The lost continent of Atlantis returned to the news this week with a series of articles in major media outlets claiming that the legendary city had been found, thanks to a new book from author Mark Adams called Meet Me in Atlantis in which the author investigates four hypotheses about where the fictional landmass may have been located. Adams, a travel writer, said that he first became interested in Atlantis as a child watching documentaries like In Search Of…, which sparked an interest in the unusual and unexplained. And like all people influenced by fringe literature, Adams asserts that mainstream scientists and scholars refuse to take Atlantis research seriously: “The subject is like kryptonite for serious academics.”
I was all for this episode of Expedition Unknown S01E11 “Secrets of the Nazca” right up until the last fifteen minutes. Host Josh Gates did a nice job investigating the Nazca lines, debunking claims that aliens were involved in their construction, and revealing how the Paracas people really created elongated skulls—without alien DNA. Then in the last 15 minutes ancient astronaut and Nephilim enthusiast Brien Foerster showed up, and the show pretended that he was a trained expert in Paracas culture and not a self-educated tour guide who claims to have smuggled artifacts out of South America to be tested for traces of aliens. They refer to him as the “director” of the Paracas History Museum, which is a private tourist attraction owned by Juan Navarro and not a professional museum, and they falsely imply that he is one of the world’s leading experts on Paracas culture. (Foerster was the “assistant director” last year, so did he get a promotion? Or did the Travel Channel curtail his full title?) Giving him a segment to present himself as a legitimate historian is fraud, and it does a terrible disservice to the Travel Channel audience, who may not know that he’s a regular on Ancient Aliens, In Search of Aliens, and various other fringe shows—and holds no credentials in South American archaeology.
I’m sure most readers are getting a bit bored with the revelation that various lights in the sky reported in Wonders in the Sky (2009) were really comets and meteors. So let’s try humanoid alien invaders today! Here’s a bit of deception from Wonders authors Jacques Vallée and Chris Aubeck that I believe is a pretty open and shut case of the two authors committing intellectual dishonesty to fabricate an alien encounter where there wasn’t one. Here is an entry they attribute to the Mirabilis Annus, a 1661 book of which I will have more to say later. The authors ascribe to the events below an encounter with a “humanoid” dressed a bishop. The whole of their presentation follows:
This morning my computer failed. Windows attempted to install an updated, and it did not work. It froze the system, and it took down the operating system with it. It got worse when I tried to have Dell technical support help me fix the disaster Windows Update caused. All of the remedies they tried failed, and the last ditch effort of reverting to factory settings to reinstall the operating system became a non-starter because of the system failure from last month, which resulting in a rebuilding of the system. The new parts, motherboard, etc. are all optimized and specified for Windows 8 (my current operating system), but the factory settings were for Windows 7 (the original operating system), and something I don’t understand meant that the settings for the motherboard or something like that weren’t backward compatible with the original factory settings. The long and short of it was that it took six and half hours for the technicians to get the computer working again, and even now I’m not sure if it’s going to still be working if I try turning it off. It’s been one of those days.
Today I have an interesting, if somewhat unusual, bit of Latin translation from Wonders in the Sky (Penguin, 2009), the deeply flawed collection of pre-twentieth century UFO reports by Jacques Vallée and Chris Aubeck, who pretend toward a scholarly rigor they utterly lack. This particular account of a medieval meteor or comet sighting, widely reproduced across the internet from Wonders, seemed so straightforward that it surprised even me how utterly and completely the two authors failed to understand it.
Last evening I received a series of emails from a Canadian gigantologist who accused me of stealing my page of newspaper articles about the discovery of alleged giant skeletons from his website and his unpublished archive of newspaper articles. The gigantologist, Scott Reaney of Canada, claimed that in 2010 he invented the idea of compiling newspaper accounts of giants, that my list of articles was suspiciously similar to his own, and that—worst of all—I was using these articles for an “agenda.” That agenda apparently included using the list of entries for keyword searches (an invalid methodology, he claimed) and statistical analysis, a blasphemous violation of the sanctity of the original texts, which must be read individually as discrete units; hence the reason they should not be digitized in a keyword searchable format instead of being presented as scanned pictures of the articles, as most gigantologists prefer. He was particularly incensed that I wrote that newspaper accounts of giants were comparatively rare before the Cardiff Giant hoax.
In Wonders in the Sky (2009) Jacques Vallée and Chris Aubeck seem intent on doing everything possible to avoid real scholarship while pretending to its honors. It’s frankly quite annoying. You may be bored with the litany of their intellectual sins that I have gradually assembled, but I find it amusing, and I enjoy the challenge of finding the original sources that the authors didn’t know. Today’s entry starts out as a rather conventional revelation that the authors don’t know what they’re citing, but, to my mind, it becomes incredibly interesting when the source texts are revealed.
Micah Hanks and His Father Discuss the Nephilim and the Flood, Blast "Debunkers" They Actually Agree With
It occurs to me that yesterday I neglected to offer a recap of Expedition Unknown. That would be because the episode, which was billed as “new,” was a cut down reedit of the two hour pilot, condensed to fit into a one-hour slot. I didn’t bother watching it a second time.
On March 9, “Mouth of the South” Micah Hanks had his father, Alexander, an Episcopal priest, on The Graelian Report to discuss the Nephilim and comparative mythology. He introduced his father by explaining that the two of them were like the “roughneck” young Indiana Jones and his “scholar” father, Henry Jones, Sr. This might be true if either of them had made a discovery worthy of note. On the other hand, he might have meant that his public persona is a fictional creation, like a movie character play acting an impossible fantasy.
A Kuwaiti preacher has called on Muslims to destroy the Sphinx and pyramids of Egypt in the name of Allah, and the militant Islamist group Islamic State agreed, according to news accounts published this week. Echoing an Egyptian cleric’s demand for the monuments’ destruction in 2012, Ibrahim Al Kandari, an Islamist cleric, said that the Muslim invaders who conquered Egypt from the Byzantine Empire erred in leaving the ancient sites undamaged.
“The fact that early Muslims who were among prophet Mohammed’s followers did not destroy the pharaohs’ monuments upon entering the Egyptian soil, does not mean that we shouldn't do it now,” Al Kandari said.
David Icke has long used anti-Semitic material such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to support his conspiracy theories about Reptilians, but his high wire act balancing crazy alien claims against an undercurrent of anti-Semitism has cost him. According to a press release from Canadian human rights lawyer Richard Warman, Icke has settled a libel suit for $90,000 (Canadian), with stores that carried his book Children of the Matrix (2001) paying an additional $120,000. Warman had sued Icke and several bookstores that carried his work, alleging that Icke had defamed him by alleging that Warman was seeking to suppress Icke’s “exposure” of satanic ritual child abuse. Icke’s attack on Warman followed Warman’s efforts to expose anti-Semitic, racist, and discriminatory material in Icke’s work.
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.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter, The Skeptical Xenoarchaeologist, for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities, and subscribe to Culture & Curiosities, my Substack newsletter.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.