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This site is an independent reader-supported project.
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We can give you e-books and audiobooks and stuff.

Posted 29 January 2015 at 08:28 am

Great article. Another point you missed is that he often did not use a scope. As that made him a lager target, and of coarse a gleam. Hence why he was so successful in hiding in plane site and was not shot until the end of the war.

Posted 28 January 2015 at 11:45 am

As always a pleasure to learn a shiny new interesting story..

For the first time I have used the podcast instead of reading the article. It works very well. Thank you for the effort!

James Mhango
Posted 28 January 2015 at 02:54 am

What else. what if whatever I believe in has similar connotations. we are not free beings we are under control of memes. Victims of information. This proves that All religions started like this. Examine all your beliefs and don't cry

Posted 27 January 2015 at 07:39 pm

Great article. Thank you.

Posted 23 January 2015 at 11:59 pm

And this affair apparently was the origin of magicians pulling rabbits out of hats - gave the audience of the day a good laugh. Funny to think that magicians then started doing the rabbit out of hat effect as if it was serious magic when originally it was just a gag.

Posted 23 January 2015 at 02:39 am

Great article! Keep it up.

Posted 22 January 2015 at 02:33 pm

Enjoyed this podcast very much.

Posted 22 January 2015 at 11:21 am

Sometimes the men, and even other women including the inlaws like you for nothin' better than that.I mean breast size. I had larger the breasts than my siter inlaws and my mother inlaw and they all remarked about it and told me they were glad that I was more bosomy than them.Cathy

Posted 22 January 2015 at 11:10 am

What a great article and what a fine job you guys do providing them. Many Thanks! I'd been waiting for a new pearl of knowledge to appear from Damn Interesting and wasn't disappointed!

Posted 22 January 2015 at 01:48 am

I'm a bit of a new reader to this site (only starting since the last one was released), yet I have been waiting for quite some time for a new article. I see that it was well worth the wait! It was a great read. Thank you for the fantastic article.

hector arnaud
Posted 19 January 2015 at 10:46 pm

Hi Melisa

I would like talk with you because this is the story of muy family

My granfather Ramón Arnaud born in Clipperton and muy Mother wrote a full story since they arrive when the MExican goverment send them to the island

I will appreciated you sonest respons


Family Arnaud

Posted 19 January 2015 at 07:02 am


Posted 18 January 2015 at 11:52 pm

Alan, one of the best I've read. Thanks so much!

Posted 18 January 2015 at 03:55 pm

I'm Brian Fellows!

Posted 18 January 2015 at 12:58 pm

I've read nearly every single article on this site over the years. This is hands down one of the best!

Nice to see a new article, especially one that good. The atmospheric sound was a pretty cool concept, I could imagine people fleeing as fire races around...

For some reason it's overlaid with the "radio reporter voice" of the 20s-30s though...

Posted 18 January 2015 at 12:55 pm

Ive read nearly every article on this site. This is one of the best!

Nice to see a new article up, especially one this good.

Posted 17 January 2015 at 05:21 pm

okay, so I've been doing a lot of research about the blood boiling in space thing. This is the first resource that has told me that blood in your circulatory system may in fact evaporate. Can you elaborate on that ? Because everywhere else has just been telling me that since you circulatory system is a closed system, and the pressure is held constant, your blood wouldn't start boiling. Of course, falling unconscious will drop your blood pressure by a lot, but as long as your system remains closed, will your blood not remain liquid until your body freezes ? I mean, as long as your heart is beating, there will be pressure in your circulatory system, so the blood won't boil. I would appreciate some clarification on this matter, thanks :)

Posted 17 January 2015 at 10:47 am

As always Alan, DI indeed. Great job brother!

Posted 16 January 2015 at 08:52 am

Not that significant.

1. Scan in each page of the manuscript.

2. OCR the scan pictures into text.

3. Edit the OCR text on Word. You'd have to do editing anyway, but this step would also catch any OCR errors.

4. Load the Word file onto an ebook publishing site. Profit!

5. Load the Word file onto a paper format publishing site. (This might actually get fiddly.) Profit!

Alan Bellows
Posted 15 January 2015 at 03:24 pm

@Ron: From what I gather his son has the only copy, and it's typewritten. So unfortunately it would require significant effort to digitize it for modern publication.

Ron Paquin
Posted 15 January 2015 at 01:05 pm


In your research for the article, did you learn what became of Vincent Doyle's unpublished manuscript "Beyond All Reasonable Doubt"? In this era of self-publishing for electronic platforms, wouldn't it be fun to be able to read it on a Kindle! Could not possibly be worse than some of the stuff available there.

Great article. Thank you.


Alan Bellows
Posted 15 January 2015 at 05:12 am

There seems to be some confusion in the timeline:

Ah, yes, sorry about that. It should have said "half past two." I've corrected the text.

Posted 14 January 2015 at 03:26 pm

Always with the anti-other-life fearmongering…

Humans seem to forget, that we are by far the most deadly, ruthless and evil life-form on this planet. And that even the deadliest virus and the most dangerous tiger are no match for us; not by a long shot.

If anything, we should be afraid of ourselves!
We are the species that IS currently annihilating the planet, acting like a virus, with its one-track mind.

Posted 14 January 2015 at 01:39 pm

I enjoy the narration option.

Posted 14 January 2015 at 01:09 pm

There seems to be some confusion in the timeline:

"...sometime around half past three in the morning and asked him if he smelled smoke..."

Then later:
"At 2:56am, about fifteen minutes after the fire had first been reported"

Posted 14 January 2015 at 07:32 am

The algebraic solution ends in 5 places(_ _ _ _ _) answer, however the process is only 4 places( _ _ _ _ ) long. it takes a lifetime to solve.

Posted 14 January 2015 at 06:30 am

Wow! What a great tale and so well written as always. A compelling story with a healthy heaping of bitter and twisted deeds.
I like the new format and special (sound) effects.

Sacred Junk
Posted 14 January 2015 at 02:47 am

Firefox 34.0.5 here and scrolling works fine

Posted 14 January 2015 at 02:31 am

I've been a long time reader, and have thoroughly enjoyed the stories. But I can't justify paying to help keep this site running to get new entertainment every four or five months. So thanks but no thanks

Posted 13 January 2015 at 09:07 pm

Lengthy, but captivating. It amazes me, the intrigue and complexity behind what is a minor event in history.

Great stuff! :)

Posted 13 January 2015 at 08:45 pm

Though I've been reading Damn Interesting for a while, this is my first comment on the site.

Mr. Bellows, you've outdone yourself this time. This is probably the best article I've read yet. Congrats!

Posted 13 January 2015 at 04:16 pm

Fantastic article, thank you!
George did it for sure!

Posted 13 January 2015 at 03:26 pm

I have become addicted to your pod casts :) I listen to them at work in between calls and have learned so much. I have already brought them up to many of my friends and intend to post one of my favourites on my Facebook page. Thank you!

Colin meek
Posted 13 January 2015 at 02:15 pm

No, not first!! :-(

Colin meek
Posted 13 January 2015 at 02:13 pm

Damn interesting! And a first !!

Posted 13 January 2015 at 01:57 pm

Great job! Damn interesting, as always!

Posted 13 January 2015 at 01:38 pm

I can hardly scroll with this new design, it just freezes my browser :/

Firefox 35.0b
Manjaro Linux
AMD 8320

Posted 13 January 2015 at 01:02 pm


Posted 12 January 2015 at 02:39 pm

12 days in Alan, 12 days in!

Posted 11 January 2015 at 08:46 pm

I got really excited today because I remember reading an article similar to this one and while I was in New York City I stumbled across two while walking in and near time square! It's so interesting!

Captain Catfish
Posted 11 January 2015 at 01:43 pm

Hitler was not brilliant on land. His tactics were simple and borderline retarded. He was such an ego-idiot refusing skilled advice and so on. He was such a poor tactician that assassination attempts were halted because the longer he remained in power, the easier it would be to end the war. He was so incompetent they thought it would be better to watch him fumble around rather than let the numerous skilled staff and still very potent army drag it out, gain concessions, etc. Not brilliant.said: "Hitler was a bright tactician on land (although you wouldn't guess it from his "invasion" of russia) and a real ass at sea. If he had a little more confidence in his navy, londoners would be eating fish'n'pretzels today. Can anyone spell lederhosen? No? Thank god!"

Posted 10 January 2015 at 05:08 pm

I met a British sniper survivor In hospital whilst undergoing leg ops same as ( Pete) in a team of 4 hunting natzi snipers shooting field troops in open areas while watching men drop signaling crossfire and did a 1 inch square 4 corners shot to heart while hiding in a tree, he was observed robbing the shot field troops and was wearing British boots as natzi clobber was inferior, (Pete survived an ambush by machine gunners and helped by red cross who talked the captures captain out of shooting the only susurvivor with severe legs blown!! Hence I met him in hospital went for tea at his and saw all his highly polished, ammo on the fire place, Good old Red Cross, oh and Pete,n mates,. Saw him walking in town once, Mr Wobbly but very much alive!!!!!,

Glinda Gail Bustamante
Posted 10 January 2015 at 01:17 pm

What a fascinating story!!! My mind is blown! I aspire to be half the woman that Isabel was through all of her trials; what faithfulness! Would I have remarried? A lesser woman I am perhaps. Had she given up, humanity would have been robbed of the inspiration that most certainly has been provided by this harrowing tale. One can survive against all odds, in the Name of Love. Hallelujah!

Posted 09 January 2015 at 09:15 am

This is god awfully inhumane... I understand the whole bomb sniffing and training them that way, but inserting things into their brain to control there movements?! What the hell is wrong with people..

Samuel Adams
Posted 09 January 2015 at 04:15 am

Arcangel said: "Oh and if you are really serious consider Iraq. You guys are having a tough enough time over there and with Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, need I go on? Better that you consider us allies then enemies. Seems you have a world full of them."

everyday headlines. something needs to happen.

Damian Zuch
Posted 08 January 2015 at 06:38 pm

I love Tesla; thank you for the great article!
I have always secretly had this idea that one day some smart humans will advance our knowledge of the earth and universe and reveal that everything works on relatively simple principals (I picture it like playing a video game where you collect bits of knowledge at each level and advance through the game adding to what you learned from the previous level).
And simple stuff, like watching the tea bubbles shift in your mug of tea would reveal secrets about how continental drift works and other small/grand relationships like that. I feel like Tesla and Einstein were these kinds of smart humans, learning all the cheat codes to advance the human knowledge base. I wish I was scientifically-inclined and smart enough to understand the way the world works and can be manipulated. Anyway, another great DI article, thanks guys!

Posted 07 January 2015 at 11:53 pm

@Woody: Clearly, your grasp of ecosystems dynamics is laughably poor. Methinks it would behoove of you to bone up on this stuff next time, before embarrassing yourself...

Otherwise, another fascinating article from DI!



lubega brian
Posted 06 January 2015 at 06:12 am

these guys are crazy

Posted 06 January 2015 at 04:22 am

Recently discovered and have been binge reading through the articles backwards.

It's interesting coming across this article now in early 2015 where Google has their driverless car licensed and running in some cities as tests. Also we have apps like uber gaining a lot of ground as an easy to use taxi service. It's not hard to imagine the 2 combined and very much achieving some of what is described in this article.

Rachael F
Posted 03 January 2015 at 06:08 pm

Hi, do you have a source for the story about the veteran in the car crash please? Im putting together a website on the gadhimai religious sacrifice where bulls heads are seen to show consciousness

Posted 03 January 2015 at 12:42 am

The link doesnt work...

Posted 02 January 2015 at 09:06 am

Fantastic article. Damn Interesting.

Posted 01 January 2015 at 09:44 pm

What about the crop circles? Much better signals then WOW radio signal! They are visible to everyone but we still don't hear enough about them!? Not enough publicity!?!

Posted 01 January 2015 at 04:31 pm

Radiatidon said: "” Moklal turned from the fire to Subhani. “Perhaps a smoke before bed?” he offered.”

And what would have happed if…
“The Lieutenant shook his head. “Please no, I am deathly allergic to any tobacco smoke. If you respect me as a guest you would honor my presence by not smoking.” Moklal paused, uncertain what to say. “Sooo, I guess that they should not bring the tobacco.” The dark figure behind the Lieutenant held his hands out, palms up. He looked confused.
“Uh, perhaps the Lieutenant would enjoy smelling the sweet aroma of the herb un-burnt?”
“No, it causes the mucus to flow down my throat, stealing the very breath from my lungs. I am so enjoying your company that to die right now would be a insult to Sheba.” The Lieutenant leaned back and let out a satisfied sigh. Noticing the dark figure standing over him, he exclaimed “Why, hello. Fantastic night is it not. Sheba must be smiling down upon us all.”
The man smiled as he enviously played with the yellow cloth in his hands. In a guttural voice he agreed. Then seemingly lost, he turned and wandered away, leaving the two men to themselves.
Moklal smiled nervously at the Lieutenant, seemingly lost for words.
“Uh, Moklal, there seems to be something wrong here.” Said the Lieutenant.
Moklal looked around, but noticed that none of his compatriots were anywhere close. He could feel beads of sweat forming on his forehead. One flowed down pass the corner of an eye, leaving a salty strip, dripping off his chin, splashing onto the back of one hand.
The Lieutenant arched one eyebrow. “Sir, for some reason I think you have misunderstood my intentions. Unlike a clock’s pendulum, I do not swing both ways. With that being said, I think that it would be wise if I take my leave of absence with you and your, um, group. Good night sir, and may Sheba watch over you.”"

Posted 01 January 2015 at 11:43 am

Was there in late October. Have been intrigued for years and made it that way after a stay at Hershey Park. Putting aside the history and tragedy of the entire event, there was obviously not a lot to see other than a handful of likeminded gawkers and walkers. The old highway is a mosaic of graffiti which one would expect. Sadly, my kids made it a game to find as many curse words and pictures of private parts as they could. All in good fun i guess. There was a friendly local who pointed us in the direction of a small steam vent and one could spend a good amount of time exploring on foot. There are a few areas of the footprint foundations of some of the former homes. I would come more prepared with maps and such if you have an interest in matching the old photos with what exists now.

Tim Boss
Posted 30 December 2014 at 11:07 pm

Nice idea but I think the flaws have been identified.

-Energy to distill water would be practically equal to the energy utilized E in = E out.

-Excess water in the lubricating system will result in corrosion.

-Too much water in the chamber will promote inefficient combustion.

-Lack of a coolant system will be made up in the weight of the water tanks and due to the extra 2 strokes the inertial force will be lower within the engine because steam cycles require more power strokes to make power. Added weight and loss of power results in a zero net gains.

-Exhaust would damage the catalyst and lower temps in the engine would mess with emissions.

-The idea is really cool and very crafty, but why not raise compression and limit the fuel? Why not utilize more forced induction systems? why not use diesel since its easier to produce? So many other methods to increase efficiency for a mass produced unit than this.

Awesome idea though.

Posted 30 December 2014 at 01:12 am

frenchsnake said: "Now this is interesting. I'm 18 and mildly schizophrenic, and I can usually hear some kind of music. To get it out of my head, I usually sing along, because it's better when I can control it. The music thing happens to me in spurts: nonstop for a few days or weeks, then some silence. For some reason, my most common musical hallicunation is faint bagpipe music."

I just started hearing bagpipe music a few days ago and I thought someone must be playing it inside my apartment building, or outside. I looked out the windows, I checked the stairway, and there was no bagpipe music. Then I realized that I heard it in every room and I thought it must be the heating system or the electrical system. I finally realized it is in my head when I put my hands over my ears. It plays the tune of Amazing Grace over and over again. Now I'm Irish and I love bagpipe music, but this is driving me crazy!

Posted 29 December 2014 at 10:20 am

I cherish the story of King Arthur even if it is fiction and not fact.
It is an inspiration to do good, and fight evil.

Alan Bellows
Posted 28 December 2014 at 11:19 am

H. Danial said: "It's been a long time since a new story was published.
Out of interesting stories or out of interest to do one?
Please don't be dead."

We have countless more interesting articles to share, in fact we have one in the final phases of preparation which is scheduled be published in the first few days of 2015. Spare time is always scarce this time of year, and this new article required a large investment of research effort, so it was just a little delayed. All is well.

H. Danial
Posted 28 December 2014 at 08:42 am

It's been a long time since a new story was published.
Out of interesting stories or out of interest to do one?
Please don't be dead.

Posted 28 December 2014 at 07:50 am

The only reason why AM radio can be heard farther than FM, is not necessarily because of the mode, but because AM radio runs on the MF band while FM runs on the VHF band. MF signals can travel hundreds of thousands of miles. VHF signals can sometimes do this, but not like MF can. That's why you hear all those old stories about "picking up AM channels/programs from far away late at night". As an amateur radio operator, we have a band called the 160 m band that the frequency is 1.8-2.0 MHz. (AM radio is 535 KHz-1.7 MHz) so the 160 meter band is just above the AM radio band. And at night we can work the world with the 160 meter band. Same concept with AM broadcast radio.

Posted 28 December 2014 at 07:17 am

Dugg said:
To wrap this up, Quantum Immortality is REAL! I know this first-hand. I performed the gun to the head experiment a few years ago. My choice was a 12-gage shotgun. No, the gun didn't misfire and no I didn't miss. I was rushed to the hospital where the doctors said I had a less than 1 in 100 chance of surviving the first hour. So obviously there are hundreds of universes in the multiverse in which family and friends mourned my passing, this is their reality, but for me these universes can't exist because I'M NOT THERE to experience them.
The doctors, nurses and hospital staff who released me after almost a year of multiple surgeries and intensive rehabilitation claim that my surviving this incident was a miracle. To them it may be a miracle, but to me it just seems highly improbable.
Of course I survived, of course I'm here because where else could I possibly be ?"

Now, children, don't let's try this at home!

While I wholeheartedly agree quantum suicide is impossible, this is only true for the Cat in Schroedinger's box. The observing lab personnel - i.e. Your friends and relatives in this universe and many others - will experience the loss of a loved one, no matter what.

Posted 28 December 2014 at 02:50 am

chipchenry said: "Boeing is likely creating this aircraft to take advantage of the Arctic Sea being ice free by 2012 to sell for cargo transport. When the seas are open, the Russian Natural Gas plant being built on the other side of the expected ice free sea will be a hop away, and with that tonnage of cargo capacity, this type of plane would be a better cost effective and safer method to transport the natural gas and/or fuel. There'll also be a boom n standard cargo. As a hybrid with high altitude capabilities, it could also make the trips during high seas negating the ground effect it's built to operate in.

Alternatively it could be used to transport military personnel and equipment.
They'd use turboprops because they're the most efficient engine available and can be configured to burn several different types of fuel."

Not as efficient as a turbo diesel with high pressure electronic multiple injection. Can one buy an 'off the shelf' kit to re-configure popular turboprop engines for different fuels I wonder? Also, would the aircraft type certificate allow it, it is a major modification to the aircraft and the authorities are very reluctant to 'meddle' with type certificates, as a lot of them only hold up because nobody meddles. On the topic of Arctic sea ice, in my imagination the polar ice cap is pretty flat so would suit a GEV right now. If, in fact, the ice does melt, the Japs would build a 500,000 tonne gas tanker, within a month, for half the price of the GEV. Man it with a Filipino crew and paint 'CHEEP GAS' on the side, job done!

Derek Williams
Posted 27 December 2014 at 10:59 am

Here in the Netherlands, billions were spent on "not repeating 1953". General consensus of the Dutch politicians, should it happen, will be, "f**k it, just leave the water where it is". Basically, they would admit defeat, and not bother to pump the water away, and spend the money on trying to use modern technology to have islands of villages with floating houses, as well as making more use of the higher grounds. This will be tricky, as the usual cry of, "The Netherlands is full enough", there will be little land to use to rehouse those whose cities, towns, and villages are now under water. Most of the Dutch infrastructure, industry and agriculture, are centered in an area known as the Randstad. (An area with the four largest cities, being Amsterdam, Den Haag, Rotterdam, and Utrecht). All of this area produces much of the wealth of the Netherlands, and lies up to 5 meters under the surface of the sea.

The Islander
Posted 27 December 2014 at 03:29 am

Alx_xlA said: "A say, no need S said: "eeewww,,,ussr russia plane is sooo ugly and low / no life,,,
too much show off to america,,,america still beat ussr russia,,,
america plane is the best plane in the world than ussr russia,,,
ussr russia is always COPY STEAL COPY STEAL from america idea,,,"
Don't be a douche.
Brought to you by the international society for not being a douche.
As an aside, what about the Hughes H-4 Hercules (aka the Spruce Goose (even though it was made of birch, not spruce))? Many people claim it only flew as a result of ground effect. I did a science fair project on it. Got bored and didn't finish, though."

It didn't matter to Hughes whether it flew or not, I think he was a philanthropist and provided years of work for his staff allowing them to buy houses and raise their families in comfort. In those days one could not hand out 'Dosh' to strangers without a project or a goal. A simple power to weight calculation would have revealed an inadequate performance right from the start. Also, I seem to remember Mr. Boeing was in the wood trade? --------- after that it gets a bit murky!

The Islander
Posted 27 December 2014 at 02:55 am

wileybot said: "Curious, how do these perform over rough or heavy swell seas?"

The average wave height in the North Atlantic is 2.6 m

James Marshall
Posted 26 December 2014 at 11:07 pm

I know of at least one person trying to use xe/xem/xir

Posted 25 December 2014 at 04:18 am

Aboutt he swedish volounteers. About 12000 swedes and 700 norwegians signed up, 8260 of them was approved. Considering how much harder information was to spread, and that group was not allowed to advertise due the government was scared of the germans, thats a pretty good amount. Since sweden officially wasnt in war, they werent allowed to use any uniforms and such. But since many high in the military was for helping finland, they fixed gear and just removed patches and such. Also sweden gave 8 planes to finland at the start of the winterwar, and the swedish volounteers borrowed 17 planes from the swedish airforce, which was 1/3 of it at the time.

Officially sweden was neutral, but was a good way for those that wanted to defend the neighbours to get a chance to help.

Posted 25 December 2014 at 04:10 am

we'd ever have won a war without ''Continuation War'' when the ''Russia'' began a major offensive attack ,it was the German flying aces who stopped Russian attack.

old Finnish soldiers said that those pilots never missed their targets ,they destroyed almost all Russian tanks.

would be nice if you would write these also.

(I am not a Nazi side or ever accept them,they have good soldiers but their behavior was more cruel than today's terrorist organization ''Isis'')

Dacey Green
Posted 24 December 2014 at 03:19 am

Yes, you are allowed to express your opinion in a way that you see fit. However, when criticizing, try to do it contructively whenever possible. The authors don't get paid for this free service, so a little thank you shouldn't hurt.
And also, I find that many times what makes the articles from interesting to damn interesting are the comments left by readers that really add a lot to the article. On the other hand, comments like yours, I find useless."

I was going to just let the "Prince" bashing pass me by, as an amusing troll, but after a massive Xmas sequential read of the articles (and the associated comments), I have to concur... Especially when the idiot posts "Second!"... I have had enough... Like others have said previously, the coments usually add information, but you, Sir, add nothing with your banal posts... Please refrain from doing so in the future... Merry Christmas. :-(

William Lin
Posted 22 December 2014 at 05:34 am

lonelybunny1049 said: "there actually isnt a mystery! The hindenburg was hit by a rocket, that a famous criminal in 1937 named Winn Farrow, Winn Farrow had built. Maximilian Rose actually was a criminal also that had million dollar paintings, he had diamonds, and lots of other expensive stuff on there. then when he found out that Winn Farrow (his ex partner, they were partners when they baned boose then broke up when the law was let go. Max had tons of cash that he saved from his savings, and Winn wanted to get back at him.) was going to blow up the hindenburg. Max rose was working with a nazi called Ludwig Zell. Maximilian sent the nazi tons of things that they needed but couldn't get their hands on, so They partnered up with Maximilian Rose, and after he got the stuff for them, he was in debt with alot of people(people that were VERY bad.) Maximilian Died in a car accident on his way to get his stuff from "hindenburg" Will Farrow went and blew up the back end of hindenburg. So the Hindenburg was blown up by Winn Farrow. The nazi wanted the information to be the first ones to build a nuclear bomb that they were going to use to blow up New York. and lots of other places! but they didnt get the last peice of the puzzle to finish the atomic bomb because when Max died, his spies did."

That is just a story

Posted 21 December 2014 at 04:41 pm

That is a damn shame!! Man, I'm seriously wondering if the rumour of it being a hoax could be true though.

Posted 21 December 2014 at 06:10 am

I did some more research about comparison of different sources and astronomical evidene.

Beside the hungarian chronicles there are a damn lot of these kind of controversial things. Non-existent jewish literature for at least two centuries, problems with dating of Viking and Saracen raids in that era (not that they didnt happen but when, where and how). The Armenian historian Chorenatzi, who seems like lived in the 5th and 8th century at the same time, I mean there weird things around him.
Even places where we believed there is a proof for sure are failing, like Charlemagne exchanged diplomats with Harun al-Raschid, the Caliph of Baghdad. Well, Arab sources do not mention anything about this relation or even the Caroling Empire. Harun al-Raschid actually only exist as a fairy-tale protagonist in the One Thousand and One Night.
Or there is the fable about the Seven Holy Sleepers, spreading across Islam, Persia andeven Byzantinum and other Christian regions. Ther are many versions of the tale but roughly its about seven christians who were sleeping in a cave through about 200-300 years while hiding from prosecutions.
These kind of facts and sories just flooding from all direction of the borderlands of Charlemagne's Europe.

But lets see the astronomical evidence. They must be clearly disprove this nonsense. But not. Most calculation, Halley's Comet etc. cannot help. I read a long paper about these things, I won't get into detail but to quote Dieter B. Hermann, professor of astronomy "Ultimate evidence against Illig's hypothesis, based solely on historical solar eclipses, can possibly not be found."

The most close we can get by these sources is this:
"Actually, discussion has concentrated on the reports of solar and lunar eclipses engraved on Babylonian cuneiform tablets. It should be noted that it was not possible to confirm the dates given on these tablets really independent from astronomical retrocalculations. This means that the risk of logical circles cannot be excluded. [ref. van Gent] However, many of these tablets provide very accurate information from centuries of systematic astronomical observations. This allows to analyse the deviation (ΔT) between observation time and retro calculation. [Stephenson (1997)] The excellent statistical match indicates that the timings given on Babylonian tablets are not affected by the medieval PhT. Unfortunately, for the millennium separating the numerous records from Babylonian and Arab as well as Chinese astronomers, only a handful of records may be considered reliable. When the secular deceleration of the earth's rotation has been calculated, the data could not approve the expected virtually constant deceleration due to tidal friction. Instead, Stephenson hat to presume an unexplained zero deceleration between the 1st and 6th century AD. When the records were reviewed, assuming a deliberately introduced medieval PhT, the expected constant deceleration was found."

Damn. Actually it backs the theory. At least, some calendar forgery is still more acceptable - following Occam's Razor - than that unexplained zero decereration era.

I'm just freaked out :)
The more and more I'm trying to disprove this nonsense theory, the more I just prove it practically.

Posted 20 December 2014 at 09:50 am

Wow great read.

Posted 20 December 2014 at 07:58 am


The comparison you are talking about is exist in a sense.

First I think we can agree that carbon dating, due to its official +- one century accuracy and 60-80% reliability - not to mention that 6 months long tests on the same artifact by the British Museum showed an even wider spread of results - make a 300 years gap easily possible. Then it's interesting that we haven't got a single unarguable archeological finding from that area or even a letter of contemporaty writings. Yes I know about the Carolingian Renaissance, but I have to mention that both by technology and art style they are 11th century buildings. So it seems like they invented late Romanesque architecture from out of nowhere then forget it suddenly, then we can observe in a very well detailed way how they invented it again in a logical and long process in the 10-11th centuries. At least as weird as the Phantom Time theory. I have to mention, theres really not a single written word can be dated to this time. a Chronicle from the 14th century stating it is a copy of a lost one from the 8th century isn't "contemporary". And if we think about what happened in Europe these years it's more interesting. I mean there supposed to be four huge empires, Charlemagne's Empire, Visigoth Kingdom, Avar Khaganate and the Khazar Empire. Archeological evidence about them are not much at all, in many cases about zero. What is interesting, because any empires that size we know about - like Roman Empire, Macedon Empire of Alexander the Great, Persia etc. - left for us so much evidence and so much cultural impact we just can't even count them.

But about the comparison of contemporary written sources:
I won't go into Islam. The connection between Arian heresy and Islam is well explained in the book itself.
Finding contemporary - or a bit later - sources about the above mentioned empires isn't easy at all, because there is none. Funny, but outside Europe and Byzantinum, nobody ever mentioned an existence of a Caroling or even Khazar Empire. No trade, no wars, nothing. But we can say the parts of the world were too separated (what is nonsense because Greeks, Romans, Persians etc had a well detailed picture about distant peoples aswell).
But we can find a place where we can make our comparison: Hungary. There is a debate basically about the origin of Hungarians - as long as I know, every new genetical or archeologcal result just go straight against the official theory - but as I'm not an expert i leave it. Based on the mainstream version, they lived somewhere around the river Don, in Royal Scythia, what was the Khazar Empire back then, in the 7-8th century and moved from there to the Carpathian Basin - what was the Avar Khaganate - in the 9th century. So they were outsiders arriving into Europe just in the middle of the "lost" period. The problem is that in the numerous hungarian chronicles (most of them predating the later chronicles describing Charlemagne in detail), there is not a single word about the Khazar or Avar empires, neither Charlemagne or the Visigoths. Rather they gave a very detailed story with a line of rulers and their deeds what counts 104 years between Atilla and Arpad, missing the exact amount of time what Illig calculated. And they gave explanation of most of the questions raised about events in the "lost" time.
We don't have to care about China or the likes because it isn't about lost time, or centuries passing on "stand-by" but just a few national epics and heroes invented. What as I look over the history textbooks of the 20th century from different countries and dates, is more than possible.
You can find a detailed explanation about the different hungarian chronicles in the light of this theory by a hungarian researcher (so somebody who is way more qualified then me in the subject) here (very very interesting imo):

And I do not say Illig is right. Actually at the first time I just couldn't stop laughing on the theory. But I have to say, most critics are bending the theory and discredit things loudly what it never stated actually. So I don't know what to believe, but looking at the subject, not from a very eurocentric point of view, but including neightbouring cultures, it is make a lot of sense.

Posted 19 December 2014 at 08:25 am

My mother remembers, when she was a child during the Depression, a Hobo knocked on their door and asked for something to eat. My grandmother made him a sandwich and a cup of coffee, then gave him a nickel for another cup of coffee on the road. People were having terrible times, and she had compassion for those who were even worse off. After that, she noticed that men would walk past the other houses on the street, and come to hers. She always did the same, a sandwich, cup of coffee and a nickel. She asked one why they only came to her house and then learned about the markings which told others which houses were good to them. She never turned anyone away, even if she only had peanut butter to give.

This a very cool thing I just learned about my grandmother.

Posted 19 December 2014 at 05:29 am

Shad Larsen said: "One thing I considered... wouldn't basic cracking logic exploit this code within the first couple of tries. If we assume that a person knew the code was 8 digits long and was going to utilize a basic cracking mechanism of starting with the first set and incrementing by 1 each time I believe '00000000' would have been the first set of numbers in the routine and BINGO! you're in.

My thought is that even if you are to compromise the process with this bypass you would have at least had even minor complexity. Granted it was a differet time with emotions guiding decisions of this nature..."

Well sure. By that logic, the safest combination would be 99999999.

Posted 18 December 2014 at 09:54 pm

Joubil said: "Ron said: "i have lived on the same area of coast and observed tidal guages for many years and i assure you sea levels have not changed one iota,that's a fact,. global temperatures have been static for nearly 2 decades now,sorry but that's also a for propaganda,if this event happened today i;m sure the usual fear and guilt merchants would be blaming it all on global warming and forecasting our imminent doom.that's not a fact"

None of what you said is a fact. You're entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts. Sea levels have risen, see cited article below. Global temperatures have risen, see article below. Furthermore global warming is even a bit of a misnomer, as the real threat is massive climate change, but none the less temperatures have in fact risen.
Bla. Bla. Bla.
Climate is always changing, it has been for millions of years. But since you are confusing climate with decadal weather changes, let me refresh your memory. The paleocene, eocene, oligocene, miocene and pliocene periods of our planet's climate history were all very warmer than it is now. In fact, when you look at the big picture, our planet is still in a cooling phase. Unless of course you are part of the crowd that would benefit from seeing the working class being taxed for simply being alive and exhaling co2."

Oh and here is a link that corroborates what I wrote.

Posted 18 December 2014 at 09:52 pm

Ron said: "i have lived on the same area of coast and observed tidal guages for many years and i assure you sea levels have not changed one iota,that's a fact,. global temperatures have been static for nearly 2 decades now,sorry but that's also a for propaganda,if this event happened today i;m sure the usual fear and guilt merchants would be blaming it all on global warming and forecasting our imminent doom.that's not a fact"

None of what you said is a fact. You're entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts. Sea levels have risen, see cited article below. Global temperatures have risen, see article below. Furthermore global warming is even a bit of a misnomer, as the real threat is massive climate change, but none the less temperatures have in fact risen.

Bla. Bla. Bla.

Climate is always changing, it has been for millions of years. But since you are confusing climate with decadal weather changes, let me refresh your memory. The paleocene, eocene, oligocene, miocene and pliocene periods of our planet's climate history were all very warmer than it is now. In fact, when you look at the big picture, our planet is still in a cooling phase. Unless of course you are part of the crowd that would benefit from seeing the working class being taxed for simply being alive and exhaling co2.

Shaun Wilkinson
Posted 18 December 2014 at 06:06 am

has DI died? I miss my fix of interesting stories and I've already read through the entire archive.

Posted 17 December 2014 at 05:51 pm

Thanks for a great article and for all the informative responses. I'm of Finnish ancestry and I've read a bit about the Winter War. The Finns were unreal with men like Hayha and Lauri Tornii, later known in US special forces as Larry Thorne. The book 'A Frozen Hell' by William Trotter is a great account of the conflict.

Posted 17 December 2014 at 07:18 am

Interesting article, spoiled by reference to the 'English trenches' when of course it should be 'British trenches'.

Posted 16 December 2014 at 06:32 pm

Bucky said: "I thought that water in your pistons was B-A-D? My friend drove his truck through a huge puddle and water got in under the sparkplugs. The engine seized up so quickly that the crankshaft was bent where the pistons attach. How is this engine successful, then?

I'm still amazed he got it to work on the first try. I can hardly make a few lines of code run correctly on the first try, much less design my own revolutionary combustion engine and have it work from the start. I guess that is testament to the simplicity of the idea. It will be interesting to see where this goes in the coming years, if at all.
Maybe the car could create distilled water itself, from tapwater? That might be able to take even more heat out of the engine."

Water in the engine is bad... he is talking about injecting it (probably in a fine mist) so that it creates steam pressure, and is then exhausted before the fuel cycle even starts.

Robert Halfpenny
Posted 14 December 2014 at 09:36 am

Prince said: "Why did they make 2232 copies and then change them, why not change one, then copy it 2232 times?

all in all, a brilliant prank."

I think the reason is that each "card flipper" has different instructions which is what makes each picture different.

Posted 14 December 2014 at 08:24 am

Chris said: "As a survival trait, positive self-deception gets things done, and that's why everybody does it."

I agree with your observations, Coherent. I belive I am a "realist" yet that is not generally accepted as much as the "optimist" positive perception. Recently I was accused of being "negative" when someone asked about the weather for the weekend and I replied "bleak." "Stop being so negative!" was the response. "Negative?" I replied. "I just saw the weather report and it said 70% chance of rain." Now, I would rather have nice ,rain free weekend, but since when is stating the most likely a "negative?! Not what they wanted to hear!
Anyway, great article! And that is a "realistic" answer!"

Dear Chris,

You comment is in fact negative, a realistic one would have merely reported the chance of raining without much subjective judgement.

What makes someone depressed is the overall idea based on actual facts that the subject comes to realize about the world, himself and what is around him in terms of opportunities and ability to influence his own future. This ideas are true but dysfunctional for himself and the way he interacts in social groups, leading to being marginalized and eventually seen as mentally ill.

Posted 13 December 2014 at 08:56 pm

Dear Friends,

My brother is also suffering from this decease. Could you please help me what treatment should he be given to overcome from this decease.

Please,please Advise.


Souvik Ghosh
Posted 13 December 2014 at 09:28 am

What kind of propulsion system is favourable for cyler orbit?

Souvik Ghosh
Posted 13 December 2014 at 09:12 am

What should be the speed of an orbiting cylcer space settlement which will have a torus for creating gravity which would be travelling in these buzz-aldrin cycler orbits?

Posted 11 December 2014 at 03:53 pm

Three words: law of attraction.

Posted 10 December 2014 at 06:21 pm

As always this story was DamnInteresting. My only problem now is that we haven't had a story in over THREE months. At first I thought DI was holding out for DamnInteresting Thanksgiving story. Now I'm left wondering if there is going to be a Christmas story. Please don't keep me jonesing into the new year.

Thanks for all the great essays.

Posted 09 December 2014 at 03:31 pm

Furnace said: "Lucid dreaming only takes a little time and effort. For about three years straight, I wrote a detailed description of my dreams, and after seeing patterns emerge in my writings, I started having concious thoughts when I noticed them in my dreams. "Hey! I've had five different dreams where someone cuts their foot on broken glass and here it is again!" ...and the lucid dreaming starts.

My goal for the longest time was to find a book in a dream, then read and remember as much as possible so I could find out what my mind would create. Time and time again, it was always gibberish. This is the longest line of text I've been able to get from a dream- "Standard strock not oekey todoso.""

That's actually quite interesting. I'm also very intrigued by the skill of lucid dreaming (though I'm only just a beginner). My dream diary is about 2 weeks long, but it has quite a few gaps in it since I usually can't remember my dreams when I awake.

Anyway, when you're reading those gibberish lines of text, do they actually make sense to your dream self, or do you read it and toss it due to it being gibberish?

Posted 08 December 2014 at 12:23 pm

septimine said: "marlond said: "What a chilly reception! Don't get your fingers near all those minds snapping shut. A good test of this hypothesis is to carefully compare several civilization's calendars for the period of the first millennium and once an agreement has been made, THEN compare that body of dates to OUR western calendar.

If all 'primitive' (i.e. non-christian calendar-using) civilizations have no events to correspond to that period, well then it would be time to take another look at our beliefs about what happened during our 'dark ages'."
I don't know that directly comparing years would prove much either way. What would answer the question rather quickly is matching up the dates and names of these characters and events with characters and events from other civilizations. If, at some point in the future, people say that extra years were inserted into the calender, the best bet would be to match up the leaders. If Obama and Putin were contemporaries, than dating Putin, as well as dating the meetings that they had with the Kremlin would answer the question. If Obama never met with Kruschev, than any theory that says that they were both world leaders and contemporary is probably false.
Going to the Medieval dates -- our civilization was in contact with other civilizations. Byzantium traded and made war on the Muslims, they traded and corresponded with Western leaders. If the dates don't match up on all sides, then something is wrong. If the muslims say that Charlemagne lived 500 years ago and we say he lived 750 years ago, then we can say that one of us is wrong."

Basically a better version of what I was thinking.

Posted 08 December 2014 at 12:21 pm

Is it not hard to cross-check the dates and major events (those that could be seen or felt all over the world, for example comets) with other civilisations, such as the Chinese and other Eastern cultures? It would be obvious then to see whether these 297 years were fabricated or not.

Posted 08 December 2014 at 03:58 am

I guess we can safely assume that in many factories the management's attitude didn't change: Don't do what's good for workers, do only what the law requires, do the minimum you can legally get away with.

Alan Brandon
Posted 07 December 2014 at 11:27 pm

kilranian said: "First?
It's really interesting to actually see the backstory for this event and how it came to be.

It's all in the legal loopholes of the time.

This has me thinking of the Bhopal,India stunt from Union Carbide or how about the Shell Oil spill in San Francisco, Cal.

Posted 07 December 2014 at 05:10 pm

colin said: "HiEv said: "Matt DeMinico said: "Great article, but then seriously dude, you had to throw in some random environmentalist propaganda at the end about how we're all going to die because of rising sea levels, most likely caused by us evil human beings... sigh"

The article never called humans evil. In fact, it rather lauded what humans are capable when we put our minds to it. It never even once even alluded to humans affecting the world climate. Nor did it claim we're all going to die because of rising sea levels. What it actually said is occurring, "post-ice age glacial rebound", is 100% true.
If you see the facts about the real world as "propaganda", then I think you've been listening to too much actual propaganda from those who would deny reality when faced with the overwhelming amount of objective scientific facts about climate change. Facts which are readily available to anyone who cares to look at them.
Sea levels are rising. This is a fact. Global temperatures are also rising. This is also a fact. Admitting that we need to be ready to deal with the consequences of these changes or we'll suffer for failing to do so seems like a pretty responsible conclusion to come to after reading the rest of the article.
If that upsets you, well, feel free to continue to whine about people being concerned about it while the rest of us actually do our best to save you and people like you from yourself."
i have lived on the same area of coast and observed tidal guages for many years and i assure you sea levels have not changed one iota,that's a fact,. global temperatures have been static for nearly 2 decades now,sorry but that's also a for propaganda,if this event happened today i;m sure the usual fear and guilt merchants would be blaming it all on global warming and forecasting our imminent doom.that's not a fact"

And I just ate dinner, so I feel like world hunger has ended.
Seriously- the world's problem with climate change and rising sea levels is a fact.

Posted 04 December 2014 at 12:17 pm

i have lived on the same area of coast and observed tidal guages for many years and i assure you sea levels have not changed one iota,that's a fact,. global temperatures have been static for nearly 2 decades now,sorry but that's also a for propaganda,if this event happened today i;m sure the usual fear and guilt merchants would be blaming it all on global warming and forecasting our imminent doom.that's not a fact"

None of what you said is a fact. You're entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts. Sea levels have risen, see cited article below. Global temperatures have risen, see article below. Furthermore global warming is even a bit of a misnomer, as the real threat is massive climate change, but none the less temperatures have in fact risen.



Wes the Norseman
Posted 04 December 2014 at 11:13 am

LOL! NIce to know there's a real person at the other end!

Alan Bellows
Posted 04 December 2014 at 10:56 am

Wes the Norseman said: "Sigh . . . we seem to be in a DI drought rather than in a cataract. Must . . . read . . . something . . . interesting . . . !!!"

Sorry for the delay; it's due to a combination of variables:

a) I was out of commission for a couple of weeks, and catching up is hard to do;

b) The article I'm currently working on has a lot of research materials to read through and reduce;

c) My day-job work is temporarily very busy; and

d) I just filled up my customer loyalty stamp card at the excuse store!

Wes the Norseman
Posted 04 December 2014 at 10:32 am

Sigh . . . we seem to be in a DI drought rather than in a cataract. Must . . . read . . . something . . . interesting . . . !!!

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