Good morning! (or as the case may be). Here at S8int.com, we don't believe in space aliens, UFO's under the ice or nazi's living in Antarctica. We don't believe the earth is billions of years old either, but hey, however old it is--we know who made it. Took about a week.
We say this because we get letters. We provide you with articles on the subject at hand with the idea that you are going to use your own common sense to sort it all out. Because there is the very large magnetic anomaly at this previously unknown, pristine Arctic lake, many theorize wildly about UFO's and the like.
What we think is interesting about the lake is the possibility that artifacts of man will be found there in a place that is supposed to have been frozen in time for hundreds of thousands or even millions of years. We know however, that accurate, "ancient" maps exist which show this continent either without ice or only partially covered in ice. We just hope something very illuminating is found there. See Page 5: Piri Reis or Previous Page.
Mysteries of Lake Vostok
Dallas Fort Worth Star Telegram, June 2001
A subglacial Waterway at the South Pole Beckons Scientists, UFO Buffs
Photo:RadarStat Image of Lake Vostok by the Canadian Space Administration. Click and drag photo to resize. Script from The Java Script Source
A vast, subglacial lake discovered more than two miles below the South Pole has captured the imaginations not only of scientists, but also of conspiracy theorists, alien-encounter types and devotees of urban myths.
NASA wants to use Lake Vostok to test equipment for a planned mission to Jupiter. Microbiologists want to study life in extreme climates. Environmentalists want to halt exploration to keep the lake, believed to have the purest water on Earth, free of contaminants.
UFO buffs and X-philes, meanwhile, are generating a Bermuda Trianglelike buzz about the lake, and renewed interest in ancient history and the release of the movie Atlantis on Friday are fueling the talk.
Here is an excerpt of a popular posting in several Internet chat rooms: "If the Great Flood was caused by the Earth shifting its axis, as appears to be what actually happened, where what used to be the North Pole ended up near the equator, then Atlantis didn't sink. It simply relocated to the South Pole."
And another: "This is where Godzilla lives."
To put it simply, Lake Vostok is cool.
For those unfamiliar with the story, a lot of hard science has gone into the exploration of Lake Vostok. The Russians have had a base at the site since the 1950s, but it was not until two decades later that scientists suspected there was something beneath it.
Since 1989, scientists and engineers have been drilling the ice sheet above Lake Vostok to study the Earth's past climates. Drilling was abruptly halted when researchers hit a layer of refrozen ice 120 meters thick.
That led to speculation, later confirmed, that almost 12,000 feet below the base there is a 9,000-square-mile subglacial lake about the size of Lake Ontario. The water is unusually warm, probably a little below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, compared with 67 degrees below zero at the surface.
U.S. scientists studied the refrozen ice and found bacteria, which could suggest that a whole ecosystem different from ours - an alternate ecology - may have existed for thousands, maybe millions, of years.
Photo:Vostok Station 2001.Next two photos fromS.A.L.E. Click and drag photo to resize. "That's what we know, and it's not much," said John Priscu, the Montana State University microbial ecology professor who conducted the study. "We know there's life down there, and it's a bizarre environment under three miles of ice, and it's been there a long time. That's pretty wild."
Priscu is leading another study this summer, so the picture should become clearer in the next year or so. The unanswered questions - along with the remoteness of Antarctica and the hazy politics of that faraway continent - increase already intense speculation.
Drilling was stopped because of concerns about the potential for environmental contamination. But speculation intensified, particularly via the Internet, that scientists were about to expose the world to a deadly virus for which humans have no antibodies.
When several researchers became sick earlier this year, requiring special airlifts out of Antarctica, the cries of a government cover-up reached a fever pitch.
And some believe that Lake Vostok has provided evidence that Atlantis, perhaps a victim of polar shifting and/or plate tectonics, is under the South Pole. Check out The Atlantis Blueprint by Colin Wilson and Rand Flem-Ath, a book that proposes that the people of Atlantis had created a thriving maritime society that is the proto-culture of societies today.
The basis of Flem-Ath's research is an ancient map depicting Atlantis that he found in a book while doing research for a screenplay about hibernating aliens. "The map is a map of Atlantis, but if you take off all the labels, and you compare it to the Earth's surface, it's very similar to Antarctica," he said. "That was the first thing that got me onto it."
Flem-Ath's work has often been used to promote Lake Vostok theories, but his research locates the main city of Atlantis elsewhere.
The buzz about the lake does not surprise Ray Browne, founder of the Popular Culture Association and professor emeritus at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, the country's only department devoted to studying the reality-in-flux of coolness.
"When there's an interest, you've got to feed that," he said. "Someone has rediscovered Atlantis outside the Pillars of Hercules, inside the Mediterranean, in the Caribbean, under the South Pole and everywhere else. ...
"They want to find it, we want to find it, and if we never do, it's still tremendously interesting, because we all have a little archaeologist in us, and we're yearning for the Garden of Eden."
Count Josh Nalbrook of Coppell among the skeptics. "I think they're milking history for money," he said. Steve Brewster of Trophy Club, who was shopping recently at Grapevine Mills mall with neighbor Patrick Peeraer, said he had read an article about the theory that Antarctica was Atlantis.
"All this makes you curious. How questions about history come back," Brewster said.
"Plus, if there's really an Atlantis down there, they supposedly have a different energy source that we might be missing," Peeraer said.
"Maybe they know how to reduce gas prices," Brewster said. And while many scientists are not concerned with pop culture, some, such as Priscu, say the debate - no matter how wild - creates a healthy public interest.
"Children e-mail me, wanting to be scientists," he said. "You say we're looking at bacteria, and you don't get a second look. You bring up little green men on Mars, and people pay attention."
Thanks to FarShores
The Magnetic Anomaly
Source: Vostok: The Lake of Shadows, Fate Magazine June 2002
by Scott Corrales
Early research into Lake Vostok indicated that the body of water had a depth of 2,000 feet—far deeper than any of the Great Lakes and half as deep as Asia’s Lake Baikal (5,000 feet)—a length of 300 miles and a width of 50 miles.
Contrary to what was initially believed, the lake received filtered light. Further investigations also detected the existence of geothermal sources which warmed the lake to an astonishing 50 degrees Fahrenheit, with “hot spots” of up to 65 degrees.
Given these new discoveries regarding solar radiation and temperature, scientists suggested the possibility that the lake’s encapsulated atmosphere purified itself through a complex interaction with water, and that the chances for vegetable life forms were very good.
Research conducted by Russian scientist Ian Toskovoi—who vanished near the Vostok station in March 2000—on “geothermal upboiling” also hinted at an alternative means of purification and replenishment for the subterranean lake’s atmosphere. Toskovoi’s geothermal upboils were located in the so-called “ice dunes,” which appear to be formed by thousands of bubbles of air measuring between several feet to several hundred feet.
However, the most intriguing news coming out of Antarctica had to do with the extremely powerful “magnetic anomaly” located in the northern end of the lake’s coast: a discovery which would give rise to a number of conjectures and would be compared with the fictional TMA-1 (Tycho Magnetic Anomaly-1) in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Photo:South Pole Station. Click and drag photo to resize. The electronic newspaper Antarctic Sun (www.polar.org), which soon became the main source of information on the Lake Vostok magnetic anomaly, stated that during the initial flight of the SOAR (Support Office for Aerophysical Research), aimed at conducting magnetic resonance imaging over the area, the magnetometer recorded an increase of 1,000 nanoteslas beyond the 60,000 nanoteslas which characterized the Vostok Station.
Scientists had expected to find magnetic anomalies in the range of 500 to 600 nanoteslas in areas where volcanic material could be located, but the ranges encountered were simply startling.
“This anomaly is so large that it cannot be the product of a daily change in the magnetic field,” stated Michael Studinger, one of the researchers involved in the mapping endeavor.
Also significant was the sheer size of the anomaly: 65 by 46 square miles. According to the mission’s geological team, the anomaly’s size and severity pointed to the fact that geological changes had taken place under the lake, suggesting the possibility that it was a place where “the earth’s crust was thinner.”
Australian geologist Harry Mason summarized the subject thus: “The magnetic anomaly’s sheer size and intensity suggest the presence of a large ultrabase component under this section of Lake Vostok at the surface of the continental crust rock, in other words, on the old surface prior to the ice formation.”
Using much less technical language, others noted that Mason’s explanation matched the hypothesis suggested by Prof. Thomas Gold in Australia’s Nexus magazine. According to Professor Gold, the amount of methane and exotic gases such as xenon and argon could represent a direct threat to global climate, since they would come directly from the Earth’s mantle using the geological features under Lake Vostok as “chimneys.”
Aside from the danger this could represent for our planet’s embattled atmosphere, the teams of scientists and technicians in charge of drilling through the methane dome would be in the first line of danger, since such an operation would likely result in a catastrophic explosion.
... Or Are They Deep in the Icy Waters of the Antarctic?
SPECIAL TO THE ST. PETERSBURG TIMES Jan 2000
LAKE VOSTOK, Antarctica - Isolated from the rest of the world for longer than humankind has walked the Earth, Lake Vostok is a vast body of water lying beneath a blanket of ice at the coldest spot on the planet - Russia's Vostok station in Antarctica.
Scientists have discovered tantalizing evidence that microbes are living in the ice nearly four kilometers deep, just above the surface of the lake, leaving them more eager than ever to explore it.
A voyage to Vostok could be a big step toward a discovery that would surely rank among the greatest of all time: finding life elsewhere in our solar system. Bearing an uncanny resemblance to Vostok is Europa, a moon of Jupiter, which recent satellite snapshots suggest is covered by an ocean about 100 kilometers deep - far deeper than any on Earth - topped by a rind of ice that in spots could be less than 10 kilometers thick.
If life arose in Earth's primordial ocean, could it not then have also arisen - or be on the verge of doing so - in Europa's? Lake Vostok could serve as a proving ground for probes designed to explore Europa without spiking the broth with microbial ingredients from our own planet.
Now scientists around the world are joining forces to blaze a trail to the mysterious Lake Vostok, which is nearly the size of Lake Ontario. At a meeting in Cambridge, England, last September, experts hashed out a timetable for a project that could shift into high gear as soon as U.S. cargo planes are available for trips into the heart of the continent - for the next two seasons most flights will ferry workers and equipment to the South Pole, where a new U.S. station is being built.
Formidable hurdles remain, including the delicate matters of lining up as much as $20 million from several countries and establishing a hierarchy to oversee the project, as well as developing the technology that would protect Vostok's pristine waters from contamination.
But those captivated by the lake's allure foresee no showstoppers. "It's an incredibly exciting project," Russian Antarctic Expedition leader Valery Lukin said.
At first nobody paid attention to hints that a behemoth lay beneath the ice. In the 1960s, Soviet pilots described remarkably flat stretches of the East Antarctic ice sheet, discernible only from the air, near a remote Soviet outpost called Vostok. They called these indentions "lakes" - a name that amused scientists, who knew that surface water could never have formed these depressions.
A few years later, however, British airborne radio surveys of the ice sheet's thickness proved the flyboys right, revealing mirror-like reflections that were interpreted as pools of water sandwiched between the ice sheet and the bedrock.
These and later soundings have pinpointed at least 77 sub-glacial lakes in eastern Antarctica, the largest by far extending under Vostok station. After analyzing radar echoes as well as shock waves from detonations made below the surface during seismic explorations, British and Russian scientists published a report in 1996 describing Lake Vostok as a body of fresh water much longer than it is wide, covering 10,000 square kilometers and plunging from a depth of a few tens of meters at its northern end to 500 meters or more under the research station.
Photo:Cryobot illustration by JPL. Click and drag photo to resize.
Given the green light to draft a strategy for penetrating Vostok, two National Aeronautics and Space Administration researchers - Frank Carsey and Joan Horvath - opted in 1997 in favor of a thermal probe called a cryobot that would melt its way through the ice sheet.
Upon reaching Lake Vostok, the cryobot would unleash a rover equipped with miniaturized instruments that would search for life in Vostok's stygian depths. Another possibility is to use a modified version of a NASA probe designed to explore hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor.
Scientists have already glimpsed some coming attractions of a Vostok mission: images of rods and filaments - possibly microorganisms - from the lake. The preview comes courtesy of a 25-year-long effort at the Vostok station to drill deep into the ice sheet and extract samples for climate studies. As sections of ice core were brought to the surface each season, Sabit Abyzov of the Institute of Microbiology in Moscow always got a piece of the core to analyze.
He has documented life forms ranging from the simplest bacteria to diatoms and yeasts. This was no fossil gallery, either. Some organisms, locked in the ice for hundreds of thousands of years, once liberated would spring to life and reproduce in a potato broth.
Now things are getting even more interesting. In February 1998, the drilling ceased 3,760 meters into the ice sheet, about 100 meters above the lake's surface. At these depths the freshwater ice forms large, clear crystals - useless to climatologists, but a potential gold mine for biologists, as this ice is lake water that has frozen to the bottom of the ice sheet.
Scientists who managed to lay their hands on some of this frozen essence of Vostok have watched a new world unfold before their eyes. "We're looking at microorganisms essentially as they're coming out of the ice," said Hoover, who is collaborating with Abyzov. The duo has used an electron microscope to image white filaments, hundreds of microns in length, that Hoover speculates may be strands of a cyanobacteria mat dislodged from the lake floor "It could have floated upward and smashed into the ice-covered roof," he said.
Also getting a piece of the action last year was John Priscu of Montana State University. Working with a section of ice drawn up from near the bottom of the borehole, Priscu's group has used an atomic force microscope to snap pictures of "what look like small rods," he said.
DNA analyses point to several kinds of bacteria in the lake ice. If these bacteria are alive in the lake, he said, "there's plenty of food down there." His group has measured about as much dissolved organic carbon in the ice sample as is found in the average North American lake.
It's unknown whether these microbes are a fair sampling of Vostok's denizens, or whether they are truly creatures of the black lagoon at all. But as scientists gear up for a mission to Vostok as early as 2003, the scientists are whetting their appetites for more. "We're continuing to find more different and unusual things," Hoover said.
Researchers Find Antarctic Lake Water Will Fizz Like A Soda
Lake Vostok is located 2.48 miles (four kilometers) beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. The lake, and more than 70 other lakes deep beneath the polar plateau, are part of a large, sub-glacial environment that has been isolated from the atmosphere since Antarctica became covered with ice more than 15 million years ago. Moffett Field - Aug 12, 2003
Water released from Lake Vostok, deep beneath the south polar ice sheet, could gush like a popped can of soda if not contained, opening the lake to possible contamination and posing a potential health hazard to NASA and university researchers.
A team of scientists that recently investigated the levels of dissolved gases in the remote Antarctic lake found the concentrations of gas in the lake water were much higher than expected, measuring 2.65 quarts (2.5 liters) of nitrogen and oxygen per 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) of water.
According to scientists, this high ratio of gases trapped under the ice will cause a gas-driven "fizz" when the water is released.
"Our research suggests that U.S. and Russian teams studying the lake should be careful when drilling because high gas concentrations could make the water unstable and potentially dangerous," said Dr. Chris McKay of NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley.
McKay is lead author of a paper on the topic published in the July issue of the 'Geophysical Research Letters' journal. "We need to consider the implications of the supercharged water very carefully before we enter this lake," said Dr. Peter Doran, a co-author and associate professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Lake Vostok is a rich research site for astrobiologists, because it is thought to contain microorganisms living under its thick ice cover, an environment that may be analogous to Jupiter's moon, Europa. Europa contains vast oceans trapped under a thick layer of ice. Russian teams are planning to drill into Lake Vostok's 2.48 mile (four kilometer) ice cover in the near future, and an international plan calls for sample return in less than a decade.
An important implication of this finding is that scientists expect oxygen levels in the lake water to be 50 times higher than the oxygen levels in ordinary freshwater lakes on Earth. "Lake Vostok is an extreme environment, one that is supersaturated with oxygen," noted McKay. "No other natural lake environment on Earth has this much oxygen."