Saturday, January 15, 2005

Fifth Edition

Giants pygmies slavery unicorns and life or death situations

While searching for an article I found once on the finding of Carthaginian coins in a cave in Tennessee, I ran across this site:
Giant Bones Discoveries

The site is dedicated to theories on UFOs Nephilim etc but the article has quite a list of documented finds of giant human bones and remains. This is generally not acknowledged in any way by any of the modern history books, or if mentioned at all are lumped in with "myths" and fantasy. After all we all know there are no such things as giants or little people right? Then there are the strange human mummies of tiny people, two of which were found by prospectors in Wyoming - they appeared to be full grown, rather aged, small people that stood less than 16 inches tall. The recent discovery of what have been termed "Hobbits" , people who stood no more than 4 feet tall and hunted giant rats and pygmy elephants on an island in the South Pacific go even farther to prove that humanity has had a much more diverse and interesting history than is accepted by historians.

The Hobbits were tenacious enough to survive until at least 12,000 years ago, and local tribes have "myths" of the little people who were rather unpleasant neighbors. They would put out food in gourds for them to appease them, and the Hobbits would eat gourds and all. The Wyoming little people may be the same little folk referred to by Arapaho and Shoshoni "myths"
in which they were described as strong as full sized men, able to carry a full grown deer on their backs, and using poison tipped arrows as weapons.

In my view, we (humanity) need to re-examine the various mythologies around the world. It is fairly well proven that all "myths" are based on real facts. Even such farfetched stories as unicorns can be traced back to garbled reports of the one-horned Asian rhino. I was shocked to find a passage in Arrian where he says that "...the unicorns are not the beautiful creatures we have been told; in fact they are exceedingly ugly; they are as tall as a man at the shoulder, covered with armor plates, and will charge any man that approaches them.."

A digression here, not intending to irritate people of color but there has been a movement that claims the Egyptians to be black Africans, based on rather slim evidence. There were black Egyptians, and there can be little doubt that intermarriage between Egyptians and black Nubians and Ethiopians took place, but as a whole the native populace were not black. In fact
they depicted themselves (and were proud of) as having skin color of red! As further proof of (most) Egyptians not being black, we can note this passage from Arrian:

"The appearance of the inhabitants, too, is not so far different in India and Ethiopia; the southern Indians resemble the Ethiopians a good deal, and, are black of countenance, and their hair black also, only they are not as snub-nosed or so woolly-haired as the Ethiopians; but the northern Indians are most like the Egyptians in appearance."

The inhabitants of northern India being most like the Egyptians can only show they were not black, while the southern inhabitants were black. I fail to understand this "Afro-central" view of ancient history, in what looks to be 'hijacking' of various famous figures and cultures to claim them as black Africans. If people of color truly want to look for ancient forefathers to hold in high esteem, there are a number of civilizations and cultures but these are (to a large degree) ignored both by historians and the "Afro-central"-ists; namely the Nubians, builders of pyramids and cities, who developed their own system of writing (influenced by Egyptian and Phoenician styles) and conquered Egypt for some time, Ethiopia with a history as old as any and again with their own writing system and far reaching trade. The famous or infamous Queen of Sheba was no Arab as so often depicted by Hollywood - Sheba was conquered by Ethiopia far back in history and only much later became independent. Further south, the mysterious Nok culture of central and western Africa who skipped a 'bronze' age and went straight to making
iron tools, in South Africa the even more mysterious Great Zimbabwe culture built a huge stone walled city and has been proposed as having even traded gold with King Solomon. In south-central Asia the Colchians of fable, the place sought out by Jason and the Argonauts in the misty Bronze Age were black, and struck their own coinage like Aksum in Ethiopia did later. The Colchians may not be discernible today, but after so many centuries of intermarriage with the light-skinned neighbors it should not be surprising. Any relatively smaller population of a different race surrounded by more numerous people of a different race would naturally be absorbed by the larger population over time, until their racial aspects were lost completely. An even stronger case has been pushed to adopt Carthage and Hannibal as black Africans, yet this is a mistaken idea; Carthage was founded by people from Asia (Tyre) of Semitic stock. No contemporary historian made any mention of Carthaginians being black, nor their nomadic compatriots the Numidians. Surely if the Roman-boogeyman Hannibal Barca had been black, this would have been mentioned, just as the famous ancient sage Aesop was in fact black and the fact mentioned by contemporaries. In their day it was not seen as any insult or demeaning to mention that some person was black in color, just that it was remarkable for being different. In fact, the famous Greek historian Herodotus mentioned that the Ethiopians were the longest lived and best looking men in the world! I have no problem with people of any color taking pride in their ancestors, just let us keep it accurate and not try to distort historical fact for the sake of building up ancestral pride.

For that matter, if there is some remaining social stigma in that a person's ancestors were slaves, then these folk as well as the descendants of the slave-owners should re-examine history as well; for virtually EVERY nation and race has been enslaved by others at various periods in history, just that many people choose to ignore their own "roots" in slavery. (For example, Hebrews were enslaved by Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, as well as Persia and Rome, English were enslaved by Romans and later by Moors from Africa for centuries, Irish were enslaved by English, Germans by Romans, Romans by Carthaginians and vice-versa the list could easily
go on to include virtually every people on the planet. Humanity has an extremely long affinity for the practice of slavery, it persists even to our own day in some even more heinous forms than practiced in ancient times. Even when no social pressure or warfare occurs to end the practice, it usually is discarded as not economically sound since free men outproduce slaves,
as can be seen in the Roman empire in its later days. The "shame" of being enslaved is not easily understood, for in most cases the beginning came in the form of losing a war. Wars are won and lost sometimes by the most incredible changes of fortune, and many were captured by raiders, against which few stood any chance at all. The fact is, most slaves were slaves by sheer bad luck either their own or their forebears.)

The Outdoor Life TV channel has a series called "This Happened To Me", a video version of the short section from the magazine that included tales of life and death situations. Tonight two of the incidents showed how the "rules" of survival are not always to be followed! The first, involved a falconer who got his vehicle hopelessly stuck in a snowbank far from any inhabited place; he had failed to inform his wife or anyone as to the general whereabouts he would be hunting for a falcon, and his family had notified the authorities to start searching for him. He had a three day ordeal to survive in the worst possible winter conditions. After spending three hours or so trying to dig his vehicle free, he decided to spend the night in his SUV. In the morning, he started to hike out for help. By evening he had arrived at an un-occupied log cabin, probably
a ranch line-cabin or one used for hunting, prospecting or trapping. Finding it unlocked he spent the next night there, (it is an age-old "rule of the north" that remote cabins are left unlocked, that anyone needing to use it may find refuge there, the only caveat being that anyone using the cabin should replace the firewood used to keep warm>) and in the morning started hiking out again. Eventually he reached an equally remote trailer that had a phone, and he was able to phone for help. If he had done as the "rules" of survival demand, he would have remained with his vehicle and most likely have frozen to death before anyone ever found him. So in fact it is best to remain with the vehicle, IF you are on a roadway where other people travel and are likely to find you, it is better shelter than nothing and easier to spot than a human being -
however if your vehicle is so far off the "beaten track" and no one knows where you are, it may be better to try to hike out for help. The second incident was a fishing boat capsized during a vicious storm on Lake Huron. The two men decided to abandon the boat, fearing becoming entangled in the mass of fishing gear, hooks etc and slick of gasoline. They saw a distant island and swam for it. One of the two men was a much stronger swimmer than the other, and they decided to split up, the stronger swimmer pushing for shore and to go for help while the other man struggled on. The Coast Guard eventually found the boat, then the man in the water, and finally the other who had reached shore and set up an SOS to get attention. The general rule is to "stay with the boat" but in this case it was a very near-run thing; the CG helicopter had gone off the search pattern and was nearly out of fuel when they spotted the first man, if they had missed him his only chance would have been to have reached shore. Perhaps if they had stayed with the boat they would have been saved sooner who knows. It took 20 hours of swimming for the one survivor to reach shore!

We have been in some 'life or death' situations over the years, once during a nasty storm in Ontario while we were on a canoe trip we just barely made it to an island in a huge lake. It was illegal to camp there, but to continue in those white-capped waves would have been certain death - we watched helicopters recover the bodies of several other canoe-ists who failed to
make it to shore. I believe that survival in such situations is not always a matter of following the "rules" but of using common sense.

That is it for this edition. Deep freeze has settled in again, though the horses and dogs seem to be happy about the development. To my amazement the water hydrant at the barn has not frozen. Last year by this time it was frozen, so must be this winter is less cold to some degree. The biggest entertainment here is the TV as it has been for years, just seems to rub salt in the wound not to be out doing the things we love to do. The RFD channel ran a special on a chuckwagon cooking contest, really reminds me of some of the great (and awful) food we have had while out camping. Cooking over a fire is a bit of an art, you need patience and must pay attention setting up and not to burn things, but the slow cooking of beans, roasts, biscuits, even casseroles makes for food the equal of any I have had. I guess I miss camping out - used to go even in the winter when I was young. Winter camping was just about insane when I was a teenager, even my parents must have thought I was off my bean but I thought it was great - the campfire really felt good, and that warm sleeping bag never was so welcoming. Now it is a sort of 'niche' hobby for elitist suburban yuppie types, just as bowhunting has really been ruined by becoming oh-so
popular and the over-technifying of the hardware. Something of the art of hunting with a simple bow and arrow is lost in a mechanical wonder with gears, cables and pulleys with a mechanical release, digital optic scope and computer balanced counterweighted bow, along with the high tech graphite arrows and spring loaded heads. I rather liked going out with the old recurve bow, cedar shaft arrows and traditional style broadheads. Maybe someday if I ever found the right old style recurve and someone who sells cedar arrows...

I think this 'blog' idea is good in one way - sort of a therapy to jot down your thoughts, and a blessing for the poor friends and relatives who previously were subjected to my super long email messages. They would not admit this (out of nice-ness) but it is true! So much for this edition...


"There is nothing so foolish but some philosopher has said it." --Cicero


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