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The Idiosyncratic Crater of the Siberian Wilderness

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ED STAFFORD:

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Ed Stafford, 38, was born in Peterborough and educated at Stoneygate School, Leicester; Uppingham in Rutland; and at Newcastle University. He then earned a position in the prestigious commissioning course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and was commissioned as a British Army Officer in July 1999.

Ed went on to command platoons in the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, gaining his Northern Ireland medal in 2000 for his tour of Crossmaglen, South Armagh. Ed’s happiest military years were spent as an instructor at RTC Lichfield where he oversaw several hundred recruits through their basic training, before leaving the military as a captain in 2002.

Ed saw an opportunity to widen his experience when the United States invaded Afghanistan after 9/11. Ed took a position as a UN contractor advising UN electoral workers on planning, logistics and security matters during the first ever presidential elections. Ed managed a team of similar contractors from Herat, in the western region of Afghanistan. During his time there, Ed’s election counting centre was rocketed by terrorists; his airport camp was mortared by improvised explosive devices that narrowly missed his un-armoured office; and the compound he was stationed in was burned to the ground when the warlord Ishmael Kahn was removed from office.

Returning to expeditions, Ed took on a new challenge – setting up extreme cold weather expeditions in Patagonia, Argentina, for the expedition company GVI. Ed was Director of Programmes in Argentina, carrying out scientific research projects and Northern Ice Cap traverses in Chile.

Ed Stafford: Into the Unknown – in which he seeks the truth behind mysterious satellite images of Earth’s most remote locations.

RUSSIA , Siberia

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In The Show :

 INTO THE UNKNOWN

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One such site can be found in the desolate, rugged wilderness of Russia’s Siberia region. Here, among the silent forests and eternal cold lies a mysterious crater that has long defied efforts to categorize or label it; a place that was stumbled upon by accident and is the very definition of strange natural wonder.

whatever location we want on a whim, there is the conception that there are no new places to be found that lie beyond our all-seeing eye. However, this was not always the case. There was a time where exploration could uncover new natural wonders right over the next hill, and places remained out in the wild frontiers of the world that managed to elude not only detection, but explanation as well. In some cases, the answers to these mysteries have come no closer to being solved even as we have advanced to the age of satellite mapping. One such site can be found in the desolate, rugged wilderness of Russia’s Siberia region. Here, among the silent forests and eternal cold lies a mysterious crater that has long defied efforts to categorize or label it; a place that was stumbled upon by accident and is the very definition of strange natural wonder.

The bizarre tale starts with an expedition in 1949 into the furthest reaches of Siberia by the geologist, Vadim Kolpakov, who embarked on a mission to draw up a geological map of the region. When he reached the northernmost part of the remote Irkutsk region, Kolpakov was confronted with tales of an “evil” place sequestered away within the woods that the native Yakut people referred to as the “Fire Eagle Nest,” which they warned was so saturated with an evil force that deer and a lot of other wildlife refused to go near it. It was also claimed that anyone who went near this place experienced severe symptoms of nausea, and that some who had ventured there had simply never returned.
Kolpakov was a man of science, and was not so easily dissuaded by the spooky native stories. He ventured on, if anything more curious as to what lie out there in the remote, uncharted forests, spurred on by the tales of mystery and weirdness he was hearing from the locals. He continued his expedition, but even he was not prepared for the bizarre discovery that awaited him out in the wilds. As he climbed up a steep hill, the geologist noted something truly remarkable from a distance; an enormous, convex cone of a crater that that was the size of a 25 story building and featured a funnel shaped recess and a rounded hill in the center. Upon his discovery, Kolpanov said of the sight:
When I first saw the crater I thought that I’d gone crazy because of the heat. And indeed a perfectly shaped mount of a size of a 25-story building with a chopped off top sitting in the middle of the woods was quite an unexpected
discovery.
The cone was 80 meters tall, 150 meters wide, and had an inner circle dome about 12 meters high. The geologist at first thought that it must be the cone of a volcano, but on closer inspection realized that this was not the case. Besides, there were no known instances of volcanoes in the area for millions of years and the dome sitting in the center was extremely unusual for any sort of volcano. Due to the fact that trees did not grow up on the crater’s slopes, and that wind had not yet settled the soil, Kolpakov estimated the crater’s age as being around 250 years old, an idea that would later be backed up by tests with more modern equipment. The discovery of the strange crater would go on to spark a quest for answers that has baffled experts for decades.
The enormous, bizarre crater was named Patomskiy, after a nearby river, and as soon as it was found, theories as to its origins began to pour in. One of the earliest ideas was that it was merely a slag heap, but it was soon realized that there were not nearly enough people living in the area to create such an immense structure. It was also suggested that it could have been the site of one of Russia’s many notorious gulag labor camps, but this idea was soon abandoned as well. Kolpakov himself speculated that the crater was formed by a meteorite strike, a theory that gained some prominence in later years, but soil samples from the site have failed to produce any evidence of meteorite material, and the unique shape of the crater is not consistent with any other known meteorite crater. The odd shape of the crater is not really consistent with anything we know of, in fact, only adding fuel to the mystery. Others have stuck to the idea that it is volcanic in origin, but again there is no evidence to such an effect, and the area is not known to exhibit any volcanic activity. The idea that it could have been caused by an underground gas explosion also does not carry much weight, as there is no evidence to support it.
Some scientists, most notably the geologist Alexander Portnov, have come to the conclusion that the Patomskiy crater is the result of a piece of rock that perhaps sheared off of the meteor behind the Tunguska explosion, which leveled a large area of forest in the Krasnoyarsk region in 1908. It is surmised that since the Patomiskiy crater lies just west of the infamous Tunguska event, and since its age is estimated to be roughly around the same time, in 1908, and in fact there are some who think this is the actual crater of the Tunguska meteorite, which had previously been believed to have exploded in the atmosphere.
Perhaps inevitably, more far out ideas have cropped up over the years as well. There has been speculation that the crater was the result of a UFO crash or even a nuclear explosion, but there is nothing to strongly suggest that either of these carry any weight. The only shred of light that has been shed on the mysterious crater is the discovery of what is believed to be an incredibly dense object with high iron content lying an estimated 100 to 150 meters below the site, although what this object might be remains a mystery. The object was first discovered in 2006 by an expedition led by doctor of geological-mineralogical sciences Alexander Dmitriev, from Irkutsk State Technical University, and seems to produce magnetic anomalies.
Of course the presence of some super dense object underground has only fueled theories that it must be an alien spacecraft. One scientist, a Igor Simonov, of the Moscow Institute for Problems in Mechanics, conducted a series of experiments at the crater and came to the conclusion that it was formed by a dense, cylindrical object smashing into the earth at high speed. Simonov insisted that the object would have to be made up of an ultra dense material, and when asked about such a material, he gave the cryptic response:
On Earth this material is not available, but somewhere in space it may exist.
Simonov has also put forward the idea that the unusual appearance of the Patomiskiy crater was perhaps caused by the impact of not one object, but two. He concluded that one had hit the ground and exploded, causing a separate object to slow down in response, after which it too crashed into the earth. This would be highly unusual behavior for any known meteorites, but when asked what he thinks the objects could have been, Simonov seemed to shy away from flat out saying they were UFOs, instead giving yet another cryptic answer:
Counting the fact that two meteorites cannot fly one after the other, hitting the same spot I cannot imagine the nature of this strange object. I do not know what it is.
Only adding to the air of enigma enveloping the crater is the fact that analysis of the growth rings of the trees of the vicinity seem to show that they have experienced a period of unusually accelerated growth over four decades after which it reduced to a more normal level, a phenomenon only ever witnessed before in trees of the Chernobyl area after the disaster there. It is unknown what could have caused this odd growth spurt. There is also the presence of a low level of background radiation that is higher than that of the surrounding area and is believed to have once been much higher. No one has been able to figure out just exactly where this radiation could be coming from or why it should be occurring at this one location. There is also a complete lack of any vegetation growth within the crater, despite so much time elapsing since its creation. There is also the crater’s rather odd habit of shifting constantly, rising and falling according to the whims of some as yet misunderstood force.
The mystery of the Patomskiy crater deepened in August of 2005, when an expedition to the crater was launched by an experienced geologist by the name of Eugeny Vorobiev. The expedition started out from the town of Badaybo, and took the only road into the wilderness for 200 km, after which it was necessary to trek overland through perilous wilderness to reach the crater. When the expedition was only a few kilometers from the Patomskiy crater, tragedy struck when Vorobiev suddenly collapsed to the ground for no apparent reason. Colleagues rushed to save the scientist, but he died on the spot. When the body was brought to a hospital in Irkutsk, doctors said that Vorobiev had died of a sudden, massive heart attack, but the death remained somewhat mysterious and local people insisted that it was linked to the evil pervading the region.
What is the Patomskiy crater? Is it some sort of volcano? The result of an underground explosion? Was it created by a meteor strike or a crash landing spacecraft? What lies buried beneath it; a rock or a UFO powered by some sort of nuclear reactor? More than 60 years after its discovery, we still don’t really know for sure. Perhaps in the future further expeditions will come to a better understanding of this strange enigma, but for now it lies out there in the cold Siberian wilderness, a mystery that eludes us and perhaps even pulses within the earth with some inscrutable intent of its own.

Utopia Of Maldives Best For Tourism | Nayab khan

Maldives

Maldives:

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Maldives the Republic of Maldives is also known as the Maldive Islands, is an island in the Indian Ocean that has 26 atolls. Is a sovereign island country and archipelago. It is located southwest of India and Sri Lanka in the Laccadive Sea.Maldives Islands, which is away from city life and close to the nature. Maldives is another tropical paradise that feels like a dream world. Maldives is a best Tourism Board for the travelers. There are Hundreds of lush islands, lined with the whitest sandy beaches, and surrounded by the clear bluest of water, the Maldives is a heaven of holiday sojourn.

Maldives The Zone Of Island:

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1-Alila Villa Hadahaa:

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The rumor is now officially confirmed: the Resort Alila Villas Hadahaa, located in the extreme south of Maldives, in North Huvadhoo Atoll is, since today, Park Hyatt Maldives !

Open in 2009 by Alila Villas Design Hotel Brand, Hadahaa was the successful combination of contemporary design (a signature feature across the Alila Hotels) and Maldivian architecture. Alila Villas Hadahaa had also won many awards during the first year of operation : in 2010

Today, Alila Villas leaves to her successors a beautiful island with an exquisite charm and a unique architecture among all Resorts of the archipelago. With Hadahaa, Park Hyatt opens its very first Resort in the Maldives.

2-Anantara Kihavah Villas, Maldives:

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Enjoying a prime location in the Maldives’ Baa Atoll island archipelago and on the doorstep of Hanifaru Bay, Anantara Kihavah Villas is the perfect place from which to explore the underwater world of the Indian Ocean. Set on Kihavah Huravalhi, one of the most pristine Maldivian islands, the resort is 30-minute seaplane flight from Male International Airport, an unforgettable experience in itself as the plane flies over a string of glowing coral islands amidst turquoise waters.

79 spacious private pool villas, ranging from 260 to 2,730 square meters, are either poised over the water with sweeping ocean views or nestled along a pristine stretch of private beach.

3-Kuramathi Island Resort:

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Established on Rasdhoo Atoll Kuramathi stretches all along the palm grove right into the turquoise water. Guests can choose to stay at the garden, beach or water villas and relax on a white sandy beach, enjoy infinity pools and outdoor jacuzzi. There are various water activities, excursions to other islands and entertaining evening program.

4-Alimatha Island, Vaavu Atoll, Maldives:

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Alimatha Aquatic Resort is located in Alimatha island in Vaavu Atoll. The island sits on the eastern edge of Maldives, 3°35’39.1″ North  of the equator and 73°29’55.5″ East. The transfer to Alimatha  takes 20 minutes by seaplane or about 90 minutes by speedboat from Ibrahim Nasir International airport.
Alimatha is the perfect Maldives resort to experience world class diving for both beginners and professionals. TGI Maldives Alimatha Diving Center has been operational since 2006.

5-Sun Island Resort and Spa:

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Sun Island set in the magnificent island of Nalaguraidhoo, will capture your heart with its exotic tropical flowers and beautiful greenery in the gardens that takes you to the purest of stunning blue sapphire lagoons. Located 62 miles from the male’ airport, Nalaguraidhoo is the most breathtaking and picturesque island in South Ari Atoll. Sun Island, has been noted for its beautiful setting.

Sun Island Resort is the biggest resort/island hotel in Maldives and offers you all the modern comforts, conveniences and facilities that you can ever think of. It is a mature island with dense tropical vegetation and tall coconut palms, numerals enough that you could loose your self amongst them. With wide beaches of fine white sands all around the island, there is no difficulty in finding your own private little cove for the day.

6-Dusit Thani:

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Situated on Mudhdhoo Island in Baa Atoll, the resort was inspired by Thai style and philosophy. Luxurious private villas, tennis courts, SPA centers and even boutiques can be found here. The resort is surrounded with the richest marine life in Maldives. Therefore it is the best place to go diving and snorkeling.

7-Six Senses Laamu:

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The only resort in the Laamu Atoll, which is only 150 km from the equator, Six Senses is environmentally responsible and contemporary. Its rustic luxury villas blend so well with the nature and do not disturb atoll’s vibes. Villas have glass see-through tables, that reconnect with the Ocean.

8-Banana Reef, North Male Atoll, Maldives:

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his banana shaper reef belongs to the marine protected areas of north male and has excellent coral reef with very abundant fish life. It lies inside Kuda Kalhi and was one of the very first dive sites of maldives. Close to Club Med resort there are always divers here. Big rocks get to amazing coral formations where sharks, barracuda, traveally and black snapper. On the east side there are alwasy big schools of bannerfish. There are also some caves where groupers and seafans can be found. The last one, at 20m there is a small concave wall where a washing machine is formed with strong currents. Grey reef sharks can be seen there. If you get caught by the washing machine don’t try to fight it, and ride it staying close to the reef until you can get out.

9-National Museum:

National Museum

Located at Male, the number seven spot is the National Musuem of Maldives. The building houses a lot of different kinds of historical artifacts that reflect the history of the country. The original museum was the old 3-story museum that is the only remaining part of the Maldivian Royal Palace. The new museum is built and designed by the Chinese Government, and is where eventually the artifacts from the old museum would move to. It was declared as the official National Museum on July 26, 2010. If you want to know more about Maldivian artifacts and the rich story behind each, this is the perfect place to go.

10-Hukuru Miskiiy Mosque, Kaafu Atoll, Maldives:

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Hukuru Miskiy or Old Friday Mosque is an ancient decorated mosque located in the city of Malé, Kaafu Atoll, Maldives. The mosque was originally constructed in 1658 under the reign of Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar I over two-year time. It’s a beautiful structure made from coral stone into which intricate decoration and Quranic script have been chiseled. The mosque was built on the foundations of an old temple that faced west towards the setting sun, not northwest towards Mecca. Consequently, the worshippers have to face the corner of the mosque when they pray – the striped carpet, laid at an angle, shows the correct direction.

Collected And Prepared By Nayab Khan