Australian Professor Claims Myth of Giants Emerged from Ancient Efforts to Explain the Effects of Climate Change
I’m not one for just-so stories. There is a place for speculative explanations of history when those speculations can be used to help us explain evidence and, more importantly, look for new evidence that can help to prove the claim right or wrong. But in many cases, these just-so stories are simply modern assumptions and guesses projected into the past and asserted to be true. Such is the case with Australian professor Patrick Nunn, who teaches geography at the University of the Sunshine Coast. In a blog post for The Conversation later picked up by Cosmos magazine, Nunn tried to explain why world mythologies feature a widespread myth of gigantic humans.
I have a quite odd piece of medieval ephemera to consider today, and I am not entirely sure what to make of it. I ran across a medieval manuscript that at first glance seems to have a hitherto undiscussed connection to the myth of Hermes, the Flood, and the Pillars of Wisdom that I have frequently had cause to refer to in this blog. Briefly: In Late Antiquity, a myth developed in Egypt, probably from the pen of the Christian chronicler Panodorus or his rival Annianus, that Hermes Trismegistus had carved the secrets of science onto the walls of the temples of Egypt to preserve science from Noah’s Flood. In time, this myth metastasized into rival stories in medieval Arab-Islamic Egypt, one that Hermes was actually Enoch and had carved the wisdom of the angels on pillars and the other that the pyramids were built for that purpose by King Surid, a descendant of the Nephilim-giants, around 10,500 BCE. (A longer version may be read here.) The manuscript I ran across may be a rare example of this Islamic myth in Europe prior to the Renaissance.
Giorgio Tsoukalos Shocks the Philippines by Saying Ancient Humans Developed the Banaue Rice Terraces with No Alien Help
At the beginning of August, the Institute for Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, California hosted the 61st Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association, and one of the featured speakers was Jacques Vallée, who delivered a speech about the role of psychical research in the creation of the internet. Vallée, whose day job was in computer science for most of his life, generously credited himself with creating much of the architecture of the modern internet. He alleged that the research he and Hal Puthoff and others in their group worked on at the Stanford Research Institute in developing protocols for psychics to “locate” information they’ve never seen paralleled how computers learned to access non-local information stored elsewhere—the basic architecture of the internet. Frankly, I’d want to see a bit of proof before believing that.
To recognize that The Last Pope, a two-hour exercise in Christian hysteria, is nothing but fact-free fear-mongering exploitation is easy. To understand what exactly went wrong with the pseudo-documentary about the supposed prophecy of the popes produced by St. Malachy (sometimes spelled Malichy) requires much more effort. To write this review, I read documents in four languages: the original published version of the prophecies in Latin, the nineteenth-century book that created their modern legend in French, modern academic research into their origins in Italian, and various English-language resources. As is evident from the thin veneer of scholarship papering over the slapdash production of The Last Pope, which at times comes across as little more than a narrator reading conspiratorial blog posts at the audience, my research was (a) overkill, (b) more than anyone involved in the show’s production ever did, and (c) both more interesting than and a direct contradiction to the narrative presented on-screen.
Fortean Author Claims "Picnic at Hanging Rock" Was Based on a Psychic Vision of Its Own Manuscript's Editing Process
I wasn’t planning to write an original blog post today, but in the Daily Grail news feed I came across a bizarre claim in an article about the classic Australian movie Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) that is worth discussing. The film, for those who haven’t seen either it or the recent Australian TV adaptation released in the U.S. by Amazon Prime, revolves around the mysterious disappearance of a number of school girls in the early 1900s while out on a school trip to a rock formation in the woods. Because of the spare, poetic, but plausible depiction of the events in the film, which focus on the guilt and sadness of the survivors, many people wrongly believe that the completely fictional story was based on a real-life event.
The Sky Is Falling: How Vampires, Zombies, Androids, and Superheroes Made America Great for Extremism
Peter Biskind | 256 pages | New Press | Sept. 11, 2018 | ISBN 9781620974292 | $26.99
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, commissioned a study to better target the kinds of voters Trump would need to reach to win the election. According to an interview Kushner later gave to Forbes magazine, he learned that Trump voters were most likely to be fans of AMC’s zombie drama The Walking Dead, a show about rugged individualists struggling to beat back hordes of rampaging zombies that constantly breach their border walls after the total collapse of the federal government. Consequently, the Trump team bought air time during the broadcast. It was neither the first nor the last time that The Walking Dead—a rural-themed show with the formal structure of midcentury cowboys-and-Indians movie—has been viewed as a conservative drama. As I wrote in my Knowing Fear a decade ago, horror is almost by definition structurally conservative since it revolves around breaches of the status quo.
I am taking a couple of days off this week. Please enjoy a classic blog post (lightly edited to bring it up to date) marking fifteen years since I started writing regularly about ancient mysteries. I had launched a website in 2001 but only turned my attention to regular coverage of ancient mysteries in 2003, when I began work on my first book. The post originally ran in August 2013 to commemorate my tenth anniversary regularly covering fringe history.
Italy's Most Prominent Ancient Astronaut Theorist Asks Whether Jews Planned the Holocaust as a "Passport" to the Creation of Israel
I will start today with a short update about To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science and the so-called “alien” metamaterials that they have allegedly been examining. In an interview with MJ Banias of Mysterious Universe last weekend, To the Stars VP Hal Puthoff, who is also the head of Earth Tech, attempted to rebut criticism of the two companies’ agreement to work together to analyze the metals. Puthoff called it a “straightforward contractual relationship,” one that just happened to involve Puthoff at To the Stars generously agreeing to pay Puthoff at Earth Tech so that he would collect checks from both companies for his work on the metamaterials.
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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