We seem to have entered a time when fantasy has completely replaced reality, and it is rather disconcerting. History itself is starting to bend to the will of the propagandists. It was genuinely surprising to hear White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders yesterday praising Robert E. Lee for his “accomplishments” and suggesting that “compromise” could have prevented the Civil War. How, precisely, does one compromise over the question of whether some people deserve to own others? Whether intentional or not, such comments suggest that in their heart of hearts Kelly and the Trump Administration consider the very humanity of African Americans to be negotiable, and don’t really think about slavery or legally enforced segregation as a moral evil as much as an inconvenience. This is still shocking because Robert E. Lee himself once said “that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil,” though he added that it was “necessary” for the “instruction” of the racially inferior.
Yesterday our old friend Micah Hanks published an article at Ancient Origins in which he attempted to discuss whether ancient people made use of telescopes. He did so without citing any ancient sources to support his claims, nor did he manage to make a strong case for telescopic technology in the ancient world. Instead, he recycled bad sources without understanding their origin and led readers astray.
As almost everyone reading this knows, Robert Bauval, Graham Hancock, Robert Schoch, and their friends have made a career out of claiming that the Great Sphinx of Giza was carved in the time of Atlantis, around 10,500 BCE. This number derives, ultimately, from a combination of a belief in the existence of Plato’s Atlantis prior to 9600 BCE, the dating of the end of the last Ice Age, and, above all, to the idea that the Sphinx’s leonine form was meant to gaze at the constellation Leo on the spring equinox, something which would only have happened during the so-called “Age of Leo,” when the slow drifting of the stars placed Leo in that position from 10,500 BCE to 8,000 BCE.
Andrew Collins Teases New Book Tracing Göbekli Tepe and Giza Pyramids to Denisovan Culture 45,000 Years Ago
After two days of writing long blog posts that required a great deal of energy, I need to step back and take a little bit of a rest. What better way than to take a look at the newly released promotional materials for fringe historian and sometime Ancient Aliens pundit Andrew Collins’s newest book, The Cygnus Key: The Denisovan Legacy, Göbekli Tepe, and the Birth of Egypt, due out next May from Bear & Company. As you can guess from the title, Collins has a bizarre and highly speculative revisionist history of civilization, tracing it back to the as yet poorly understood subspecies or species represented by bones from Denisova Cave in Siberia. The Denisovans, at present, are known only from a few bones from four individuals, and they lived around 100,000 to 45,000 years ago.
Just days after recovering from a life-threatening seizure and coma, alternative history researcher Graham Hancock put out a call to crowdsource research for a forthcoming book. Hancock asked his fans to help him research the question of whether wooly mammoths faced a catastrophic extinction event in Alaska at the end of the Ice Age. Hancock is particularly interested in the work of Frank Hibben and Froelich Rainey from the 1930s and 1940s, and the articles that he cites sounded familiar to me. It turns out there was a good reason for that. The sources Hancock uses are the same ones that creationists have spent the better part of half a century using to allege that the mammoths were “flash frozen” by a catastrophic change in temperature. I explored those claims last year (here and here), but Hancock has now offered a slightly more sophisticated version of the earlier claim in defense of his current hobbyhorse, that a comet slammed into the Earth at the end of the Younger Dryas, destroying Atlantis.
Graham Hancock Recovering from Health Crisis, Says Negative Energy from Online Skeptics and Haters Contributed to Stroke, Coma
Self-described “alternative historian” Graham Hancock announced on his blog yesterday that he has recovered from a life-threatening stroke, seizure, and coma that had left him hospitalized and semiconscious for most of the last week. Hancock had begun experiencing seizures in May when he was wrongly diagnosed with a heart condition following a stroke. After a major seizure on August 14, Hancock lapsed into a coma, and medical personnel advised his family to prepare themselves for his death or severe brain damage. He escaped both, and doctors concluded that his seizures were caused by his decades of heavy use of sumatriptan, a medication for migraine headaches. Hancock took a sumatriptan shot every other day or so for twenty years. According to Drugs.com, current medical recommendations say that most users should limit themselves to four uses per month.
Good news, everyone! Robert Bauval, the purveyor of The Orion Mystery, has finally admitted to being an ancient astronaut theorist. I’ve suspected this for decades, ever since Bauval admitted in The Orion Mystery that his inspiration for the book was the ancient astronaut speculation of Robert Temple. His frequent appearances on Ancient Aliens were also a strong hint. But Bauval has long pretended to be interested only in Graham Hancock’s lost civilization. However, in December he will release a new book with panspermia advocate Chandra Wickramasinghe called Cosmic Womb: The Seeding of Planet Earth (Bear & Company, 2017) in which Bauval and Wickramasinghe argue that Earth life was purposely seeded from the stars by an advanced extraterrestrial civilization and that ancient people were aware of this fact. This is an early review of the forthcoming book courtesy of galley proofs made available by the publisher
I ran out of time today to write anything in terribly great depth, and I know that relatively few people tend to read my blog on summer Fridays anyway. Besides, Ancient Aliens is on tonight, and I need to save my ire for what promises to be an especially stupid claim: that human bodies are actually vessels for interdimensional intelligences. So today I will point to a new article by Richard Thornton, the longtime advocate of the claim that the Maya colonized Georgia. In his new article, he alleges that Native American petroglyphs, Mayan hieroglyphs, and Bronze Age European petroglyphs from Scandinavia are all the same, and that they represent a consistent pattern of symbols related to the sun, high kingship, and sunflowers
Afrocentrist Clyde Winters Used My Translation of Manuscript 512 to "Discover" an Ancient Malian City in Brazil
Before we begin today, I want to point my readers to a fiery resignation letter that former Mutual UFO Network official James E. Clarkson published last weekend after discovering that New Age cult leader JZ Knight, who claims to be the mouthpiece for Ramtha of Lemuria, purchased a position as an “Inner Circle” member of MUFON, giving her a position of power and influence in the organization. Clarkson said that he refused to mortgage his integrity to a cult leader who channels an entity from the prehistoric continent of Lemuria. He added that he was disappointed that MUFON continued to deemphasize scientific investigation in favor of money-making entertainment: “It is hard to watch an organization that you once served proudly become an income-generating entertainment company.”
It’s been a while since I ventured into the wild world of copy-and-paste fringe “writing,” so today it’s time for a return to the classics. Today’s entry comes from Clyde Winters, an Afrocentric writer who publishes articles on Ancient Origins that largely recycle material first publicized by the Afrocentric writers of the 1970s, and even Leo Wiener in the 1920s. In an article published on Ancient Origins yesterday, Winters alleges that the so-called “Brazil Tablet” found by Col. Percy Fawcett is evidence that the Mande tribe of West Africa colonized Brazil in the Middle Ages. But what should surprise us more is that Winters appears to be recycling his latest article from his own decade-old discussion board postings, and possibly from still earlier work, all without acknowledgement. Nothing, it seems, is ever truly “new” in fringe world.
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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