I honestly don’t know where people get their bad ideas from. They just seem to make stuff up. The Huffington Post ran a piece yesterday by Francis Levy, a novelist and the founder of the pompously named Philoctetes Center for the Multi-Disciplinary Study of Imagination, in which Levy made a bizarre claim about Atlantis: “Plato said there were 10,000 towers in Atlantis and there are at least 10,000 Nuraghes ancient structures, dating from approximately 1500 BC—whose provenance and actual process of construction is a mystery.” No, he didn’t. Plato mentions towers only once in the Timaeus and the Critias, to say that there were towers on the bridges between the rings of Atlantis. Their number is not specified, and the only thing in Atlantis of which there were ten thousand were war chariots.
When I was a kid, I really liked Disney’s Uncle Scrooge comic books, and it struck me that they contained a lot of the same material fringe history material that I eventually would read about in ancient astronaut and ancient mystery books. Scrooge McDuck, for example, went in search of King Solomon’s mines and the Minotaur’s Labyrinth, the philosopher’s stone and the lost continent of Atlantis. These stories, first published in the early 1950s, drew on the pulp fiction of the 1930s and 1940s (hence their Atlanaeans evolved into fish-people), and form another offshoot of the same pulp fiction/weird fiction complex that gave rise to UFOs, ancient astronauts, and other pseudoscientific approaches to history. The comic stories, frequently reprinted down to the present, also formed the basis for the Indiana Jones-style adventures of the animated Duck Tales series.
It seems that our old friend Giorgio Tsoukalos is on a bit of a media tour, giving a series of interviews to Philippine media about aliens, TV stardom, and, of course, his hair. Tsoukalos was in Manila for HistoryCon 2016, an exhibition staged by the History Channel to promote the network in Asia. In speaking with Philippine media, Tsoukalos repeated many of his greatest hits, with little to add to them beyond his usual self-promotion and recycling of old claims. The most newsworthy thing to come out of the interviews was Tsoukalos’s admission that the show’s production team generates new “mysteries that even I am not familiar with.” In other words, he seemed to say that the producers, far from documenting the existing “views” of ancient astronaut theorists, are actively concocting new claims and feeding them to the talking heads.
Documents Detail the FBI's Theory That Science Fiction Editor Ray Palmer Helped Create the Flying Saucer Myth
The following account is based upon documents from batches 1-5 of the FBI’s declassified UFO documents. It would really take a book to thoroughly review, analyze, cite, and explain each document that supports the following account. Most of the documents are in my FBI Shaver Inquiry page, and the rest can be found scattered throughout batches 1-5, which, being published in no particular order, are a bit hard to locate. To be entirely honest, after reading them all, I didn’t have the energy to go back through to find the last couple of tangentially related documents. You’re welcome to look for yourself! A more thorough documentation will have to await a longer article or book exploration of the material.
I’m not very excited for this episode of Ancient Aliens. We’ve done abduction episodes many times before, and I can’t say that I am more excited about rehashing that than I was about the fascinating material I learned from the FBI’s files on Amazing Stories editor Ray Palmer and Shaver Mystery author Richard Sharpe Shaver. Sadly, because of Ancient Aliens, I’ll have to postpone my discussion of what I have learned for another day.
Nephilim Believer Makes Right-Wing Movie; Plus: New Claims about Roswell Conspiracies and Richard Shaver
I have two topics to discuss today, the paranoid movie Nephilim believer Gary Heavin funded, and a new claim about the “real” events of the Roswell Incident.
Since it was a rather slow day today, I thought it might be a good idea to mark the fortieth anniversary of a seminal moment in fringe history. 1976 saw a wave of epochal fringe events that set the course for the world of aliens, Atlanteans, and other unusual material we are dealing with today.
Senator Wants to Replace History Professors with DVDs; Steve Quayle Claims Trump Is God's Divine Agent
It hasn’t been a very good week for the people who like the truth, or education, or history, or any of those sorts of things. Perhaps the most depressing challenge to education this past week came from Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, a Republican facing a tough reelection campaign. According to a recent article from Inside Higher Ed, last Thursday Johnson called higher education a “cartel” and said that it is wasteful to pay professors to teach history courses when we could simply show students Ken Burns documentaries.
In the world of fringe history, bad arguments never die. It’s been almost 135 years since Ignatius Donnelly argued that the similarity between Egyptian and Mexican pyramids argued for a common source, and somehow that claim of a connection continues today despite the complete lack of evidence to support it. The pyramids are neither from the same time period, of the same shape, or served the same purpose. Indeed, the only thing they have in common is that they taper as they rise, an inevitable consequence of premodern construction techniques that prized stability and had to deal with gravity.
Well, this is an interesting test, isn’t it? This weekend Xplrr Media, LLC, formerly USGS Mining and Exploration, LLC, released the latest installment in its ongoing series rehashing old episodes of America Unearthed. We all remember what happened the last time they did this. Because Xplrr Media asserted in its description of the review that it would include “WHAT TV WOULD NOT SHOW,” this otherwise pointless repetition of material originally broadcast in 2013 rises to the level of a matter of public interest. The current Xplrr production reviews S01E05 “A Deadly Sacrifice,” from January 2013. My review of the original episode can be found here. The episode discussed the 2010 discovery on the Arkansas river of a stone bearing a carving of a bull, and the program concluded that the carving was likely made by a Mithras-worshiping cult of Celts who colonized Oklahoma two thousand years ago and left symbols in a place called Anubis Cave that aligned to the sun beams of the equinoxes.
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.
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.