10 Intriguing Newspaper Reports Of Little Green Men

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10 Intriguing Newspaper Reports Of Little Green Men



The 1950s and 1960s were a great time to meet little green men. At the very least, it was a darn good time to read about them in the newspapers. Almost every day, there were accounts of flying saucer sightings and incidents with little green men (who were not always green).

Featured image credit: mirrorspectrum.com

10Letters From Space Beings


The UFO sightings drew out all sorts of crazy. One woman in Newtown, NSW, claimed that she was getting letters from the space beings and that the aliens were now permanent residents in Australia. The letters were written on parchment and contained “a mass of gold symbols and drawings which, as she explained to a skeptical television audience in Sydney, reveal amazing predictions for Australia’s future.”

The woman’s neighbor became alarmed when she learned that space aliens were delivering letters next door. She immediately called up her insurance company to find out what would happen if one of the spaceships crashed into her home.

The insurance company assured the distressed neighbor that her insurance would indeed cover an alien spaceship crash. She was covered against any damage that might be caused by “aerial devices, or articles dropped therefrom.”


9Green Space Dwarfs Attack Farm


Out of Kentucky came a not-so-epic tale of alien invaders visiting a farm for goodness knows what. It was summer 1955, and the Sutton family got an unexpected visit from “space invaders.” The family described these invaders as “little green men with saucer eyes.”

The family was immediately upset by these strange visitors and decided to defend themselves. Pa Sutton, his immediate family, and several other relatives stayed up all night battling the green men, which were 1 meter (3 ft) tall.

The family said that the little men “glowed with an inner illumination” and were all over the farm. There was so much light all over the place that the only way they could spot one is if it stepped into the darkness.

The next day, people from town heard the news and trampled their way to the farm. Police came but could find no evidence of “space visitors.”

8Shot By Ray Gun


In winter 1969, Tiago Machado, a 19-year-old peddler, saw a UFO land in the town of Pirassununga, Brazil. The young man approached the ship, and four little green men came out of it.

He tried to talk to them, but they would have none of it. Instead, one of the greenies pulled out a ray gun and shot the young man. He collapsed, legs swollen, and the green men got back on the ship and buzzed off.

Dozens of other people in town saw the flying saucer, too. They described it as “a ball of fire” squashed by “two plates joined together.” Investigators went to the site of the landing and discovered “a circular area of crushed grass” with “three symmetrical indentations apparently made by some form of tripod” in the center of the circle.


7Alien Rumspringa


In fall 1968, the little green men gave two young men in New Zealand quite a run for their money. As the story goes, the young men were out for a drive when a flying saucer started to chase them.

It dived at the car over and over again. The young men panicked and slammed on the gas pedal. Before they knew it, they crashed through the window of a fruit shop.

The men explained their story to the police, and other residents confirmed that they had seen a strange, lighted object in the sky just the other night. The insurance company dealing with the crash accepted the UFO story. They claimed that they had already accepted fairy stories on other accident claims, so adding space aliens to the list of acceptable excuses was no surprise.

6Alien Photographers


Petersen’s encounter was printed in 1954, roughly four years after his death. As he had recounted to his friend prior to passing away, Petersen had met a group of aliens one afternoon while walking home. Two flying saucers hovered above him, and then one of them landed in front of him.

The lid popped open, and out came a very “handsome” group of men and women. They pointed a “photographic machine” at Petersen and took his photo. When they showed it to him, he was surprised to see that the picture was in color. They also took his book, fountain pen, watch, and wallet. Then they left in a whirl.

These aliens, labeled as “outer space visitors,” were a far cry from the typical little green men being reported at the time. In fact, it sounds more like a visit from the future as opposed to a visit from Martians.

5Monster In Flying Saucer


News of a flying saucer landing spread through a little town in West Virginia in 1952. Out of curiosity, a group of six people, led by a 17-year-old young man, decided to check it out.

Up the hill they went, and the young man thought he saw a pair of eyes staring at him from a tree. The young man flashed his light into the tree and saw a “bloody red face and a green body that seemed to glow.” He let out a scream and fell over backward.

The police were called in and got a good laugh over the young man’s scare. They said that the thing he supposedly saw grew from 2 meters (7 ft) to 3 meters (11 ft) in 24 hours. Nothing more came of the sighting.


4Little Red Heads


In spring 1950, the British Air Ministry got a frantic phone call from a bus conductor. The man was gazing out his back bedroom window when he made the call. “There’s a flying saucer in the sky with lots of little men with ginger hair inside,” he reported.

Shortly afterward, the British Air Ministry got a second call. This time, a woman reported, “It’s a boomerang thing swaying. There are some black dots at the bottom.” When asked if there were little men with ginger hair aboard, she said she could not tell. She had left her glasses in the kitchen.

The object was finally identified when a parachute training center called the British Air Ministry to report that one of their parachute jumping balloons had escaped its moorings.

3Visiting The Italian Alps


Today, people step outside to catch Pokemon. In the 1950s, the trend was to head out and photograph flying saucers. It was reported out of Milan in 1952 that a man did manage to capture a flying saucer on camera.

According to the man’s story, he and his wife were climbing the Italian Alps when he saw a flying saucer land on a glacier. A human-shaped figure wearing what looked like a diving suit stepped out of the saucer and walked around it as if looking for a flat tire. Satisfied, the alien figure got back in his ship and zoomed off without a sound.

2Learn The Language Before You Travel


In summer 1954, two young women were picking berries in Norway when a flying saucer landed nearby. A man came out of the saucer. He was described as having long hair and dark skin.

The alien man walked up to the women, and they thought he wanted to talk to them. They tried speaking to him in English, German, and French. The alien did not understand a word of it and tried to communicate through gesturesand drawings. No such luck.

The alien man got back into his flying saucer and hummed off. The women hemmed and hawed about telling anyone their story. Finally, they told the police in Northern Central Norway, and news of the strange visitor hit the newspapers.

1Singed By Flying Saucer


In summer 1952, a Scoutmaster was driving in his car with three other scouts. When they reached the edge of the Everglades, Florida, he saw strange flashing lights. The Scoutmaster parked the car and went to investigate the lights, leaving the scouts behind in the safety of the car.

When he reached the lights, he saw a flying saucer “shaped like a half rubber ball.” It hovered and hissed above the ground in front of him. His company must not have been wanted because the inhabitants fired a “ball of fire” at him. It floated in slow motion in front of his face. It singed the hair on his arms and burned a hole through his scout hat.

The man blacked out. When he awoke, he said he had “no sense of feeling, and even now I have a tingling” sensation.

Elizabeth spends most of her time surrounded by dusty, smelly, old books in a room she refers to as her personal nirvana. She’s been writing about strange “stuff” since 1997 and enjoys traveling to historical places.

10 Ancient Languages With Unknown Origins

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10 Ancient Languages With Unknown Origins



Languages can provide us with a great deal of knowledge about a society’s culture, way of life, evolution, and even their migration patterns. They have given us a profound insight into the minds of ancient people, and have enabled us to form the story of humanity’s distance past. However, some discoveries have given us just the exact opposite, and have presented us with the unnerving truth that our past might be shrouded in a mystery we might never solve.

10North Picene


Photo credit: Corbis

North Picene was a language spoken by the Picentes people living in northeastern Italy during the first millennium BC. The South Picene language has been well-studied, and scholars have identified it as being a distinct Italic language from the Oscan-Umbrian language family. This language differs greatly from South Picene, and linguists have been unable to accurately classify it.

The discovery of North Picene inscriptions were found on a stele near a small town in Italy called Novilara. The language was written in a type of script similar to the Etruscan alphabet, but retained several Greek letters for certain consonants. The grammatical features of the language has stumped scholars, and no collective conclusions can be made from their findings.




Photo credit: Wikimedia

Etruscan was the spoken and written language of the Etruscan civilization, an ancient society that existed in the Tuscany region of Italy before the Roman Empire ever existed. A powerful and sophisticated culture, the Etruscans were the first major civilization in the Western Mediterranean. They are often viewed as a mysterious and unknown society since most of what we know about them comes from accounts written by the ancient Romans.

The language of the Etruscans is often considered a language isolate, unrelated to any other language. There are few languages that share any characteristics with Etruscan in the world. The language is highly inflected, complex, and had many grammatical cases. Little is known about where the language came from, but some linguist propose it is part of the hypothesized group of Tyrrhenian languages.



Photo credit: Wikimedia

The Basque language is spoken by the Basque people of northern Spain and parts of southwestern France. Although scholars have tried to link Basque to other languages, studies have concluded that it has no known relationship with any other language in the world.

Basque is the only known pre-Roman language to have survived while other Iberian languages have become extinct. Numerous attempts have been made to show a relationship between Basque, Iberian, and Afro-Asiatic languages, but none have been widely accepted. Basque has the unique position of being a living language, giving us a window into understanding the linguistic diversity of ancient people once living on the Iberian peninsula.




Photo credit: Schoy Collection

Widely considered the first written tongue, Sumerian was spoken in Mesopotamia during the second millennium BC. The writing system of Sumerian is a script called cuneiform. It is a series of ideograms, symbols, and abstract shapes that represent ideas rather than specific words or sounds. Some cuneiform is deciphered, although many different representations have been established. Linguists and archaeologists still debate over the grammar and syntax of the language, and there’s only about few hundred people in the world with a working knowledge of it.

Similar to other ancient languages, Sumerian is agglutinative. Words can be formed or used with a chain of separate endings and suffixes to convey what is being said. The origins of the language remain unclear, and there is no consistent answer to where it might have come from.



Photo credit: Wikimedia

The northern Japanese island of Hokkaido is home to a group of indigenous people called the Ainu, said to be one of the first human inhabitants of the Japanese islands. The Ainu people are a culturally and linguistically different ethnic group from the Japanese people, and are said to be descendants of the Jomon-ji hunter-gathers who migrated to the island around the year 14,500 BC.

An extremely endangered language, Ainu is said to be spoken only by a handful of people. Although the language has no written form to it, it has been traditionally written using Japanese Kana characters. This has made its conservation extremely difficult within the Ainu culture.

5Sicel Language


Photo credit: BenAveling

On the Italian island of Sicily, there was once an ancient tribe of people called the Siculi. One of three indigenous people living on Sicily at the time, the Siculi are said to have been speakers of an Indo-European language, although no concrete conclusion can be made based on the lack of evidence.

The Siculi are said to have possibly come from the areas of Italy known asLiguria or Latium. They had their own distinct culture involving religious cults and the worship of many deities. Eventually, the Siculi were assimilated with Hellenic culture brought to Sicily by the Greeks. Their language was not well written until the introduction of the Greek writing system, and only a handful of inscriptions have survived.




Photo credit: Wikimedia

The Vinca language, also named “Old European.” is a hypothetical language proposed from the excavation of symbols found on artifacts in southeast Europe. The symbols are believed to be some of the earliest forms of writing in the world, and might even pre-date Sumerian Cuneiform and the Egyptian hieroglyphics by thousands of years.

The symbols were found in the area occupied by the Vinca people who lived in modern-day western Romania on the banks of the Danube River from about 6000—3000 BC. A mysterious culture, little is known about how they lived and what their society was like. The symbols that represented their language will probably never be deciphered since only short inscriptions were found on a variety of artifacts.



Photo credit: Wikimedia

Hurrian is an ancient extinct language spoken in the area that was once the Hittite Empire. Scholars believe that the speakers of Hurrian originally came from the mountainous areas of Armenia, and had migrated to parts of Mesopotamia and Anatolia during the second millennium BC. Hurrian was once the language of the Mitanni Kingdom before the Assyrian conquest.

Despite it not being classified as related to any other languages, authors Arnaud Fournet and Allan R Bombard published a book describing some distinct characteristics of Indo-European languages in Hurrian.



Photo credit: Wikimedia

Elamite was another language spoken in the Mesopotamia region along with Sumerian and Akkadian, isolate. The language is not completely deciphered, although scholars have some understanding of the grammar. It was first written using a primitive script that involved pictograms and logographic symbols, but it was later replaced by Sumerian cuneiform.

An agglutinative language, Elamite shows grammatical elements similar to other ancient languages in spoken in Europe and the Middle East. Complex variations of morphemes and suffixes attached to nouns, verbs, and pronouns were used to convey ideas. Elamite was a SOV language. Verbs were usually placed at the very end of sentences if not followed by other grammatical constructs.



The Raetic language was spoken in the Eastern Alps region of modern-day northern Italy and West Austria. It was the language of the Raeti, a group of indigenous Alpine people around the year 500 BC.

There are several theories in regards to the origins of Raetic. One of them suggests that Raetic, along with Etruscan and Lemnian, are part of the proposed Tyrrhenian language family. Another theory suggests that the language is an independent branch of Indo-European languages. Raetic might also be just a language isolate with Etruscan influences, and we might never know the language’s true origins.

Robert Giametta is a freelance journalist, blogger, and cat-enthusiast millennial living in upstate New York. He spends his spare time drinking copious amounts of tea, reading dystopian novels, and pondering the secrets of the universe.

10 Horrible Realities Of Being A Woman Throughout History

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10 Horrible Realities Of Being A Woman Throughout History



Men have ruled since the earliest societies. In every stage of human history, women have been in margins, struggling through a second-class life.

It wasn’t just that women couldn’t vote or that they didn’t get equal pay. Women’s lives were like a horror story. Throughout our history, everyday life was filled with experiences that made being a woman a waking nightmare.

10Newborn Girls Were Regularly Left To Die


Photo credit: Eugène Delacroix

In ancient Athens, it was very common for a couple to take a newborn baby girl out in the wilderness and leave it to die—an act they called “exposing” the baby. “Everybody raises a son even if he is a poor,” one Greek writer wrote, “but exposes a daughter even if he is rich.”

In Rome, this was just as common, especially in poor families. We have records of a lower-class Roman writing to his wife about her pregnancy. “A daughter is too burdensome, and we just don’t have the money,” he told her. “If you should bear a girl, we’ll have to kill her.”

Even in Egypt, which gave women comparatively equal rights, the poor often left kids to die. “If you have the baby before I return,” one letter shows an Egyptian man writing his wife, “if it is a boy, let it live; if it is a girl, expose it.”


9Men Wouldn’t Touch Menstruating Women


Photo credit: Dov Goldflam

The Roman philosopher Pliny The Elder wrote, “On the approach of a woman in this state, milk will become sour.” He figured menstruating women could kill everything they looked at, even saying, “A swarm of bees, if looked upon by her, will die immediately.”

In Egypt, the women spent their menstrual cycles isolated in a special building men couldn’t enter—and they weren’t only ones to do it. The Israelites wouldn’t even touch a woman during her period—or, for that matter, anything she touched. “Everything on which she sits,” they wrote, “shall be unclean.” And in Hawaii, men who entered the hut for menstruating women risked the death penalty.

The natives of Papua New Guinea took it the farthest. If a man touched a menstruating women, they believed, it would “kill his blood so that it turns black, dull his wits, and lead to a slow death.”

8Losing Your Virginity Was A Death Sentence


Photo credit: Alessandro Marchesini

In Athens, if a man found out that his unmarried daughter had slept with a man, he could legally sell her into slavery. The Samoans made sure that their wives were virgins—and that everyone knew. During a Samoan wedding, the chief of the tribe would manually rupture the bride’s hymen with his fingersin front of a crowd to prove that she was pure.

In Rome, if a priestess of the goddess Vesta lost her virginity before the age of 30, she was buried alive. And in ancient Israel, it didn’t even matter if you were a priestess. Any woman who lost her virginity before marriage could be stoned to death.


7Men Were Expected To Be Sexual Predators


Photo credit: Wikimedia

In Rome, slaves were expected to sexually active as part of their jobs. The only way you could get in trouble for sleeping with a slave was if she was owned by somebody else and you didn’t ask first. Even then, it wouldn’t considered rape—it just classified as property damage.

Women with some jobs couldn’t file rape charges no matter what happened to them. It wasn’t just prostitutes that couldn’t accuse anyone of rape—waitresses and actresses, too, were treated as willing participants of any sex a man forced upon them. In one case, an actress gang-raped by several men was denied permission to press charges. The men who assaulted her, it was ruled, had simple “acted in accordance with a well-established tradition at a staged event.”

In the middle ages, Saint Augustine was considered progressive for suggesting that raped women didn’t need to kill themselves. Even he, though, suggested that some women enjoyed it.

6Brides Were Often Kidnapped


Photo credit: Pietro da Cortona

In some parts of China, people were kidnapping brides until the 1940s. In Japan, the last reported case of bride kidnapping happened in 1959. Ireland had a widespread problem with bride stealing in the 1800s. And even the Bible relates stories of men slaughtering whole villages and taking the virgin women as wives.

Rome wouldn’t even exist without kidnapped brides. The legends of the nation start with men kidnapping the Sabine women. In the story, Romulus tells the women they she be happy to be kidnapped, because they were lucky enough to “live in honorable wedlock.”

5Women Were Forced To Kill Their Babies


Photo credit: ancient-origins.net

Murdering frail babies wasn’t just something that happened in Sparta. In almost every country, when a woman gave birth to a deformed child, she was expected to kill it. In Rome, it was the law. “A dreadfully deformed child,” Roman law mandated, “shall be quickly killed.”

If a Roman child was born with a disability, the mother had two choices. She could either suffocate it or, more often, she could abandon it. Some places were horrible for this. On the shore of Israel, archaeologists found the remains of 100 dead babies in the city’s sewers.

It happened a lot. We don’t know the exact number of babies that were left to die, but it’s believed that one out of every four Roman babies didn’t make it through the first year of life.


4Women Were Barely Allowed To Talk


Photo credit: Wikimedia

In ancient Greece and Rome, women were forbidden from leaving the home without a male escort. When company came over, they weren’t allowed to speak or to sit down for dinner—they had to retire to their rooms, out of sight, lest the presence of a woman bother the men.

In Denmark, unruly women who bickered or who openly expressed their anger could end up locked up in a device called a shrew’s fiddle. This was a wooden trap shaped like a violin that bound her hands and her face. The woman would be paraded down the streets, publicly shamed for having openly shown anger.

The English were even worse. They put quarrelsome women in the scold’s bridle, a metal mask with sharp teeth that had a bell attached—to make sure everyone came out and mocked the woman who dared complain.

3Adulterers Were Tortured


Photo credit: Wikimedia

If a married woman dared to sleep with another man, it was over. A Roman man, under certain circumstance, would have the right to kill his wife if he caught her in bed with another man. Even the Puritans who colonized America took the biblical approach and legally condoned murdering adulterers.

Again, though, it was the medieval men who did the worst things. They weren’t content to just kill their wives—they wanted them to suffer. In medieval times, they had a device called a breast ripper that they used on women who had affairs—which does exactly what it says.

It’s a horrible torture—and it wasn’t even limited to adultery. A woman could be sentenced to the ripper just for having a miscarriage.

2Women Were Killed With Their Husbands


Photo credit: Wikimedia

Until the 19th century, a woman in India who lost her husband was expected to climb onto his funeral pyre and burn herself to death along with him. Sometimes, during war, women would be expected to do this even before their husbands died. If a siege was going poorly, all the women of the village would burn themselves alive and take their children with them.

The husbands would just watch as their families burned. Then, in the morning, they would smear their wives’ ashes on their faces and go to war. These women killed themselves just to give their husbands a little extra motivation.

1Women Have Gone Through This Since The Beginning Of Humanity

Even before recorded history, the very earliest marriages were extremely one-sided. Archaeologists looking a prehistoric remains in Africa found the men all stayed in one place their whole lives—but every one of the women was born somewhere else.

That means that even cavemen had one-sided relationships, making their new wives move to their homes when they started a family. More importantly, it makes it highly likely that these women didn’t come consensually. Most likely, they were probably kidnapped from their families in other tribes and dragged to the beds of their captors.

10 Interesting Facts About Population Control In Ancient Greece

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10 Interesting Facts About Population Control In Ancient Greece



The demography of ancient Greece has always been a hard subject to study. Although ancient sources provide no reliable statistical data on childbirth, mortality, life expectancy, and other related metrics, we do know quite a bit about practices and issues that affected population levels.

Ancient Greek folklore and imagery glorify the procreative energy of female sexuality. But we also know that under some circumstances, women wanted to avoid pregnancy or dispose of illegitimate, deformed, or sick children.

Featured image credit: hadrianhispania.wordpress.com



Photo credit: damninteresting.com

There is plenty of recorded evidence that the Greeks were familiar with the contraceptive properties of a small tree known as silphium, which belonged to the Ferula genus. This plant was both discovered and marketed by the Greek colonists in Cyrene, an ancient Greek city on the North African coast near present-day Shahhat, Libya.

All attempts to transplant and cultivate the silphium tree outside Cyrene were unsuccessful. The overexploitation of silphium led to its extinction. By the first century AD, the plant was expensive due to the low supply, and the last historical reference we know is dated to the fourth century AD.

Clinical testing performed with extracts from plants of related species have shown them to be effective contraceptives in animals provided that the extract is administered within three days of mating. This suggests that silphium may have been used as an herbal morning-after pill similar to the morning-after pills marketed today (Wilson 2006: 182).


9Magical Procedures


In ancient Greece, magical concoctions, spells, amulets, and incantations were believed to aid both reproduction and contraception. For some reason, the testicles of a weasel were believed to act in both directions.

According to an ancient Greek text known as Cyranides (2.7), the right testicle of a weasel “reduced to ashes and mixed in a paste with myrrh” was believed to aid conception when inserted into a woman’s vagina on a small ball of wool before the sexual encounter.

The contraceptive use of weasel testicles employed the left testicle “wrapped in mule skin and attached to the woman.” Since the text does not tell us exactly how the testicles should be attached to the woman, it is not possible to confirm or deny the effectiveness of this procedure (McKeown 2013: 35).

8Male Contraception


Photo credit: Cillas

Some ancient sources refer to a plant named periklymenon that was believed to act as a male contraceptive, but all modern attempts to identify it have failed. The renowned Greek physician Galen reported that the chaste tree was used by athletes to prevent erections. There are other references claiming that the leaves of the chaste tree were chewed by priests to decrease sexual desire (Wilson 2006: 182).

Modern testing of chaste tree extract on dogs has shown it to be an effective blocker of sperm production. Coitus interruptus was a known male contraceptive method, but it is unclear to what extent this method was employed judging by the scarce reference to it.




Photo via Wikimedia

Abortion was a well-known procedure in ancient Greece. Although the ancient Greeks knew both surgical and chemical procedures to interrupt a pregnancy, literary evidence suggests that surgical methods were discouraged due to the risk posed to the mother.

Socrates, whose mother was a midwife, said in Plato’s Theaetetus (149d), “With the drugs and incantations they administer, midwives can [during an early stage of the pregnancy] cause a miscarriage if they so decide.” Ancient Greek medical literature recorded the names of several plants that were used to terminate early pregnancies including rue, pennyroyal, myrrh, juniper, and birthwort.

Although abortion was considered controversial in some Greek cities, we have no evidence that it was a punishable crime. Ancient Greek medical texts indicate that abortion was often practiced by prostitutes (Wilson 2006: 1).



Photo credit: Ancient Origins

Infanticide was a well-known method of family planning. From a legal standpoint, a child had little protection until the amphidromia was conducted, which was the ceremony where the father named the child.

In general, the child could be killed without any legal trouble or moral controversies at any point before this ceremony took place. Moreover, in some ancient Greek law codes, infanticide was an advisable course of action under specific circumstances.

The term “infant exposure” (putting the infant outside) is used in ancient sources, presumably as a euphemism for infanticide in many cases. The outcome of the abandonment of an infant is either death or adoption by a third party (Hornblower and Spawforth 2012: 735).

Infant exposure is a repetitive theme in ancient lore and legends, and Greece is no exception (e.g. Oedipus, Paris, and Telephus). This literary evidence suggests that infanticide was probably a widespread method of limiting family size, although the exact extent to which it was employed is difficult to assess.

5Deformed Infants


Photo credit: happytraveller.gr

There is a very specific form of infanticide recorded in ancient Greece that has been strongly connected to Sparta. According to Plutarch (“Life of Lycurgus,” 16), every Spartan newborn had to be brought to the elders for examination:

If [the infant] was well-built and sturdy, they ordered the father to rear it [ . . . ]; but if it was ill-born and deformed, they sent it to the so-called Apothetae, a chasm-like place at the foot of Mount Taygetus, in the conviction that the life of that which nature had not well equipped at the very beginning for health and strength, was of no advantage either to itself or the state.

The reality is that Spartans were not the only ones concerned with deformed infants. In Book 7 of his work Politics, Aristotle supports infanticide in the case of deformed infants: “As to the exposure and rearing of children, let there be a law that no deformed child shall live.”

Even the Romans in the Law of the Twelve Tables (the foundation of Rome’s legal system) contemplated the killing of deformed infants (table 4, 1): “A notably deformed child shall be killed immediately.”




Photo credit: Marie-Lan Nguyen

The American scholar William Percy has argued that the encouragement of sexual intercourse between members of the same sex in ancient Greece, particularly the institutionalized Athenian pederasty, was aimed atcontrolling the population level. An interpretation along the same lines was already expressed by Aristotle (Politics 2.1272a 22–24), who argued that the goal behind the institutionalized pederasty of the Cretan society was to check the demographic growth.

It does not seem possible to confirm whether homosexual practices in ancient Greece were encouraged with the conscious purpose to check demographic growth. But it is reasonable to suppose that as the number of sexual encounters between members of the same sex increases, the frequency of sexual intercourse between members of the opposite sex is likely to be reduced.

Homosexuality might well have had an effect on population control—not as a strategy consciously aimed to check population levels but merely as an inevitable side effect of limiting heterosexual activity (Wilson 2006: 127).

3Legal Regulations


Photo credit: Jastrow

Several aspects of population control had a legal regulation in ancient Greece. In the city of Gortyn (central Crete), we found detailed information concerning various laws inscribed around 450 BC (Hornblower and Spawforth 2012: 623–735).

The Gortyn law code (3, 43–48) allowed infant exposure in some cases: “If a wife who is separated (by divorce) should bear a child, (they) are to bring it to the husband at his house in the presence of three witnesses; and if he should not receive it, the child should be in the mother’s power either to rear or expose.”

Interestingly, the Gortyn law code (4, 9–13) also contemplated fines if a woman did not comply with this regulation: “If a wife who is separated (by divorce) should expose her child before presenting it as it is written [in this legal code], if she is convicted, she shall pay, for a free child, fifty-staters, for a slave, twenty-five.”

In the city of Thebes, the law did not allow infanticide. However, poor parents were allowed to sell their children.

2Mortality And Life Expectancy


Photo credit: Walters Art Museum

War was arguably the most important factor for adult male mortality, although maternal, neonatal, and infant mortality were also high. No reliable figures on demographic statistics have survived to our days, but some scholars have come up with different figures. Maternal death estimates range from 5 in 20,000, a truly low and probably unrealistic calculation, to 25 in 1,000. This rate would vary in different places at different times (Hornblower and Spawforth 2014: 161, 617).

Based on forensic anthropology data from Classical Greece cemeteries, infant mortality has been estimated at about 30 percent (Olyntus, northern Greece) assuming that the sample of human remains analyzed is representative of the wider population, which is uncertain.

The ancient Greeks coined the word amphithales (“blooming on both sides”) to refer to a child with both parents still alive. The fact that a special word was employed to refer to this situation suggests that life expectancy was low (McKeown 2013: 16).

1Miscellaneous Birth Control Methods


Photo credit: greekmedicine.net

Ancient literature records a number of additional contraceptive methods that are hard to classify and of dubious effectiveness. In the first century AD, the Greek physician Dioscorides recommended anointing the male genitals with cedar gum and applying alum to the uterus. Such practice was believed to make the womb unsuitable to host the male seed.

Other methods included the use of a suppository of peppermint and honeybefore intercourse and a peppery pessary after sexual activity to “dry out” the uterus and make it inhospitable for the fetus.

10 Unsolved Mysteries Surrounding Historical Tragedies

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10 Unsolved Mysteries Surrounding Historical Tragedies



Who was Jack the Ripper? What really happened to flight MH370? Are chemtrails just a theory or something much more sinister? Unexplained mysteries have fascinated the world for hundreds of years and will continue to do so in years to come. Below are some mysteries related to tragic events in history, which may or may not ever be solved.

10The Sinking Of The Lusitania


Photo credit: US Library of Congress via France 24

The Lusitania sank on May 7, 1915, 18 minutes after being struck by a torpedo fired from a German U-boat. Nearly 1,200 people died. The US press called Germany barbarians for attacking a passenger ship in a country that was neutral in World War I at that point. In Germany, citizens were being told that Britain allowed the ship to be sunk because of illegal cargo.

In the midst of all the conspiracy and confusion, another tale emerged that remains a mystery to this day. Only 15 seconds after the impact of the torpedo, a second explosion rocked the Lusitania. The cause of this explosion has yet to be determined. Some believe that cold water reacted with the ship’s boilers, causing them to explode, while others are convinced that illegal ammunition had been set off onboard. Considering that the ship could have stayed afloat after the torpedo hit, the second explosion (which presumably caused it to sink) remains a hot historical topic.


9Haiti Earthquake

Evan Muncie survived 27 days trapped in a huge mound of rubble after a massive earthquake struck Haiti in 2010. After being rescued, doctors were amazed that he was still alive, seeing how emaciated he was after having no food or water for a month. But the story that Muncie told amazed them even more. Muncie insisted that he only survived because a figure in a white coatbrought him water on a couple of occasions.

While the greater majority of people have dismissed his claims as hallucinations, it remains a mystery how he could have survived if someone had not in fact brought him water. There was certainly no evidence of another person being able to squeeze into the same space where Muncie was found. Muncie had no major injuries other than wounds on his feet, and he made a full recovery.

8MH17 Oxygen Mask


While many conspiracy theories surrounding the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 tragedy have been debunked, one incident remains an unsolved mystery: Why was an Australian passenger wearing an oxygen mask, and why was he the only one?

The plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, instantly killing three crew members in the cockpit. The Boeing 777 broke apart in the air after the missile strike and subsequent loss of electrical power. The impact ultimately led to the death of everyone aboard the plane. The deployment of the oxygen masks was prevented by the loss of power, though they most likely fell from their storage places as the plane broke apart.

Even after thorough investigations by experts, it remains unclear why only one passenger had a mask strapped around his neck. It could also not be determined whether the passenger had used the mask himself or whether someone on the ground had placed it on him.


7Disappearance Of Intrepid

In October 1996, the passengers of a yacht called Intrepid made a distress call to the Coast Guard in Florida. The ship was sinking, and the 16 people onboard told the Coast Guard that they were going to make use of a lifeboat until help arrived. The Coast Guard immediately set off to aid the passengers but ended up searching 15,500 square kilometers (6,000 mi2) of ocean in stormy conditions, without luck.

Four planes joined the search for the missing yacht throughout the night and into the next morning. In spite of the joint effort by the aircraft and the Coast Guard, Intrepid and her passengers have never been found.

6The Falling Man Of 9/11


Photo credit: The Associated Press via Esquire

One of the most haunting photos of 9/11 shows a man falling upside down along the side of the crumbling North Tower. It reflects the tragedy of one of the darkest days in US history and was widely circulated in newspapers after the attacks. Many readers felt that the picture should not have been published and lashed out at the publications, causing the picture and the man to be nearly forgotten after a while.

It is believed that the man, who chose to escape the fire and collapsing towers by jumping from his window, may have been an employee at the Windows on the World restaurant, which was situated at the top of the North Tower. His identity, however, remains a mystery.

5Pearl Harbor’s Mysterious P-40


Photo credit: Tony Hisgett

A year after the attack on Pearl Harbor, radar operators picked up a reading that indicated a plane heading toward them from the direction of Japan. Two pilots were sent to intercept the plane, and they were shocked to find bullet holes all over the aircraft and a slumped pilot covered in blood. The plane also had no landing gear. The plane was identified as a P-40 Warhawk, and it had markings hadn’t been used since before the attack. After the plane crashed to the ground, the pilot mysteriously disappeared, never to be found again.

A diary found at the crash site indicated that the plane may have been from Mindanao, but the identity of the pilot and his ultimate fate have yet to be discovered.


4The Murder Of Cathy Wayne


Cathy Wayne was an Australian singer who was killed by a single .22-caliber bullet while onstage in a military base in Vietnam in 1969. She died in the arms of her boyfriend, who played drums for the band she sang with, Sweethearts on Parade. She was only 19 years old.

A US Marine by the name of James Wayne Killen was found guilty of killing the singer while trying to shoot someone else. After a retrial, he was found innocent and released. Another musician named Don Morrisson believed he knew who shot her, but a lack of evidence prevented him from revealing the person’s name. To this day, Wayne’s killer remains unnamed and unknown.

3Yellow Cuban Balloons

In 1967 during the Cold War, a crate was discovered floating off the coast of Florida, near Hallendale. It contained seven inflated yellow balloons and was addressed to the institute of mineral resources in Cuba, from Leningrad.

Investigations revealed that the crate had been floating in the ocean for at least eight weeks, and there was only air in the balloons. There was no indication of toxic substances inside or surrounding the balloons. A similar but empty crate was found 217 kilometers (135 mi) away, off Marathon. Both boxes were marked as weighing 50 kilograms (110 lb), but the balloon-filled crate weighed only 14 kilograms (30 lb).

The Coast Guard wasn’t convinced that it was all a hoax. The purpose of these balloons, why they were inflated, or how they ended up floating in the ocean remains a mystery.

2Charfield Railway Disaster


Photo credit: The BBC via the Charfield Community Site

When a night mail train and a freight train collided in Charfield, Gloucestershire, on October 13, 1928, many of the victims of the resulting explosion were burned beyond recognition and were buried in a mass grave to spare their families further trauma. Among the victims were a young boy and girl who were never claimed.

Police officers took notes from survivors about the children, including statements that the girl looked younger than the boy, who was assumed to be about ten years of age. It was also assumed that the boy and girl were siblings. To this day, no one has come forward to say the children were part of their family, and they remain unidentified.

1The Betrayal Of Anne Frank


Anne Frank was murdered at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp after being captured during the Holocaust. Her diary continues to fascinate the world, years after it was discovered. Frank’s father was the only member of her family to survive the war.

The person who tipped off the Nazis, leading to her arrest, has never been identified in spite of many suspects being named. The Nazi officer who received the phone call about Frank’s whereabouts, Julius Dettman, committed suicide after Germany surrendered, and any knowledge he may have shared regarding the phone call went to the grave with him.

Estelle lives in Gauteng, South Africa. When she isn’t reading horror books or watching horror movies, she attempts to write lists on history, horror, or mystery.