Legends of the Lost with Megan Fox dropped like a rock in the Nielsen ratings for its second outing this week. Tuesday’s episode, which featured Fox meeting with alternative history icon Graham Hancock and identifying Stonehenge as a prehistoric hospital, bagged just 325,000 viewers, down from 429,000 last week. The miserable ratings secured the show 121st place in the Tuesday ratings race, behind NatGeo’s Life Below clip show special, Animal Planet’s Lone Star Law, Motor Trend TV’s Bitchin’ Rides, and even Travel’s own 9 PM rerun of Expedition Unknown, which 90,000 more people watched than Fox’s 8 PM show, and its 11 PM rerun of Monster Encounters, which 50,000 more people watched.
Italy's Most Prominent Ancient Astronaut Theorist Asks Whether Jews Planned the Holocaust as a "Passport" to the Creation of Israel
I will start today with a short update about To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science and the so-called “alien” metamaterials that they have allegedly been examining. In an interview with MJ Banias of Mysterious Universe last weekend, To the Stars VP Hal Puthoff, who is also the head of Earth Tech, attempted to rebut criticism of the two companies’ agreement to work together to analyze the metals. Puthoff called it a “straightforward contractual relationship,” one that just happened to involve Puthoff at To the Stars generously agreeing to pay Puthoff at Earth Tech so that he would collect checks from both companies for his work on the metamaterials.
When I published The Cult of Alien Gods thirteen years ago, expanded from a Skeptic magazine article I had published the year before, I was genuinely surprised that a lot of people, mostly fans of H. P. Lovecraft, were outraged. Several critics found absurd my conclusion that Lovecraft had taken ideas about prehistoric extraterrestrial contact articulated by Theosophy and Charles Fort and transmitted them to the midcentury UFO and ancient astronaut writers. Still others were deeply upset that the book discussed—in 2005, two years before the housing bubble burst—the argument the great historian Jacques Barzun had made that the West had grown decadent and faced a long period of stagnation and decline, something I mentioned because it echoed Lovecraft’s pessimistic view that similar envisioned America in a spiral of corruption and decline.
Yesterday, U.S. president Donald J. Trump met with Russian president Vladimir V. Putin in Helsinki for a controversial summit denounced by Republicans and Democrats alike. In advance of the summit, members of an anti-immigrant organization known as the Soldiers of Odin, whose leader is a self-described Neo-Nazi convicted of a hate crime, knelt before Trump banners in a show of deference to the American leader. The anti-immigrant hate group was founded in Finland in 2015 to intimidate immigrants, and it now boasts chapters in Anglophone countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and the U.K. Although the organization denies being racist or Neo-Nazi, studies by the Southern Poverty Law Center and Finland’s Yle public broadcaster found that its members were predominantly white supremacists and supporters of the extreme right.
Friends of David Wilcock Say He Resigned from Gaia TV over Bad Pay, Poor Working Conditions, and Lucifer
Late Friday night, ufologist Laura Eisenhower released a letter she said that ancient astronaut theorist David Wilcock sent to his employer, Gaia TV, asking to be let out of his contract. According to the letter, Gaia TV has an abusive work environment, unfairly compensates its employees, and deceptively edits its programs to promote what Wilcock described as “Luciferian” beliefs. “This is already starting to cause me significant career damage and it will get far worse if I don’t do something about it, fast,” Wilcock is said to have written. “I have willfully ignored an enormous number of offensive, disrespectful and abusive situations in order to do this job the last six years – primarily out of a sense of financial dependency.” He attributed this to having suffered physical abuse at the hands of his former girlfriend.
This weekend, Newsweek ran an interesting article on racism at MUFON and the broader problem of alt-right infiltration in ufology. The magazine basically laid the blame on the fact that ufologists are largely a group of cranky old white men, the same demographic that overlaps heavily with extreme conservative and alt-right beliefs. “The combination of demographics likely to align with far-right viewpoints, and the overlap between UFO researchers and conspiracy theorists, produces an environment that [ufologist Ryan] Sprague and others argue can be toxic to minorities,” the magazine told its readers.
This has been a particularly slow week for new claims in the world of fringe history, and it was also my birthday week. In honor of my birthday, and also to make time to work on my book, I’m going to be brief today. I wanted to share with you a racist meme that is popular on white supremacist forums. It was once featured on the now-suspended Daily Stormer, a Neo-Nazi website currently facing a libel lawsuit that threatens to expose its secretive finances., but it circulates across the white nationalist and racist hate communities on the internet, and has since at least 2013. Take a look:
Top MUFON Official Quits Over Organization's Continued Support of John Ventre a Year After Ventre's Racist Rant
On Wednesday, the Smithsonian Channel will air the controversial Canadian Ice Bridge documentary that revived claims that the first Americans were Europeans known as the Solutreans who crossed the Atlantic during the Ice Age. The documentary was roundly criticized in Canada for its lack of attention to the racist uses of the Solutrean myth and for its endorsement of a hypothesis for which little evidence exists. While the show aired on the CBC in Canada, the country’s major public broadcaster, here in the U.S. it will screen on digital tier cable, meaning that pretty much nobody will watch it. The Smithsonian Channel is a partnership between CBS-owned Showtime and the Smithsonian Institution, which employs Dennis Stanford, the major advocate of the Solutrean theory and the star of the documentary
As many readers already know, actress Roseanne Barr became an internet laughingstock recently when she praised Donald Trump for his heroic role in an imaginary effort to free thousands of children from a Democrat-run pedophilia network. This bizarre counterfactual belief is part of the so-called QAnon conspiracy, an internet-driven conspiracy theory which holds that Trump and Special Counsel Robert Muller are working together to take down Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who are the masterminds of a global child abuse network and terrorism syndicate. Barr removed her tweets referencing QAnon but did not apologize for her belief in the conspiracy.
I’ve had a rather busy week, so I am going to keep today’s post short by directing you to an interesting video that Cracked produced last week about the misuse of history among rightwing pundits. The video examines, especially, claims about Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, and the Civil War. While I don’t agree with every claim made in the video—since a couple are presented as established fact when they are actually interpretative—the general thrust is correct. As Cracked explains, a certain branch of rightwing American pundits bend history into pretzels in order to, essentially, justify racism. The video gains cumulative power as the number of false, misleading, or grotesque interpretations of history pile up and reduce one by one back to racism
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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