Later tonight, Ancient Aliens will explore the profound question of whether aliens invented tattoos. In the meantime, we might as well pile on Ashley Cowie some more since he published yet another crappy article this week trying to spin mystery out of discovery in the belief that ancient history needs to be sexed up with fakery and myths to attract the attention of the public. Today’s subject is Atlantis, which Cowie understands at about the Wikipedia level of research, citing as sources Atlantipedia and an article in National Geographic. It makes me wonder why I bother researching primary sources when, apparently, one can get paid to surf the web and summarize the results like a high school book report.
Let’s start today with the ratings for Friday’s UFO programming. Ancient Aliens was close to its week-to-week and year-to-year average. The first new episode of the fourteenth season drew 1.3 million people, with a 0.26 rating among the advertiser-covered demographic of adults 18-49. It ranked seventh in the cable ratings for Friday. Unidentified, the To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science UFO series, debuted with 1.286 million viewers and a 0.22 rating among adults 18-49, retaining most of its lead-in’s audience and outperforming most of the other shows that have followed Ancient Aliens over the past ten years in that regard. It ranked eleventh among all cable shows airing on Friday. But don’t despair! Both were outdrawn by HGTV’s My Lottery Dream Home, which had 1.6 million viewers and a 0.29 rating among adults 18-49. So, in the hierarchy of American life, lottery fantasies easily outdraw mind- and soul-shattering “truths” about time, space, and reality.
At the American Association of Physical Anthropology Conference in Cleveland last week, a team of researchers presented evidence that humans in Papua New Guinea may have interbred with a population of Denisovans as recently as 15,000 years ago, citing genetic evidence that genomes they tested contained evidence of two separate infusions of Denisovan DNA. The first came around 50,000 years ago. The second occurred sometime after, and the researchers suspect it occurred around 15,000 years ago. The scientists, led by Murray Cox of the Massey University in New Zealand, also said that the Denisovans living on the mainland in southeast Asia were as genetically different from the better-known Siberian Denisovans as they were from Neanderthals.
Ancient Origins published yet another entry in the endless list of places alleged to be the lost continent of Atlantis. Today’s candidate comes from the pen of Italian expatriate E. B. Ralbadisole, who now lives in Asia, claims to worship nature, and said that he became interested in Atlantis after receiving a supernatural vision of a lost Ice Age civilization. He places the fictitious lost city in the Kathiawar peninsula, in western India, specifically atop Mt. Girnar, and alleges that Atlantis did not sink into the ocean but was buried in a giant mudslide that inspired the Biblical Flood. Really.
British Tabloid Uses Year-Old Interview with Nephilim Theorist to Claim Atlantis Was Located in the Golan Heights
The British Express tabloid recently offered up yet another in the endless list of places where the lost continent of Atlantis is alleged to be. Discussing as though it were new a March 16, 2018 appearance on Coast to Coast AM by Ryan Pitterson, an evangelical Christian Nephilim theorist, the Express quoted Pitterson as saying that Atlantis was located in the Holy Land and that its people were identical with the antediluvian giants fathered by the Sons of God in the sixth chapter of Genesis.
Today, I thought I’d review the Science Channel’s Sunday night lineup, even though it turned out to be much less interesting or impressive than the marketing made it seem.
My on-screen guide called Sunday night’s Science Channel special by the title Atlantis: The Dark Secrets, which is a lot more interesting than the show’s actual on-screen title, Finding Atlantis: The New Evidence, a show that bears the hallmarks of being a Euro import with new American-accented narration dubbed over it. I watched the whole damned thing until I found out that it was a “BBC/Discovery Channel/France Televisions/Prosieben co-production,” and despite being listed as “new” in my cable guide, it was actually first broadcasted on the BBC in 2011. I feel like it was on before here in the U.S. before, but a Google search doesn’t turn up any immediate evidence of it. Maybe it aired under another name?
This weekend, I am devoting my time to working on my new book about the myths and legends of the pyramids, so I have only a short topic to discuss with you today. It concerns a “new” hypothesis about the location of Atlantis that was recently described in the Nevada Appeal, a newspaper in Carson City publishing two weekly editions. The Appeal published a column by local historian and amateur archaeologist Dennis Cassinelli, who has written four books on Great Basin history, including Uncovering Archaeology, in which he attacks the “current system” of science and claims to have found evidence for lost civilizations of an Old World flavor in the Great Basin region, along with Mormon-style evidence of Christ’s visitation.
Compared to years past, this was a rebuilding year for the fringe. Most of the major figures on the fringe sat the year out, preparing for bigger things in 2019 and beyond, and those that were active either failed to produce their promised results, delivered results that failed to meet expectations, or spent their time teasing revelations yet to come in 2019, or whenever they need a cash infusion. There was no major fringe history bestseller this year, and the wannabes in the category came from small presses and consequently received little or no media attention outside dedicated fringe sites. The new fringe pseudo-documentaries that made it to air either muddled through their middling runs or failed outright. The reason for the decline in the fringe was easy enough to see: The fringe had gone mainstream in 2017, and the continued presence of conspiracy theorists and fringe thinkers in the upper ranks of the Republican Party and the Trump Administration lessened the demand for pseudo-history. These sorts of claims tend to be more popular as counterprogramming.
Newspaper Roundup: The "Daily Mail" Seeks Atlantis in Spain, While the "Boston Globe" Hunts the Westford Knight
On the edges of history, fanciful stories never really die. They pass into pop culture folklore, endlessly recycled from one article to the next. Why? That’s a great question. As the recent Chapman University survey showed, one reason is that anywhere from a plurality to a majority of Americans believe in false history like Atlantis, ancient astronauts, and their ilk. The other reason is that these stories become the equivalent of the “bus-plunge” story—a familiar narrative that can be used reliably to fill time and space with a minimum of effort. The “bus-plunge” story is named for a distressingly frequent feature in newspapers of the twentieth century, which would fill blank spaces on their pages with small stories about buses plunging off of cliffs and bridges, usually in South America and India. As morbid as it sounds, these events happened (and continue to happen) with such frequency that editors could guarantee that they will always have one on hand to fill in any blank spaces, changing only the dateline and the number of victims. Atlantis, aliens, etc. are similarly easy features that require little effort.
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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