Last week the Greek island of Santorini engaged in a bit of morbid celebration, marking with a festival the 150th anniversary of the eruption of its volcano, which devastated the island between 1866 and 1870. At the time, the sea turned red with detritus and residents of the island were nearly smothered by volcanic gases. The celebration included lectures about the volcano, art, music, and agricultural products, especially the island’s famous cherry tomatoes. Regular readers will of course recognize that an earlier eruption of the same volcano, from 1600 BCE, is frequently blamed for spawning the legend of the lost continent of Atlantis. As I discovered this week, the 1866 eruption helped make that happen.
Monday Odds and Ends: Recycled News, Jacques Vallee in Argentina, and Arabic Treasure Hunting Guides
Here we go again! A geologist claims that he has discovered definitive proof that Jesus and his wife Mary Magdalene were buried in Jerusalem’s Talpiot Tomb with their son Judah—and the geologist isn’t even Scott Wolter! Dr. Aryeh Shimron says that chemical tests done on the so-called James Ossuary, the one inscribed with the phrase “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus,” prove that the ossuary was originally deposited in the Talpiot Tomb. The bigger question is this: Why is this news now? Shimron made his claims in the spring of 2015, but Britain’s Sun newspaper decided to write about them now, for no discernible reason.
Marzulli Admits "Demon Fairy" Is a Fraud; Plus: David Wilcock Implies Hillary Clinton Is a Tool of the Nephilim
This summer, L. A. Marzulli, the Nephilim theorist, spent weeks promoting a Mexican “fairy” corpse as a genuine supernatural creature, perhaps one of the locusts from Revelation, even including the bizarre body in his Watchers X DVD. At the time, I looked at the x-rays that Marzulli provided and concluded that it was a taxidermy fraud. This weekend Marzulli conceded the point and announced that scientific analysis of the fairy skeleton—on which he and other fringe researchers claim to have spent thousands of dollars investigating—provided that it was a taxidermy creature made from animal parts, wood, and glue. The mystery “dots” in the x-ray were, as I concluded, the taxidermist’s mounting pins.
When Rupert Murdoch bought National Geographic, there was deep concern among lovers of science that the Fox News magnate would send the magazine and its affiliated cable channel into the gutter. Murdoch’s son James, who now National Geographic and its TV channel through his management of 21st Century Fox, had his flunkies go on a media blitz promising that under his leadership, NatGeo properties would emphasize high-quality science with the production values of HBO. James Murdoch claimed that the new National Geographic Channel would be a high-end destination for wealthy viewers looking for real science. “It’s better shows, it’s bigger talent,” National Geographic Channel CEO Courteney Monroe told Business Insider.
L. A. Marzulli Endorses Donald Trump for President, Asks If 9/11 Was a "Shadow Government" Inside Job
For a long time now, I’ve noted the way that Nephilim theories seem to dovetail into rightwing politics through the shared medium of fundamentalist Biblical literalism. I’ve noted, for example, that the leading Nephilim theorist, Steve Quayle, explicitly uses belief in the demonic offspring of Fallen Angels and human women to push a radical rightwing agenda that includes repressive social policies and even seems to advocate the extermination of gay people. He does this under the guise of Christian love and charity in outlets like Jim Bakker’s allegedly Christian home shopping program that masquerades as a religious talk show. To that end, it’s worth looking at the outrageous and shocking rightwing statements that fellow Nephilim theorist L. A. Marzulli made this week.
I want to call to your attention a fascinating article (promoting a new book) in the Paris Review that traces the early history of the cover illustrations for UFO books. Aside from the unintentional humor of the silly covers, the article makes an important point. The stereotypical UFO—described here as the lid to a 1937 Electrolux vacuum cleaner—is less a product of observation than of art. The illustrations chosen and developed to create what author Jack Womack calls the “visual shorthand” of space invasion became the mental architecture used to define not just the genre of book but also the cultural understanding of the flying saucer. As Womack points out, early UFO reports were all over the place in terms of description (in size, shape, color, texture, brightness, etc.), and so too were the very first UFO books. But the canonization of the Electrolux lid as the shape of a flying saucer, both on the covers of these books and in key Hollywood flying saucer movies of the 1950s, resulted in a decisive shift in UFO reports, through which aesthetics seemed to dictate what people saw when they looked up into the sky.
In 1737 and 1738, Danish naval captain Frederic Louis Norden traveled through Egypt and Nubia to make a report of them for King Christian VI, though neither man would live to see the publication of the resulting volume, Voyage d’Egypte et de Nubie, in 1755. The volume is famous for depicting the Sphinx for the first time without its nose and in a realistic style. But for fringe historians the volume is also interesting because of the mistakes Norden made, which of course they take to be something else
I’m sure that many of you will have seen the story running this week in the Atlantic in which Sam Kriss explains the latest strange obsession of conspiracy theorists: Flat-Earth super-forests. I’m almost positive I mentioned the idea last month, but the gist of it is that a Crimean man is claiming that not only is the Earth flat, but that mesas and oddly-shaped mountains are actually the trunks of prehistoric trees, which were felled ages ago by a conspiracy. Somehow, according to Kriss, the Crimean man claims there was a nuclear war in the nineteenth century, lost civilizations had advanced technology, and giants felled the super-trees using powerful machines.
Monday Round-Up: Frank Joseph Out, Dracula's "Jewish" Medallion, and Bob Dylan's Secret Roswell Knowledge
I have three brief things to discuss today. First, citing his wife’s illness, former Nazi party head Frank Joseph withdrew from the Ancient Artifact Preservation Society conference scheduled for next month, where he was to deliver a memorial speech and appear on a panel with the founder of Xplrr Media, LLC. It marks the first time in many years that the AAPS conference did not feature a speech from the former Nazi leader. Oddly, in making the announcement on Facebook, Judy M. Johnson declined to use Joseph’s name, referring to him only as “our first speaker.”
A while back I noted that Erich von Däniken was trying to revive his entertainment franchise in the wake of the success of Ancient Aliens. His first go-round, Mystery Park, ended in ignominy when it couldn’t turn a profit, leading to the park shutting down and reopening as a children’s party venue where von Däniken keeps and office and gives regular lectures. A few years ago, von Däniken launched a venture to open a series of scaled-down ancient mysteries attractions in malls, under the Chariots of the Gods brand name. Well, after a long hiatus, its seems that the Chariots brand is getting ready to launch in yet another form.
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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