Black Magic in Science

    . . . Commence research where modern conjecture closes its faithless wings (Bulwer’s Zanoni).     The flat denial of yesterday has become the scientific axiom of to-day (Common Sense Aphorisms). Thousands of years ago the Phrygian Dactyls, the initiated priests, spoken of as the “magicians and exorcists of sickness,” healed diseases by magnetic processes. It was claimed that they had obtained these curative powers from the powerful breath of Cybele, the many-breasted goddess, the daughter of Cœlus and Terra. Indeed, her genealogy and the myths attached to it show Cybele as the personification and type of the vital essence, whose source was located by the ancients between the Earth and the starry sky, and who was regarded as the very fons vitæ of all that lives and breathes. The mountain air being placed nearer to that fount fortifies health and prolongs man’s existence; hence, Cybele’s life, as an infant, is […] Read More

An Unsolved Mystery

The circumstances attending the sudden death of M. Delessert, inspector of the Police de Sûreté, seem to have made such an impression upon the Parisian authorities that they were recorded in unusual detail. Omitting all particulars except what are necessary to explain matters, we produce here the undoubtedly strange history. In the fall of 1861 there came to Paris a man who called himself Vic de Lassa, and was so inscribed upon his passports. He came from Vienna, and said he was a Hungarian, who owned estates on the borders of the Banat, not far from Zenta. He was a small man, aged thirty-five, with pale and mysterious face, long blonde hair, a vague, wandering blue eye, and a mouth of singular firmness. He dressed carelessly and unaffectedly, and spoke and talked without much empressement. His companion, presumably his wife, on the other hand, ten years younger than himself, […] Read More

1890: The Last Song of the Swan

I see before my race an age or so, And I am sent to show a path among the thorns, To take them in my flesh. Well, I shall lay my bones In some sharp crevice of the broken way; Men shall in better times stand where I fell And singing, journey on in perfect bands Where I had trod alone. . . . – THEODORE PARKER Whence the poetical but very fantastic notion – even in a myth – about swans singing their own funeral dirges? There is a Northern legend to that effect, but it is not older than the middle ages. Most of us have studied ornithology; and in our own days of youth we have made ample acquaintance with swans of every description. In those trustful years of everlasting sunlight, there existed a mysterious attraction between our mischievous hand and the snowy feathers of the […] Read More

2007: US Iran intelligence 'is incorrect'

Julian Borger in Vienna Thursday February 22, 2007 Guardian Unlimited Much of the intelligence on Iran‘s nuclear facilities provided to UN inspectors by US spy agencies has turned out to be unfounded, diplomatic sources in Vienna said today. The claims, reminiscent of the intelligence fiasco surrounding the Iraq war, coincided with a sharp increase in international tension as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Iran was defying a UN security council ultimatum to freeze its nuclear programme.That report, delivered to the security council by the IAEA director general, Mohammed ElBaradei, sets the stage for a fierce international debate on the imposition of stricter sanctions on Iran and raises the possibility that the US could resort to military action against Iranian nuclear sites.At the heart of the debate are accusations – spearheaded by the US – that Iran is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons. However, most of […] Read More