The Conspiracy about the Lost Alien City in Antarctica Turns from "At the Mountains of Madness" to "The Thing"
More than 80 years ago, H. P. Lovecraft invented a frozen city half buried beneath the snow and ice of Antarctica, the outpost of an alien civilization possessed of incredible technology, a sophisticated culture, and horrific servitors who somehow … survived. While At the Mountains of Madness was a work of fiction, a sort of horrific inversion of Hyperborea at the antipodes, a determined group of ufologists and fringe historians have been trying desperately to make it a reality. Maybe Charles Hapgood and Graham Hancock did too good a job imagining Antarctica as the home a lost Ice Age civilization. Or maybe Antarctica is just the only place left on Earth where an alien city could plausibly exist without someone noticing.
Just in time for the holiday season, Nephilim theorist and wannabe rightwing pundit L. A. Marzulli is promoting a new video about UFOs. He offers the first 45 minutes online for free. It’s a strange documentary, mostly because it is one of his most explicit in marketing directly to evangelical churchgoers. The central conceit is that “the church”—by which he seems to mean the entirety of the Christian faith in all its myriad rival denominations—is keeping UFO encounters secret from the various congregations.
It’s been a big week for Graham Hancock. A South African professor endorsed his lost civilization, and a luxury magazine conducted a fawning interview. Now, Bear & Company is getting ready to publish Spirits in Stone: The Secrets of Megalithic America: Decoding the Ancient Cultural Stone Landscapes of the Northeast by Glenn Kreisberg, and Hancock has his name on the cover as the author of the book’s credulous forward. Of the book itself there is little to say. It is more than 400 pages long and seeks to explore alleged stellar alignments among various rocks and earthworks in the northeastern United States to conclude that an advanced super-civilization once occupied the future United States. Weirder, it is partly the work of Kresiberg and partly an anthology of partially related essays by other writers. It is an odd book.
South African Philosophy Professor Endorses Graham Hancock's Lost Civilization, Demands Paradigm Shift in Archaeology
One of the themes that I have hit upon more than once is the poverty of “new” ideas in fringe history. The same few topics come up time and again, in a few major variations. Once you’ve mastered Atlantis, hyperdiffusionism, the Nephilim, space aliens, and a handful of conspiracies theories revolving around lost races and tribes, Jews, the Holy Bloodline, and Freemasonry, you have pretty much been exposed to the root form of most of the claims you will encounter. Nevertheless, it surprises me to no end to see how these bad ideas keep seeping into conversation over the centuries.
It was only a few weeks ago that Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop luxury lifestyle brand interviewed Robert Schoch about his claim that the Sphinx is more than 10,000 years old. This appears to have opened the gates for other luxury lifestyle brands to bypass the fact-based media and turn to fringe historians to provide the kind of personalized, hand-crafted history that purchasers of solid gold drinking straws and jade vaginal eggs demand. Why get your history from the kind of plebian mass-market “facts” that even the poor have access to? This week’s offender is London-based Eluxe Magazine, purveyors of online and print publications devoted to “sustainable luxury fashion, beauty and lifestyles.” Eluxe ran an interview with none other than Graham Hancock, who is either a lifestyle or a fashion. I’m not sure.
Comet Research Group Publishes New Article Reviving Catastrophist Claims about Frozen Mammoths in Alaskan Muck
Ever since Edmond Halley first proposed that a comet caused Noah’s Flood, there has been a group of people who have advocated that the former world age came to an abrupt end through this mechanism. Ignatius Donnelly advocated for this catastrophic conclusion to the Ice Age world of Atlantis, and today Graham Hancock and those in his orbit have picked up the claim. The most recent set of claims orbits around the work of the Comet Research Group and its team of scientists, who have published academic articles outlining the evidence for a comet impact at the end of the last Ice Age, and who have received intense criticism from other scientists who heavily dispute the evidence.
History Channel Executive Boasts: Templar and Alien Conspiracy Shows "Continually Worked for Us," Will Inspire More of the Same
Last night the History channel debuted its new series about the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail, Knightfall, a series designed to capitalize on the momentum generated by the network’s hit series Vikings and its core audience’s fascination with Da Vinci Code conspiracy theories. While critics offered mixed reviews of the series, many complained that the show was either dramatically inert or overly generic. Nevertheless, it is the first entry to build on Vikings to create a multipronged programming strategy designed to turn History into a full-service entertainment destination, where scripted shows provide an entry point for documentary features on the (quasi-) real history behind the story.
Graham Hancock's Website Runs Contributor Articles Alleging Egyptians in Ancient India and Secret Egyptian Knowledge of DMT
Graham Hancock has a regular feature on his website in which he invites fellow fringe writers to contribute promotional articles that serve as advertisements for their latest books, web projects, etc. This week, Hancock played host to two awful pieces of fringe literature that barely managed to conceal their uncritical worship of Hancock and his friends Robert Bauval, Robert Schoch, and John Anthony West, or to hide their heavy employment of the “looks like, therefore is” method of fringe reasoning
Erich von Däniken Makes Podcast Appearance, Promotes Gaia TV Show, Decries Efforts to Start an Ancient Astronaut Cult
Erich von Däniken made a rare podcast appearance last week to promote his new book, The Gods Never Left Us, which I reviewed recently. He showed up on Jim Harrold’s Paranormal Podcast, and this triggered all sorts of questions about just how much money there must be in ancient astronaut theories. The Paranormal Podcast is funded in part by Gaia TV, the online fringe history lifestyle network, who pays Harrold to essentially promote the people and subject matter that they then monetize in their for-profit streaming video service. But what’s more is that Gaia TV employs a number of Ancient Aliens stars as hosts on their network, including David Wilcock, while von Däniken cashes in a second time as a paid producer of Ancient Aliens, a show explicitly designed to broadcast his ideas. For this incestuous network to work, the money they take in must be more than they spend to fund ancient astronaut theorists’ lavish jet-setting lifestyles and the production of fringe media. That’s a lot of cash. But not enough. Halfway through the interview, von Däniken promotes his own Gaia TV series, Erich von Däniken: Beyond the Legend.
Spiritual Guru Bentinho Massaro Folds "Ancient Aliens" Style ET and Nazi Conspiracies into New Age Belief System
I’ve often noted that the professional ancient astronaut theorists on the History Channel often sound like they’re trying to start a cult. Sometimes it’s good to remember that there really are people who use ancient astronaut theories to start cults, or a reasonable facsimile of one. I’m sure most readers are familiar with the Raëlism movement, which came to prominence decades ago when whey claimed that ancient astronauts had directed them to engage in human cloning. But I had never heard of Bentinho Massaro, a Millennial New Age guru in Sedona, Arizona, until I read an exposé of his cult-like movement in a Medium.com article yesterday. Frankly, I thought it was fake news until I researched Massaro and discovered that he is a real, ridiculous New Age guru with an ideology that combines a strange mixture of Theosophy, Eastern mumbo-jumbo, ufology, and world domination.
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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