Remember how A+E Networks, the owner of the Ancient Aliens trademark, said that they had hoped to turn Ancient Aliens into a “lifestyle brand”? Well, it seems that some of the show’s competitors have latched on to the bandwagon, rolling out new merchandise and lifestyle opportunities, both for believers in ancient astronauts and for believers in Fallen Angels.
New Ideas about Minoan-Mycenaean Relations; Plus: What Is Behind False Copyright Claims Aimed at "Ancient Aliens" Stars?
There is a very interesting article in Smithsonian magazine this week describing new revelations about the Mycenaeans based on excavations of a particularly rich Mycenaean grave. Because the article takes forever to get to the point, I’ll share it with you here: The grave goods from a very early Mycenaean burial are heavily influenced by Minoan culture, which has led to a new hypothesis that the Mycenaeans adopted Minoan culture right at the start and therefore their takeover of Crete was less like an invasion and more like a merging of two cultures, perhaps without distinct and formal divisions between them. The fact that the researchers claim that it might have been similar to the modern E.U. and can teach us lessons about modern issues of xenophobia and nationalism should, though, give us a bit of pause that, as with so many new ideas, we’ll find in them a few years from now a bit too much of a mirror of modernity.
Happy New Year! As we start 2017, I thought I would continue my annual tradition and look back at 2016 in fringe history. It was probably one of the most depressing years for fringe history in decades.
It looks like our old friend Giorgio Tsoukalos has gone on tour again, racking up cash payments to spout predigested catchphrases from Ancient Aliens and perhaps also deliver his standard PowerPoint presentation. Tsoukalos is set to appear tonight at the Hamburg Music Festival in Buffalo, New York, where audiences will pay $35 apiece to listen to him discuss ambiguous evidence for space aliens in what is billed as “a mind-bending, brain busting evening of deep space mystery and Ancient Astronaut exploration.” I’m sure that the promotional team didn’t mean the accidental honesty of admitting that listening to Tsoukalos will cause one’s brain to break down, but we’ll spot them the gaffe.
So, it seems that I do everything the hard way. I learned to read Latin, Spanish, French, and other languages so I could translate texts from as close to the original sources as possible. Meanwhile, 73-year-old novelist John Crowley is making money off of a “translation” of the foundational Rosicrucian text The Chemical Wedding by Christian Rosencruetz. As the New Yorker reported, “Because he doesn’t know German, Crowley pieced together the book by comparing various English translations, deciding on the most readable and sensible interpretation of a given passage and then putting all of it in a new voice.” Doesn’t that take the cake? I know a guy did a version of the Odyssey that way years ago, but I can’t say I’m thrilled to see that Kickstarter funders paid Crowley and his publisher at Small Beer Press $73,000 to rewrite someone else’s English translation without an understanding of the underlying text. I felt bad that I had to use the French edition of the Akhbar al-zaman for my translation because I can’t speak Arabic. I should start demanding money to rewrite other people’s translations of texts, too!
Such is the world we live in today.
"Ancient Aliens" Creator Kevin Burns Discusses His Belief in Fringe Claims and Conspiracies in New Interview
Right now in California, fans of the History Channel series Ancient Aliens are gathering for Alien Con, the fan convention put on by the History Channel and Famous Monsters of Filmland. Regular readers will remember that the convention’s PR team offered me a chance to interview the creators and stars of Ancient Aliens and then promptly stopped communicating with me the second that I took them up on the offer. Based on press coverage of the convention, it appears that the stars of the show and producer Kevin Burns are only willing to sit down for fluff piece interviews and are afraid of being challenged.
A while back I discussed the “Ancient School” project that ancient astronaut theorist Jason Martell launched and promoted on Ancient Aliens. He had hoped it would become a non-accredited lecture series that would see users paying Martell $17 per month for access to speeches from ancient astronaut theorists in a “live” online classroom setting. It appears that the plan was a failure, and “Ancient School” has been reduced to a self-published DVD series, which from the highly limited information that Martell makes available seems appears to feature primarily Martell himself.
History Channel Launches "Ancient Aliens" Companion Volume and Coloring Book; Plus: An Ancient Alien Coin?
Note: This post has been updated to include the solution to the alien coin mystery.
Regular readers will remember that last year the History Channel (or as it now bills itself “HISTORY™ network”) put out a children’s book to teach tweens about the ancient astronaut theory. This year, they’ve set their sights slightly higher. In partnership with HarperCollins, a division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., History is launching a companion book to the TV series Ancient Aliens, along with an adult coloring book of the same. The two volumes are scheduled for publication next month, in time for the lucrative holiday buying season.
"Ancient Aliens" Launches New Novelty Product Line; Plus: Travel Channel Visits Kensington Rune Stone
Let’s start today with depressing news from the world of cable fringe history. A+E Networks, the parent company of the History Channel, announced that it’s creating a new line of novelty toys and gifts based off of their hit series Ancient Aliens to be sold in Spencer Gifts. If there is any good news from the announcement, it’s that the merchandise will be sold at Spencer Gifts, a retail store in those weird, abandoned ritual centers known as “malls” that have become archaeological sites since their wholesale abandonment a decade ago.
Marzulli Admits "Demon Fairy" Is a Fraud; Plus: David Wilcock Implies Hillary Clinton Is a Tool of the Nephilim
This summer, L. A. Marzulli, the Nephilim theorist, spent weeks promoting a Mexican “fairy” corpse as a genuine supernatural creature, perhaps one of the locusts from Revelation, even including the bizarre body in his Watchers X DVD. At the time, I looked at the x-rays that Marzulli provided and concluded that it was a taxidermy fraud. This weekend Marzulli conceded the point and announced that scientific analysis of the fairy skeleton—on which he and other fringe researchers claim to have spent thousands of dollars investigating—provided that it was a taxidermy creature made from animal parts, wood, and glue. The mystery “dots” in the x-ray were, as I concluded, the taxidermist’s mounting pins.
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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