7 Fortean Wonders of The World - Round Two

Below are the 38 candidates that made it to Round Two.

There are 2 more rounds of voting:

Round Two:
Voting Closes: Friday 21st December 2007
The top 20 candidates go through to Round Three

Round Three:
Voting Closes: Friday 28th December 2007

The Seven Fortean Wonders of the World will be announced on Tuesday January 1st 2008.

Everyone may vote once in each round, and you must register to to vote.

You can also discuss the poll and the candidates in the CFI Forums.

Area 51, Nevada

Area 51 – also known as Groom Lake or Dreamland – is the notorious and unconventional USAF base in southern Nevada, also used by the US Defense Department. Because of the exceptional secrecy surrounding the base and its activities (mostly concerning classified aircraft) a rich contemporary mythology has developed around it, principally conspiracy theories alleging storage of alien bodies, reverse engineering of crashed UFOs and meetings with alien representatives.


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Avebury, Wiltshire

The village of Avebury is partially build inside one of the largest and finest Neolithic stone circles, roughly 5,000 years old. Many of the magnificent standing stones were destroyed from the 14th century onward; fortunately, evidence remains of two stone avenues, two inner rings and the huge enclosing outer dyke of 1.35 km circumference.


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Baalbek, Lebanon

The temple complex of Baalbeck in Eastern Lebanon is surmounted by the
ruins of roman temples to the gods Jupiter and Bacchus but has been a
temple site for over 4000 years since the Phoenicians built a temple
their dedicated to the god Baal. It is a site of archeological
controversy as the foundations of the temple are formed from some of the
largest cut stones in the world, each over 400 metric tonnes. There is
some reason to believe that these stones were there well before the
Romans arrived and that they were quarried and moved to the site with
technology well advanced of that which would be expected for the time.


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Forbidden City, China

The Imperial Palace in Beijing served the rulers of several dynasties over five centuries and was forbidden to all commoners. Laid out on a complex grid aligned on the North Star, its moated wall encloses nearly a thousand buildings in 720,000 square metres. Surrounding it is the Imperial City, then the Outer City and Beijing itself.


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Giza, Egypt

This famous site on the west bank of the Nile, south of Cairo, houses the Great Pyramid and a complex including a royal mortuary, tombs and several smaller pyramids, all overlooking the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis. In the same complex is another great and mysterious monument, the Great Sphinx, dating to the third millennium BC. It is possibly the largest stone sculpture known and the earliest. According to evidence of water erosion, it could predate the Egyptian civilization itself by nearly 2000 years.


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The Zone of Silence, Mexico

According to its legend, this radio-wave dead zone - located in the Mapimi Reserve in Durango State – is a combination of magnetic anomaly and broadcast ‘skip zone’ (a region beyond the reach of ground-traveling radio waves and waves which refract off the ionosphere). Since it was first reported in the 1930s, this anomaly is said to attract meteorites, send US military rockets off course, and be inhabited by wandering balls of light and strange little men.

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Machu Pichu, Peru

One of the great icons of pre-Hispanic America, this great Inca city was built around a mountain peak (2,430 m above sea level) in Peru’s Urubamba Valley. It is often referred to as the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ first described to the world by Hiram Bingham in 1921, although there is evidence of earlier discoveries by westerners. How its enormous blocks of granite were tightly fitted by the Inca is still a puzzle.

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Oak Island, Nova Scotia

One of many small, tree-covered islands off Nova Scotia’s southern shore, Oak Island is the location of the notorious ‘Money Pit’. First mentioned in print in 1856, and periodically revived since, an unverifiable legend of uncertain origin maintains that a pirate’s treasure of two million pound in gold was buried there. Since 1795, more than ten unsuccessful pit excavations have been attempted.
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Plain of Jars, Laos

The Plain consists of more than 400 sites on the Khorat Plateau of central Laos, some with as many as 250 large half-buried huge cylindrical ‘jars’ carved from sandstone. First discovered by western archaeologists in the 1930s, they have been dated to 500-800 BC. Although human remains have been found in proximity, there is no evidence they were used for burials. In fact there is no credible explanation for their size, location or purpose. Lao folklore attributes them to a race of giants who stored their rice wine in them. Sadly, study and tourism are hampered by the dangerous remains of recent wars.

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Point Pleasant, West Virginia

Point Pleasant is a small city of around 4500 people on the Ohio river
which forms the border between West Virginia and Ohio. In is most
famous for a series of strange events which culminated in the collapse
of the Silver Bridge across the Ohio river on December the 15th 1967,
when 46 people lost their lives. Beginning in November 1966, there were
many reports of a winged humanoid creature with glowing red eyes which
became known as Mothman. These encounters, along with UFO sightings,
Men In Black and other High Strangeness, were detailed by John Keel in
his 1975 book The Mothman Prophecies.

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Rennes le Chateau

This small village in the Languedoc region of southern france is at the
centre of one of the most popular conspiracy theories of recent years.
It concerns Berenger Sauniere who was the priest there in the 19th
century and the source of his surprisingly impressive wealth. Beginning
as a hoax tale of lost treasure started by a local hotelier to drum up
business it has developed into a world spanning conspiracy to cover up
the existence of descendents of Jesus Christ. Regardless of the truth
of the tales told in "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" and "The
Davinci Code" Rennes has become a must see destination for tourists
interested in an alternative religious history.

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Roswell, New Mexico

Roswell is notoriously known as the site of an alleged UFO crash in
1947. Regardless of the true story this small town has benefited
greatly from interest in the crash and in the UFO phenomenon in general.
There is an annual UFO festival which this year celebrated the 60th
anniversary of the Roswell Incident. The Roswell International UFO
Museum and Research Centre opened in 1992 and the town has flourished
from the income from tourists and alien hunters. One of the most recent
uses of the town in popular culture was the teen sci-fi show Roswell
which ran from 1999 to 2002.

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Probably the most famous and iconic megalithic structure in the world,
Stonehenge is a complex of standing stones, trilithons and earthworks on
Salisbury plain in Wiltshire. The main stone circle is constructed from
massive blocks of Welsh bluestone which were either quarried there and
transported over hundreds of miles or were carved from stone moved
closer to the area by glacial ice thousands of years earlier. There are
far too many different interpretations of the purpose of this and other
stone circles to be covered here but they range from astronomical
rituals to UFO landing sites!
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The city of Teotihuacan in Mexico was in it's time (200BCE-450CE) the
largest city in the Americas and is still one of the most impressive
archaeological sites in the world. The already ruined complex of
massive stepped pyramids and temples amazed the Conquistadores when they
first saw it, while the Aztecs considered it a place of pilgrimage. The
largest structures are the Pyramid of the Sun and of the Moon which
flank the Avenue of the Dead.
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The Nazca Plain

The dry rocky desert of the Nazca plain in Peru is criss-crossed with
lines forming geometric and stylised images of animals created by the
peoples who lived there around 2000 years ago. These were created by
clearing the upper layer of dark soil to reveal the pale underlying
matter. The animal images, of which the most famous is probably the
condor, are created from single connected paths leading to the idea that
they were to be walked along during rituals. The fact that the full
extent of the Nazca lines can only be seen from the air has led to idea
that they were intended as landing paths or messages to UFOs.
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The Tunguska event was a massive explosion which occurred near the
Podkamennaya Tunguska river in Siberia, Russia on June 30th, 1908.
Eyewitnesses reported a bluish light which descended from the sky
followed by a series of loud reports and subsequent shockwaves which
knocked over trees and people alike. The first scientific expedition to
the impact site in 1927 was surprised to find that there was no crater
but that there was a region of scorched and battered trees about 50km
across. The most likely explanation for the event is the airburst of a
comet or meteorite but other explanations have been put forward which
include a black hole, antimatter or, inevitably, a UFO crash.
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Yonaguni Structures

Yonaguni is the westernmost island in Japan and has recently become well
known for sunken rock formations in the seas around the Island. These
form massive staircases or pyramidal structures with apparent right
angled corners indicating man made origin. If they are man made they
must have been constructed during the last ice age, about 10,000 years
ago, when they would have been above water and would be evidence of a
sophisticated prehistoric civilisation. However, many geologists
maintain that they are of natural origin and are consistent with other
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Ancient Copper mining

Nuggets of native copper had been found near the shores of Lake Superior
in what is now Wisconsin by European explorers as early as the 1600s.
However in the mid 1800s actual mineworkings were found which have been
carbon dated back as early as 3000BC. This has been taken by some to be
evidence of some lost civilisation as it was thought that the native
americans did not have a sophisticated society which could use the
metal, especially as the volume of material produced was so high.
However, this may be considered as rather patronising now in a similar
way to suggestions that the Egyptians could not have built the pyramids
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Antikythera 'Orrery' Device

In 1900 a previously unknown wreck was discovered off the Greek island of Antikythera by a group of sponge divers. One of the items found during archaeological dives was a piece of rock which appeared to have a metal gear embedded in it. Detailed examinations of this and the other fragments of what has become known as the Antikythera Mechanism revealed an amazingly intricate device for the calculation of astronomical information. This includes the Sun, moon and the planets known at the time of construction, which could be as early as the 3rd century BCE.
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Belmez Faces

These strange, hauntiing images of faces first appeared in the concrete floor of the Pereira family home in Belmez de la Moraleda, Jaen, Spain in 1971. The first face was destroyed but further images appeared in the fresh concrete that replaced it. Paranormal investigators have suggested "thoughtography" as the cause of the images with the psychic Maria Gomez, who owns the house and found the first face, being the source. Other, more skeptical, researchers have demonstrated to their satisfaction that the faces are the either produced by paint or oxidising agents applied to the floor.
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Bigfoot / Yeti

The BHM (Big Hairy Monster) is possibly one of the most iconic images of forteana and cryptozoology. These are giant and hirsute humanoids, usually sighted fleetingly in some wild place, and are thought by some to be a relict population of a distant relation of ours, possibly a Gigantopithecus. The most well known of these are the Yeti of the Himalayas and the Bigfoot or Sasquatch of North America. The most famous bigfoot sighting was made by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin who apparently filmed a female bigfoot at Bluff Creek, California in 1967.
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Cocaine Mummies

Ancient Egyptian mummies contaminated with Cocaine? Were the Pharaohs bigger party animals than we first suspected? Traces of nicotine were also found, suggesting that tobacco use was widespread outside of the Americas, a previously undiscovered fact.
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Crop Circles

Appearing in a field near you, are these captivating designs communications from aliens, the gods or just a bunch of talented cider fuelled yokels? Either way they have inspired and mystified us for a generation. See for yourself here:
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Crystal Skulls

Flawless human skulls carved from crystal. The work of a higher intelligence? Evidence that man evolved skills thousands of years ago superior to our own now? Thirteen have been discovered so far, some of them may be as old as 36, 000 years.
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Fairy Coffins

The Fairy Coffins of Edinburgh are a series of small wooden coffins complete with miniature wooden bodies. Found on the slopes of Arthurs Seat in Edinburgh in the 1830’s no one knows what they represent – guesses have included memorials to sailors lost at sea through to a memento mori for the victims of Burke and Hare.
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Ghosts are generally regarded as spirits of the dead – some credit them with consciousness others feel they are merely recordings of past events.
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Non-rusting iron pillar of Delhi

A 4th century iron pillar in Delhi which has stood for 1600 years without showing any signs of rusting. Brought to popular notice by the work of Erich von Daniken.
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Our Lady of Fatima

In 1917 a vision of the Virgin Mary was seen by three peasant children at Fatima, Portugal. The children were given a series of messages which were in turn given to the Catholic church. The messages have been revealed over time and the last has been interpreted as a warning of the attempted assassination of John Paul II.
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Piri Reis Map

Drawn in 1513 by Piri Reis (a Turkish admiral) the Piri Reis map shows parts of Africa, South America and Antarctica. It is anomalous enough that this map shows Antarctica before it was officially discovered but it in fact shows the coast line of the continent as it would appear without ice, which was last seen in approximately 4000BC.
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Shroud of Turin

The alleged burial cloth of Jesus Christ which bears a faint imprint of a crucified figure. The image appears more lifelike when viewed as a photographic negative. Housed in the Cathedral of Turin controversy rages over the authenticity particularly after a series of carbon dating tests dated the material to 1290 – 1360.
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South African Metal Spheres

In a coal deposit dated to nearly 3 billion years old miners found a large quantity of grooved spheres. Some claim that these spheres are the product of an intelligent hand.
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Starchild Skull

The Starchild Skull is a potentially anomalous skull which some claim shows it be an alien human hybrid, others claim it is a human skull showing a combination of effects including hydrocephaly and cradle boarding. Lloyd Pye is the current custodian of the skull and he is ensuring that it is tested scientifically by as many different techniques as possible.
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Taos Hum

The Taos Hum is a low frequency hum which is only heard by some people. Encountered in several parts of the world Taos, New Mexico has the most famous example so the name has become a generic term. A recording of the hum can be heard from Australia
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Tesla's Devices

Nikolai Tesla was a Serb who later became a US citizen and he is best remembered for his many inventions particularly in the fields of electricity and magnetism. As well as creating many systems still in use today (alternating current and wireless technology) Tesla was noted for attempting to create death rays and for trying to beam power directly into peoples homes. There are some who believe he was successful in many more inventions than we will ever know…
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Tombstone of Pakal, Palenque Chiapas

The tomb of Pakal at Palenque was brought to the notice of the world by Erich von Daniken in the late 1960’s when he put forward his theory that the tomb showed an astronaut in his space vehicle ready to take off. The problem was the tomb dated from 683 AD. Von Daniken used this tomb (originally discovered in 1952) to bolster his Ancient Astronaut theory.
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Strictly speaking a UFO is an unidentified flying object – merely something in the sky and we are unsure of what it actually is. For most however a UFO means a piloted ship from outside of the planet Earth, the so called Extra Terrestrial Hypothesis. The modern UFO era began in the 1940’s with Kenneth Arnold’s sighting and the Roswell incident. Since then many UFO’s have been reported and photographed, for some there is sufficient evidence for others not yet.
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The Upanishads are part of the Vedas and form part of the Hindu scriptures. The oldest may date as far back as the 7th century BC. The content concerns itself with the nature of God, philosophy and meditation.
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Voynich Manuscript

In 1912 an antiquarian bookseller supposedly discovered an ancient manuscript in a still unidentified script. The manuscript was part of a job lot of books that Voynich had purchased from a Monastery. The manuscript was gifted to Yale University in the 1960’s where it still resides. Some feel it is an out and out hoax, others that it may be the secret writings of John Dee. Many other names have been attached to it over the course of its investigation and the believers and disbelievers seem content to disagree.
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