteristics managed to lose the ATF contract?

There were several factors. We’ll start with the most obvious first, politics. It is Washington, after all, and politics can’t be avoided. After all the clashes over B-2 bomber and A-12 naval strike aircraft, Northrop wasn’t really popular in Pentagon in the early 1990s, according to Barry Watts, who was an analyst at Northrop at the time.

The second factor was the US Navy. Although they pulled out of the ATF program, they still had their say in choosing the design, and they preferred the YF-22 naval version to YF-23’s one. The proposed Raptor/Tomcat hybrid looked very promising, and it was a sure pick to win Navy’s NATF (Navy Advanced Tactical Fighter) contract before the whole thing was canceled in 1992.

Source:reddit

The final nail in YF-23’s coffin was Northrop’s strict adherence to the contract requirements. Lockheed, on the other hand, decided to have a chat with Tactical Air Command (and its successor Air Combat Command (ACC)) and discovered that people there didn’t really believe in stealth. So, they did the smart thing and put the emphasis on maneuverability. They marketed YF-22 as the “super f-15,” which was exactly what ACC wanted, instead of some newly fangled stealth which may or may not work.

The rest is history. YF-22 went to become F-22 Raptor, the best air superiority fighter in existence (and will remain for some time). Still, many air enthusiasts and experts alike still wonder how awesome operational YF-23 would be.

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