Monday, May 10, 2010

Skeleton Lake of Roopkund, India

"In 1942 a British forest guard in Roopkund, India made an alarming discovery. Some 5000 meters above sea level at the bottom of a small valley, was a lake absolutely full of skeletons. As the glacier melted in the summer it revealed ever more skeletal remains, both floating in the water and lying haphazardly around the edges. Something horrible had happened here.

The immediate assumption, it being war time, was that these were Japanese soldiers who had been sneaking through India and died of exposure, and the British government terrified of a Japanese land invasion sent a team of investigators. However upon examination the quickly realized these bones could not be Japanese soldiers, in fact they were much much older than that."

All the bodies had died in a similar way, from blows to the head. However, the short deep cracks in the skulls appeared to be the result not of weapons but of something rounded. The bodies also only had wounds on their heads, and shoulders as if the blows had all come from directly above...

Among Himalayan women there is an ancient and traditional folk song. The lyrics describe a goddess "so enraged at outsiders who defiled her mountain sanctuary that she rained death upon them by flinging hailstones “hard as iron.”

After much research and consideration the 2004 expedition came to the same conclusion. All 300 people died from a sudden and severe hailstorm. Trapped in the valley with nowhere to hide or seek shelter, the cricket ball sized hailstones "hard as iron” came by the thousands and killed the travelers in a sudden and bizarre death. The bodies would lay there for some 1200 years before the astonishing tale of what happened to them would be revealed to the world.



Hermes, draw near, and to my pray'r incline, angel of Jove, and Maia's son divine; Studious of contests, ruler of mankind, with heart almighty, and a prudent mind. Celestial messenger, of various skill, whose pow'rful arts could watchful Argus kill: With winged feet, 'tis thine thro' air to course, O friend of man, and prophet of discourse: Great life-supporter, to rejoice is thine, in arts gymnastic, and in fraud divine: With pow'r endu'd all language to explain, of

care the loos'ner, and the source of gain. Whose hand contains of blameless peace the rod, Kerukeion, blessed, profitable God; Of various speech, whose aid in works we find, and in necessities to mortals kind: Dire weapon of the tongue, which men revere, be present, Hermes, and thy suppliant hear; Assist my works, conclude my life with peace, give graceful speech, and me memory's increase.

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