ALBANY, N.Y.- The 144-year-old shipwreck of a rare sailing vessel that typically wasn’t used for long voyages on the Great Lakes has been found in deep water off Lake Ontario’s New York shore, according to two underwater explorers – @AceHistoryNews

#AceHistoryNews – Nov.26: N.Y. explorers find 1872 shipwreck of rare Great Lakes vessel
The 51-foot-long, single-mast ship known as a scow-sloop sank during a gale while hauling goods along the lake’s eastern end in August 1872…
image

The bow area and mast of the “Black Duck” is shown in 350 feet of water off Oswego, N.Y.

Roger Pawlowski, AP, Roger Pawlowski

Western New York-based explorers Jim Kennard and Roger Pawlowski announced Friday that they identified the wreck as the Black Duck in September, three years after initially coming across it while using side-scan sonar in 350 feet of water off Oswego, New York.

The 51-foot-long, single-mast ship known as a scow-sloop sank during a gale while hauling goods along the lake’s eastern end in August 1872.

The ship’s captain, his wife and a crewmember, the only people on board, all survived by getting into a small boat and reaching shore eight hours later.

Only a few scow-sloops sailed the Great Lakes, Kennard told The Associated Press. A search of nautical records turned up only about a dozen references to scow-sloops being built in the region, he said.

The Black Duck wreck is believed to be the only fully intact scow-sloop to exist in the Great Lakes, Kennard said.

“It’s definitely a rarity,” said Carrie Sowden, archaeological director at the National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, Ohio, which sponsors the New York team’s explorations.

The vessels’ simple design — squared bow and stern and a flat bottom — allowed it to be run up on beaches for loading and unloading of cargo.

“Scows, because of their shape, are workhorses,” Sowden said. “They’re not there to move fast through the water. They’re there to carry a lot of cargo.”

Typically used on rivers or for short voyages on the Great Lakes, scow-sloops weren’t constructed for high winds and waves in open water. The Black Duck got caught in such conditions on Aug. 8, 1872, during the 40-mile trip from Oswego to Sackett’s Harbor on Lake Ontario’s eastern end. The ship sank soon after springing a leak during a gale.

“They weren’t built to withstand that kind of pounding,” Kennard said.

The Black Duck is the latest Lake Ontario shipwreck discovery for Pawlowski, of Rochester, and Kennard, of nearby Fairport. Earlier this year, they and a third member of their team, Roland “Chip” Stevens, announced they had found the wreck of the sloop Washington, which sank during a storm in 1803.

The find was the second-oldest confirmed shipwreck in the Great Lakes, the explorers said.

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BRITAIN: Latest files have been made available to the public of 132 previously top secret files from the UK Security Service, or MI5 – National Archive Files – @AceHistoryNews

#AceHistoryNews – Nov.24: Latest MI5 files released // News – The National Archives
Juan Pujol-Garcia Brazilian ID card (catalogue reference: KV 2/4214 (2))
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The records cover a range of subjects and span the interwar years, Second World War and post-war era up to the mid 1960s. Personal files include individuals classed as Second World War double agents, Soviet intelligence officers, communists and suspected communists including Russian and communist sympathisers.

Some familiar names include:

The so-called ‘spy who saved D-Day’ Juan Pujol-Garcia, codenamed ‘Garbo’ by MI5, whose deceptions as part of Operation Fortitude were vital in convincing Germany that the Normandy landings were a diversion for a larger invasion elsewhere (KV 2/4190 to KV 2/4214)
Celebrated British historian E.P. Thompson, author of ‘The Making of the English Working Class’, who was a prominent member of the Communist Party of Great Britain until his resignation over the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956 (KV 2/4290 to KV 2/4294)
Marxist historian Rodney Hilton who was a member of the Oxford University group of the Communist Party of Great Britain, and his wife Gwynneth Hilton who was an active committee member of their party branch (KV 2/4296 to KV 2/4299)
You will find files on Communist Party members Yvonne Kapp, an author who wrote the biography of Eleanor Marx and was assistant director at the Czech Refugee Trust Fund (KV 2/4260 to KV 2/4265) and Christian Mary Hamp, an architect best known as the designer of a group of modernist houses in Buckinghamshire built in the 1960s (KV 2/4300 to KV 2/4302).

Also included are secretary of the Communist Party’s Central London area Samuel Aaronovitch (KV 2/4268 to KV 2/4273) and Roland Berger, whose home was used as to hold much of the Communist Party archive which was infiltrated in MI5’s Operation Party Piece (KV 2/4235 to KV 2/4251).

Listen to an introduction to the files by Professor Christopher Andrew, former official historian of MI5, or read more about ‘Garbo’ on our blog: the story behind Britain’s greatest Double Cross agent.

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Featured: King Tut’s Beard brought back to life with a little beeswax

#AceHistoryNews – Dec.29: CAIRO—A 9-week restoration of King Tutankhamun’s golden mask has been successfully completed and the artifact is now once again on display in Cairo’s Egyptian Museum.

The mask’s elongated beard snapped off while museum staff worked on the display in August 2014. An attempt to restore the royal beard with epoxy followed. The latest conservation efforts began in October 2015. The objective was not only to reattach the beard, but the restoration taking 9-weeks will also to undertake a full-scale study of the mask using the museum archives as reference, which hasn’t been done before.

Concern over Tut’s beard dates back to 1922, when Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered. “The study of the mask showed that its beard was detached and was not fixed back till 1946” says Christian Eckmann—the German expert who lead the mask’s restoration team—in a press conference that unveiled the mask after restoration. Eckmann is a conservator with a specialization in glass and metal, the two main components of the golden mask. He had previously restored and conserved several Egyptian artifacts, notably the two copper statues of King Pepi I, and the golden head of Horus.

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“The 2014 damage was exaggerated, since the beard was previously detached as the examination showed,” says Friederike Fless, the president of the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo, one of the German and Egyptian bodies that cooperated in the restoration process.

The restoration process started with a full 3D scan with a light pattern projection scanner to record and document the mask’s status, followed by the removal of the inadequately applied glue. No chemicals were used to remove the resin—instead, the team worked millimeter by millimeter with wooden tools after raising the temperature of the mask. This step alone took more than four weeks.

“The process has uncovered two surprises, the first is that beard has an internal tube that connects it to the mask’s face, and the second is that the 1946 reattachment of the beard was done using soft solder,” says Mamdouh Eldamaty, the Egyptian minister of antiquities.
Picture of King Tutankhamun’s golden mask on display

A picture taken in 2009 shows the mask on display, spotlighted in a specially darkened exhibition gallery, in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Photograph by KHALED DESOUKI, AFP/GettyImages

Ancient techniques were implemented in the restoration process; The team has used beeswax as an adhesive since it was a common material in ancient Egypt, and because it’s an organic material that poses less risk of damaging the metal of the mask.

The beard on the mask wasn’t how Tut’s actual facial hair looked. The false beard was an important symbol in ancient Egypt—it was one of the ways Egyptian kings identified themselves with Osiris, the god of the underworld. Unlike in real life at the time, where facial hair was considered a sign of a low social status, wearing a false beard with an upturned end, like King Tutankhamun, was a sign of divinity.

The information gathered from the scans of the mask and details of the restoration will be published in a forthcoming book.

During the restoration process, a 3D hologram of the mask was on display, but starting December 17, museum visitors can enjoy the real mask, and will be allowed to take photographs of it and the entire collection of the museum for one month.

2015 has been a big year for King Tut admirers. This summer, National Geographic grantee Nicholas Reeves theorized that hidden chambers in Tut’s tomb might lead to the burial place of Queen Nefertiti. Scans of the tomb reveal there may, in fact, be two rooms hidden behind walls, and further examination of the space is expected in the coming months.

Khaled El Samman is a staff writer with Rawi Magazine.
Source: National Geographic

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SNIPPETS OF HISTORY: ‘ Sea-Biscuit Champion and Symbol of Hope During Great Depression ‘

#AceHistoryNews – September 25 – Story of Seabiscuit (May 23, 1933 – May 17, 1947) was a champion Thoroughbred racehorse in the United States. A small horse, Seabiscuit had an inauspicious start to his racing career, but became an unlikely champion and a symbol of hope to many Americans during the Great Depression.

' Seabiscuit Winning 1940 SAH '

‘ Seabiscuit Winning 1940 SAH ‘

Seabiscuit was the subject of a 1949 film,The Story of Seabiscuit; a 2001 book, Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand; and a 2003 film, Seabiscuit, which was based on the Hillenbrand book and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Seabiscuit was foaled on May 23, 1933, from the mare Swing On and sired by Hard Tack, a son of Man o’ War.[1]

Seabiscuit was named for his father, as hardtack or “sea biscuit” is the name for a type of cracker eaten by sailors.[2]

Early Life:

' Seabiscuit - Tom Smith '

‘ Seabiscuit – Tom Smith ‘

The bay colt grew up on Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky, where he was trained. He was undersized, knobby-kneed,[1] and given to sleeping and eating for long periods.

Initially, Seabiscuit was owned by the powerful Wheatley Stable and trained by Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons, who had taken Gallant Fox to the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing.

Fitzsimmons saw some potential in Seabiscuit, but felt the horse was too lazy. He devoted most of his time to training Omaha, who won the 1935 Triple Crown.

Seabiscuit was relegated to a heavy schedule of smaller races.

He failed to win his first seventeen races, usually finishing back in the field. After that, Fitzsimmons did not spend much time on him, and the horse was sometimes the butt of stable jokes. Seabiscuit began to gain attention after winning two races at Narragansett Park and setting a new track record in the second – a Claiming Stakes race. As a two-year-old, Seabiscuit raced thirty-five times (a heavy racing schedule),[1] coming in first five times and finishing second seven times.

These included three claiming races, in which he could have been purchased for $2500, but he had no takers.[1]

On April 10, Seabiscuit’s retirement from racing was officially announced. When he was retired to the Ridgewood Ranch near Willits, California, he was horse racing’s all-time leading money winner. Put out to stud, Seabiscuit sired 108 foals, including two moderately successful racehorses: Sea Sovereign and Sea Swallow.

' Seabiscuit Statue '

‘ Seabiscuit Statue ‘

Over 50,000 visitors went to Ridgewood Ranch to see Seabiscuit in his seven years there before his death.

His burial site is Willits Ranch in Mendocino County, California.[9][10]

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SNIPPETS OF HISTORY: ‘ Australian Contribution to Battle of Normandy ‘

#AceHistoryNews – AUSTRALIA – September 22 – The Australian contribution to the Battle of Normandy involved more than 3,000 military personnel serving under British command, the majority from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). 

' Air Plan for Landings in Normandy June 1944 '

‘ Air Plan for Landings in Normandy June 1944 ‘

After participating in the Allied landings on 6 June 1944, Australian air force and army personnel fought in the subsequent Battle of Normandy between June and August 1944, and an RAAF fighter squadron operated from airfields in Normandy.

Throughout the campaign, Australian airmen provided direct support to the Allied ground forces by attacking German military units and their supply lines, as well as forming part of the force which defended the beachhead from air attack.

(Australian members of No. 196 Squadron pictured).

(Australian members of No. 196 Squadron pictured).

Australians also indirectly contributed to the campaign by attacking German submarines and ships which posed a threat to the invasion force. 

' Grave of an RAAF Airman at Bayeux War Cemetery '

‘ Grave of an RAAF Airman at Bayeux War Cemetery ‘

Australia’s contribution to the fighting in Normandy is commemorated in memorials and cemeteries in London and Normandy.

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` State of Israel ` Declaration of Independence ‘ and the United Kingdom ‘

#AceHistory2Research – The state of Israel declared its independence on 14 May 1948. Israel is governed by a democratically elected parliament with a traditionally high participation in elections.

The head of state is the President, elected by parliament to serve a 7 year term, however power tends to lie with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. Over the past 30 years no single party has gained a majority in the 120 seat parliament so Israel has been ruled by a succession of coalitions. Israel has been an associate member of the European Union since 1995 and became a full member of the OECD in 2010.

English: Map of Israel, the Palestinian territ...

English: Map of Israel, the Palestinian territories (West Bank and Gaza Strip), the Golan Heights, and portions of neighbouring countries. Also United Nations deployment areas in countries adjoining Israel or Israeli-held territory, as of January 2004.. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Israel’s armed forces occupied the West Bank, the Syrian Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip (along with the Sinai Peninsula) in 1967.

Israel subsequently withdrew from Sinai in 1982 and from Gaza in 2005, but has formally annexed East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

This has not been recognized by the international community, including the British Government, which considers all territory captured by Israel in 1967 as occupied and the status of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as subject to negotiations with the Palestinians.

Business and Human Rights

Israel enjoys a strong entrepreneurial culture which nurtures and develops new ideas, making Israel a technology powerhouse. Israel has a high density of start-ups and many of the major technology companies, such as Google, Microsoft and Motorola, have their R&D centres in Israel. Many factors contribute to the success of Israel’s technology industries including: co-operation between academia and business through university Technology Transfer Offices, the ability to commercialize from the defence industries to the civilian market, an entrepreneurial start-up spirit coupled with a powerful VC community, and a highly skilled and motivated workforce. Israel’s total number of patents granted positions it first place world-wide in patents per capita, and number four in the world in the absolute number of patents approved.

Map of Israeli settlements, in navy blue, in t...

Map of Israeli settlements, in navy blue, in the West Bank (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Settlements

The UK has a clear position on Israeli settlements: The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights are territories which have been occupied by Israel since 1967.

Settlements are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible.

We will not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties.

There are therefore clear risks related to economic and financial activities in the settlements, and we do not encourage or offer support to such activity. Financial transactions, investments, purchases, procurements as well as other economic activities (including in services like tourism) in Israeli settlements or benefiting Israeli settlements, entail legal and economic risks stemming from the fact that the Israeli settlements, according to international law, are built on occupied land and are not recognised as a legitimate part of Israel’s territory. This may result in disputed titles to the land, water, mineral or other natural resources which might be the subject of purchase or investment.

EU citizens and businesses should also be aware of the potential reputational implications of getting involved in economic and financial activities in settlements, as well as possible abuses of the rights of individuals. Those contemplating any economic or financial involvement in settlements should seek appropriate legal advice.

We understand the concerns of people who do not wish to purchase goods exported from Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.  It was in order to enable consumers to make a more fully informed decision concerning the products they buy that, in December 2009, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) introduced voluntary guidelines to enable produce from Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories to be specifically labelled as such.

English: Smuggling Tunnel, Rafah, Gaza Strip

English: Smuggling Tunnel, Rafah, Gaza Strip (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Organised Crime

There is very limited evidence of serious organised crime in the West Bank.  There is some evidence of organised vehicle thefts being committed in Israel with the stolen vehicles being recycled in the West Bank, and the associated insurance pay-offs occurring in Israel.

As elsewhere, there is a drugs problem in the West Bank and Gaza. These are generally cannabis based drugs and to a lesser degree ‘designer’ drugs, such as ecstasy, and some harder drugs e.g. cocaine and heroin. This is reflected in the Palestinian prison population, whose drug-related inmate ratio is comparable to Europe.

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` Serbia and Montenegro Mark 15 Years Since` NATO ‘ Bombing of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia ‘

#AceHistory2Research – BELGRADE – March 24 – A tragic date is marked on Monday in Serbia and in Montenegro: it’s 15 years since NATO started bombing the territory of these states, which then formed part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Operation Allied Force, which NATO carried out without the approval of UN Security Council, lasted for 78 days. Objects on the whole territory of Serbia and Montenegro became targets of NATO bomber aircraft and cruise missiles.

The pretext for starting the aggression involving 19 NATO members led by the USA was the failure of talks on Kosovo in Rambouillet, France, and Serbia’s denial to sign the “peace plan”. One of the plan’s paragraphs stipulated the deployment of foreign troops in Kosovo, which practically meant the military occupation of the region.

Map of Vojvodina within Federal Republic of Yu...

Map of Vojvodina within Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1992-2003) and Serbia and Montenegro (2003-2006) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What became the pretext of the attack

The formal pretext for the attack was the discovery in Kosovan village of Racak of a mass grave with bodies of Albanian civilians allegedly shot by Serbian servicemen.

Later it turned out that this was a falsification staged with the assistance of western intelligence services. The major part of the casualties was militants of Kosovo Liberation Army killed in different areas of the region in clashes with Yugoslavian law enforcers.
In the course of NATO attacks, defence facilities of Serbian Air Force, Air Defence units and military industrial facilities were gradually destroyed along with civil infrastructure facilities — bridges, factories, transport hubs, power plants and power transmission lines.

Location of Serbia and Montenegro

Location of Serbia and Montenegro (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Statistics

In the course of 11 weeks of NATO Air Force’s operation, a total of 2,300 air attacks on 995 objects were carried out. 1,150 combat airplanes were used in the operation. 420,000 explosive items were thrown, including 20,000 heavy air bombs, 1,300 cruise missiles, 37,000 cluster bombs, many of which were filled with depleted uranium. Over 2,000 civilians became victims of the bombings (mainly on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija), as well as 1,000 servicemen; over 5,000 people were wounded and over a thousand people were reported missing.

The military industrial infrastructure of Serbia was in fact completely destroyed; over 1,500 settlements were dragged down, as well as 60 bridges, 30% of schools, and about 100 monuments.

According to Serbian experts, material losses after the bombings depending on the calculation methods totalled $60-100 billion.
The bombings stopped June 9, 1999, when representatives of Yugoslavian army and NATO in Macedonian city of Kumanovo signed a military technical agreement on the withdrawal of troops and police units of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from Kosovo and on deployment of international troops on Kosovo’s territory.

A day later, UN Security Council adopted the corresponding resolution number 1244. According to it, 37,200 servicemen of Kosovo Force (KFOR) from 36 countries were deployed on the territory of the southern Serbian province. As a result of the NATO military expansion against Yugoslavia, Kosovo declared its independence in Pristina on February 17, 2008.

Monument to the victims of 1999 NATO bombing o...

Monument to the victims of 1999 NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia victims from the city of Niš, Serbia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aftermath

Indirect consequences of the NATO attack can be noted on people’s health. The radiation level in several localities in southern Serbia (mainly in Kosovo and Metohija), which were hit by depleted uranium in 1999 (112 areas in total, according to Serbian Army’s General Staff), still exceeds critical standards. Scientists link the cancer incidence rate in the country with NATO bombings. This year, some 40,000 new cases of cancer are forecasted in Serbia, the total population of which amounts to 7.2 million people. This grim forecast was made by Slobodan Cekaric, the head of the Serbian Society against Cancer.

He said that a 15-year-long latent period in the development of cancer diseases is ending in 2014. After that, the signs of illnesses caused by the impact of radioactive materials will start coming to surface. The bombs dropped on the territory of Serbia contained depleted uranium which causes cancer, respiratory and allergic diseases, neurological disorders, reproductive problems and impaired development of children.

A report published by the Doctor Milan Jovanovic Batut National Institute of Public Health in 2007 warned about “a quiet epidemic of malignant diseases” in Serbia. Thus, men’s morbidity with prostate cancer increased by 60% from 1999 to 2005. Other cancer-induced diseases are also on the rise both among men and women. Cancer is one of the main causes of death around the globe, claiming about 8 million human lives annually. However, malignant diseases in Serbia grow at a higher rate than in Western Europe, increasing from year to year, Serbian doctors say.

The situation is particularly alarming in southern Serbia which was worst hit by NATO bombs. According to Radomir Kovacevic, the head of the radiological protection department of the Doctor Dragomir Karajovic Institute, people who live in the uranium-polluted areas, run the risk of falling ill with lymph cancer, leukemia, breast and lung cancer.

Courtesy of TASS and Russian Media and News  

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