This week scientists reported that the Aegean volcano at Santorini (ancient Thera) is filling an underwater chamber with magma, spurring worries that the volcano might erupt again. The Santorini volcano is most famous for the eruption that took place around 1620 BCE. That eruption was among the most powerful in the recent geologic history of the earth and has been blamed by alternative theorists for everything from the collapse of Minoan Crete to the ten plagues of Biblical Egypt.
Yesterday, I discussed Rod Serling’s horror anthology series Night Gallery and the way studio and network interference gradually destroyed the program. Today I’m going to tell you about the result of that network and studio interference. Night Gallery’s failure gave us Ancient Aliens.
Yesterday, the all-rerun channel Memorable Entertainment Television (MeTV) ran a marathon of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery and has begun showing the series in the late night hours (1:30 AM) weeknights. I am far too young to have seen Night Gallery when it first aired, but I have fond memories of watching the program in syndication on what was then the Sci-Fi Channel when I was a kid. It used to come on in the afternoons when I was in high school, a couple of episodes back to back, and I think one summer I watched every episode one day after the next.
This past week, I worked on translating J.-H. Rosny’s classic ancient alien story Les Xipéhuz (1887) from French to English. Well, technically Rosny doesn’t call the mysterious entities aliens, though for all practical purposes they are. Although they story has been translated three times before (in 1968, 1978, and 2011), none of these translations is available in its entirety online. If you didn’t see it in my Twitter feed or my newsletter, here’s the link to my translation.
This morning a small group of Jehovah's Witnesses came to my door. This wasn't the first time I've been visited by the Witnesses, but it was the first time I'd heard their new message. One of the Witnesses asked me if I believed the world was coming to an end in December of this year. I told him that no, I did not believe the world was ending in December. His reply disturbed me greatly. He told me that since he started visiting homes at daybreak, I was one of only two people to express disbelief in the upcoming apocalypse.
Over at Robert Shaeffer's Bad UFOs blog, there is a disturbing post about the National Atomic Testing Museum, a Las Vegas-area museum affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution. Apparently, the museum has turned itself over to speculative claims about extraterrestrials and UFOs, including the wild and fact-free speculation about alleged Roswell alien technology reverse engineered at Area 51. (Funny, didn't we just "learn" last year that Josef Mengele faked the Roswell aliens so Stalin could crash a fake flying saucer to fool the Americans?)
Ancient astronaut believer and Sirius Mystery author Robert Temple likes to present himself as an academic despite holding no formal academic position. I have already outlined how he has inflated his membership in the Royal Astronomical Society and the British School of Archaeology at Rome (both open to anyone with cash) and the British School of Archaeology at Athens into “academic affiliations,” despite them being anything but.
One of the key tenets of the ancient astronaut theory (hypothesis, really) is that prehistoric art depicts extraterrestrial beings drawn from life because ancient peoples were incapable of drawing what they were unable to see firsthand. Thus, depictions of long, lithe beings with large heads and awkward eyes must be images of actual Grey aliens, or another species.
Today, I’m going to do an alternative history roundup of recent events, culminating in the weird new claim of artificial pyramids in Antarctica.
I'm taking the holiday off, so in lieu of a blog post, please enjoy my newest YouTube video, on the alleged "flying wagon" in the Kebra Nagast.
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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