The Protagonists: SBRG

Article published on 26 September 2012

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What is the SB Research Group, or SBRG? According to Dr. Debertolis, one of its leading lights, the SBRG is a multidisciplinary international Italo-Croatian-Finnish research group, whose purpose is that of studying from a non-orthodox point of view the archaeological sites with which they are involved. The reason for this is because (as the SBRG put it) the application of traditional archaeological methods means that important aspects of technology and construction could be missed, because no one has the requisite knowledge to recognize and understand them.

The group was founded in late 2010, initially working just on the Bosnian "Pyramids". But their activities soon extended to other locations, such as megalithic sites in Britain and elsewhere, their particular focus being archaeo-acoustics research as inspired by the PEAR Group from Princeton University, founded in the 1990’s.

The group’s name comes from the Bosnian term “SB”, meaning “illusions”, which would mean that the group is really the "Illusions Research Group." [1]

As one would expect from a multidisciplinary team, the individual members of the SBRG, some ten in all, have a variety of different professional backgrounds and areas of expertise, ranging from medical anthropology and architecture, through to geology and engineering. This is the site on which they publish items of news and provisional conclusions, available in four languages, although not all material has been translated.

The group is guided by what appears to be a commendable ethos of sharing and transparency, posting all developments on its website. "This obviously subjects the group to fierce criticism along the way if there are any mistakes, but also confirms the group members’ desire to be completely open about everything," says Debertolis.

Personally, I do not agree with this policy, because science and research need a solid basis if any claims are to be properly supported, and indiscriminately posting on the Internet press releases, and rash statements based more on personal intuition than on objective evidence, runs the risk of possibly misleading those readers who, though interested in the subject, nevertheless don’t have sufficient in-depth knowledge to be able to tell the difference between hypotheses and claims, or between hypotheses and theories. If, when drafting his statements, the author does not specify whether his claims are working hypotheses or conclusions - conclusions presumably drawn from established facts - the reader is likely to become confused, eventually driven to wonder whether what has just been presented as "evidence" is not simply hunch or intuition. This, quite apart from the content, is probably the main reason for the "fierce criticism" made of the SBRG over the years by those who have something to say on the subject, because it rarely happens that, within the space of a couple of years, we will witness the spectacle of researchers lending equally strong support to one particular theory and also its precise opposite. When we find this happening, one can’t help but wonder if, perhaps in a year or so, they would reach yet another conclusion. Maintaining a healthy scepticism in the face of such an erratic situation is hardly an easy task.

Debertolis adds that : "The very criticisms themselves, coming from such a wide pool of users, are in fact helping us to fine tune what must surely be ground-breaking research." The reality is that, during our exchange of emails with Debertolis, we noticed the same unwillingness to accept criticism that he displays in the forums where he posts. But we’ll be discussing Dr. Debertolis himself in more detail shortly.

The group, if its director is to be believed, does not apparently receive any funding, and supports itself by donations from its members, a claim that we have not been able to either verify or disprove.

One aspect of particular interest is that, according to Dr. Debertolis, and as stated on the site, the SBRG had its beginnings in a university context (“University of Trieste, Milan Polytechnic, University of Venice").

We tried to verify some of this information both before and after contacting Dr. Debertolis.

In particular, we asked the universities mentioned to at least confirm whether they had any involvement with the SBRG Research Group. The only response that we received was from the Polytechnic of Milan, who, with commendable promptness and courtesy, wrote:

"I can tell you that we have no scientific association or partnership with the SB Research Group. We have requested the immediate removal of the logo and link to the official site of the Polytechnic of Milan."

The University of Trieste, however, although contacted on several occasions, has never replied. No approach has been made to the University of Venice.

On 6th June 2012, we took a screenshot of the SBRG site, at which time the homepage appeared as follows:

Page d’accueil du site du SBRG à la date du 6 juin 2012 - Home Site SBRG – date 6th June 2012

On 8th August, the site looked like this:

Page d’accueil du site du SBRG à la date du 8 août 2012 - Home Site SBRG to 8th August 2012

With the Polytechnic logo removed.

On several occasions during the past couple of years, Debertolis has also boasted of having links with, or even the support of, the universities mentioned above, using phraseology such as:

"So there is one site making references to the Visoko Civilization - namely, our research project (http://www.sbresearchgroup.eu).
Both I and my colleague from Milan Polytechnic are supported by our respective universities. As a research group that came into being through a connection between researchers from two institutions (University of Trieste and Milan Polytechnic) where financial considerations certainly don’t play any part, we are attempting to carry out research with absolute scientific rigour. "

It is therefore difficult to understand why the Polytechnic should deny any involvement with the SBRG, and why, if this collaboration does exist, the Milan Polytechnic logo was removed from the SBRG site.

The only clear link between the SBRG and Polimi (Milan Polytechnic) is represented by Dr. Lucia Krasovec Lucas, a professor in the Faculty of Architecture at the Polytechnic of Milan, and one of the leading members of the SBRG.

Although we tried to contact her on several occasions, Dr. Krasovec Lucas has never responded to any of our emails.

When questioned, Dr. Debertolis declined to answer any of our queries, but has modified the following sentence, previously to be found on the SBRG site home page:

Expressing specific interest as such are, in particular, the Faculty of Clinical Medical Sciences (Surgical and Health), Department of Archaeological Odontology, of the University of Trieste; and the Department of Architecture and Planning, Faculty of Architecture, Technical University of Milan.

To read as follows:

Expressing specific interest on this question are , in particular, the University of Trieste Faculty of Clinical Medical Sciences (Surgical and Health), Department of Archaeological Odontology, now ultimately responsible for supervision of the project.

The part referring to Milan Polytechnic has been removed - although only after we had pressed the point - ostensibly on the grounds of a change of policy in the Faculty of Architecture at Milan Polytechnic.

The relationship between the SBRG and the Bosnian Pyramid Foundation seems to be one of subsidiary collaboration, in the sense that the SBRG have had an agreement drawn up that allows them free access to archaeological sites. The SBRG is not financially or organizationally dependent on the Foundation, but is under an obligation to share any results of its research with the latter. This is tantamount to saying that any SBRG findings are also partly the Foundation’s, in that the Foundation have the ability to evaluate, approve or reject them.

This aspect is of particular interest given that the SBRG have experienced various problems with the Foundation, finding itself in the firing line for findings that didn’t match up with the Foundation’s expectations, the latest development being in September 2012 ( the Mike Tate story, about which more later), after which the SBRG is now apparently organizing a strategic withdrawal from Bosnia.

We conclude this description of the SBRG with a list of the group’s activities over the past couple of years, which consist of excavations in the Ravne tunnel, excavations in some so-called "test shafts" on the slopes of the hills, investigations into mysterious sounds and electromagnetic radiation emanating from the top of the Pyramid of the Sun, and other activities of minor importance.

Notwithstanding attempts to pressurize us into refraining from more detailed comment on some aspects of this question or run the risk of legal action, and despite the fact that this has resulted in the omission of some facts from this section that would otherwise have formed interesting topics of discussion, our research has nevertheless revealed the philosophy and modus operandi of the SBRG, and some of its rasher statements and claims, as well as its dependence on the Foundation. Disagreements with the latter have now resulted in the SBRG dissociating itself from its Bosnia-based activities. It’s evident from press releases, some more detailed than others, that the SBRG displays the same voracity for sensationalism and publicity as the Foundation. This turn of phrase is one illustration of what we mean: "Later, we were also to find the marks of nails on the wall, as if someone had been trapped within and been overcome by despair. But these nail-marks were left by only three fingers." This statement was posted on one forum by Dr. Debertolis, accompanied simply by an image (that, though we do not have permission to reproduce it, can be found on the SBRG site), with no other detail. Feelings and impressions generally seem to prevail over more objective considerations, so one doesn’t see that the SBRG have any grounds for complaint if they end up coming in for criticism. As regards the affair as it touches Milan Polytechnic, we prefer not to comment just at the moment.

More details:

Interesting discussion on a non-Italian forum. (“Pablito” is Dr. Debertolis)

(We would like to draw attention to this sentence written by Dr. Debertolis, dated 11/09/2012: “It is not possible to have the logo of University on our research without authorization and before this authorization they examined very well our project of research.” (P. 4) And the Milan Polytechnic logo?)

The Dentist, the Architect, their Foreman and the Customer Service Manager

SB Research Group

Abacus tries again


UPDATE 23/12/2012

We have some breaking news about the relationship between the SBRG and the universities mentioned in the article.

We contacted the University Department of Clinical Medical Sciences, Surgical and Health, University of Trieste, in the person of the Director, Dr. Roberto Di Lenarda, who responded to our request for clarification in a way that can only be described as guarded and unhelpful. Treating us as if we were in a police station, he began by asking us for photographic ID. When we refused to comply with this request, he proceeded to cut the correspondence short in a way that left us with no choice but to conclude that the Department of Medical Sciences of the University of Trieste does in fact support and approve all research conducted by the SBRG.

Further confirmation of such a conclusion is provided by this paper, of debatable scientific value, published by the SBRG in the first edition of a (hitherto unknown) "online conference":

http://www.sbresearchgroup.eu/Immagini/Debertolis%20&%20Savolainen%202012.pdf

At the end appears the following text:

We are grateful to Department of Medical Sciences of the University of Trieste (Italy) for supporting in our research and in particular to the Director, professor Roberto Di Lenarda.

which, indeed, leaves little doubt on the matter, even though neither the University of Trieste website nor the Department of Medical Sciences site displays a single official document referring to this collaboration.

Let us now turn our attention to Milan Polytechnic.

On the catastrophist website, nibiru_2012.it, Dr. Debertolis has posted a series of documents clarifying the sequence of events concerning the educational institution in question.

It seems that the SBRG sent a request for cooperation, consisting of two pages, as shown below:

Collaboration Request - page 1

Collaboration Request - page 2

Debertolis maintains that these documents have been available online for some time, and accuses us of having deliberately ignored them. With respect, we find that we are unable to accept what he says, and we hope that he will accept our assurance that, had we seen those documents, we would have published the relevant links at the relevant time.

In any case, we have been denied access to the registered users part of the SBRG site for weeks now, our account having been blocked in the same way as the accounts of all those who have criticised the SBRG. We are therefore effectively prevented from carrying out any confirmatory checks on these statements.

The documents contain certain points of immediate interest. First, the Polytechnic expresses no concern about collaborating in an urban architecture study in which the supposed age of the structures is never mentioned; nor are the phenomena known as "ghostlets;" nor is the presence of sound emissions from beneath the ground. Nor, at that time, in February 2011, had the affair of the mechanism buried at a depth of some kilometres yet come to light, or it would surely have facilitated the PoliMi decision.

The other interesting thing is the list of requests, of which we will discuss just two.

It is in view of this situation that the DiAP [the Department of Architecture of Milan Polytechnic] are requested to participate in the project, in line with the agreement whose outlines are shown as follows:

1) to declare their interest in the activities undertaken by the project, to collaborate with those organizations that have already expressed interest in the project, and others that may be added later, and to be the lead partner eligible to apply for funding under national, international, and community programmes to be defined later;
[...]

5) to authorize the use of the Department logo of the Polytechnic of Milan on the site of the sbresearchgroup.eu, and on articles, publications and other information material relating to the project.

Basically, what was being sought was the agreement of PoliMi to obtain funding, together with authorization for the SBRG to use the PoliMi logo. Apparently, however, the request did not give details of quite all aspects of the project.

Why was there no mention, for example, of the fact that, at that location, the largest pyramid in the world was to be found, tangible evidence - at 14,000 years old - of a highly advanced civilization inhabiting Europe when Egypt barely even existed?

The reader will have been aware that, up to this point, we have been discussing the request made to the Polytechnic of Milan.

So did the Polytechnic of Milan respond to the request?

Yes, they did: the Polytechnic of Milan reply.

A polite response … and a highly interesting one.

Interest in the project is indicated, as is a willingness to consider the possibility of collaboration with the organizations mentioned in the request, and also: " … a willingness, subject to the above-mentioned appraisal, to assume the position of Lead Partner ..."

So what is missing?

Just about everything.

For instance, there is no confirmatory declaration of effective cooperation between DiAP and the SBRG, or between PoliMi and the SBRG.

And no permission is – or, indeed, could have been - given to use the Polimi or DiAP logo.

In common with every departmental head at the Polytechnic of Milan, the head of the Department of Architecture did not have the power to authorize any use of the Polimi logo. Only the office in overall charge had the power to do that. The Head of Department can only authorize the use of their particular department logo, and, in this case, that was not done.

In any case, perhaps as a result of the above consideration, or of a change of priorities amongst the upper échelons of the Department of Architecture of Milan Polytechnic, this collaboration did not take place, and Milan Polytechnic has no relationship of any kind with the SB Research Group.

However, there remains the question of exactly who authorized the SBRG to insert the Polytechnic logo on their home page.

Notes :

[1Allusion to certain phenomena formed by mist that Dr. Debertolis described at the time of his first visit to the Ravne tunnel.


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