Over the past few months, ufologists linked to billionaire UFO nut Robert Bigelow have promoted a growing number of claims that they are investigating debris from flying saucers containing chemical properties never before seen on this Earth. Jacques Vallée, Tom DeLonge, and a former Pentagon official now employed by DeLonge have all made these claims, and journalist George Knapp even provided a sample of such a substance to a UFO exhibit at a Smithsonian-backed museum a few years ago. According to media accounts the Pentagon official, who oversaw Bigelow’s government contract to investigate UFOs, claims that Bigelow has buildings in Las Vegas to store such material
How do we live in a world where this is a normal headline? “Charlie Daniels Issues Grim Warning to Taco Bell About the Illuminati.”
Meanwhile... Some people never learn. Regular readers will remember Scott Creighton, the writer who has some outlandish ideas about ancient Egypt, including the claim that the first sixteen pyramids map the stars of the constellation Orion to depict Osiris and the claim that Col. William Howard Vyse forged Khufu’s name on the Great Pyramid’s quarry marks to hide the true age of the pyramid. (See my review: Part 1 and Part 2.) Well, prompted by the recent announcement of the discovery with cosmic rays of an unexplored void in the Great Pyramid, Creighton returned with an article on Graham Hancock’s website repeating old errors and misusing the medieval pyramid myth that I have spent so many years exploring to make a false claim for an antediluvian origin for the structure.
"Ancient Origins" Author Claims a Comet Caused Noah's Flood, Which Ripped the Casing Stones from the Giza Pyramids
Most of you have already seen that on Tuesday former television personality Scott F. Wolter posted a blog entry suggesting that he had “proof positive” that the Kensington Rune Stone was a medieval artifact. His “evidence” was laughably illogical. He claimed that measuring the diagonal of the stone yielded the fictitious “megalithic yard,” a unit of supposed ancient measure that was actually invented in the twentieth century. The first problem is that the measurement is subjective. The stone is irregular, so the length of the diagonal can vary depending on which lump, bump, or uneven part one chooses to measure from. The second problem is logical: Since Wolter believes that the megalithic yard remained in use down to modern times—since he claims, following Alan Butler, that the Freemasons laid out Washington, D.C. with that measurement in the 1700s, the 1800s, and again in the 1940s—its inclusion in the rune stone, even if true, would provide no proof whatsoever of medieval origins since it could just as easily have been chosen by a nineteenth century Freemason faker.
Most conspiracy theories about Freemasonry tend to focus on its alleged connections to the Knights Templar and occult Christian secrets, but a century or more ago, it was Masonry’s alleged connection to ancient Egypt that offered grist for occult speculation. I came across an obscure but strange book called Freemasonry from the Great Pyramid of Ancient Times (1885) by Freemason Thomas Holland in which Holland outlines his belief that the Great Pyramid of Giza was actually a divine map to the mysteries of Freemasonry, crafted on orders from Yahweh by Israelites to show future generations the rituals and mysteries of the Craft. While this is silly on the face of it, derived from Charles Piazzi Smyth’s belief that the Pyramid contained a plan crafted by the God of Israel, and the frequent Masonic insistence that their Craft could be traced back to Egypt (and, specifically, the Great Pyramid), the expression of it is a bit bizarre.
Weekend Roundup: Tom DeLonge Rakes in Cash, "Curse of Oak Island" Rakes in Viewers, and a Russian Man Claims a Mars-Sphinx Link
Regular readers will remember that last month ufologist and fading rock musician Tom DeLonge launched a public benefit corporation to promote science fiction movies and what he describes as high-speed time travel transportation systems. Oh, and something about UFO disclosure, but not really, except when it is. As part of the launch of To the Stars… Academy of Arts and Science, or TTS-AAS, in its official and illogical abbreviation, the company offered shares of stock to the public.
Is it possible that I am running out of things to write about? It seems that this has been a particularly slow week for bad claims about history, and I am inclined to think that the collapse of the media’s interest in fringe history is to blame. Over the past couple of years, the number of cable shows focusing on fringe history (broadly defined) has declined markedly. Where once they filled several hours per day several days per week, to the point that one weekend there were nonstop fringe shows on some cable channel or another, now there are only a few, led by Ancient Aliens, a show that stopped being about history when it decided to become a spiritual movement and a lifestyle brand. Even written fringe is in decline. Nephilim theorists like L. A. Marzulli have devolved into pro-Trump pundits, and even the clickbait sites are reduced to recycling recycled content.
There are times when I just don’t have the energy to seek out crazy stuff to write about. Sometimes I have to let the crazy come to me. Today’s subject is brief but interesting. It’s a graphic representation of a secret base located inside the Great Pyramid, and it comes to us courtesy of David S. Anderson (@DSAArchaeology) who posted it to his Twitter feed yesterday. Take a look:
I usually like to end the week on a high note, but today I can report a bit of a disappointment. Yesterday, I discussed a French text by Assyriologist Francois Lenormant that is the obvious source for most fringe writers’ claims that the Sphinx predates dynastic Egypt and that the Valley Temple is a primeval construction by a wandering tribe of mystics known as the Followers of Horus. Lenormant attributed his information to the eminent Egyptologist Gaston Maspero, in his 1875 book The Ancient History of the Peoples of the East. Taking Lenormant at his word, I believed that Maspero must have made the same claims as Lenormant, presumably with more detail. I was quite disappointed to see that he had only very briefly alluded to the claims in the book Lenormant cited. The bottom line therefore seems to be that Lenormant is the origin point for the specific formulation of the myth that the Shemsu Hor built the Sphinx and the Valley Temple thousands of years before dynastic Egypt.
I came across a fascinating little book put out by the Theosophical Society’s publishing arm in 1913. Entitled The Faith of Ancient Egypt, it surprised me by presenting in précis most of the arguments about precession, astrology, and Egyptian wisdom that we would see come to fruition under R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz (Temple of Man, 1949) and the authors of Hamlet’s Mill, and those influenced by them such as John Anthony West, Graham Hancock, etc. Basically, Golden Dawn member Sidney G. P. Coryn suggested that the Sphinx predated dynastic Egypt, that the precession of the equinoxes governs the shape and symbolism of world religions in each astrological “age,” and that Egypt was possessed of fabulous wisdom and technology that could only have come from a superior civilization.
Josh Gates Walks Back Endorsement of Ancient Astronaut Theory, But Claims Ancient Achievements Cannot Be Explained
This week’s episode of Expedition Unknown: Hunt for Extraterrestrials was really boring. It involved host Josh Gates listening to a group of Zimbabweans describe a mass UFO sighting that occurred in 1994, followed by a trip to Rendlesham Forest to listen to yet another iteration of the same routine set of mystery-mongering interviews with the UFO profiteers who have made a thirty-year career out of an alleged encounter with a spacecraft that has been debunked over and over again. We saw this a few months ago on Ancient Aliens (not to mention several times before), and the Science Channel, and Destination America, and some online articles, and practically everywhere UFOs are sold. Gates added nothing to the discussion except to give far too much credence to some fairly dubious claims, to the exclusion of reasonable explanations.
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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