Hello, Lovelies! Welcome to this week’s blog post covering the episode where Rebecca couldn’t make up her mind and decided to cover multiple subjects (surprise!). Below, you will find her show notes, lots and lots of sources, and info on the show featured during this week’s drink break.
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In Roopkund, India, 16,000 feet above sea level, laid a frozen lake in the bottom of a valley
In 1942, a British forest guard made an alarming discovery
In this valley laid about 200 skeletons
Since this was kind of in the middle of World War II, it was initially assumed that the skeletons came from a group of Japanese soldiers who died from exposure while sneaking through India
However, these skeletons were too old for this. Hundreds of years too old for this.
There was massive speculation, ranging from massive landslides all the way to ritual suicide
Eventually, in a 2004 expedition to the site were researchers finally able to shed some light on this weird discovery
All the bodies dated around 850 AD, and were able to be separated by using DNA into two groups:
- A family group or closely related tribe, that were most likely pilgrims
- A shorter group of people, most likely locals, that were probably hired as a guide through the mountains
All the individuals dies in the same manner, blows to the head
After more research, it was determined from the bones that these blows were not the result of a weapon, but some other round object. The skeletons were found with wounds along the head and shoulders.
Some light on this incident is shed from a Himilayan folk song. This song describes a goddess who was so enraged that her mountainside was being defiled by these strangers that she sent hailstones hard as iron to kill them.
The theory is since the travelers were stuck in a valley they had no cover from this freak hailstorm and all died as a result.
Mysterious Beams into Space
Since 2007, astronomers have been picking up random radio signals that originate in deep space
Called fast radio bursts (FRB), these phenomena only for a couple milliseconds at a time, and astronomers have happened to come across them by luck (i.e. the telescopes that can detect this just happened to be pointed in the right place at the right time)
One article dated June 217, 2019, stated that more than 85 FRBs have been detected since their first discovery, and they typically don’t occur twice
This makes it significantly difficult (read: impossible) for astronomers to pinpoint where in the universe one FRB came from
The only way for astronomers to figure out where one of these FRBs originates from is to find one that repeats… which they did in 2012.
Called FRB 121102, Astronomers located the source to be in a small galaxy in the constellation Auriga… about 2.4 billion light years from earth
1 light year = the distance that light can travel in one year
To put into reference, there are 0.00001581 light years between the earth and sun (which are 92.96 million mi apart)
Then, on September 24, 2018, for just 1.3 milliseconds, astronomers detected another repeating FRB (dubbed 180924)
It was pure luck that all 36 of the antennae that make up the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) picked up this FRB, allowing astronomers to locate where it came from
This FRB is located about 13,000 light years from the center of its own galaxy… that is 4 billion light years away
Even with this magnificent achievement… Astronomers still have no idea what causes FRBs
Although astronomers have been able to pinpoint where these two FRBs came from, the found that they came from significantly different sources
FRB 180924 is located in a galaxy that is mostly dominated by older stars and is 30 times brighter than 121102, whereas 121102 is located in a place that has rapid star formation
This means that astronomers have theorized the source of FRBs could be… anything. From magnetic fields, to black holes, even massive ancient alien technology that have been left to just run.
The most likely explanation is that FRBs can be formed from very different circumstances… but intelligent life hasn’t been completely ruled out
Espionage killed the radio star:
Imagine, you’re an amateur radio hobbyist. One day, as you’re browsing through AM frequencies, just minding your own business, when you stumble across an automated voice reading of a string of numbers
333 22 444
Congratulations, you found a number station
Number stations are radio stations that occasionally emit a radio broadcast that start with an interval signal (such as a phrase or a song) before an automated voice reads of a seemingly random string of numbers
This random string of numbers is how it’s believed that messages are communicated to spies in other countries
These numbers are randomly generated using a one time number pad (meaning, the key is only used once), once the message is received by the spy, the pad is destroyed and never used again
While many people know these stations exist (you can listen to recordings of them on the internet) the interesting thing is no one claims ownership of these stations. None of these stations are licensed and no one really knows where they came from.
So… a little science. Number stations use AM frequencies.
FM and AM radio work the same way, the difference is how the carrier wave is altered:
- FM (Frequency Modulation): The frequency (so, how many times per second the current changes direction) alters the carrier wave or signal
- AM (Amplitude Modulation): The Amplitude, or overall strength of the carrier signal, is altered to carry the sound information
AM radio operates with a lower frequency and a larger wavelength than FM radio does, and all you need to know about that is that this allows AM to not only travel great distances, but also not be hindered by things like buildings or mountains
Due to the fact that, since radio stations are hard to locate to begin with, and to add in addition the range of the AM signal, these stations are incredibly hard to track down
And since stations broadcast a signal omni-directionally, anyone can receive the signal a.k.a. the secret message
This means someone can receive this message, and unless someone directly observes them receiving the message, you have no proof they received the message (unlike anything with computers, which leave trails everywhere)
It’s also important to remember that with a little know-how you can easily build a receiver, and that this wouldn’t necessarily be something weird or suspicious to be carrying around
Many people believe that number stations are still used today to communicate across borders for nefarious missions
That being said, governments don’t acknowledge the existence of these things, and no one claims ownership
Combination Formula: http://mathwords.com/c/combination_formula.htm