In light of continued claims that the remains of “giants” could not be those of Ice Age mammals because scientific men would not mistake one for the other, I thought I would share this passage I discovered in the September 1869 edition of the Canadian Naturalist summarizing a presentation that the famous paleontologist O. C. Marsh gave to the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s eighteenth meeting in Salem, Mass. that August. The presentation focused on bones found in Nebraska:
If tonight’s episode seems familiar, it’s only because the topic is so shopworn. The topic of the pretended 1947 Roswell, New Mexico UFO crash is so frequently discussed on Ancient Aliens that I could not begin to list all of the episodes that touch on it, though I will note that back in Season 4 the show pretended that the Roswell aliens were actually time travelers who teleported to New Mexico. This episode is more of the same, but it attempts to offer a slightly different take on the familiar by expanding the narrative to encompass other alleged UFO crashes. As most of you know, I am not terribly interested in modern UFO reports, so the lack of ancient astronauts rendered this a rather dull exercise in ufology.
Janet Wolter Makes Solo Radio Appearance, Offers Conspiracies about Goddesses, Templars, and America
Last night Janet Wolter, the co-author of America: Nation of the Goddess, appeared on the Euphomet podcast in order to promote their book. (You can find my multi-part review linked on my Book Reviews page.) There was rather little new material in the interview, which covered the claims made in the book, often in the same words as the book itself. For example, the first section of the interview recapitulates their allegations about the Grange, just as the book had done. She even repeats false claims from earlier radio appearances, like the alleged importance of the date September 17 (Constitution Day, which is not the same day as the Eleusinian Mysteries), and false claims from her husband like the claim that the letter M is the thirteenth letter of the alphabet and thus symbolizes Mary Magdalene, the thirteenth apostle. (In the Roman alphabet, before the addition of the letter J in 1524, it was the twelfth letter.)
I don’t make a habit of reading World Net Daily, but the news aggregator site has a prominent place in the world of conservative opinion. It was therefore a bit surprising to find that WND, as it styles itself, ran a lengthy article repeating L. A. Marzulli’s claims about the U.S. military capturing a living giant in Afghanistan and transporting the monster to Ohio. (The article, as you will see below, is a summary of a YouTube broadcast from earlier this week.) The details have changed in the telling since gigantologist Steve Quayle began flogging the story at least as far back as 2005.
Last week I discussed my discovery of the 1902 French journal article by Eugène Beauvois that introduced to the world the claim that the Knights Templar colonized North America. You will undoubtedly recall that this story was based on linguistic word play, identifying the Nahuatl term Tecpantlacs (“Residents of the Palace-Temple”) with the Knights Templar. To this, the author added more than a little racism, with just a soupçon of French nationalism thrown in for good measure. In researching the story, I found that very few Templar conspiracy fringe writers seemed aware of where their own ideas came from. Frederick J. Pohl, for example, the man who invented the myth that Henry Sinclair was a Micmac god, knew of Beauvois but did not know of this article, citing a different article in his 1974 book on Sinclair. The exception seems to be Steven Sora, who discussed Beauvois’s claims approvingly in a 2009 article for Atlantis Rising magazine (reprinted this year in the Atlantis Rising collection Missing Connections), though he does not use Beauvois’s name:
Graham Hancock Blasts Academia for Linear View of Progress, Claims Ancients Had Superior Spirituality
RT, formerly known as Russia Today, is a Kremlin-funded propaganda channel that beams Russian president Vladimir Putin’s favored views into countries around the world. Recently, its program Going Underground had Graham Hancock on to discuss an “academic coup” going on at Göbekli Tepe in Turkey. Host Afshin Rattansi got things off to a bad start by falsely informing viewers that academic elites claim that the culture responsible for the ancient Turkish temple site, which dates back to around 9000 BCE or so, “emerged fully formed, as if by magic.”
I can’t say I devote too much time to keeping up with what the tweens and teens are watching these days, but apparently when it comes to “educational” programming, it has reached History Channel levels of bad. Yesterday, I had planned to be out for the afternoon. I turned on the TV to set the DVR to record something while I was gone, and the TV happened to be tuned to my local CBS affiliate, which was showing a syndicated educational program called Elizabeth Stanton’s Great Big World, in an episode on Armenia that first aired on June 13. Unbeknownst to me, this program has aired for the last five years, hosted by a 20-year-old who started the show when she was 15. The program is produced by American Television International, the brain trust behind Bristol Palin’s failed 2012 reality show.
Last week, S. T. Joshi, the famed Lovecraft scholar, published a blog post (August 7, 2016; he doesn’t separate entries with permalinks) in which he accused the editor of The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu, book editor and reviewer Paula Guran, of vastly overstating Lovecraft’s racism in order to engage, essentially, in trendy social justice moralizing. Indeed, Joshi make a rather astonishing counterclaim, based on his 1999 book about racism in America:
This season Ancient Aliens seems to be trying to repackage its content by focusing on different geographical areas rather than on themes. We saw this a few weeks ago with an episode devoted to China, and earlier with one devoted to Antarctica. In this episode we see them trying the same trick with Russia. The trouble, though, is that the producers of Ancient Aliens are seemingly blind to the history of their own hypothesis, and they are rather obtuse to the propaganda that informed Russian ancient astronaut hypotheses. This is not particularly odd since Ancient Aliens is officially an adaptation of Erich von Däniken’s ancient astronaut beliefs, and von Däniken was an old Cold Warrior who staunchly opposed the Soviets and communism, despite happily embracing their propaganda for his books.
I have now finished translating Eugène Beauvois’s 1902 article on “The Templars of Ancient Mexico and Their European Origins,” and I have to say that it surprised even me, both in the scope of its ridiculous claims and the extremely close resemblance it bears to modern Templar conspiracy theories. It’s not the most elegant translation I’ve ever done, but it gets the point across. I omitted the excessively long footnotes, both because I kind of got bored by the end of the translation and also because, aside from the primary source references, they were often directing readers to Beauvois’s own earlier work, or to other outdated fringe claims. Perhaps someday when I have more time I’ll add them in, but I doubt it.
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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