The government took the threat of UFOs so seriously in the 1950s that UK intelligence chiefs met to discuss the issue, newly-released files show.
Cases in the files include:
- The "Welsh Roswell", an incident in 1974 that saw people strange lights in the sky and feeling earth tremors.
- A near-miss incident with an "unidentified object" that was reported by both the Captain and the First Officer of a passenger plane near Manchester Airport in 1995.
- Attempted rebberies at RAF Rudloe Manor in Wiltshire which is sometimes referred to as Britain's Area 51.
- The Western Isles Incident, in which a loud explosion was reported up in the sky over the Atlantic in the Outer Hebrides.
- A film relating to the Blue Streak missile test launch in 1964, was missing 14 minutes of footage. Many believe it was removed as it showed an alien.
On the 8th of November, 1519, Cortes and his men arrived at the city of Tenochtitlan and were greeted with a state welcome by Moctezuma, who still did not know whether he was dealing with men or gods.
The Spanish acted like perfect guests for two weeks and marvelled at the sights of the city that included a huge market place, an aqueduct that carried water to more than a hundred thousand citizens and the Great Temple, which was a towering pyramid.
Cortes tricked his way into Moctezuma’s palace and took him prisoner and persuaded him to declare to his people that he had been placed under guard willingly; by 1520, the Aztec emperor declared that he was the vassal of the Spanish king Charles I. Cortes installed a crucifix on the Great Temple infuriating the people of Tenochtitlan and in a bid to quell any ideas of uprising, he slaughtered hundreds of unarmed Aztec nobles while they attended a ritual dance.
Moctezuma pleaded with his people to remain calm but was stoned by them and killed, leading to the city rebelling against the invading force. In just one night that became known as ‘the sad night’, two thirds of the Spanish force were killed along with hundreds of Aztecs and the remainder of Cortes’ men and their allies fled.
Cortes formed alliances with local towns and raised an army numbering around ten thousand men. He divided his forces into three and launched short, sharp attacks on Tenochtitlan which were fiercely resisted by the Aztecs. The Spanish then turned to siege warfare burning bridges and buildings, cutting off food supplies and destroying the capital’s aqueducts.
To make matters worse, many Aztecs were dying from smallpox, which they had caught from the Spanish. On 13th of August, 1521, after ninety-three days of daily fighting while their city burned around them, the Aztecs finally fell after the royal palace and Great Temple were seized and the new emperor had been captured.
The Aztec capital Tenochtitlan was left in ruins by the Spaniards; Moctezuma’s treasure and the Temple’s religious idols went missing, they are believed to have been smuggled out by priests and have never been found. Over the following years, Cortes built a new Christian city on the site and claimed the regions gold mines for Spain, generating vast wealth for the most powerful nation on earth.
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While salmon fishing near the Klondike River in Canada's Yukon Territory on this day in 1896, George Carmack reportedly spots nuggets of gold in a creek bed. His lucky discovery sparks the last great gold rush in the American West.
Hoping to cash in on reported gold strikes in Alaska, Carmack had traveled there from California in 1881. After running into a dead end, he headed north into the isolated Yukon Territory, just across the Canadian border.
In 1896, another prospector, Robert Henderson, told Carmack of finding gold in a tributary of the Klondike River. Carmack headed to the region with two Native American companions, known as Skookum Jim and Tagish Charlie.
On August 16, while camping near Rabbit Creek, Carmack reportedly spotted a nugget of gold jutting out from the creek bank. His two companions later agreed that Skookum Jim--Carmack's brother-in-law--actually made the discovery.
Regardless of who spotted the gold first, the three men soon found that the rock near the creek bed was thick with gold deposits. They staked their claim the following day. News of the gold strike spread fast across Canada and the United States, and over the next two years, as many as 50,000 would-be miners arrived in the region. Rabbit Creek was renamed Bonanza, and even more gold was discovered in another Klondike tributary, dubbed Eldorado.
"Klondike Fever" reached its height in the United States in mid-July 1897 when two steamships arrived from the Yukon in San Francisco and Seattle, bringing a total of more than two tons of gold. Thousands of eager young men bought elaborate "Yukon outfits" (kits assembled by clever marketers containing food, clothing, tools and other necessary equipment) and set out on their way north.
Few of these would find what they were looking for, as most of the land in the region had already been claimed. One of the unsuccessful gold-seekers was 21-year-old Jack London, whose short stories based on his Klondike experience became his first book, The Son of the Wolf (1900).
For his part, Carmack became rich off his discovery, leaving the Yukon with $1 million worth of gold. Many individual gold miners in the Klondike eventually sold their stakes to mining companies, who had the resources and machinery to access more gold. Large-scale gold mining in the Yukon Territory didn't end until 1966, and by that time the region had yielded some $250 million in gold.
Today, some 200 small gold mines still operate in the region.