Wilkes Land is a large district of land in eastern Antarctica that was named after Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, who commanded the 1838 United States Exploring Expedition. During the expedition, Wilkes discovered proof that Antarctica is a continent. In 1962, a man named R.A. Schmidt became the first person to propose the theory that a giant impact crater is located beneath the Wilkes Land ice sheet. He based the hypothesis on seismic and gravity anomalies in the area. In 2006, a team of researchers led by Ralph von Frese and Laramie Potts used gravity measurements by NASA’s GRACE satellites to prove that there is a 480 km (300 mi) wide Wilkes Land crater. The enormous crater is centered at 70°S 120°E and was probably formed about 250 million years ago.
The anomaly is centered within a larger ring structure that is visible with radar images. If the feature is an impact crater, then, based on the size of the ring structure, the crater would be four or five times wider than the one that is thought to have caused the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. The impact of the object has also been reported to have disturbed the rift valley that formed 100 million years ago when Australia moved away from the Gondwana supercontinent. For this reason, it has been hypothesized that the impact might have contributed to the massive separation by weakening the crust.
The dates surrounding the Wilkes Land Crater suggest that it might be associated with the Permian-Triassic extinction event, which occurred 250 million years ago and is believed to be the largest extinction event since the origin of complex life. People who doubt the impact theory have noted that there is a lack of an impact ejecta layer associated with the crater. In 2012, it was announced that samples taken from the core of Wilkes Land showed a tropical presence. Researchers were able to reconstruct the local vegetation on Antarctica and found that there were tropical and subtropical rainforests covering the coastal region 52 million years ago. The scientific evaluations showed that winter temperatures on the Wilkes Land coast were warmer than 50 degrees Fahrenheit approximately fifty million years ago.
4. Baltic Sea Anomaly
On June 19, 2011, a Swedish based diving team named Ocean X made a bizarre discovery in the Baltic Sea. The team specializes in the underwater retrieval of valuable artifacts. On the day in question, Ocean X used sonar equipment to identify a “very unusual 197 foot (exactly 60 meter) diameter cylinder shaped object at the depth of approximately 275 feet (83.8 meters).” The team captured a sonar image of the object and released it to the press, which caused some to compare the picture to the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.
Ocean X founder Peter Lindberg responded by saying “First we thought this was only stone, but this is something else. Since no volcanic activity has ever been reported in the Baltic Sea, the find becomes even stranger.” In 2012, Ocean X returned to the site of the anomaly with a collection of 3D seabed scanners and submersible objects. After reaching the site, the team reported that all their electronic equipment, including a satellite phone would not work within 200 meters of the site. After closer examination, the anomaly was described as a “huge mushroom” with a thick pillar rising 8 meters (26 feet) out of the seabed with a 4 meter (13 foot) thick dome on the top. Ocean X says they observed wall-like features on the formation’s surface, straight lines, right angles, and circular shaped stones.
In July of 2012, it was suggested that the object may be a Nazi anti-submarine defense system that was used during the Second World War, which had wire mesh to confuse British and Russian submarine radar. If the anomaly is an anti-submarine defense system, the discovery could have historical significance. It could also help explain why electrical equipment has been known to not work near the area.
The story has been picked up by ufologists who claim the anomaly is an alien spacecraft or government facility. Initial reports said that the object contained a staircase, passageways, and a small opening. It has also been suggested that the anomaly sits at the end of a large runway. In 2012, a series of articles were published that claimed the object was a pile of rock, while others say it sits below a unique pattern of rocks. The story has been blurred, but many scientists have labeled the object a cluster of rocks or a sediment deposit. The location of the Baltic Sea Anomaly is secret. In 2012, it was reported by Ocean X that a series of U.S. and Russian military exercises were carried out near the anomaly.
3. Vinland Map
In 1960, a Norse settlement was found at L’Anse aux Meadows, which is located on the northern tip of the island of Newfoundland, in what is now the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The discovery provided evidence that the Vikings had entered sections of North America 500 years before Christopher Columbus. According to the Sagas of Icelanders, the great explorer Leif Ericson established a Norse settlement on North America named Vinland around the year 1000. Vinland is mentioned in the work of Adam of Bremen c. 1075 and in the Book of Icelanders compiled c. 1122 by Ari the Wise. According to the books, North America was sighted around 986 by Bjarni Herjolfsson, who was blown off course on a trip from Iceland to Greenland. His stories lured Leif Ericson to the area.
In 1957, news of the Vinland map was released to the world. The map is claimed to be a 15th-century world map that holds unique information about the Norse exploration of America. In addition to showing Africa, Asia, and Europe, the map depicts a landmass south-west of Greenland in the Atlantic Ocean labeled as Vinland. The discovery shocked historians who looked to explain the origin of the map. The parchment of the Vinland map shows a representative date of somewhere between 1423 and 1445. Since the map was found, some people have labeled it a forgery, while others have identified it as real.
In the late 1960s, it was announced that a chemical analyses of the map showed ink ingredients from the 20th-century. More specifically, the presence of anatase, which is a synthetic pigment used since the 1920s, however, natural anatase has been demonstrated in various Mediaeval manuscripts. The situation was made worse by the fact that the map was coated with an unknown substance in the 1950s, possibly created by nuclear tests on the document. To support claims for the map, it has been discovered that the wormholes match a medieval copy of volume 3 of Vincent of Beauvais’s encyclopedic Speculum historiale (“Historical Mirror”), which suggests that it may have been located in the book.
In a bizarre occurrence, the Vinland map depicts Greenland as an island with a remarkably close representation of the correct shape and orientation of the land. However, the depiction of Norway is wildly inaccurate. The map also shows an area that may represent Japan. It seems to not only show Honshu, but also Hokkaido and Sakhalin, which were omitted even from Oriental maps in the 15th century.
Many historians feel that the map might be a copy of one developed by Italian mariner Andrea Bianco in the 1430s. Some have placed the land of Vinland as far south as New England or Rhode Island. To date, the map is said to be real by its current owner, Yale University. Regardless of the controversy over its authenticity, the Vinland map has been valued at over $25,000,000. It might be the first map to show North America.
2. Vitrified Forts
In 1777, a man named John Williams, who was one of the earliest British geologists, described the phenomenon of vitrified forts. Vitrified forts are the name given to a type of crude stone enclosure or wall that shows signs of being subjected to intense heat. The structures have baffled geologists for centuries because people can’t figure out how the rocks were fused together. There is currently no accepted method for the vitrification of large scale objects. “The temperatures required to vitrify the entire fort structures are equal to those found in an atomic bomb detonation.” Hundreds of vitrified fort structures have been found across Europe and 80 such examples exist in Scotland. Some of the most remarkable include Dun Mac Sniachan, Benderloch, Ord Hill, Dun Creich, Castle Point, and Barra Hill.
The forts range in age from the Neolithic to Roman period. The structures are extremely broad and present the appearance of large embankments. The process used to develop the walls is thought to have involved extreme heat and many structures show signs of fire damage. However, vitrification is usually achieved by rapidly cooling a substance. It occurs when bonding between elementary particles becomes higher than a certain threshold. Thermal fluctuations break the bonds, therefore, the lower the temperature, the higher the degree of connectivity. The process of vitrification made headlines in 2012 when scientists used it to preserve organs and tissues at very low temperatures.
Many historians have argued that vitrified forts were subjected to carefully maintained fires to ensure they were hot enough to turn the rock to glass. In order to do this, the temperatures would have been maintained between 1050 and 1235°C, which would have been extremely difficult to do. It is also uncertain why people would have exposed the structures to such intense heat because when rock is superheated, the solid becomes significantly weaker and brittle. Some scientists have theorized that the vitrified forts were created by massive plasma events (solar flares). A plasma event occurs when ionized gas in the atmosphere takes the form of gigantic electrical outbursts, which can melt and vitrify rocks. During solar storms, the Sun is known to occasionally throw off massive spurts of plasma. As of 2012, vitrified forts remain one of the strangest anomalies on Earth.
1. 2012 North American Heat Wave
It is not fully understood what is causing the 2012 North American drought, but the bizarre weather patterns have started to impact daily life. The extreme weather started in March of 2012 when over 7,000 high temperature records were shattered in North America, mainly in the U.S. and Canada. At the same time, the western United States and parts of Canada experienced some severe cold weather patterns. In March of 2012, Oregon received a new record for snowfall, while in Chicago the temperatures were 30 degrees hotter than usual.
Mike Halpert, who is the deputy director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Climate Prediction Center, called the record-breaking month of March “mind-boggling.” Global warming advocate Bill McKibben said: “it’s not just off the charts. It’s off the wall the charts are tacked to.”
In June of 2012, North America experienced the most deadly and destructive derecho (severe wind and thunderstorm system) in North American history. The derecho resulted in 22 deaths and 3.7 million people lost power for multiple days. In July and August of 2012, North America was thrown into another massive heat wave, which has caused close to 100 deaths in Canada and the U.S. The extreme weather has devastated crops and impacted world economies. In response, the United States has attempted to turn to Russia for help with grain export, but Russia is also experiencing an extreme drought and abnormal weather patterns. As a result, food prices will indefinably rise around the world.
Despite the extremely hot summer temperatures in most U.S. states, places like the Pacific Northwest in Washington State continue to have low temperatures. The bizarre weather patterns have caused some to revisit the Mayan apocalyptic theory. Numerous articles have been published with the suggestion that a very large planet or cluster of comets has started to impact weather on Earth.
The 2012 North American drought has caused catastrophic economic ramifications for the United States and Canada. It is expected to become the most costly disaster in United States history. In July of 2012, an estimated 97% of the top layer of the Greenland ice sheet thawed to some point. It was the largest extent of surface melting observed in three decades of satellite recording. Son Nghiem of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory responded with the quote: “This was so extraordinary that at first I questioned the result. Was this real or was it due to a data error?” Scientists say that there is a strong correlation between the increased frequency of extreme weather events and the release of human greenhouse gases.