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.
Anyway, I don’t have a lot to write about today, so I thought I’d share a couple of interesting anecdotes about the pyramids of Egypt. The first concerns a Maltese tourist at the Giza pyramids named Madame Serafina. The Irish doctor and historian Richard Robert Madden ran into her when traveling across the Ottoman Empire in the 1820s. In his 1829 book Travels in Turkey, Egypt, Nubia and Palestine, he recorded what happened when the befuddled tourist tried to discover from her travel companion, an English engineer, how the Biblical patriarch Joseph had built the pyramids as grain silos:
A few minutes’ repose restored Madame Serafina’s strength; her volubility appeared to have suffered little damage; she ejaculated in Italian, but she talked in English; she asked me a thousand questions about the age of the Pyramids? the number of Jews who were employed by Pharaoh to build them? where the bricks were to be seen which were made without straw? and what sort of things the mummies of the kings were in the interior?
Nothing like a little racism to cap off a bizarre conversation!
While this is an amusing anecdote about a misinformed Maltese woman talking with a partially informed Englishman, a second story is both more humorous and a story that surprisingly hasn’t yet been used as proof that the pyramid builders were in contact with the Americas. It comes to us from the March 1909 Brewer’s Journal:
Barley has been found in the lake dwellings of Switzerland in deposits belonging to the Stone Age. It is also claimed that barley found in the pyramids had retained its germinating capacity on account of the absolute dryness of the air in which it was stored. Barley will retain its germinating capacity for a long time, if stored in a dry air-tight place. But the story of the barley from the pyramids is a hoax as well as that of the wheat found there and which is often called “pyramid” wheat. The truth of the matter is that some foxy Arabs placed the grain in the pyramids so that some professors would find it. They carried the joke too far, however, when they placed some of our Indian corn or maize in the pyramids--a grain which is distinctly American and was not known in Egypt until after the discovery of America.
I would have thought some crafty fraudster would be trying to legitimize the hoax by now.
11/10/2017 10:41:44 am
"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."
11/10/2017 12:23:49 pm
"I would have thought some crafty fraudster would be trying to legitimize the hoax by now."
11/10/2017 12:46:00 pm
11/11/2017 04:35:00 pm
Also should be:
11/10/2017 01:20:00 pm
Maize in the pyramids ? That's gotta be the Templars, no ?
11/10/2017 02:09:51 pm
Where I live all those shows are on all the time in reruns.
11/10/2017 05:37:03 pm
I have noticed the same thing fringe type shows seem not to show up any longer except as reruns. My conclusion is that they were a fad and like a lot of fads they gradually become less and less interesting.
11/10/2017 07:58:42 pm
63 percent copy paste. Keep rewriting what earlier sceptics wrote an present it as your own original work.
11/10/2017 08:07:18 pm
A suspiciously specific figure, don't you think?
11/10/2017 08:17:24 pm
It’s 63 percent of this entry my friend!
11/10/2017 08:28:48 pm
Kindly enlighten us as to which parts are copy/ pasted without attribution, and from where?
11/10/2017 08:37:33 pm
Kindly explain why you are lying by twisting my words.
11/10/2017 09:19:23 pm
So tell us exactly which parts were plagiarized, won't you?
11/10/2017 09:45:15 pm
I suggest you blogtards do the math and stop lying by twisting my words. You are making this a hate blog of sci-supremicists.you already admitted the hate blog part.
11/11/2017 01:07:56 am
11/11/2017 01:34:34 am
Just a belligerent drunk, then. As I suspected.
11/11/2017 02:00:02 pm
I'm sticking with mental illness diagnosis based on the ability to hit only one note.
11/10/2017 08:02:37 pm
Well, Jason, as a needed change of pace for you away from fringe history, how about investigating a cult that is in your own hometown of Albany! Hell’s Nazi Bells, you and Keith Raniere might be neighbors! Got Nxivm?
11/11/2017 06:23:51 am
Don't think I don't know it's right here. The cult's second leader is said to be Allison Mack, the co-star of Smallville, who allegedly recruits the women and engages with them in bizarre BDSM spanking rituals.
11/11/2017 06:30:14 pm
Whoa, Jason! You’re up to speed on Alison Mack, yet all you object to is some BDSM spanking? Have you not read about Alison and many other women getting their pussy-proximal areas branded like cattle with Keith Raniere’s initials?
Asking For a Friend
11/11/2017 11:22:01 pm
Bronfman? Einhorn? Innnnnnnteresting.
11/10/2017 08:12:22 pm
"she ejaculated in Italian, but she talked in English"
11/10/2017 08:38:00 pm
To say suddenly or vehemently. !Dios mio!
11/15/2017 03:11:23 pm
Not according to the BBFC!
11/16/2017 06:37:07 pm
Nah, ejaculate at the time meant something different. More like exclamation. Read some of the original Sherlock Holmes stories, Watson ejaculated all over the place.
11/18/2017 08:06:44 pm
The meaning hasn't changed. It just means "throwing out". And urinary incontinence is not ejaculation.
11/10/2017 08:55:16 pm
It isn't just the media that's lost interest. During the glut of fringe themed shows, it became obvious all of them were formulaic. Hype an episode, visit exotic locales, talk to believers of alternative claims, make incredible conclusions based on leaps of logic then fail to produce anything of substance related to the investigation. Repeat every episode for the season. If popular enough, recycle material from previous episodes/seasons to justify another season.
11/11/2017 02:11:29 pm
"'I'm not surprised you're running out of topics. It's not like the fringe hasn't been recycling the same tired bull for too long."
11/11/2017 05:05:47 am
I suggest you cut back your posts to 3-4 per week. I (and many others) would miss you. Yet we know you have a new baby. The first one always takes up more time than people expect.
11/11/2017 08:11:02 am
By now all sensible people believe in the existence of aliens and hence the decline of such shows. Nothing to prove any more.
11/11/2017 02:07:14 pm
Residents- I suspect the real reason Joshi attacked Keene's work is because Keene hosts a podcast which frequently mocks Joshi (and other figures in the horror world). Joshi's "overview" of Keene's work is not literary criticism or satire, but simply journalism as punishment.
11/11/2017 07:16:28 pm
"Residents- I suspect the real reason Joshi attacked Keene's work is because Keene hosts a podcast which frequently mocks Joshi (and other figures in the horror world)."
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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