In Slate magazine last night, book critic Laura Miller has a review of a new volume called Scratch in which writers famous and obscure describe how much and whether they get paid for the work that they produce. The general consensus is that writers aren’t paid enough (which is true), but some of the reasons the writers gave were a little less than compelling. I’ve published many books, which by most measures would be impressive, but I’ve learned the hard way even selling thousands of copies won’t make enough money to pay the bills. Prometheus Books, the publisher of my first book, made big promises and delivered to me about $0.24 per copy.
Turkish Government Funds Documentary Claiming Göbekli Tepe Was Built by Abraham’s Father and Destroyed by Abraham
Remember how fringe writers including Andrew Collins and Graham Hancock have heavily implied that the ancient Turkish site of Göbekli Tepe had been constructed by a lost civilization related to or identical with the Nephilim and/or Atlantis? Well, it turns out that the Turkish government has done them one better by funding a documentary that claims the ancient temple site to be the work of the patriarch Abraham’s idol-worshiping father Telah, according to an account from the Turkish Hürriyet Daily News newspaper, the country’s oldest and most respected English-language news source.
CBS News "Sunday Morning" Broadcasts Puff Piece on So-Called "White City," Fails to Note "White City" Myth Is a Modern Invention
It was a strange weekend. On Saturday, a fringe blog alleged that H. P. Lovecraft had “secret knowledge’ of that lost city in Antarctica that David Wilcock claimed existed last year. Rather than concluding that Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness influenced fringe proponents’ Antarctica claims, the blogger assumes that Wilcock is telling the truth and Lovecraft was secretly disclosing hidden alien facts. It’s a small-scale version of Helena Blavatsky’s old claim that science-fiction authors get secret truth-beams from the spirit world, and a bit of a depressing one.
Is Oak Island Really the New Atlantis of Francis Bacon? Randall Sullivan Says His "Best Guess" Based on "Things I've Heard" Is Yes!
I hadn’t written much about this week’s episode of Curse of Oak Island, mostly because I find it hard to gin up much enthusiasm for watching construction equipment move earth. If I wanted to see that, I can watch it live at the dozens of construction sites around town. Plus, I was busy this week with more interesting things to do. Anyway, I eventually got around to taking a look at the episode, and it turns out that they had a crazy conspiracy this week, offered by another in the parade of know-nothing pseudo-experts who pretend to have vast insights that they can never quite back up.
Egyptologist Gaston Maspero Wrote a Largely Overlooked 13,000-Word Treatise on Medieval Arabic Pyramid Lore. I Translated It.
As most of you know, I became very interested in the medieval Arab-Egyptian pyramid myth several years ago after Giorgio Tsoukalos cited the work of the Arabian historians of the Middle Ages as evidence for space aliens in Old Kingdom Egypt, 3,900 years earlier. This culminated in my translation of the Akhbar al-zaman, the oldest surviving version of the fully developed myth of the fantastical history of Egypt, as it was known in medieval times. This account included the founding of Egypt by the Nephilim-Giants, the building of the pyramids by the giants, particularly King Surid, to preserve the wisdom of the Watchers from Noah’s Flood, and the magical spells and talismans by which the Egyptians after the Flood mastered the dark arts of sorcery. Historically, most scholars have dismissed the book as a medieval flight of fantasy, though a growing contingent recognize in it shadows of early Hermetic literature and some borrowings from Byzantine Greek literature.
New Ideas about Minoan-Mycenaean Relations; Plus: What Is Behind False Copyright Claims Aimed at "Ancient Aliens" Stars?
There is a very interesting article in Smithsonian magazine this week describing new revelations about the Mycenaeans based on excavations of a particularly rich Mycenaean grave. Because the article takes forever to get to the point, I’ll share it with you here: The grave goods from a very early Mycenaean burial are heavily influenced by Minoan culture, which has led to a new hypothesis that the Mycenaeans adopted Minoan culture right at the start and therefore their takeover of Crete was less like an invasion and more like a merging of two cultures, perhaps without distinct and formal divisions between them. The fact that the researchers claim that it might have been similar to the modern E.U. and can teach us lessons about modern issues of xenophobia and nationalism should, though, give us a bit of pause that, as with so many new ideas, we’ll find in them a few years from now a bit too much of a mirror of modernity.
Why Is the Alt-Right Into the Middle Ages? Plus: Scott Wolter Claims Ice Age Peoples Held Intercontinental "World Conference" Meetings
The Economist had an interesting blog this week speculating on why far right Americans have come to embrace the Middle Ages. Specifically, the blog post – anonymous, like most Economist pieces – looks at why far right advocates seem to have moved the center of their intellectual interest from Classical Antiquity to medieval times:
Today I’d like to discuss a couple of new teen-oriented science fiction-adjacent media products. First up is the movie Slash, which is currently available on demand after a brief theatrical run in Los Angeles. This sensitive and thoughtful movie follows Neil (Teen Wolf’s Michael Johnston), a 15-year-old who is exploring his sexuality by writing explicit slash fiction about the male hero and villain of his favorite science fiction book series. When Neil discovers that a fellow teen, Julia (Hannah Marks from Dirk Gently and The Real O’Neils) is also an erotic fan fiction writer, he experiences confusing feelings that culminate in a journey to a comic book convention for a live reading of one of his erotic stories.
Many of you will likely have seen that tour guide and fringe history advocate Brien Foerster posted information recently about the discovery of an alleged “alien” hand on his Hidden Inca Tours website. He discussed the three-fingered anomaly briefly, and then concluded with an advertisement for his own tours of the Andes. The evidence provided was a bit underwhelming, and my first instinct would be to suspect a hoax along the lines of the taxidermy “demon-fairy” that fooled L. A. Marzulli last year.
I Talk Nephilim with Sharon Hill; Plus: The Radiocarbon Mysteries of Gunung Padang and My Adventure with a Cheap Chinese Watch
After a long holiday weekend, I don’t really feel up to doing any in-depth investigation today. So instead, please enjoy an interview I recorded with the always interesting Sharon Hill for her 15 Credibility Street podcast. We discussed the Watchers and the Nephilim, along with the long shadow they cast over fringe history claims, from lost civilizations to pyramid mysteries to the quest for giant human remains.
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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