northwest spain

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Lord Anson’s victory off Cape Finisterre by Samuel Scott.

May 14th 1747 – The First Battle of Cape Finisterre saw 14 British ships of the line under Admiral George Anson attack a French 30-ship convoy commanded by Admiral de la Jonquière during the War of the Austrian Succession. 

The British captured 4 ships of the line, 2 frigates and 7 merchantmen, in a five-hour battle in the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Finisterre in northwest Spain. One French frigate, one French East India Company warship and the other merchantmen escaped.

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All 7 soviet/russian nuclear submarines sunk in accidents, the most of any nation that operates this type of vessels, left to right, top to bottom:

K-27: The only Project 645 submarine (a variant of the Project 627 November class with liquid metal cooled reactors), it was irreparably damaged by a reactor accident (control rod failure) on May 24, 1968. 9 were killed in the reactor accident. After shutting down the reactor and sealing the compartment, the Soviet Navy scuttled it in shallow water (108 ft (33 m)) in the Kara Sea on September 6, 1982, contrary to the recommendation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

K-8: A Project 627 November class submarine was lost on April 11, 1970 while being towed in rough seas following a fire on board. The submarine was initially evacuated, but 52 reembarked for the towing operation. All hands on board were lost (52), while 73 crewmen survived on the rescue vessel. Location: Bay of Biscay, 490 kilometres (260 nmi) northwest of Spain in the North Atlantic Ocean.

K-219: A Project 667A Yankee I class sub was damaged by a missile explosion on October 3, 1986, then sank suddenly while being towed after all surviving crewmen had transferred off. 6 crew members were killed. Location: 950 kilometres (510 nmi) east of Bermuda in the North Atlantic Ocean.

K-278 Komsomolets: The only Mike-class sub built sank due to a raging fire April 7, 1989. All but 5 crewmen evacuated prior to sinking. 42 died, many from smoke inhalation and exposure to the cold waters of the Barents Sea. A total of 27 crew members survived.

Soviet submarine K-429: Sank twice, first in 23 June 1983 after a series of mistakes led to a catastrophic dive that eventually killed 16 men, latter raised, she then sank again in her moorings on 13 September 1985, where she was raised again and decommissioned. 

K-141 Kursk: The Oscar II class sub sank in the Barents Sea on August 12, 2000 after an explosion in the torpedo compartment. See Kursk submarine disaster. All 118 men on board were lost. All except the bow section was salvaged.

K-159: The hulk of the decommissioned Soviet-era November class submarine sank in the Barents Sea on August 28, 2003, when a storm ripped away the pontoons necessary to keep it afloat under tow. Nine men died in the accident.

Being a soviet/russian nuclear submariner has to be one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.

This is the calm before the storm known as WOMEX, Every October, thousands of music professionals – artists, managers, presenters, label executives, press folks and the like – descend on some European city for five days of nonstop showcases, panel discussions, meetings, film screenings and schmoozing.

Officially, it’s the World Music Expo, but I’ve never heard anybody call it that in all the years I’ve been coming, off and on. (This is my seventh time at this particular rodeo.) A friend of mine calls this the “WOMEX vortex,” and he’s not wrong. This is SXSW for the international set, and where a huge chunk of music business transactions take place, with more than 2000 delegates coming from about 100 countries. Want to know what hot acts from Europe, Asia, Africa and beyond are going to be hitting the North American touring circuit in the next one to two years? This is the place to find most of them first.

WOMEX moves to a different European city every year. This year’s WOMEX is taking place in Santiago de Compostela, a small city in the northwest of Spain, in the region of Galicia. Santiago is best known as a pilgrimage site for devoted Catholics, who walk hundreds of miles across ancient paths to reach the Santiago Cathedral and what, as legend has it, is the tomb of the apostle James.

But as of tomorrow, the tourist mix is going to include a couple of thousand folks who might be more interested in Saint Cecilia – the patron saint of music. (Remember the old Simon and Garfunkel song?) Me, I’m taking one last deep breath today before diving in. - Anastasia Tsioulcas (follow along on more WOMEX adventures with me via Twitter)

This Man Claims Hitler Is Buried in Spain 

Julio Barreiro Rivas is a Spanish sculptor, composer, writer, and historian living in Venezuela. The octogenarian was born in the Galician province of Pontevedra and since then has led a pretty interesting life: heading up a family band called Los Hijos de la Casa Grande, masterminding an alleged orgy island for senior Venezuelan military officers, and claiming to have met Hitler. In fact, Julio has an interesting theory about Hitler: He says that history’s most despised man never killed himself at all and actually died and is buried in a cemetery in Galicia, northwest Spain.

“This finding wouldn’t change Europe’s history; it would just modify it,“ he told me modestly during a 30-minute international call. "People in Berlin and Russia know that Hitler and Eva were very unlikely to commit suicide one day after their wedding. Their friend Franco needed to compensate them for their favors in times of war, so he kept Hitler’s gold in Spain.”

Admittedly, there are a vast amount of holes in Julio’s story. Who are these “people in Berlin and Russia” who “know” for certain that Adolf and his lover would not have spent their honeymoon killing themselves? And how does he know that the former fascist dictator of Spain owed Hitler a favor? Still, Julio is committed to his tale and tells it with a burning intensity. When you speak to him, you get the feeling that this isn’t a prank, a joke, an attempt at being snide, or even some kind of artistic allegory. When I spoke with him, he genuinely seemed to believe what he was saying. 

“Even more nonsensical is the story about their bodies being burned with gasoline in the chancellery garden,” Julio continued. “Only those who would be truly interested in eradicating the memory of Hitler would believe it. That is, the Germans, who might believe it out of shame, and the Russians and the Americans, because they weren’t able to catch him.” Or just people who don’t really care about where exactly history’s most evil man is rotting. But Julio went on.

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Image of the three-engine plane on which the Führer allegedly travelled to Galicia

“Hitler set off early in the morning of April 29th, 1945, aboard a three-engine airplane. He landed in a small village called Córneas, hidden amid the mountains of Lugo, where an escort from the Guardia Civil [the Spanish military police] and some donkeys carrying saddlebags full of gold bars and other relics were waiting for him. He headed for Samos, through the towns of Cebreiro, el Hospital, and Triacastela, where he would eventually meet a committee from Samos’s convent. I don’t think anyone can refute my theory, since I saw Hitler, alive and kicking, in the convent.”

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Old Blue Eyes

This is the skeleton of the 7,000-year-old hunter-gatherer whose genome was recently sequenced, revealing that he had dark skin like his African ancestors, but blue eyes that would become widespread among his European descendants.

He was a low-carb guy and lactose intolerant, we know, because he carried the ancestral forms of genes involved in breaking down lactose and starch and so was not good at digesting those things.

But his people had already evolved immune system adaptations to resist tuberculosis, pneumonia and malaria, judging from mutations in the relevant genes.

The remains were discovered in 2006 at the La Braña-Arintero cave site in northwest Spain, but sequencing of the nuclear DNA was not published until January 2014.

Source: Derived immune and ancestral pigmentation alleles in a 7,000-year-old Mesolithic European by Eske Willerslev, Carles Lalueza-Fox & others, Nature (2014)

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Galicia (spain), Seventh Celtic Nation. 

While Scotland and Ireland are most commonly associated with the Celtic people, the roots of the culture are spread throughout Europe. More than a millennium ago, a Celtic tribe known as the Gallaeci settled in an area north of the Douro River. The region became modern day Galicia, which is in northwest Spain and is today considered the seventh of the original Celtic nations, along with Eire (Ireland), Kernow (Cornwall), Mannin (Isle of Mann), Breizh (Brittany), Alba (Scotland) and Cymru (Wales).

The evidence is everywhere, from the Galician language – which contains a significant amount of words of Celtic origin and is spoken by more than three million people – to the pagan festivals and rituals that continue to flourish in the region. The pallozas, or round stone huts (pictured), date back 2,500 years and are believed to be of Celtic origin. 

Read more at: http://www.bbc.com/travel/slideshow/20131203-where-is-the-seventh-celtic-nation

vice.com
Writer Claims Hitler Is Buried in Spain, Did Not Commit Suicide

Julio Barreiro Rivas is a Spanish sculptor, composer, writer, and historian living in Venezuela. The octogenarian was born in the Galician province of Pontevedra and since then has led a pretty interesting life: heading up a family band called Los Hijos de la Casa Grande, masterminding an alleged orgy island for senior Venezuelan military officers, and claiming to have met Hitler. In fact, Julio has an interesting theory about Hitler: He says that history’s most despised man never killed himself at all and actually died and is buried in a cemetery in Galicia, northwest Spain.

“This finding wouldn’t change Europe’s history; it would just modify it,“ he told me modestly during a 30-minute international call. "People in Berlin and Russia know that Hitler and Eva were very unlikely to commit suicide one day after their wedding. Their friend Franco needed to compensate them for their favors in times of war, so he kept Hitler’s gold in Spain.”

Admittedly, there are a vast amount of holes in Julio’s story. Who are these “people in Berlin and Russia” who “know” for certain that Adolf and his lover would not have spent their honeymoon killing themselves? And how does he know that the former fascist dictator of Spain owed Hitler a favor? Still, Julio is committed to his tale and tells it with a burning intensity. When you speak to him, you get the feeling that this isn’t a prank, a joke, an attempt at being snide, or even some kind of artistic allegory. When I spoke with him, he genuinely seemed to believe what he was saying. 

“Even more nonsensical is the story about their bodies being burned with gasoline in the chancellery garden,” Julio continued. “Only those who would be truly interested in eradicating the memory of Hitler would believe it. That is, the Germans, who might believe it out of shame, and the Russians and the Americans, because they weren’t able to catch him.” Or just people who don’t really care about where exactly history’s most evil man is rotting. But Julio went on.

“Hitler set off early in the morning of April 29th, 1945, aboard a three-engine airplane. He landed in a small village called Córneas, hidden amid the mountains of Lugo, where an escort from the Guardia Civil [the Spanish military police] and some donkeys carrying saddlebags full of gold bars and other relics were waiting for him. He headed for Samos, through the towns of Cebreiro, el Hospital, and Triacastela, where he would eventually meet a committee from Samos’s convent. I don’t think anyone can refute my theory, since I saw Hitler, alive and kicking, in the convent.”

I guess he’s right. Who can dispute the claims of an 80-year-old Spanish man in a funny hat? According to Julio, he was 14 when he first encountered Hitler, Eva Braun, and some other German and Italian refugees. He was helping his uncle, a stonemason, build the Guardia Civilheadquarters in Samos, and the contract included a little secret job: the construction of an underground maze beneath the building for Hitler to live in. Apparently Franco was on very good terms with Mauro Gómez, who was then serving as abbot of the monastery, and the fascist leader visited Samos in 1943. Julio said that it was thanks to this job that he got to see the Nazi fugitives.

“I was the master builder’s nephew and the friend and confidant of the monastery’s abbot. I gained the confidence of all the people lodged there. I got to meet Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva personally in 1945. Aside from being a very pretty woman, Braun was young and nice, and the only thing she could say in Spanish was, ”Hola, ¿cómo estás, guapo?” [“Hello, how are you, handsome?”] I made friends, doing a job as their errand boy. He would tell me about all the things he used to buy for them and that Germans must have a lot of money, since they handed out really generous tips.”

I asked him about the specific purpose of the tunnels, but Julio was reluctant to provide an exact answer, apparently out of respect for his trade. “Soon after I arrived in Venezuela, I was hired by a government-owned company for the construction of a holiday resort and for other projects that I consider a state secret. What would the Venezuelan people think of me if I revealed these other secrets? I was not directly hired to build the Guardia Civil headquarters in Samos or Hitler’s bunker-apartment. But I think I am the only survivor who knows where he is buried. These jobs were commissioned by Franco. What would happen if I went to Spain and lifted the stone leading to Adolf Hitler’s tomb?“

I would pay to see that. I would also pay to see Hitler dressed as a Benedictine monk waltzing around a Galician convent. It is a fact, however, that Galicia was a strategic enclave for the Führer. Germans kept antennae in the town of Cospeito, submarines in the waters of the Atlantic coast, an airport in Las Rozas (Lugo), and even a tomb in San Amaro’s cemetery in A Coruña. Some alternative historians, like Abel Basti, also support the theory that the dictator didn’t pass away in his bunker but fled to Argentina from the Galician coast. Julio explains that he doesn’t know exactly how long Hitler could have been living in Galicia, although he is confident that his remains are still there. Unless a fire that occurred in 1951 eliminated all traces.

“It looked as if the monastery fire was a case of arson, with the only purpose of burning down any trace of Hitler and his cronies from Samos Convent,” Julio asserted.

Based on this information found in a newspaper archive, Franco visited Samos again after it had been rebuilt in 1960. It wasn’t until 1947 that Julio found out how Hitler got to Galicia. “My master announced that we had to leave, loaded with suitcases crammed with iron, for the construction of a furnace. We went past El Cebreiro, arrived at Piedrafita, and we plunged into a stone path. After a long walk, we got to Córneas. The first thing we saw was the majesty of a German three-engine airplane that, as we found out, had landed there on the first of May, 1945, where it had remained for nearly a year.

“I spent three months working in Córneas. The landowner told me how they had ruined his potatoes. There were eight passengers on board, including a woman. He also said that one of the passengers got injured when landing. I believe there must be someone in this little village who remembers the plane.”

At this point, I started to feel like a detective in a Nazi B movie. It is easy to find data on the web apparently confirming that a three-engine aircraft, namely a C-352, did land in Córneas. For example, here’s a comprehensive article by Luis G. Pavón, published in issue 67–68 of theRevista Española de Historia Militar, with photographs and details about this most strange event. Most of the facts match Julio’s description: anonymous and mysterious passengers, a skilful Blue Division pilot, strange accidental deaths of some witnesses, the Guardia Civil reception, and the remains of the aircraft guarded by soldiers for months. According to this version, the plane landed in 1950, coming from Getafe (Madrid), and both the plane itself and its passengers were Spanish. I point this out to Julio.

“That story cannot be true, since by that time the war was over, and so was the Blue Division. I was at the Pontoneros barracks, in Zaragoza. The locals in Córneas told me that the plane landed on May 1, 1945, with a frightening noise. That was the same day the Second World War ended and the German disengagement was a fact, so all the Spaniards from the Blue Division had to rush out.”

I decided to travel to Córneas following in the supposed footsteps of the Führer. If you are ever looking for a place to hide and never to be found, this is it; it’s basically just a bunch of micro-villages scattered throughout a mountain valley. According to Julio, the plane landed in a spot called Escanlar, on the property known as Finca do Noceiro. The mistress of the house confirmed it happened, though she could not specify a date. “It happened many years ago; I wasn’t here at that point. My husband knows about it, but he’s napping now,” she said. I decided against asking her if Hitler was one of the passengers. “Do you know if any of the passengers were German?” I asked. “No idea,” she replied. “Those who were on board were fine. I think they just ran out of fuel.”

I asked a few more neighbors, who also said they were too young to remember. One of them said that a few years ago a Gypsy had visited the village who remembered things vividly. “He said that he came to help scrap the plane when he was a kid and that he had great memories of those days.” I didn’t find anything else, and I have no idea why I expected I would.

I asked Julio whether it was true that he had tried to contact Baltasar Garzón, the judge who avidly pursued the extradition of General Pinochet, the prosecution of the Basque separatist group ETA, and the opening of an inquiry into crimes against humanity committed by Franco. If there was one man in Spain who might be up for investigating Julio’s version of the facts, it would be Garzón.

“I went to Garzón when I found out he was interested in looking for the dead bodies of the victims of Franco’s repressive regime. It would be important for Spain and the entire world if they searched the catacombs of the monastery of Samos and found the remains of the most dreadful criminal in the history of humanity. It took me so long to tell him my version of events because there used to be a strict control over state secrets.”

Perhaps tellingly, Garzón never answered.

Hitler buried in a Galician tomb, secret tunnels, fascist monasteries, mysterious planes. Is Julio right or wrong? Is he crazy or not? Maybe no one should listen to the ranting of an 80-year-old man without skepticism. Draw your own conclusions. I only know one thing: There’s a part of me that really wants to believe.

Javi Camino reports for Vice