I have three brief topics for today.
An Alleged Jewish Pyramid Conspiracy
First, I don’t really have much to say about, but figure I should mention, yesterday’s story in the Jerusalem Post reporting claims by Egyptian heritage activist Amir Gamal that Israeli operatives are infiltrating archaeological teams in order to fabricate evidence that the Jews built the pyramids of Egypt. According to Gamal, the Israelis are plotting to identify Pharaoh Sheshonq I with the Biblical King Shishak (a rather common identification made long ago and supported by a stela at Megiddo) in order to claim the gold of Egypt as the Temple treasure stolen by Shishak during his invasion of Judah (2 Chronicles 12:9). Similar claims have popped up over the last few years, particularly after the fall of Pres. Hosni Mubarak and the ouster of Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass, largely due to nationalism and continued popular resentment over what many Egyptians and Islamists see as the country’s too-friendly relationship with Israel.
Did you happen to see yesterday’s and today’s cable TV listings? It was nearly wall to wall aliens and conspiracies, perhaps worse than I have ever seen it. H2 had the requisite Ancient Aliens episodes, of course. On the American Heroes Channel there was an hour giving Stanton Friedman free reign to proclaim the Roswell incident a genuine UFO crash, followed by Codes and Conspiracies, and then two more conspiracy shows, one asking whether Franklin Roosevelt really had polio. Over on the Science Channel, we have several hours of extraterrestrial shows tonight, including one on alien mummies, capped off last night with a new episode of The Unexplained Files, perhaps their most unbalanced and irresponsible yet.
On Twitter, Giorgio Tsoukalos denied one of the key arguments he pretended to make on In Search of Aliens on Friday. During the episode, he suggested that Cyclopes were the same as Giants, and that the Giants were the Nephilim, the offspring of Fallen Angels and human women. On Twitter, Tsoukalos unintentionally revealed that his show is a bunch of hokum when he stated that he “personally” doesn’t buy into the argument he himself made:
Regular readers will remember Dr. Greg Little as the writer who is currently promoting material about prehistoric giants and before that had investigated Atlantis as channeled by Edgar Cayce. He’s also the author of articles specifically criticizing me by name for not agreeing with his preferred analysis of so-called giant skeletons. Little is back this month with a new article in Alternate Perceptions magazine (Sept. 2014) that is apparently meant to challenge my view, in The Cult of Alien Gods (2005), that H. P. Lovecraft’s fiction was instrumental in the development of the modern ancient astronaut theory. I say “apparently” because Little refers to my work only elliptically, complaining of “various bloggers and writers have attempted to credit the idea of ancient astronauts to some person who is, for one reason or another, a favorite of the writer.” From the evidence of the article, it seems clear that I am one of the writers he has in mind.
Today I have three brief topics to discuss. One is about ancient astronauts in Malibu, and another is about H. P. Lovecraft, who would probably have found it difficult to invent a story that could make ancient astronauts in Malibu sound remotely plausible, though the famous archaeological ending of Planet of the Apes was shot on its beaches. But so was Gidget. Finally, I’d like to talk a bit about Graham Hancock’s latest interview, in which he endorses the reality of ancient astronauts (sort of) and justifies his continued appearance on Ancient Aliens before stabbing them in the back as a “cult.”
Let’s start with Lovecraft since there is rather little to say.
When In Search of Aliens launched, it was supposed to be a six episode series according to publicity materials. Yet somehow it’s still going to keep going after this outing, S01E06 “The Mystery of the Cyclops,” which opens with Giorgio Tsoukalos on a boat heading to Malta, where an ancient megalithic society once built seven large stone structures. Tsoukalos wonders if giants or Cyclopes built the megaliths, “and if so, could there be a connection to ancient astronauts?” Tsoukalos claims that archaeologists “struggle” to explain the existence and construction of the buildings.
I received a draft copy of the cover design for my new book, tentatively titled Ancient Astronauts and Alternative Histories: A Sourcebook. The design looks pretty good and has a bit of an Atlantis theme with water and a Doric column. Since it isn’t final, I can’t share it yet, but it looks like the book will have a nice design.
North Kingstown, RI Town Council Holds Closed Meeting with Scott Wolter to Hear Jesus-Templar Claims
Editor's Note: This post has been updated to correct the date of Scott Wolter's presentation.
I have a couple of housekeeping points to start with before we get to today’s main event.
First, I have a new favicon for the site. It’s a picture of a flying saucer hovering over a pyramid. I drew it myself, and I think it came out well. On my computer, it shows up in Chrome and Firefox, but for the life of me I can’t force Internet Explorer to dump the old version from its cache and use the new one. Anyway, I hope you like it.
Last night Science Channel’s The Unexplained Files did an episode on a Siberian lake serpent and the so-called pyramids of Bosnia, large naturally eroded formations that have roughly conical shape. The claim that these hills are artificial and belong to an exceeding ancient pyramid building culture is primarily that of author Semir Osmanagić (also transliterated as Osmanagich), who also believes in ancient astronauts, that Hitler escaped to a secret Antarctic ice station, that Nazis secretly run America, and that the Freemasons are the secret rulers of the world. The European Association of Archaeologists evaluated his pyramid claim in 2006 and declared it false:
Our dear friend S. T. Joshi has taken the time to debase himself again on his blog (Sept. 1 entry) by asserting that he is more important than novelist Daniel José Older and therefore more entitled to an opinion on whether the World Fantasy Award should continue to bear the likeness of H. P. Lovecraft, whom Older correctly accused of virulent racism. That issue, discussed last week, has decayed into a more general complaint that Lovecraft’s racism should not be emphasized above his atheism. Joshi continues to be outraged by the assumption that we should judge Lovecraft for his racism, arguing anew that historical figures cannot be judged by contemporary standards.
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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