Registration for the course opened yesterday.
History Channel Launches College Course While Telling Its TV Viewers Professors Are Suppressing the Truth
I’m sure that you’re getting pretty sick of the giants, and frankly so am I. But since the History Channel wants us to take giants as serious topic of study, giving Jim Viera a weekly giant-hunting TV series, it’s only fair that we return the favor. This is especially vital with news this week that the History Channel is moving into the education business. The History Channel has partnered with the University of Oklahoma to offer “the very first TV Network-branded” for-credit $500 online history course, according to a press release. The course is worth 3 semester credits. It will cover American history from the Civil War to the present and will be taught by Steve Gillon, the network’s scholar in residence.
Registration for the course opened yesterday.
I’m often asked why I spend time looking for the truth behind fringe historians’ claims. The short answer is that I have the time and the familiarity with their claims to do so, but the larger answers is that so much of our economy is based on purposely hiding information for personal gain. A good example of that was the shock I received this morning when the bill for my new boiler showed up. When I signed the paperwork for it, I opted for a financing plan that the company assured me was “financing” through a major national bank, with fixed monthly payments for what I was made to understand would be two years. If I had known what was apparently buried ten pages into the “financing” agreement I would never have signed it. The “financing” agreement was actually a credit card they took out in my name, with a 28% interest rate, generating more than $2,000 in interest over the life of the “financing,” which was actually four years, paying only the minimum. By omitting key information—that this wasn’t a financing loan from a major bank but rather a credit card with a picture of a hammer on it, I was, in theory, out an extra $2,000 on top of the original cost of the boiler.
The post has been corrected.
You’ll remember Micah Hanks, the self-described “Mouth of the South” who has pursued claims that giants once roamed the earth. He was at it again last week, and he complained about me while doing it! As part of an article for Mysterious Universe, Hanks cites a Russian report found only in the Spanish language edition of RT, the Russian government's propaganda channel. He gives a Google Translate version, which is somewhat rough. I have taken the liberty of translating the complete article manually:
Yesterday I presented William A. Hinson’s plagiarism of a Fate magazine article on the giants, and in it, Hinson makes an unusual claim that he copies word for word from Fate, which adds this after describing a “giant” with a double row of teeth allegedly found in California: “It has a singular tie-in with the statement in the old Babylonian Talmud, called the Berakthoth, that the giants before the Great Deluge had double rows of teeth.”
The brain trust over at A+E Networks revoked my journalistic credentials overnight and locked me out of their press site. Apparently it took them more than a week to realize that they still don’t like me. It’s good to know that their grand plan to generate better publicity for their programs is to exact petty vengeance. I’m sure that will make for kinder reviews of their upcoming slate of pseudoscience shows on the History and H2 networks, which kicks off with a week of outrageousness, starting with new Ancient Aliens on October 31, the return of The Curse of Oak Island and the premiere of Search for the Lost Giants on November 2, and the season premiere of America Unearthed on November 8.
So in honor of A+E Networks’ dedication to making sure Search for the Lost Giants will premiere without a preview on this site, I thought I’d discuss some of the highlights of “giant” scholarship over the next week as we move toward the show’s premiere.
If anyone is interested—and I can’t imagine many will be—Richard Thornton published his latest screed attempting to vindicate the episode of America Unearthed on which he appeared nearly two years ago. In it, he complains about “those who had set up web sites to attack” America Unearthed and the tyranny of the cabal of professors who are suppressing the truth about the Maya, this time in terms of their supposed visits to Miami. Thornton is particularly upset this week about scholarly rejection of the claim that the Mayaimi, who gave their name to Miami, were really Maya based on a shared syllable. He falsely claims that people believe Mayaimi to mean “Big Water” (rather than “Maya”) because of Wikipedia:
I recently watched the first episode of the BBC’s fascinating three-part documentary Art of Gothic, written and presented by art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon, and it was a wonderful look at the influence of the Gothic on the arts in Britain in the late eighteenth century. As you might have guessed, what Graham-Dixon calls “Gothic” art, we here stateside prefer to term Gothic Revival or Neo-Gothic, to distinguish it from the period that succeeded the Romanesque in the Middle Ages. The documentary featured gorgeous photography and a cultured and urbane narration that skillfully and insightfully examined the origins of the dark and gloomy moment of terror that overtook Britain at the end of the Enlightenment.
A+E Networks, the parent company of H2 and the History Channel, hasn’t always gotten along with me, particularly when they threatened to sue me last year over Scott Wolter’s “Hooked X®” trademark. But they were kind enough to accredit me as a journalist, which gives me access to screeners for their upcoming shows. I had hoped this would allow me to watch Search for the Lost Giants ahead of time, but no such luck. I received access to the first episode of the 10-part Brad Meltzer’s Lost History instead. It is one of the few new shows for which History/H2 has made a screener available.
So, lucky you: You’re getting an early review of Lost History. Keep in mind that screeners are unfinished and subject to change, so some of what I am previewing below may be different in the final version that makes it to air. Although H2 has not placed any restrictions on my reporting on the screener, I will be speaking primarily in general terms about the show, so you will need to watch the episode for specific names of individuals involved, the background and history of the objects discussed, and other key details.
Today I have a few odds and ends to discuss.
I have closed the comments on yesterday’s blog post due to the ridiculous number of comments making threats and engaging in verbal fireworks. I have only recently been given the power to close comments on individual blog posts rather than the blog as a whole, so I intend to use this power to prevent comments explosions like yesterday’s. For now, comments will remain open on each new blog post, but if readers begin to abuse the comments, I will delete the comments and switch that entry’s comments to “require approval” or close them entirely. This will, I hope, balance the ability to comment with some measure of control over extreme situations.
NOTE: I awoke the morning after posting this to more than 200 new comments which included threats and intemperate language. I deleted most of the comments and have closed further comments. The closure affects ONLY this blog entry. Other entries remain open.
As per the request of the individual first mentioned in this blog post, all reference to him has been removed.