Daily Archives: 18 September 2008

Underwater Pyramids in Okinawa?

Somebody who is trying to market an underwater diving business in Okinawa has been interviewed on video about a new discovery of “10,000 year old pyramids” in the offshore waters near Yonaguni, no doubt within easy reach of their embarkation point.

“One of the greatest discoveries in the history of archaeology was made last summer, off Japan There, spread over an amazing 311 miles on the ocean floor, are the well-preserved remains of an ancient city. Or at the very least, a number of closely related sites.

In the waters around Okinawa and beyond to the small island of Yonaguni, divers located eight separate locations beginning in March 1995. That first sighting was equivocal – a provocative, squared structure, so encrusted with coral that its manmade identity was uncertain. Then, as recently as the summer of 1996, a sports diver accidentally discovered a huge, angular platform about 40 feet below the surface, off the southwestern shore of Okinawa. The feature’s artificial provenance was beyond question. Widening their search, teams of more divers found another, different monument nearby. Then another, and another. They beheld long streets, grand boulevards, majestic staircases, magnificent archways, enormous blocks of perfectly cut and fitted stone – all harmoniously welded together in a linear architecture unlike anything they had ever seen before….

One would imagine that such a mind-boggling find would be the most exciting piece of news an archaeologist could possibly hope to learn. Even so, outside of the “Ancient American” and CNN’s single report, the pall of silence covering all the facts about Okinawa’s structures screens them from view more effectively then their location at the bottom of the sea. Why? How can this appalling neglect persist in the face of a discovery of such unparalleled magnitude? At the risk of accusations of paranoia, one might conclude that a real conspiracy of managed information dominates America’s well-springs of public knowledge.”

Indeed! Why trust “managed information” when you can so easily find the mismanaged variety, which is way more interesting? Ancient American is obviously a very rigorous and reputable source. In their own words:

Our task is to translate often complex research into accessible, attractive language in a visually appealing format ordinary readers can understand and enjoy. Ancient American writers and artists appeal as much to the imagination as to the intellect in the conviction that mankind’s past belongs to all inhabitants of the Earth; it is not the exclusive property of establishment academics. Each issue features articles submitted by the world’s leading authorities on prehistory in clear, non-technical language, and illustrated by a wealth of original color photographs and artwork published nowhere else.

Features include reports of Scottish mariners who sculpted the images of New Mexican cactus in a Highland church nearly a century before Columbus was born, and Vikings who left evidence of their visits behind in Minnesota and Oklahoma. Our research traces influences from 4th Millennium BC Japan in Ecuador, and prehistoric African themes throughout the earliest Mexican civilizations. We describe Semitic visitors, whose trek across ancient South Dakota is commemorated by native American Indians in four bluffs still referred to as “the Hebrew Brothers”. Our writers examine a huge stone wall underwater 55 miles east of Miami, Florida, together with a Phoenician altar for human sacrifice found in Chicago, Illinois. These are only some of the puzzling enigmas showcased in every issue of Ancient American magazine.

CNN’s Worldview coverage in 2000 (surprisingly!) includes a good bit more skepticism about the age of the structures and the extent to which they are manmade.

Masaaki Kimura has a different story, based on the theory that the Japanese archipelago was once part of continental Asia. He says the most likely reason it and other similar sites nearby are now underwater is because they suddenly sank after an event like an earthquake.

MASAAKI KIMURA, RYUKYU UNIVERSITY (through translator): From our investigations of surrounding organisms, such as coral, we estimate this ruin was made approximately 2,000 to 3,000 years ago.

KAMIMURA: A geologist by training, Kimura says he’s found evidence of chiseling, even a stone instrument.

(on camera): Kimura’s findings already have locals excited about the opportunities. Okinawa’s governor says if there’s more conclusive evidence, he’d like to propose the ruins for designation as a world heritage site…

(voice-over): … a finding that would be a boon for local tourism.

World-renowned dive enthusiast Jacques Mayol is already convinced.

JACQUES MAYOL, DIVER: My impression is that it’s a natural sight, of course, it’s a natural sight but that has been improved, enhanced, embellished, if you want, by man. We don’t know who did it, what kind of men did it, how long ago they did that.

KAMIMURA: Questions that only seem to add to the rock’s intrigue for those that believe it’s more than just a natural phenomenon.

Marina Kamimura, CNN, Okinawa, Japan.

via Japundit‘s Japan News Junkie

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Filed under Japan, Pacific, publishing, scholarship

South Korean “Foreigners of Convenience”

A few days ago, The Marmot’s Hole posted a translated summary of a Korean newspaper article about one way that South Korean parents are getting their children into local international schools, which are a conduit to higher education abroad. They purchase foreign residency permits from embassies of Ecuador or Mali in order to qualify their Korea-resident kids as “overseas Koreans” qualified to attend international schools.

In the case of Ecuador, all you need do is visit for a week to qualify, while Mali’s embassy in Japan can issue permanent residency visas. Both options will usually cost you about 30 million won.

As a result, some people estimate that as many as 80% of the kids enrolled in international schools are South Koreans, while the official Ministry of Education figure is 13%, because dual citizens and those with official residency overseas are counted as foreigners.

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Filed under Ecuador, education, Korea, Mali