Angelic Descriptions in the Bible

The image of angels with white wings and golden hair did not come from the Bible. Nor did the image of chubby cherubs shooting bows come from the Book of Job. Biblical Angels were creatures of pure spirit, and thus could take many forms. Most Biblical scholars believe it’s impossible for us to know what form an Angel might take. However, they did make various appearances in the Bible and some allege to have seen them since the Biblical era.

Invisible Angels

“The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them”

Psalm 34:7

The Bible gives multiple accounts of Angels appearing invisible to humans, but still being able to affect the physical world. In Psalm 91 verse 11 it is said that God “will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Many Christians interpret this to mean Angels are surrounding us and involving themselves in human affairs daily.

Of course, this lends itself to the opposite as well, and demons too are trying to get at people daily. It invokes the concept of Spiritual warfare with prayer and communication with God at the center. From this perspective, Angels are the invisible protectors which guard and help humanity.

Depiction of an Angel appearing before a group of men in awe.
The Angel Appearing before the Shepherds’ by Thomas Buchanan Read, Dayton Art Institute

Angels Appearing as Humans

“Don’t forget to entertain strangers, because in this manner, some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

Hebrews 13:2

Angels can appear in human guise and do so in the Bible. The above verse from Hebrews is often quoted in response to the concept of Angels in human form. In Genesis, Jacob wrestles with an Angel (some believe God). The Angel then tells him he’s persevered and should now be called Israel. Many believe this to be an allegorical tale of the Israeli people’s own struggles with God.

Angels came to Abraham and Sarah in the form of men to tell them they would have a son. Sarah laughed, as she thought she was past the age of childbirth. The Angel asked her why she laughed. She gave birth to Isaac at the age of 90. Their appearance is described as men.

And he lifted up his eyes, and looked: and lo, three men stood by him, and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the ground.

Genesis 18:2

Angels Appearing as the Unknown

“Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’”

Isaiah 6: 2-3

There are a category of Angelic appearances which defy description. Here we’re simply going to call them unknown. The above which describes Angels with six wings is difficult to visualize, and we we have no earthly analog to such a creature.

It is possible the form taken during these appearances were messages in themselves. In the book of Ezekiel, the prophet is shown visions of Angels (Cherubim) with the heads of animals and four wings. He is also shown a vision of perhaps the most bizarre description of an Angel in the Bible. These are known as the Ophanim.

 “They sparkled like topaz, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not change direction as the creatures went. Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around” – Ezekiel 1: 16-18

Ezekiel 1: 16-18
A large set of white wings on a black background above the Fortean Winds Logo
“Madonna and Child with Angels” by Pietro di Domenico da Montepulciano, 1420 (Photo: Metropolitan Museum of Art Public Domain)

Modern Accounts of Angels

Modern accounts of Angels take many forms. Many of us have the felt presence of protection. Perhaps we didn’t fall when should have fallen, and marveled at the miracle of good fortune. Yet, the feeling of a presence and a warmth is often described in modern Angelic accounts, along with a pleasant scent. Some describe a white robed humanoid with a celestial glow about them, giving them the right warning at the right time to avoid danger. These accounts are often what is characterized by popular fiction as an “Angel.”

“And I was surprised they really did have wings, even more so that these wings reached from above their head to the ground”

Seeing Angels: Emma Heathcote-James · 2009

Fortean Analysis:

Our modern perception of what Angels look like, is clearly informed by the history of our art. The image of winged gods dates back to Assyria (and before). When Angels first began to appear in what has become our modern version of Christianity (post-Constantine, 4th or 5th Century AD). The art in this era didn’t include wings, and winged angel art really took off during the Renaissance. Thus forming our modern concept of what an Angel looks like.

That said, the Bible DOES mention Angels with wings. It’s just that they happen to have six of them. Not many paintings with those Angels on them. God tells Noah to put Cherubs on the ark, but the Cherubim had two sets of wings and four faces (ox, lion, eagle and human). A lot different than what you would find on a Valentine’s Day card. Then of course there is the book of Enoch which we mention in our article. The Curious Case of Moses Wilhelm Shapira. It goes a little deeper into Angelic lore. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s worth checking out.

Neil Armstrong and the Lost Library of Gold

We had to write this article because the whole thing sounds like Pulp Fiction from the 1930’s.  What’s most shocking about this story (besides the fact that Neil Armstrong did go searching for a lost library of gold in South America) is that it was so out of character for America’s first man on the moon.  He was always such a steady guy, so in 1976 when he went down to Southeastern Ecuador to look for a lost library of gold…it counts as an anomaly.  In fact, outside of the moon landing, this is the most famous expedition of the intrepid adventurer known as: Neil.

The Discovery

The expedition began with a discovery.  A local Salesian priest named Father Carlo Crespi (1891-1982) worked with the indigenous people of Ecuador.  He was a revered humanitarian, academic and historian.  He is credited with acquiring the first film footage of the native Shuar people of the region in the 1920’s, and they liked him.  They liked him a lot.  They began to bring him local artifacts they found as thanks for his kindness.  Many of the artifacts were metallic and included strange writing.

Father Carlo Crespi – With his Ethnogrpahic Collection – Wikidata

Crespi knew the natives were poor but proud.  While he thought they might be reluctant to accept donations, they would accept payment for the objects they brought to Crespi.  So, the villagers continued to bring Crespi objects and he would pay for them when he could (even if the objects were fake).  The result was a collection of 50,000 artifacts from various periods of South American history ( and not just South American).  Many of them were authentic. Over time, Father Crespi is estimated to have collected 50,000 artifacts. The objects were kept in the courtyard of the church Maria Auxiliadora in Ecuador.  However, in 1962 there was a fire and many of the objects were lost. Many of the remaining artifacts disappeared with the assumption they were sold to private collectors, claimed by the Vatican or just plain stolen.  Still, some of the artifacts remain as does photographic evidence of the collection and they contain numerous anomalies.

The objects bear similarities to artifacts from distant ancient cultures such as Babylon, Assyria, Egypt, China, and Africa.  The writing and alphabet on some of the objects is completely unknown and intricate.  It matches no known alphabet, ancient or otherwise.  Furthermore, pyramids identical to the Egyptian pyramids (rather than the stepped pyramids of South America) are depicted along with a symbol resembling the “Eye of Horus” or “Eye of Providence.”  It can be seen hovering over the top of the pyramid the same way it can be seen on the dollar bill or The Great Seal of the USA.  What remains of the objects is no longer accessible to the public and the origin and date of the artifacts remains unknown.  Naturally, this mystery attracted interest and speculation.

Depiction of a Pyramid – Father Crespi Collection

The Entrance to the Cave

In the 1960’s an explorer by the name of János Juan Móricz claimed to have discovered a library within a massive cave system which would come to be known as “La Cueva de los Tayos” or The Tayos Cave System.  He claimed to have wandered through the system until he came to a hall of man-made walls and architecture.  Within these halls were tablets made of precious metals such as gold and silver with strange writing on them.  Móricz thought they contained the history of humanity.

He claimed the symbology on the artifacts resembled ancient Sumerian and Egyptian pieces.  However, once Móricz left the cave system he (apparently) lost track of the library but was able to still identify the entrance.  The claims made by Móricz echoed the artifacts collected by Father Crespi, which made researchers wonder if Móricz had not found the source of the objects given to Crespi by the Natives.

Cueva de los Tayos, Ecuador – Google Maps

This theorizing culminated with the publication of a book by ancient astronaut theorist Erich Van Daniken titled “Gold of the Gods.”  In the book, Van Daniken expanded on the alleged findings of Móricz and publicized the idea that the Metal Library was extraterrestrial in origin.  He believed the findings in Ecuador were similar to findings at other ancient sites, such as Nan Madol in Micronesia. Van Daniken argues these sites show contact between ancient cultures over vast distances and artifacts which go beyond coincidental, and point to past contact with ancient aliens and advanced technology.

Exploration

Stan Hall was a Scottish researcher and engineer with a penchant for exploration and adventure.  He became intrigued by Móricz ‘claims and attempted to mount an expedition.  Through an acquaintance(they had a distant relation), Hall reached out to Neil Armstrong who was living on a farm in Ohio and teaching Aerospace Engineering.  For reasons of his own, Armstrong agreed to join Hall on the expedition and this added the star power needed for the expedition to gain resources.  Funding came from the governments of the United Kingdom and Ecuador, allowing Armstrong and Hall to pursue the “Metal Library” of legend.

In 1976 Hall and Armstrong entered the cave accompanied by more than a hundred people including top scientists, joint special forces and sperologists.  They did not find the library, but they did find evidence of human occupation along with a body dating back to 1500 BCE.  They also found more than 100 new species of butterflies, 40 new species of bats and 200 new species of beetles.  It’s still one of the largest cave explorations ever conducted and Neil’s second most-famous adventure.

Legend of Los Tayos 1976 program

Today, Stan Hall’s grand-daughter Eileen Hall still explores the area and leads expeditions in the hopes of finding “The Metal Library.”  The cave system entered by Armstrong and Hall has been heavily explored since the 1970’s.  There are even tours into parts of it.  Yet, there is controversy as to how much of the cave has been explored.  There is also debate as to whether or not Armstrong and Hall went through the right entrance to find the Metal Library.  Adventurers still head to the Tayos caves today in hopes of finding the hidden pathway of Juan Móricz and the Metal Library of the ancient aliens.

Analysis

Armstrong’s involvement and evidence of Father Crespi’s collection are the two strangest pieces of evidence in this affair.  Stan Hall was also known as an analytical and logical man.  While less is known of Juan Móricz, who did know the entrance to the cave system.  Yet, he (suspiciously)  did not bring back evidence of the metal library or its exact location.  Crespi’s collection is a complete unknown.  What remains of it might be in the Vatican museum or has been taken by private collectors and thieves, which would make them very hard to verify.  Finding and dating the objects in Crespi’s collection seems to be the shortest and most logical path to determining whether or not they are authentic and anomalous. So, we’ll hope one turns up available for study. Until then, we can hope one of the present day adventurers into the unknown hands us a metal library card.

Göbekli Tepe : Our Oldest Architecture and a Reminder

At 12,000 years old Göbekli Tepe predates Stonehenge by at least 6000 years. That’s a long time. That’s as long ago as Stonehenge was built compared to where we are now. So, if people from the era of Stonehenge found Göbekli Tepe, it looked to them like Stonehenge does to us today. That’s old. The site sits over 8 hectares on an artificial mound in what is now Southern Turkey and draws in researchers from around the world.

The structures qualify as architecture by any definition:

Architecturethe art or science of building

specifically the art or practice of designing and building structures and especially habitable ones

Merriam Webster Dictionary

The buildings our ancient ancestors erected were stylized, functional and habitable. That counts as architecture on all fronts. The current thinking around Göbekli Tepe’s function is that it served as a temple (or group of temples) and meeting area. Goods were likely exchanged and gatherings certainly occurred here for religious purposes. This is all occurring at a time when farming and agriculture is not supposed to exist. Which is the first of many mysteries surrounding Göbekli Tepe.

These buildings were erected during what is considered the “Pre-Pottery Neolithic” era, but that term (and what it indicates) was invented prior to discovering Göbekli Tepe. Clearly, we see a civilization far ahead of where scientific theory thought early man was prior to understanding the significance of Göbekli Tepe in 1994. The layout of the various buildings show an understanding of geometric shapes and the layout of three main structures follow an equilateral triangle.

Beytullah eles – Wikimedia commons

The art at Göbekli Tepe depicts a variety of animals and events carved in reliefs on massive stone pillars up to 5 meters high. The art shows a style and aesthetic far more advanced than would have been expected in this period (This is supposed to be Pre-Pottery Neolithic era). Of particular interest among the carvings is “The Vulture Stone.”

Sue Fleckney – CC FLikr

The Vulture Stone includes a depiction of a vulture holding an orb, egg or sphere. The significance of the sphere is debated. Some scholars say it points to the existence of a Vulture cult and the structure is a temple to this cult. Yet, further down the rock we see a relief of a scorpion and headless man. The headless man is thought to represent a catastrophe and a team of scientists from the UK think they may understand this special rock.

The Edinbugh team ran computer simulations and found the carvings on the Vulture Stone likely represented constellations. In fact, Göbekli Tepe may not have been a temple. It was likely an ancient observatory. This observatory appears to have predicted and recorded a mini ice age known as “The Younger Dryas” which occurred around 12,900 to 11,700 B.C.E..

The Younger Dryas was an incredibly important event in the history of humanity. It is believed the colder climate forced humanity to switch from nomadic hunter and gatherers to a more sedentary agriculture-based civilization. The rise in agriculture and large societies is what allowed us to create cities and share knowledge. Resulting in the evolution of our technology and science.

Yet, here in Göbekli Tepe we find a civilization which existed prior to (or on the edge of) the Younger Dryas which undoubtedly was able to process wheat. The existence of agriculture during the building and occupation of Göbekli Tepe is still debated.

We at Fortean Winds would guess that a structure of that size was not erected without some form of agriculture to feed its people. We’d go so far as to guess…they grew the #$%@ wheat.

Scientific theory can be slow to change…

Göbekli Tepe was occupied for roughly a thousand years before, for completely unknown reasons, the occupants filled it in and left. Leaving us with yet one more history mystery to uncover, and it is still literally being uncovered. If you were taught history prior to the mid-1990s you never heard of the place, and everything your history teacher was telling you about pre-pottery man…was about to change.

The history books still haven’t caught up, and they can’t. This place changes everything we knew about ancient man. So, if you’re someone who is fascinated with our ancient past. Or, if you just love the fact science is always changing…keep an eye on the discoveries being made at Göbekli Tepe. We’ve given you some good links here to start researching, but the significance of this place is still being uncovered, and there are mysteries here YOU can help uncover. Here’s a good one to start.

In 2003, Researcher Klaus Schmidt found the mound is positioned in a location filled with geomagnetic anomalies.

In 2003 a geomagnetic survey could demonstrate that
the prediction based on the archaeological surface investigations at Göbekli Tepe, that round or oval enclosures
exist all over the site and are not restricted to a specific
part of the mound, was right. More than ten large enclosures could be located in the geomagnetic map

Klaus Schmidt (NEO-LITHICS 2/03)

The connection between the Vulture Rock and the constellations was made in 2019. Our past is constantly changing and with it comes a new understanding of our present. Göbekli Tepe is a reminder to all of we still have much to learn and must continue to learn. To us at Fortean Winds, that is just plain EXCITING.

The Curious Case of Moses Wilhelm Shapira

The revered Fortean John A. Keel wrote about Moses Wilhelm Shapira. A 19th Century antiquities dealer who died of suicide by revolver in a hotel in Rotterdam. He also may have found the most exceptional biblical relic of the modern age.

You can find Moses’s story recounted by John Keel in “The Eighth Tower” on page 17, but it’s a complex story which has evolved some. Even in the last year. We thought the Wikipedia entry on Moses was solid if you’d like more information after our summary below.

Moses was an an adventurous buisnessman in the 19th Century. He became infamous during the relic craze of the 1880’s. Some of his antiquities were proven to be genuine and some were proven to be hoaxes.

His most famous and controversial find was the “Shapira Strips,” which contained a different version of the book of Deuteronomy and an eleventh commandment: “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart: I am GOD, thy GOD.”

Shapira Scrolls Rendering *public domain

When Moses presented these scrolls to experts at the time, they declared them a forgery. This disgrace ultimately lead to Moses taking his own life. However, that is not where the story ends, and it didn’t end in John’s book either. It’s still debated today. If they’re proven to be authentic, these scrolls would be about as old as the Dead Sea Scrolls. And that 11th Commandment might be hard for some people to take to take.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are used as evidence by some biblical scholars of divine intervention. The modern Christian Bible IS remarkably similar to the text of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Their accuracy over time IS remarkable. Yet, if this is proof of divine words, aren’t all of the Dead Sea Scrolls divine? Even the texts found by Moses Wilhelm Shapira?

One of the more interesting open questions is how Moses came to be in possession of these scrolls. Here we had a businessman with a spotty past in relics. How did he get a hold of (possibly) one of the greatest historical biblical finds of all time? According to Keel, some shepherds wandered into his shop and offered them up. Shapira’s account of how he came into possession of the scrolls varies. We find Keel’s account more likely given Shapira’s penchant for showmanship.

Why does it matter? Beyond the historical and biblical significance of Moses Wilhelm Shapira’s find, we see how quickly foundational theory becomes forgotten. Regardless of whether or not Shapira’s find is proven true, fragments of the Book of Enoch were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Yet, they didn’t make it into most current versions of the Bible. In case you’re unfamiliar, Enoch’s book is a wild ride.

Biblical history like all other history is subject to constant change caused by new discovery.

Does this mean there is no God? No Jesus? No Christian Church? Of course not. Shapira himself converted to Christianity. As a society we’ve unnecessarily conflated history and fact with religion. If our standard of what God intended to say is dictated by the age of his words, God will always be changing his mind. Religion is Faith pure and simple.

The Curious Case of Moses Wilhelm Shapira remains unsolved and as such becomes a grand reminder: Even our deepest held beliefs are subject to change. We shouldn’t apologize for changing our mind based on new information. For example, we at Fortean Winds are people who believe wholeheartedly in science, and we’ve been proven wrong time and time again.

To us, that is science. We’re all just learning. So, let’s be open to new discoveries and follow their threads wherever they may lead. Keep your faith close to you while we do, our research has lead us to believe Faith has a power of its own.

We do believe science will ultimately solve the mystery of the authenticity of Moses Wilhelm Shapira’s find. What that means is entirely up to you.

The Oldest Human Anomalies

For our first ancient history post we thought it made sense to start at the beginning. Evolutionary history is interesting, and the competing species of humans, is also an interesting piece of our history which is still being uncovered. In terms of evolutionary history, we’ll just say something resembling humans existed 6 million years ago and one of those species became Australopithecus.

From Australopithecus developed the genus homo somewhere around 2.8 million years ago, and from a data driven anomalists perspective, this is where things start to get interesting. They started making stone tools, and that gives us more to go off of than the fossil record.

First stone tool dated 3.3 million years ago. *fair use

There are certainly many mysteries buried in our deep past, but we simply have no way of knowing what they are unless we find a fossil or remnants of humanity.

Theories abound involving everything from aliens to monsters. Yet, we’re lucky to find bones which predate the homo genus. So, we don’t hold out much hope for discovering links to anomalies we study in the time before civilization.

We’ll just point out the one anomaly we just told you and go back to fossils. The genus of homo is supposed to have coincided with the rise of the making of stone tools. Yet, the picture above shows a stone tool existing 500k years before the homo genus. This is odd. A distant human ancestor was using stone tools.

When the homo genus arrives on the scene (2.8 million years ago), they have bigger brains and more tool making.

A huge barrier in front of our window to the past is created by the fossil record (or lack thereof). Not everything that dies creates a fossil. Bones turn to dust unless something intervenes.

So, in order to preserve bones and DNA we need something to die in a specific way, or under specific circumstances. Something like a dying creature falling into tree sap (a la Jurassic Park) will do it. Many fossils are contained in layers of rock, and these layers give us a good idea of when they existed.

Yet as you can see from the modern record, fossil preservation is somewhat random. Therefore, many creatures have come and gone on this planet, and we have no idea what they were.

From what we currently know, humanity began or was located in Africa. Our ancestors left Africa in two waves. The first wave occurred between 130k to 100k years ago. The second wave came around 70k to 50k years ago.

Here is another area which is ripe for theory and exploration. Why did they end up settling where they did and when? Australia 65k years ago, Eurasia 60k years ago and Americas 15k years ago. Shifting geography and migration patterns account for much of the movement in this time, but we find the specifics of where these groups chose to settle fascinating.

Many ancient dwelling are located near water sources which makes perfect sense, but what about the ones which are not? Why mine granite rocks 500 miles away from the Egyptian pyramids? Seems an awful long way to carry them. We’re just using Egypt as an example of a strange megalithic site. There are many more. Why was Stonehenge built? No one knows. Period. Thus, as humanity begins to build and create art. We find evidence of our first anomalies.

We’ll look forward to exploring some of the ancient sites with you in greater detail. For example, the “Baghdad Batteries” are likely actual batteries which date back to 300 b.c.

Now that’s an anomaly.

Coming Soon:

Industrialization

Modern Era

Information Age

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