On Friday’s edition of Ancient Aliens the show claimed that NASA published an “official” paper on ancient UFO sightings in the Roman era. As always, Ancient Aliens got it only half right. The paper was actually an article by Richard B. Stothers from the Classical Journal 103.1 (2007), which was reprinted by NASA because Stothers, who died in 2011, was a mathematician and astrophysicist who worked at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He came to the study of ancient history through his work investigating ancient chronicles to help document climate change. Since I had never heard of Stothers’s “Unidentified Flying Objects in Classical Antiquity,” it’s worth taking a look at Stothers’s argument and evidence.
This week A+E Networks, the parent of the History Channel and H2, entered into an agreement with Vice Media to turn over a cable channel to the millennial-focused news organization. According to published accounts, that channel will be H2, thus explaining why History moved Ancient Aliens off the lame duck network, bringing its 1.4 million viewer back to the main History channel. But since we know A+E Networks’ agenda, I guess that only leaves us to study “The Alien Agenda,” the putative subject of this week’s instant-rerun episode of Ancient Aliens.
The Milwaukee alternative radio program The Rundown Live interviewed precious metals salesperson and gigantologist Steve Quayle on Wednesday. Quayle claimed that in the 43 years he has studied giants, he has learned that there is no element of world history not touched by the Nephilim. Quayle says that he has documented his findings with “thousands of footnotes” (big deal—my Jason and the Argonauts had around a thousand end notes by itself, but does his number imply quality?), and he refuses to “apologize” for the Bible. His claims come fast and hard, and he throws out esoteric ideas, Bible references, and right wing propaganda in equal measure, and interchangeably. For him, all of mythology can be reduced to Genesis 6:1-4, whose story of the fallen angels mating with earth women is the essence of all history and the key to every myth system on earth; beyond this, the Bible is the one true history of all the earth. All others are corrupt lies.
I’ve had it with Fallen Angels and their hybrid offspring with human women. They are everywhere in fringe world, and you can’t throw a stone without hitting one. Several alert readers sent me notice that the latest episode of Survivorman S06E05 “Bigfoot: Smoky Mountain Sasquatch” involved a supposed Bigfoot “expert,” Scott Carpenter, speculating that the imaginary backwoods ape is actually a member of the Nephilim, the offspring of the Sons of God from Genesis 6:4. The Sons of God are better known in fringe world as the Watchers from the Book of Enoch.
Today I have some disconnected odds and ends to share.
Yesterday I reported on Newsweek’s “special edition” going inside the world of secret societies, and I discussed how slipshod and crappy the content was. I also mentioned that Newsweek’s ancient rival, Time, is also in the business of producing sensationalized supermarket checkout “special editions.” Well, what should I discover when I went to the supermarket this morning but that Time does in fact have an identical “special edition” under its Life brand! It’s another magazine about “secret societies” and promises the exact same revelations. This was too bizarre to be a coincidence, and upon further investigation it appears that the Life edition was first published in 2012 and was rushed back to store shelves to compete with the Newsweek version. What a “win” for readers!
Newsweek has always been America’s second newsmagazine, though the recently resurrected version of the magazine is a pale imitation of what the storied brand once was. But like its competitor Time, Newsweek is prone to sensationalized “special editions” that are essentially coffee table books masquerading under the magazine’s name. Their most recent is Secret Societies: Penetrating the Inner Circle, a 100-page pseudo-book composed of articles on the Illuminati, the Freemasons, the Knights Templar, and more, and promising conspiracies and more conspiracies. The cover, for example, says they’ll be “exploring Illuminati influence [and] revealing Masonic rituals,” probably because the Illuminati don’t exist and therefore can’t sue for libel like the Masons could if Newsweek were to declare them secret genocidal maniacs.
From time to time I will be highlighting largely unread blog posts I made in the first years of this blog. Due to a work event, I am away today, so please enjoy the following repeat of a blog post from 2012 in which I discuss the Greek poet Pindar and his encounter with a space rock.
I am constantly amazed by fringe historians and their justifications for incomplete evidence, sloppy research, and zany conclusions. Over at Graham Hancock’s website, author and cable TV producer Kevin Curran has an “Author of the Month” article discussing his self-published book Fall of a Thousand Suns: How Near Misses and Comet Impacts Affected the Religious Beliefs of Our Ancestors, a book that is in essence a rewriting of Ignatius Donnelly’s Ragnarok: The Age of Fire and Gravel, updated with more recent references. The central arguments are the same: At the end of the last Ice Age a large comet struck the earth, causing devastation to some lost culture and generating countless myths and legends related to fire from the sky. Both also attribute Noah’s Flood to a cometary impact, a claim first made by Edmond Halley in 1694 and made famous by William Whiston in a 1696 book. Curran adds a second and more recent comet strike, in historical times, because he dates the Flood of Noah later than Donnelly and therefore needs two comets to achieve the same results.
I give up on trying to number these episodes; the production order and the broadcast order are so far out of whack that I think I will have to give up until season eight. My numbering will continue to follow the order season seven started with, irrespective of the retroactive renumbering. Ancient Aliens S07E16 “The Vanishings” was originally scheduled to run at New Year’s but for whatever reason has been held until now. Lucky us!
On Wednesday fringe historian Graham Hancock was to debate former Egyptian Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass on the origins and function of the Giza pyramids. However, when Hawass discovered that Hancock would be making reference to the Orion Correlation Theory and using a picture of fringe theorist Robert Bauval in his slideshow, Hawass loudly demanded Hancock remove all references to the work of a man Hawass considers a “thief.” When Hancock refused to do so, Hawass stormed out of the theater and refused to engage in a debate. Instead, both men gave separate lecturers without interacting. Their interaction was caught on tape:
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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