Thursday, September 27, 2012

Iran Cautions Citizens Against Traveling to Canada

Following the arrest and deportation of Kimberly Rivera for refusing to be redeployed to Iraq for a second time (Bush/Obama's back-door draft) in addition to harassment of Muslims, Canada should be avoided/boycotted until such time as they see fit to tell Obama to go to hell and reinstate a working democracy representative of a sovereign nation, cancel extradition treaty with criminal U.S. regime

PRESS TV
09/26/2012

Iran's Foreign Ministry has warned Iranian citizens against traveling to Canada as the wave of Iranophobia and Islamophobia has intensified in the county.


Boycott Canada tourism, products
“According to evidence, the wave of Islamophobia and Iranophobia has not stopped but has considerably increased over the past few years and this approach has affected the country’s governmental and nongovernmental authorities,” Iran's Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The statement added that the arrest and deportation of Iranian nationals under different pretexts continues and they are deprived of basic rights such as accessing their bank accounts or conducting financial transactions.

“The performance of Canadian police shows that the country’s government does not have sufficient resolve or capability to pursue crimes committed against Iranian residents.”

Referring to the murder of several Iranian nationals in Canada, the statement added that the Canadian police has not yet taken effective measures for apprehending murderers.

The Foreign Ministry pointed to the Canadian government's unilateral decision to close its embassy in Tehran, cautioning the Iranian nationals against “abuses and threats” they might face as the result of Ottawa’s discriminatory acts.

In a hostile move, Canada closed its embassy in Tehran on September 7 and ordered the Iranian diplomats in the country to leave its soil within five days.

The Canadian government has also frozen the bank accounts of many Iranian nationals living in the North American nation and banned money transfers to Iran.

Iran's Foreign Ministry slammed Canada’s unilateral decision to sever ties with Tehran, calling it a “non-professional, unconventional and unjustifiable” move.

PG/MYA/AZ/SS

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This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
 


Violence in Greece, Spain Spooks Markets

Markets not the only ones that should be spooked:  So should Obama, Merkel, Wall Street, "mainstream media" and the other thieves that presided over the biggest ripoff in recorded history; no such thing as ludicrous "austerity" as it is just a pleasing platitude for further looting, repeated by "mainstream media" over and over again to cover for their masters:  The People will take no more and the final revolt is in progress

Associated Press
By Pan Pylas
09/27/2012

LONDON (AP) — 
 
Markets were spooked Wednesday by scenes of violent protests on the streets of Athens and Madrid, which reignited concerns over Europe's ability to implement the measures needed to deal with its big debts.
 
 
No more fear:  Protester gives corporate pigs the message
A day after U.S. stocks suffered their biggest retreat in three months on comments from a leading official at the Federal Reserve, investors have grown jittery over the future of the euro. That heaped pressure on the single currency, which fell further below $1.30, and sent oil prices back below $90 a barrel.

The latest turmoil to afflict the 17-country eurozone began late Tuesday, when clashes broke out at a demonstration in Madrid that was protesting new austerity measures from the Spanish government. That was followed Wednesday by a general strike in Greece, which also turned violent.

In Europe, Spain's IBEX index led the list of fallers, closing 3.8 percent lower at 7,867.80, while the yield on the country's 10-year bond edged up to 6 percent.
 
 
Corporate pigs on the wrong side of history
Elsewhere, Germany's DAX closed 2 percent lower at 7,276.51 while the CAC-40 in France fell 2.8 percent to 3,414.84. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares ended 1.6 percent lower at 5,768.09.

The falls marked a sharp end to weeks of upbeat investor sentiment. Markets have been buoyant since the European Central Bank unveiled in August a plan to lower the borrowing rates of countries like Spain and Italy and prevent a breakup of the 17-country eurozone. Fresh stimulus measures from major central banks also boosted sentiment.

"Looking at the sea of red across my screens today it seems that markets have finally woken up to the fact that the eurozone is still in deep trouble and that the ECB alone cannot successfully pilot a safe course out of its economic maelstrom," said Mike Ingram, market analyst at BGC Partners.
 
 
EU is toast, thieving despots like Merkel, Hollande, Papoulias, Rajoy had better start looking for big rocks to hide under

"European politicians need to take heed from U.S. Founding Father Benjamin Franklin when he said 'We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately'."

U.S. stocks also fell, with the Dow Jones industrial average down 0.1 percent at 13,450 and the broader S&P 500 index 0.4 percent lower at 1,436.
 
 
While Wall Street criminals, Obama, Clinton live in luxury, Americans eat out of trash cans - if they are lucky and can dodge corporate killer pigs that now actively hunt them as homelessness in America is criminalized:  BEWARE AMERICANS, THIS COULD BE YOU
 
Wall Street also fell on Tuesday's, when investors were unnerved by a warning from the Fed's Charles Plosser that the central bank's efforts to support the world's biggest economy would likely fall short of its goals.

Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average closed down 2 percent at 8,906.70 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.8 percent to end at 20,527.73. South Korea's Kospi shed 0.6 percent to 1,980.44. China's Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.6 percent to 2,004.17.

The tensions weren't just evident in stock markets — the euro was down a further 0.3 percent at $1.2854. Only last week, it was trading at multi-month highs around $1.32.

Meanwhile, the benchmark New York oil contract was $1.89 lower at $89.48 a barrel.


Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.


This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
 

Report : One in Fifty U.S. Drone Attack Victims in Pakistan are Known Militants : 74% of Pakistanis Consider U.S. "The Enemy"

Obama, Clinton, Panetta, JCS responsible for each and every "Death by Drone" attacks along with the robotic Pentagon/CIA enlisted triggermen that unleash them; they will eventually be identified, prosecuted, executed

Belfast Telegraph
By Jerome Taylor
09/26/2012

Download Report "Living under Drones" PDF

Late in the evening on 6 June this year an unmanned drone was flying high above the Pakistani village of Datta Khel in north Waziristan.


Satanic CIA drone "operators" will be hunted down, executed
The buzz emitted by America's fleet of Predators and Reapers are a familiar sound for the inhabitants of the dusty hamlet, which lies next to a riverbed close to Pakistan's border with Afghanistan and is a stronghold for the Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur.

As the drone circled it let off the first of its Hellfire missiles, slamming into a small house and reducing it to rubble. When residents rushed to the scene of the attack to see if they could help they were struck again.

According to reports at the time, three local rescuers were killed by a second missile whilst a further strike killed another three people five minutes later. In all, somewhere between 17 and 24 people are thought to have been killed in the attack.

The Datta Khel assault was just one of the more than 345 strikes that have hit Pakistan's tribal areas in the past eight years but it reveals an increasingly common tactic now being used in America's covert drone wars – the "double-tap" strike.


Dead Pakistani boy, victim of U.S. CIA/Obama drone strike

 More and more, while the overall frequency of strikes has fallen since a Nato attack in 2011 killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and strained US-Pakistan relations, initial strikes are now followed up by further missiles in a tactic which lawyers and campaigners say is killing an even greater number of civilians. The tactic has cast such a shadow of fear over strike zones that rescuers often wait for hours before daring to visit the scene of an attack.


Child victim of Obama/CIA Predator drone strike; "I was just following orders" will not cut it this time around

"These strikes are becoming much more common," Mirza Shahzad Akbar, a Pakistani lawyer who represents victims of drone strikes, told The Independent. "In the past it used to be a one-off, every now and then. Now almost every other attack is a double tap. There is no justification for it."

The expansive use of "double-tap" drone strikes is just one of a number of more recent phenomena in the covert war run by the US against violent Islamists that has been documented in a new report by legal experts at Stanford and New York University.


Another dead Pakistani child, a young girl victim of a CIA drone strike
 
The product of nine months' research and more than 130 interviews, it is one of the most exhaustive attempts by academics to understand – and evaluate – Washington's drone wars. And their verdict is damning.

Throughout the 146-page report, which is released today, the authors condemn drone strikes for their ineffectiveness.


More Pakistan Predator drone strike victims, has Obama seen these images?

Despite assurances the attacks are "surgical", researchers found barely 2 per cent of their victims are known militants and that the idea that the strikes make the world a safer place for the US is "ambiguous at best."

Researchers added that traumatic effects of the strikes go far beyond fatalities, psychologically battering a population which lives under the daily threat of annihilation from the air, and ruining the local economy.


Pakistani boy Syed Wali Shah Aged 7, killed by CIA drone strike / Noor Behram
 
They conclude by calling on Washington completely to reassess its drone-strike programme or risk alienating the very people they hope to win over. They also observe that the strikes set worrying precedents for extra-judicial killings at a time when many nations are building up their unmanned weapon arsenals.

The Obama administration is unlikely to heed their demands given the zeal with which America has expanded its drone programme over the past two years. Reapers and Predators are now active over the skies of Somalia and Yemen as well as Pakistan and – less covertly – Afghanistan. 

But campaigners like Mr Akbar hope the Stanford/New York University research may start to make an impact on the American public.

"It's an important piece of work," he said. "No one in the US wants to listen to a Pakistani lawyer saying these strikes are wrong. But they might listen to American academics."


Pakistani girl Noor-Syed age 8, killed by CIA Predator drone strike
 
Reprieve, the charity which is trying to challenge drone strikes in the British, Pakistani and American courts, said the report detailed how the fallout from the extra-judicial strikes must be measured in terms of more than deaths and injuries alone.

"An entire region is being terrorised by the constant threat of death from the skies," said Reprieve's director, Clive Stafford Smith.


Serial murderer, Terrorist-In-Chief racist Obama could obviously care less about dead Pakistani and Afghan children

"Their way of life is collapsing: kids are too terrified to go to school, adults are afraid to attend weddings, funerals, business meeting or anything that involves gathering in groups."

Some of the most harrowing personal testimonies involve those who have witnessed "double-tap" strikes.

Researchers said people in Waziristan – the tribal area where most of the strikes take place – are "acutely aware of reports of the practice of follow-up strikes", and explained that the secondary strikes have discouraged ordinary civilians from coming to one another's rescue.

One interviewee, describing a strike on his in-laws' home, said a follow-up missile killed would-be rescuers. "Other people came to check what had happened; they were looking for the children in the beds and then a second drone strike hit those people."


Enraged Pakistanis vow revenge for U.S. CIA/Obama drone attacks
 
A father of four, who lost one of his legs in a drone strike, admitted: "We and other people are so scared of drone attacks now that when there is a drone strike, for two or three hours nobody goes close to [the location of the strike]. We don't know who [the victims] are, whether they are young or old, because we try to be safe."

TESTIMONIES

"The villagers brought us the news."

Khairullah Jan, whose brother was killed in a drone attack:

"I was ... going to my house. That's when I heard a drone strike and I felt something in my heart. I thought something had happened, but we didn't get to know until the next day. That's when all the villagers came and brought us news that [my brother] had been [killed]... I was drinking tea when I found out. [My] entire family was there."

Waleed Shiraz, who was studying for a BA before he was injured by a strike:

"My father was asleep ? and I was studying near by ? [When we got hit], [my] father's body was scattered in pieces and he died immediately, but I was unconscious for three to four days ? [Since then], I am disabled. My legs have become so weak and skinny that I am not able to walk."
"Children, women, they are all affected."


Firoz Ali Khan, a shopkeeper in the town of Miranshah:

"I have been seeing drones since the first one appeared about four to five years ago ? [We see drones] hovering [24 hours a day but] we don't know when they will strike ? People are afraid of dying ? Children, women, they are all psychologically affected. They look at the sky to see if there are drones? [They] make such a noise that everyone is scared."



Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.


This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

“War on Iran Will Trigger World War III”

Exactly what Obama, Netanyahu, EU despots require to stay in power as The People revolt against the greatest ripoff in recorded history

Global Research
By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
09/24/2012

 “Our defensive power has been created on the basis of our defensive strategy and the presumption ruling our defensive strategy is that we will enter an massive battle with a US-led coalition.”  Brigadier General Hossein Salami, IRGC Deputy Commander, September  2012)
 
Both the US and Israel have threatened to implement a preemptive first strike attack against Iran, the consequences of which would be devastating. 
 
 
Test firing of Iranian Shahab 3 missile capable of sinking U.S. ships
Responding to these ongoing threats, Iran’s Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) General Amir Ali Hajizadeh has warned that a US-Israeli military attack against Iran could lead to the outbreak of a Third World War. He also intimated that Israel cannot launch a war without the green-light from the US.

If such a war were to be launched, according to General Hajizadeh, a scenario of uncontrolled military escalation is likely to occur. If attacked, Iran would retaliate against both Israeli and US targets including US military facilities in neighboring countries (ie. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Gulf States):

Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force General Amir Ali Hajizadeh warned the US and the Zionist regime [Israel] that an attack on Iran will likely trigger World War III.

Speaking to the Arabic news network, Al-Alam on Sunday, General Hajizadeh said the US and the Israeli regime may not enter war with Iran “independent from each other, meaning that either one of these two starts the war, it will be joined by the other one."
 
 
Iran has enough anti-ship missiles in it's arsenal to turn the Persian gulf into a ship junkyard

“We see the US and the Zionist regime standing fully on the side of each other and we cannot imagine the Zionist regime initiating a war without the US backup. Due to the same reason, if a war breaks out, we will definitely wage battle on both sides and will definitely be engaged with the US bases,” he said.

“In case such conditions arise, a series of incidents will take place which will not be controllable and manageable and such a war might turn into a third world war. That means, certain countries may enter the war for or against Iran,” added the general.

The IRGC commander warned that in case such war is waged on Iran, the US bases in “those countries around us and inside the neighboring countries will be targeted and they will even be threatened by the nations of these very states”. (Fars News Agency, September 23, 2012, emphasis added).
 
 
Iranian Zafar anti-ship cruise missile

The World is at a dangerous crossroads. The statement of General Hajizadeh must be taken seriously.

Active war preparations against Iran have been ongoing for the last eight years. Since 2005, the US and its allies, including America’s NATO partners and Israel, have been involved in the extensive deployment and stockpiling of advanced weapons systems. The air defense systems of the US, NATO member countries and Israel are fully integrated. Israel cannot act without the support of its allies.

This is a coordinated endeavor of the Pentagon, NATO and Israel’s Defense Force (IDF) directed against Iran. Several non-NATO partner countries including the frontline Arab states (members of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative) are also involved.

Media Disinformation

Public opinion, swayed by media hype is tacitly supportive, indifferent or ignorant as to the likely impacts of what is upheld as an ad hoc “punitive” operation directed against Iran’s nuclear facilities rather than an all out war. 
 
 
[US]Al Jazeera, BBC, other Western "media" shill for Obama, Netanyahu, support war with Iran to cover for their own support of illegal wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and should be tried for War Crimes

The war on Iran is presented to public opinion as an issue among others. It is not viewed as a threat to humanity. Quite the opposite: it is viewed as a humanitarian endeavor.

Retaliation


The Western media is beating the drums of war. The purpose is to tacitly instil, through repeated media reports, ad nauseam, within people’s inner consciousness, the notion that the Iranian threat is real and that the Islamic Republic should be “taken out."
 
 
This missile and it's counterparts aimed at, capable of striking Israel

Iran has significant military capabilities. The fact that an attack on Iran could lead to retaliation and escalation which could potentially unleash a “global war” is not a matter of concern.

While the Islamic Republic does not constitute a threat to the security of Israel, Iran’s military brass has emphasized that in the case of an attack on Iran, retaliation against Israel is contemplated, with potentially devastating consequences:

On Saturday, IRGC’s top Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said an enemy invasion of Iran is possible, but such a war would put an end to the life of the Zionist regime of Israel.
….

“War may break out, but if Zionists [Israeli government] start something, that will be the point of their annihilation and the endpoint of their story,” he added. 
 
 
Iranian Mehrab anti-ship missile
Jafari, meantime, underlined that “no one dares to wage an extensive ground assault on Iran”.

The General said if the enemy were wise, there wouldn’t be any problem, “but the problem is that there is no guarantee for this rationality and we should be prepared too.

 
 
Later yesterday, his deputy, Brigadier General Hossein Salami, cautioned that any possible attack on the Islamic Republic of Iran by the Zionist regime would provide an opportunity for Tehran to wipe the regime off the earth.

“If the Zionists embark on attacking Iran, it will provide a historical opportunity for the Islamic Revolution to wipe them off the world’s geographical history,” Salami said on Saturday night on the state-run TV.

“We are now through with concerns about the Zionist regime’s threats,” he said, adding that Israel has bitter memories of its last-decade wars with the regional allies of the Islamic Republic, including Hezbollah and Hamas Movement.

“(Given the above-mentioned failures) how does it (the Zionist regime) want to be a threat against the Islamic Republic of Iran?” Salami asked. 
 
 
Iranian al-Quds special forces more than capable of mopping up any pussy IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) left over after initial strike

He, meantime, underlined Iran’s preparedness to confront any aggression against the country, and said, “Our defensive power has been created on the basis of our defensive strategy and the presumption ruling our defensive strategy is that we will enter an massive battle with a US-led coalition.”

On Friday, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Seyed Hassan Firouzabadi also warned that Tehran would reciprocate any aggression against the country with an “immediate” and “non-stop” response, stressed.

“We do not feel threatened by the boastful remarks of Zionist leaders, because they are creatures with deep fright who continue crying out since they know that Iran’s response to threats will be readymade, immediate and non-stop,” Major General Firouzabadi told reporters on the sidelines of September 21 military parades marking the anniversary of the Week of Sacred Defense here in Tehran on Friday morning.

“The Zionist regime officials have declared in their (military) estimates that military operations against Iran neither can be done by Israel nor is useful for them,” he added.

He also stated that Iran’s armed forces today are unpredictable and their strategy and actions cannot be foreseen by the enemies.

The Sacred Defense Week, commemorating Iranians’ sacrifices during the 8 years of Iraqi imposed war on Iran in 1980s, started on Friday with nationwide parades by various units of the Islamic Republic Army, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Basij (volunteer) forces in Southern Tehran. (Fars News Agency, September 23, 2012, emphasis added)

Reverse the Tide of War


We call upon our readers to spread the message far and wide.

We call upon people across the land, in America, Western Europe, Israel, Turkey and around the world to rise up against this military project, against their governments which are supportive of military action against Iran, against the media which serves to camouflage the devastating implications of a war against Iran.

The people of Israel are largely united against Prime Minister Netanyahu’s resolve to attack Iran.

A protocol of non-aggression should be reached between Israel and Iran.
 

Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.


This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.





 

Iranian Forces Ready to Counter Israeli Threats : Iran General

Israel soon to open largest parking lot in Middle East with Netanyahu, Obama and Clinton as ticket takers

PRESS TV
09/26/2012

Commander of the Iranian Army's Ground Forces Brigadier General Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan says Iran is prepared to counter Israel’s threats against the Islamic Republic.


Obama:  Desperate, dumber than dogshit
“Iran has the necessary preparedness to counter threats posed by the Zionist Regime [of Israel],” Pourdastan said on Wednesday.

Israel has repeatedly threatened to attack Iran's nuclear energy facilities under the false allegation that Iran pursues a non-civilian nuclear energy program.

Iran has rejected the allegation over its nuclear energy activities and has promised a crushing response to any military strike against its territory.

“We have marine, aerial and ground defense plans for defending the borders of the Islamic Republic,” the Iranian commander added.


Another illegal war:  More dead Americans
Referring to the US minesweeping drill in the Persian Gulf, Pourdastan described the exercise as “passive.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is monitoring the maneuver and will carry out plans in proportion to it,” Pourdastan said.

The U.S. exercises began on September 16 and are scheduled to wrap up on September 27.

The U.S. Navy claims that the exercises are purely defensive and not directed at any country.




MYA/AZ/SS

Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.


This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


 

What Does it Mean to be Human?

Ancient "Hobbit" people of Flores Island, Indonesia obviously have it over Obama, Clinton, Nutcase Netanyahu

The Smithsonian
09/27/2012

The Island of Flores

Flores is one of many Wallacean islands, which lie east of Wallace's Line and west of Lydekker's Line. Wallacean islands are interesting because they have rarely, if ever, been connected via land bridges to either the Asian continent to the west or the Greater Australian continent to the east. This longstanding separation from the surrounding continents has severely limited the ability of animal species to disperse either into or away from the Wallacean islands. Thus, on Flores there were only a small number of mammal and reptile species during the entire Pleistocene. These included komodo dragons and other smaller monitor lizards, crocodiles, several species of Stegodon (an extinct close relative of modern elephants), giant tortoise, and several kinds of small, medium, and large-bodied rats.


Father Verhoeven near site of one of his excavations on Flores
During the 1950s and 60s, a Dutch priest named Father Theodor Verhoeven lived and worked on Flores at a Catholic Seminary. Verhoeven had a keen interest in archeology and had studied it at university. While living on Flores, he identified dozens of archeological sites and conducted excavations at many of these, including the now famous site of Liang Bua where the "hobbits" of human evolution were discovered (Homo floresiensis). Verhoeven was the first to report and publish that stone tools were found in association with Stegodon remains in central Flores at several sites within the Soa Basin. He even argued that Homo erectus from Java was likely behind making the stone tools found on Flores and may have reached the island around 750,000 years ago. At the time, paleoanthropologists took little notice of Verhoeven's claims or if they did, they discounted them outright.


Archaeological excavations at Liang Bua

Almost thirty years later, an Indonesian-Dutch research team uncovered evidence at the Soa Basin which confirmed Verhoeven's original findings. This team even went further by dating some of the stone tools and fossils using paleomagnetism (a method of determining the age of ancient sediments) and showed they were probably around 700,000 years old. These new findings did not become widely known within the paleoanthropological community until additional sediments were dated using a different technique called zircon fission-track analysis. Thus, by the late 1990s more scientists were beginning to accept the possibility that another human species (likely Homo erectus) had crossed the Wallace Line and reached Flores well before our own species, Homo sapiens, had evolved in Africa around 200,000 years ago.


The uncovering of the partial human skeleton Homo floresiensis

In 2001, an Indonesian-Australian research team began excavations at a large limestone cave located in west central Flores. This cave, known as Liang Bua (which means "cool cave"), was first excavated by Father Verhoeven in 1965. Professor Raden Soejono, the leading archeologist in Indonesia, heard about Liang Bua from Verhoeven and conducted six different excavations there from the late 1970s until 1989. All of this early work at Liang Bua only explored deposits that occurred within the first three meters of the cave floor. These deposits are dated to within the last 10,000 years and contain considerable archeological and faunal evidence of modern human use of the cave, as well as skeletal remains of modern humans. However, in 2001 the new goals were to excavate deeper into the cave's stratigraphy to explore if modern or pre-modern humans were using Liang Bua prior to 10,000 years ago. In September of 2003, they got their answer.

The Discovery of Homo floresiensis

On Saturday, September 6, 2003, Indonesian archeologist Wahyu Saptomo was overseeing the excavation of Sector VII at Liang Bua. Benyamin Tarus, one of the locally hired workers, was excavating the 2 x 2 meter square when all of a sudden the top of a skull began to reveal itself. Six meters beneath the surface of the cave, Wahyu immediately joined Benyamin and the two of them slowly and carefully removed some more sediment from around the top of the skull. Wahyu then asked Indonesian faunal expert Rokus Due Awe to inspect the excavated portion of the skull. Rokus told Wahyu that the skull definitely belonged to a hominin and most likely that of a small child given the size of its braincase. Two days later, the team returned to the site and Thomas Sutikna, the Indonesian archeologist in charge of the excavations, joined Wahyu at the bottom of the square. After several days, enough of the cranium and mandible had been exposed for Rokus to realize that this was no small child; instead, all of its teeth were permanent meaning that this was a fully grown adult. A few weeks later, the team had recovered the rest of this hominin's partial skeleton, the likes of which had never been discovered before. Today, this specimen is referred to as LB1 (Liang Bua 1), and is the holotype specimen for the species Homo floresiensis.


Pleistocene coastlines of the Asian and Greater Australian continents

At the time of the discovery, the Liang Bua Research Team included specialists in archeology, geochronology, and faunal identification, but there was no physical anthropologist. Dr. Mike Morwood, the co-leader of the project, invited his colleague at the University of New England in Australia, Dr. Peter Brown, to lead the description and analysis of the skeletal remains. Dr. Brown is an expert on cranial, mandibular, and dental anatomy of early and modern humans and he agreed to apply his expertise to the study of the new bones from Liang Bua. This important scientific work resulted in the first descriptions of these skeletal remains in the journal Nature on October 28, 2004. This work also gave the scientific name, Homo floresiensis, to the hominin species that is represented by the skeletal material from the Late Pleistocene sediments at Liang Bua.

Just before the two Nature articles on Homo floresiensis were published in 2004, the Liang Bua Research Team uncovered additional skeletal material. This included the arm bones of LB1, and several bones of another individual, LB6, including the mandible and other bones of the arm. Drs. Morwood and Brown, and other Indonesian and Australian members of the Liang Bua Research Team, described and analyzed these new skeletal remains of Homo floresiensis and again published their results in Nature on October 13, 2005.


The holotype specimen of Homo floresiensis

The skeletal evidence suggests that adults of this species had extremely small brains (400 cubic centimeters), stood only about 1 meter (3'6") tall, and weighed around 30 kg (66 lbs). For their height, these individuals have large body masses, and in this regard appear more similar to earlier hominins like "Lucy" (Australopithecus afarensis) than they do to modern humans, including small and large-bodied people. The proportions between the upper arm (humerus) and upper leg (femur) also appear more similar to those in Australopithecus and Homo habilis than those of modern humans.

Further Research

As additional postcranial material of Homo floresiensis was being recovered, Dr. Morwood contacted Dr. Susan Larson and Dr. William Jungers, of Stony Brook University Medical Center. Drs. Larson and Jungers are experts on human evolutionary anatomy, particularly with regard to the functional morphology of the arms and legs. Dr. Larson has shown that the shoulder of Homo floresiensis is more like that in Homo erectus rather than modern humans, and Dr. Jungers has demonstrated many anatomical features of the "hobbit" foot that are shared with African apes and early hominins like Australopithecus afarensis (e.g., "Lucy"). Dr. Morwood also invited hominin brain expert Dr. Dean Falk to analyze the endocast of Homo floresiensis. Dr. Falk has identified several features in the "hobbit" brain that suggest neural reorganization despite its overall small size. Additional research focused on the paleobiology and archeology of Homo floresiensis by Drs. Morwood, Brown, Larson, Jungers, Falk, their many Indonesian colleagues, and a large international network of scientific experts, was recently published in a special issue of Journal of Human Evolution (November 2009). Discussions and summaries of some of the work included in that special issue will be presented on this web page over the coming weeks and months.


The Liang Bua Excavation Team Leaders in 2009, from left to right, Dr. Kira Westaway, Jatmiko, Dr. Mike Morwood, Dr. Matt Tocheri, Thomas Sutikna, Wahyu Saptomo, Kompyang, Rokus Due Awe, and Sri Wasisto

In total, over a dozen scientific articles have been published based on analysis of the original skeletal remains of Homo floresiensis, and hundreds of scientific articles and news stories about Homo floresiensis have appeared in print or on the web during the past seven years since the partial skeleton of LB1 was discovered. As excavations at Liang Bua and elsewhere on Flores continue, we will keep you up-to-date on the latest discoveries and scientific analyses of materials related to Homo floresiensis, the so-called "hobbits" of human evolution. One of our Human Origins Program researchers, Dr. Matt Tocheri who has studied the wrist of Homo floresiensis, is looking forward to taking part in excavations this coming summer at Liang Bua and the Soa Basin.


Bibliography

Argue, D., Donlon, D., Groves, C., Wright, R., 2006. Homo floresiensis: microcephalic, pygmoid, Australopithecus or Homo? Journal of Human Evolution 51, 360–374.

Argue, D., Morwood, M.J., Sutikna, T., Jatmiko, Saptomo, E.W., 2009. Homo floresiensis: a cladistic analysis. Journal of Human Evolution 57, 623–639.

Aziz, F., van den Bergh, G.D., Morwood, M.J., Hobbs, D.R., Collins, J., Jatmiko, Kurniawan, I., 2009. Excavations at Tangi Talo, central Flores, Indonesia. In: Aziz, F., Morwood, M.J., van den Bergh, G.D. (Eds.), Palaeontology and Archaeology of the Soa Basin, Central Flores, Indonesia. Indonesian Geological Survey Institute, Bandung, pp. 41–58.

Brown, P., Maeda, T., 2009. Liang Bua Homo floresiensis mandibles and mandibular teeth: a contribution to the comparative morphology of a new hominin species. Journal of Human Evolution 57 571–596.

Brown, P., Sutikna, T., Morwood, M.J., Soejono, R.P., Jatmiko, Saptomo, E.W., Rokus Awe Due, 2004. A new small-bodied hominin from the Late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia. Nature 431, 1055–1061.

Falk, D., Hildebolt, C., Smith, K., Morwood, M.J., Sutikna, T., Brown, P., Jatmiko, Saptomo, E.W., Brunsden, B., Prior, F., 2005. The brain of LB1, Homo floresiensis. Science 308, 242–245.

Falk, D., Hildebolt, C., Smith, K., Jungers, W., Larson, S., Morwood, M., Sutikna, T., Jatmiko, Wahyu Saptomo, E., Prior, F., 2009a. The type specimen of Homo floresiensis (LB1) did not have Laron Syndrome. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 140, 52–63.

Falk, D., Hildebolt, C., Smith, K., Morwood, M.J., Sutikna, T., Jatmiko, Saptomo, E.W., Prior, F., 2009b. LB1’s virtual endocast, microcephaly and hominin brain evolution. Journal of Human Evolution 57, 597–607.

Jungers, W.L., Harcourt-Smith, W.E.H., Wunderlich, R.E., Tocheri, M.W., Larson, S.G., Sutikna, T., Rhokus Awe Due, Morwood, M.J., 2009a. The foot of Homo floresiensis. Nature 459, 81–84.

Jungers, W.L., Larson, S.G., Harcourt-Smith, W., Morwood, M.J., Sutikna, T., Rokhus Due Awe, Djubiantono, T., 2009b. Descriptions of the lower limb skeleton of Homo floresiensis. Journal of Human Evolution 57, 538–554.

Larson, S.G., Jungers,W., Tocheri, M.W., Orr, C.M., Morwood, M.J., Sutikna, T., Rokhus Due Awe, Djubiantono, T., 2009. Descriptions of the upper limb skeleton of Homo floresiensis. Journal of Human Evolution 57, 555–570.

Morwood, M.J., van Oosterzee, P., 2007. The Discovery of the Hobbit: The Scientific Breakthrough that Changed the Face of Human History. Random House, Sydney, Australia.

Morwood, M.J., Brown, P., Sutikna, T., Jatmiko, Saptomo, E.W., Westaway, K.E., Roberts, R.G., Rokus Awe Due, Maeda, T., Wasisto, S., Djubiantono, T., 2005. Further evidence for small-bodied hominins from the Late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia. Nature 437, 1012–1017.

Morwood, M.J., O’Sullivan, P., Aziz, F., Raza, A., 1998. Fission track age of stone tools and fossils on the east Indonesian island of Flores. Nature 392, 173–176.

Morwood, M.J., Soejono, R.P., Roberts, R.G., Sutikna, T., Turney, C.S.M.,Westaway, K.E., Rink, W.J., Zhao, J.-x., van den Bergh, G.D., Rokus Awe Due, Hobbs, D.R., Moore, M.W., Bird, M.I., Fifield, L.K., 2004. Archaeology and age of a new hominin from Flores in eastern Indonesia. Nature 431, 1087–1091.

Morwood, M.J., Sutikna, T., Saptomo, E.W., Jatmiko, Hobbs, D.R., Westaway, K.E., 2009. Preface: research at Liang Bua, Flores, Indonesia. Journal of Human Evolution 57, 437–449.

Sondaar, P.Y., van den Bergh, G.D., Mubroto, B., Aziz, F., de Vos, J., Batu Unkap, L., 1994. Middle Pleistocene faunal turnover and colonization of Flores (Indonesia) by Homo erectus. Comptes Rendus de l’Academie des Sciences 320, 1255–1262.

Tocheri, M.W., Caley, M., Orr, C.M., Larson, S.G., Sutikna, T., Jatmiko, Saptomo, E.W., Rokus Awe Due, Djubiantono, T., Morwood, M.J., Jungers, W.L., 2007. The primitive wrist of Homo floresiensis and its implications for hominin evolution. Science 317, 1743–1745.

van den Bergh, G.D., Meijer, H.J.M., Rokhus Due Awe, Morwood, M.J., Szabo´ , K., van den Hoek Ostende, L.W., Sutikna, T., Saptomo, E.W., Piper, P.J., Dobney, K.M., 2009. The Liang Bua faunal remains: a 95 k.yr. sequence from Flores, East Indonesia. Journal of Human Evolution 57, 527–537.

van den Bergh, G.D., Mubroto, B., Sondaar, P.Y., de Vos, J., 1996. Did Homo erectus reach the island of Flores? Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association Bulletin (Chiang Mai Papers) 14, 27–36.

Verhoeven, T., 1953. Eine Mikrolithenkultur in Mittel- und West-Flores. Anthropos 48, 597–612.

Verhoeven, T., 1958. Pleistozane funde in Flores. Anthropos 53, 264–265.

Verhoeven, T. 1968. Pleistozane funde auf Flores, Timor and Sumba. In: Geburtstag von P.W. Schmidt, (Ed.), Anthropica, Gedenkschrift zum 100. Studia Instituti Anthropos 21, St Augustin bei Bonn, pp. 393–403.






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