I wonder how much of the time I spent watching Unexplored + Unexplained is just a complete waste since absolutely no one is watching it. According to the Nielsen ratings, just 348,000 people watched the Science Channel’s broadcast of the show’s search for the Ark of the Covenant on Sunday. Meanwhile, America Unearthed host Scott F. Wolter, whose show airs on Science’s corporate cousin the Travel Channel, appeared on the Earth Ancients podcast to promote his new book, Cryptic Code of the Templar in America. (My review: Part 1, Part 2). Honestly, it was more of the same. All his greatest hits were there—Templars, Holy Bloodline Da Vinci Code conspiracies (cited by name as Da Vinci Code ideas), the Kensington Rune Stone, and the Newport Tower. We’ve talked about all of them before, and there is nothing new to say there. Most of the interview was devoted to the imaginary “mysteries” of the Newport Tower, and the “pagan rituals” he pretends were performed there. Instead, I’d like to talk about some of the less repetitive parts of the interview.
Andrew Collins: Ancient Humans in India Horrified by "Grotesque" Giant Cannibal Denisovans, Had Sex with Them Anyway
Andrew Collins has a new article at Ancient Origins speculating about Denisovans and their alleged influence on ancient Homo sapiens. The news peg revolves around a new study published last week in Nature in which the authors performed a genetic study concluding that the non-Indo-European inhabitants of south and southeast Asia have significantly more Denisovan DNA than the Indo-European populations that entered those areas later in history, and the two populations also differ in terms of the branch of Denisovan DNA they include in their genome. In short, the study reflects earlier assumptions and conclusions about Indo-European incursions onto Asia and their relatively higher sociocultural status. Collins summarizes the Nature piece and then decides that it proves Indian myths are actually about Denisovan Nephilim-style cannibal giants.
Last week saw the last new episode of Ancient Aliens for 2019. The episode trended down from the previous week, bringing in 897,000 viewers, compared to 925,000 for the Tucker Carlson episode the week before. The numbers suggest that at least some of the previous week’s viewer spike was attributable to Carlson fans tuning in, but the numbers are so small that the greater part is probably due to random fluctuation. In Search Of had 963,000 viewers for its final episode of the season. Meanwhile, the Science Channel conspiracy fringe history series Unexplained + Unexplored trended up to 441,000 viewers for its episode hunting the alleged killer of Meriwether Lewis.
Apparently, it is dream week here on my blog, since Silicon Valley entrepreneur turned UFO enthusiast Deep Prasad posted a long Twitter thread this past weekend outlining what he claims to be his own UFO experience. Regular readers will remember Prasad because he planned to use Silicon Valley resources to hunt UFOs, and because he criticized me on Twitter for doubting claims about “alien” metamaterials. His recent Twitter thread was collected and published by the aptly named Hot Air, and I think you’ll quickly see that the supposed encounter is almost certainly not what Prasad thinks it is. Here is the most relevant part. The story occurs three months after Prasad began obsessive UFO studies and shortly after the suicide of an acquaintance that he said left him “traumatized.”
Last month, researcher Chris Aubeck gave an interview to Danish writer Thomas Brisson Jørgensen of the Vomanomalous blog on the subject of UFOs, particularly on accounts of pre-1947 UFO-style encounters with objects from the sky and their alleged occupants. In the interview he discusses some strange stories from old books, though without specific references and links, there is no way for me to identify the stories. Some are quite bizarre, like an old tale of a rocket-like ship from which emerged a being who got into a horseless carriage. If I find myself interested enough, I’ll ask him for the references, but today I am more concerned to discuss some of the broader themes that he discussed in the interview.
My original intention was to review Unexplored + Unexplained today, but the Science Channel has locked the most recent episode, which I am unable to view because the network is not included in my cable package. Oh, well. No loss to me. Meriwether Lewis is still dead, and I did not need another conspiracy theory about it. Meanwhile, here near Albany we received two feet of snow, and I had to spend much of the last two days clearing snow. I did not have time to write a blog post, especially after I devoted so much time this weekend to reading and reviewing Gods, Man, and War 2. Normally, I would have divided the book review in parts anyway, but I thought that putting it up as one blog post would be more useful to anyone looking for information about the book. Let us say that it counts for two or maybe three posts this week.
Gods, Man, & War 2: Man
Tom DeLonge with Peter Levenda | To the Stars… | 2019 | 460 pages | ISBN: 978-1-943272-37-2 | c. $25
When I was young, I thought the apocryphal words of the Caliph Omar on the burning of the Library of Alexandria to be horrible. “If these books agree with the Koran, they are useless; if they disagree, they are pernicious: in either case, they ought to be destroyed.” While the religious sentiment still strikes me as offensive, the older I get the more I have come to realize that too many books are bullshit in dust jackets. Would we really be worse off if books that were full of lies were sent to be pulped and those that added nothing new to the store of human knowledge were never written? Currently, publishers print more than 100,000 titles each year, and 99% of them are read by almost no one. We could do with fewer, and the newest volume of Gods, Man, & War could easily have joined the pile of worthless volumes that would have made the world a better place for not existing.
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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