Vanishing Submarines

Questions still linger over a bizarre series of Cold War incidents involving four submarines that all vanished in the early months of 1968. What is it about these submarines that makes it so hard to solve what happened to them?

The Scorpion, a nuclear-powered submarine had just undergone weapons testing and type training at her port in Norfolk, Virginia only weeks earlier, but not without incident. There had bee an electrical fire that had erupted in one of the submarine’s escape hatches, it also experienced a Freon leak in its refrigeration systems. It is said that this might have contributed to the Scorpion observing a depth limitation of no more than 500 feet that following February.

Throughout the Cold War years, it was not uncommon for US and Soviet vessels to routinely observe one another, the Scorpion had been no exception to this as she made her departure from Rota. The US was aware that Soviet hunter-killer submarines were monitoring traffic exiting from the Naval base, and part of the detail the Scorpion was assigned involved observation of Soviet activity in the Atlantic.

The Scorpion had successfully detected and surveyed a Soviet Echo II-class submarine, along with an accompanying guided missile destroyer. Afterwards, the Scorpion had headed back on a northbound course toward Norfolk, (supposedly).

A US Naval communications station located at Nea Makri, Greece had began receiving an unusual amount of radio traffic from the Scorpion on May 20, 1967. The Scorpion had not been able to reach their most recent departure point and had made several attempts to dispatch radio traffic for more than 24 hours. A final radio dispatch on May 21 indicated that the Scorpion was pursuing a Soviet submarine and research group, with the aim of initiating “surveillance of the Soviets”, according to the last message.

Now only a week later, American newspapers had reported that the Scorpion had failed to return to Norfolk by its expected arrival date. The Navy had worried that an onboard failure, because of the electrical problems the ship had experienced the previous year, might have occurred, and prompted an initial search effort that would prove to be unsuccessful. The USS Scorpion was declared “presumed lost” in early June of 1968.

The Scorpion was only one of four submarines that had gone missing in 1968.

There have been theories about what could have happened to the Scorpion.

  • A Hydrogen Explosion- this was the proximal cause for the loss and was assessed and analyzed. It was determined by this analysis that the leading theory for the loss was a result of a hydrogen build-up due to changes in the ventilation line-up while proceeding to periscope depth. This is consistent with two small explosions aboard the Scorpion, only a half-second apart, that were picked up by hydrophones.
  • The classified version of the US Navy’s court of inquiries report, finally released in 1993, listed accidents involving the Mark 37 Torpedo as 3 of the most probable causes for the loss of the Submarine, which included a hot-running torpedo, an accidentally or deliberately launched weapon, or that inadvertent activation of a torpedo by stray voltage.
  • A later theory was that a torpedo may have exploded in the tube , which could have been caused by an uncontrollable fire in the torpedo room. The Mark 46 silver-zinc battery used in the Mark 37 torpedo had a tendency to overheat, and in extreme cases could cause fire that was strong enough to cause a low-order detonation of the warhead. If the detonation had occured, it might have opened the boat’s large torpedo- loading hatch and caused the Scorpion to flood and sink.
  • The submarine could have been destroyed by a “hot-running torpedo”. Other subs in that fleet had replaced their defective torpedo batteries, but the Navy had wanted the Scorpion to complete its mission first. If the Scorpion had fired a defective topedo, it could have sought out a target and turned back to strike the sub that had launched it.

While all of these theories are plausible, might I just reiterate that the Scorpion had been en route to gather intelligence on a Soviet naval group conducting operations in the Atlantic. While the mission for which the submarine was diverted from their original course back to her home port is a matter of record, its detail still remain classified.

There is evidence that points toward involvement by the KGB spy ring led by John Anthony Walker Jr., who was in the heart of the U.S Navy’s communications. It could have known that the Scorpion submarine was coming to investigate the Soviet flotilla. There is a theory that suggests that both navies agreed to hide the truth about both USS Scorpion and K-129 incidents.

While results of the US Navy’ various investigations into the loss of the Scorpion remain inconclusive, if we take the information that we do know, I can only find two theories that make possble sense: the faulty battery and the fact that this submarine was investigating the Soviets at the time of their demise. I can only leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions as to what might have happened to these 99 crew members aboard the submarine that no one has answers for.

The Oak Island Mysteries

In the off-chance that you haven’t been watching the Oak Island Mystery TV series, here is a little background into the mysteries behind the island.

Oak Island Mystery refers to the stories of buried treasures and unexplained objects that are found on or near Oak Island in Nova Scotia.

A number of attempts have been made to locate these treasures and artifacts. Many theories about the artifacts on the island range from pirate treasures to Shakespearean manuscripts, possibly th Holy Grail or the Ark of the Covenant, the Grail and the Ark having been buried there by the Knights Templar.

This should peak your interest, so travel with me now into the depths of the Oak Island Mystery.

Various items over the years have surfaced, and some of which have been carbon-dated and found to be hundreds of years old. Now although these items are considered treasures in their own right, no significant main treasure site has ever been found. The original dig site, in an unknow location, was dug by early explorers and is known as “The Mone Pit”. “The Curse” is said to have originated more than a century ago and it states that seven men will die in the search for the treasure before it is found. To date, six men have died in efforts to find this treasure. An account was written in 1862. The Onslow Company excavated 80-90 feet. Afterward the pit flooded with seawater up to the 33-foot level…..attempts to remove this water was unsuccessful.

Treasure hunters later claimed that coconut fibers were discovered beneath the surface of a beach in 1851, known as Smith’s Cove. This led to a theory that the beach had been converted into a siphon, feeding the seawater into the pit through a man-made tunnel.

A STONE WITH ALLEGED MARKINGS

A stone was found 90 feet below the surface, and was said to have been inscribed with “mysterious markings”. An article claimed that the stone was held by the Smith family. A treasure hunter George Cook, claimed that Smith built the stone into his chimney in 1824 and said that he was shown the stone by Smith in the chimney around 1850. At that time Cook said, “There were some crude cut letters, figures or characters upon it. I cannont recollect which but they appear as if they had been scraped out by a blunt instrumen, raher than cut with a sharp one.” In 1864, Cook had made inquiries and discovered that the chimney had been enclosed in wood and surrounded by a staircase making the stone no longer visible. One researcher who read the cipher on the stone said the scratchings on the stone transcribe as, “Forty feet below, two million pound lie buried”.

Many theories have come about in regards to “the money pit”. The most fanciful of all is that the pit held a pirate treasure buried by Captain Kidd. Kidd and Henry Avery were reported as having took treasure together, and Oak Island was their community bank. Another theory involved Edward Teach (Blackbeard) who said that he buried his treasure, “where none but Satan and myself can find it.”

There is also an unproven story alleging that Marie Antoinett’s jewels, all missing except for specimens in museum collections, may have been hidden on the island when she reportedly instructed her maid to flee with her jewels.

If you are one interested in buried treasures, it may be worth looking at the television series, where it claims that the islands secrets are revealed.

THE FAIRYTALE OF THE FAROE ISLANDS

Travel with me, will you into the middle of the North Atlantic where there lies a small archipelago of islands.

No matter where you are in the Faroe Islands which are battered by rain, wind, and sea, the ocean is never further than 3 miles away. A perfect setting for wild adventures, the Faroe Islands has waterfalls that cascade off cliff-tops into the rough seas, tunnels are bored into the mountainsides, there are eerie abandoned villages, and remote lighthouses.

It is not uncommon for one island to experience rain, another to experience snow, and a third brilliant blue skies, making the weather the Faroese’s favorite talking point. It’s anyones guess what the weather will bring, but it is all a part of the magic here.

If we head to Eioi, we will see Resin and Kellington. They are two giant stone stacks, that according to legend, were once a giant and his witch wife who were sent to steal the Faroe Islands and bring them back to Iceland. They had decided to tie a rope around a mountain called Eioiskollur and pull the islands towards their home country. Being so preoccupied with their task, they forgot to hide at sunrise, (they could only roam at night) and the first rays of the sun turned them to stone. Ever since, they have sat facing westward towards Iceland, longing to return home.

Traveling to into the islands of the world and experiencing the magic and the unlimited imaginations they create is ever so mystifying for many of us. Thank you for traveling with me on this journey and please stay tuned for more mysteries of the unforgettable, unbelievable, and many of the forgotten around the wold.

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Island of the Dolls

In order to tell you the story of an island that is covered with decaying old dolls that are strung up in trees, I must begin with the dark origin behind it all. La Isla de las Munecas (The Island of the Dolls) is intimately intertwined with the story of Don Julian Santana Barrera.

Don Julian Santana Barrera was a native of Xochimilco, a borough of Mexico City. He left his wife and family in the mid-20th century to sequester himself on an island on Teshuilo Lake. It had become clear that he was not of sound mind. Soon after relocating, he discovered on the shores of his island, the body of a young girl who had drowned in the lake. Shortly after, a doll came floating down the canals. This changed the course of his life and the shape of the island for years to come.

In order to appease the spirit of the deceased girl, being alone on the island, he took the doll and hung it from a tree. In his eyes, he believed himself to be the caretaker of the island. He felt one doll was not enough, so for the next 50 years he would scrounge for dolls in the trash and from the canals and hang them from the many trees on the island. Some of these dolls were hung whole, others were is a state of disrepair-headless, torso-less, or taken apart in other ways.

Santana Barrera’s family did not believe his actions could have come from a man with a healthy grasp on reality. His family did not believe he had ever found this little girl. It was presumed that he had made it up. He devoted the rest of his life to this little girl he believed to be real. For him, even the end of his life had clear ties to the story of the drowned child.

He passed away in 2001; his body discovered in the canal, in the suspected way he had always said he’d seen the little girl. Tourist began flocking to the island to pay tribute, bringing dolls of their own. To this very day, people honor Barrera and the little girl by hanging dolls up in tribute, (whether his story was ever true or not).

For me, seeing a bunch of dolls may be exciting to see, just because of the story behind it, but I think I will look from a distance.

Thank you for traveling with me to the Island of the Dolls, as we experienced the legend behind the island and how it came to be. Don’t forget to subscribe, hit the like button, or just follow me to learn more about the intriguing mysteries around the world.

Haunted History Behind The Stanley Hotel

Do you dare step into the halls of the Stanley Hotel, much the same as writer Stephen King had done when he found the inspiration for his book, “The Shining”?

As the story goes, in the fall of 1974, writer Stephen King and his wife had stopped for the night at an old hotel overlooking the city. When King arrived, he learned that the hotel was closing for the winter and would only have a skeleton crew that would remain.

The couple decided to stay and  was checked into Room 217, the Presidential Suite, they were the only paying guests left at the hotel. The Stanley Hotel had fallen on hard times and was a ghost of its former, Edwardian-era self.

That night, King had a nightmare. He saw his young son being chased down the hotel’s long, empty corridors by a predatory, possessed fire hose. (Now if that were me, it would have probably been enough to drive me out of there, but not King.) He woke in a drenched sweat and stepped onto the balcony to smoke a cigarette. With his incredible imagination at work, by the time he had stubbed the cigarette out, he had worked out the bones of what would become his third novel and first best-seller.

The Stanley Hotel had earned its reputation as a paranormal nerve center long before King ever arrived and stayed at the hotel. As in politics, paranormal pursuits follows the same idea, that fear is all about what you choose to pay attention to.

Since his death in 1940, in the years that follow, the apparition of Mr. Stanley is reported as appearing to guests checking in at the reception desk, and some claims hold that the phantom of his late wife, Flora Stanley who was a young pianist, can sometimes be heard playing the piano in the empty music room.

Some spots are more spiritually active than others, including the century-old lodge and concert hall, guests have reported strange occurances. There have been shadowy figures, eerie laughter, flickering lights and item that move about on their own.

The Stanley Hotel has seen its fair share of trauma. In the 1920’s , a gas leak led to an explosion in Room 217 that destroyed the second floor above the main dining hall. It nearly killed a chambermaid, Elizabeth Wilson. She did however, recover and return to her job until the age of 90, when she died at her home in Estes Park. It wasn’t long after that, the hotel began receiving reports of a spectral chambermaid hovering and walking through closed doors in the rebuilt guest quarters.

There have been unmarried couples that complained of an invisible force wedging them apart as they slept, and single men have been woke to find their bags had been packed and left outside the door.

The hotels most requested room is of coarse Room 217, the one where King stayed over 40 years ago. It’s a space that allegedly drove Jim Carrey to flee in the middle of the night when he was on location filming 1994’s “Dumb and Dumber”.

The true ghost central in The Stanley, and the most notoriously active is two floors up. When King visited, he supposedly had the run of the empty hotel and wandered up there. It was a wide-open attic stretching from dormer to far dormer, dimly lit, and filled with sheet-draped furniture. Today this space holds 25 guest rooms.

No matter where you go, there is inspiration and it is up to you what you do with that experience. If you follow in the footsteps of Stephen King, it could be what sets you apart from all others.

Thank you for taking this journey with Voices, past, present, and future into the depths of The Stanley Hotel. Don’t forget to subscribe for more unbelievable stories that can take you into a journey to create your next best creation.

The Mysteries of The Banff Springs Hotel

With the passage of time a well as people, ghost stories have emerged about the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, which make this hotel and its historical mysteries a great tale to tell.

Join me as we visit the mysteries behind The Lost Room, Sam the Bellman, The Dancing Bride, and Room 873.

THE SECRET ROOM

A big error occurred from the contractor during the construction of the original wooden hotel. A room was built with no windows or doors. This fact wasn’t even shared with the hotel owner. Not until a fire in 1926 did they finally discover this room. Since, apparitions are often seen roaming the halls outside of this room.

ROOM 873

Reportedly the scene of a tragic murder of a family, its door has since been bricked up and made to look like the rest of the wall in the hallway. Apparitions, possibly the family members, have been reported being seen outside of this room.

THE BURNING BRIDE

As the stories suggest, a woman dressed in her wedding gown lost her life on the staircase. Candles had been placed on the staircase when the bride was walking. Her dress suddenly catches fire and in a panic she trips and falls down the stairs, dying from a broken neck. She is reported by the guests as being seen dressed in her wedding gown dancing in the ballroom. Some witnesses claim to see the flames from her dress as she dances. Others have reported seeing her on the staircase. The staff has reported hearing strange noises coming from the bridal suite when it is vacant.

THE BELLMAN

The most popular of these ghosts is Sam Macauley who was a bellman at the hotel in the 60’s and 70’s. There is not much known about how or where Sam Macouley died, but his ghost is said to haunt the hotel even to this day. He appears in his 1960’s uniform helping guests get into locked rooms, turn on the lights, or even help them with their luggage. The 9th floor is where he is witnessed the most. In an attempt to converse with Sam or tip him, he vanishes.

Apparitions of other ghosts have been reported as well, although less popular than the ones above.

Staff and guests have reported seeing a bartender who often informs the guests that they have had too much to drink and it’s best if they go to bed.

Even more spectacular is the apparition of a headless man playing the bagpipes!

The Banff Springs Hotel has been welcoming guests for over 125 years. It is known as The Castle of the Rockies. Many guest, famous and royal have walked its halls and if you plan to visit you may see guests of another kind still haunting its halls.

Thank you for touring the mysteries within the halls of the Banff Springs Hotel with Voices, past, present, and future.

Please subscribe to Voices, past, present, and future to get more incredible stories that are unforgettable, unheard of, and some of the forgotten ones.

Reflections

I sometimes forget that Sundays should be a day of reflection. If you are like me, the love for what we do drives us to produce and punch the keys for the people who take the time from their day to read what we have to say.

I recently went to the library and checked out everything I could find on how to write a book or social media marketing just because in my minds eye I have to get it right.

The fact that you took time from your day, means I must be doing something right. I bought Stephen Kings book: On Writing, one for him being my favorite author, and two it was highly recommended as a must read for new authors.

I provided you with a snippett of my childhood, One Girls life of Hell. If you haven’t read it, please take the time to do so today. I thought I had gotten past certain things in my past and that sharing it with my readers would be an easy feat for me. I proved myself wrong.

The losses in my life make me ever so grateful for those who are in my life today. I try not to linger on the past and what it did to me in my younger days. I try to reflect and remind myself that things are put on you for a reason and no matter how hard they may seem at the time, suppose it is in preparation for the things to come and who you could potentially be if you use your circumstances in the appropriate way.

I am trying my hand at a short story contest this week, one to improve my writing and two, if I win, it would definitely boost my self esteem when it comes to my abilities as a writer.

I enjoy bringing to you the articles of the unknown, unseen, unforgettable, and sometimes the forgotten. It brings to light the events that have shaped our world and a view into a life of possibilities. People should never be forgotten, and by providing you with their, however traumatic story it may be, it keeps their memory alive and if the right person sees a story it could shine the light on new evidence to solve an otherwise unsolvable case.

Reflect today on what you accomplished for the week, set your goals for what you will accomplish for the coming week. Thank your friends and family for whatever support they provided you in making it through the week.

Again I remind you, I am an Amazon affiliate. I do make a commission off products that you purchase through my site, and I appreciate you clicking on the link in my site and supporting my blog and purchasing products. I am going to provide the link to purchase Stephen Kings book, On Writing.

Voices, past, present, and future thanks you for reading my morning of reflection.

ONE GIRLS LIFE OF HELL (PART 3)

I didn’t want to leave those of you following this story hanging. I found it hard to continue after my last post. No matter how old you get things in your past are still hard to deal with at times. I wanted to show those of you out there, that there are others, with trauma, in all corners of the world.

I loved my mother, many ask why, others can’t seem to understand. She was all that I had. She wasn’t as hard on me as she was my siblings. There were times we would be hungry at night, and because my punishment wouldn’t be as harsh, I would sneak into the kitchen at night and get us something to eat. I would try to put things back the way they were so that she wouldn’t knowl, but she had a way about her. She knew.

I remember getting sick on some kind of pinwheel hamburger helper one night. My mother had planned to take us out to the pool where we lived that night, but because I just couldn’t stomach the food, she made me stay at home and lay down, while she took my siblings swimming that night.

I could hate her if I chose to, but why? I am who I am because of her and what I went through all those years ago. I am the best mother I know how to be because I choose not to follow in her footsteps. I choose not to let my trauma dictate who I am or who I choose to be.

I write because it’s an outlet for me. I love telling stories because I love how reading takes me to another place, another time, and often at exactly the time that I need to be taken away….

I won contests as a child for my writing and it was always a dream of mine. Through other traums endured even after my parents passed, I didn’t fullfill my dreams and although many may say I’m not qualified to be a writer, I’d like to beg to differ.

Don’t let trauma hold you back from who you are or who you want to be. Use it to fuel you in the moments to come. Decide to be better than the trauma that set out to tear you down.

Thank you for following me while I chose just to tell a portion of my life of hell.

Doomsday Vault

Voices, past, present, and future would like for you to travel with us into THE DOOMSDAY VAULT. On an island above the Arctic Circle between Norway and the North Pole, deep in the bowels of an icy mountain, lies a resource of vital importance for the future of humankind.

It’s not coal, oil or precious minerals as you would suspect, but rather it’s seeds from more than 930,000 varieties of food crops. Millions of these tiny brown specks are stored in the Global Seed Vault.

It is essentially a huge safety deposit box that holds the world’s largest collection of agricultural biodiversity. Brian Lainoff, the lead partnership coordinator of the Crop Trust says, ” Inside this building is 13,000 years of agriultural history”.

The Global Seed Vault, dubbed the “Doomsday Vault”, conjures up an image of a reserve of seeds for use in case of an apocalyptic event or a global catastophe. If you read my post on Nostradamus and his predictions for the future, https://voicespastpresentandfuture.com/2022/03/23/he-said-what/, this vault of seeds may indeed come in handy.

Regardless of what predictions have said, it is the much smaller, localized destruction and threats facing gene banks all over the world, that the vault was designed to protect against.

Marie Haga, executive director of the Crop Trust stated, “There are big and small doomsdays going on around the world everyday. Genetic Materi is being lost all over the globe.”

It was precisely for its remoteness that Svalbard was chosen as the location of the vault. Bente Naeverdal, a property manager who oversees the day-to-day operations of the vault, stated “It is away from the places on earth where you have war and terror, everything maybe you are afraid of in other places. It is situated in a safe place.”

The only neighbor to this vault is a similar repository buried away from the dangers of the world: The Arctic World Archive. It aims to preserve data for the world’s governments and private institutions.

The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) is a global agricultural-research organization that had been based in Syria. It was forced to flee its headquarters, just outside of Aleppo, because of the Civil War. The organization evacuated its international staff in 2012, but some Syrian researchers stayed behind to rescue equipment and even animals.

As the fighting intensified, they were forced to leave behind their gene bank, one of the world’s most valuable collection of seeds, containing some of the oldest varieties of wheat and barley. ICARDA re-established its headquarters in Morocco and Lebanon, and restarted the gene bank in 2015, using seeds from the Svalbard-vault, which was the first ever withdrawal there.

Taken from their icy slumber and woken up, the seeds were planted in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley and in Morocco. The offspring of these seeds were carefully collected and processed and then returned to the vault. In late February, ICARDA returned the varieties of seeds it had taken out. Lainoff explains, “These seeds have come full circle”.

Gene banks in Afghanistan and Iraq have been destroyed, along with them genetic material that wasn’t backed up in Svalbard. It is not just armed conflict that threatens these valuable resources. Some have been hit with natural disasters, like the Philippine national gene bank, that was damaged by flooding from a typhoon and then later a fire.

A lack of resources is probably the biggest threat facing the world’s gene banks. Many lack the resources to properly store or protect the seeds they hold. In an age of heightened geopolitical tensions and uncertainty, the Svalbard vault is an unusual and hopeful exercise in international cooperation for the good of humankind. Any country or organization can send seeds to it, and there are no restrictions because of politics or the requirements of diplomacy.

For me, I understand that preserving these seeds in the case of an apocalyptic disaster, but I have a real problem with the countries around the world and its peoples starving and the commercials that advertise their struggles, asking for money donations when there are seed vaults out there that could help these people in crisis. As well as the fact that the seeds these plants produce can be reharvested and placed back into the vaults.

The “What If” scenario doesn’t sit well with me when there are so many out there that could use it now, while there is time to reharvest the seeds and put them back.

Voices, past, present, and future appreciates you traveling with us. Let us know what you think by posting comments in the comment section. Also, feel free to share and repost this article.

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