Two days ago I posted a lengthy excerpt of an 1893 address from the founder of the De Santo Claro Society, Thomas Sinclair, in which that Victorian explained that he advocated recognition of Henry II Sinclair, Earl of Orkney and Baron of Roslin as the true discoverer of America because of his intense dislike for Italians and his concern that America was losing its racial identity to a swarm of “Latin” peoples. Thomas Sinclair specifically claimed that Henry II had sexual relations with Native Americans/First Nations people, thus improving their genes and raising them up from savagery to barbarism.
One of the newest pieces of the Henry Sinclair-Holy Bloodline mythology is the claim that Sinclair built a castle in Nova Scotia and hid the Holy Grail there. You’ll remember that “castle” from the America Unearthed season finale where we heard that it was not only the resting place of the Grail and possibly the Ark of the Covenant but was also haunted by ghosts. They based these claims on the work of Joan Hope, which they specifically cited on the program. So, since I couldn’t find any real information about the supposed castle—which itself would “rewrite” history, despite the complete noninterest of all involved with the show—I decided to read Hope’s self-published 1997 book to learn why she felt she was sitting on a castle.
I finished her book, and I am dumbfounded.
Thomas Sinclair's Wildly Racist Claim for Henry Sinclair's Discovery of America
I’m sure you remember Steve St. Clair and his Sinclair/St. Clair DNA Project. Despite his denials, his website states that he has had “no choice” but to investigate whether Native Americans intermarried with the Sinclair crew and thus inherited Sinclair DNA.* As you may know, Steve St. Clair isn’t the first person to suggest as much, and today I’d like to share with you the crazy racist ideas of Thomas Sinclair, another member of the extended Sinclair lineage from more than a century ago. His ideas lay bare the original agenda of the Sinclair fantasists, one that the modern representatives of the idea may not even be aware of.
[* This sentence was amended to remove a reference to the Knights Templar, which Steve St. Clair denies has a connection to the Sinclair story.]
As I’ve discussed more than a few times, the sole support for the claim that Henry I Sinclair, Earl of Orkney and Baron of Roslin sailed to America is the 1558 Zeno Narrative, which tells of the Zeno Brothers’ trip to an imaginary island in the years around 1400. This can only be made to agree with Henry’s life by special pleading and the wild assumption that the Zeno Brothers mangled the name Sinclair (or of Orkney) into that of Zichmni, the far-voyaging hero of the Narrative. Richard Henry Major, the most famous advocate of the Henry = Zichmni theory, put down the differences to the hyperbolic and excitable nature of Italians, who had no mind for truth: “the southern mind [has] a tendency to a certain amount of hyperbole...”
Scott Wolter and Richard Thornton Accuse Wikipedia, Cherokees and Forest Service of Anti-Wolter Conspiracy
Remember that academic conspiracy that Scott Wolter claimed was working against him? Well, according to a new interview with Wolter it extends to the very heart of Wikipedia, which he and fellow alternative historian Richard Thornton say has been systematically edited to discredit him.
Before we begin let me state up front that I have nothing to do with any of the alleged editing.
A few weeks ago on America Unearthed Scott Wolter claimed to have discovered a “Templar” coin that featured Jesus emerging from the Talpiot Tomb, a sepulcher in Jerusalem where the Canadian filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici claimed in 2007 that he had found evidence (disputed by experts) that Jesus had been buried alongside his wife, Mary Magdalene. I am neither a medieval scholar nor a numismatist, so I had little to say about the coin the day after the episode aired. But when I learned Simcha Jacobovici (summarized, with additional details, by James Tabor, who is more cautious) declared this television revelation to be the “smoking gun” proving that the Talpiot Tomb was known to the Templars, I knew something must be wrong.
Before we begin today, I want to point out that the discussion we’ve been having about Welsh Indians and pre-Columbian European colonizers isn’t just academic; the battle to control the cultural narrative has real consequences. On Facebook, John W. Hoopes linked to a discussion by David Barton, a Christian activist best known for his claims that the Founders meant for America to be a Christian nation. Barton explained in the discussion that Native Americans deserved to be killed off between 1650 and 1900 because they were warring against “all the white guys and went after the white guys,” necessitating genocide unless and until they accepted white rule and Euro-American civilization. In his view, “bringing the Indians to their knees” is part and parcel of expanding Christian civilization, which he explicitly identifies as “white” and “American.”
The story of Atlantis has been well-studied, and the development of the myth is well-known. But I found an interesting sidelight that ties claims for Atlantis in with some of alternative history’s other weird ideas, thanks to John Dee, Renaissance occultist extraordinaire.
Our story begins in 1552, when the Spanish historian Francisco López de Gómara makes an audacious claim. Noting that the Aztecs frequently use the syllable atl in their words, he proposes that Mexico and the Caribbean are the lost continent of Atlantis.
Welcome to Jesus-Land, Where God Plans Terrorist Attacks and Speaks through Stocks
I mostly leave alone wacky religious claims except where they cross into making historical claims since there are many people more qualified than I to opine on theology. However, yesterday I heard something that was so profoundly stupid—and also founded on a historical claim—that I was left dumbfounded. We’ll get to that in a moment, but first I want to share one other wacky religious idea I discovered yesterday.
Before we get started with today’s topic, I want to direct your attention to my newest book release, Faking History: Essays on Aliens, Atlantis, Monsters, and More. This book is a compilation of fifty of my best articles, essays, and blog posts from the past decade, covering a wide range of subjects, everything from ancient astronauts to Afrocentrism, from chupacabra to mokele-mbembe. Every piece has been newly revised and updated, and I’ve added full academic references to every article. It’s available in both trade paperback and eBook formats.
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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