Did you see the story on Ancient Code claiming that the FBI “admitted” that aliens are transdimensional beings from another reality? I know we live in a post-truth universe where facts don’t matter, but you’d think that even bottom-feeding click-bait writers would have a basic level of reading comprehension.
Russian Government Embraces Pseudoscience as Scientists Warn of Public Embrace of "Reptilian" Theory
One of the themes I’ve tried to explore over the last few years is the way that bad ideas about history and science work their way into public policy, where these bad ideas have genuine and measurable impacts on real people. We saw this when the Mound Builder myth helped to inform Andrew Jackson’s rationale for the Trail of Tears. We saw this when the false facts of scientific racism helped to justify Jim Crow laws and eugenics. We see it now with Donald Trump’s reported fascination with anti-vaccine activism. At every step, bad ideas were used to make life worse for whole groups of people. That’s why I was disturbed yet fascinated to read about the ways that Vladimir Putin has put pseudoscience to work in Russia, at the expense of actual science.
Occultist Peter Levenda Defends Musician and Ufologist Tom DeLonge's Use of Fiction to Deliver UFO Disclosure
This week occultist Peter Levenda appeared on the UFO Modpod podcast with Jason McClellan, Maureen Elsberry, and Ryan Sprague to discuss his involvement with ufologist and rock musician Tom DeLonge’s “Sekret Machines” UFO disclosure project, in which DeLonge and a cast of novelists, occultists, and ufologists say they will disclose U.S. government UFO secrets provided by shadowy “insiders” through a series of novels, nonfiction books, documentaries, and scripted entertainment. Levenda’s contribution is looking to be a masterclass in postmodern obfuscation. But to understand this, it’s probably a good idea to give a little background on “Sekret Machines” world.
On NPR on Wednesday, CNN’s conservative commentator and Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes demonstrated astonishing hypocrisy when the opponent of all things “liberal” embraced postmodernism’s most pernicious interpretation to declare that objective truth no longer exists: “It’s kind of like looking at ratings or looking at a glass of half-full water. Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth or not true. There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts.” I’m confused: I thought conservatives opposed relativism for destroying Western Civilization. Slimy elites will say anything when convenient to justify the excesses of the powerful.
History Channel Thinks Moe Howard Might Be Hitler; Plus: Micah Hanks's Confusing Views on Speculative Fiction
So, all season long the History Channel’s Hunting Hitler is investigating this photograph of “Hitler” to “prove” that the Führer was alive in the 1960s. According to clips shown in the season premier, they found extensive similarities! Sadly, this is all wrong. As a correspondent pointed out to me after the photo made a return appearance this week, in fact, it is a picture of Three Stooges member Moe Howard, taken in the 1970s, part of a series of snapshots taken apparently on the same day in front of the same car. There’s a degree of humor in this since Howard parodied Hitler in You Nazty Spy (1940).
Last night on The Curse of Oak Island, the program name-checked “forensic geologist Scott Wolter” as one of “a growing number” of “scholars” who allege that the “so-called ‘hooked X’” is a Templar symbol. The team examined a piece of sandstone with an X with a “hook” intentionally scratched into it. Anyone, of course, could have created it at any time. Naturally, this excited the show about Templars again because the producers decided that Templars are the main through-line of the season. It’s still a show about digging holes, and I still find it painfully boring. I will be interested, though, to see whether Wolter’s outrage from last week about having his pet fantasy coopted continues now that the producers have paid him obeisance. In a tweet this morning, Wolter claimed that an X had been scratched atop a natural formation, with the “hook” being natural. “NOT Templar IMHO,” Wolter tweeted.
New York Times Founder Admitted Stories of Monsters, Ancient Artifacts, Unearthed Treasure Were Lies
When I mentioned the silly story of the flat-earthers who believe that the Japanese preserved an ancient Chinese map of the flat earth, including the Americas, I blamed the newspaper for perpetuating a hoax. I compared it to similar hoaxes, like the 1885 “lost city” hoax, the 1909 Grand Canyon hoax, and the 1912 Atlantis hoax. But this inspired me to take more of a look at just how widespread hoaxing was prior to World War II, when modern professional standards began to take hold.
Yesterday, the Xplrr Media, LLC crew of Scott Wolter and J. Hutton Pulitzer delivered another hour-long podcast criticizing The Curse of Oak Island. They spent the time complaining about the show for many of the same sins found on Scott Wolter’s own America Unearthed, particularly stretching out investigations rather than getting to the point, over-dramatizing minor events, etc. They reiterated their claims that the show is “unwatchable” and that the production is doing damage to archaeological sites. Pulitzer returned to his favorite insult, referring again to people who live in their mother’s basements, this time to say that their personalities predispose them to liking pink Volkswagen Beetles. However, since the two men made no news except to restate the story of Zena Halpern’s allegedly ancient Templar map and say that it (and other copies of copies of alleged documents) came from a shady figure Wolter won’t name (via a military operative who served in Vietnam!), there is really nothing to discuss here. I’ll just mention that Wolter can’t remember his own America Unearthed episodes, so Pulitzer tells listeners to Google “America Unearthed plus New Ross plus Templars.” If you do that, most users will be directed to my review of America Unearthed as the top result. Oops!
After a long week of a heavy subjects, I thought that something lighter might be in order for Sunday. Today, let’s take a look at an article that’s been making the rounds of Flat Earth believers. Even ancient astronaut theorist Klaus Dona weighed in. It comes to us from the January 11, 1907 edition of the Hawaiian Gazette and alleges to be a map of the world made in Japan more than 1,000 years ago. But as critical readers will notice, the story has more than a few hints of the Zeno Map and Zena Halpern map stories. As with those maps, this one is also a redrawn modern copy of an allegedly ancient map unseen by anyone. Like the Zeno Map, the original was also allegedly rotten with age, explained by a mysterious ancient letter unseen by anyone else, and it also serves to glorify the geographic areas connected to its “discoverer.” In this case a Japanese resident of Hawaii found a map in Japan that was ignorant of Madagascar, Greenland, and Polynesia but somehow managed to include Hawaii front and center!
A week after J. Hutton Pulitzer announced on Facebook that he would not be commenting on the fourth season of Curse of Oak Island, he and business partner Scott Wolter delivered an hour-long podcast analyzing the fourth season of Oak Island. Pulitzer announced in the podcast that he has “retracted” his earlier Facebook posting. Wolter dismissed Curse, which held steady this week with 2.66 million viewers, as a “silly show,” while Pulitzer alleged that Curse of Oak Island’s production company, Prometheus Entertainment, is intentionally incorporating material originally presented on Scott Wolter’s America Unearthed, a show produced by a rival company, Committee Films. During the podcast, Wolter said that he told Prometheus Entertainment not to discuss his so-called “Hooked X®” because he had trademarked the phrase.
I'm an author and editor who has published on a range of topics, including archaeology, science, and horror fiction. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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