My son was particularly fussy last night, and I am currently operating on only two hours’ sleep. I am too tired to do much writing this morning, so I will keep this brief. Since I heard from a few of you that you find the material about the fragments of the lost treatise on Egyptian mysteries by the (presumed) Egyptian Jewish author Abenephius to be interesting, I wanted to call your attention to a particularly unusual fragment from the supposedly medieval author, in which the author provides one of the more bizarre mythological identifications that I have come across: “Mithras was the first king of Egypt, and he was said to be Misraim, the son of Ham, the son of Noah, the first of all mankind who carved on stone pillars the sacred mysteries of nature” (quoted in Kircher, Historia Obelisci Pamphilii 2.10, my trans.). That’s a new one on me!
While I am sure that the fragments of the otherwise unattested writer Abenephius that I translated and wrote about last week are probably not as interesting to you as they are to me, I’ve been puzzling a bit over the question of authenticity. As I wrote last week, the material found in the excerpts recorded by the Renaissance polymath Athanasius Kircher is not terribly original, but at the same time it is not exactly what one would expect Kircher to have made up, either, since a forger would have been more likely to produce something more … exciting? … well, interesting anyway. However, one question that came to my mind is if we know the degree to which the fragments reflect material from a specifically Jewish context. Previous analyses, taking the text at its Arabic face value, have attempted to fit the fragments into an Arab-Islamic context, possibly because many scholars have chosen to assume that Kircher’s identification of the author as “Abenephius the Arab” superseded his original identification of him as an Egyptian Jew named Rabbi Baracahias Nephi.
Before we begin today, I would be remiss if I did not mark today as the anniversary of Kenneth Arnold’s famous sighting of unidentified flying objects, later wrongly identified as flying saucers, seventy years ago. In honor of this important anniversary, I will direct you to my page on the U.S. government’s investigation into the origins of the flying saucer myth, which outline how Arnold’s sighting became fodder for Raymond Palmer, editor of Amazing Stories, a man who was responsible for turning a minor flap into the foundation for legend of flying saucers, mostly as grist for his ongoing promotion of the Shaver Mystery.
L. A. Marzulli Weighs in on Peruvian "Alien," Claims So-Called "Deep State" Is Plotting to Destroy Nephilim Researchers Like Him
Yesterday I mentioned that the story promoted by Gaia TV about the preserved remains of an “alien” corpse found in Peru has created a great deal of controversy because it has not been examined by qualified experts and appears at first glance to be a rather crudely sculpted statue. But more importantly, it has created a rift in the fringe community between those who want to embrace the “alien” as proof of extraterrestrials and those who are wary about embracing yet another in a long series of hoaxes. This week Nephilim researcher L. A. Marzulli tried to have it both ways but was clearly covering his bases for when this thing inevitably goes south. That wasn’t as interesting, though, as his new claim that the so-called “Deep State” is actively working to destroy him and other Nephilim theorists.
You probably saw the bizarre story this week, ably reported by Sharon Hill at Doubtful News, that the mummy of a space alien had been found in Peru. At first glance, the supposed extraterrestrial corpse looks more like a fake badly sculpted in plaster. However, I am more interested in the story behind the claim, notably the involvement of frequent hoaxer Jaime Maussan, who was involved in last year’s demon fairy hoax with L. A. Marzulli as well as the Roswell Slides fraud. The supposed discovery of the mummy was announced on none other than Gaia TV, the former on-demand yoga channel that now plays host to vanity projects from several of the Ancient Aliens talking heads as part of a corporate effort to be a subscription service for ancient astronaut believers, a strategy tied to its founder’s longstanding obsession with ancient astronauts.
A few days ago, I discussed a bit about the mysterious Arabic manuscript of Abenephius, or the Rabbi Barachias Nephi, which the Renaissance polymath Athanasius Kircher claimed to have had in the 1630s. Suspicion has long lingered over the claim, especially since Kircher never let anyone see more than one page of the text, and his story about who wrote it and what it contained changed over time. When I discussed this the other day, I mentioned that Daniel Stolzenberg believes that the fragments of Abenephius quoted by Kircher in his three major works of Egyptology, Historia Obelisci Pamphilii (1650), Oedipus Aegyptiacus (1652-1655), and Sphinx Mystagoga (1676), contain enough evidence of an Arab-Islamic origin (despite claims of Jewish authorship) that he believes the fragments to be the genuine remains of a lost medieval Arabic manuscript treating this history of the hieroglyphs and Egypt.
Former Ancient Aliens talking head and self-described psychic Sean David Morton is today a fugitive from justice after he failed to show up for his sentencing for tax fraud. A judge issued a warrant for his arrest.
Yesterday Ancient Origins published a new article by Ryan Stone claiming that “recently” scientists have begun to examine Flavius Josephus’ The Wars of the Jews for evidence of flying saucers. That claims sounded familiar, and it took only a few seconds to discover that Stone was baldly summarizing a 2007 article that had already appeared on Ancient Aliens and claiming the resulting paraphrase as new work. Maybe I’m just getting tired of the low quality of ancient astronaut material, but it’s really starting to annoy me how much material is simply copies of copies of copies.
“What’s the frequency, Kenneth?” That was the nonsensical question that a mugger asked former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather back in the 1980s. Before that, hippies asked about the “vibe” and the Beach Boys sang about “Good Vibrations.” For a long time now there has been a New Age belief that vibrations and electromagnetic frequencies have a secret occult meaning connected to the underlying architecture of the universe. Without getting into unnecessary detail, the modern version seems to be a sort of marriage between modern scientific notions of the constant state of movement of subatomic particles with the ancient idea of the music of the spheres, the resonance through which the cosmos produced mathematical harmony, just as a vibrating string produces a note.
Ancient Aliens offered its own discordant hour of musical meltdown in an episode, “The Alien Frequency,” devoted to the “discovery” that monuments around the world all vibrate to the same imaginary frequency, a signal that they attribute to the operation of space aliens.
In a few days self-described psychic, former Ancient Aliens talking head, and longtime conspiracy theorist Sean David Morton will be sentenced for a series of crimes that included filing false tax returns and creating and cashing fake U.S. Treasury checks. Morton joins convicted embezzler Erich von Däniken and the other rogues’ gallery of ancient astronaut theorists who have had run-ins with the law. Fringe history, like other fringe fields, attracts a number of frauds, con artists, and unscrupulous snake oil salesman looking to exploit extreme beliefs for cash.
When I discussed Ibn Wahshiyya’s book on hieroglyphics yesterday, I briefly mentioned that there is some evidence that the text might be a forgery, and that evidence came from Athanasius Kircher, the eccentric Renaissance polymath whom you will remember as the man who investigated reports of giant human skeletons, among other oddities. Kircher wrote several books on Egyptology, and in researching his failed attempt to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics I encountered the fascinating but bizarre question of Abenephius, an Arabic-language writer whom Kircher relies upon for information about ancient Egypt but whose very existence is in doubt. What’s infuriating is that his reality would help solve a vexing problem in pyramid mythology related to the question of the origins of Surid, the alleged builder of the Great Pyramid before the Flood in Islamic lore.
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.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter, The Skeptical Xenoarchaeologist, for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.