You’ve probably noticed that over the last few weeks my blog posts have been a bit shorter and less detailed than usual. That’s because I’m busy trying to finish my book on the myth of the Mound Builders. Over the past four or five weeks, I’ve added about 40,000 words to the book, and I have about a chapter and a quarter left to write. I always come to a point near the end of a book where my energy and enthusiasm start to wane, and it becomes a little difficult to make the final push to complete it. Part of the reason for that is that the sense of adventure has vanished this late in a book. Early on, I am still discovering new things and unexpected connections, but by the last few chapters, the narrative has boxed me in and becomes mostly busywork pulling together the threads I’ve spun throughout.
Thursday Roundup: Megan Fox Hunts "Mysteries and Myths" on TV; Plus, Two Weird Claims about Freemasonry
Today, I have three quick stories to share. Regular readers will remember that actress Megan Fox is an Ancient Aliens super-fan and had expressed interest in either joining that show or hosting her own version of it. Well, the brain trust at the Travel Channel, recently added to the Discovery Networks’ roster of channels, have awarded Fox her own mystery-mongering show. According to a press release, the network has greenlit a new four-episode series called Mysteries and Myths with Megan Fox, in which Fox will travel the world in an attempt to rewrite history.
YouTube Conspiracy Videos Rake in Big Bucks; Plus: Brien Foerster Plans Colorado Seminar on Lost Civilizations and Elongated Skulls
It’s been a bit of a slow week, and I must confess that I have rather little to talk about today. One thing that is worth mentioning, though, is an article in the forthcoming issue of Newsweek in which the magazine analyzes the potential risk that fringe history and conspiracy theory videos pose to YouTube. The Alphabet company site is overflowing with conspiracy videos, and Newsweek attributes this less to public belief in conspiracies than to the economic incentives YouTube created to produce conspiracy videos in a desperate bid to garner eyeballs and thus ad dollars with the most extreme content, using the example of a video by Shane Dawson suggesting that space aliens were responsible for the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner a few years ago:
I wasn’t going to post anything today, but I feel it inappropriate to let this pass another day without acknowledging the outrageous and libelous lies that L. A. Marzulli made this weekend on the Third Phase Moon broadcast. The Nephilim theorist was outraged that I criticized the credentials of his all-star team of completely unqualified DNA researchers, which included a chiropractor and tour guide Brien Foerster. Here is Marzulli making several false statements about me, and mispronouncing my name at the same time. I will spell his pronunciation phonetically.
Yesterday, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch ran an article by journalist Alexander Zaitchik exploring the close connections between fringe history and hate, notably the way that white nationalists, Neo-Nazis, and anti-Semites have incorporated claims as wide-ranging as ancient aliens, lost civilizations, and Bible giants into a narrative designed to promote a racist agenda. Zaitchik quotes me as an expert in fringe history’s darker themes, and I am pleased that he made good use of much of the information that I provided about some of the many ways hate groups have employed fringe history to craft narratives of racial supremacy.
UFO disclosure advocate Dr. Steven Greer’s recent documentary Unacknowledged is now on Netflix. In the documentary, Greer adopts the claims put forward by Donald Zygutis in 2016 that Carl Sagan was on the receiving end of a government effort to force him to become a debunker: “After he was threatened by the intelligence community, and blackmailed, he then began to debunk the issue.” It seems fairly clear that the claim was lifted from Zygutis, but it’s interesting to see the way a bad idea with zero evidence in its favor.
As we approach the New Year, it’s time to take a final look back at 2017 in fringe history. This was a year when political news overshadowed almost everything else, but 2017 still managed to find new ways to use and abuse history, rivalling the historic low of 2016. This year in fringe history might not have been more extreme than last year, but it was certainly darker. It was the year when fringe historians rejoiced that they had an ally in the White House whose courtiers proudly flew the banner of “alternative facts,” but more than anything, it was the year of Tom DeLonge, the musician turned ufologist who published an ancient astronaut book, launched a UFO research company, was crowned UFO researcher of the year, and took credit for the year’s biggest UFO research flap. Let’s look back at what happened over the past twelve months.
David Wilcock Spins Anti-Government Conspiracy, Accuses Rothschild Banking Family of Threatening Him with Assassination
As 2017 comes to an end, Ancient Aliens star David Wilcock dumped one last steaming load to cap off a crappy year. On his Divine Cosmos blog, Wilcock alleged that evil aliens, liberal Democrats, and career civil servants in the U.S. government are finally receiving their comeuppance thanks to a coalition of good space aliens, conservative Republicans, and Donald Trump, though he did not name the president specifically. Wilcock alleges that the Trump Justice Department has placed more than 4,000 so-called Deep State actors under house arrest in anticipation of a massive purge of space alien collaborators. The 4,289 sealed indictments represent the total number of sealed indictments filed in America’s 94 federal courts in November. The number became fodder for right-wingers after Robert Mueller used sealed indictments in his Trump-Russia probe, and Wilcock has parroted the talking point.
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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