Merry Christmas to all those celebrating today! In order to spend more time with my family this holiday season, I will be blogging on a reduced schedule between now and New Year's. Depending on when my son falls asleep, I will review Legends of the Lost either this evening or tomorrow, and I will take most of the week off. This weekend I will post my annual year in review feature, and I intend to resume regular posting in the New Year.
My son came down with a cold this week after contracting it from one of his toddler playmates. He is doing fine and is all better. However, he passed the cold on to me, and I am too sick and achy to write. I am going to take the day today to rest and to hope that I feel better before Christmas.
I am happy to announce that the University of Oklahoma Press had extended an offer to publish my book about the Mound Builders. The book is currently scheduled for a Spring 2020 release, pending final contract approval. The 163,000-word volume will be priced affordably (most likely under $30) and will be available online and at fine retailers nationwide.
Yes, it’s that time of the year again! Every Christmas season, I follow the lead of NPR, PBS, and the charity of your choice and ask my readers to help with the upkeep of this site and to help keep it commercial and ad-free. This year I have an extra incentive to do so: my tablet died, and my laptop’s hard drive is going into failure and the optical drive fell off. I’m facing down the need to replace all of my electronics!
I am pleased to announce that I have received a commission from Red Lightning Books and Indiana University Press for a new book, tentatively titled Legends of the Pyramids, which will explore the mythical history of Giza pyramids, from Joseph’s granaries to antediluvian giants to space aliens. The short book will be written for a general mass-market audience and is intended to serve as an overview of the many ways people have imagined the history of the pyramids. It will incorporate material from my blog and focus on the importance of the medieval legend of the antediluvian pyramids from the Akhbar al-zaman in shaping popular understanding of the pyramids and Egyptian history down to the present. The book is currently scheduled for release sometime in 2020.
Here’s a brief overview of the book from my book proposal:
We live in strange times when even the purveyors of conspiracy theories and pseudoscientific nonsense gape in awe at the horrors they have wrought. Giorgio Tsoukalos has happily fronted a TV series that has reveled in all manner of conspiracy theories, from anti-government speculations to Russophile propaganda, and at once point he literally claimed that space aliens made a peace treaty with the coelacanth to spare it from extinction. But this week even Tsoukalos couldn’t fathom how it was that his fans could hold baffling conspiracy theories in their heads at the same time, namely that all of NASA’s visits to the moon were fake but that the U.S. secretly traveled to Mars and established a colony there.
Last December, in response to a blog post I made about Graham Hancock’s foreword to Glenn Kreisberg’s book about an alleged megalithic culture in North America, a commenter posed as Graham Hancock and insulted the intelligence of other commentators, giving the impression that these insults came from Graham Hancock. This commenter was not Hancock, and the words did not belong to Hancock. I was not aware of the comment until the real Hancock called my attention to it this past weekend. The comment, and all responses to it, have been removed from the relevant page for violating my site’s terms and conditions. It is reproduced here as a screenshot, however, so that the context is entirely clear. I condemn in the strongest possible language any comments that attempt to mislead readers into believing they came from someone else, and I apologize to Hancock for the distress that the fraudulent posting has caused.
I wanted to take a moment today to talk about In Search Of. Regular readers will have read my review of the show and know that I wasn’t too taken with the rebooted series’ approach to mysteries, or host Zachary Quinto’s off-brand Leonard Nimoy impression in a program that reinvents the old documentary series as a personality-focused reality show. But I was surprised to see that audiences seem to agree. Despite the massive promotion the History Channel gave the series, and a comfortable berth with an Ancient Aliens lead-in, the show seems to be performing modestly.
After a great deal of hard work, I am not only a few pages away from finishing my book on the history of the Mound Builder myth, but in doing so, I ran into a couple of small issues that I haven’t been able to resolve, for all my efforts at research. I am going to present them here, and perhaps one of you reading this will have an answer.
Some of you might have seen that Graham Hancock posted on his social media accounts yesterday that he is currently writing his new book on prehistoric America and is deep into creating alternative explanations for the alignments of the Newark Earthworks in Ohio. This amused me because I am also writing about the Newark Earthworks for my own book this week, though in a very different way. Hancock is analyzing the mounds themselves for secret alignments and their connections to astrology and Atlantis, while I have been investigating the people who invented these claims, many of whom never actually studied the mounds in person or conducted any scientific surveys. Hancock is particularly interested in the Great Serpent Mound, which has quite the colorful history of attracting misinformed views, including the bizarre claim that it is a duplicate of a mound at Loch Nell in Scotland, which is actually a glacial deposit and not a serpent-shaped mound. That claim had a good run of 140 years, and none of the early advocates of the claim, including famed archaeologist Frederick Ward Putnam, had actually visited both sites.
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.