Shroud Of Turin One Of 40 Fakes, Historian Says

Shroud of TurinThe Shroud of Turin has been causing controversy for centuries now. The linen cloth, measuring 14 feet by 4 feet, has what appear to be bloodstains on it. Also, the image of a wounded man can be seen, an image that becomes clearer when looked at as a photographic negative.

Now historian Antonio Lombatti of the Università Popolare in Parma, Italy, says the Shroud of Turin is a fake, and not only that, it’s not a very original one. About forty pieces of cloth purported to be the burial shroud of Jesus circulated in Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Religious relics were popular then and now.

Lombatti say the shroud was given to a French knight in Turkey in 1346. This is the first concrete record of the Shroud and agrees with radiocarbon analysis of the linen. In 1988, the University of Oxford, University of Arizona, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology independently tested parts of the Shroud and each said it dates to sometime between 1260-1390.

The photographic negative image was well within the ability of medieval technology as far back as the eleventh century A.D., according to one researcher who made his own shrouds using medieval techniques.

Also, John 19:40 and 20:6-7 clearly state that Jesus was wrapped in several strips of linen, not just one, and that his head was wrapped in a separate cloth.

None of this, of course, will dissuade the thousands of believers who flock to the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, where the Shroud is kept and (rarely) exhibited.

[Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons]

Video: pilot fakes fainting – passenger freaks out

Consider this “pilot fakes fainting” video a “do not watch” if you are afraid of flying. For all others, you be the judge of whether the clip is fake of not.

Either way, sitting in the back of a small prop plane and watching your pilot pass out, hearing the engine throttle down and starting to descend is a sure way to scare the crap out of anyone. And yes – we know the clip is slighly old, but this is just too funny not to share.

What do you think? Fake, real or who cares?

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Fake gems and minerals sold to tourists in Namibia


More and more adventure travelers are discovering Namibia, a nation in southwest Africa that offers deserts, beaches, safaris, and hikes. Unfortunately this rise in tourism has led to a rise in tourist scams. Namibia’s Mines and Energy Minister, Isak Katali, has warned miners to stop selling fake gems and minerals to tourists. Mining is big in the country, and many miners are independent prospectors who scratch out a difficult and hazardous living from the rock.

One way to make extra money is to sell their finds to tourists. This has proved too tempting for some, and they’re using their specialized knowledge, and the average tourist’s cluelessness, to fob off colored glass as precious stone. While most miners are honest, buying minerals and gems in Namibia has become a tricky game. Mr. Katali says this has already hurt tourism and the country’s reputation.

Namibia is certainly not the only country where cheap imitations are fobbed off to unsuspecting visitors. People will fake pretty much anything if they think it will sell. When visiting the ancient oasis city of Palmyra in Syria, I was offered a “genuine Roman coin” made of aluminum! Back in 2008, Italian police broke up a gang selling fake Ferraris.

Have you ever bought something overseas only to discover later it was a fake? Share your tale of woe in the comments section!

[Image courtesy Arpingstone]

Pilot with fake license flew commercial planes for 13 years – until he was caught

A successful 13 year career came to an end today, when Dutch police pulled a 41-year-old pilot from his plane. The pilot was minutes away from departing for Ankara, Turkey on his Corendon airlines flight.

The cops were acting on a tip from Swedish authorities, who discovered that the man was not in possession of a pilots license valid for commercial planes.

He did have a basic license for private planes, but he had falsified his credentials 13 years ago, and had been flying commercial planes ever since.

With over 10,000 hours in the cockpit, the pilot had obviously tricked authorities very well – and 10,000 hours without any safety incidents also means he must have known what he was doing up front.

Thankfully, Corendon airlines had been alerted to the upcoming arrest, and had already arranged for a replacement pilot to take his seat. A lawyer for the airline said the fake pilot would never fly for them again.

Oddly enough, this was the second time he had been caught – Swedish cops arrested him several years ago for the same reason, but when they summoned him, he couldn’t be found, so they just “forgot” about it.

TSA disproves blogger’s claim that agent took her baby

On Friday, a blogger reported a harrowing tale that would make any parent furious with the TSA. She claims that, while going through security, she was detained because her son’s pacifier clip set off the metal detector. When she was pulled aside for a search, her son was taken away from her by a male TSA agent and was out of her sight for several minutes.

On her blog, she recounts the story of how she was so upset that she screamed obscenities, almost blacked out, and frantically phoned her husband and mother over the course of the nearly ten minutes that her child was out of her sight. She says when the agent finally returned with her son, she ran to him. Once she was allowed to leave, she headed to the bathroom, again nearly blacked out, and took the “emergency Xanax” that she keeps with her at all times because she suffers from severe anxiety.

Well, she might want to take a few more Xanax, because it sounds like this whole episode may have been the result of anxiety-induced hallucinations. The TSA has released proof that the incident, as the blogger claims, never happened.

The video of the blogger and her son going through security has been posted on the TSA website. The nearly 10-minute long video clearly shows that not once was her son out of her sight, that she never picked up her cellphone and that a TSA agent never held her child (though one did pat him down for about 10 seconds). While she is being patted down, her son is visible no more than three feet away, siting in his stroller. Even her claim that her belongings were left on the conveyor belt is false. A TSA agent brings them to the search area shortly after she walks over.

It’s easy to get mad at the TSA, with their frequent fumbles and ever-changing rules about liquids, powders, and shoes. Who likes being forced to walk barefoot (or in my case, often in mismatched socks) around an airport or to have to wait (as she did) ten minutes to be cleared through security? But if you’re thinking of getting even with a falsified account like this, just remember: when dealing with the TSA, you’re always on camera.