Today I am going to go out on a limb and do something that will cause many of the people who regularly criticize me to get the vapors. I am going to defend Scott Wolter. Why, you may ask? What did he do right? Earlier this season Scott Wolter correctly concluded that the rock wall of Rockwall, Texas is in fact a clastic sandstone dyke, a completely natural feature, and not the work of lost giants from the Bible. Now one disgruntled investigator of forbidden truths is on a multimedia quest to “expose” Scott Wolter. The force behind an all-out multimedia assault on Scott Wolter is Josh Reeves, Global Reality radio host and a competitor of Scott Wolter’s in the field of North American prehistoric mysteries, including Templars, holy bloodlines, Freemasons, and above all else the Rockwall rock wall, his prized research centerpiece.
I have two somewhat silly topics for today. The first deals with a bizarre minor claim about the death of Atlantis, and the second is a funny bit of Templar nonsense.
The Mayan Atlantis Frieze
Yesterday the Humans Are Free conspiracy website published a new article reviving the claim that the lost city of Atlantis had been found off the coast of Cuba. This is the same website that this morning published an article by conspiracy radio host Dave Hodges interviewing conspiracy author Daniel Estulin about the “super-elite” Bildeberg Group purposely trashing the global economy to force poor people into the major cities in order to exterminate “90%” of humanity to make an all-rich paradise unsullied by the poor. So who exactly will be doing all of the service jobs for these rich people? And how will they still be rich when money has no value?
Have you ever watched politicians talking and noticed how all of the elected officials from one party will repeat the exact same words on the same day? Well a similar thing has begun to happen with the friends and supporters of Scott Wolter, who have banded together to attack me with specific—and false—claims, using the same talking points. The novelist David Brody, who promotes Templar theories alongside Scott Wolter, attacked me in a recent blog post, accusing me of having “a visceral reaction every time Scott reaches a conclusion that runs contrary to accepted dogma,” driven by emotion and “quasi-irrational” hatred of Scott Wolter. He asserted that my “criticism is borne of jealousy,” and he made a false claim with reckless disregard for truth, claiming that I “repeatedly and unsuccessfully auditioned to play a host role similar to that played by Scott in America Unearthed.”
It’s funny to me that people like novelist David Brody accuse me of being obsessed with Scott Wolter to the point of irrational madness, but so far no one has ever accused me of being obsessed with Ancient Aliens, despite having reviewed every episode of this crazy quilt patchwork of New Age mysticism for three years running. I wonder sometimes why I bother reviewing this show since it is so utterly stupid. But then I read reports like the news out of New Zealand that the country’s Prime Minister, John Key, was forced to prove he was not a shape-shifting extraterrestrial reptile after a UFO researcher filed New Zealand’s equivalent of a Freedom of Information request accusing the prime minister of being one of David Icke’s reptilian monsters, ostensibly as a joke. These idea just keep spreading.
Editor's note: I am currently digging out from more than 17 inches of snow. As I am working to tunnel my way out of the house, please enjoy a classic blog post. This entry first appeared on March 30, 2012.
Afrocentristic theorists and ancient astronaut theorists don't agree on much, but one thing they share is a common belief that ancient texts can be used without any confirming evidence to generate radical revisions of ancient history. In Herodotus (2.102-111) we find an accounted of the mythical Egyptian pharaoh Sesostris, whom the Greek historian claims conquered lands as far north as modern Georgia. Archaeology fails to find any evidence of this, and most historians think the story is a corruption and exaggeration of events from the reigns of Ramesses II, Seti I, and possibly Senusret II. Later, Diodorus Siculus and Strabo magnified this pharaoh still further, making him the conqueror of the entire world. Needless to say, there is no evidence whatsoever of Egyptians in France, or England, or Spain.
With the massive snowstorm barreling down on the East Coast, I’m spending today shoveling, hunkering down, and trying to stay out of the snow. This morning I almost got t-boned by car sliding straight through an intersection, and conditions are only getting worse.
Today I have a grab bag of a few newsworthy items to share.
When the Spanish explored the New World, their missionaries attempted to understand Native cultures in Old World terms, and the Franciscan missionary Toribio de Benavente decided that resemblances between Mexican religion and Christianity must have been due to the work of the St. Thomas, who legend said had traveled beyond the Ganges to evangelize. Because millenarian belief at the time held that the Natives were the Lost Tribes whose rediscovery heralded the final conversion of the Jews, the Spanish interpreted Native myths in that light, distorting any references to the color white (such as in directional color symbolism) as references to skin color in order to connect America back to Europe and the coming reign of the universal monarch and the return of Jesus. Native sources lack evidence of “white” skin color for the gods.
First, for those of you who did not see the update I made to my earlier blog post about the Bat Creek Stone, I want to make sure everyone is aware of what I learned yesterday from the curator of archaeology at the Ohio Historical Society, Brad Lepper. After reading Scott Wolter’s recent claim that the Smithsonian had turned over ownership of the Bat Creek Stone to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, Lepper contacted Dr. Bruce D. Smith, the Smithsonian’s curator of North American archaeology, who confirmed that the Bat Creek Stone remains the property of the Smithsonian Institution and was not returned to the Cherokee. Instead, it is on loan to the Cherokee for a temporary exhibit. Therefore, debate about how to best exploit the stone or whether to bury it is moot since it does not belong to the Cherokee and cannot be altered or destroyed without Smithsonian permission.
This is very good news because the Bat Creek Stone is an important artifact in the history of nineteenth century archaeological fraud and deserves to be protected.
For the most part, I tend to let the business dealings of fringe historians slide. People have the right to make money, so I don’t typically criticize, for example, David Childress for running Adventures Unlimited, one of the largest purveyors of self-plagiarized, Eurocentric, and nutty books on the alternative history circuit, except for egregious misconduct, such as when he printed and sold a copyrighted work without the permission of its author. I have never criticized Scott Wolter for his work on concrete stability issues, nor have I made much of Giorgio Tsoukalos’s business ventures in the world of competitive bodybuilding. (Yes, competitive bodybuilding.) Similarly, I have generally refrained from discussing Ancient Aliens pundit Jason Martell’s technology empire, which at one time included an ownership stake in GodTube.com, a Christian video site that once had a restrictive policy forbidding any non-Christian views, while Martell simultaneously was selling ancient astronaut readers the claim that Christianity is a false religion plagiarized from “Sumerian” sources.
America Unearthed S02E11 “Swamp Mammoth” is the third episode in a row in which Scott Wolter searches for evidence that Caucasians reached the New World in the distant past. Two weeks ago he hoped to find Bronze Age people from Scotland in Ohio, and last week he hoped to find the Lost Tribes of Israel, also in Ohio. This week is a little different, and we jump back in time more than ten thousand years from the putative Old World builders of the Native American mounds to go in search of the absolute oldest Europeans to possibly reach America, and in so doing reverse centuries of scholarship by reassigning the peopling of the Americas to Europe, against which Native Americans are later interlopers who somehow overtook the Europeans.
This claim has, in various forms, been in existence for more than two centuries.
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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