One of the claims we see thrown around fringe literature from time to time, especially among the catastrophists, is that mammoths and mastodons were “flash frozen” in some unspeakable apocalypse that kept them carefully preserved and locked in their freshness. Although surviving wooly mammoth corpses don’t appear to be Ziploc-fresh, the story recurs every few years. For example, David Childress uses them as an example of earth-crust displacement in his Lost Cities & Ancient Mysteries of Africa & Arabia: “Witness woolly mammoths flash-frozen in the Arctic with buttercups in their stomachs. They were apparently flash-frozen in a sliding of the earth’s crust.” Our fringe theorists know the story most directly from Charles Hapgood, who wrote of “edible mammoths steaks” that proved the earth-crust displacement hypothesis. His claim bequeathed our frozen mammoths to fringe history.
Given how much time I’ve spent talking about the dumb claims made for Oak Island, I thought it might be appropriate to start branding my coverage of it. What do you think of this logo? I’m not sure it if reads as more cynical than funny, but I kind of liked it. (Special thanks to the Library of Congress for the public domain landscape drawing.)
The recent dust-up over the alleged “Roman” sword supposedly found off of Oak Island is only the latest in a string of claims for Roman incursions into America made over the last 500 years or so. The oldest is probably Lucio Marineo Siculo, writing in De rebus Hispaniae memorabilibus 19 (1533), who claimed that a Roman coin of Augustus had been unearthed in Panama shortly after Spanish colonization began. “This wonderful thing has ripped the glory from the sailors of our time, who once boasted that they had sailed there before all others,” he wrote, “since the evidence of this coin now makes certain that the Romans once reached the Indies” (my trans.).
J. Hutton Pulitzer Claims "Oak Island" Producer Uses Secret Nude Footage from Other Shows to Lure Talent
Note: This post has been updated to reflect a February 4 email from J. Hutton Pulitzer clarifying his February 2 blog post.
Let’s stipulate off the bat that J. Hutton Pulitzer is in no way qualified to investigate history. He has not the education, the curiosity, or the temperament to examine evidence or create a coherent argument. But that doesn’t mean that everything he says is useless. In a blog post last night Pulitzer unintentionally offered a shocking portrait of the sordid world of cable television, even as he proceeded to misunderstand the events in which he took part.
I am a bit short on time today since I am having my bathroom renovated for the second time in a month, this time to correct the previous contractor’s mistakes. I have time only for a short update, but it’s a fairly depressing one.
For most Americans the Super Bowl is something akin to a secular holiday, while for advertisers it’s the biggest stage on which to display their wares to America’s largest television audience. That’s why it is so horrifying to find that Taco Bell, a division of Yum! Brands, will be promoting the ancient astronaut theory and cross-promoting the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens during an event seen by more Americans than any other.
"Oak Island" Producer Admits to Trying to "Discredit" Pulitzer; Plus: Sean David Morton's New Career & More!
As much as I am bored by the J. Hutton Pulitzer circus, how could I ignore the statement Curse of Oak Island executive producer Kevin Burns gave to Frank magazine about Pulitzer? As Andy White reported this morning, Burns asked Oak Island stars Rick and Marty Lagina to buy the “Roman” sword for the twin purposes of crafting drama and humiliating Pulitzer. Burns wrote (emphasis in original):
J. Hutton Pulitzer Uses Ancient Astronaut and Atlantean Claims to Defend "Roman" Voyages to Oak Island
I had been hearing rumors for several months now that conspiracy theorist and geologist Scott F. Wolter had joined the Freemasons, an organization he previously accused of conspiring to suppress the truth about history and manipulate world governments. But now it seems to be official, with Wolter’s elevation to the rank of Master Mason reported in the January-February edition of the Minnesota Mason. According to that publication, Scott F. Wolter is a member of the Wayzata Lodge (no. 205) and joined the order sometime in 2015. Wayzata is in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area and is close to Wolter’s home. Since Masons are supposed to keep their mouths shut about Masonry’s secrets, this will either force Wolter to curtail his conspiracy theories or open himself to charges of hypocrisy for making insinuations about secrets he shouldn’t be discussing.
Back in 2013, I discussed the work of Christos A. Djonis, a fringe speculator who believes that Plato’s Atlantis dialogues have been incorrectly translated and that his own translation revealed that Atlantis was actually the Cyclades through his unique decision to rearrange the word order of the English translation by following the Greek word order irrespective of grammar. Well, Djonis is back again, this time with claims that the ancient Greeks discovered America.
After Rapper Claims Earth Is Flat, Science Writer Says Bad Ideas Are Fine as Long as They Have Good Intentions
Musicians, being the creative type, seem prone to supporting fringe ideas. We’ve had metal bands that sing about ancient astronauts and the Insane Clown Posse considering magnets to be a form of magic. The hip hop community created a stir by causing conspiracy theorists to foam at the mouth over Illuminati imagery in hip hop videos. Now one rapper is taking the fringe beliefs all the way back to before Eratosthenes by denying that the Earth is round.
FX Network Releases Analysis of Peak TV and Reveals the Ratings for Your Favorite Fringe History Shows
Many of you have probably heard about the phenomenon of “peak TV,” a term for the overabundance of television programs currently airing across the broadcast, cable, and streaming spectrums. According to an analysis conducted by the FX network, primetime alone saw 1,415 television series in 2015. Obviously, no one could watch them all. However, in releasing their analysis, FX provided us with some data that cable networks have been trying to keep secret, namely the total number of viewers who watch their programs.
We all know that Ancient Origins has low standards and the Romanian nationalist writer who goes by the name of Valdar has among the lowest standards in fringe history, but are people really willing to accept an obviously Photoshop-manipulated photograph of a skeleton as a 10-meter-tall giant allegedly uncovered in Romania in 1976? Apparently so, since this particular conspiracy theory about giants in Romania has been percolating since at least 2013, with spikes in interest annually. The anti-gay gigantologist Steve Quayle has an article about the supposed giants or Romania, which appears to have been mechanically translated from a Romanian original, and which supposedly tells the story behind the fictitious photograph.
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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