This is one of those stories I didn’t think I’d ever need to write about. Seventeen years ago, the CIA declassified a silly transcript of a “psychic” probe of ancient Martian civilization, and no one paid it much mind until an online version was included in the CIA’s recent release of declassified material in its new Reading Room. I threw a copy up in my Library months ago because I thought it was amusing, but I didn’t bother to highlight it in my blog. However, thanks to the Mysterious Universe podcast, it attracted the attention of Slate magazine, and Slate decided to ask whether America really made contact with ancient Martians from a million years ago.
Shaquille O'Neal Believes Europeans Colonized the Pre-Columbian Americas; Plus: Why So Much Time Travel on TV?
As reported on the Patheos blog, former basketball star Shaquille O’Neal, who holds a doctorate in education from Barry University, announced that he is a flat earth conspiracy theorist during his podcast this week, but what’s worse is that he also came out as a hyper-diffusionist who seems to have spent too much time watching cable TV “history” shows. He claimed that the Americas had already been colonized by white people long before Columbus reached the Caribbean:
Tom DeLonge Says That His "Strong Sense of Business" Will Help Him Dole Out UFO Revelations Little by Little for "Years" to Come
I must admit to being a bit surprised that it seems that no professional reviewers, or even UFO enthusiasts, have reviewed Peter Levenda’s new book, Sekret Machines: Gods. I had expected to see at least some reviews outside of Amazon.com customer reviews, especially since this wasn’t just a self-published vanity project but had secured distribution through Simon & Schuster’s network. As best I can tell, however, credited author Tom DeLonge’s company, To the Stars, Inc., did only puff-piece publicity for the book, which he tied in with the near simultaneous paperback release of his novel Chasing Shadows from last year. This pulled the focus from the new release to DeLonge’s personality and business instead. While I didn’t expect him to send me a review copy, I didn’t hear from anyone working in media that they had received one, either. No wonder it landed with such a resounding thud. As of this writing, a Google search for the book plus the word “review” brings up just my review and sales pages. No wonder Levenda was upset with me.
New York Legislators Seek to Censor Online Debate; Plus: L. A. Marzulli Attacks Judges and Peter Levenda on Hitler's Legacy
Remember how a few weeks ago an Arkansas state legislator introduced a bill to ban books by Howard Zinn from the state’s schools? Well, Eugene Volokh reports that two New York state legislators have done her one better. Democratic assemblyman David I. Weprin and Democratic state senator Tony Avella introduced a bill that would require all online publishers, including me, to remove any and all content about any given individual upon that individual’s request if the individual feels that the discussion contains statements that are “‘inaccurate’, ‘irrelevant’, ‘inadequate’, or ‘excessive’” or when the individual feels that the discussion is “no longer material to current public debate.” The ostensible reason for this blatantly unconstitutional law is to promote the “right to be forgotten,” but as written the proposed law would give individuals carte blanche to censor any and all discussion about them online, forever, and to wipe clean the historical record as soon as a 24-hour news cycle has turned over and the “current” debate has moved on. The bill would also forbid those receiving takedown notices from indicating that material had been removed for that reason, on pain of a $250 fine per violation. The bill provides no mechanism other than the individual’s feelings to judge whether material is germane to the public discourse.
Before I talk about Nazis today, I wanted to bring up an unrelated issue. Regular readers will remember that last month, a team of scientists concluded that the hypothesis of a comet hitting the Earth during the Ice Age and thus starting and/or ending the Younger Dryas period could not be supported because the evidence put forward for it, the existence of nanodiamonds in a particular layer associated with the comet, could not be confirmed. Graham Hancock ignored these findings, but on Facebook this week he’s praising two new papers that argue in favor of a cosmic impact around 10,800 BCE. The first claims that features known as the Carolina Bays were caused by a cosmic impact, and the second argues that a thin layer of platinum dating to the same period is evidence of a cosmic impact. I don’t know enough about geology to have any opinion on the evidence, but what I do know is that regardless of whether a comet hit, it implies absolutely nothing about the existence of Atlantis. None of the scientists involved in the research has claimed that the comet smashed into Atlantis or destroyed a technologically advanced human civilization.
Yesterday marked the eightieth anniversary of the death of H. P. Lovecraft, an occasion that provoked a great deal of ambiguous observation in the media, mostly due to the tension between Lovecraft’s genius as a creator of a fictional world and his almost comically absurd levels of racism. In noting the anniversary of his passing, I thought I would break from my usual topics of discussion to talk a bit about one of Lovecraft’s other obsessions, Georgian architecture. As most readers of Lovecraft’s fiction, and especially his letters, know, Lovecraft was obsessed with Georgian and Georgian Revival architecture and found in it the form most pleasing to his sense of aesthetics. “Lifelong antiquarianism has caused me to lay zestful stress on historic backgrounds & traditional architectural minutiae,” he wrote to Fritz Leiber.
Peter Levenda Is Upset with Me. He Also Called Me "Arrogant" and Driven by "Personal Resentment." Yes, He's a Full-Fledged Fringe Writer Now!
Good news, everyone! Peter Levenda is mad at me again! Or, to be more specific, he finds it upsetting and outrageous that I reviewed his book, Sekret Machines (my review: • Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3 •), from the utterly biased perspective that a book which claims to be setting the stage to change humanity’s very conception of itself ought, at a minimum, to provide evidence to support such a proposition and maintain, at a minimum, logical consistency within itself. Since Levenda states upfront in the book that he had no intention to follow either of these propositions (explicitly saying that those looking for evidence will find “nothing here” for them), it necessarily follows that my evaluation of the book will differ from Levenda’s less rigorous intentions. Or, rather, he would have made that claim if he had read the review, which he didn’t, because he decided I am biased against him based on his choice to use my site’s search box to look for his own name and those of his friends Jacques Vallée and Graham Hancock
It is getting harder and harder to separate the goofball claims of fringe historians from the horrific consequences that they have in the real world. Yesterday, I read a sad story about Christian discipline camps for unruly teenagers, mostly in the southern U.S., in which religious extremists allegedly use brutal methods to try to beat the “demon” of homosexuality out of gay teens. According to media reports, their methods involved beatings, isolation, verbal abuse, chokings, nude exercises, etc. But while these abuses are, sadly, nothing new in the Christian anti-gay conversion movement, what makes the story news today is that the governor of Alabama—himself under threat of impeachment over ethics violations related to allegations of sexual immorality, but with a woman—appointed the man who refused to prosecute such abuses, Luther Strange, as the state’s second U.S. senator. “These children are from out of state, and their parents don’t vote here, and I don’t want the churches mad at me,” Strange’s top deputy allegedly said to characterize his boss’s views, though Strange denies this.
David Wilcock on the Nephilim of Atlantis; Plus: Right-Wing German Politician Cites Atlantis in Anti-Globalization Article
Before we begin today, I thought I’d mention that this weekend David Wilcock released a more than two hour long free YouTube video that was putatively on the topic of Atlantis in Antarctica but was mostly a rehash of his recent conspiracy theories about government and alien cooperation, and also a commercial for the full-price nine-hour video on the same subject he’s been promoting for months. As the accompanying article explains, “A civilization of ‘Pre-Adamite’ giants with elongated skulls appears to have crash-landed on a continent we now call Antarctica some 55,000 years ago. This is the apparent origin of what we are now calling the Cabal, Illuminati or New World Order.” It’s a mishmash of Donnelly’s Nephilim of Atlantis, ancient astronaut theories, and alt-right conspiracy theories. How can one even begin to engage in a rational conversation with someone who uncritically accepts that his friend Corey Goode was taken by good conservative Trump-voting aliens in a five-seat alien transport craft to a secret lunar base as part of a battle plan against evil liberal cone-headed Democrat aliens, all while no one noticed his abduction or absence, even though this took place in “my backyard”?
L. A. Marzulli Turns Against Republicans Over Taxes, While "Jacobin" Magazine Blasts Jason Reza Jorjani for Space Aliens, Racism, and Postmodernism
Well, that didn’t take long. After a love affair with the Republican Party and Donald Trump, Christian Nephilim theorist L. A. Marzulli has turned against the party whose leader he recently said was God’s own choice for governance, and for the most banal of reasons: money. Marzulli is upset that Congress doesn’t work long enough, and when they do they find new ways to burn money. Specifically, Marzulli claims that “I’m furious about this as I pay upward of 50% of my income to the Feds and the state,” and he doesn’t want to keep paying. He had hoped that the Republicans would give him tax relief by cutting social programs. You know, like Jesus would. I have to ask: What is he doing wrong to pay so much since the average American has a total tax burden of less than 30% (excluding sales and property tax), according to The Motley Fool?
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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