Yesterday I mentioned white supremacists and their efforts to recast fringe history claims about prehistoric Old World contact with America as evidence of a global Caucasian master race. Today I’d like to look at one specific aspect of that: the embrace by white supremacists of the Solutrean Hypothesis for the peopling of the Americas, which suggests that Europeans from Spain traveled to America at least 14,000 years ago and gave rise to the Clovis culture. To do so, we’ll need to explore the porous boundary between fact and fiction and the way “entertainment” is used as a vehicle for delivering political and historical claims while avoiding mainstream scrutiny.
Yesterday was a depressing day in the field of ancient astronautics. UFOTV released a new video in which they acknowledge that the 2012 Maya prophecy of doom failed and instead propose a new timeline for the return of the aliens, based on “Vatican revelations” about an “infrared planet” (?) hurtling toward the earth. The general point is: Forget that we were wrong about 2012 and start fearing the upcoming disaster. But let’s move on from this miserable bit of exploitation.
Yesterday the Huffington Post released one of its periodic excursions into ancient astronauts. Ex-New York Post gossip editor, current Playboy writer, and bestselling novelist Paula Froelich visited the National Museum of Art in Iraq. What did she take away from her trip? Aliens.
Before we begin, take a look at this article in the Epoch Times and weep. It takes America Unearthed at face value and presents it as the “History Channel” confirming the cultural impact of Celts on pre-Columbian America, particularly at Anubis Cave in Oklahoma. The Epoch Times is an international, multilingual newspaper and internet news organization publishing in 35 countries. It is one of the most-read publications among the Chinese diaspora. The reporter, Paul Darin, regularly writes credulous articles about UFOs and conspiracies. He has confused America Unearthed for science by placing faith in the History brand name, and he also cites Ancient American magazine as though that amateur diffusionist publication were a serious scholarly journal.
Now on to today’s material.
Yesterday we had interesting news that genetic research determined that Europeans 7,000 years ago were not white but rather had dark tan or brown skin. This is strong circumstantial evidence that the 12,000-year-old white world-bestriding master race of Ignatius Donnelly, James Churchward, David Childress, and Graham Hancock could not have existed, though, of course it is not conclusive proof. There might have been a pocket of white people in a technologically-advanced island citadel, but it looks less likely now since 5000 BCE is well after the period (c. 10,500-9,500 BCE) when these authors claim the lost civilization/Atlantis/Mu dispersed its white people around the world to found civilization.
I may have more to say about this after I’ve had some time to digest the study. Meanwhile, on to today’s topic.
What is it about the so-called “long” nineteenth century (broadly defined—1789-1914 in Europe or 1776-1917 in the U.S.) that is so endlessly fascinating to fringe history folk? So much of what America Unearthed investigates comes directly from material published during these years, from the “mystery” of the Newport Tower (1839) to the Stone of Destiny (1861) to “Aztec” pyramids in Wisconsin (1837/1900) to the Grand Canyon “Egyptian” tomb (1909) to tonight’s investigation into the alleged connection between the Serpent Mound of Ohio and—let’s not mince words—a glacial deposit mistaken for an artificial mound in Scotland in 1871, a claim first published in April 1890.
There seems to be a bit of confusion over exactly what this episode of Ancient Aliens was supposed to be. According to my cable company’s on-screen guide, this was the first episode of season seven, but History’s website says that this is another episode from season six. I’m labeling this Ancient Aliens S06E12 “Aliens and Stargates” for now, but if I find something official about its designation, I’ll come back and change the episode number.
Tonight Ancient Aliens returns from a month-long hiatus, and it looks to be more of the same rehashed material from earlier episodes. However, regular readers will be interested to note that next week (not tonight) the show will be investigating… wait for it… the Tibetan-Egyptian underground city in the Grand Canyon! Since they plan to relate this to the Native American legend of the “Star Beings,” it sounds like they’ll be interviewing the same Zuni elder as America Unearthed, this time to support a completely different fringe theory!
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Television is apparently a medium where consistency doesn’t matter, and as long as you’ve been on some show somewhere you can always find a new program higher up the dial. Ancient Aliens pundit Mike Bara, author of Ancient Aliens on Mars and Ancient Aliens on the Moon, has a new show from production company Raw TV, Uncovering Aliens, airing on various Discovery networks (Animal Planet and Science Channel), where he is the skeptic, casting cold water on recent American UFO claims. I can’t wrap my mind around it.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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