The Agents of F.L.A.S.K.

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by Tiki Tom, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Call Me a Cab

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    Welcome to the Fedora Lounge Adventure Speak-easy Klub (F.L.A.S.K.)

    The club has high-backed leather chairs and portraits of the founders frowning down from dark oak panelled walls. There’s a roaring fire, and a well-stocked bar. So, grab a drink and a seat and feel free to fire up a Cohiba.

    Tonight’s topic of discussion is “what long enduring historical mystery makes you want to put on your brown fedora and try to solve it?” We are talking about: legends of lost cities, buried treasure, vanished ships/planes, undiscovered creatures, unbroken codes or ancient languages, missing artefacts, mysterious sightings or unexplainable incidents, secret societies, and so forth. In other words, this is where we let out the bright eyed, awe-inspired kid inside of us. What mystery has fascinated you since you were a young pup? Who knows? Perhaps after we make a list of worthy adventures, a wealthy F.L.A.S.K. benefactor might bankroll us to hop on a DC-3 and head out for adventure.
     
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  2. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Call Me a Cab

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    I’ll start with an easy one: The Oak Island “Money Pit”. In 1795, 18-year-old Daniel McGinnis, after observing lights coming from the island, discovered a circular depression under a tree with a tackle block on one of its overhanging branches. McGinnis, with the help of friends, began digging and discovered a layer of flagstones a few feet below. On the pit walls there were markings of picks and shovels. As they dug down they discovered layers of wooden flooring every 10 feet. They abandoned the excavation at 30 feet. The rest, as they say, is history. Numerous adventurers and treasure hunters have since tried to get to the bottom of the pit and solve the mystery of what lies below. In the process, they’ve encountered booby-traps, strange markings, etc. But as of now, it remains a mystery. I’ve been fascinated with the tale of Oak Island ever since I was a kid. Pirate treasure seemed like a likely bet to me. Alas, with the decades I’ve become somewhat more cynical. Nonetheless, if I had a small fortune to burn, I’d love to take a crack at it.

    Oak Island Money Pit.jpg
     
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  3. I'd be less cynical about Oak Island if those two yahoos on the "reality" show had a clue. I know it's for show, but they cannot possibly be as dumb as they appear on TV.
     
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  4. Hercule

    Hercule Practically Family

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    Such is "reality" TV. Rarely does it ever feature people who actually know what they're doing or are even intelligent about what they are doing. Doesn't make for good TV. Look at the historical experiments that were done on PBS years back - Colonial House, Edwardian House, '40s house, frontier house (I think I got the names sorta right) - what made those was not the participants who actually wanted to experience the project (though I think I remember '40s house being more successful at that) but the ones who grew bored or became lazy about doing what it took to participate in the project and "cheated" at it. They were in it because it looked like it would be a fun thing to do, not because they were actually invested in the topic and were motivated and committed to experiencing it and making it work. Sad really, but not surprising. Who among us wouldn't have jumped at the chance to immerse ourselves in another era in that way and take full advantage of what it offered?
     
  5. Yeah, this season, after three years and millions of dollars spent, they're finally putting a camera down the hole. Gee, why didn't we think of that earlier...
     
  6. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    What's the source of the diagram above? I vaguely remember reading aboutg hte money pit in one of those 'World's Greatest Mysteries' type books when I was in my early teens, back in the eighties. I only vaguely recall that there was some sort of issue where they couldn't figure out how to get at whatever was in the bottom owing to some sort of booby-trap based on the way it was constructed with the water levels rising and falling inside. Can't recall any more.... though it sounds like more has been figured out since. It does appear that somebody went very far out of their way to construct this, particularly bearing in mind that it pre-dates mechanical excavation tools...
     

  7. The drawing is mostly interpretation, as it's based on oral legend more than physical evidence. There is no evidence of booby traps other than early treasure hunters who had no idea about hydrogeology assumed that must be how it was done. There are legends of chests and stones with markings, though none have ever actually been produced. All that is certain is that various people have dug holes that subsequently filled with water, which is exactly what would happen in my own backyard. Various historical artifacts have been found at various points on the island, but that is entirely typical of islands in that region. It's a fun, imaginative story. But at this point, that's all it is.
     
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  8. Hercule

    Hercule Practically Family

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    While the "money pit" is a fun story on the face of it, I have serious doubts that anybody, especially those who supposedly constructed it, had either the wherewithal or the means to actually construct such a thing. Makes for a great story though, but to me it just smacks of a Hardy Boys mystery.
     
  9. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Call Me a Cab

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    O.K., So maybe Oak Island is not the adventure for us. Too speculative, too trampled upon, and too much visited by American TV cameras. I get it. Perhaps you gentlemen are in the mood for something a bit more off the beaten path.

    How about the search for the Tomb of Genghis Khan? The trackless wastes of the Mongolia await!

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/ne...hans-hidden-tomb/story-fnknbqfy-1227249253551

    Or maybe the Lost Treasure of the Incas? All it takes is a sharp machete and a working knowledge of Spanish and local Indian dialects and the ability to dodge ruthless drug lords who will likely mistake you for a DEA Agent.

    Piece of cake.

    http://www.peruthisweek.com/news-in...to-the-lost-inca-treasure-of-atahualpa-101739

    Fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and Glory.

    suspension bridge.jpg

    Surely there are other adventures out there worth adding to our list.
     
  10. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    I was always intrigued by the old yarn about Noah's Ark being found on Mount Ararat, in modern-day Turkey.
     
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  11. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    I was always intrigued as to how the ark stayed afloat with two woodpeckers on board.
     
  12. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Call Me a Cab

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    What I liked about the Mount Ararat claim was that, at the time --during the cold war--, Mount Ararat was in a militarily sensitive area right where the Soviet Union, Turkey, and Iran came together. As such, it was pretty much off-limits (on top of being very remote and hard to get to). Word got out that spy satellites photographing the border had discovered an "anomaly" on the mountain. Somehow the photos were leaked to the press. With a stretch of the imagination someone could say "yeah, well, maybe the anomaly is sort of in the shape of a ship." Then someone connected the dots to the traditional story that Noah's ark had settled on Mount Ararat and, voila!, a legend was born.

    http://www.space.com/26318-noah-ark-search-satellite-images.html

    Haven't heard much about it since the end of the cold war. I think in the first decade of this century someone claimed to have been up there and claimed to have found the ship, but was quickly discredited. It's certainly an interesting candidate for an Adventure. I would only recommend taking a scientific team along that has credentials above reproach. Last thing we want to do is set ourselves up for ridicule of the "tinfoil hat" variety. ;) But it's a good story and it certainly captured my imagination back in the day.
     
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  13. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Yes, the story I remember from my cold war era childhood was that somebody in the early 50s got close enough in a helicopter to grab a bit of wood for analysis and it checked out as the same thing in the Bible story / right age, but they could do nothing more as "the Communists were in chrage of the ground around the mountain, and didn't want the Bible proven true". Everything for a good Indy, that - barring the Ark having some sort of magical properties to it.
     
  14. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean I'll Lock Up

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    Speaking of the Ark, ever wondered why there aren't any unicorns left ?.....
     
  15. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    No point those unicorns getting horny!
     
  16. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Call Me a Cab

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    I think unicorns may have survived the flood, after all. There are apparently a bunch of them still inhabiting the woods around Hogwarts castle.

    Regarding the need for an Indiana Jones type of Adventure to have a supernatural element: In that case, maybe we should consider launching a quest to find the legendary kingdom of Shambhala, hidden in a remote valley in the Himalayas. I spent a lot of my misspent youth reading adventure stories from the golden era. One of my favourites as a teenager was James Hilton’s 1933 novel “Lost Horizon”, in which a group of Westerners ---after a hijacking and a crash landing--- stumble into Shambhala (called “Shangri-La” in the book.) In short Shambhala is a secret and hidden kingdom where the inhabitants have achieved peace and enlightenment. I should re-read that book! It was excellent, as I recall.

    But does Shambhala really exist? Of course, most scholarly works say it is a Buddhist myth. What else would you say about something that has eluded discovery? And in this age of geographic imaging from satellites in space, it is easy to dismiss the notion that a hidden kingdom exists somewhere in a remote valley of the Himalayas. Of course, more than one source hints that the inhabitants of Shambhala have discovered a way to “cloak” their community from the rest of the world. And then, of course, there is THE MAP:

    Quote from following BBC link: “The tale of a lost kingdom in the region of the Tibetan mountains first came to Western attention nearly four centuries ago. And like many a tale of hidden treasure, it starts with a mysterious map - this one lost, then rediscovered a hundred years ago in Calcutta. It was part of a remarkable manuscript that contained the autobiography of a 16th-century Western missionary at the court of the Moghul emperor Akbar…. Andrade set out from Akbar's court, armed with the map, and at first followed yogis and wandering pilgrims on the road across the mountains. The terrain soon became hostile, but Andrade did eventually find an impressive and wealthy kingdom… and his account of his adventurous journey was rediscovered in Calcutta in the 19th century. It was republished in 1926 under the title Discovery of Tibet, and Hilton's Lost Horizon obviously owes much to this work.”​

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/cultures/shangri_la_01.shtml

    So who knows? Nobody ever said that finding a lost city would be easy. But this Adventure/Quest would have all the elements required for the upcoming (?) Indiana Jones 5 Movie …including the supernatural element.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shambhala

    Lost Horizon.jpg
     
  17. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Throw in some dinosaurs, and I'm in...
     
  18. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Call Me a Cab

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    Dinosaurs! Hot dang, now you are talking!

    A guilty interest of mine is in the stories that the 30-foot carnivorous lizard, Megalania, still survives in the Australian outback. That would be an adventure for a man in an outback hat!

    http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=130932


    But of course, the mother of all dinosaur stories is that of Mokele-mbembe, the large Sauropod that supposedly still survives in the jungles of the Congo.

    "Numerous expeditions have been mounted in search of mokele-mbembe. In 1980 and 1981, monster hunter [and retired University of Chicago biologist] Roy Mackal headed explorations into the Likouala and Lake Tele regions of the Congo, reputed to be hot spots of dinosaur sightings." Though Mackal never saw the creature or found any evidence of its existence, he did gather more native stories and legends about it.​

    http://www.livescience.com/38871-mokele-mbembe.html

    O.K., you’re in! Are we heading for the Australia or Central Africa? As I pack my backpack, my old Boy Scout snake bite kit suddenly seems completely inadequate.
     
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  19. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean I'll Lock Up

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    " I'm ya Huckleberry"

    Forget mythical giant lizards though, I think trying to find out if Thylacines (Tasmanian tigers) are still in existance would be far more feasable. There has been some convincing evidence of their presence in parts of OZ over the last few years & whenever the authorities do their best to conceal/falsify lab results & deny the veracity of eye witnesses 'cause the state would rather that thylacines remain extinct, encourages me even more to believe that maybe there are a few pockets of these animals roaming the outback..[/QUOTE]
     
  20. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Call Me a Cab

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    See? That is why I come here: To learn something.

    “For those convinced the tiger lives, giving up the search is unthinkable. According to Robert Paddle, author of The Last Tasmanian Tiger, there've been almost 4000 sightings reported since 1937, including some on the Australian mainland. In 2005, after a German tourist snapped pictures seemingly showing a thylacine in the bush in Tassie's central highlands, tiger fever soared. The Bulletin magazine (itself now extinct) and a Tasmanian businessman offered a combined $3 million for proof of the creature's existence, and plans – still fiercely debated – were hatched to clone one using a six-month old thylacine pup preserved in alcohol since 1866.”

    “Even now, parts of "the Weld" remain almost impenetrable, a lost world of confounding animal trails and sheer rock faces in which one careless step can spell disaster.”​

    http://www.smh.com.au/good-weekend/...ng-the-elusive-thylacine-20150324-1m6eo0.html

    Fascinating. You would think that those movement-activated cameras would eventually do the trick. Sounds like an adventure worth doing.

    But why do you believe that the Australian Government would prefer that Tasmanian Tigers "remain extinct"? Because if they were found to be still existing, then the Gov would have to devote resources to protecting them?

    I find this story a lot easier to swallow than tales of Sasquatch in North America. Even though I know from experience that there are thousands of square miles of wilderness in North America, I still find it hard to believe that a breeding population of Bigfoot would have gone undiscovered for so long.

    Any other mysterious beasts, lost cities, etc., out there that I need to hear about?
     

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