"Alien" Mummies Actually Desecrated Human Bodies; Plus: Ashley Cowie's Confused Article on Vandalism and the Destruction of Monuments
Live Science paid up to view Gaia TV’s exploitative Unearthing Nazca streaming TV show in order to learn more about the supposed three-fingered “alien” mummies that Russian researchers allege are somehow both genetically and biologically human while also being inhuman morphologically. After viewing the documentary and examining broadcasted images of the mummies’ bones, experts consulted by Live Science determined that the most likely explanation is that the bodies are genuine Andean mummies that have been desecrated, with parts removed or rearranged to appear “alien” before a coating of a white, plaster-like substance was applied to hide the crude taxidermy.
Live Science found that Russian state media, the Russian propaganda channel RT, and other Russian outlets were heavily promoting the story—despite the fact that many of the credentials Gaia assigned to the lead Russian researcher, Konstantin Korotkov, could not be verified. The schools where he claimed to work, for example, either had no record of him or did not exist. It’s almost like the whole story was set up just to see how gullible American audiences could be, and how servile the media.
If you have been following the ongoing saga of L. A. Marzulli’s DNA analysis of elongated skulls from Paracas, Peru, you know that Marzulli had assembled a team of questionable experts to analyze the skulls and their supposed forensic anomalies. Over the past few weeks, he has interviewed his team’s anthropologist and medical doctor for his Acceleration Radio show. This week, the team chiropractor spoke out. But not before Marzulli gave his thoughts about UFO disclosure and why demons are currently working alongside space aliens in a U.S. government facility.
Regular readers will remember Ashley Cowie, the Scottish television personality and occasional Ancient Aliens pundit who now writes milquetoast articles on ancient history for dubious outlets like Ancient Origins. In one of his recent articles for Ancient Origins, Cowie had such a howler that I can’t help but pause to make note of how he displays a truly surprising ignorance of the subject he claims to write knowledgeably about. His topic is an odd one: dragon’s teeth. But it also happens to be one I wrote about extensively in my book Jason and the Argonauts through the Ages, so I am extremely familiar with the primary sources and the scholarly literature that Cowie appears never to have read.
Russians Push "Alien" Peruvian Mummy Narrative; Plus: Forgery Scandal Calls Ancient Luwian Inscriptions into Question
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post outlining Russian efforts over the past sixty or seventy years to use UFO and ancient alien ideas as political weapons to undermine the West. I therefore read with interest reports coming out of Russia this week that scientists in that country identified a set of three-fingered mummies from Peru as being non-human. The story ran in Sputnik News, a Kremlin-backed propaganda publication, before being picked up by one of Rupert Murdoch’s tabloids. The FBI and Scotland Yard have investigated Murdoch’s companies for their questionable Russian connections for years, including Murdoch’s interest in companies with ties to Russian Pres. Vladimir V. Putin’s United Russia party. Murdoch has also used his media businesses to support U.S. Pres. Donald J. Trump against allegations of Russian collusion with a soft line on Russian propaganda efforts.
ENLIGHTENMENT NOW: THE CASE FOR SCIENCE, REASON, HUMANISM, AND PROGRESS
Steven Pinker | 543 pages | Viking | 2018 | ISBN: 9780525427575 | $35
Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now has been in stores for a few weeks now, and I need not devote much space in this review to detailing Pinker’s many failings. Other reviewers have more than adequately demonstrated that Pinker’s Pollyanna pronouncements on the utopian glory of modern society are shortsighted, and his grasp of the Enlightenment, the putative topic of his book, is incomplete at best. Pinker makes almost no mention of the individual philosophers of the Enlightenment, nor does he take time to note the differences among them, subsuming all of their many and varied opinions on reason and science to the skepticism of David Hume and the veiled atheism of Voltaire. He also fundamentally misunderstands the Enlightenment as the pursuit of pure reason against all emotion, a fact belied by no less a figure than Immanuel Kant, who literally wrote a book entitled Critique of Pure Reason (1781/1787) in which he stated that his purpose was to criticize “the faculty of reason in general, in respect of all knowledge after which it may strive independently of all experience.” More directly relevant, while Pinker claims Enlightenment figures bowed before reason, Hume actually discounted the power of reason to discover moral truth: “Reason is wholly inactive, and can never be the source of so active a principle as conscience, or a sense of morals” (Treatise, 188.8.131.52)
Weekend Roundup: "Ancient Aliens" Can't Count; Ex-Fox News Host Praises Spiritualism; and Robert Sheaffer Tries to Find Tom DeLonge's Money
Ancient Aliens has never been known for its factual accuracy, so it only makes sense that the series can’t even get its own anniversary correct. According to TV Shows on DVD, this June the History Channel and Lionsgate Entertainment will be releasing the Ancient Aliens tenth anniversary commemorative box set, featuring what press materials call the series’ first ten years of content:
Just in time for its 10th anniversary comes this mammoth ANCIENT ALIENS gift set featuring all 135 episodes from the HISTORY channel hit! The best-selling acclaimed HISTORY series celebrates its 10th anniversary with this incredible gift set featuring all 10 seasons, all 135 episodes and over 100 hours of content.
L. A. Marzulli's Team Doctor Speaks Out on Paracas Skulls, Genetically "Pure" Races, and Fallen Angel Hybridization
For the second week in a row, Nephilim theorist L. A. Marzulli has devoted the second half of his Acceleration Radio broadcast to interviewing a member of his Paracas skulls research team about the results of their investigation into the skulls’ elongation. Last week Marzulli interviewed geography instructor and anthropologist Rick Woodward, who alleged that the skulls had genetic anomalies, even though many of the “anomalies” are discussed in the scholarly literature as the result of known processes. This week, that team member being interviewed is Dr. Michael Alday, a specialist in occupational and preventative medicine. The interview begins around 26 minutes into the hour, after the rightwing propaganda about “elites” manufacturing a new Civil War and the commercial for pet urine stain remover.
Libertarian Writer Says We Get "Frankenstein" Wrong, Should Celebrate Triumph of Science Over Limits of Nature
Every week I receive messages asking why I bother to cover topics the writer considers too discredited or ridiculous to have anything to do with the reality of daily life. And then we hear stories like yesterday’s revelation that British Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn and at least half a dozen other high-ranking party members were participants in a private Facebook group where they shared Holocaust denial claims, Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about the Rothschilds (the timely subject of my forthcoming British history magazine article), and conspiracy theories from David Icke, the British personality who folded the Protocols of the Elders of Zion into a ridiculous tale of space aliens and lizard-people. The Labour Party confirmed the story to Britain’s Telegraph, but Corbyn said he made only a few posts and condemns the group’s Anti-Semitism.
China's Hunt for Zheng He's Treasure Fleet Seen as Effort to Appropriate History for Political Propaganda
At the beginning of the century, British writer Gavin Menzies wrote the bestseller 1421: The Year China Discovered America (2002), in which he alleged, without sufficient evidence, that the Chinese admiral Zheng He had crossed the Pacific Ocean and reached the New World. While archaeologists dismissed the claim as fantasy, there was a widespread suggestion at the time that Menzies was inadvertently doing the work of Chinese propaganda, and that the country’s Communist regime would use the claim to support its growing role on the global stage by inventing a historical precedent. China secured Menzies’s cooperation by making him an honorary professor at Yunnan University, despite the fact that he does not speak Mandarin. He continued to write about supposed Chinese primacy over Europeans in various ventures for the next decade and a half.
THE SLENDERMAN MYSTERIES
Nick Redfern | 2018 | 288 pages | New Page Books | ISBN: 978-1-63265-112-9 | $15.99
In 2009 a man named Eric Knudsen created photo art of a thin, mysterious supernatural man in a suit, and he posted these photo illustrations to Something Awful, where they became the fodder for countless online stories of a creature soon known as Slender Man, sometimes stylized as Slenderman. In this, it was not entirely different from the fictitious Blair Witch of 1999, or the Cthulhu Mythos of H. P. Lovecraft’s fiction. In each case, a fictitious creation came to be embraced as “real” by fans who should have known better. The story of Slender Man is important, however, because in 2014 two 12-year-old girls lured a third into the woods in Waukesha, Wisconsin and stabbed her 19 times in an effort to impress the Slender Man. The victim survived, but the perpetrators were found not guilty by reason of insanity. Each was sentenced to decades in a mental health facility. The incident undercuts the collective “fun” to be had from pretending a fictitious thing was real.
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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