Just Imagine what would happen if we all were trapped in a Computer Game,and were just designed to perform specific tasks,our body and actions were controlled by someone else,probably by one who is more intelligent than us,then what would be the scenerio?Is it Possible?
Hold Your Breath…..
WHAT IS SIMULATION HYPOTHESIS? According to this Hypothesis…
“Reality is not real,its just an illusion,or just a Simulation,most probably a computer simulation”
This Hypothesis gives rise to an unbelievable theory,which is quite hard to believe but somewhere,somewhat it can be true.This Hypothesis suggests that we all are living in a programmed universe,in which each and every single thing,is programmed.
It is believed that,we all are living in a computer simulated world,designed by our future Generation.Our actions are under Guidance.They would probably,have the ability to run many such simulations.
According to Moderator,Neil deGrasse Tyson,a direction of the museum’s Hayden Planetarium,He will put the odds at 50-50,that our entire existence is a program on someone else’s Hard Drive.“I Think the Likelihood may be very High”.
He explained the gap between Humans and our ancestors chimpanzee intelligence,despite the fact that we share almost 98% of our DNA.
Somewhere,Somewhat, there would be someone,who is more powerful and more intelligent than our own.
“If that’s the case,it is easy for me to imagine,that everything in our lives is just the creation of some other entity for their entertainment”he added.
There are many other theories also,that may force us to think,that we are programmed and living in a computer simulated Universe.
For example,the more we explore about the happening of our galaxy,planets,more they seems to obey mathematical law.
As per Max Tegmark,a cosmologist at MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY,if he was a character in a computer game,he would also discover that the rules seemed completely rigid and mathematical.That just reflects the computer code in which it was written.”If it turns out tha we really are living in a version of “THE MATRIX”,though,so what?”
May be we are living in a simulation,may be we are not,but if we are its not so bad.
“My advice is to go out and do really interesting things,so,the simulators wont shut you down”he added.
BUT WHAT WE CONCLUDED? After going through all these theories and believes,We can not deny the SIMULATION HYPOTHESIS in one go.
However,it may be hard to believe,but,Yes,there is 50% probability that we all are living in a COMPUTER SIMULATED UNIVERSE.
El misterio y la intriga son inherentes a la Santa Sede. La gente siempre se preguntará qué autoridades religiosas están conspirando a puertas cerradas, qué tesoros se encuentran dentro de las bóvedas del Vaticano. A pesar de las afirmaciones de que el Papa tiene pruebas de extraterrestres y demonios escondidos en sus catacumbas, la verdad de los archivos secretos es mucho más realista. Debido a esto, también es mucho más interesante. De las cartas escritas a mano de personajes históricos como Mary Queen of Scotts y Abraham Lincoln a los toros papales excomulgando a Martín Lutero, el contenido de los archivos es suficiente para hacer que los ojos de cualquier erudito se abran. Sin embargo, la naturaleza de alto nivel que hace que el contenido tan fascinante es también lo que los hace tan estrechamente guardado. En realidad, no es evidencia de extraterrestres que el Vaticano se esconda del ojo público, sino documentos que pueden mostrar que la Iglesia fue cómplice del terror patrocinado por el estado de Mussolini y, posiblemente, incluso en los pogromos antisemitas de Hitler.
La verdad detrás de los archivos secretos proviene de una traducción errónea del latín. El nombre real de los archivos del Vaticano es Archivum Secretum Apostolicum Vaticanum. ‘Secretum’ en latín no significa ‘secreto’ como algunos pueden suponer. Se traduce más exactamente como “personal” o “privado”. De hecho, los archivos están formados por las cartas privadas y los registros históricos de los últimos papas durante los últimos cuatro siglos. Los archivos fueron establecidos por el Papa Pablo V. El Papa claramente tenía un sentido de la importancia histórica de la correspondencia papal y sabía que tales documentos deben ser preservados. Sin embargo, el siglo 17 fue firmemente de la mentalidad de que la gente común no debe estar al tanto de las palabras intercambiadas por los reyes y los papas. Así que los archivos se mantuvieron bajo llave.
Acceso a los Archivos Privados
No fue hasta 1881 que el Papa León XIII permitió a los investigadores ver algunos de los contenidos del archivo. Sin embargo, no era fácil para uno ver los documentos y el procedimiento no ha cambiado mucho en los últimos 200 años. En primer lugar, los periodistas, los estudiantes y los historiadores aficionados no tienen acceso. Una vez que una parte interesada ha demostrado que él o ella es un erudito lo suficientemente serio, las credenciales se conceden que debe renovarse cada seis meses. Para ingresar a los archivos, “los estudiosos entran por la Porta Sant’Anna, pasan guardias suizos, recorren el Cortile del Belvedere y presentan credenciales” (O’Loughlin, 2014).
La Porta Sant Anna, donde los visitantes deben pasar para llegar a los archivos (Wikimedia Commons)
Una vez admitidos, los académicos deben solicitar qué documentos específicos desean revisar. Sólo se les permite solicitar tres por día. Así que en lugar de poder navegar por el contenido del archivo, deben seleccionar los artículos de los catálogos en los que los elementos se escriben a mano en italiano o latín. Estos catálogos son bastante imponentes considerando que los archivos contienen “50 millas [80km] de estanterías y documentos que datan del siglo VIII” (Keyser, 2015). “Si en pocos minutos se dan cuenta de que lo que buscan no está en las carpetas solicitadas, se ven obligados a hacer las maletas para el día, un desafío para los académicos en un plazo o para quienes han viajado largas distancias” ( O’Loughlin, 2014). Las computadoras están permitidas, pero no la fotografía, por lo que los expertos pasan la mayor parte de las sesiones en las salas de lectura escribiendo notas.
Si una persona es lo suficientemente afortunada como para tener acceso a los Archivos del Vaticano, podría perseguir joyas históricas como:
El pergamino de 60 metros que contiene los minutos de las pruebas de los Caballeros Templarios, que duró varios años a partir de 1307.
El Inter caetera, la bula papal emitida por el Papa Alejandro VI en 1493 que dividió el mundo entre los españoles y los portugueses
Una carta de Miguel Ángel al Papa Julio II
La bula papal de 1521 del Papa León X excomulgando a Martín Lutero
La petición de Enrique VIII de 1530 envió al Papa Clemente VII para pedir la anulación del matrimonio del rey con Catalina de Aragón, que incluye las firmas y sellos de más de 80 señores y clérigos ingleses (el Papa se negó)
Una carta al Papa Sixto V de María, reina de los escoceses, pidiendo a la Iglesia que intervenga poco antes de su ejecución
Notas relativas al juicio de 1633 contra Galileo
Una carta al Papa Inocencio X de la Gran Emperatriz Viuda Helena Wang de China
Una carta del Papa Clemente XII al Séptimo Dalai Lama pidiendo protección a los misioneros franciscanos en el Tíbet.
Cartas de ambos Abraham Lincoln y Jefferson Davis (ambos escritos en 1863, ni el hombre católico) en los esfuerzos para que el Papa Pío IX caiga a favor de la Unión o la Confederación
Una carta del rey Enrique VIII a Ana Bolena, que se celebra en el archivo del Vaticano (dominio público)
Papa Pío XII en Liga con los nazis?
David Kertzer, un historiador de la Universidad de Brown, pudo examinar documentos del reinado de Pío XI (1922-1939). Concluyó que el papa “hizo tratos con Mussolini para proteger el interés de la Iglesia a cambio del silencio sobre el antisemitismo patrocinado por el estado, una conclusión en desacuerdo con el relato de la Iglesia” (O’Loughlin, 2014). Los grupos están presionando al Papa Francisco para poner plenamente a disposición los contenidos relacionados con el Papa Pío XII (1939 – 1958) para que el mundo pueda finalmente saber con certeza el compromiso del hombre con los nazis. Algunos dicen que apoyó a Hitler, bien de una manera similar al apoyo de la Iglesia a Mussolini, o quizá incluso más sustancialmente. Otros dicen que el Papa trabajó contra los nazis y ayudó a esconder judíos y otros objetivos de la agresión nazi.
“La gente habla, los expertos hablan. ¿Hay cosas que no están disponibles porque son vistos como poco halagadores desde el punto de vista de la Iglesia? “, Dijo Kertzer. Sin embargo, admite Kertzer, los Archivos Secretos son atendidos por profesionales y “hay una apreciación de una seria erudición histórica” (O’Loughlin, 2014).
En 2012, en conmemoración del 400 aniversario de los archivos, se pusieron a disposición del público 100 documentos en una exposición llamada Lux in Arcana.
Lux in Arcana – Los archivos secretos del Vaticano se revelan.
Crédito: El Vaticano Imagen superior: Algunas de las 50 millas de estanterías en el archivo secreto del Vaticano Foto: El Vaticano
Mystery and intrigue are inherent to the Holy See. People will always wonder what religious authorities are conspiring to behind closed doors, what treasures lie within the vaults of the Vatican. Despite claims that the Pope has evidence of extraterrestrials and demons tucked away in his catacombs, the truth of the secret archives is much more realistic. Because of this, it is also much more interesting. From handwritten letters of historic personages such as Mary Queen of Scotts and Abraham Lincoln to papal bulls excommunicating Martin Luther, the contents of the archives are enough to make any scholar’s eyes go wide. Yet, the high-level nature that makes the contents so fascinating is also what makes them so closely guarded. For in truth, it is not evidence of aliens that the Vatican is hiding from the public eye but rather documents that may show the Church was complicit in Mussolini’s state-sponsored terror and, possibly, even in Hitler’s anti-Semitic pogroms.
The truth behind the secret archives stems from a mistranslation of Latin. The actual name of the Vatican archives is Archivum Secretum Apostolicum Vaticanum. ‘Secretum’ in Latin does not mean ‘secret’ as some may suppose. It is more accurately translated to mean ‘personal’ or ‘private’. The archives are in fact made up of the private letters and historic records of past popes over the past four centuries. The archives were established by Pope Paul V. The Pope clearly had a sense of the historic importance of papal correspondence and knew that such documents should be preserved. However, the 17th century was firmly of the mentality that common people should not be privy to words exchanged by kings and popes. So the archives were kept under lock and key.
Accessing the Private Archives
It was not until 1881 that Pope Leo XIII allowed researchers to view some of the archive’s contents. However, it was no simple matter for one to view the documents and the procedure has not changed much over the last 200 years. First of all, journalists, students, and amateur historians are not given access. Once an interested party has proven that he or she is a serious enough scholar, credentials are granted that must be renewed every six months. To enter the archives, a “scholars enter through the Porta Sant’Anna, pass Swiss Guards, walk through the Cortile del Belvedere, and present credentials” (O’Loughlin, 2014).
The Porta Sant Anna, where visitors must pass through to reach the archives (Wikimedia Commons)
Once admitted, scholars must request which specific documents they wish to review. They are only allowed to request three per day. So instead of being able to browse the contents of the archive, they must select articles from catalogs in which items are handwritten in Italian or Latin. These catalogs are quite imposing considering that the archives contain “50 miles [80km] of shelving and documents dating back to the eighth century” (Keyser, 2015). “If in just a few minutes they realize that what they’re seeking isn’t in the requested folders, they’re forced to pack up for the day – a challenge for scholars on a deadline or those who have traveled long distances” (O’Loughlin, 2014). Computers are allowed but not photography so scholars spend most of the sessions in reading rooms typing up notes.
If a person is fortunate enough to gain access to the Vatican Archives, he or she would be able to pursue such historical gems as:
The 197-foot-long (60 meters) scroll containing the minutes of the trials of the Knights Templar, which lasted for several years starting in 1307.
The Inter caetera, the papal bull issued by Pope Alexander VI in 1493 that split the world between the Spanish and the Portuguese
A letter from Michelangelo to Pope Julius II
The 1521 papal bull of Pope Leo X excommunicating Martin Luther
The 1530 petition Henry VIII sent to Pope Clement VII in order to request an annulment of the king’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon, which includes the signatures and seals of over 80 English lords and clergymen (the Pope refused)
A letter to Pope Sixtus V from Mary, Queen of Scots begging the Church to intervene shortly before her execution
Notes relating to the 1633 trial against Galileo
A letter to Pope Innocent X from Grand Empress Dowager Helena Wang of China
A letter from Pope Clement XII to the Seventh Dalai Lama requesting protection for Franciscan missionaries in Tibet.
Letters from both Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis (both written in 1863, neither man Catholic) in efforts to have Pope Pius IX come down in favor of the Union or the Confederacy
A letter from King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn, held in the Vatican archive (public domain)
Pope Pius XII in League with the Nazis?
David Kertzer, a historian from Brown University, was able to examine documents from the reign of Pope Pius XI (1922 – 1939). He concluded that the pope “made deals with Mussolini to protect the Church’s interest in exchange for silence on state-sponsored anti-Semitism, a conclusion at odds with the Church’s account” (O’Loughlin, 2014). Groups are pressuring Pope Francis to make fully available the contents relating to Pope Pius XII (1939 – 1958) in order that the world may finally know for certain the man’s involvement with the Nazis. Some say that he supported Hitler, either in a manner similar to the Church’s support of Mussolini or perhaps even more substantially. Others say that the Pope worked against the Nazis and helped to hide Jews and other targets of Nazi aggression.
“People talk, scholars talk. Are there things that aren’t being made available because they’re seen as unflattering from a Church point of view?” said Kertzer. Still, Kertzer admits, the Secret Archives are staffed by professionals, and “there’s an appreciation of serious historical scholarship.” (O’Loughlin, 2014)
In 2012, in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the archives, 100 documents were made available for the public to see in an exhibit called Lux in Arcana.
Lux in Arcana – The Vatican Secret Archives Reveals Itself. Credit: The Vatican
Top image: Some of the 50 miles of bookshelves in the Vatican secret archive Photo: The Vatican
Local legends about the Sansevero Chapel of Naples claim that the astonishing works of art it contains are the result of sorcery and black magic. The sculptures appear impossible to create by hand, while a macabre display featuring two actual human bodies is said to be the result of ritual killings. Also, adding to the occult aura surrounding the chapel, it is filled with Masonic symbolism.
At first glance, Capella Sansevero is your typical Italian chapel from the 17th century, tastefully filled with paintings and sculptures of a religious nature. However, a closer look at the various items in the chapel reveals that something is “off” about this place. Some sculptures are so “organic-looking” that they lead many to believe they were the result of a supernatural process. Furthermore, the enigmatic symbolism found around the chapel heavily hints to an allegorical esoteric message.
And, when visitors climb down a few stairs, they see this:
The chapel has on display two actual human remains with their entire nervous system on display. Creepily dubbed “Adam and Eve” – and even more creepily referred to as “anatomical machines” – this bizarre display has been the subject of all kinds of occult rumors.
To fully understand what is going on with the chapel, one must understand its creator: Raimondo di Sangro, the Prince of Sansevero. While he was considered a brilliant inventor and philosopher by many, others believed that he was a cruel black magician who killed people to conduct bizarre experiments.
A visit to his Sansevero Chapel gives credence to both points of view as it puts on display all of di Sangro’s alchemical genius … and madness. Before looking at the bizarre works of art on display at the chapel, let’s first look at the man behind it all.
Raimondo di Sangro, the “Sorcerer Prince”
From the age of 10, di Sangro was educated at the Jesuit College of Rome. In 1730, at age 20, he came back to Naples using the title “Prince of Sansevero”. He soon joined the ranks of occult secret societies.
“In spite of the religious training that he had received with the Jesuits, the young man soon joined the secret brotherhood of the Rosicrucians, where he was initiated into ancient alchemic rituals, the so called “sacred art” or “king’s art” which had been handed down through the centuries from Egyptian priest to their disciples. Don Raimondo had found his life calling. While maintaining the outmost silence about “his brothers” and the teachings he was receiving (he left no documents whatsoever on the activities of the mysterious sect) the Prince radically changed his life and devoted all his time to alchemy. Vials, ovens and alembics filled the cellar of his palace and at nighttime it was not rare to see strange, colored vapors and disgusting smells coming out of the barred windows of his cellar. It was at that time that Neapolitans started labeling him a sorcerer.”
– Rino Di Stefano, Raimondo de Sangro,
the “Sorcerer” Prince
Di Sangro introduced Freemasonry to his city as he became the head of the Neapolitan Masonic Lodge. This fact, combined with his knack for presenting peculiar inventions, such as an “eternal flame” made from a chemical compound of his creation and human skull bones, only grew the legend surrounding Di Sangro.
“Prince Raimondo di Sangro was known as an eccentric, enigmatic, and mystical man. He was the head of the Neapolitan Masonic lodge, the symbols of which are interspersed throughout the chapel, and was a student of numerous areas of the sciences, as well as alchemy and other mystical disciplines. He also spoke several exotic languages such as Hebrew and Arabic and was an inventor, some of his inventions of which were rather bizarre, such as a mechanized carriage with wooden horses that was said to be able to travel over both land and water. These eccentricities led to the Prince garnering a reputation as a practitioner of wizardry and black magic, and rumors abounded that he performed sinister magical rituals, human sacrifices, and curses. It was also said that he could perform great feats of alchemy, such as creating blood out of water or even thin air, and that he used the various body parts of his sacrificed victims in his odious spells and potions. The Prince was said to lock himself away for days on end and perform demented experiments on human beings, such as reanimating the dead. These dark rumors and legends that swirled around the Prince made him into a man to be feared and avoided; a larger than life black sorcerer who could bend magical and natural forces to his will. The Prince did little to deny these rumors and it is thought that he even encouraged them.”
– Brent Swancer, The Bizarre Anatomical Machines of Italy
One of di Sangro’s many “hobbies” was Bel Canto, which means “beautiful singing”. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Who doesn’t appreciate beautiful singing?
However, for di Sangro, “Bel Canto” means buying little boys from impoverished parents, castrating them and forcing them to sing.
“In spite of his being acquainted with the pleasures of family life and having children (…), the Prince enjoyed going around his many estates looking for young boys with beautiful voices. Usually he would find them in the church choir. Then he would “buy” them from their parents (usually poor, illiterate peasants who had many children) and had his personal physician, don Giuseppe Salerno, castrate them. He would then lock them up in the Conservatory of Jesus Christ’s Poor in Naples, where these young castrated boys started their careers as “sopranist”.
He saw in the castrati a search for perfection, which according to the Rosicrucians resulted from “annulling the dualism that comes from separation, a return to the primordial androgynous being”.
As di Sangro’s reputation grew, and his writings gained publicity, he made powerful friends and powerful enemies. His involvement with Freemasonry lead to his writings being banned and for him to be ex-communicated by the Catholic Church.
He spent the later days of his life decorating the Sansevero Chapel, turning this small place into a grandiose representation of the “alchemical and Masonic path to illumination”.
A Mysterious Occult Temple
Before it was transformed by Raimondo di Sangro, the Sansevero Chapel was already the subject of bizarre rumors. It was said to have been constructed on an old temple of Isis and, to prove this fact, locals point to a massive Statue of the God of the Nile, located just around the corner from his home.
Adding to the sinister factor, the Palazzo Sansevero was the scene of a brutal murder at the end of the 16th century, when the composer Carlo Gesualdo caught his wife and her lover together and hacked them to death in their bed. Up until 1888, a passageway connected Palazzo Sansevero to the Sansevero chapel.
However, it is when Raimondo di Sangro turned this chapel into an alchemical project that the site became an attraction, especially in occult circles. Other than the enigmatic “hidden message” of the chapel, it is the works of art that mystify visitors. They appear to daringly declare: “I was an occultist and this is what I could do”.
The works of art in the Sansevero Chapel are indeed unique, powerful and unsettling, forcing visitors to ask: “How did he do that”? And, when one knows the esoteric and alchemical background of the Prince, observing them leads to the question: “Was this done through an occult process?”
The most compelling example of this is The Veiled Christ. Set in the middle of the chapel, this sculpture of Christ covered by a thin veiled has an unnerving quality: How was this marble sculpture made using a block of stone and a chisel? The veil is too … real.
“Completed in 1753 by Giuseppe Sanmartino and commissioned by Raimondo di Sangro, it portrays Christ deposed after crucifixion, covered by a transparent veil. This veil is rendered with such subtlety as to be almost deceiving to the eye, and the effect seen in person is really striking: one gets the impression that the “real” sculpture is lying underneath, and that the shroud could be easily grabbed and lifted.
It’s precisely because of Sanmartino’s extraordinary virtuosity in sculpting the veil that a legend surrounding this Christ dies hard – fooling from time to time even specialized magazines and otherwise irreproachable art websites.
Legend has it that prince Raimondo di Sangro, who commissioned the work, actually fabricated the veil himself, laying it down over Sanmartino’s sculpture and petrifying it with an alchemic method of his own invention; hence the phenomenal liquidness of the drapery, and the “transparence” of the tissue.”
– Bizarrobazar, The Mystery of Chapel Sansevero
For centuries, a “black legend” surrounded this sculpture and others in the chapel that held that the Prince used a mysterious alchemical process to “marbelize” a fine cloth placed over the sculpture.
Some observers noticed a troubling detail about that sculpture: Christ appears to still be breathing.
“There may be another small “anomaly” in this Veiled Christ, as there is a slight indentation over the nostril, as if the shroud is being sucked in by breath – is this “dead Jesus” alive? Did di Sangro believe that Jesus had not died on the Cross? If so, perhaps he was not only a Mason, but a member of another, even more mysterious, order?
Jesus disappeared from his tomb – but he is not alone. The Prince’s tombstone can still be seen in the chapel. He died on March 22, 1771, “from a sudden illness caused by his mechanic experiments”. During the long nights he spent in his laboratory he had probably inhaled or ingested some toxic substance, which this time had indeed become lethal. His sarcophagus, however, does not contain his body; someone stole it. When or why is not known.
Raimondo had a plaque placed in the chapel, stating that the person who commissioned those works (i.e. himself) was moved by a desire “to astonish, discover and teach”.
– Phillip Coppens, The Alchemical Chapel
On the left of Veiled Christ is The Chastity, a sculpture modeled after di Sangro’s mother Cecilia Caetani d’Aragona. The naked woman is covered from head to toe by a thin veil which reveals her forms in every detail. This work of art is, once again, another “supernatural” feat of sculpture. How can this effect be achieved using marble?
“The Chastity (La Pudicizia) by Corradini, with its drapery veiling the female character as if it was transparent, is another “mystery” of sculpting technique, where the stone seems to have lost its weight, becoming ethereal and almost floating. Imagine how the artist started his work from a squared block of marble, how his mind’s eye “saw” this figure inside of it, how he patiently removed all which didn’t belong, freeing the figure from the stone little by little, smoothing the surface, refining, chiselling every wrinkle of her veil.”
– Op. Cit, Bizarrobazar.
Although the statue was modeled after di Sangro’s mother, it is clearly a tribute to the most important figure in Freemasonry: Veiled Isis.
“The veiled woman can be interpreted as an allegory of Wisdom, and the reference to the veiled Isis, special divinity of the science of initiation.”
– Made in South Italy, The Alchemist Chapel
Indeed, in occult symbolism, Veiled Isis is the ultimate representation of occult mysteries where the truth is veiled to the profane until true esoteric initiation.
“The mysteries of Hermeticism, the great spiritual truths hidden from the world by the ignorance of the world, and the keys of the secret doctrines of the ancient philosophers, are all symbolized by the Virgin Isis. Veiled from head to foot, she reveals her wisdom only to the tried and initiated few who have earned the right to enter her sacred presence, tear from the veiled of Nature its shroud of obscurity, and stand face to face with the Divine Reality. (…)
To the modern seeker she is the epitome of the Great Unknown, and only those who unveil her will be able to solve the mysteries of life, death, generation, and regeneration.”
– Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages
Locals claim that The Chastity is placed exactly where a statue of Isis stood, back when the chapel was a temple of Isis.
On the opposite side of The Chastity is Disillusionment, another perplexing sculpture infused with profound symbolism. Modeled after the Prince’s father Antonio di Sangro, it depicts a man struggling to free himself from a net as he is being helped by a winged youth.
Once again, a mystery surrounds this sculpture: How can a net be sculpted over a body that appears to have been already sculpted underneath? Was an alchemical process used to achieve this astonishing result?
Not unlike The Chasity, this sculpture is an allegory for a fundamental Masonic concept: The freeing of Man using the intellect.
“Its allegorical meaning is that man is intent on freeing himself from false beliefs (the net) with the aid of the intellect (the young man).”
– Rino Di Stefano, “San Severo”
Although there are several other sculptures in the chapel, the three above clearly stand out and are connected with their mysterious organic qualities. Furthermore, these three sculptures constitute an “esoteric triangle”. With The Chastity on the left (representing the female principle), Disillusionment on the right (representing the male principle) and Veiled Christ in the middle (representing the “perfected man”), the sculptures esoterically represent the most fundamental hermetic principle: Duality merging to create a perfected being.
In occult circles, this concept is personified by Isis and Osiris uniting to create Horus – the perfect being.
“To achieve perfection, the initiate must successfully understand and internalize the dual nature of the world (good and evil; masculine and feminine; black and white, etc.) through alchemical metamorphosis. This concept is symbolically represented by the union of Osiris and Isis (the male and female principles) to give birth to Horus, the star-child, the Christ-like figure, the perfected man of Freemasonry – who is equated with the Blazing Star.”
The original floor of the chapel also heavily plays on the concept of duality and esoteric initiation.
The original floor was in black and white – meant to represent duality and the unification of opposing forces – not unlike the checkerboard floor found in all Masonic lodges. The intricate, tri-dimensional design depicts a labyrinth – a masonic symbol for initiation.
“Labyrinths and mazes were favored places of initiation among many ancient cults. Remains of these mystic mazes have been found among the American Indians, Hindus, Persians, Egyptians, and Greeks. (…) The famous labyrinth of Crete, in which roamed the bull-headed Minotaur, was unquestionably a place of initiation into the Cretan Mysteries.
Labyrinths were symbolic of the involvements and illusions of the lower world through which wanders the soul of man in its search for truth.”
– Hall, op. cit.
Just like duality opposes black and white, the sublime works of art described above are opposed to a morbid and sinister display: The Anatomical Machines.
Adam and Eve
What the heck are those things might you ask? Well, they’re exactly what you’re hoping they are not. And maybe worse.
This exhibit consists of two actual skeletons of a mature male and a pregnant woman. Their entire nervous system is exposed, where the arteries are colored red and the veins are colored blue.
The fetus of the pregnant woman was on also originally on display but the specimen mysteriously disappeared.
How did Raimondo di Sangro preserve the nervous system of these human remains? Well, that’s a mystery that keeps on being mysterious. And, once again, a “dark legend” surrounds these “anatomical machines”.
It was indeed rumored that “Adam and Eve” were two servants of di Sangro who were injected with a substance that crystallized their nervous system – killing them in the process. Here’s a dramatic account of the legend:
“The Prince, just like a sorcerer, is stirring the preparation in a big cauldron. Eventually, the long-awaited reaction takes place: a mysterious liquid is ready. On the other side of the room, the two bound and gagged servants can’t even scream anymore. The man is sobbing, while the woman, even immobilized, stays vigilant and alert — perhaps the new life she carries in her womb prevents her from giving in to fear, commanding an already impossible defense. The Prince hasn’t got much time, he has to act quickly. He pours the liquid down a strange pump, then he gets close to his victims: in their eyes he sees an unnameable terror. He starts with the man, puncturing the jugular vein and injecting the liquid right into his bloodstream with a syringe. The heart will pump the preparation throughout the body, and the Prince watches the agonizing man’s face as the dense poison begins to circulate. There, it’s all done: the servant is dead. It will take two to three hours for the mixture to solidify, and surely more than a month for the putrified flesh to fall off the skeleton and the network of veins, arteries and capillaries the process turned into marble. Now it’s the woman’s turn.”
– bizzarrobazar, The mysteries of Sansevero Chapel
While recent “studies” claim that di Sangro artificially recreated the nervous systems of these bodies using wire and beeswax, I find this difficult to believe. I mean, just look at the closeup pictures above. How can a man create that complex system manually?
“These two skeletons are overlaid with a complex, twisting network of metal tendrils and hardened arteries and veins which represent the arterial system, viscera and musculature of human beings with amazing, meticulous accuracy. The skulls of the two figures are hinged, and can be opened to reveal an incredibly detailed spiderweb of blood vessels within. Upon their unveiling, the disturbing models were so mystifying and grotesque that it was believed that the dark Prince had actually used his black magic and alchemy on some of his unwilling servants to morph them into these abominations.
Regardless of whether they are the result of black magic or not, Adam and Eve present a number of very real mysteries, not the least of which is how they were made in the first place. For years the method of construction was the source of bafflement among scientists and doctors. Were the intricate hardened circulatory systems real, and if so how did they remain so remarkably well preserved for over 200 years? Were they artificial? If so, how could they be reproduced so faithfully? Since there was little to no documentation as to the original creation of the anatomical machines, these were questions for which the answers long remained elusive. The main theory was that the two anatomical machines were created through a process known as plasticization, or “human metallization,” which involves injecting substances directly into the circulatory systems of subjects while they were still living, after which these materials would travel along the veins and harden, painfully killing the unfortunate victim in the process. However, no one really knew for sure.”
– Op Cit. Swancer
No matter what the case may be, these anatomical machines aren’t simply there to freak out visitors. They are also said to serve a symbolic purpose in the alchemical “great work” that is the chapel.
Through various clues, it is believed that the anatomical machines represent the last stage of the alchemical process called Rubedo – the reddening – symbolized by a red phoenix rising from its ashes. Interesting fact: The “machines” were originally on display in a room called The Phoenix.
“the originary placement of the “anatomical machines”, inside the Phoenix Apartment on a revolving platform, looks like a symbolic choice: maybe Raimondo di Sangro thought of them as a depiction of the rubedo, a stage in the search for the philosopher’s stone in which matter recomposes itself, granting immortality.”
– Op. Cit., bizzarrobazar
The least one can say is that the chapel is surrounded by mystery. This is only amplified by the fact that di Sangro destroyed his own scientific archive before he died. Then, after his death, under threat of excommunication by the Church due to di Sangro’s involvement with Freemasonry and alchemy, his descendants destroyed what was left of his writings, formulae, laboratory equipment and results of experiments. All that is left is thinly veiled symbolism.
In the image of its creator, the Chapel of Sansevero is brash and unapologetic. It is a celebration of the esoteric path and a showcase of the alchemical know-how of an enthusiastic occultist. While “occult” literally means “hidden from the public”, Raimondo di Sangro spent his life publicizing his interests and discoveries, barely “placing a veil” on the true nature of his experiments.
The Chapel is, therefore, one of those rare instances where “magic” can be seen in plain sight. While the sublime works of art of the chapel are a celebration of life, beauty, and spirituality, the morbid manipulation of cadavers below celebrate death, decay and the gruesome. In short, not unlike the black and white floors that used to cover this occult temple, the Chapel of Sansevero visually represents the dualistic nature of the universe and, by correspondence, the dualistic nature of man. Once these opposing forces are united, and the duality is resolved, esoteric perfection is said to be attained. To achieve this, one must not be afraid to look towards the heavens … and stare into the depth of hell.
This passage may read like a passage from the Old Testament of the Bible; but, this is a quote from the Hymn of Aten, a work by Pharaoh Amenhotep IV better known as Akhenaton. This so-called heretic king was the only known Pharaoh in Egyptian history who believed in a monotheistic doctrine when most of the ancient world adhered to polytheism.
Just how did this Pharaoh start to form the practice of worshiping a single god?
Religion in Egypt Before the Sun God Aten
Religion seemed to dominate every aspect of ancient Egyptian culture. Before pharaonic times, there were a variety of deities worshiped in various districts throughout Egypt. It wasn’t until the First Dynastic Period under King Narmer that the country was unified. Religion too was unified, but there wasn’t an official canonization of gods that minimized or eliminated the importance of lesser gods. Instead, deities were cosmopolitan – all of the gods of Egypt were recognized as an important part of the pantheon. This created some confusion and some overlap in beliefs but still no hegemony of deities seemed to exist in ancient Egypt.
Representations of six gods from the Ancient Egyptian Pantheon (Public Domain)
This codification of religion brought a substantial change in kingship. The birth of the concept of a Pharaoh emerged in which the king was no longer just a civil ruler but a part of the divinity – the godhead to be precise. The new god-king ruled in conjunction with Ra, or Amen-Ra, and he was often depicted as a powerful man with a falcon head nested upon his head with cobra surrounding the sun.
With this uncontested rule of the god-king came another important change. The role of the priests became much stronger and more dominant. Unlike today’s priests, they weren’t charged with guiding the masses. Instead, they were the keepers of tradition and played an integral part in appeasing the gods and goddesses through rituals and sacrifice. During the 18th dynasty, there was a temple created in Amen-Ra’s honor and Thebes became the city representing a unified Egypt, after a brief takeover by the Hyksos. The Pharaohs of this era paid homage to this god by incorporating the name Amen in their names, hence Amenhotep.
The Sun-Disk Pharaoh Emerges
By the time Amenhotep IV took the throne, pharaonic Egypt was in full swing. Rituals and traditions of the priests had been set in stone for many generations. Pharaohs simply assumed authority and let the priests do all the work while they enjoyed the finer things. This didn’t sit well with Amenhotep IV, however. Unlike his predecessors or even his successors, he was unhappy with tradition and was especially disgusted with the power of the priesthood. Whether Amenhotep IV unhappiness was due to him being fed up with Egyptian decadence or him being tired of the priests control over the Pharaohs is uncertain. But one thing for sure is that after five years of his reign he set out to turn Egyptian religious practices upside down and because of his divine authority, no one could stop
One of the first things he did was abandon the name Amen-, a name associated with a god he now despised – and changed his name to Akhenaten. Aten was the name of the sun disk god he now embraced as the only god. He then moved the capital from Thebes to Amarna. Most likely this move represented a break from the old and freedom from the authority of the priesthood. He then employed agents who outlawed the worship of other deities and forced the people to recognize only one god. To ensure that the people would follow his orders, he closed the Temple of Amun and defaced all of the deities in the temple.
Akhenaten’s religious fervor was undoubtedly strong during his lifetime and his cronies supported his desire to spread the power and influence of the Aten religion. Unfortunately, upon his death, the religion of Aten faded as swiftly as it had come. Akhenaten’s reign became a historical mockery. Even depictions of him seemed to mock his figure – oval eyes, high cheekbones, pot belly, frail build. Artisans and historians alike worked to minimize Akhenaten’s significance, not by writing him out of history or art; but making him look like a madman with unusual laws and an unusual appearance. The power of Egypt was restored to Thebes, the priesthood was reestablished, and even Akhenaten’s son defied his father’s teachings and reembraced the religion of Amun.
Akhenaten certainly seemed like a religious zealot devoted to a single god. Perhaps his passions were divinely inspired or maybe they centered on a more worldly aim of absolute power and control free of the priesthood’s influence. One man seems to imply that Akhenaten’s motives stemmed from the fact that he was Moses himself – the man depicted in the old testament of the Bible. Ahmed Osman – author of Moses and Akhenaton: The Secret History of Egypt at the Time of the Exodus – is convinced that archaeological and Biblical evidence prove that Akhenaten and Moses were the same man.
“MDZhB” ha estado transmitiendo desde 1982. Nadie sabe por qué. En medio de un pantano ruso, no lejos de la ciudad de San Petersburgo, hay una puerta rectangular de hierro. Más allá de sus bares oxidados hay una colección de torres de radio, edificios abandonados y líneas eléctricas bordeadas por un muro de piedra seca. Esta siniestra ubicación es el foco de un misterio que se remonta a la altura de la Guerra Fría. Se cree que es la sede de una emisora de radio, “MDZhB”, que nadie jamás ha pretendido correr. Veinticuatro horas al día, siete días a la semana, durante las últimas tres décadas y media, ha estado emitiendo un tono aburrido y monótono. Cada pocos segundos se le unen un segundo sonido, como si alguna nave fantasmal sonara su sirena de niebla. Entonces el drone continúa. Una o dos veces por semana, un hombre o una mujer leerá algunas palabras en ruso, como “bote” o “especialista en agricultura”. Y eso es. Cualquiera, en cualquier parte del mundo puede escuchar, simplemente ajustando una radio a la frecuencia 4625 kHz. Es tan enigmático, es como si estuviera diseñado con teóricos de la conspiración en mente. Hoy en día la estación tiene una numeración en línea siguiente en las decenas de miles, que lo conocen cariñosamente como “el zumbador”. Se une a dos estaciones misteriosas similares, “el Pip” y la “Rueda Squeaky”. Como sus admiradores admiten fácilmente, no tienen ni idea de lo que están escuchando.
Radio soviética (Crédito: iStock) Cualquiera puede escuchar el Buzzer, simplemente sintonizando una radio a la frecuencia de 4625 kHz (Crédito: iStock)
De hecho, nadie lo hace. “No hay absolutamente ninguna información en la señal”, dice David Stupples, un experto en inteligencia de señales de la City University de Londres. ¿Que esta pasando? Se cree que la frecuencia pertenece al ejército ruso, aunque nunca han admitido esto. Primero comenzó a transmitir al final de la Guerra Fría, cuando el comunismo estaba en declive. Hoy en día se transmite desde dos lugares – el sitio de San Petersburgo y una ubicación cerca de Moscú. Extrañamente, después del colapso de la Unión Soviética, en lugar de cerrar, la actividad de la estación aumentó bruscamente. No hay escasez de teorías para explicar lo que el Buzzer podría ser para – que van desde mantenerse en contacto con los submarinos de la comunión con los extranjeros. Una de esas ideas es que está actuando como una señal de “mano muerta”; En caso de que Rusia sea golpeada por un ataque nuclear, el drone se detendrá y activará automáticamente una represalia. No hay preguntas, sólo la obliteración nuclear total en ambos lados. Hay pistas en la propia señal. Esto puede no ser tan raro como suena. El sistema fue originalmente pionero en la era soviética, donde tomó la forma de un sistema informático que escaneó las ondas para detectar signos de vida o fallout nuclear. Alarmantemente, muchos expertos creen que todavía puede estar en uso. Como el presidente ruso Vladimir Putin señaló a principios de este año, “nadie sobreviviría” a una guerra nuclear entre Rusia y los Estados Unidos. ¿Podría el zumbador protegerse? Como ocurre, hay pistas en la propia señal. Como todas las radios internacionales, el Buzzer opera a una frecuencia relativamente baja conocida como “onda corta”. Esto significa que – en comparación con la radio local, el teléfono móvil y las señales de televisión – menos ondas pasan por un solo punto cada segundo. También significa que pueden viajar mucho más lejos. Mientras que usted sería duro presionado para escuchar una estación local tal como BBC Radio Londres en un condado vecino, las estaciones de la onda corta como el servicio del mundo de la BBC se dirigen a audiencias de Senegal a Singapur. Ambas estaciones se transmiten desde el mismo edificio.
Prueba de armas nucleares en Atolón Bikini (Crédito: Dominio Público / DoD de los Estados Unidos)
Si el sistema de la “mano muerta” no detecta signos de una jerarquía militar preservada, provocaría automáticamente una represalia (Crédito: Dominio Público / DoD de EE. UU.) Todo es gracias a “skywaves”. Las señales de radio de frecuencia más alta sólo pueden viajar en línea recta, eventualmente perdiéndose cuando chocan contra obstáculos o alcanzan el horizonte. Pero las frecuencias de onda corta tienen un truco extra: pueden rebotar partículas cargadas en la atmósfera superior, permitiéndoles zigzaguear entre la tierra y el cielo y viajar miles, en vez de decenas de kilómetros. Lo que nos lleva de nuevo a la teoría de la mano muerta. Como es de esperar, las señales de onda corta han demostrado ser muy populares. Hoy en día son utilizados por buques, aviones y militares para enviar mensajes a través de continentes, océanos y cordilleras. Pero hay una trampa. La elevada capa no es tanto un espejo plano, sino una onda que ondula como la superficie del océano. Durante el día se mueve cada vez más alto, mientras que por la noche, se arrastra hacia abajo hacia la Tierra. Si usted quiere garantizar absolutamente que su estación se puede oír en el otro lado del planeta – y si usted lo está utilizando como señal para la guerra nuclear, usted hace probablemente – es importante cambiar la frecuencia dependiendo de la época del día , Para ponerse al día. El Servicio Mundial de la BBC ya lo hace. El Buzzer no lo hace. Otra idea es que la estación de radio existe para “sonar” a qué distancia está la capa de partículas cargadas. “Para obtener buenos resultados de los sistemas de radar que utilizan los rusos para detectar misiles, es necesario saber esto”, dice Stupples. Cuanto más larga sea la señal para subir al cielo y hacia abajo otra vez, más alto debe ser. Hay una estación con algunas similitudes sorprendentes ¡Ay, que no puede ser tampoco. Para analizar la altitud de la capa, la señal tendría normalmente un cierto sonido, como una alarma de coche que se apaga – el resultado de variar las ondas para conseguir que sea justo. “No suenan nada como el Buzzer”, dice Stupples. Intrigante, hay una estación con algunas similitudes sorprendentes. El “Lincolnshire Poacher “funcionó a partir de los mediados de los años 70 a 2008. Al igual que el zumbador, podría ser oído en el otro lado del planeta. Al igual que el Buzzer, que emanó de un lugar no revelado, pensaba que en algún lugar de Chipre. Y al igual que el Buzzer, sus transmisiones eran simplemente espeluznante. Al principio de cada hora, la estación tocaba las dos primeras barras de una melodía inglesa popular, el Poacher de Lincolnshire. “Oh, es mi placer en una noche brillante En la estación del año Cuando estaba obligado aprendiz en el famoso Lincolnshire ‘Twas bien que sirvió a mi maestro para cerca de siete años …” Después de repetir this12 veces, se pasaría a los mensajes leídos Por la voz desencarnada de una mujer leyendo grupos de cinco números – “1-2-0-3-6” – en un acento cortado, de clase alta Inglés. Para hacer frente a lo que estaba pasando, ayuda a volver a la década de 1920. La Sociedad Cooperativa ruso-rusa (Arcos) era un importante organismo comercial encargado de supervisar las transacciones entre el Reino Unido y la antigua Unión Soviética. O al menos, eso es lo que dijeron que hicieron.
Después de la incursión de Arcos en Londres, los rusos se dieron cuenta de que necesitaban una mejor manera de comunicarse con espías que se escondían en el extranjero (Crédito: Getty)
En mayo de 1927, años después de que un agente secreto británico capturara a un empleado entrando furtivamente en una oficina de noticias comunista en Londres, agentes de la policía irrumpieron en el edificio de Arcos. El sótano había sido manipulado con dispositivos anti-intrusos y descubrieron una habitación secreta sin asa de puerta, en la que los trabajadores quemaban a toda prisa documentos. Puede haber sido dramático, pero los británicos no descubrieron nada que ellos no supieran. En cambio, la incursión fue un llamado de atención a los soviéticos, que descubrieron que el MI5 había estado escuchando en ellos durante años. “Este fue un error del primer orden”, dice Anthony Glees, quien dirige el Centro de Estudios de Seguridad e Inteligencia de la Universidad de Buckingham. Para justificar la incursión, el primer ministro había leído incluso algunos de los telegramas descifrados en la Cámara de los Comunes. El resultado fue que los rusos reinventaron completamente la forma en que los mensajes están encriptados. Casi de la noche a la mañana, pasaron a “cojines de una sola vez”. En este sistema, la persona que envía el mensaje genera una clave aleatoria y la comparte sólo con la persona que la recibe. Siempre y cuando la clave sea realmente aleatoria, el código no se puede romper. Ya no había necesidad de preocuparse por quién podía escuchar sus mensajes. Introduzca las “estaciones de números” – emisoras Que transmiten mensajes codificados a espías en todo el mundo. Pronto incluso los británicos lo estaban haciendo: si no puedes vencerlos, únete a ellos, como dicen. Es bastante difícil de generar un número completamente aleatorio porque un sistema para hacerlo será, por su propia naturaleza, predecible, exactamente lo que está tratando de evitar. En cambio, los oficiales de Londres encontraron una solución ingeniosa. Colgarían un micrófono por la ventana de Oxford Street y registrarían el tráfico. “Podría haber un autobús sonando al mismo tiempo que un policía gritando. El sonido es único, nunca volverá a ocurrir “, dice Stupples. Entonces convertirían esto en un código al azar. Por supuesto, eso no detuvo a la gente tratando de romperlos. Durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial, los británicos se dieron cuenta de que podían, de hecho, descifrar los mensajes, pero tendrían que poner sus manos en el teclado de una sola vez que se usaba para cifrarlos. “Descubrimos que los rusos usaban las hojas anticuadas de almohadillas únicas como papel higiénico sustituto en los hospitales del ejército ruso en Alemania del Este”, dice Glees. Huelga decir que los oficiales de inteligencia británicos pronto se encontraron explotando a través del contenido de las letrinas soviéticas. Ahora Corea del Norte también se está metiendo en acción El nuevo canal de comunicación fue tan útil, que no pasó mucho tiempo antes de que las estaciones de números hubieran aparecido por todo el mundo. Había el llamativo Nancy Adam Susan, Russian Counting Man y Cherry Ripe, la estación hermana de Lincolnshire Poacher, que también contenía barras de una canción folclórica inglesa. En el nombre por lo menos, el zumbador cabe a la derecha adentro. También cabe con una serie de arrestos a través de los Estados Unidos hacia atrás en 2010. El FBI anunció que había roto una red “larga, profunda de la cubierta” de agentes rusos, que eran Dijo haber recibido sus instrucciones a través de mensajes codificados en radio de onda corta – específicamente 7887 kHz.
Un tiempo pad (Crédito: Getty) Los mensajes cifrados con una sola almohadilla de tiempo no se puede romper (Crédito: Getty)
Ahora Corea del Norte también está en el acto. El 14 de abril de 2017, la emisora de Radio Pyongyang comenzó: “Estoy dando trabajos de revisión en lecciones elementales de tecnología de la información de la universidad de educación a distancia para los agentes de la expedición No 27.” Este mensaje militar mal disimulado fue seguido por una serie de números de página – No 69 en la página 823, página 957 – que se parecen mucho al código. Puede ser una sorpresa que las estaciones de números todavía estén en uso, pero tienen una gran ventaja. Aunque es posible adivinar quién está transmitiendo, cualquiera puede escuchar los mensajes, así que no sabes a quién están siendo enviados. Los teléfonos móviles y la Internet pueden ser más rápidos, pero abrir un texto o correo electrónico de una agencia de inteligencia conocida y se podría ruido. Sólo se convierte en una estación de números en momentos de crisis, como si Rusia fue invadida. Es una idea convincente: el Buzzer se ha estado ocultando a la vista, instruyendo a una red de espías rusos ilícitos en todo el mundo. Sólo hay un problema. El Buzzer nunca transmite mensajes numerados. Esto no importa estrictamente, ya que las almohadillas de una sola vez se pueden utilizar para traducir cualquier cosa, desde palabras de código a un lenguaje distorsionado. “Si esta llamada telefónica estuviera encriptada escucharías” … enejekdhejenw … “pero luego saldría por el otro lado sonando como un discurso normal”, dice Stupples. Pero esto dejaría huellas en la señal. Para enviar información a través de la radio, esencialmente todo lo que estás haciendo es variar la altura o espaciamiento de las ondas que se están transmitiendo. Por ejemplo, dos ondas bajas en una fila significan x, o tres ondas más juntas significa y. Cuando una señal transporta información, en lugar de ondas limpias y uniformemente espaciadas como ondulaciones en el océano, se queda con una onda como la silueta recortada de un ECG.
Durante la Guerra Fría, los espías soviéticos fueron instruidos a través de la radio de onda corta (Crédito: Alamy)
Este no es el Buzzer. En su lugar, muchos creen que la estación es un híbrido de dos cosas. El zumbido constante es sólo un marcador, diciendo “esta frecuencia es mía, esta frecuencia es mía …” para impedir que la gente la use. Sólo se convierte en una estación de números en momentos de crisis, como si Rusia fue invadida. Entonces funcionaría como una manera de instruir a su red espía mundial y fuerzas militares en espera en áreas remotas. Después de todo, este es un país alrededor de 70 veces el tamaño del Reino Unido. Parece que ya han estado practicando. “En 2013 emitieron un mensaje especial, ‘COMMAND 135 ISSUED’, que se dice que es un mensaje de prueba para una pronta preparación para el combate”, dice Māris Goldmanis, un entusiasta de la radio que escucha la emisora desde su casa en los Estados bálticos. El misterio de la radio rusa pudo haber sido resuelto. Pero si sus fans tienen razón, esperemos que el drone nunca se detenga.
“MDZhB” has been broadcasting since 1982. No one knows why.
In the middle of a Russian swampland, not far from the city of St Petersburg, is a rectangular iron gate. Beyond its rusted bars is a collection of radio towers, abandoned buildings and power lines bordered by a dry-stone wall. This sinister location is the focus of a mystery which stretches back to the height of the Cold War. It is thought to be the headquarters of a radio station, “MDZhB”, that no-one has ever claimed to run. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for the last three-and-a-half decades, it’s been broadcasting a dull, monotonous tone. Every few seconds it’s joined by a second sound, like some ghostly ship sounding its foghorn. Then the drone continues. Once or twice a week, a man or woman will read out some words in Russian, such as “dinghy” or “farming specialist”. And that’s it. Anyone, anywhere in the world can listen in, simply by tuning a radio to the frequency 4625 kHz. It’s so enigmatic, it’s as if it was designed with conspiracy theorists in mind. Today the station has an online following numbering in the tens of thousands, who know it affectionately as “the Buzzer”. It joins two similar mystery stations, “the Pip” and the “Squeaky Wheel”. As their fans readily admit themselves, they have absolutely no idea what they are listening to.
Soviet radio (Credit: iStock) Anyone can listen to the Buzzer, simply by tuning a radio to the frequency 4625 kHz (Credit: iStock)
In fact, no-one does. “There’s absolutely no information in the signal,” says David Stupples, an expert in signals intelligence from City University, London. What’s going on? The frequency is thought to belong to the Russian military, though they’ve never actually admitted this. It first began broadcasting at the close of the Cold War, when communism was in decline. Today it’s transmitted from two locations – the St Petersburg site and a location near Moscow. Bizarrely, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, rather than shutting down, the station’s activity sharply increased. There’s no shortage of theories to explain what the Buzzer might be for – ranging from keeping in touch with submarines to communing with aliens. One such idea is that it’s acting as a “Dead Hand” signal; in the event Russia is hit by a nuclear attack, the drone will stop and automatically trigger a retaliation. No questions asked, just total nuclear obliteration on both sides. There are clues in the signal itself This may not be as wacky as it sounds. The system was originally pioneered in the Soviet era, where it took the form of a computer system which scanned the airwaves for signs of life or nuclear fallout. Alarmingly, many experts believe it may still be in use. As Russian president Vladimir Putin pointed out himself earlier this year, “nobody would survive” a nuclear war between Russia and the United States. Could the Buzzer be warding one off? As it happens, there are clues in the signal itself. Like all international radio, the Buzzer operates at a relatively low frequency known as “shortwave”. This means that – compared to local radio, mobile phone and television signals – fewer waves pass through a single point every second. It also means they can travel a lot further. While you’d be hard pressed to listen to a local station such as BBC Radio London in a neighbouring county, shortwave stations like the BBC World Service are aimed at audiences from Senegal to Singapore. Both stations are broadcast from the same building.
Nuclear weapon test at Bikini Atoll (Credit: Public Domain/ US DoD)
If the “dead hand” system did not detect signs of a preserved military hierarchy it would automatically trigger a retaliation (Credit: Public Domain/ US DoD) It’s all thanks to “skywaves”. Higher frequency radio signals can only travel in a straight line, eventually becoming lost as they bump into obstacles or reach the horizon. But shortwave frequencies have an extra trick – they can bounce off charged particles in the upper atmosphere, allowing them to zig-zag between the earth and the sky and travel thousands, rather than tens, of miles. Which brings us back to the Dead Hand theory. As you might expect, shortwave signals have proved extremely popular. Today they’re used by ships, aircraft and the military to send messages across continents, oceans and mountain ranges. But there’s a catch. The lofty layer isn’t so much a flat mirror, but a wave, which undulates like the surface of the ocean. During the day it moves steadily higher, while at night, it creeps down towards the Earth. If you want to absolutely guarantee that your station can be heard on the other side of the planet – and if you’re using it as a cue for nuclear war, you probably do – it’s important to change the frequency depending on the time of day, to catch up. The BBC World Service already does this. The Buzzer doesn’t. Another idea is that the radio station exists to “sound” out how far away the layer of charged particles is. “To get good results from the radar systems the Russians use to spot missiles, you need to know this,” says Stupples. The longer the signal takes to get up into the sky and down again, the higher it must be. There is a station with some striking similarities Alas, that can’t be it either. To analyse the layer’s altitude the signal would usually have a certain sound, like a car alarm going off – the result of varying the waves to get them just right. “They sound nothing like the Buzzer,” says Stupples. Intriguingly, there is a station with some striking similarities. The “Lincolnshire Poacher” ran from the mid-1970s to 2008. Just like the Buzzer, it could be heard on the other side of the planet. Just like the Buzzer, it emanated from an undisclosed location, thought to be somewhere in Cyprus. And just like the Buzzer, its transmissions were just plain creepy. At the beginning of every hour, the station would play the first two bars of an English folk tune, the Lincolnshire Poacher. “Oh ‘tis my delight on a shining night In the season of the year When I was bound apprentice in famous Lincolnshire ‘Twas well I served my master for nigh on seven years…” After repeating this12 times, it would move on to messages read by the disembodied voice of a woman reading groups of five numbers – “1-2-0-3-6” – in a clipped, upper-class English accent. To get to grips with what was going on, it helps to go back to the 1920s. The All-Russian Co-operative Society (Arcos) was an important trade body, responsible for overseeing transactions between the UK and the early Soviet Union. Or at least, that’s what they said they did.
Police raiding the Arcos office (Credit: Getty) After the Arcos raid in London, the Russians realised they needed a better way to communicate with spies hiding abroad (Credit: Getty)
In May 1927, years after a British secret agent caught an employee sneaking into a communist news office in London, police officers stormed the Arcos building. The basement had been rigged with anti-intruder devices and they discovered a secret room with no door handle, in which workers were hurriedly burning documents. It may have been dramatic, but the British didn’t discover anything that they didn’t already know. Instead the raid was a wake-up call to the Soviets, who discovered that MI5 had been listening in on them for years. “This was a blunder of the very first order,” says Anthony Glees, who directs the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham. To justify the raid, the prime minister had even read out some of the deciphered telegrams in the House of Commons. The upshot was that the Russians completely reinvented the way messages are encrypted. Almost overnight, they switched to “one-time pads”. In this system, a random key is generated by the person sending the message and shared only with the person receiving it. As long as the key really is perfectly random, the code cannot be cracked. There was no longer any need to worry about who could hear their messages. Enter the “numbers stations” – radio stations that broadcast coded messages to spies all over the world. Soon even the British were doing it: if you can’t beat them, join ‘em, as they say. It’s quite difficult to generate a completely random number because a system for doing so will, by its very nature, be predictable – exactly what you’re trying to avoid. Instead officers in London found an ingenious solution. They’d hang a microphone out of the window on Oxford Street and record the traffic. “There might be a bus beeping at the same time as a policeman shouting. The sound is unique, it will never happen again,” says Stupples. Then they’d convert this into a random code. Of course, that didn’t stop people trying to break them. During World War Two, the British realised that they could, in fact, decipher the messages – but they’d have to get their hands on the one-time pad that was used to encrypt them. “We discovered that the Russians used the out-of-date sheets of one-time pads as substitute toilet paper in Russian army hospitals in East Germany,” says Glees. Needless to say, British intelligence officers soon found themselves rifling through the contents of Soviet latrines. Now North Korea are getting in on the act, too The new channel of communication was so useful, it didn’t take long before the numbers stations had popped up all over the world. There was the colourfully named “Nancy Adam Susan”, “Russian Counting Man” and “Cherry Ripe” – the Lincolnshire Poacher’s sister station, which also contained bars of an English folk song. In name at least, the Buzzer fits right in. It also fits with a series of arrests across the United States back in 2010. The FBI announced that it had broken up a “long term, deep cover” network of Russian agents, who were said to have received their instructions via coded messages on shortwave radio – specifically 7887 kHz.
One time pad (Credit: Getty) Messages encrypted using one time pads cannot be cracked (Credit: Getty)
Now North Korea are getting in on the act, too. On 14 April 2017, the broadcaster at Radio Pyongyang began: “I’m giving review works in elementary information technology lessons of the remote education university for No 27 expedition agents.” This ill-concealed military message was followed by a series of page numbers – No 69 on page 823, page 957 – which look a lot like code. It may come as a surprise that numbers stations are still in use – but they hold one major advantage. Though it’s possible to guess who is broadcasting, anyone can listen to the messages – so you don’t know who they are being sent to. Mobile phones and the internet may be quicker, but open a text or email from a known intelligence agency and you could be rumbled. It only becomes a numbers station in moments of crisis, such as if Russia were invaded It’s a compelling idea: the Buzzer has been hiding in plain sight, instructing a network of illicit Russian spies all over the world. There’s just one problem. The Buzzer never broadcasts any numbered messages. This doesn’t strictly matter, since one-time pads can be used to translate anything – from code words to garbled speech. “If this phone call was encrypted you’d hear “…enejekdhejenw…’ but then it would come out the other side sounding like normal speech,” says Stupples. But this would leave traces in the signal. To send information over the radio, essentially all you’re doing is varying the height or spacing of the waves being transmitted. For example, two low waves in a row means x, or three waves closer together means y. When a signal is carrying information, instead of neat, evenly spaced waves like ripples on the ocean, you’re left with a wave like the jagged silhouette of an ECG.
Soviet spy Richard Sorge (Credit: Alamy) During the Cold War, Soviet spies were instructed via shortwave radio (Credit: Alamy)
This isn’t the Buzzer. Instead, many believe that the station is a hybrid of two things. The constant drone is just a marker, saying “this frequency is mine, this frequency is mine…” to stop people from using it. It only becomes a numbers station in moments of crisis, such as if Russia were invaded. Then it would function as a way to instruct their worldwide spy network and military forces on standby in remote areas. After all, this is a country around 70 times the size of the UK. It seems they’re already been practicing. “In 2013 they issued a special message, ‘COMMAND 135 ISSUED’ that was said to be test message for full combat readiness,” says Māris Goldmanis, a radio enthusiast who listens to the station from his home in the Baltic states. The mystery of the Russian radio may have been solved. But if its fans are right, let’s just hope that drone never stops.