It started with an ever-expanding sinkhole at the entrance of the Mystic Pointe condominiums in New York city and led to an excavation this spring that revealed an underground complex of brick chambers with vaulted ceilings.Now the subterranean structure, believed to date to the mid-19th century, is a mystery just begging to be solved. Is it as pedestrian as a root cellar? Or as storied as a stop on the Underground Railroad? Does it stretch beyond the cluster of at least nine known rooms to connect to tunnels elsewhere? An ad-hoc group of residents, local historians and archaeologists in this Westchester County suburb is racing to figure it out before road repairs that could lead to the destruction of the rooms, which situnder a wooded area that had been part of a Victorian estate and once was owned by a Catholic church.
“The issue has become a major problem for the condominium as a whole,” said Anne Marie Leone, a Mystic Pointe resident who writes the “Then and Now” feature in The Rivertowns Enterprise and has lately spent much of her free time trying to solve the mystery.
“There’s a group of people like me who say, ‘It’s history, let’s save it.’ There are others who say, ‘This is a real danger on our property and let’s get it off before something major happens.’ ” Those concerned with saving the structure have been consulting historians, tracing ownership of the property and scrutinizing the bricks used in the construction, in the hope of finding out more about its past.Ms. Leone, for example, has spent many an evening since the discovery thisspring poring over maps and doing research about former owners. But while she can tell you all about Orlando B. Potter, who bought the property as a summer residence about 1870, and a fair amount about bricks found there, she has yet to find anything that even makes note of the structures.Lucille Lewis Johnson, an archaeologist and professor of anthropology at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, said that when she recently viewed the site, she found a network of about 12 rooms, some running north-south, others east-west. The common thinking is that the rooms were some kind of storage facility, but the size of the structure and the craftsmanship of the brickwork indicate that it might have been more than that.The rooms are larger and higher — with ceilings estimated to be as high as 15 feet — than would be common in a typical root cellar. Several of the doorways have metal fixtures on the outside, an in......
Submitted by Alex Zelaya: In the world of history, thanks to Darwin"s theory of evolution, the accepted cradle of civilization is commonly cited by scholars as being the continent of Africa. The Middle East - notably, in the area of 5 rivers; the Tigris-Euphrates (in modern day Iraq), the Nile in Africa, the Indus in South Asia, and the Huang-He-Yangtze in China are also figured prominently in the development of humankind. We"re told modern civilization is but 10,000 years old, but if that"s the...Oldest skeleton in Americas found underwater ?
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Members of a Native American group based in a remote part of Arizona are hoping to entice more tourists by inviting visitors to step off the edge of the Grand Canyon. The 1,500-member Hualapai tribe announced last week that the Skywalk—a giant, 30-million-dollar steel-and-glass walkway—will open to the public in March 2007. The Skywalk will jut out 70 feet (21 meters) from the canyon rim, allowing tourists to go for a stroll with nothing between their feet and the Colorado River—4,000 fe...Africans came with Columbus to New World
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A mysterious bottomless pit in the Pacific Northwest has been the subject of stories for decades.The mere existence of the hole is a matter of much controversy as nobody is sure where it even is. A Native American shaman called Red Elk is said to be one of the only people alive to have ever seen it, he claimed that the hole was "endless" and that strange things would happen whenever he went near it. More recently, Mel Watersspoke to Art Bell on Coast to Coast when he claimed to have c...China map lays claim to Americas
Submitted by Xsas: A map due to be unveiled in Beijing and London next week may lend weight to a theory a Chinese admiral discovered America before Christopher Columbus. The map, which shows North and South America, apparently states that it is a 1763 copy of another map made in 1418. If true, it could imply Chinese mariners discovered and mapped America decades before Columbus' 1492 arrival. The map, which is being dated to check it was made in 1763, faces a lot of scepticism from experts. ...