Archive for the ‘myth’ Category

The Icarian Dream of Flight Which Makes Daedalus Proud

October 1, 2008

Unlike Icarus who had his wings melted for coming too close to Helios (sun,), plunging him to his death at sea, Switzerland’s Yves Rossy flew like a proud visitor from space, making us feel the ill-fated son of Daedalus in his escape from Crete, didn’t “drown” after all in the open waters.

The daring modern flier glided high and soared in the air to simulate sparrows and seagulls in flight— a symbolic return of Icarus and his proverbial wings. The state-of-the-art jet-propelled contraption was more sophisticated than the ruffled feathers welded on Icarus’ arms by his father and the flying machines conceived by Leonardo Da Vince in his drawings. Rossy was successful in traveling over hills and plains, a 22-mile flight from Calais, France to Dover England on September 25, 2005. Photo Credit: AP;AnjaNiedringhaus=0=

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus
by Peter Breugehl (1558)

Buried for 21 years in mud, a Virgin’s crown is recovered

September 12, 2008

Lost in the muddy confines of the river where the fluvial parade passes during the annual Penafrancia fiesta in Naga City, Philippines, the crown of Ina was finally recovered during last month’s waterway clean-up.

Shown by Rev. Msgr. Romulo A.Vergara, Rector of Penafrancia Basilica (right photo) is the valuable piece of Marian history—the once-missing bejeweled crown of the miraculous image of Ina, the Virgin of Penafrancia which disappeared when the icon tumbled into the river in the penultimate day of the feast, 21 years ago on September 19, 1997 during a fluvial procession.

Surrounded by myth and folklore, the crown’s disappearance had been blamed for calamities that swept Bicol. The crown was returned to the local church authorities of Nueva Caceres. Source: Bicol Mail (09/12/08) =0=

Human Imagination, DNA Test & the Big Foot Hoax

August 16, 2008

It’s the stuff that children usually imagine and adults take advantage of. A story of a huge hairy half-ape, half-man named Big Foot doesn’t fail to stimulate our curiosity in spite of tell-tale signs of fakery and hyperbolic imagination. After decades of search for the mythical beast, there’s nobody who has proven (with unequivocal certainty) that the beast truly exists.

This week Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer, co-owners of a business that commercially sells Bigfoot merchandise, ostensibly appeared in a news conference in Palo Alto, California to claim having found the carcass of the creature while hiking in the a forest of northern Georgia. Naturally, curious people were abuzz. The tabloids, talk radio, TV, and the internet had cryptologists and skeptics debating on the legendary bipedal humanoid while the two men hugged public attention.

To clarify their outrageous claim, DNA tests were done on the purported Big Foot corpse. Scientist Curt Nelson of the University of Minnesota who performed the test revealed that of the two samples submitted from the beast, one came from a human being and the other from an opossum, a marsupial. =0=

Aurora Borealis’ Intriguing Noises & The Heavenly Apparitions Of Light

July 25, 2008

The eerie mysterious glow of light and hissing roar of the wind observed in the earth’s polar latitudes is called the Northern Lights aka Aurora Borealis, named after the enchanting goddess of Dawn (Aurora) and the North (Borealis.)

Folklore surrounds the amorphous undulating kaleidoscope of colors. From time to time, they appear in the night sky more beautifully when the chilly winds of fall set in. Photo: US Airforce/Strang, J.

The cryptic sound from the bright polar horizon scares and puzzles human beings for millenia. Explorer Ernest William Hawkes, in his book The Labrador Eskimo (1916) has this to say about Aurora’s mythic origin as the Eskimos have it in their tradition:

The sky is a great dome of hard material arched over the Earth. There is a hole in it through which the spirits pass to the true heavens. Only the spirits of those who have died a voluntary or violent death, and the Raven, have been over this pathway. The spirits who live there light torches to guide the feet of new arrivals. This is the light of the Aurora. They can be seen there feasting and playing football with a walrus skull.

The whistling crackling noise which sometimes accompanies the Aurora is the voices of these spirits trying to communicate with the people of the Earth. They should always be answered in a whispering voice.”

Scientists have a better explanation for the spectacular light display in the sky. Vassilis Angelopoulos of the University of California, Los Angeles and his co-researchers in the THEMIS mission (Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms) said energy explosions are behind the bursts of light which occur a third of the way between Earth and the Moon. They are substorms, triggered by snapping “magnetic field lines” which cause the Aurora’s intriguing noises and heavenly apparition of lights. Associated Press (07/25/08, Dunn, M) =0=

The Stonehenge’s Secret Revealed, A Lost Amazon Tribe Discovered, & A Burial Urn Found To Bind The Ibalon Epic to Bicolanos

May 30, 2008

The Stonehenge’s secret was revealed, said the British archeologists who studied the prehistoric rock-edifice which baffled the world for centuries. Based on carbon dating of cremated human burial remains found in the site, the prehistoric relic served as cemetery 500 years before the rock monument was erected in 3000 B.C, about 300 years earlier than once thought. Yorkshire Post (05/30/08, Harvey J.)

The finding clarified some controversies surrounding the Stonehenge which carried myths including that one which told of the circularly arranged sarsen stone as a prehistoric outpost for extraterrestials in the British Isles.

Just as the Stonehenge’s report came out, in the forested border of Brazil and Peru where Amazon jungle’s vegetation grew sparse, was a sighting of scantily-clad primitive tribesmen believed to have no contact with civilization. According to Survival International, a London-based organization which defends rights of indigenous people worldwide, the discovery of the jungle-dwellers bolstered the need to protect the Amazon from the interferences of developers, loggers, and oil prospectors. (05/30/08. Brasiliero,A)

Such concern for human beings and history was shown in Naga City, Philippines as well. An ancient burial urn with a serrated border shed clues to the Ibalon epic, a mythical tale of Bicol’s past which the people hungered to know about. The 32 cm. rounded urn cover on which was carved a depiction of the Ibalon story (see top photo,) had been kept in the Museo Conciliar de Nueva Caceres, housed in the old Holy Rosary Minor Seminary building.

In the Ibalon epic, Handiong was the king of Libmanan who sent 1,000 warriors under the leadership of Bantong to kill half-man, half-beast giant monster Rabot. Bantong slew Rabot while asleep in a cave dwelling.

The epic narrates that Handiong and his warriors came to Ibalon (Spanish colonizers once called Bicol as Tierra de Ybalon) to “clear” the place and start planting but he was challenged by a serpent called Uryol who later became a close ally in building the civilization in the region.Bicol Mail (11/22/07, Escandor, J Jr.)

Anthropologist-professor Zeus Salazar of the University of the Philippines thought part of the Ibalon story was etched on the celebrated urn cover which was crafted somewhere in 5,000 BC to 10 AD. It placed the age of the urn to be two thousand years older than the Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England.

The one-of-a-kind pottery was part of the antique collection of Dr. Ermelo Almeda who went places to beef up his treasure-trove of Stone-age tools, historic artifacts, old ornaments, animal eggs, and earthen wares.

The urn’s authenticity was however doubted by Dr. Jesus Peralta, a retired archeologist of the National Museum for the “unscientific” way it was retrieved in Bigaho, Libmanan, Camarines Sur back in 1982. A minaret-like portion of the of the urn’s design, the lack of carbon-dating and documentation made him suspect the piece was bought from Mindanao.

But Dr. Salazar who traced the Ibalon epic from a fragmented five-part story published by Spanish Friar Jose Castano in the 1800s wove an interesting interpretation of the urn cover whose depiction of the Ibalon folklore might enrich the understanding of the myth which Bicolanos seek to know. The paucity of information about Ibalon made it all the more significant and intriguing.==0==

More of this burial urn in: Vol. XXIV, 11/22/07.