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Mystery in the Desert

Before we explore space, it's important to realize that there are still mysterious places here on Earth that remain to be discovered and explored. One of these places is the mysterious rock formations (NOTE: Subscribers can listen to this provocative conversation between Whitley and Linda Howe). near the Syrian monastery Deir Mar Musa. With the uprising in Syria, archeologists haven't been able to get near the place.

Canadian archaeologist Robert Mason discovered them three years ago when he was investigating an ancient monastery nearby. He went for a walk and found a series of rock formations--lines of stone, stone circles, and what appear to be tombs. Analysis of fragments of stone tools found in the area suggests the rock formations are much older than the monastery, perhaps dating to the Neolithic Period or early Bronze Age, 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. Mason calls the area "Syria's Stonehenge."

Mason thinks the monastery was originally a Roman watchtower that was partially destroyed by an earthquake and then rebuilt. Syria is a muslim country in which Christians are not welcome, but despite this, the monastery was occupied until the 1800s. After it was rebuilt in the 1980s and 1990s, it became active again. Its walls are covered by many ancient frescoes--some of which are badly damaged--depicting Christian images.

We'd better concentrate our explorations on Earth, because we don't have the right type of rocket propulsion to get into space. Why is that? As usual, the Master of the Key had the answer: When he burst into Whitley Strieber's hotel room in 1998, he told him that that we are stuck on this planet because the parents of the child who would have given us the ability to travel into space was killed in the holocaust!

  • Image Credit:
  • Jon Chase

You say: "Syria is a muslim country in which Christians are not welcome..."
That is not true. The irony is that:
1. The Assad regime is secular. Freedom of religion is protected by the constitution.The fact that the Assads are Shia Muslims plays only a role in so far as they want to cling to power in the face of the larger Sunni Muslim aspirations (about 2/3 of the population). Sunni Muslims are more widespread and feel, rightly, suppressed by the Assad regime.
2. Traditionally there are many Christians from different denominations. They make out about 10 % of the population. Besides Roman Catholics and Protestants there are various Orthodox denominations. The larger ones are the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, closely followed by the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, and then the Syriac Orthodox Church (Wikipedia).

In the conflict that is raging now in Syria many Christians tend to be in favour of the Assad regime. This is not so much because they believe the regime to be benevolent but because it protects the right of Christians to practice their religion. They chose certainty and security over the uncertainties of possible freedom, or a possible radical islamist revolutionary government. This is the tragedy of the situation.

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