Saturday, 23 July 2016

Yamashita's Gold - Imelda Marcos’ jewelry

In the closing months of World War II General Yamashita Tomoyuki was in charge of hiding tons of Japan's looted gold and treasure.

Expert teams accompanying Japan's armed forces systematically striped anything of value from conquered territories. An effective US blockade prevented shipment and at one time there were more than 175 Imperial treasure sites hidden in caves and tunnels throughout the Philippines.

With US forces closing in, the chief engineers of all the vaults were called together with General Yamashita 67 meters underground in Tunnel 8 in the mountains of Luzon. They became drunk on sake and sang patriotic songs.

At midnight, General Yamashita Tomoyuki and his aids slipped out. Dynamite charges were set off in the access tunnels, entombing the engineers.

The General escaped to Tokyo by submarine and three months later surrendered to American troops.
Yamashita's driver led the Americans to more than a dozen treasure vaults in the rugged country north of Manila. What they found astounded everyone.

In November 1945, General MacArthur strolled down row after row of gold bars stacked two metres tall during a tour. In another 500 meter tunnel west of Mindanao, 12.5kg Gold bars were stacked 1 meter high.
After discussions with his cabinet, President Harry Truman kept the recovery efforts a state secret.
After surrendering on September 2, 1945, General Yamashita was charged with war crimes. During his trial there was no mention made of plundered treasure or of Japanese looting during the war.

On 23 February 1946, at Los BaƱos, Laguna Prison Camp, 30 miles (48 km) south of Manila, Yamashita was hanged.

In 1992, Imelda Marcos claimed that Yamashita's gold accounted for the bulk of the wealth of her husband, Ferdinand Marcos. Despite the best efforts of treasure hunters, no gold hoards have ever (officially) been found.
Former First Lady Imelda Marcos’ jewelry and real estate are among the P18.2 billion worth of recovered ill-gotten assets of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The Hawaii collection comprises jewels seized by the United States Bureau of Customs from the Marcoses when they fled to Honolulu during the 1986 People Power revolt.
The government still holds about 760 pieces of Mrs. Marcos’ jewelry in three collections, valued at a total of $6 million. That includes 300 pieces of jewelry retrieved from the Malacanang Palace right after People’s Power Revolution, 400 items confiscated in Hawaii, and 60 items seized by the Philippines’ Bureau of Customs from a Greek national accused of smuggling the jewelries out of the country.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Skeleton of 1,600-year-old woman with jewels in her teeth found

Archaeologists have discovered the skeleton of an upper-class woman whose skull was intentionally deformed and her teeth encrusted with mineral stones. The type of jewels found in her teeth show the woman was foreign to the region, and her skeleton was more deformed than any found before.

The body was discovered near Mexico's ancient ruins of Teotihuacan, at a town called San Juan Evangelista. The noble woman, between 35 and 40 years old when she died, was buried with 19 jars that served as offerings.
She was most likely foreign to the central region where she was buried because her skull was elongated by being compressed - a technique commonly used in the southern part of Mesoamerica.

She wore a prosthetic lower tooth made of serpentine. The mysterious city of Teotihuacan, some 30 miles (50km) north of Mexico City, thrived between the first and eighth centuries, after which its civilization vanished.

Friday, 15 July 2016

New Uber Rare Orchid found - Telipogon diabolicus

A new species of orchid found in Colombia has been named Telipogon diabolicus, because the heart of the flower bares an eerie resemblance to a devil's head. There aren't many flowers of this kind in existence.

Researchers found a small patch of about 30 orchids between the borders of two Colombian departments. So far, this is its only known habitat.
Because of its restricted habitat, researchers have assigned the flower a critically endangered species designation.

While the flower resembles other species, it's 'devil's head' and clawed petals set it apart from anything else.

See ---->

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Expensive Auction Items

Marilyn Monroe’s flesh-colored, skintight, jewel encrusted dress that she wore during her sultry “Happy Birthday” serenade to President John F. Kennedy was put up for auction in 1999.

According to legend, Monroe was sewn into the gown and wore no undergarments because it was so tight and so sheer. The dress, which cost $12,000 in 1962 brought $1,267,500.

In 2002, memorabilia company MastroNet Inc. sold a lock of hair from Elvis Presley for $115,000. The hair was supplied by Elvis’s barber, who carefully and quietly stored all the hair he ever cut from Elvis’s head.
Construction workers in Rome unearthed a 2,000-year-old bronze sculpture in 1923. The 36-inch bronze statue titled Artemis and the Stag has become the most expensive antique to ever sell at auction. The statue sold for $28.6 million in 2001.

1721 “Lady Blunt” Stradivarius Violin. The historic violin was sold at Tarisio Auction House for $15,894,000.
Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Hammer. Leonardo da Vinci meticulously recorded his thoughts throughout his life. His most famous is the Codex Hammer, named for the British nobleman who acquired the 72-page journal in 1717. Three years after Bill Gates bought the historic diary, he released a digitally scanned version. The manuscript sold for $30,802,500 in 1994.

The 18th Century Badminton Cabinet was commissioned by Henry Somerset, 3rd Duke of Beaufort and took thirty experts 6 years to make. The ebony cabinet is over 12 feet tall. It became the highest-priced piece of furniture in the world when it was first auctioned for £8.58m million in 1990 and again set the record when it was auctioned in 2004, this time for £19 million. ($ 36,662,106).

One of the most expensive items to be auctioned on eBay. This 405-ft ship was designed by naval architect Frank Mulder and sold by a Florida company 4Yacht. It came complete with a helicopter garage and 14 multilevel VIP suites. The megayacht sold for $168 million.

A Lamborghini Reventon, one of the most exclusive cars ever made, ended up on eBay. Of the 20 units made worldwide, 10 ended up in the U.S. selling for $1.5 million each. With 73 miles on the odometer the Reventon sold quickly on eBay with a ‘Buy it Now’ price of $2.5 million.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Gold shrine could contain part of Buddha’s skull

A team of archeologists in China has discovered a shrine that may contain a skull fragment belonging to Buddha. The team found the skull bone hidden inside a 1,000-year-old gold casket, buried underneath a temple in Nanjing.

Engravings on the chest say that the piece of parietal bone, which forms the top part of a human cranium, belonged to Siddhartha Gautama — the revered founder of Buddhism.
The 1.2-metre model shrine is made of gold, silver, and sandalwood, and is covered with crystals, agate and lapis lazuli gemstones. Images engraved on the outside of the shrine show scenes from stories about the life of Buddha, including the moment when he escapes the cycle of death and rebirth known as Samsara.

Inscriptions suggest the chest was assembled during the reign of Emperor Zhenzong, 997 to 1022 AD. According to texts from the Indian subcontinent in the 3rd century B.C., Indian emperor Ashoka ordered the construction of 84,000 stupas to house the fragments of Buddha’s remains as far as they could be transported.
Buddhists in Nanjing are treating the artifact as a sacred object, storing it at the pagoda at the city’s Qixia Temple. Many believe that the relic is not just a symbol of the founder of the religion, but also a surviving presence of the Buddha himself.

The shrine was excavated in 2010, and received little attention from Western scholars and media until the article, originally published in a Chinese journal was recently translated to English.