Friday, May 25, 2012

Every story has a beginning X

Hi, followers of Hyperborea Exists. I’m back to bring you the final chapter in ‘Every story has a beginning’. In my last post I left off just when we had retrieved Barracuda 1 and the Draupnir Disc.

Draupnir Ring representation from Nordic Mythology.
I have to admit, the journey home was something of a nightmare due to the bad weather. As soon as the Draupnir Disc was in our hands we put it in an aqueous solution to replicate the conditions inside the Niflheim Cave. The boat lurched from side to side as it was struck by powerful waves. We were all extremely tense. On more than one occasion we thought that our expedition might end in tragedy.

After several days at sea we finally reached port in one piece. And even more importantly, our archaeological treasure was in good condition. What we certainly couldn’t have imagined was that our return would be stormier than the return journey aboard the Ice Dawn.

We were two days behind schedule due to the time we had spent retrieving the Draupnir Disc. Our superiors at the NTNU were furious because they had promised that we would be available for another project but we hadn’t returned on time. I wish I could say that once we had described our finding they softened and turned their full attention on our project, offering us all their resources.

But it wasn’t like that. Olve, Geir and I received a formal warning and were threatened with being expelled by the institution if we committed any further infractions. Our superiors and colleagues were now highly suspicious of us and did everything they could to exclude us for not having followed their instructions to the letter. You can guess what the best way of attacking us was... Ignoring and scorning our research into the Draupnir Disc and Odin’s Keel.

You must be wondering what happened to the Draupnir Disc. From the moment we received our warning, we were weighed down with endless bureaucracy and paperwork, ensuring that we didn’t have a second free for our research. Even so, we managed to study it whenever we could, even if it meant losing sleep. It was a long and tedious process but we could still call on a few friends to help us. What we now call the Draupnir Disc was then just a rocky surface in very poor condition. It required several chemical and restoration processes to clear away all the sediment that had built up over the years and reveal the artefact that lay beneath.

I can’t put into words what we felt the day we finally saw what our great treasure truly looked like, two years after we had retrieved it from the Niflheim Cave. I imagine it was the same as the first archaeologists felt when they discovered the Egyptian pyramids and their hieroglyphics. What we had before us had once been a beautiful, refined disc made from a bluish metal and decorated with symbols, ancient runes that we couldn’t decipher. Most surprising of all, it wasn’t one solid piece but consisted of several concentric circles that looked as though they once moved to form new symbols.

The craftsmanship was indescribable, even for our times. Some of the runes were microscopic in size. Each inner circle was smaller and more refined than the last. Restoring it would be a Herculean task, if not impossible. It was, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the greatest archaeological discoveries ever made. You can already guess what the carbon dating test results revealed... They were identical to the results of Odin’s Keel: out of range.

CGI (Computer Generated Image) enlarged from the inner circles of the Draupnir Disk. This was one of the first captures we made of the disk. Already in this stage of the initial restauration you could glimpse a part of the symbols. 
In normal circumstances, we would have shared our discovery with the scientific community, requested research funds and revealed what we had found to the world. But we were in a highly precarious position. We were worried about being rejected again and taken off the research project. So we decided to take the long way round and chose to be patient. It would take longer, but would ultimately provide us with concrete, irrefutable results.

We knew that the artefact was unique but still had no idea where it came from or its function. We couldn’t understand the symbols or how they worked. Nor did we have any data on Odin’s Keel or the shipwreck. Who could have made it? So we decided to hide what we had discovered and pretend that we were carrying on with our everyday work, while actually carrying out unofficial research in our free time. That way we hoped to win back the trust of our colleagues and superiors. And of course, to discover what lay behind our mysterious findings.

Over the next few years we set aside time every summer to perform new dives in the area. And that was how we finally approached the area around the island of Jan Mayen. We had run simulations that recreated ocean currents from 60,000 years ago and they all led to this area of the Atlantic Ocean. But it wasn’t enough. We needed to find more pieces of the puzzle. I can’t begin to count the hours I spent studying the symbols decorating the Draupnir Disc. Everything indicated that it used a runic system far more ancient that anything that had been seen before.

It was a compositional system: you moved the various inner discs to form different signs. But I had no idea what the real combination was. After several months trying different combinations there was just one that created a familiar-looking symbol. An X with a rhombus on either side.  It was too much of a coincidence. There was already an identical composite rune known as ‘ gar’. The gar rune meant ‘spear’ and was known by some experts in runic writings as the rune of the god Odin. I must admit that I’ve been obsessed with it ever since, feverish to discover the potential implications of the artefact. But it’s still too soon to make any pronouncements.

Gar Rune. It is a composite rune and means "Spear". For many researchers is considered as the symbol that represents the Nordic God, Odin, The Great Father.

This discovery spurred me on and encouraged me not to give up. But it was just an oasis in a desert of uncertainty because I still didn’t know what the rune meant or the purpose of the Draupnir Disc. I only began to guess at its function three years ago. I had been working until the early hours and had lain down on my bed, exhausted. The television was on and was showing a documentary about the first Spanish and Portuguese navigators. And that was what set off a spark in my head. What if the disc was something more than an alphabetic rune, as I had thought up until now? What if it were a type of navigation map, like a system that showed the position of the stars? As the days went by, the idea grew, making more and more sense. Olve and Geir agreed with me. What was more, they even suggested that perhaps it showed position coordinates, like a type of archaic GPS. But that went beyond even our wildest expectations.

However, we still didn’t know what the composite runes meant, except for Odin’s rune. We were missing something... A guide that would help us understand the runic language. Like the Rosetta stone had been for Egyptian hieroglyphics. And that was exactly what we found this summer on the ocean floor along the coastline of Jan Mayen. The missing piece that could be used to understand and decipher the Draupnir Disc. Thanks to this new find, we have spent the past few months carefully studying its symbols and establishing coordinates. The location of the place where we believe that Odin’s Keel may have been based. Built by a civilization that precedes anything known to humanity so far. A civilization with unimaginable knowledge and technology for its age, technology that we still don’t understand...

Roseta Stone. It contains a decree from year 196 B.C. by Egiptian priests written in Greek and Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Dear friends, followers of Hyperborea Exists, in a few weeks’ time the truth will be revealed. We have gathered all the information possible, all the evidence that backs up our research, and are going to present it before the Norwegian government’s Scientific Commission. Once it learns about our work, we hope to achieve the funding we need. We will spend the grant on an expedition to the coordinates we’ve unveiled, a point in the Atlantic Ocean. Once there, we hope to discover archaeological remains that provide the existence of what was once known as Hyperborea.

And that brings this series to a close. The next blog posts will cover our presentation and, I hope, its success. We are going to need all the support we can get. Ahead lies the glory of making the greatest archaeological discovery in the history of humanity. Pay attention because soon, very soon, I hope to be able to reveal the secrets of the Hyperborean civilization.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Every story has a beginning IX

Followers of Hyperborea Exists, two weeks later here I am, back and ready to continue my tale of ‘Every story has a beginning’. It has been an intense fortnight and there isn’t long to go before the final step. So much depends on it that we are taking every precaution possible. We can’t leave anything to chance. We hope to convince the government to grant us the funds we need to continue our research.

When I last wrote, I was describing a discovery that would change everything. A circular disc that we’d found in the Niflheim Cave. Once Barracuda 1 was back on board the ship, we stayed up all night studying the images it had taken and analysing the best way to retrieve the disc. We had to invent a completely secure way of using Barracuda 1 to raise it up.  After batting ideas back and forth and running hours of tests, we came up with the safest solution.

Robotic arms with a similar termination to those we used in Barracuda 1.
Both of Barracuda 1’s arms were fitted with pincers and we built a nylon rope harness around them. With a little skill, the disc would fit inside and then the pincers could close around it to hold the disc tight. According to our initial tests, it was lighter than we had first thought so we expected Barracuda 1 to be able to lift it up without difficulty. Of course, that was assuming things weren’t complicated by strong currents. The truth was that we were all increasingly anxious. The weather forecast said that storms were on their way.

We spent the entire morning preparing Barracuda 1 and planning the dive so then had to wait until the following day. We had also received a call from our superior at the NTNU asking if we were already on our way back. There was no choice but to lie. I’m sure you can imagine the state Olve, Geir and I were in.

Finally the perfect moment for the dive arrived. There was a short window for our operation. In seven hours’ time we would be hit by a weather front. Barracuda 1 gracefully sank down through the water, heading towards the depths in search of the disc. Would it be the key to backing up our theories about Odin’s Keel and the shipwreck?

Image from the main camera of Barracuda 1, just before reaching the mound where the Draupnir Disk was hiding. It used a laser locking system to fix its target.

The descent felt as though it would take forever, the seconds lasting minutes, the minutes lasting hours. The robot’s underwater path to the Niflheim Cave seemed eternal but finally it arrived. Everything was just as we had left it. We guided the robot straight towards the disc. It was still there, crowning the strange rocky mound and covered in flora and fossilized crustaceans. Olve skilfully handled the two remote controls.

He would be responsible for the most difficult part of the procedure. He had to lift the disc up with one pincer while the other pincer fitted part of the harness around it. Then he had to repeat the manoeuvre the other way round with the other robotic arm. It was very risky, what if the disc slipped out of its grasp and fell down the mound? That would be disastrous. We were all on edge. You could cut the atmosphere in that small compartment on board the Ice Dawn with a knife.

After several attempts, Olve managed to place the disc inside the safety harness. He closed the fastenings with the pincers and withdrew them to pull the disc towards Barracuda 1. For a moment it felt as though time had stopped, but we quickly saw that it was moving, lazily edging away from the mound like someone who doesn’t want to leave the comfort of their home.

If the descent had felt eternal, you can’t begin to imagine what the ascent was like. A total nightmare; the storm was now practically on top of us. Our great fear was that the cable could work itself loose and we would lose both Barracuda 1 and the disc.

Fate, the old gods, destiny or perhaps all three saw to it that we retrieved Barracuda 1 and its precious cargo just in time. Moments after hoisting the robot out of the water and storing it in the Ice Dawn’s hold, ten to thirteen foot waves started to surge up around us. It was time to head back to base. The journey home might have been rough but we certainly didn’t notice: we were walking on air. The three of us were fascinated by our discovery, what we would later be called the Draupnir Disc.

That’s all I have time for now but I promise to return with further details of our discovery shortly. Unfortunately I also have bad news from the NTNU to report. There’s not long to go, my friends. The truth about Hyperborea will soon be revealed, I promise. Thanks for all your support. Writing these posts feels almost therapeutic and gives me the strength to take the final few steps. Until next time!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Every story has a beginning VIII

Dear followers of Hyperborea Exists, here is the next post in ‘Every story has a beginning’. As I mentioned in my last entry, after the dressing-down we received from the NTNU’s Expert Commission we had no other choice but to spend the rest of the summer of 2000 working on other projects while we anxiously waited for September to arrive.

When it was finally time to set off on our new expedition to the Niflheim Cave, we were faced with several challenges. First, the limited budget granted by the NTNU meant that we wouldn’t have much room for manoeuvre. However, we called in a few personal favours and used our contacts, finally setting sail on a medium-sized ship, the ‘Ice Dawn’. Once a fishing boat, it had since been remodelled and was now used for research projects.

Sonar image of the fracture zone of Jan Mayen showing the location of the opening of the Niflheim cave.

Although we had only been authorised and granted the funds to mark out a perimeter around the shipwreck, we had actually succeeded in obtaining the means to do a little more. We had one of the Barracuda submarine robots belonging to Nordic Communications on board. Now it had been meticulously adapted for gathering samples and exploring the terrain. Our plan was to try to spend as much time at the site as possible, although this was weather-dependent.

After several days’ journey, Olve, Geir and I, plus the Ice Dawn crew, reached the coordinates of the Niflheim Cave. The weather wasn’t ideal so we got straight to work. First we marked out a perimeter around the cave by sonar. The region is part of the famous Jan Mayen Ridge and the island of Jan Mayen is 250 miles to the north. As I explained in previous posts, the area around the island would later be one of the main focus points for our research field work. As the image shows, the entrance to the Niflheim Cave was a long opening, like a crack, on the side of an underwater mound that had once been volcanic chimney many years ago.

Once we had taken images of the perimeter, the Barracuda was fitted with the sonar and we launched the first dive back to the cave. At first sight, everything appeared to be just as we had left it on our previous visit.

Down, left. Sonar image of the strange disk we found in the Niflheim Cave.

We started to take different images of quadrants covering the cave floor and the areas where what we called Odin’s Keel had been found. That was how we spent the first day of work. In the evening, we checked through all the sonar images. Our initial analysis showed that Odin’s Keel was just the tip of the iceberg. Most of the shipwreck lay beneath the surface, protected by layers of mud, earth and rock. This knocked the wind out of our sails. If the project conditions already involved highly complex archaeological prospecting on the surface, at that depth the cost of recovering the wreck would be astronomic. Way out of our budget.

We had almost finished when Olve spotted something in an image taken in the farthest area of the cave from Odin’s Keel. It was a type of mound, an odd protuberance that somehow looked out of place while also appearing to belong to the shipwreck. The sonar image was blurry, but it looked like a circular surface measuring three feet in diameter. Was it part of the shipwreck or a strange artefact from its cargo?

Although we had originally planned to use the Barracuda to gather a fragment of Odin’s Keel, we now decided to prioritise our new discovery. The next day, we got the Barracuda ready and looked on anxiously as it slowly descended through the watery depths down to the Niflheim Cave. The robot was fitted with two arms and a large spade. One of the arms had a pincer and the other held a saw for cutting through rock. When the Barracuda approached the new finding we finally had a better view. It was a circular surface that stood out from the ocean floor. As the robot drew closer it stirred up lots of dust and we saw that it was encrusted with rocks, flora and crustaceans.

The robot stretched out its pincer and the upper part of the object shuddered at its touch. It wasn’t a cube, but a type of loose disc. It appeared to be lighter than we had first thought because it moved slightly every time the pincer touched it. Finally, we groped around its perimeter and started to cut into the rock to try to separate it from the ocean floor. This was just what we had been looking for: an object that could be used to prove the importance of our research. And that we weren’t on a wild goose chase. Unfortunately, the Barracuda wasn’t designed for carrying a load like the disc. We were worried that its pincer wasn’t secure enough for a safe ascent. We would have to come up with another way of bringing it up to the surface...

That’s where I’ll leave things for today, dear followers of Hyperborea Exists. I hope to continue my tale very soon. There are fewer and fewer pieces of the puzzle missing and soon we’ll be able to solve the mystery of the myth of Hyperborea. I truly believe that we’ll discover the truth behind the myth any moment now and be able to reveal to the world that Hyperborea really existed. Thank you for your continuing support.