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Remains found of backpacker who disappeared 23 years ago

<p>Police have located the remains of a backpacker who was last seen 23 years ago. </p> <p>In 2001, Kellie Ann Carmichael, who was 24 at the time, left her hostel in Katoomba to go for a walk and was never seen again.</p> <p>Now during an unrelated search in the Blue Mountains bushland, NSW Police have located human remains that, after initial testing, have been confirmed to be the young backpacker from Geelong. </p> <p>At the time of her disappearance, Kellie was last seen by staff at a Katoomba hostel on 29th April 2001, as she had told staff she would return that day to collect her belongings.</p> <p>Her parents contacted hostel staff on May 5th, and after discovering her belongings were still at reception, they reported her missing to police.</p> <p>After police launched an investigation into her disappearance, it was believed that Carmichael had taken her own life, due to her ongoing struggles with schizophrenia. </p> <p>However, Kellie's mother Margaret knew her daughter wouldn't commit suicide, telling the <em><a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=DTWEB_WRE170_a&amp;dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailytelegraph.com.au%2Fnews%2Fgeelong%2Fnagging-questions-after-bones-of-geelong-backpacker-kellie-ann-carmichael-found-in-blue-mountains%2Fnews-story%2F6fcb6509f4d56312b67c46993e99c0cd&amp;memtype=anonymous&amp;mode=premium&amp;v21=LOW-Segment-1-SCORE" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Geelong Advertiser</a></em>, "We know that, and everyone who knew her knows that."</p> <p>"She wasn't well at the time but she loved life and was a beautiful girl."</p> <p>Her father, John, said the grim developments had taken their toll on the couple, who are now hoping to take her remains back home to Victoria. </p> <p>In 2011, a $200,000 reward was issued for information related to the case, after a coronial inquest ruled Carmichael had died but was unable to provide a direct cause or circumstances.</p> <p>Carmichael’s parents have previously said they felt robbed by their daughter’s mysterious disappearance.</p> <p>“We’ve never had the chance to have our daughter … our family has never been the same,” Margaret Carmichael said in 2011.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Missing Persons Register / NSW Police </em></p> <p> </p>

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MH370 disappearance 10 years on: can we still find it

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/charitha-pattiaratchi-110101">Charitha Pattiaratchi</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-western-australia-1067">The University of Western Australia</a></em></p> <p>It has been ten years since Malaysia Airlines passenger flight MH370 <a href="https://theconversation.com/lessons-to-learn-despite-another-report-on-missing-flight-mh370-and-still-no-explanation-100764">disappeared on March 8 2014</a>. To this day it remains one of the biggest aviation mysteries globally.</p> <p>It’s unthinkable that a modern Boeing 777-200ER jetliner with 239 people on board can simply vanish without any explanation. Yet multiple searches in the past decade have still not yielded the main wreckage or the bodies of the victims.</p> <p>At a remembrance event held earlier this week, the Malaysian transport minister announced <a href="https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/malaysia-says-mh370-search-must-go-10-years-after-plane-vanished-2024-03-03/">a renewed push for another search</a>.</p> <p>If approved by the Malaysian government, the survey will be conducted by United States seabed exploration firm Ocean Infinity, whose efforts were unsuccessful in 2018.</p> <h2>What happened to MH370?</h2> <p>The flight was scheduled to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Air traffic control lost contact with the aircraft within 60 minutes into the flight over the South China Sea.</p> <p>Subsequently, it was tracked by military radar crossing the Malay Peninsula and was last located by radar over the Andaman Sea in the northeastern Indian Ocean.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/579774/original/file-20240305-18-vdbysn.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/579774/original/file-20240305-18-vdbysn.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/579774/original/file-20240305-18-vdbysn.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=375&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579774/original/file-20240305-18-vdbysn.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=375&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579774/original/file-20240305-18-vdbysn.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=375&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579774/original/file-20240305-18-vdbysn.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=471&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579774/original/file-20240305-18-vdbysn.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=471&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579774/original/file-20240305-18-vdbysn.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=471&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A map of the region showing the initial search areas on 8-16 March." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">The planned route, final route and initial search area for MH370 in Southeast Asia.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Malaysia_Airlines_Flight_370#/media/File:MH370_initial_search_Southeast_Asia.svg">Andrew Heenen/Wikimedia Commons</a>, <a class="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">CC BY</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>Later, automated satellite communications between the aircraft and British firm’s Inmarsat telecommunications satellite indicated that the plane ended up in the southeast Indian Ocean <a href="https://hub.arcgis.com/datasets/4c94d33cfc144f7d8b78943dee56e29b/explore">along the 7th arc</a> (an arc is a series of coordinates).</p> <p>This became the basis for defining the initial search areas by the Australian Air Transport Safety Bureau. Initial air searches were conducted in the South China Sea and the Andaman Sea.</p> <p>To date, we still don’t know what caused the aircraft’s change of course and disappearance.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/579749/original/file-20240305-25-p456o1.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/579749/original/file-20240305-25-p456o1.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/579749/original/file-20240305-25-p456o1.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=338&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579749/original/file-20240305-25-p456o1.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=338&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579749/original/file-20240305-25-p456o1.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=338&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579749/original/file-20240305-25-p456o1.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=424&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579749/original/file-20240305-25-p456o1.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=424&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579749/original/file-20240305-25-p456o1.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=424&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Location of the 7th arc and the origin of debris locations for simulations undertaken by the University of Western Australia.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Google Earth/Author provided</span></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>What have searches for MH370 found so far?</h2> <p>On March 18 2014, ten days after the disappearance of MH370, a search in the southern Indian Ocean <a href="https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/2014/considerations-on-defining-the-search-area-mh370">was led by Australia</a>, with participation of aircraft from several countries. This search continued until April 28 and covered an area of 4,500,000 square kilometres of ocean. No debris was found.</p> <p>Two underwater searches of the Indian Ocean, 2,800km off the coast of Western Australia, have also failed to find any evidence of the main crash site.</p> <p>The initial seabed search, led by Australia, covered 120,000 square kilometres and extended 50 nautical miles across the 7th arc. It took 1,046 days and was suspended on January 17 2017.</p> <p>A second search by Ocean Infinity in 2018 <a href="https://oceaninfinity.com/conclusion-of-current-search-for-malaysian-airlines-flight-mh370/">covered over 112,000 square kilometres</a>. It was completed in just over three months but also didn’t locate the wreckage.</p> <h2>What about debris?</h2> <p>While the main crash site still hasn’t been found, several pieces of debris have washed up in the years since the flight’s disappearance.</p> <p>In fact, in June 2015 officials from the Australian Air Transport Safety Bureau determined that debris might arrive in Sumatra, contrary to the ocean currents in the region.</p> <p>The strongest current in the Indian Ocean is the South Equatorial Current. It flows east to west between northern Australia and Madagascar, and debris would be able to cross it.</p> <p>Indeed, on July 30 2015 a large piece of debris – a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flaperon">flaperon</a> (moving part of a plane wing) – washed up on Reunion Island in the western Indian Ocean. It was later confirmed to belong to MH370.</p> <p>Twelve months earlier, using an oceanographic drift model, our University of Western Australia (UWA) modelling team had predicted that any debris originating from the 7th arc would end up in the western Indian Ocean.</p> <p>In subsequent months, additional aircraft debris was found in the western Indian Ocean in Mauritius, Tanzania, Rodrigues, Madagascar, Mozambique and South Africa.</p> <p>The UWA drift analysis accurately predicted where floating debris from MH370 would beach in the western Indian Ocean. It also guided American adventurer Blaine Gibson and others to directly recover several dozen pieces of debris, three of which <a href="https://www.newsweek.com/where-blaine-gibson-now-malaysia-airlines-mh370-debris-hunter-1787369">have been confirmed</a> to be from MH370, while several others <a href="https://www.airlineratings.com/news/mh370-debris-now-for-the-facts/">are deemed likely</a>.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/579756/original/file-20240305-22-q62h9n.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/579756/original/file-20240305-22-q62h9n.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/579756/original/file-20240305-22-q62h9n.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=602&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579756/original/file-20240305-22-q62h9n.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=602&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579756/original/file-20240305-22-q62h9n.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=602&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579756/original/file-20240305-22-q62h9n.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=757&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579756/original/file-20240305-22-q62h9n.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=757&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/579756/original/file-20240305-22-q62h9n.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=757&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A detailed satellite map showing locations of debris found on the shores of Africa and Madagascar." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Predicted locations of landfall from results of University of Western Australia drift modelling. The white dots indicate predicted landfall of the debris. The aggregation of many dots, particularly close to land, is an indication of the density of particles – higher probability of debris making landfall. These are highlighted by red circles.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Charitha Pattiaratchi/UWA, Author provided</span></span></figcaption></figure> <p>To date, these debris finds in the western Indian ocean are the only physical evidence found related to MH370.</p> <p>It is also independent verification that the crash occurred close to the 7th arc, as any debris would initially flow northwards and then to the west, transported by the prevailing ocean currents. These results are consistent with other drift studies undertaken by independent researchers globally.</p> <h2>Why a new search for MH370 now?</h2> <p>Unfortunately, the ocean is a chaotic place, and even oceanographic drift models cannot pinpoint the exact location of the crash site.</p> <p>The proposed new search by Ocean Infinity has significantly narrowed down the target area within latitudes 36°S and 33°S. This is approximately 50km to the south of the locations where UWA modelling indicated the release of debris along the 7th arc. If the search does not locate the wreckage, it could be extended north.</p> <p>Since the initial underwater searches, technology has tremendously improved. Ocean Infinity is using a fleet of autonomous underwater vehicles with improved resolution. The proposed search will also use remotely controlled surface vessels.</p> <p>In the area where the search is to take place, the ocean is around 4,000 metres deep. The water temperatures are 1–2°C, with low currents. This means that even after ten years, the debris field would be relatively intact.</p> <p>Therefore, there is a high probability that the wreckage can still be found. If a future search is successful, this would bring closure not just to the families of those who perished, but also the thousands of people who have been involved in the search efforts.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/224954/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/charitha-pattiaratchi-110101"><em>Charitha Pattiaratchi</em></a><em>, Professor of Coastal Oceanography, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-western-australia-1067">The University of Western Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/mh370-disappearance-10-years-on-can-we-still-find-it-224954">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Kate Middleton's "disappearance" sparks bizarre conspiracy theories

<p dir="ltr">Social media is alight with wild conspiracy theories about Kate Middleton's whereabouts, after many royal fans noticed it has been several weeks since she has been seen. </p> <p dir="ltr">The last time the Princess of Wales was photographed was on Christmas Day as she attended a morning church service with her family in tow. </p> <p dir="ltr">Now, six weeks after Kate was <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/two-senior-royals-undergo-surgery" target="_blank" rel="noopener">admitted to hospital</a> for a “planned abdominal surgery”, concerned royal fans have speculated about the state of her health, despite Kensington Palace saying they would only be providing updates when there is "significant new information to share." </p> <p dir="ltr">After the Princess was released from hospital, the Palace went on to say that she would be recovering at home and would not be returning to official royal duties until “after Easter”. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, when Prince William cancelled a royal engagement earlier this week due to a “personal matter”, many were quick to assume he was tending to his wife and her poor health. </p> <p dir="ltr">Social media users were quick to jump on this theory, only fuelling the fire of the “Where’s Kate?” question by adding in their own unhinged theories about why she has gone unseen for all of 2024 so far.</p> <p dir="ltr">Speculation on X, formerly Twitter, ranged from serious concern for Kate's wellbeing to hilarious theories, with one user writing, "I have fallen down the ‘Where is Kate Middleton’ rabbit hole and I need someone to come take me out immediately. It’s wild down here."</p> <p dir="ltr">Most were lighthearted in their claims, with one popular conspiracy being that Kate was in hiding to grow out a bad haircut, while others shared that she is simply seeking solace in a hidden corner of the Palace away from her three kids. </p> <p dir="ltr">With “Where is Kate Middleton” in the number one trending spot on X, others adding their own equally hilarious and insane theories.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">My favorite Kate Middleton theory so far is that she got bangs and is waiting for them to grow out 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭</p> <p>— Taylor 🌻 (@itsmet_19) <a href="https://twitter.com/itsmet_19/status/1762651824840958230?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 28, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The Kate Middleton reveal on Masked Singer is going to make all of us look silly.</p> <p>— Catherine Tinker (@catherinetinker) <a href="https://twitter.com/catherinetinker/status/1762639775406731413?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 28, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Of all the "Where is Kate Middleton?" conspiracy theories, "she's Banksy" is my favorite</p> <p>— Cooper Lawrence (@CooperLawrence) <a href="https://twitter.com/CooperLawrence/status/1762674163309748417?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 28, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">My three kids are roughly the same age as Kate Middleton’s so I can say pretty confidently that she is hiding in the bathroom pretending to pee for a really long time.</p> <p>— Kristen Mulrooney (@missmulrooney) <a href="https://twitter.com/missmulrooney/status/1762840727069831673?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 28, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Kate Middleton’s disappearance can only mean one thing.. she’s gonna show up on Celebrity Big Brother in a few days and gag us all</p> <p>— Mustafa Farooq (@MustafaFar67649) <a href="https://twitter.com/MustafaFar67649/status/1762647448194052498?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 28, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Some believe that Kate’s operation was actually plastic surgery that has been “botched” and explains her hiding away, while others claimed she is actually elusive street artist Banksy, and is away working on a new piece, or is hauled up in a studio somewhere recording her debut album.</p> <p dir="ltr">Others shared their thoughts on who could find the Princess, with social media users nominating fictional <em>Law & Order: SVU</em> detective Olivia Benson for the job, while others put forward Jo Frost, also known as Super Nanny, and others believe Detectives Mulder and Scully from<em> The X Files</em> could crack the conspiracy. </p> <p dir="ltr">Despite all the theories, one X user summed up the conspiracy perfectly, writing,”The Kate Middleton drama is hard because I don't care about the royal family or conspiracy theories, however, I do care about being in everyone's business.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Police officer sought in connection to disappearance of two men

<p>A NSW police officer is sought in connection to the suspicious disappearance of two men, who haven't been heard from since Monday. </p> <p>Former Studio 10 host Jesse Baird and his boyfriend Luke Davies were last seen four days ago, with police launching an investigation into their disappearance. </p> <p>A number of their personal items, including a watch, clothes, credit cards and keys were found by a worker in Club Cronulla, with blood stains present on the items. </p> <p>Police have also searched two homes during their investigation - one in Balmain and one in Paddington - with officers "immediately" establishing a crime scene at the Paddington home after finding blood spatters. </p> <p>According to officers, a “significant” amount of blood consistent with a fatality and signs of a struggle were discovered inside Mr Baird’s Paddington home on Thursday afternoon. </p> <p>More personal items belonging to the couple were recovered from a skip bin 20 kilometres from the home in question. </p> <p>Police have called for Constable Beau Lamarre to come forward as part of their investigation, who is the ex-boyfriend of one of the men. </p> <p>Friends of Baird have revealed he previously expressed concerns he was being stalked by another man.</p> <p>Police confirmed on Thursday they wanted to speak to Constable Lamarre in relation to the case and were desperately trying to reach him.</p> <p>"Following inquiries, detectives are looking at a line of inquiry that a third person may be able to assist with the investigation," NSW Police said, in a statement.</p> <p>"Police are currently trying to locate him."</p> <p>Police have not said that the officer was involved in the disappearance, only that they would like to speak to him, as no arrest warrant has been issued.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

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These top 10 tourist attractions could disappear in your lifetime

<p><strong>Places to visit - and protect </strong></p> <p>When places are well-known and popular – historical and modern alike – we might take it for granted that they’ll be around forever. But sadly, many of the world’s best known and culturally significant landmarks are in jeopardy.</p> <p>Human activity has had a devastating effect on many valued places, including massive milestones of human achievement. And many of these are so much more than just tourist attractions – they’re unique, valuable remnants of ancient times and civilisations.</p> <p><strong>The Great Barrier Reef</strong></p> <p>This massive, once-thriving coral reef has suffered enormously over recent years, with coral bleaching – caused by climate change – stripping the coral of its nutrients. This, in turn, harms the rich marine life that calls the reef home.</p> <p>And, of course, this also depletes it of the dazzling colours that once were a hallmark of the Great Barrier Reef’s underwater wonder. The reef remains the largest coral reef ecosystem in the world, but projections have warned that the damage to it could become irreversible in the next 10 years.</p> <p><strong>Old City of Jerusalem</strong></p> <p>One of the world’s most spiritually significant places, the Old City of Jerusalem, is in danger of disappearing, UNESCO has found. The walls of the Old City are one of its trademark features. Most famously, the Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, is a valuable pilgrimage site for people of the Jewish faith, one that dates back to around 20 BCE.</p> <p>The Wall is the only remnant of the city’s Second Temple. The city was actually listed on UNESCO’s list of endangered cultural sites in the 1980s. Widespread urbanisation has been found to pose a significant threat to the city.</p> <p><strong>Everglades National Park </strong></p> <p>This stunning Floridian wildlife sanctuary has sadly found itself fighting for its life in recent years. As ‘the largest designated subtropical wilderness reserve’ in North America, according to UNESCO, it’s been a beloved travel destination for American citizens for decades, but the ravages of time and human activity have not been kind to it.</p> <p>Its survival first came into question after it was battered by Hurricane Andrew in 1993. But it’s human influence that has posed the primary threat, as water flow to the site has decreased and the impacts of pollution have increased, resulting in harmful algal blooms. Its vast, diverse wildlife is more threatened than ever before.</p> <p><strong>The Taj Mahal </strong></p> <p>It’s hard to imagine this monolithic structure, located in Agra, India, being in danger. The structure itself is in some jeopardy from the elements, but the primary reason for concern is that the Indian Supreme Court could potentially close the attraction. The court has butted heads with the government, claiming that unless the government does a better job of preserving it, they’ll have to shut it down.</p> <p>Pollution is visibly altering the Taj’s pristine surface. It’s also experienced insect infestations. Flies of the genus Geoldichironomus, which breed in the heavily polluted Yamuna River, neighbouring the Taj, have encroached upon the structure in recent years.</p> <p><strong>Mount Kilimanjaro's peak </strong></p> <p>This revered mountain, one of the Seven Summits, proves that even giants can fall to climate change. While the mountain itself, located in Tanzania, isn’t in imminent danger, its iconic snow cap might vanish – and shockingly soon.</p> <p>Research found that the snow cap had lost 85 per cent of the total area of its ice fields between 1912 and 2007, and the remaining ice could be history as early as 2030.</p> <p><strong>Machu Picchu</strong></p> <p>Located in southern Peru, Machu Picchu is the remains of a huge stone citadel that was built during the 15th century. These incredible Incan ruins are widely considered one of the must-see spots in South America. Unfortunately, this has backfired in a way.</p> <p>The site has been a victim of over-tourism, seeing the detrimental effects of the surge of tourists it gets as they wear down the structures. In addition, the area surrounding Machu Picchu has seen rampant urbanisation, as well as mudslides and fires, in recent years, leading UNESCO to work for its preservation.</p> <p><strong>Portobelo-San Lorenzo forts</strong></p> <p>While not as ancient as some of the other sites mentioned here, these fortifications on the Panama coast are considered historically significant. The Portobelo-San Lorenzo forts were constructed by the Spanish in Panama in efforts to protect trade routes; they were built over two centuries, starting in the 1590s. They demonstrate a wide range of architectural styles, featuring everything from medieval-style castles to neo-classical 18th-century redresses.</p> <p>The forts face a couple of challenges, urbanisation has encroached upon them on land, and a shrinking coastline and erosion present natural threats on the coastal side. Maintenance has also fallen by the wayside. They were listed as endangered in 2012.</p> <p><strong>Hatra</strong></p> <p>These grand ruins stand in the Al-Jazīrah region of Baghdad, Iraq. As the capital of the first Arab Kingdom, Araba, Hatra is a site of massive historical significance. It withstood Roman military force in the second century CE. It was the king of the Sāsānian Empire, an early Iranian regime, who eventually destroyed it in the third century. The ruins went undiscovered until the 1830s; German archaeologists only began excavating it in the early 1900s.</p> <p>In addition to becoming a UNESCO world heritage site, Hatra was also immortalised as the temple featured in The Exorcist. Sadly, it became a target of ISIS in 2015. Militants assailed the structures with bullets and destroyed statues, seeking to dismantle remnants of polytheism. It was after this that UNESCO gave it an endangered status.</p> <p><strong>Nan Madol</strong></p> <p>This remarkable architectural jewel of the ancient world dates back to the 1200s. It spans more than 100 islands and islets surrounding the Federated States of Micronesia, to the northeast of Papua New Guinea. Throughout the 1200s to the 1500s, indigenous people from the island of Pohnpei built an expansive ‘city on water’, constructing more than 100 man-made islets out of coral boulders and basalt.</p> <p>The stunning expanse, untouched for hundreds of years, is a testament to the ingenuity and skill of ancient Pacific Islander peoples. However, it’s the forces of nature this time that pose a danger to it as plants, storms and water damage encroach upon the impressive structures. It has been on UNESCO’s endangered sites list since 2016.</p> <p><strong>How to help</strong></p> <p>There are plenty of resources you can use to help preserve endangered spots like these. For starters, you could donate to <a href="https://whc.unesco.org/en/donation" target="_blank" rel="noopener">UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre</a>. UNESCO also gives citizens an option to report threats to protected sites (<a href="https://whc.unesco.org/en/158/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">scroll to the bottom of this page</a> for contact information.</p> <p>And if you choose to visit these spots, treat them with the utmost care! Be respectful, don’t touch anything you’re not explicitly allowed to touch, and do your part to keep the area clean.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/travel-hints-tips/10-top-tourist-attractions-that-could-disappear-in-your-lifetime?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

International Travel

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Man charged with murder over disappearance of missing Tasmanian teen

<p>A tragic turn of events has led to a murder charge after the <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/human-remains-found-in-search-for-missing-teenager" target="_blank" rel="noopener">discovery of remains</a> believed to belong to Shyanne-Lee Tatnell, a 14-year-old who had been missing in Tasmanian bushland for three months.</p> <p>The arrest of a 36-year-old man from Scottsdale, a rural town in the state's north-east, came after an extensive search in nearby Nabowla. The suspect is now in custody and expected to appear in Launceston Magistrates Court for further proceedings.</p> <p>Tasmania Police confirmed that the remains found on a bush track in Nabowla were human and likely to be Shyanne-Lee's, who was last seen in Launceston on the night of April 30.</p> <p>Northern district commander Kate Chambers expressed her heartfelt sympathy for the community and reaffirmed their commitment to seeking answers and closure for Shyanne-Lee's family and loved ones.</p> <p>While forensic testing on the remains is underway, it may take up to a week for conclusive results.</p> <p>Shyanne-Lee's mother, Bobbi-Lee Ketchell, posted an emotional message to her daughter following the revelation of the remains. The message accompanied a photo of the young girl with a beaming smile, and it read, "I'm home," which was a heartbreaking change from the previous plea, "Help bring me home."</p> <p>In the past two months, police have seized several items during their search efforts. A property in Scottsdale was declared a crime scene and thoroughly investigated. The search in Nabowla involved a massive team of 180 people, including helicopter crews and search-and-rescue volunteers on horseback.</p> <p>Shyanne-Lee was last seen on CCTV near the North Esk River in Launceston, approximately 50km southwest of Nabowla. Despite extensive searches in the river area, no trace of the teenager was found. She had been staying in youth accommodation for two weeks before her disappearance and was en route to visit a friend in nearby Ravenswood when she vanished.</p> <p>In June, more than 100 people, including Shyanne-Lee's family members, gathered for a touching vigil to remember her. The community has been deeply affected by this heartbreaking event, and authorities are dedicated to finding the truth and providing closure to the grieving family.</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook / PR Handout</em></p>

Legal

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Human remains found in search for missing actor

<p>Californian hikers have discovered human remains in the wilderness area where actor Julian Sands disappeared more than five months ago, according to authorities.</p> <p>Officials have not yet identified the victim.</p> <p>The remains were transported to the coroner’s office for confirmation, which is expected to be completed next week, <em>The New York Post</em> reported.</p> <p>Sands was reported missing on January 13 after he failed to return from a hiking trip in Mount Baldy, located about 72 kilometres east of Los Angeles.</p> <p>The search – consisting of 80 volunteers and officials – resumed on June 12 after a temporary suspension.</p> <p>Police have conducted eight ground and air searches since the actor's disappearance on the mountain.</p> <p>“Despite the recent warmer weather, portions of the mountain remain inaccessible due to extreme alpine conditions. Multiple areas include steep terrain and ravines, which still have 10-plus feet [about 16 metres] of ice and snow,” San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office said.</p> <p>Sands’ family spoke publicly for the first time since he vanished, releasing a statement on June 23 to express their gratitude for the ongoing search and rescue efforts.</p> <p>“We are deeply grateful to the search teams and co-ordinators who have worked tirelessly to find Julian,” the family said.</p> <p>“We continue to hold Julian in our hearts, with bright memories of him as a wonderful father, husband, explorer, lover of the natural world and the arts, and as an original and collaborative performer.”</p> <p>Sands is known for starring in films such as Arachnophobia, A Room with a View, Warlock and Leaving Las Vegas.</p> <p>Mt. Baldy is renowned for being one of the most dangerous peaks to climb in California.</p> <p>According to the<em> Los Angeles Times</em>, six people have died with crews conducting over 100 searches as daredevils and avid hikers alike are drawn to the daunting challenge of the more-than-16,000 metre climb.</p> <p>In January, officials found hiker Jin Chung, 75, who had become lost on Mount Baldy and was hospitalised with a leg injury and other weather-related injuries.</p> <p>Before Chung’s brief disappearance, a mother of four fell more than 500 to 700 feet to her death.</p> <p>Crystal Paula Gonzalez, renowned as a “hiking queen”, slipped on the steep icy hillside and later died from her injuries, officials reported.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Facebook / Getty</em></p>

News

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"Broken" family's appeal after daughter missing for 7 weeks

<p>A mother has shared how her family is "broken” as she remains in the dark about what happened to her missing 14-year-old daughter who disappeared seven weeks ago.</p> <p>The family of Tasmanian girl Shyanne-Lee Tatnell has made another plea for answers after the teen vanished while walking to see a friend on April 30.</p> <p>“She’s my baby and I desperately want her back,” her mother Bobbi-Lee Ketchell told <em>A Current Affair</em>.</p> <p>The teen had moved in with her grandmother due to tension with her mother in the family home in the town of Burnie, later moving onto a youth centre in Launceston.</p> <p>She started walking from the centre along the North Esk River on the night of April 30 but never reached her destination.</p> <p>Her mother shared the agonising conversation she had with her daughter before she vanished, with Ms Ketchell urging her daughter not to break her curfew after being grounded.</p> <p>“She got upset … we had a little bit of a disagreement and then I said, ‘I love you’,” Ms Ketchell revealed.</p> <p>She confessed her daughter never said, “I love you back”.</p> <p>Her grandmother has described the young girl’s disappearance as torture.</p> <p>“You don’t just disappear off the face of the earth without something being found, some piece of clothing or footwear or phone,” her grandmother said.</p> <p>The family believe that their daughter accepted a lift from someone or was potentially “forced into a vehicle”.</p> <p>“She was rebellious and it didn’t matter what I would tell her not to do. She was firm on doing what she wanted and didn’t think of the consequences before doing it,” Ms Ketchell said.</p> <p>Police are seeking the drivers of two silver cars captured on CCTV near the area where she was last seen.</p> <p>“We actually want to discount you from any investigation, from any potential witness, so we can move on with other aspects of the investigation,” police said.</p> <p>Authorities have also highlighted that at one point the footage showed Shyanne-Lee running but said there was “no evidence” she was being chased.</p> <p>Her family have urged anyone with information to come forward.</p> <p>“Nanny loves you so much Shyanne. I need you home, your family needs you home desperately,” her grandmother said.</p> <p>“If someone has my granddaughter, you need to release her now.</p> <p>“We are a totally broken family, we’re lost without her.”</p> <p><em>Image credit: A Current Affair / Facebook</em></p>

Caring

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Live art exists only while it is being performed, and then it disappears. How do we create an archive of the ephemeral?

<p>Live performance exists only in the moment it is being performed. Its ephemeral nature means it is transient and impermanent, and cannot be experienced again in precisely the same way. </p> <p>How do artists hold on to the works that they make? What of the invisible labour that is rarely acknowledged or named? </p> <p>Over the last ten years, performance artist Leisa Shelton has completed a series of participatory artworks which focus on the mutability of the archive: gathering audience testimonies and mapping artistic lineages. </p> <p>Now her new show, Archiving the Ephemeral, brings five works together in a beautifully curated installation. </p> <p>Archiving the Ephemeral is a celebration of the artist, the artistic process and the audience experience. </p> <p>Shelton’s expansive career, built on collaboration, care and conversation, grounds the exhibition. The show reflects her focus on curating and re-framing interdisciplinary work to address the limited opportunities for recognition of contemporary independent Australian performance.</p> <h2>Meticulous design</h2> <p>Marked by a spare, distinctive design, Archiving the Ephemeral is located in the Magdalen Laundry at the Abbotsford Convent. </p> <p>Rich with a bright green wooden industrial interior and aged painted walls, the laundry is a perfect background for the specifically placed items, the carefully lit tables and the long lines of patterned artefacts. </p> <p>Fragile ideas are framed and held within a crafted, artisan aesthetic. Objects are carefully made and remnants are meticulously gathered.</p> <p>Along one side of the space, 132 brown paper packets are laid out in a continuous line on the floor. Each package contains a set of archival materials, burned to ash, which corresponds to an artistic project from Shelton’s career.</p> <p>An accompanying video depicts Shelton’s meticulous process of burning, piece by piece, her entire performance archive to ash. </p> <p>In a methodical and meditative process, the ash is sifted and packaged into the hand-crafted paper bags. The bags are then hand-punched and sewn with twine, typed, labelled and categorised: a kind of devotional honouring of the materials even as they are brought to dust. </p> <h2>A living archive</h2> <p>The exhibition includes an opportunity for each of us to become part of the living archive through conversations with two ground-breaking elders of Australia’s performance art scene, <a href="https://abbotsfordconvent.com.au/news/in-conversation-with-stelarc-and-jill-orr/">Jill Orr and Stelarc</a>. </p> <p>On the night I attend, I sit with Stelarc. We discuss Kantian <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Kant">notions of time</a> as he tells me about his <a href="http://stelarc.org/?catID=20353">Re-Wired/Re-Mixed Event for Dismembered Body</a> (2015). It’s a delightful moment of personal connection with an artist I’ve admired for years.</p> <p>Across one wall are four large hanging papers listing the name of every artist on every <a href="https://www.artshouse.com.au/about-us/">Arts House</a> program from 2006-2016, laboriously typed. </p> <p>On the night I attend, these lists elicit lively conversations among the artists present as we study the names and dates (in my case, slightly desperately searching to see if my own name is there), and recall shows, people, events, stories and collaborations.</p> <p>Much of Shelton’s work is gathered from conversations with audience members about art and artists. </p> <p>In Mapping, a set of burnished stainless-steel canisters, beautifully marked with engraved identifications, sit on a bench underneath a suspended video screen on which artist names appear and disappear in an endless, floating loop. </p> <p>The canisters contain details of profoundly memorable artists and performances collected from 1,000 interviews, dated and stamped. They are hand-welded, sumptuous objects which hold the interview cards securely locked under fireproof glass designed to withstand cyclones, fires and floods.</p> <p>The many hand-written files of Scribe contain multiple documents which can be taken out and read. The sheer number of pages is overwhelming, and the breadth of audience commentary – joyful, moved, connected, inspired – is breathtaking.</p> <p>It’s a poignant reminder of the traces borne out beyond the artist’s own experience of performing a work: an often surreal and lonely moment once the audience has left the room.</p> <h2>A practice of care</h2> <p>Archiving the Ephemeral fosters a practice of care and acknowledgement which extends to the practical ways in which our trajectory through the room and engagement with the artworks is enabled. </p> <p>The Convent is an apt site for such a careful collection. Analogue processes and objects are foregrounded. Typewriters, brown paper, string, awls and aprons are part of the painstaking construction process. Attendants and scribes act as custodians in the space, facilitating a gentle holding of the material.</p> <p>We are given the opportunity to continue the archive as it evolves and devolves around us. As I make my way through the space, I notice my own embodied archival actions - taking notes, speaking to others - as I continue the trajectory of documenting the documents. We are not just witnessing one artist’s body of work. Archiving the Ephemeral focuses on the need for greater visibility, recognition and honouring of Australia’s experimental and independent artists, and speaks to the many collaborations, associations, and intricate connections that mark a significant – if unacknowledged – cultural legacy.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/live-art-exists-only-while-it-is-being-performed-and-then-it-disappears-how-do-we-create-an-archive-of-the-ephemeral-201939" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

Art

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Natural wonders you must see before they disappear

<p>While we don’t mean to alarm anyone, you’ve likely heard the grim timelines: if global warming continues, the Great Barrier Reef will be bleached by 2030; glaciers in the Swiss Alps, on Mt. Kilimanjaro, and in Glacier National Park will disappear in under 40 years; and Arctic ice melt will send polar bears into extinction. It’s a sad state of affairs.</p> <p>So while we sit and hope for a miracle, make sure you travel and see any of the precious places on your bucket list before it’s too late.</p> <p>While you might be thinking that tourism will add stress to these already distressed areas, in actual fact it can also provide income, which in turn can help preserve these wonders. Here we look at our top seven areas – some that are lesser know than others – and all of which can be visited responsibly.</p> <p><strong>Belize barrier reef</strong></p> <p>One of the most diverse reef ecosystems in the world is home to whale sharks, rays, and manatees, as well as sturgeon, conch and spiny lobsters.</p> <p>The Danger: Sadly, like the Great Barrier Reef here in Australia, the Belize Barrier Reef leads a fragile existence. A section of the nearly 700-mile-long Mesoamerican Reef that reaches from Mexico to Honduras, the Belize reef suffered a severe bleaching in 1998, with a loss of 50 percent of its coral in many areas, including much of its distinctive staghorn coral. Since the bleaching, its decline has continued, due to global warming of the world’s seas, agricultural pollution, development, and increasing tourism, which has given rise to more coastal development and an invasion of cruise ships.</p> <p><strong>The Congo Basin</strong></p> <p>Tropical rainforests like the Congo Basin produce 40 per cent of the world’s oxygen and serve as a vital source of food, medicine and minerals.</p> <p>The Danger: At more than 1.3 million square miles, the Congo Basin has the world’s second-largest rainforest. According to the UN, up to two-thirds of the forest and its unique plants and wildlife could be lost by 2040 unless more effective measures are taken to protect it. Extending across six nations, 10 million acres of forest is degraded each year due to mining, illegal logging, farming, ranching and guerilla warfare. Roads cut by loggers and miners have also enabled poachers and bushmeat hunters to prey on endangered animals like mountain gorillas, forest elephants, bonobos and okapis. As the forest shrinks, less carbon dioxide is absorbed, and rain decreases, adding to climate change.</p> <p><strong>The Dead Sea</strong></p> <p>It’s the lowermost spot on earth (1,312 feet below sea level to be exact), has 10 times more saline than seawater (meaning that you would float like a cork does in water), and is believed to contain therapeutic minerals.</p> <p>The Danger: In the last 40 years, the Dead Sea has shrunk by a third and sunk 80 feet, stranding formerly seaside resorts and restaurants nearly a mile from shore. The Jordan River is the lake’s sole source, and as surrounding countries increasingly tap its waters, little reaches the Dead Sea, which could disappear within 50 years. Further pressure is put on the sea by the cosmetic companies and potash producers who drain it for minerals.</p> <p><strong>The Everglades</strong></p> <p>This 2.5 million–acre wetland in Florida encompasses cypress swamps, mangroves, sawgrass and pine savannahs. It's the only place in the world where crocodiles and alligators share territory.</p> <p>The Danger: A host of dangers are putting this delicate wetland at risk: pollution from farms, invasive species, and encroaching development. As a result, The Everglades is now half the size it was in 1900. Worse still, this is the sole habitat of the Florida panther, and there are less than 100 of the creatures left in the wild.</p> <p><strong>Madagascar</strong></p> <p>More than 80 percent of Madagascar’s flora and fauna are found nowhere else on Earth, thanks to millions of years of isolation in the Indian Ocean off of Africa.</p> <p>The Danger: If nothing is done to save the world’s fourth-largest island, its forests will be gone in 35 years (once 120,000 square miles, they're now down to 20,000), and their unique inhabitants along with them. Forest ecosystems are being destroyed by logging, burning for subsistence farms, and poaching.</p> <p><strong>The Maldives</strong></p> <p>The nation is rich in coral reefs and endangered fish — such as the giant Napoleon wrasse, leopard shark and some 250 manta rays (most with wingspans of 10 feet).</p> <p>The Danger: If global warming continues to melt the ice caps and raise sea levels, scientists don’t hold much hope for the Maldives. Its 1,190 small islands and atolls (200 of which are inhabited) scattered across the Indian Ocean rise a mere eight-feet above sea level. In 2008, the President of the Maldives announced the government would start buying land in other countries, including India, for future homes for citizens displaced by rising waters. In 2009, he held a cabinet meeting underwater to stress the islands' vulnerability.</p> <p><strong>The Poles</strong></p> <p>The natural phenomena here are unique and inspiring: towering icebergs, Aurora Borealis, and majestic animals (penguins, polar bears, whales).</p> <p>The Danger: The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the world’s largest non-profit ocean research group, has predicted that 80 per cent of the emperor penguin population of Antarctica will be lost, and the rest in danger of extinction, if global warming continues. As sea ice disappears at the poles, so do entire ecosystems: the phytoplankton that grows under ice sheets feeds zooplankton and small crustaceans like krill, which are on the food chain for fish, seals, whales, polar bears and penguins. Studies predict that with continued warming, within 20 to 40 years, no ice will form in Antarctica.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Travel Tips

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10 top tourist attractions that could disappear in your lifetime

<p><strong>Places to visit – and protect</strong></p> <p>When places are well-known and popular – historical and modern alike – we might take it for granted that they’ll be around forever. But sadly, many of the world’s best known and culturally significant landmarks are in jeopardy. Human activity has had a devastating effect on many valued places, including massive milestones of human achievement. And many of these are so much more than just tourist attractions – they’re unique, valuable remnants of ancient times and civilizations.</p> <p><strong>The Great Barrier Reef</strong></p> <p>This massive, once-thriving coral reef has suffered enormously over recent years, with coral bleaching – caused by climate change – stripping the coral of its nutrients. This, in turn, harms the rich marine life that calls the reef home. And, of course, this also depletes it of the dazzling colours that once were a hallmark of the Great Barrier Reef’s underwater wonder. The reef remains the largest coral reef ecosystem in the world, but projections have warned that the damage to it could become irreversible in the next 10 years.</p> <p><strong>Old City of Jerusalem</strong></p> <p>One of the world’s most spiritually significant places, the Old City of Jerusalem, is in danger of disappearing, UNESCO has found. The walls of the Old City are one of its trademark features. Most famously, the Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, is a valuable pilgrimage site for people of the Jewish faith, one that dates back to around 20 BCE. The Wall is the only remnant of the city’s Second Temple. The city was actually listed on UNESCO’s list of endangered cultural sites in the 1980s. Widespread urbanisation has been found to pose a significant threat to the city.</p> <p><strong>Everglades National Park</strong></p> <p>This stunning Floridian wildlife sanctuary has sadly found itself fighting for its life in recent years. As ‘the largest designated subtropical wilderness reserve’ in North America, according to UNESCO, it’s been a beloved travel destination for American citizens for decades, but the ravages of time and human activity have not been kind to it. Its survival first came into question after it was battered by Hurricane Andrew in 1993. But it’s human influence that has posed the primary threat, as water flow to the site has decreased and the impacts of pollution have increased, resulting in harmful algal blooms. Its vast, diverse wildlife is more threatened than ever before.</p> <p><strong>The Taj Mahal</strong></p> <p>It’s hard to imagine this monolithic structure, located in Agra, India, being in danger. The structure itself is in some jeopardy from the elements, but the primary reason for concern is that the Indian Supreme Court could potentially close the attraction. The court has butted heads with the government, claiming that unless the government does a better job of preserving it, they’ll have to shut it down. Pollution is visibly altering the Taj’s pristine surface. It’s also experienced insect infestations. Flies of the genus Geoldichironomus, which breed in the heavily polluted Yamuna River, neighbouring the Taj, have encroached upon the structure in recent years.</p> <p><strong>Mount Kilimanjaro’s peak</strong></p> <p>This revered mountain, one of the Seven Summits, proves that even giants can fall to climate change. While the mountain itself, located in Tanzania, isn’t in imminent danger, its iconic snow cap might vanish – and shockingly soon. Research found that the snow cap had lost 85 per cent of the total area of its ice fields between 1912 and 2007, and the remaining ice could be history as early as 2030.</p> <p><strong>Machu Picchu</strong></p> <p>Located in southern Peru, Machu Picchu is the remains of a huge stone citadel that was built during the 15th century. These incredible Incan ruins are widely considered one of the must-see spots in South America. Unfortunately, this has backfired in a way. The site has been a victim of over-tourism, seeing the detrimental effects of the surge of tourists it gets as they wear down the structures. In addition, the area surrounding Machu Picchu has seen rampant urbanisation, as well as mudslides and fires, in recent years, leading UNESCO to work for its preservation.</p> <p><strong>Portobelo-San Lorenzo forts</strong></p> <p>While not as ancient as some of the other sites mentioned here, these fortifications on the Panama coast are considered historically significant. The Portobelo-San Lorenzo forts were constructed by the Spanish in Panama in efforts to protect trade routes; they were built over two centuries, starting in the 1590s. They demonstrate a wide range of architectural styles, featuring everything from medieval-style castles to neo-classical 18th-century redresses. The forts face a couple of challenges, urbanisation has encroached upon them on land, and a shrinking coastline and erosion present natural threats on the coastal side. Maintenance has also fallen by the wayside. They were listed as endangered in 2012.</p> <p><strong>Hatra</strong></p> <p>These grand ruins stand in the Al-Jazīrah region of Baghdad, Iraq. As the capital of the first Arab Kingdom, Araba, Hatra is a site of massive historical significance. It withstood Roman military force in the second century CE. It was the king of the Sāsānian Empire, an early Iranian regime, who eventually destroyed it in the third century. The ruins went undiscovered until the 1830s; German archaeologists only began excavating it in the early 1900s. In addition to becoming a UNESCO world heritage site, Hatra was also immortalised as the temple featured in The Exorcist. Sadly, it became a target of ISIS in 2015. Militants assailed the structures with bullets and destroyed statues, seeking to dismantle remnants of polytheism. It was after this that UNESCO gave it an endangered status.</p> <p><strong>Nan Madol</strong></p> <p>This remarkable architectural jewel of the ancient world dates back to the 1200s. It spans more than 100 islands and islets surrounding the Federated States of Micronesia, to the northeast of Papua New Guinea. Throughout the 1200s to the 1500s, indigenous people from the island of Pohnpei built an expansive ‘city on water’, constructing more than 100 man-made islets out of coral boulders and basalt. The stunning expanse, untouched for hundreds of years, is a testament to the ingenuity and skill of ancient Pacific Islander peoples. However, it’s the forces of nature this time that pose a danger to it as plants, storms and water damage encroach upon the impressive structures. It has been on UNESCO’s endangered sites list since 2016.</p> <p><strong>How to help</strong></p> <p>There are plenty of resources you can use to help preserve endangered spots like these. For starters, you could donate to UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre. UNESCO also gives citizens an option to report threats to protected sites (scroll to the bottom of this page for contact information. And if you choose to visit these spots, treat them with the utmost care! Be respectful, don’t touch anything you’re not explicitly allowed to touch, and do your part to keep the area clean.</p> <p><em><strong>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/travel-hints-tips/10-top-tourist-attractions-that-could-disappear-in-your-lifetime?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader’s Digest</a>. </strong></em></p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Million-dollar reward offered 20 years after woman disappeared

<p dir="ltr">Two decades after she disappeared, authorities have increased a reward of $1 million for information relating to the whereabouts of missing NSW woman Amber Haigh.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ms Haigh vanished on June 5, 2002, and was reported missing on June 19 after she didn’t return to her Kingsvale home where she lived with her six-month-old son and a married couple.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-60d548c7-7fff-8689-2430-fd8ad5e1bbf8"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">According to a statement from NSW Police, they were told the married couple dropped Ms Haigh off at Campbelltown train station on Wednesday 5, as she had planned to travel to Mt Druitt to visit her hospitalised father.</p> <p><iframe style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fnswpoliceforce%2Fposts%2F366441632194929&amp;show_text=true&amp;width=500" width="500" height="638" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p dir="ltr">The increase was announced by the NSW Government and NSW Police Force, in a move that has been welcomed by Ms Haigh’s family.</p> <p dir="ltr">Rosalind Wright, Ms Haigh’s mother, said she “knows in her heart she (Amber) would never have left her son” while Ms Haigh’s sister, Melissa Millar-Hodder, has urged anyone with information to come forward.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Any information would help, please contact police,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Amer had a kind, warm, loving soul. She would help anyone she can if she needed help.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Her son never got to know or grow up with his caring, loving mum.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-a58e8558-7fff-a5c0-585e-4cd05fae1fc1"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">“This impact this has had is feeling incomplete, feeling lost. Not knowing where she is and what happened to Amber, not even to lay her to rest, or pick up the phone or give her hugs one last time; that has been taken away from us.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/04/haigh-relatives.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Amber Haigh’s sister (left) and mother (right) shared a video message urging anyone with information to come forward. Image: NSW Police (Hightail)</em></p> <p dir="ltr">After a 2011 Coronial Inquest found Ms Haigh to be deceased as a result of homicide or other misadventure, a formal review of the case was conducted in 2020 resulted in the investigation re-commencing under Strike Force Villamar II.</p> <p dir="ltr">Detective Superintendent and Homicide Squad Commander Danny Doherty told <em><a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/amber-haigh-reward-of-1-million-offered-20-years-after-nsw-woman-suspiciously-disappeared/2439461c-ea78-44fc-a052-8ed3237acf85" target="_blank" rel="noopener">9News </a></em>police believed Ms Haigh was met with foul play but were yet to find enough evidence to prosecute.</p> <p dir="ltr">“But, to date, we have been unable to find enough evidence to prosecute anyone over her disappearance,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Police can only expect breakthroughs in these sorts of cases with the help of the public, so please, do what is right and come forward.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Anyone with information that could assist Strike Force Villamar II investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or <a href="https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au./" target="_blank" rel="noopener">online</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-91f906c0-7fff-cf6c-7f0a-5daf7937a3de"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: NSW Police (Hightail)</em></p>

Caring

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Melissa Caddick’s husband claims millions in jewels, cars, homes and assets

<p>Melissa Caddick’s husband, Anthony Koletti, has lodged a claim indicating that he is entitled to a significant share of the multi-million dollars worth of cars, houses, artworks and jewellery left by the missing Sydney woman.</p> <p>After it was <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/melissa-caddick-s-hidden-millions" target="_blank" rel="noopener">revealed</a> that Caddick had misappropriated $25 million of investors' funds in a Ponzi scheme via her company Maliver Pty Ltd, court proceedings were begun in November 2020 by the corporate watchdog in order to return the vast amounts of swindled money to investors. These proceedings remain underway.</p> <p>Mr Koletti has now filed a statement in Federal Court as an interested party, claiming that he is entitled to matrimonial property including $2 million of clothes and jewellery, $7 million worth of shares, proceeds from $360,000 of cars that have been sold, as well as two homes in the multi-million dollar price range.</p> <p>Mr Koletti also claims entitlement to personal property that includes five valuable John Olsen paintings, a Louis Vuitton watch, a Gucci wedding dress and several more pricey items of white-gold jewellery – including a $33,960 diamond ring set by Sydney fine jewellery designer Canturi and his own $26,500 wedding band.</p> <p>According to court documents, Mr Koletti’s claim was based on his “financial and non-financial contributions” to the relationship since his December 2013 marriage to Caddick.</p> <p>Mr Koletti’s basis for the claims rest with the fact that he used up almost all of his income and assets to support Caddick and her son during their marriage, and that furthermore that since Caddick’s disappearance he has personally paid around $500 a week to care for her child.</p> <p>The claim went on to state that “due to the extensive media coverage relating to the Defendant’s disappearance, the time taken by legal proceedings and Mr Koletti’s grief, he has not been able to secure gainful employment in his usual trade other than casual hairdressing services and some income from <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/music/melissa-caddick-s-husband-releases-album-about-her-disappearance" target="_blank" rel="noopener">his music</a>.” </p> <p>Mr Koletti’s court filing comes ahead of an inquest set for September, which will further probe the <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/wild-theories-over-melissa-caddick-disappearance" target="_blank" rel="noopener">mysterious disappearance</a> of Caddick.</p> <p><em>Image: Supplied</em></p>

News

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Autistic teen found three years after disappearing

<p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">An autistic teenage boy who was reported missing in northern California a full three years ago has been found outside a petrol station in a completely different state. </span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Connerjack Oswalt was just 16 when he wandered away from the family home near San Francisco in September 2019, and has not been seen by family members – until now.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">1,200 kilometres and three years later, the now 19-year-old was identified when a “concerned community member” reported seeing a man sleeping outside a petrol station west of Salt Lake City, Utah. </span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">“This morning, he’s very cold, he’s shivering, he’s obviously had a rough night,” Sheriff Justin Martinez said in a Facebook post on April 9.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">After letting the mystery teen sit in a police vehicle to warm up, research began into who it might actually be. In the wake of community reports of a man seen recently in the area pushing a shopping cart, police were able to slowly piece it all together.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">“Through past interactions and the Saturday interaction, it was clear to deputies that the man communicated differently,” the sheriff’s office posted, while also referencing an autism awareness hashtag since the man had refused (or was unable) to provide his name.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">After searching through the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children website, police eventually found Oswalt’s likeness on a missing poster.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">🤔Where has he been?</p> <p>In 2019, 16 y/o Connerjack Oswalt ran away from his family and was reported missing out of California.</p> <p>Nearly 2.5 years later, Connerjack's family learned he was alive thanks to <a href="https://twitter.com/SummitCountySO?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SummitCountySO</a> deputies &amp; dispatchers.<a href="https://twitter.com/fox13?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@fox13</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AutismAcceptanceMonth?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AutismAcceptanceMonth</a> <a href="https://t.co/WM5ST0MvpR">pic.twitter.com/WM5ST0MvpR</a></p> <p>— 𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐒𝐜𝐡𝐧𝐞𝐞 (@brian_schnee) <a href="https://twitter.com/brian_schnee/status/1515462784003190785?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 16, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">“Deputies began making phone calls and were able to make contact with Connerjack’s mother,” Sheriff’s Lieutenant Andrew Wright said.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">His mother told authorities Oswalt had a distinctive birthmark on his neck. Deputies found the mark on Oswalt, Lt Wright said.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Oswalt’s mother Suzanne Flint told Fox 13 News she had “never stopped looking” for her son. “There wasn’t a day I wasn’t searching for him, in some form or fashion.”</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">In one of two bodycam videos released by the sheriff’s office, Oswalt’s stepfather is seen exclaiming in disbelief as police show him a mug shot of Oswalt to confirm it was the same person.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">“Is it him?” Oswalt’s mother can be heard saying on speaker phone.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">“A little bit older, but yeah,” Oswalt’s stepfather responds.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">“My sweetheart’s alive,” the mother is heard saying, while sobbing on the phone. “Can you go get him please?”</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Oswalt’s stepfather and grandfather then travelled to Park City, Utah, to identify him in person and be reunited.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Investigators remain unsure as to exactly how he ended up 1,200 kilometres away in Salt Lake City.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">“This remains the big question,” Lt Wright told USA TODAY. “Where did his journey take him over the past two and a half years? We suspect he didn’t give identifying information because he was scared of police.”</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><em><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Images: Clearlake Police Department / Summit County Sheriff’s Office</span></em></p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-51bf8c7c-7fff-9f79-2646-8cc39810f4af"></span></p>

Caring

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Wild theories over Melissa Caddick disappearance

<p dir="ltr">Interesting theories about Sydney fraudster Melissa Caddick still being alive have emerged as the coronial inquest into her disappearance continues.</p> <p dir="ltr">Accused of swindling clients, mainly family and friends, out of millions of dollars to fund her lavish lifestyle, Melissa was last seen alive on November 11, 2020, after leaving her house to go for a run and did not take her phone with her.</p> <p dir="ltr">On February 21, 2021, Melissa’s decomposed foot and Asic shoe was found by surfers at Bournda Beach on the NSW south coast.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, criminologist Dr Xanthe Mallett said that it’s possible for Melissa to still be alive.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s possible (she is alive), at the extreme end of what’s possible, in that what’s been recovered is a foot and medically you can survive without a foot,” Dr Mallett told <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10686253/Is-Melissa-Caddick-ALIVE.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Daily Mail Australia</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It wouldn’t be impossible to disappear when you have that much money. As an investigator, I couldn’t rule it out. But what’s possible and likely are two very different things.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Dr Mallett believes that Melissa did not commit suicide but rather she could have been murdered.</p> <p dir="ltr">'I think the most likely outcome is she was sadly murdered, second that she took her own life and third is that she's still alive.'</p> <p dir="ltr">ASIC continues to investigate Melissa’s money and other matters.</p>

Legal

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"Fly high Logan”: School vice-captain found dead

<p>A young man named Logan Losurdo has tragically been discovered dead by police, following a search that spanned over three months.</p> <p>The ex-school vice captain shared his life story in a heartbreaking speech that was widely shared online. He had been missing from the NSW Central Coast since Friday the 26th of November.</p> <p>A spokeswoman from NSW Police said the remains were discovered shortly after 11 am on March the 10th, when police were called to Soldiers Beach at Norah Head following reports human remains were located on the shoreline.</p> <p>Late on Monday night police, said the remains had been identified.</p> <p>“Officers from Tuggerah Lakes Police District established a crime scene and commenced an investigation,” she said.</p> <p>“Police have since confirmed the remains to be those of a 20-year-old man, who was last seen in the Magenta area on the Central Coast in November 2021. A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner.”</p> <p>The Help find Logan Losurdo Facebook page announced his death on Monday night. “It is with very heavy hearts we announce that Logan has been located deceased. Our hearts are breaking for all Logan’s family and friends.”</p> <p>“We ask you please respect their privacy at this difficult time. Fly high Logan,” the statement said.</p> <p>Mr Losurdo was reported missing to police at around 8 pm on the 26th of November. Officers from Tuggerah Lakes Police District – with the assistance of SES volunteers, PolAir, Water Police, Marine Rescue, NSW Surf Lifesaving and the Volunteer Rescue Association conducted extensive land and sea searches in efforts to find him.</p> <p>Strike Force McConnell, which was established to investigate the circumstances surrounding the disappearance, sought to speak to the driver of a white vehicle which was seen on Magenta Drive shortly before 1:10 am on the night Mr Losurdo went missing.</p> <p>CCTV footage showed a man getting out of a car and speaking with Mr Losurdo before re-entering the vehicle and driving away. There is no evidence to suggest the vehicle or person is involved in Mr Losurdo’s disappearance.</p> <p>The then 17-year-old senior at Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College shared his life story after winning the AVID Australia Student Speaker competition, describing his troubled upbringing where “life was anything but stable”.</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

Caring

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This object in space flashed brilliantly for 3 months, then disappeared. Astronomers are intrigued

<blockquote> <p>“Holy sharks, Batman, it’s periodic!”</p> </blockquote> <p>I exclaimed on Slack.</p> <p>It was the first lockdown of 2021 in Perth, and we were all working from home. And when astronomers look for something to distract themselves from looming existential dread, there’s nothing better than a new cosmic mystery.</p> <p>In 2020 I gave an undergraduate student, Tyrone O'Doherty, a fun project: look for radio sources that are changing in a <a href="https://www.ted.com/talks/natasha_hurley_walker_how_radio_telescopes_show_us_unseen_galaxies">large radio survey</a> I’m leading.</p> <p>By the end of the year he’d found a particularly unusual source that was visible in data from early 2018, but had disappeared within a few months. The source was named GLEAM-X J162759.5-523504, after the survey it was found in and its position.</p> <p>Sources that appear and disappear are called “radio transients” and are usually a sign of extreme physics at play.</p> <h2>The mystery begins</h2> <p>Earlier this year I started investigating the source, expecting it to be something we knew about – something that would change slowly over months and perhaps point to an exploded star, or a big collision in space.</p> <p>To understand the physics, I wanted to measure how the source’s brightness relates to its frequency (in the electromagnetic spectrum). So I looked at observations of the same location, taken at different frequencies, before and after the detection, and it wasn’t there.</p> <p>I was disappointed, as spurious signals do crop up occasionally due to telescope calibration errors, Earth’s ionosphere reflecting TV signals, or aircraft and satellites streaking overhead.</p> <p>So I looked at more data. And in an observation taken 18 minutes later, there the source was again, in exactly the same place and at exactly the same frequency – like nothing astronomers had ever seen before.</p> <p>At this point I broke out in a cold sweat. There is a worldwide research effort searching for repeating cosmic radio signals transmitted at a single frequency. It’s called the <a href="https://theconversation.com/curious-kids-what-has-the-search-for-extraterrestrial-life-actually-yielded-and-how-does-it-work-122454">Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence</a>. Was this the moment we finally found that the truth is … <em>out there</em>?</p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/657269342" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> <span class="caption">One of the brightest pulses from the new radio transient detected with the Murchison Widefield Array.</span></p> <h2>The plot thickens</h2> <p>I rapidly downloaded more data and posted updates on Slack. This source was incredibly bright. It was outshining everything else in the observation, which is nothing to sniff at.</p> <p>The brightest radio sources are supermassive black holes flaring huge jets of matter into space at nearly the speed of light. What had we found that could possibly be brighter than that?</p> <p>Colleagues were beginning to take notice, posting:</p> <blockquote> <p>It’s repeating too slowly to be a pulsar. But it’s too bright for a flare star. What is this? (alien emoji icon)???</p> </blockquote> <p>Within a few hours, I breathed a sigh of relief: I had detected the source across a wide range of frequencies, so the power it would take to generate it could only come from a natural source; not artificial (and not aliens)!</p> <p>Just like <a href="https://www.space.com/32661-pulsars.html">pulsars</a> – highly magnetised rotating neutron stars that beam out radio waves from their poles – the radio waves repeated like clockwork about three times per hour. In fact, I could predict when they would appear to an accuracy of one ten-thousandth of a second.</p> <p>So I turned to our enormous data archive: 40 petabytes of radio astronomy data recorded by the Murchison Widefield Array in Western Australia, during its eight years of operation. Using <a href="https://pawsey.org.au/">powerful supercomputers</a>, I searched hundreds of observations and picked up 70 more detections spanning three months in 2018, but none before or after.</p> <p>The amazing thing about radio transients is that if you have enough frequency coverage, you can work out how far away they are. This is because lower radio frequencies arrive slightly later than higher ones depending on how much space they’ve traveled through.</p> <p>Our new discovery lies about 4,000 light years away – very distant, but still in our galactic backyard.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/442445/original/file-20220125-13-54xe4a.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /> <span class="caption">Interstellar space slows down long wavelength radio waves more than short.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">ICRAR</span></span></p> <p>We also found the radio pulses were almost completely <a href="https://www.sciencefocus.com/science/what-is-polarised-light/">polarised</a>. In astrophysics this usually means their source is a strong magnetic field. The pulses were also changing shape in just half a second, so the source has to be less than half a light second across, much smaller than our Sun.</p> <p>Sharing the result with colleagues across the world, everyone was excited, but no one knew for sure what it was.</p> <h2>The jury is still out</h2> <p>There were two leading explanations for this compact, rotating, and highly magnetic astrophysical object: a white dwarf, or a neutron star. These remain after stars run out of fuel and collapse, generating magnetic fields billions to quintillions times stronger than our Sun’s.</p> <p>And while we’ve never found a neutron star that behaves quite this way, theorists have predicted such objects, called an “ultra-long period magnetars”, could exist. Even so, no one expected one could be so bright.</p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/657248792" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> <span class="caption">We think the source could be either a magnetar or a white dwarf, or something completely unknown.</span></p> <p>This is the first time we’ve ever seen a radio source that repeats every 20 minutes. But maybe the reason we never saw one before is that we weren’t looking.</p> <p>When I first started trying to understand this source, I was biased by my expectations: transient radio sources either change quickly like pulsars, or slowly like the fading remnants of a supernova.</p> <p>I wasn’t looking for sources repeating at 18-minute intervals – an unusual period for any known class of object. Nor was I searching for something that would appear for a few months and then disappear forever. No one was.</p> <p>As astronomers build <a href="https://www.skatelescope.org/">new</a> <a href="https://www.lsst.org/">telescopes</a> that will collect vast quantities of data, it’s vital we keep our minds, and our search techniques, open to unexpected possibilities. The universe is full of wonders, should we only choose to look.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/175240/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/natasha-hurley-walker-197768">Natasha Hurley-Walker</a>, Radio Astronomer, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/curtin-university-873">Curtin University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/this-object-in-space-flashed-brilliantly-for-3-months-then-disappeared-astronomers-are-intrigued-175240">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Artist visualisation</em></p>

International Travel

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Ancient knowledge is lost when a species disappears. It’s time to let Indigenous people care for their country, their way

<p>Indigenous people across Australia place tremendous cultural and customary value on many species and ecological communities. The very presence of a plant or animal species can trigger an Indigenous person to recall and share knowledge. This is crucial to maintaining culture and managing Country.</p> <p>But as species disappear, ancient knowledge built up over thousands of years also fades away – and fragments of our culture are lost forever.</p> <p>For years, Indigenous groups have pushed for the right to partner with government authorities to “co-manage” culturally significant species and communities. Such recognition of Indigenous rights would require amendments to environment and land management laws.</p> <p>Unfortunately, changes to Australia’s federal environment laws currently underway fall short of what’s needed. To protect Australia’s imperilled species, the law must chart a new course that allows Indigenous groups to manage their Country, their way.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/434938/original/file-20211201-25-189bdrg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/434938/original/file-20211201-25-189bdrg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="A woman welcomed to Country" /></a> <span class="caption">Ngurrara Ranger Mary is welcomed to Paruku Country in the Great Sandy Desert. A meeting between many groups discussed threatened and culturally significant species.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Nicolas Rakotopare/Yanunijarra Aboriginal Corporation</span></span></p> <h2>Managing the Indigenous estate</h2> <p>Australia’s <a href="https://www.themandarin.com.au/68385-indigenous-estate-ilc-chairperson-eddie-fry-garma/">Indigenous estate</a> takes in about <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0173876">51% of the range</a> of the nation’s threatened vertebrate species.</p> <p>The Indigenous estate refers to the assets held, or reasonably likely to be held, by or for the benefit of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people. It includes land and sea held through such means as traditional ownership, native title and land rights organisations. It also includes intangible values such as cultural rights, practice and expression, as well as Indigenous knowledge and traditional management.</p> <p>A range of state and federal programs involve Indigenous participation in land and sea management, offering invaluable protection to the Indigenous estate. These include Indigenous Protected Areas and the successful <a href="https://www.niaa.gov.au/indigenous-affairs/environment/indigenous-ranger-programs">Indigenous Ranger program</a>.</p> <p>And many governments and other groups recognise that species and ecological communities can have significant cultural, spiritual and customary value to Indigenous Australians. But often, no legal mechanism exists to protect these entities.</p> <p>Some species and other entities of significance to Indigenous Australians are listed as threatened under Australia’s federal environment law, known as the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act. But authorities are not required to engage Indigenous Australians in the listing, management or recovery of these species.</p> <p>Indigenous Australians have successfully managed this continent’s landscapes and seascapes for tens of thousands of years. Their approach is holistic and integrated – considering the whole cultural landscape with a deep understanding of the interconnected relationships between species and Country.</p> <p>In contrast, management actions under federal environment law focus on the outcomes of the listed species instead of the overall health of Country.</p> <p>All this has left Indigenous groups underfunded and at the mercy of national-level management decisions, as opposed to place-based Indigenous-led action.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/434940/original/file-20211201-25-b87h6o.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/434940/original/file-20211201-25-b87h6o.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="Men sitting around a map" /></a> <span class="caption">Ngurrara Rangers map potential night parrot habitat. The meeting was hosted by Paruku Rangers and Traditional Owners in the Great Sandy Desert.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Nicolas Rakotopare/Yanunijarra Aboriginal Corporation</span></span></p> <h2>‘Surprising and disappointing’</h2> <p>The EPBC Act was recently reviewed by Professor Graeme Samuel, who was commissioned by the federal government. His <a href="https://epbcactreview.environment.gov.au/resources/final-report">final report</a> in 2020 found the law was failing in many ways.</p> <p>Samuel recommended a suite of reforms. Among other goals, they aimed to “respect and harness the knowledge of Indigenous Australians”. One year on and <a href="https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7591429/a-year-on-from-a-landmark-report-nature-and-law-reform-is-floundering/">progress</a> on implementing the 38 recommendations is slow.</p> <p>Among the recommendations were that the EPBC Act adopt a set of legally enforceable “national environmental standards” – clear rules that protect the environment and enable sustainable development. The standards <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/jan/28/australia-urged-to-overhaul-environment-laws-and-reverse-decline-of-our-iconic-places">would cover</a> matters such as threatened species, compliance, environmental data and <a href="https://epbcactreview.environment.gov.au/resources/final-report/appendix-b2-indigenous">Indigenous engagement</a> and participation in decision-making.</p> <p>It was both surprising and disappointing that Indigenous knowledge was not embedded across all proposed environmental standards. The omission means Indigenous perspectives will continue to be relegated to a stand-alone standard of “participation”.</p> <p>In particular, the national standard pertaining to threatened species made no reference to Indigenous knowledge or the Indigenous estate. And proposed <a href="http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/pages/44b768d8-75ad-417d-84cc-dfb0e069e97e/files/national-environmental-standard-mnes-2021-draft.pdf">interim standards</a> completely omit Indigenous engagement, participation and values.</p> <p>Without a mandate to include Indigenous people in threatened species planning and recovery, biodiversity will remain at risk. What’s more, significant gaps in the application of Indigenous Knowledge and protection of the Indigenous estate will continue.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/434973/original/file-20211201-27-tg1guw.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/434973/original/file-20211201-27-tg1guw.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="hands with green turtle eggs" /></a> <span class="caption">Rangers collecting green turtle eggs on Yanyuwa Country in the Gulf of Carpentaria.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Nicolas Rakotopare</span></span></p> <h2>A new kind of recognition</h2> <p>During the submission process of the review, <a href="https://epbcactreview.environment.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-06/ANON-QJCP-UGT1-F%20-%20Indigenous%20Working%20Group%20-%20Threatened%20Species%20Recovery%20Hub.pdf">many</a> Indigenous and <a href="https://www.ecolsoc.org.au/news/esa-response-to-epbc-interim-report/">non-Indigenous</a> organisations <a href="https://epbcactreview.environment.gov.au/submissions/anon-qjcp-ugt1-f">lobbied</a> for the recognition of “culturally significant entities”. These groups include the government’s own <a href="https://epbcactreview.environment.gov.au/submissions/bhlf-qjcp-ug3c-z">Indigenous Advisory Committee</a> and <a href="https://epbcactreview.environment.gov.au/submissions/anon-k57v-xf2u-j">Threatened Species Scientific Committee</a>.</p> <p>“Culturally significant entities” are species and sites of great or exceptional cultural importance to Indigenous Australians. They might be a source of identity, a medicine, lore, an important traditional food or required for cultural practices. They usually feature prominently in Indigenous knowledge, language and ceremonies.</p> <p>Submissions to the review called for these entities to be formally recognised under the EPBC Act and afforded a far higher level of protection. They also called for the mandatory participation of Indigenous Australians in threatened species nominations, listings, policy and management.</p> <p>Many Indigenous Australians were disappointed this measure was not mentioned in Samuel’s final report. Without proper legal protection, culturally significant entities will not be assessed and can be damaged by threats such as climate change, inappropriate land management and poorly conceived development proposals.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/434970/original/file-20211201-13-1b11i3o.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="Man holds lizard" /> <span class="caption">A yellow-spotted monitor – a culturally significant bush tucker species – on Karajarri Country.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Sarah Legge</span></span></p> <h2>From engagement to empowerment</h2> <p>It’s time for governments and conservation groups to recognise the enduring value of the Indigenous estate and knowledge in curbing Australia’s parlous record of biodiversity loss.</p> <p>While many of Samuel’s recommendations attempted to address issues raised by Indigenous Australians, they fall short of true empowerment and global best practice.</p> <p>As the size and scale of the Indigenous estate continues to <a href="https://minister.awe.gov.au/ley/media-releases/australia-signs-international-biodiversity-declaration">grow</a>, so to does the opportunity to arrest biodiversity decline. Rather than sitting in the back seat, Indigenous Australians must be up front in managing the recovery of Australia’s unique and precious environment.</p> <p><em>The authors acknowledge and thank the following people for their contributions to this work and article: Oliver Costello, a Bundjalung man; and Cissy Gore-Birch, a Jaru, Nyikina and Balanggarra woman, and Executive Manager Aboriginal Engagement at Bush Heritage Australia.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/172760/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/teagan-goolmeer-1288819">Teagan Goolmeer</a>, PhD Candidate, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/assoc-prof-bradley-j-moggridge-400729">Assoc Prof Bradley J. Moggridge</a>, Associate Professor in Indigenous Water Science, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a></em>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/professor-stephen-van-leeuwen-1289086">Professor Stephen van Leeuwen</a>, BHP / Curtin Indigenous Chair of Biodiversity &amp; Environmental Science, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/curtin-university-873">Curtin University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/ancient-knowledge-is-lost-when-a-species-disappears-its-time-to-let-indigenous-people-care-for-their-country-their-way-172760">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Nicolas Rakotopare/Karajarri Traditional Lands Association</span></span></em></p>

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New theory in disappearance of flight MH370

<p dir="ltr">A retired British aerospace engineer believes he has solved the mystery of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.</p> <p dir="ltr">In 2014, the plane, piloted by Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, disappeared with 239 people on board while flying from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur. No trace of the aircraft has ever been found.</p> <p dir="ltr">Talking to<span> </span><em>The Times,<span> </span></em>Richard Godfrey revealed that he’s been working on unraveling the mystery for a long time. “I’ve been plodding away for eight hours a day for seven years,” he said. “In that sort of time you can get a lot done.” In that time, he has accumulated a wealth of data on satellite communications, long-range radio signals, oceanic drift, underwater search technology, and flight simulations.</p> <p dir="ltr">Godfrey believes he has pinpointed the location of the wreckage: on the seabed 1900km west of Perth, in the complete opposite direction of where its flight path would place it.</p> <p dir="ltr">He believes the pilot had a political motive for his actions, suggesting that Zaharie was reacting to the sentencing of Malaysia’s opposition leader to five years in prison. The day before the plane took off, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was sentenced to five years in prison on sodomy charges. Godfrey believes that as a supporter of Ibrahim’s, the sentencing may have been enough to drive Zaharie to take passengers hostage. "My current view is that the captain hijacked and diverted his own plane,” he added.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, he admits that he has no evidence for these claims, describing his views as “speculation”.</p> <p dir="ltr">The key, for Godfrey, appears to be the 22-minute holding pattern which the plane entered off the coast of Sumatra. He believes that these 22 minutes were spent by the pilot attempting to negotiate Ibrahim’s release. He said, "Maybe somehow that negotiation went wrong and he ends up flying to the remotest part of the southern Indian Ocean.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The situation is made worse by the Malaysian military’s refusal to release radar date, allowing armchair theorists to attempt to fill in the gaps. Godfrey told<span> </span><em>The Times,<span> </span></em>"To me, it is clear there is still certain information being withheld, principally by the Malaysian government."</p> <p dir="ltr">It is known that Zaharie pre-planned his unusual route on a flight simulator at home, fuelling the theory that the vanishing was premeditated.</p> <p dir="ltr">Godfrey has used radio signals that act like ‘trip-wires’ to help him locate the wreckage, which he says lies 3900m below the surface of the ocean, at the base of what is known as the Broken Ridge, an underwater plateau with a volcano and ravines in the southeastern Indian Ocean.</p> <p dir="ltr">He described the tracking system known as Weak Signal Propagation Reporter (WSPR) as like having a "bunch of trip-wires that work in every direction over the horizon to the other side of the globe."</p> <p dir="ltr">Godfrey combined this new technology with satellite communications system data from the plane, explaining that, “Together the two systems can be used to detect, identify and localise MH370 during its flight path into the Southern Indian Ocean."</p> <p dir="ltr">The retired engineer says he is “very confident” he has found the missing plane. "We have quite a lot of data from the satellite, we have oceanography, drift analysis, we have the performance data from Boeing, and now this new technology," he explained. "All four align with one particular point in the Indian Ocean."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Adli Ghazali/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images</em></p>

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Theo Hayez’s last moments before disappearing uncovered

<p dir="ltr">Theo Hayez’s Google account has provided a “digital data trail” tracking what are suspected to be his last moments before his disappearance, an inquest has been told.</p> <p dir="ltr">Unfortunately, data that may assist investigators in their search cannot be accessed due to a legal technicality with Belgian authorities, a situation described by counsel assisting the coroner as “unacceptable”. Hayez’s family has flown into Australia to attend the inquest, which is expected to run for two weeks.</p> <p dir="ltr">Hayez was reported missing from Byron Bay in May 2019 after leaving a popular bar late at night. He was last seen leaving the Cheeky Monkeys bar just after 11 pm on May 31, 2019, and the last reliable data point placed Hayez and his phone at Cozy Corner near the Cape Byron cliffs.</p> <p dir="ltr">The court heard that a working theory from police was that Hayez fell while trying to climb the cliffs and was swept out to sea. “If the working theory is correct … his phone did not go with him because it was still working and transmitting data until about the afternoon of Saturday June 1, 2019,” Ms Edwards, counsel assisting the coroner, said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite extensive searches by SES teams and the police, his body was never found. His fat was recovered in bushland on the route he last took weeks after he disappeared.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ms Edwards said that location tracking data suggested he walked in the opposite direction of his hostel, but took ‘strange’ routes despite having a map open on his phone.</p> <p dir="ltr">She also said that investigators were attempting to get a statement and witness from the overseas investigators, but were hindered due to a multinational legal process not occurring. She told the court, “We tried to access that process... but it is not a process available for a missing persons coronial investigation.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We are stymied, legally, because we cannot access that treaty. Clearly, it’s an unacceptable situation where we cannot get access to what could be critical information about what’s happening that night.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The inquest, taking place in Byron Bay before State Coroner Teresa O’Sullivan, continues.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Facebook</em></p>

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