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.
It’s been a fairly profitable time to be promoting Eurocentric and Biblically literalist historical narratives, to judge by the buildings going up in honor of pre-Victorian views of Christendom. In Washington, the privately funded Museum of the Bible is set to open soon near the Mall, despite the continuing controversy over how the museum filled its collections. Last week, Hobby Lobby, the company whose controlling family is also funding the Bible museum, agreed to pay millions of dollars in fines after federal prosecutors determined that the company had purchased smuggled cuneiform artifacts for the museum. Since the bombshell report, new revelations have come to light about the company’s efforts to obtain even more Near Eastern artifacts with little or no concern about their provenance.
Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop Endorses Robert Schoch's Lost Ice Age Civilization; Plus: A Medieval Account of the Sphinx's Secret Chamber
Note: This post has been edited to correct information about Edgar Cayce.
Gwyneth Paltrow receives frequent criticism because her lifestyle brand, Goop, actively promotes all manner of quackery in the name of “wellness.” But I was shocked and surprised to see that Goop has now extended beyond dubious wellness cures into the realm of pseudoarchaeology. Goop interviewed “maverick” geologist Robert Schoch, who gave Paltrow’s moneyed hausfrau readers a summary of his usual claims about an Ice Age Sphinx and a lost megalithic civilization, with the added speculation that civilization rises and falls because “subtle changes in the [Earth’s] electromagnetic/geomagnetic field can modulate mental abilities in humans.” He added that “academia” is financially invested in maintaining the current paradigm of history, which is why his radical revision hasn’t caught on.
Before we begin today, I want to share something I learned. Remember how Graham Hancock dates the Sphinx based on the precession of the equinoxes, claiming that it goes back to around 10,500 BCE because that is when it faced Leo? I learned from Mark Fraser Pettigrew’s dissertation on The Wonders of the Ancients that a medieval scholar made a similar argument about dating Egyptian ruins. Apparently medieval writer Abu Jafar al-Idrisi, in his treatise on the pyramids, records that Abu ‘l-Mushrif ‘Alawi al-Hafafi (c. 1226) believed that the sun-disk hieroglyph represented the entrance of Altair into Cancer, so by calculating when that occurred by counting backward at a rate of movement of the stars of one degree per 100 years (Hipparchus’s estimate), he believed that Egyptian ruins dated back 20,000 years before his time, or to around 18,800 BCE. Using modern precession rates (one degree per 71.6 years), the figure would come out to 13,146 BCE.
This isn’t really any different than saying the Sphinx is a lion, so let’s calculate Leo’s position. It’s just amazing that in the Middle Ages an early Graham Hancock was already using the stars to create pseudo-history.
Smithsonian Channel Claims Babylonian Tablet Preserves "Exactly What the Tower of Babel Looked Like"
Sometime in the last couple of weeks the Smithsonian Channel launched the fourth season of its Secrets TV series, and the season premiere focused on the Tower of Babel. Over the past few days both Christian groups and fringe archaeology types have embraced a clip of the program in which a Babylonian tablet is discussed because they believe that the tablet “proves” that the Biblical story is literally true. I was intrigued enough by the tablet to try to find out why the tinfoil hat brigade would think that the tablet demonstrates the reality of a Biblical legend.
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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