A stopped clock can be right twice a day, so on occasion an evangelical fundamentalist preacher might stumble onto something true about space aliens and Nephilim just by pure chance, even if he doesn’t really understand what he has discovered. That’s the case with Tennessee pastor Charles Lawson, who is currently being ridiculed by political liberals for his ridiculous claim that most scientists have abandoned the theory of evolution but are too afraid of political correctness to admit it. Nevertheless, he correctly stumbled onto the idea that the Nephilim and demons are equivalent to space aliens in the mythology that passes itself off as the ancient history of the Earth.
Before we begin today I want to say a brief word about an article that appeared on Ancient Origins this morning. Mark Adams, the author of last year’s Meet Me in Atlantis, published an entirely unobjectionable article on the problems involved in hunting for a lost continent that is almost certainly fictional. The article is designed to promote the paperback release of his Atlantis book. But it is disturbing to see an author of his caliber lending his credibility to a disreputable website dedicated to rewriting news stories, summarizing other people’s work, and spinning conspiracy theories. Ancient Origins has in the past appropriated material from reputable sources under Creative Commons license to bolster their site, but this appears to be a piece specifically for Ancient Origins.
But on to today’s topic.
I have two topics to discuss today, the first of which is interesting but incomplete and the second of which appears to be outright fraud. Our first story is making the rounds of the mainstream news and fringe history websites, which are extremely excited by a claim about Mayan cities coming out of Quebec.
Today’s blog post covers one of those characteristically roundabout merry-go-round’s of fringe history where a chance encounter with an odd claim accidentally leads to the answer to an unrelated question. In this case, I started with a weird new book that claims aliens brought the moon to earth 12,000 years ago and I ended up answering a different question: Why did Zecharia Sitchin think the Epic of Gilgamesh took place at Baalbek?
When I reviewed the season premiere of Ancient Aliens late Friday night, which is now S11E01 instead of S09E01 thanks to History renumbering the episodes from their original broadcast seasons for DVD release, I briefly noted that a commercial airing during the show advertised the upcoming Alien Con, a “next level entertainment experience” devoted to celebrating the ancient astronaut theory alongside science fiction and horror entertainment. As I mentioned at the time, the convention is a joint function of A+E Networks, the parent of the History Channel, and Cosmic Con, a division of Famous Monsters of Filmland, the horror and science fiction entertainment magazine. I was able to research some additional information about the convention, and it’s rather interesting what it reveals about how A+E Networks views its cash cow program.
Can you believe we are now in the eleventh season of Ancient Aliens, and the seventh calendar year of the series? (History renumbered the episodes beginning halfway through season six, so what should be season 9 is now season 11.) The last new episode of Ancient Aliens aired an astonishing seven months ago, and I must admit that I have rather enjoyed the extended holiday from the program’s lackluster brand of quasi-historical fantasy. Indeed, it has been rather surprising how quiet the show’s stars have been over the last half of a year, with almost none of them making public claims or offering new books. Does that mean that they are now primarily professional Ancient Aliens pundits? I guess if one can be a professional political pundit or sports commentator, being a professional alien commentator is possible.
Every season I say that my reviews are going to be shorter and less detailed, and every year I end up being wrong simply because of the volume of bad information Ancient Aliens puts out in each episode. We’ll see how S11E01 (or S09E01) “Pyramids of Antarctica” works out.
They say there is nothing new under the sun, but sometimes even I am surprised by how much fringe writers steal outright from old books. Clearly, I am trying way too hard when I come up with original ideas and research them to write my books. I need to learn how to make money from rewriting other people’s work and then screaming loudly about my genius.
Last year a Christian Nephilim theorist named David Netherton self-published a book called The Rapture 2028: America’s Countdown to Apocalypse. In it, Netherton claims that he made the surprising discovery that the Bible should have a “perfect” 70 books and not the current list of 66 in most Protestant Bibles. To make up the difference, he does not turn to the Catholic Bible, which has 73 canonical books and three apocryphal ones, or even to the 14 apocryphal books in the King James Bible (which are largely the same as the “extra” books of the Catholic Bible) but to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Why? Because that’s where the Nephilim are.
It seems that there is no claim to ridiculous for the fringe to believe it, and no claim too frequently disproved to come back again. Heck, last night the Republican Party all but chose a conspiracy theorist as its presidential nominee. Today we have two examples of the lack of quality control in fringe history.
Sometimes I come across a claim to outrageous and bizarre that it surprises even me. Way back in 2003, a fellow named Richard Vizzutti, a Canadian conspiracy theorist and creationist, published a book called Return of the Star Gods that contained some of the most jaw-dropping craziness I have read. Vizzutti, who never completed high school, began his conspiracy career obsessing about chemtrails before moving on to Fallen Angels and their plot to use Freemasonry to take over the world. This book was a product of that obsession, which seems to have continued for him into at least the middle 2000s.
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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