This morning my washing machine broke down, and it took half an hour for Home Depot to acknowledge my extended warranty because, as it turns out, they don’t provide a certificate documenting the warranty; instead, and unbeknownst to me, apparently the only proof was on the original purchase receipt, and not in the packet of documentation that came with the machine, or in the invoice or any other documentation, all of which I had in a thick file. Further, they couldn’t look me up in their system because they “forgot” to take my phone number at the time of purchase, which is the only way to review purchases “that old.” But it was all for naught because Home Depot only schedules repairs through Maytag, and Maytag doesn’t work weekends, holidays, or evenings. In short, I’ve been a bit pressed for time after spending the morning trying to wring out laundry and bail out the washing machine and then travel to Home Depot to get a new copy of the receipt. As it turns out, I have to have the receipt and not just the warranty number because Maytag is paranoid that someone might use another person’s warranty number, so they have to scan the receipt for proof at time of service, according to Home Depot.
I’m sure you’re all getting tired of my posts about issues related to the Argonautica, but on the plus side, with the manuscript due in just over a week, there won’t be much more of it. I appreciated all of the comments I received on my earlier post about the Hittite kursa and about Georgian views of the Jason myth. In response to the latter post, Al West brought up the point that M. L. West has offered a range of explanations that have moved from Near Eastern to Indo-European in emphasis over time. This caused me to go back and do a little more fact checking, and of course I ended up with a massive headache thanks to West—M. L., not Al.
Today let’s look at a few more news stories making the rounds on the internet. This time, let’s have an ancient alien theme.
Today, I’m feeling a bit uninspired, so let’s a have a recent article roundup to take a look at what’s been making news in the world of alternative history.
A few days ago I wrote about the Hittite kursa and its claim to be the original of the Golden Fleece in an Argonaut story situated in Anatolia. Today I’d like to share with you an “alternative” history of the Argonauts advocated by Georgian scholars and Western supporters, primarily those who study the Caucasus for a living. Georgia, of course, sits atop the land that used to be the kingdom of Colchis. I don’t believe a word of it, but in Georgia it is as close to Official Fact as you will find, commemorated in a giant statue of Medea that the Georgian government erected in 2007 at great expense.
Yesterday I briefly mentioned the weird idea, best known from Christopher Knight’s and Robert Lomas’s The Hiram Key (1997), that the Knights Templar discovered America and named it for an occult star called Merica which they learned about from Jewish Temple records. Their book, however, never explains where their information came from.
In the first mention of Merica, the two authors present it immediately following a discussion of Flavius Josephus’ account of the Essenes’ belief in a western paradise (= Greek Islands of the Blessed) from The Jewish Wars (2.8.11), but it certainly does not come from that source. Instead, they assert without a source that the Mandaeans have a similar belief in a western paradise but that “this place is marked by a star, the name of which is ‘Merica.’” The authors, again without a sources listed, identify this star with the evening star, Venus, and thus with the morning star, also Venus, the holy star of the Knights Templar and thus proof that the Templars and/or Freemasons founded America. They also claim that the Mandaeans have a “very Masonic” handshake.
Thanks to a cable outage, I did not have internet for much of the day, so you’ll have to content yourself with some short thoughts for today.
You’ll recall that last week America Unearthed host Scott F. Wolter claimed that the Knights Templar sent word to the Mississippian city of Cahokia announcing their coming, which triggered the Mississippian collapse due to an undisclosed prophecy that required all Native Americans to give up civilization and “go wild” to survive the coming of White People.
As I close in on the due date for my manuscript for Jason and the Argonauts, I’ve completed copy-editing the 180,000 words text, and I have 39 of the 42 images for the book ready. But there is one thing that is still bothering me and which I can’t quite wrap my head around. That thing is the kursa, a Hittite religious object that some think inspired the Golden Fleece. I think that the idea is wrong, but I’m not sure why. My gut tells me it’s wrong, but I can’t seem to articulate a clear argument for why this is.
Remember that (still ongoing) discussion about why it was wrong for Scott Wolter to claim an honorary master’s degree? Well, this morning I received an email from a clinical psychologist who told me that “with a BA in Fine Arts, your opinions on Scott Wolter have marginal weight […] your posting of scientific opinions and judgments is […] inappropriate.” I informed the psychologist that my BA is in archaeology, just like Wolter holds a BS in geology, and if it’s inappropriate for me to render judgment, then so too must it be wrong for Wolter. As you might gather, the assumption of legitimacy through appearances in the media and claimed credentials turns into a cudgel to stifle opposition—which is frankly amazing to hear from a supporter of Scott Wolter given Wolter’s own repeated claim that any interested amateur should be given equal standing in rewriting history.
You’ll be happy to know that after months of delays, I’ve finally been able to order a copy of Scott Wolter’s new book, From Akhenaten to the Founding Fathers: Mysteries of the Hooked X®, which I should receive sometime next week. You can look forward to a thrilling chapter-by-chapter review of…what exactly? I’m not sure, but we’ll find out together.
Wolter also gave a two-hour interview yesterday to Rita Louise of Just Energy Radio, an ancient astronaut theorist and a “medical intuitive” who promotes a wide range of “alternative” and New Age systems for cash. If you think, though, that I have time to sit through two hours of talk about the Kensington Rune Stone, you have another thing coming. I jumped around and listened to excerpts because I’ve heard most of what he had to say many, many times before. The complete interview is below followed by some thoughts.
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.
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