Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. When Ancient Aliens started down the path of saying that all human genius was the result of human brains tapping into an alien internet signal, it stood to reason that eventually they would deny that even our own sense of self, our consciousness, belongs to us but rather is a projection from another realm, thus accounting for reincarnation and psychic channeling. This is similar to the New Age idea that the brain is really a receiver for consciousness from the spirit world—i.e., that consciousness is a projection from a realm beyond the physical into the material world. They just bastardize the idea down to its grossest level, which, frankly, is what Ancient Aliens always does. This is New Age religion for dummies, dummies who aren’t quite ready to commit full on to faith and still want to pretend that this is all either entertainment or science.
The title of the episode, “The Replicants,” suggests that the episode will focus on mind-control, soul-cloning, or something like that. The actual content never addresses the episode title at all. What a missed opportunity.
I ran out of time today to write anything in terribly great depth, and I know that relatively few people tend to read my blog on summer Fridays anyway. Besides, Ancient Aliens is on tonight, and I need to save my ire for what promises to be an especially stupid claim: that human bodies are actually vessels for interdimensional intelligences. So today I will point to a new article by Richard Thornton, the longtime advocate of the claim that the Maya colonized Georgia. In his new article, he alleges that Native American petroglyphs, Mayan hieroglyphs, and Bronze Age European petroglyphs from Scandinavia are all the same, and that they represent a consistent pattern of symbols related to the sun, high kingship, and sunflowers
Conspiracy theorist Jim Marrs died yesterday of a heart attack at the age of 73, according to an announcement his family posted to social media last night. Marrs had suspended updates to his website in June due to health issues, and his health had been in decline for several months. We are told not to speak ill of the dead, but it is difficult for me to find much else to say about him. He was, in private life, apparently loving and devoted to his family, but publicly, for decades Marrs promoted a noxious brew of rightwing conspiracies that danced around anti-Semitic themes, and he happily embraced ancient astronaut theories and wove them into a dark vision of a genocidal Obama government hellbent on mass liquidation of conservatives, a vision that never came to pass and whose predictive failure Marrs never acknowledged. Seriously, he used to claim that Obama and the Chinese and/or Russians were working together to launch a coup against white Americans.
Robert Schoch, Robert Bauval, and a Dermatologist Claim to Have Hieroglyphic Evidence That the Sphinx Predates the Pyramids
Last month, three authors, two of whom are well known to us, paid a Chinese publisher to review and publish an academic article claiming that the Sphinx predates dynastic Egypt based on a word and a hieroglyph. Before we examine the article itself, it’s worth saying a word about Scientific Research Publishing, a Chinese-owned mass-producer of more than 200 low-quality academic journals such as Archaeological Discovery, in which this article appeared. Scientific Research Publishing of Wuhan, China uses bulk email to solicit academic articles, which it then charges the authors to publish. While this is not, strictly speaking, unethical (some respected open access journals charge publication fees), the company’s business model is essentially to make huge profits by charging fees for every article published while exercising minimal quality control. According to published accounts, the company has reprinted articles from other journals without permission, named scholars to its editorial board without their knowledge or consent, and even accepted an article created by a random text generator. One title’s entire editorial board resigned over ethical concerns.
I mention this because it explains a bit about why the article we are about to consider seemed to lack the quality one would expect in a peer-reviewed academic article.
Before I get to my main topic today, I’d like to address a couple of odds and ends. First, I am aware that the Daily Grail reported today that fringe archaeology writers Robert Schoch and Robert Bauval have published a new article on the Sphinx in a pay-for-play open access Chinese academic journal. I am reading the piece, but it’s going to take me another day or so to digest it and decide what I think. I hope to have some thoughts about it tomorrow.
It’s been a good ten seasons since Ancient Aliens had an original idea, so it goes without saying that we’ve heard much of the material in tonight’s episode before. In this episode, the show is looking to go beyond its typical claim that humans were genetically engineered by aliens to extend the aliens’ plans to animals. We’ve seen elements of this in the past, from the time when Giorgio Tsoukalos alleged that space aliens made a peace treaty with coelacanths to protect them from a dinosaur-killing asteroid to the time that the show claimed that Bigfoot arrived on Earth in a flying saucer. But the real purpose of this episode is to cast doubt on evolutionary theory, a disturbingly common theme that the show has been pushing since its decision to adopt creationist claims and rhetoric.
Uri Geller Plans to Excavate the Ancient "Egyptian" Treasure of Fictitious Princess Scota on a Scottish Island He Owns
A long time ago, before I was born, Uri Geller was famous as a spoon-bender, and it is rather astonishing that “spoon-bender” was ever a profession, even if he was technically supposed to be some kind of telekinetic. His repertoire of tricks was always rather threadbare, and I can remember amazing my New Age classmates in anthropology classes by doing the spoon-bending trick and making objects move with the power of my “mind.” I performed such tricks—based on physics and misdirection—because one of my classmates claimed with a straight face that Buddhism had given him telekinetic powers, and he tried the same prestidigitation but called it a spiritual miracle. He also claimed he could levitate, but only when no one else was around to see.
Afrocentrist Clyde Winters Used My Translation of Manuscript 512 to "Discover" an Ancient Malian City in Brazil
Before we begin today, I want to point my readers to a fiery resignation letter that former Mutual UFO Network official James E. Clarkson published last weekend after discovering that New Age cult leader JZ Knight, who claims to be the mouthpiece for Ramtha of Lemuria, purchased a position as an “Inner Circle” member of MUFON, giving her a position of power and influence in the organization. Clarkson said that he refused to mortgage his integrity to a cult leader who channels an entity from the prehistoric continent of Lemuria. He added that he was disappointed that MUFON continued to deemphasize scientific investigation in favor of money-making entertainment: “It is hard to watch an organization that you once served proudly become an income-generating entertainment company.”
Classicist Claims White Marble Statues Lead to Racism; Plus: Scott Wolter Refines His Templar Claims
Last week Vice News ran a segment about ancient statues and racism in which the HBO program discussed a controversy that arose when Classicist Sarah Bond published an essay in Forbes this past spring, and another in Hyperallergic, describing the fact that Greco-Roman statues were once brightly painted and not stark white as they currently appear now that the paint has rubbed off thanks to the ravages of time.
Joseph Scaliger, Samuel Purchas, and the Renaissance Encounter with the Watchers and the Book of Enoch
In all of the time we have spoken of the Book of Enoch and the Watchers and their ilk, I hadn’t quite gotten around to discussing the reactions to this myth across Europe. As you know, in the East, the story was adapted into Byzantine Christian and Islamic mythology by equating the Watchers with the Sons of Seth and making them human. In the West, scholars had a much more limited version of events, inherited almost entirely from Josephus and Methodius, that knew of the sons of Seth but attributed all of the sin to “excessive fornications” rather than the forbidden knowledge of the Watchers myth. Therefore, when Joseph Justus Scaliger started working on an edition of Jerome’s Latin translation of Eusebius’ Chronicle around 1600, he was in for quite a surprise.
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.