Apparently another group has claimed to find Noah's Ark on Mt. Ararat in Turkey. This article does a good job explaining many reasons it likely isn't true. But I wonder this--even if we ignore that carbon dating to 600 AD or the lack of evidence for a flood--how do we know this was Noah's ark and not the Ark of Utnapishtim, the Sumerian Noah who survived the Flood three millennia before the Bible was committed to paper? Amazing the way it's only Noah's ark that shows up ever few years. Poor Utnapishtim, poor Deucalion and Pyrrah.
I watched the first episode of the History Channel's Ancient Aliens "documentary" series, though not live--it isn't exaclty Lost, its timeslot competitor. No, let me take that back. It was a lot like Lost--wacky science, dubious mysteries, and all-encompassing belief that fate (as personified by the aliens/the island) lay behind every scrap of history. Only Lost is fiction, and the Ancient Aliens crew are a lot less telegenic.
This was quite possibly the single worst documentary I have ever seen, and I speak as someone who is not prima facie opposed to the concept of a documentary about aliens building pyramids. But this was just beyond the pale. There was not even a fig leaf skeptic to point out the utter lack of evidence for such preposterous claims (intoned with all seriousness) as these:
1. The Egyptians built obelisks to microwave beam Tesla electricity from Egypt to an orbiting satellite (!) that would send it to Easter Island to charge the power tools used to carve the Moa.
2. The Israelites wandered the desert for 40 years because the aliens gave them a giant machine that produced unlimited food--but only if it was cleaned every seven days, thus necessitating the Sabbath for the cleaning.
3. And there was an hour in their about the precision of the pyramids and blah, blah, blah...
This makes SyFy's Destination Truth look like a rigorous invetigative treatise. At least that show has a sense of humor about how silly some of its investigations really are.
Last year the History Channel screened a documentary on ancient aliens, which faithful readers will recall displayed some of my work in a negative light. Now, I have received a press release from the Center for Ancient Astronaut Research with some truly depressing news:
Due to the success of ANCIENT ALIENS (2009), the show was picked up by the History Channel for a series! It is with great pride that I announce to you: Ancient Aliens: THE SERIES premieres on the History Channel on Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 8PM with Episode I: The Evidence!
In total, there will five 2-hour episodes, for a total of ten hours of fake history. I can't wait.
Henry Ford was right when he said "History is bunk." He just didn't know he was talking about a channel.
My blog postings have been a bit light due to an unusually heavy workload this past week. I will try to be more regular after things slow down by the end of the month.
In the meantime, let me mention this: Lego now has Atlantis playsets. Of all the things they could do, all the fabulous real-life ancient cultures they could have chosen, they went with Atlantis. I think Lego Rome or Lego Egypt would have been a lot cooler.
Have you seen the trailers for The Black Waters of Echo's Pond airing on TV this week in anticipation of the film's release next week? The movie is about a group of young adults who find a cursed board game that makes horror movie cliches happen. Am I the only one who thinks the pitch to the studio must have gone something like, "It's Jumanji meets The Evil Dead"?
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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