Einstein's General Relatvity Confirmed Near Black Hole

Observations made with ESO's Very Large Telescope have for the first time revealed the effects predicted by Einstein's general relativity on the motion of a star passing through the extreme gravitational field near the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way. This long-sought result represents the climax of a 26-year-long observation campaign using ESO's telescopes in Chile.

Observations made with ESO's Very Large Telescope have for the first time revealed the effects predicted by Einstein's general relativity on the motion of a star passing through the extreme gravitational field near the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way. This long-sought result represents the climax of a 26-year-long observation campaign using ESO's telescopes in Chile.

University of Cologne - July 30, 2018



Observations made with ESO's Very Large Telescope have for the first time clearly revealed the effects of Einstein's general relativity on the motion of a star passing through the extreme gravitational field very close to the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way. This long-sought result represents the climax of a 26-year-long observation campaign using ESO's telescopes in Chile. 

Obscured by thick clouds of absorbing dust, the closest supermassive black hole to the Earth lies 26,000 light years away at the centre of the Milky Way. This gravity monster, which has a mass four million times that of the Sun, is surrounded by a small group of stars orbiting at high speed. This extreme environment -- the strongest gravitational field in our galaxy -- makes it the perfect place to test gravitational physics, particularly Einstein's general theory of relativity.

New infrared observations from the exquisitely sensitive GRAVITY, NACO and SINFONI instruments on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) have now allowed astronomers to follow one of these stars, called S2, as it passed very close to the black hole during May 2018 at a speed in excess of 25 million kilometres per hour -- three percent of the speed of light -- and at a distance of less than 20 billion kilometres.

These extremely delicate measurements were made by an international team led by Reinhard Genzel of the Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrial physics (MPE) in Garching, Germany, in conjunction with collaborators around the world. The observations form the culmination of a 26-year series of ever more precise observations of the centre of the Milky Way using ESO instruments. 'This is the second time that we have observed the close passage of S2 around the black hole in our galactic centre. But this time, because of much improved instrumentation, we were able to observe the star with unprecedented resolution', explains Genzel. 'We have been preparing intensely for this event over several years, as we wanted to make the most of this unique opportunity to observe general relativistic effects.'

The new measurements clearly reveal an effect called gravitational redshift. Light from the star is stretched to longer wavelengths by the very strong gravitational field of the black hole. And the stretch in wavelength of light from S2 agrees precisely with that predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity. This is the first time that this deviation from the predictions of simpler Newtonian gravity has been observed in the motion of a star around a supermassive black hole. The team used SINFONI to measure the motion of S2 towards and away from Earth and the GRAVITY interferometric instrument to make extraordinarily precise measurements of the position of S2 in order to define the shape of its orbit. GRAVITY creates such sharp images that it can reveal the motion of the star from night to night as it passes close to the black hole -- 26,000 light years from Earth.

'Our first observations of S2, about two years ago, already showed that we would have the ideal black hole laboratory', adds Frank Eisenhauer (MPE), Co-Principal Investigator of the GRAVITY instrument. 'During the close passage, we managed not only to precisely follow the star on its orbit, we could even detect the faint glow around the black hole on most of the images.' By combining the position and velocity measurements from SINFONI and GRAVITY, as well as previous observations using other instruments, the team could compare them to the predictions of Newtonian gravity, general relativity and other theories of gravity. As expected, the new results are inconsistent with Newtonian predictions and in excellent agreement with the predictions of general relativity. More than one hundred years after he published his paper setting out the equations of general relativity, Einstein has been proved right once more.

The hardware contribution of the Institute of Physics I of the University of Cologne was the development and construction of the two spectrometers of GRAVITY. The spectrometers analyse the wavelength of the observed stellar light and convert the received photons into electronic signals. 'GRAVITY is a technological challenge. However, after more than two decades of astrophysical research on the high velocity stars in the Galactic Centre and on the development of astronomical instrumentation, the effort has been rewarded with an excellent result in experimental physics', says Andreas Eckhart from the University of Cologne.

Continuing observations are expected to reveal another relativistic effect later in the year -- a small rotation of the star's orbit, known as Schwarzschild precession -- as S2 moves away from the black hole.



Different Ways Robots and Artificial Intelligence can be Hacked





Artificial intelligence is the new big thing, but according to a recent research conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, we cannot completely depend on AI due to it being hackable.

Researchers at MIT found a way to hack into Google’s Cloud Vision API by penetrating past its shields of codes and logics proving that AI is not completely foolproof.

How Did They Do It

Google’s Cloud Vision inspects, examines and then identifies different objects in a picture. The tool is basically designed to help people identify objects from persons to animals to cars.

This is a cool software that is being used by people all around the world, but now that it has found to be hackable, questions have started to pour in.

The team first worked black box conditions, and could not see the workings of the software and could only view the output provided by it.

To fool the system, they designed a method to rapidly generate adversarial examples for the black box to confuse it.

The researchers used output and slowly altered photos pixel by pixel to fool the system. After about a million queries, they were able to fool the technology into believing the images to be dissimilar.

For example , they changed the image of a helicopter pixel by pixel, to look like this picture with rifles,  while maintaining the “helicopter” classification.

The MIT team didn’t just alter random photos. They used a standardized method to target the image recognition system, and inch by inch or here we should say pixel by pixel they moved towards a picture through which they would be able to fool the software .

The Bottom Line

It was fortunate that this hack was done by the MIT team, but also leaves a question about the use of AI.

Wreck of Russian warship found...believed to hold Gold worth $130 billion

  • A South Korean salvage team has reportedly discovered the wreck of a Russian warship
  • It's believed to still contain 200 tons of gold bullion worth 150 trillion won ($130 billion)
  • The Russian Imperial Navy cruiser Dmitrii Donskoi was sunk 113 years ago


A South Korean salvage team has reportedly discovered the wreck of a Russian warship that is believed to still contain 200 tons of gold bullion and coins worth 150 trillion won ($130 billion).

The Russian Imperial Navy cruiser Dmitrii Donskoi, which was sunk in a naval battle 113 years ago, was discovered at a depth of more than 1,400 feet about one mile off the South Korean island of Ulleungdo, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The U.K. newspaper reported that a joint team made up of experts from South Korea, Britain and Canada discovered the wreck on Sunday. They had used two manned submersibles to capture footage of the vessel.

The images caught by the submersibles show “extensive damage to the vessel caused in an encounter with Japanese warships in May 1905, along with cannons and deck guns encrusted with marine growth, the anchor and the ship’s wheel,” the Telegraph reported.

There are reports that the Dmitrii Donskoi, which was scuttled during the Russo-Japanese war in 1905, went down with 5,500 boxes of gold bars and coins still in its holds to stop the Japanese seizing it.

The Seoul-based Shinil Group, which led the exploration that found the ship, hopes to raise it in October or November. It estimates the gold would have a value today of around $130 billion.

Half of any treasure found aboard the vessel would be handed over to the Russian government, the company said, while 10 percent of the remainder will be invested in tourism projects on Ulleungdo Island, including a museum dedicated to the vessel, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Emerging Stem Cell Ethics




Douglas Sipp, Megan Munsie, Jeremy Sugarman

It has been 20 years since the first derivation of human embryonic stem cells. That milestone marked the start of a scientific and public fascination with stem cells, not just for their biological properties but also for their potentially transformative medical uses. The next two decades of stem cell research animated an array of bioethical debates, from the destruction of embryos to derive stem cells to the creation of human-animal hybrids. Ethical tensions related to stem cell clinical translation and regulatory policy are now center stage and a topic of global discussion this week at the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) annual meeting in Melbourne, Australia. Care must be taken to ensure that entry of stem cell–based products into the medical marketplace does not come at too high a human or monetary price.

Despite great strides in understanding stem cell biology, very few stem cell–based therapeutics are as yet used in standard clinical practice. Some countries have responded to patient demand and the imperatives of economic competition by promulgating policies to hasten market entry of stem cell–based treatments. Japan, for example, created a conditional approvals scheme for regenerative medicine products and has already put one stem cell treatment on the market based on preliminary evidence of efficacy. Italy provisionally approved a stem cell product under an existing European Union early access program. And last year, the United States introduced an expedited review program to smooth the path for investigational stem cell–based applications, at least 16 of which have been granted already. However, early and perhaps premature access to experimental interventions has uncertain consequences for patients and health systems.

A staggering amount of public money has been spent on stem cell research globally. Those seeking to develop stem cell products may now not only leverage that valuable body of resulting scientific knowledge but also find that their costs for clinical testing are markedly reduced by deregulation. How should this influence affordability and access? The state and the taxpaying public's interests should arguably be reflected in the pricing of stem cell products that were developed through publicly funded research and the regulatory subsidies. Detailed programs for recouping taxpayers' investments in stem cell research and development must be established.

Rushing new commercial stem cell products into the market also entails considerations inherent to the ethics of using pharmaceuticals and medical devices. For example, once a product is approved for a given indication, it becomes possible for physicians to prescribe it for “off-label use.” We have already witnessed the untoward effects of the elevated expectations that stem cells can serve as a kind of cellular panacea, a misconception that underlies the direct-to-consumer marketing of unproven uses of stem cells. Once off-label use of approved products becomes an option, there may be a new flood of untested therapeutic claims with which to contend. The ISSCR and the United States Federation of State Medical Boards have both recently issued guidelines on clinical translation and use, but adoption and enforcement remain key issues.

The new frontiers of stem cell–based medicine also raise questions about the use of fast-tracked products. In countries where healthcare is not considered a public good, who should pay for post-market efficacy testing? Patients already bear a substantial burden of risk when they volunteer for experimental interventions. Frameworks that ask them to pay to participate in medical research warrant much closer scrutiny than has been seen thus far.

Striking the proper balance between streamlining review processes and ensuring that there is sufficient evidence before bringing products into clinical use is a perennial predicament for patients, payers, scientists, clinicians, and regulators. For stem cell treatments, attaining this balance will require frank and open discussion between all stakeholders, including the patients it seeks to benefit and the taxpayers who make it possible.

George Orwell would love this...

Genealogy databases and the future of criminal investigation



The 24 April 2018 arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo as the alleged Golden State Killer, suspected of more than a dozen murders and 50 rapes in California, has raised serious societal questions related to personal privacy. The break in the case came when investigators compared DNA recovered from victims and crime scenes to other DNA profiles searchable in a free genealogical database called GEDmatch. This presents a different situation from the analysis of DNA of individuals arrested or convicted of certain crimes, which has been collected in the U.S. National DNA Index System (NDIS) for forensic purposes since 1989. The search of a nonforensic database for law enforcement purposes has caught public attention, with many wondering how common such searches are, whether they are legal, and what consumers can do to protect themselves and their families from prying police eyes. Investigators are already rushing to make similar searches of GEDmatch in other cases, making ethical and legal inquiry into such use urgent.

In the United States, every state, as well as the federal government, has enacted laws enumerating which convicted or arrested persons are subject to compulsory DNA sampling and inclusion in the NDIS database. The NDIS contains more than 12 million profiles, and it is regularly used to match DNA from crime scenes to identify potential suspects. It is only helpful, however, if the suspect—or a family member of the suspect—has been arrested or committed a crime and their DNA has been collected and stored.

The case of the Golden State Killer is not the first instance of investigators turning to nonforensic DNA databases to generate leads. This was not even the first time investigators used genealogical DNA matches to develop and pursue a suspect in the Golden State Killer case itself. A year before investigators zeroed in on DeAngelo, they subpoenaed another genetic testing company for the name and payment information of one of its users and obtained a warrant for the man's DNA. He was not a match. Similarly, in 2014, Michael Usry found himself the target of a police investigation stemming from a partial genetic match between his father's DNA, stored in an Ancestry.com database, and DNA left at a 1996 murder scene. On the basis of the partial match, police were able to obtain a court order requiring Ancestry.com to disclose the identity of the database DNA match. After mapping out several generations of Usry's father's family, investigators zeroed in on Usry, eventually securing a warrant for his DNA. Ultimately, Usry was cleared as a suspect when his DNA proved not to match the crime scene DNA.

But there have also been reported successes. In 2015, for example, Arizona police arrested and charged Bryan Patrick Miller in the Canal Killer murders based in part on a tip drawn from a genealogical database search (1). Searches like these, drawing on genetic information unrelated to the criminal justice system, may offer substantial benefits. Allowing police to conduct similar database searches in other cases is likely to lead to more solved crimes. Moreover, expanding law enforcement investigations to encompass genealogical databases may help to remedy the racial and ethnic disparities that plague traditional forensic searches. In accordance with state laws, official forensic databases are typically limited to individuals arrested or convicted of certain crimes. Racial and ethnic disparities throughout the criminal justice system are therefore reproduced in the racial and ethnic makeup of these forensic databases. Genealogical databases, by contrast, are biased toward different demographics. The 23andMe database, for instance, consists disproportionately of individuals of European descent. Including genealogical databases in forensic searches might thus begin to redress, in at least one respect, disparities in the criminal justice system.

There are few legal roadblocks to police use of genetic databases intended to help individuals explore their health or identify genetic relatives. The Fourth Amendment's protection against warrantless searches and seizures generally does not apply to material or data voluntarily shared with a third party, like a direct-to-consumer genetics testing or interpretation company or a genetic matching platform like GEDmatch. Once an individual has voluntarily shared her data with a third party, she typically cannot claim any expectation of privacy in those data—and so the government need not secure a warrant before searching it.

Beyond the Constitution, three federal laws protect some genetic data against certain disclosures, but these too are unlikely to provide an effective shield against law enforcement searches in nonforensic genetic databases. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) protects genetic data, but only against certain uses by employers and health insurers.. GINA provides no protection against law enforcement searches. Similarly, most companies and websites offering DNA testing, interpretation, or matching services directly to individuals likely are not covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule, which governs the use and disclosure of identifiable health information. These providers are usually careful to explain that they are not engaged in health care or the manipulation or provision of health data. Finally, although certificates of confidentiality protect scientific researchers from disclosing data to law enforcement—even against a warrant —they do not extend to scenarios in which law enforcement is just another contributor to and user of online genetic resources, such as public databases and matching tools. Certificates of confidentiality have faced few challenges in court, and so it is also uncertain whether the protection they purport to provide will hold up against a challenge by law enforcement seeking access.

Consistent with this legal landscape, companies and websites that generate, interpret, or match genetic data directly for individuals often do not promise complete protection. In terms of law enforcement, for instance, 23andMe states in its privacy policy, “23andMe will preserve and disclose any and all information to law enforcement agencies or others if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such preservation or disclosure is reasonably necessary to…comply with legal or regulatory process (such as a judicial proceeding, court order, or government inquiry)…”. Ancestry.com similarly discloses, “We may share your Personal Information if we believe it is reasonably necessary to: [c]omply with valid legal process (e.g., subpoenas, warrants)…” . And in the wake of the Golden State Killer arrest, GEDmatch has altered its terms of service to explicitly permit law enforcement use of its database to investigate homicides and sexual assault. Although these disclaimers are usually unambiguous, they are sometimes buried in terms of service or privacy policies that many individuals do not take care to read or fully understand.

Despite the lack of legal protection against law enforcement searches of nonforensic databases, such searches may run counter to core values of American law. The Fourth Amendment is a constitutional commitment to protect fundamental civil rights. Part of that is a commitment to protecting privacy or freedom from government surveillance. Police cannot search a house without suspecting a specific individual of particular acts—even if doing so would enable the police to solve many more crimes. Yet, database searches permit law enforcement to search the genetic data of each database member without any suspicion that a particular member is tied to a particular crime. Although the U.S. Supreme Court has approved suspicionless genetic searches for individuals with diminished expectations of privacy, like those arrested or convicted of crimes, ordinary members of the public are different. Familial searches, like those used in the Golden State Killer investigation, are an even further departure from the Supreme Court standard. Certainly, individuals who commit crimes and leave their DNA behind forfeit any expectation of privacy in that DNA. But a usable forensic identification requires two matching parts: a crime scene sample and a database profile that matches it. Suspects identified through familial searches cannot be said to have voluntarily shared their genetic profile in a database of known individuals, even if a genetic relative has.

The Supreme Court is poised to reconsider its broad rule that the voluntary sharing of data negates expectations of privacy—and thus negates Fourth Amendment protections against warrantless government searches. In Carpenter v. United States, the Supreme Court will determine whether police must obtain a warrant to justify access to historical cell phone records revealing the movements and location of a cell phone user over a long period of time (9). In the digital age, in which nearly all data are at least nominally shared with third parties like internet service providers, website hosts, and cell phone companies, the current rule means that the Fourth Amendment often does not apply. Carpenter may reshape this rule to account for the realities of a big-data world. A ruling in Carpenter that limits police use of historical cell phone data may substantially affect police practices surrounding genetic data as well, as merely sharing data with another might well be insufficient to permit its suspicionless search by the government for crime-detection purposes.

Even if the Supreme Court decision in Carpenter does not revamp Fourth Amendment rules governing police access to shared data, the setting of that case suggests another way to resolve concerns about police access to nonforensic genetic databases. In the Stored Communications Act, Congress provided substantial statutory protection for email and other digital information maintained on the internet. Under the act, a court may order disclosure of electronic records if the government “offers specific and articulable facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe” that the records sought “are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation” (10). This standard is less onerous than the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement, but it is notably more demanding than any protections the law currently provides.

Enacting similar protection for genetic data stored in nonforensic databases would ensure that the government cannot subject ordinary individuals to suspicionless genetic searches, while allowing investigators to access genetic data where there is reason to believe a particular individual may be tied to a particular crime. A Stored Genetics Act would likely render law enforcement searches of nonforensic genetic databases unlawful for crime-detection purposes, as there can be no “specific and articulable” connection between particular database records and a particular crime when investigators seek to use such a search to generate leads, not investigate them. Thus, although such an approach would preserve freedom from perpetual genetic surveillance by the government, it may well result in fewer solved cases.

Legislatures may understandably be loath to enact a total prohibition of such searches. At a minimum, however, policy-makers should delineate under what circumstances such searches are acceptable. For example, several states, including California, Colorado, and Texas, have identified prerequisites to the use of familial searches of the state's own forensic database, including that the crime to be investigated is serious and that traditional investigative techniques have been exhausted without success. Similar constraints could be placed on law enforcement searches of nonforensic databases. The challenge of this approach is that limitations on the scope of use can erode quickly. Thus, although Colorado's policy governing familial searches of the state's forensic database limits such searches to crimes with “significant public safety concerns,” police in that state used a familial search to solve a car break-in where the perpetrator “left a drop of blood on a passenger seat when he broke a car window and stole $1.40 in change”. The erosion of limits on crime-solving technology may well be inevitable, and it threatens our collective civil liberties and opens the door to socially and politically unacceptable genetic surveillance.

Whatever legislative solution is adopted, it must at least take into account public perspectives to clearly delineate acceptable uses and balance the social benefit of solving cases with individuals' interests in avoiding unwarranted government scrutiny.

Golf Icon

mike austin.png

In honor of US Open this week I have decided to honor a true legend that most, even golf fans, have never heard of..

You probably never heard of Mike Austin. He was a professional golfer whose career spanned half a century from the 1930s through the 1980s. It is both amazing and sad that this phenomenal man has fallen into obscurity. He had a career that included being an intelligence officer and pilot in WW2, acting in movies, teaching golf to celebrities like Howard Hughes and Jack Lalane, and he even had his own TV show.

Austin was known for his exceptionally long drives. So much so that he hated the PGA because he found out that other golfers were bribing the officials at tournaments to not be paired with them. They were afraid of being embarrassed by him. With his 4-iron he could hit the ball further than the other players would hit their drivers. Austin also said they would always make him go out in the first group of the day...in the morning when the fairways were wet and would prevent the ball from gaining distance by not rolling far in the grass.

In 1974 at the U.S. National Seniors Tournament at the Winterwood Golf Course in Nevada Austin he hit the longest recorded drive by a professional in PGA history.  On a 450 yard par 4, he drove the green and the ball kept rolling. When it stopped it was an astonishing 515 yards from the tee. Unreal. (Then he hit a wedge onto the green and three putted for bogie)

Of course there are some things that helped him. There was a 20 mph tailwind and the balls tend to roll far on dry desert fair ways. But this was also in 1974 with that eras technology. With modern clubs and balls it is very possible that he could have hit it even farther. The long hitters on todays tour, like Doosh-ba Watson (more on him later in the week) and Dustin Johnson drive the ball about 320 yards...a full two football fields shorter.

Mike Austin could swing his driver at an incredible 155 mph! To put this into perspective, the best guys that you see on TV are swinging their drivers around 115 or 120 mph. Even in the long drive contests where the competitors are like 6'8" and built like linebackers, those guys are 'only' swinging around 135 mph. Austin said he learned how to develop this incredible speed when he was earning his PHD in Kinesthesiology and the Mechanics of the Golf Swing. The guy was true Bad-Ass.

Check this out...its from the TV show he used to have.




Gerolamo Cardano


Gerolamo (or Girolamo, or Geronimo)  24 September 1501 – 21 September 1576) was an Italian polymath, whose interests and proficiencies ranged from being a mathematician, physician, biologist, physicist, chemist, astrologer, astronomer, philosopher, writer, and gambler. He was one of the most influential mathematicians of the Renaissance, and was one of the key figures in the foundation of probability and the earliest introducer of the binomial coefficients and the binomial theorem in the western world. He wrote more than 200 works on science.

Cardano wanted to practice medicine in a large, rich city like Milan, but he was denied a license to practice, so he settled for the town of Saccolongo, where he practiced without a license. There, he married Lucia Banderini in 1531. Before her death in 1546, they had three children, Giovanni Battista (1534), Chiara (1537) and Aldo (1543).[6] Cardano later wrote that those were the happiest days of his life.

With the help of a few noblemen, Cardano obtained a teaching position in mathematics in Milan. Having finally received his medical license, he practiced mathematics and medicine simultaneously, treating a few influential patients in the process. Because of this, he became one of the most sought-after doctors in Milan. In fact, by 1536, he was able to quit his teaching position, although he was still interested in mathematics. His notability in the medical field was such that the aristocracy tried to lure him out of Milan. Cardano later wrote that he turned down offers from the kings of Denmark and France, and the Queen of Scotland.

Cardano was the first mathematician to make systematic use of numbers less than zero. He published with attribution the solution of Scipione del Ferro to the cubic equation and the solution of his student Lodovico Ferrari to the quartic equation in his 1545 book Ars Magna. The solution to one particular case of the cubic equation a x 3 + b x + c = 0 {\displaystyle ax^+bx+c=0}  (in modern notation), had been communicated to him in 1539 by Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia (who later claimed that Cardano had sworn not to reveal it, and engaged Cardano in a decade-long dispute) in the form of a poem, but Ferro's solution predated Fontana's. In his exposition, he acknowledged the existence of what are now called imaginary numbers, although he did not understand their properties, described for the first time by his Italian contemporary Rafael Bombelli. In Opus novum de proportionibus he introduced the binomial coefficients and the binomial theorem.

Cardano was notoriously short of money and kept himself solvent by being an accomplished gambler and chess player. His book about games of chance, Liber de ludo aleae ("Book on Games of Chance"), written around 1564, but not published until 1663, contains the first systematic treatment of probability, as well as a section on effective cheating methods. He used the game of throwing dice to understand the basic concepts of probability. He demonstrated the efficacy of defining odds as the ratio of favourable to unfavourable outcomes (which implies that the probability of an event is given by the ratio of favourable outcomes to the total number of possible outcomes. He was also aware of the multiplication rule for independent events but was not certain about what values should be multiplied.


Circle Lake / Floating Island Mystery

I saw a show about this on TV last night and I thought it was pretty cool.

Located near the northeastern edge of Argentina, in the swampy marshes of Parana Delta, is an enigmatic floating island that allegedly rotates on its own axis. Nicknamed “The Eye”, the nearly perfect circular island has become the subject of an upcoming documentary that will try to unravel the mystery of its existence.

The Eye was discovered six months ago by Argentine film director & producer Sergio Neuspillerm, who was looking for filming locations for a film about paranormal occurrences, like ghost and alien sightings, in the area. After spotting the unusually round island surrounded by an equally round body of water on Google Earth, Neuspillerm and his crew knew they had stumbled upon something truly special, so they abandoned their original film project and decided to focus on this mystery instead.


“When locating this reference in the map we discovered something unexpected that left the film project in the background, we call it ‘The Eye’,” Neuspillerm said in a video. “The Eye is a circle of land surrounded by a thin channel of water with a diameter of 130 yards. Both circles [the water and land] are so perfect that it is hard to believe that this is a natural formation.”

Neuspillerm soon teamed up with Richard Petroni, a hydraulic and civil engineer from New York, and tech expert Pablo Martinez and together journeyed to Parana Delta to see The Eye first hand. “The place was amazing and extremely strange. We discovered that the water is incredibly clear and cold, something totally unusual in the area,” the filmmaker said. “The bottom is hard in contrast to the swampy marshes surrounding it and the center part floats. We don’t know over what, but it floats.”

Their expedition brought up more questions than answers, so the trio of explorers recently set up a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund a second expedition to The Eye and hopefully learn more about its origins and purpose. They’re asking for $50,000, of which they have raised $8,800, with 28 days to go. For a pledge of $25, backers will be invited to watch the upcoming documentary on The Eye online and see all the white papers from the analysis and tests conducted during the investigation. However, for a $10,000 contribution, you get to accompany the team on their historical expedition, while $5,000 guarantees you a spot on a subsequent visit to the enigmatic island.


“We want to return with a complete scientific expedition having scuba gear, geologists, biologists, ufologists, specialized drones and more, and take samples of the water, soil, plants an all other objects we may find,” Neuspillerm said about their project, called ‘Elojo’ (The Eye). “We want to understand The Eye’s relation with supernatural stories told by the locals.”

The Eye has apparently been visible on Google Maps – at coordinates 34°15’07.8’S 58°49’47.4″W – for the last decade, but until the Elojo project went public, no one ever paid it any mind. Now, the internet is buzzing with theories about its existence. Most are associating it with UFO activity and go as far as to claim that the rotating island is concealing an alien base, while the locals believe that its circle-within-a-circle shape represents the presence of God on Earth.

Pablo Suarez, who does dynamic systems modeling at Boston University, allegedly told Paranormal News that he has never seen anything like The Eye before. He added that the almost perfect circular shape makes it unlikely to be simple crater or a formation created by a typical natural phenomenon.

However, the same website recently received a message from someone named Daniel Roy Finkley who claims that The Eye is no mystery. It is apparently one of dozens of formations with more or less irregular edges. He claims that they are actually a characteristic natural environment of the coast. There’s also a YouTube video that shows several similar formations around Argentina.