You probably saw the news that broke yesterday that a new paper in the journal Nature claims that an unknown human species occupied the Americas around 130,000 years ago and butchered a mastodon found in California with large rocks. The study used uranium-thorium dating to date the bones, which were originally discovered 25 years ago, and the team conducting the study used experimental techniques involving rocks and elephant bones to attempt to prove that the damage to the mastodon’s bones had been caused by intention butchering with stone tools.
Last week I mentioned the information about the Great Sphinx provided by the traveler George Sandys, who in 1610, so far as I know, became one of the first to link the Sphinx to the constellation of Leo, a claim which is today an article of faith among fringe historians such as Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval. At the time, I noted that Shaw doubted the religiously oriented claim that the Pyramids of Giza were either the granaries of Joseph or the remnants of constructions by Hebrew slaves. Today I’d like to note a very interesting variant that occurs in the work of another traveler, Thomas Shaw, who wrote in 1738 of his trip to Egypt. Mostly it’s interesting for what Shaw leads us to: the original source of the claim that the Sphinx represents the constellation of Leo.
In this day and age, some 135 years after Ignatius Donnelly wrote Atlantis: The Antediluvian World, it is strange to see someone actually accepting Donnelly’s claims as factual, much less working from Donnelly’s book to propose a research program to find Hell. Yes, you read that right: Brad Yoon of Ancient Origins actually claims that using insights from Donnelly’s Atlantis, we can find the real-life inspiration for Hell, which he places in the Caribbean Sea. The argument is one of the odder ones I’ve heard in a while. “I shall extend Donnelly’s thesis and undertake an in-depth analysis of the underworld and where it may have been, and how a real and physical place might have become transformed into the final resting place of souls departed both in the physical and the mythological planes.”
Turkish Government Funds Documentary Claiming Göbekli Tepe Was Built by Abraham’s Father and Destroyed by Abraham
Remember how fringe writers including Andrew Collins and Graham Hancock have heavily implied that the ancient Turkish site of Göbekli Tepe had been constructed by a lost civilization related to or identical with the Nephilim and/or Atlantis? Well, it turns out that the Turkish government has done them one better by funding a documentary that claims the ancient temple site to be the work of the patriarch Abraham’s idol-worshiping father Telah, according to an account from the Turkish Hürriyet Daily News newspaper, the country’s oldest and most respected English-language news source.
Regular readers will remember geologist Robert Schoch, who has spent more than two decades advocating for the existence of a lost civilization that carved the Great Sphinx of Giza at the end of the last Ice Age. Since then, Schoch has grown increasingly fringe in his views, arguing at various times for a global pyramid-building culture, the catastrophic destruction of said culture by solar bombardment, and that the Easter Island moai are remnants of an Ice Age civilization. He also started a nonprofit, Oracul, to help fund his flights of fancy, and like many fringe figures, he now runs for-profit “ancient mysteries” tours of ancient sites. Anyway, he apparently now believes humans have psychic powers.
The National Center for Science Education published a terrific tour of creationist Ken Ham’s new Noah’s Ark theme park by Dan Phelps, the president of the Kentucky Paleontology Society. The entire piece is well worth a read, but I was especially interested in the Ark Encounter’s presentation of antediluvian life, the period of the Nephilim from Genesis 6 that so interests both creationists and fringe historians of every stripe. After reading Phelps’s description, I was genuinely surprised to see that Ham has absorbed so much fringe history into his supposedly “scientific” approach to Biblical literalism.
Over on Ancient Origins, we find that David Naef, who wrote an earlier article about the “mysteries” of Mount Shasta, has a new article in which he relates a 1916 account of giants. The story comes from Lucy Thompson, a Native American who in 1916 published a book called To the American Indian: Reminiscences of a Yurok Woman. Naef selectively quotes part of Thompson’s account, eliding uncomfortable details that point toward a polemical purpose behind her story.
It’s a bit long, but it’s worth looking at Thompson’s account in full:
Friday Follies: Trump's "Dark Conspiracy," Plus: Thomas Mills Claims Hopi Built Pyramids; Also: Time Travel Shows
Yesterday Donald Trump delivered a fiery speech in which he blamed his current scandals on a “dark conspiracy” fomented by “international banks” working in conjunction with “elites” in order to undermine the will of the American people. Given that Trump is tied to New World Order conspiracy theorist Steve Bannon, his campaign CEO, and Info Wars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, it seems quite probably that these “international banks” are a reference to the international bankers routinely blamed for attempting to create a one-world genocidal government in conspiracy literature. These bankers are typically described as identical with or stooges for space aliens, Reptilians, Freemasons, and above all, Jews. Indeed, among the so-called “alt-right,” white nationalists seized on this phrase and began posting online conspiracy theories about how the Jews are behind Trump’s scandals.
I could have swornI talked before about French scholar Julien d’Huy’s claim that a computer program can prove that world mythology can be traced back to a single set of Paleolithic myths. But it turns out that I was mistaken. I actually covered the incredibly similar work of Jamie Tehrani of Durham University and Sara Graca Da Silva of Lisbon’s New University, who applied a computer program to try to use a linguistic analysis to determine the origins of myths and legends. D’Huy, who has followed a similar research program since 2012 and who proudly uses the same methodology, has a new article in Scientific American alleging that he can trace world mythology back to the Stone Age.
This October, Destiny Books will publish John Matthews’s new book, Spring-Heeled Jack: From Victorian Legend to Steampunk Hero, but the subtitle belies that actual contents of the book, which focus on trying to prove that Jack was actually a modern psychical eruption of ancient mythology, a sort of Freudian return of the repressed in the form of a cri de coeur of liberty and nature against the tyrannical forces of urbanization, industrialization, and centralization. Personally, I think it overreaches.
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.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter, The Skeptical Xenoarchaeologist, for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.