Intl. Notebook | Mondo Bizarro Nov 10 2009
SANDS OF TIME
Lost army found in Egyptian desert by two former shockumentary directors.

It reads like the backstory of an Indiana Jones movie: 2500 years ago an army of 50,000 men vanished without a trace in the Egyptian desert. At least, this was the account by Greek historian Herodotus. He wrote that the army had been sent by the Persian king Cambyses from Thebes to destroy the Oracle of Amun, located in the Oasis of Siwa. But the army never made it to Siwa. Instead they were swallowed up by a great storm that, according to Herodotus, “[brought] with it vast columns of whirling sand, which entirely covered up the troops and caused them wholly to disappear.” 

Now two Italian researchers, twin brothers Angelo and Alfredo Castiglioni, appear to have substantiated Herodotus’s story by locating a field of ancient skeletal remains in Egypt. Along with the bones, some of which you see above, the Castiglionis found bronze weapons, jewelry, and arrow tips. The two were already highly respected for their discovery twenty years ago of the lost city of Berenike Panchrysos, located in modern day Sudan. They presented these new findings at the archaeological film festival of Rovereto, Italy, to much acclaim.
 
However, we found it odd that two men described in all the articles we saw as “top researchers” presented their discoveries in a film rather than a scientific journal, so we did some research of our own and found that two Italian siblings/filmmakers also named Angelo and Alfredo Castiglioni gave us five controversial African shockumentaries in the 1970s, including Addio ultimo uomo, Africa ama, and Africa dolce e selvaggia, films in which audiences saw unedited footage of the severing of a penis, the skinning of a human corpse, the deflowering of a girl with a stone phallus, and a group of hunters tearing apart an elephant’s carcass.
 
Are these Castiglionis the same two guys? They’d be in their early seventies by now, but yes, it’s the same pair. Not one website we saw made this connection, so we’ll just pat ourselves on the back. We haven't seen the Castiglionis' films, but we don't particularly like the type because they present African life as something savage and cruel while helping to blind Westerners to the fact that our mass shootings and modern warfare are far bloodier and more destructive. But if you’re interested in learning how much people can mellow over the years, have a viewing of these respected researchers’ early shock flicks. They’ll probably give you nightmares, but they also prove that restless, morbid, voyeuristic minds can eventually mature. Which means there’s hope for us here at Pulp. 

Update: At least one expert has called the discovery a hoax. Details here. Those Castiglionis are sneaky devils.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
October 17
1933—Capone Sentenced to Prison
Chicago organized crime boss Al Capone is convicted of income tax evasion after all other attempts to tie him to an assortment of crimes, from the mass murder of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre to widespread violations of the Volstead Act, fail. He is sentenced to eleven years in federal prison and, cut off from the outside world while on Alcatraz Island, his power is finally broken.
October 16
1964—China Detonates Nuke
At the Lop Nur test site located between the Taklamakan and Kuruktag deserts, the People's Republic of China detonates its first nuclear weapon, codenamed 596 after the month of June 1959, which is when the program was initiated.
1996—Handgun Ban in the UK
In response to a mass shooting in Dunblane, Scotland that kills 16 children, the British Conservative government announces a law to ban all handguns, with the exception .22 caliber target pistols. When Labor takes power several months later, they extend the ban to all handguns.
October 15
1945—Laval Executed
Pierre Laval, who was the premier of Vichy, France, which had collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, is shot by a firing squad for treason. In subsequent years it emerges that Laval may have considered himself a patriot whose goal was to publicly submit to the Germans while doing everything possible behind the scenes to thwart them. In at least one respect he may have succeeded: fifty percent of French Jews survived the war, whereas in other territories about ninety percent perished.
1966—Black Panthers Form
In the U.S., in Oakland, California, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale form the Black Panther political party. The Panthers are active in American politics throughout the 1960s and 1970s, but eventually legal troubles combined with a schism over the direction of the party lead to its dissolution.
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