I read this morning a truly dumb argument on Facebook from a conservative Christian that the gay pride rainbow flag is Satanic because it contains an imperfect six colors while God’s true rainbow contains seven colors. This is painfully ironic because Isaac Newton created indigo as the seventh color in the rainbow as part of an occult system designed to harmonize with the seven tones of the Western musical scale and various occult and Hermetic references to the mystical power of the number seven (some of which refer back to the seven days of creation, and others not so much). The Christian writer ends up endorsing the occult out of hatred for gays. That’s about perfect.
Scott and Janet Wolter Accuse Academics of Stockholm Syndrome, Say Disney Movies Are Goddess Allegories
Mexican authorities are investigating after a group of self-described Jehovah’s Witnesses toppled ancient altars and broke stone carvings in Mayonihka sacred to the Otomi Indians. While Jehovah’s Witnesses leadership denies that the vandals belonged to their faith, the vandals allegedly confessed that they had damaged the altars because God forbade idol worship.
Remember how last Friday Ancient Aliens featured some Australians who all assume that their homeland is the key to understanding world history? Well, it’s happening again.
Australian science writer and skeptic of the paranormal Lynne Kelly claims to have solved the mystery of Stonehenge and Easter Island by applying Australian (of course) Aboriginal traditional memory aids. According to Kelly, most ancient monuments were erected to serve as memory palaces that encoded hunting and landscape information. Such memories, she said, needed to be preserved in stone because farming had made them less immediately useful in daily life. She claims that each stone at Stonehenge represents a former sacred location in the British landscape. That doesn’t explain why stone circles also appear in pre-agricultural cultures, including Göbekli Tepe, extremely pre-dynastic Egypt, and even Aboriginal Australia.
As part of the new XpLrR partnership between Scott Wolter and J. Hutton Pulitzer, the two men have agreed to do a 39-part series in which they rehash each old episode of Wolter’s 2012-2015 TV series America Unearthed. As a testament to how little planning went into this first product of the pair’s joint venture, the first two reviews appeared on Pulitzer’s Soundcloud channel as audio podcasts, while this, the third edition, appeared as a grainy webcam livestream video on Pulitzer’s private Facebook page, to an audience of approximately 300 people, before being uploaded to YouTube with a bombastic set of opening graphics that saddle Wolter with Pulitzer’s self-styled moniker, naming them both “History Heretics.” (He also ascribed to Wolter one of his own Twitter handles rather than Wolter’s Twitter handle.) Despite this being an XpLrR production, Pulitzer wears his Treasure Force hat and brands the video with the Treasure Force logo alongside the XpLrR title card. (Note: This is the pyramid logo, not the steampunk one of his own face that he used for Treasure Force: Commander’s Quest.) Pulitzer is never exactly “on brand,” but the sheer number of different brands he throws together make him one of the most ineffective fringe marketers I’ve ever seen.
It’s the summer doldrums, and it seems that many fringe history heavyweights are on vacation right now, and the lower echelons are trying to keep cool in the shade. The C-listers like Scott Wolter and Hutton Pulitzer seem to have gotten tired of me pointing out their errors and lies, so the two of them moved their weekly rehashing of old America Unearthed episodes from Soundcloud to a Facebook live stream on Pulitzer’s personal Facebook page (not his author page, Investigating History page, or any of his others), so that only a small number of their fans following their social media accounts can join their mutual lovefest and watch the Dutch angle live stream of a web cam video of Pulitzer’s computer screen displaying web cam images of the two men. The number of viewers was 313 as of this writing. I’m blocked from viewing their social media. Pulitzer promises to put the video up on YouTube at some point, but for now only those fans he has accepted as personal friends on Facebook (or at least hasn’t blocked, like me) are able to view the video. Who is afraid of the truth now? Apparently the people who are trying to hide their lies and talk only to true believers. [Update: The video is now on YouTube, and I will review it tomorrow.]
So it seemed like a good time to do some archival research. In so doing, I found a strange claim that shows the risks of not researching primary sources.
The great thing about mythology is that the stories can be applied to any particular situation. This was true in ancient times, and it remains true today. As with literary interpretation, the audience brings to the story at least as much as the story gives to them. Tonight’s episode of Ancient Aliens, S11E07 “The Wisdom Keepers,” makes good use of the relative freedom myth provides to imagine that blinkered native people the world over were hoodwinked into worshiping space aliens as gods and therefore make them into the characters of their myths. Since a myth is a fantastical story to begin with, there is less to get wrong than when ancient astronaut theorists make various claims about physical artifacts, genetics, and other more scientifically topics.
L. A. Marzulli and Brien Foerster Discuss Megalithic Ruins, Decide Native People Couldn't Have Built Any of Them
I’m sure you will remember that last year Newsweek released a “special edition” devoted to conspiracy theories about secret societies. Time magazine rushed out a competing special issue as well, based on content from an earlier Life magazine special edition on the same topic. Today at the grocery store I saw yet another entry in the series under the History Channel’s logo. The magazine rack proudly displayed a shelf of Secret Societies, a thick, glossy, magazine-style History Channel review of “modern conspiracies” and similar garbage. This publication is separate from History’s official magazine and carries only the network’s logo. P. T. Barnum once said no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public, but I think perhaps understates the case
Since the middle nineteenth century fringe historians have claimed that the perfection of the Great Pyramid of Cheops speaks to a supernatural origin. A new study by the Glen Dash Research Foundation and the Ancient Egypt Research Associates finds that the pyramid is lopsided, with its western side 5.55 inches (14.1 cm) longer than the other three. Granted, over the course of 756 feet (230 meters), 5.55 inches isn’t very much. It’s also a bit surprising that this study is news considering that the measurements obtained from it are within a miniscule deviation from those of Flinders Petrie from 1883. Petrie thought it was the south side that was fractionally longer, but the fact that the sides were not identical in length has been well known since at least 1883.
Somewhere in the hell reserved for cable television executives there must be an entire circle devoted to copycats. How else might we explain the monomaniacal obsession cable TV fringe history shows have with Bible heresy? That said, I must give Inside Secret Societies credit for one thing: They managed to develop a new conspiracy theory I had not heard of, though to do so they essentially made the whole thing up from misrepresentations and lies.
I’m sure you will all be thrilled to hear that the newest issue of Wayne May’s Ancient American carries the first of a six-part series by J. Hutton Pulitzer on the allegedly “Roman” sword of Oak Island. This means that the sword articles will continue for the next 12 months since the magazine is bimonthly. The first entry in the series does not contain information about the sword, but it does describe Pulitzer’s self-satisfaction with his world-historical role, his upset at being mistreated by the Curse of Oak Island television show, and the fact that “Oak Island Is The Single Most Important Tipping Point In Modern History,” as he capitalizes it. The article was just icky in its narcissistic tone, in its airing of scuttlebutt against Oak Island (implying, for example, that local women throw themselves as the Lagina Brothers), and its claim that Nova Scotia has a “culture of stupidity” that discriminates against outsiders.
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.