True Monsters finished its run last night with two episodes, one devoted to “Gods and Monsters” and the other to “Giants and Beasts.” True Monsters was produced by Committee Films, the company behind America Unearthed, and if it never really sank to that show’s level of falseness, the last two hours of True Monsters nevertheless had more than a few howlers that show producer Maria Awes is far from in command of the subject matter she claims to be teaching to her audience.
What Is Josh Gates Really Searching for on "Expedition Unknown"? Plus: Ten Years of "Cult of Alien Gods"
On Monday the History Channel broadcasted Roanoke: Search for the Lost Colony, and if we can judge by the ratings, there seems to be a cap on the number of viewers interested in conspiracy theories about early American history. The show, weirdly listed as Time Machine (apparently the official name of the documentary anthology series occupying the Monday at 9 PM ET time slot), scored 1.3 million viewers, with 400,000 in the coveted 18-49 demographic. That means that the two-hour show had slightly more viewers than the 10 PM showing of FX’s critically acclaimed Fargo, which drew 1.2 million viewers, with 400,000 in the demo, but had only half the viewers of WWE Monday Night Raw on USA. Anyway, the interesting thing is that these numbers are just almost exactly the same as the average viewership for Ancient Aliens over its last few showings. We’ll know more about the current draw of crazy conspiracies when Hunting Hitler debuts next month alongside the new season of Curse of Oak Island.
It’s been a big week for research into why people believe weird things. Yesterday I reported on the Chapman University survey of American fear, which found that more than 1 in 5 Americans professes a belief in ancient astronauts. I read in the Pacific Standard that some new psychological research confirms that the people most likely to buy in to fear-mongering conspiracy theories, such as governments hiding evidence of ancient astronauts, are people who have a combination of low self-esteem and a strong sense of identification with a specific subculture or demographic group.
Chapman University conducted a survey which asked nearly 1,500 Americans about 88 different fears, and it included their beliefs in the paranormal, the supernatural, and the pseudoscientific. The results were about what you would expect in terms of the 40% of Americans who believe in ghosts and the 18% who feel aliens are currently visiting the earth. I was a bit surprised that only 11% of Americans believe Bigfoot is a real creature, but for our purposes the most depressing finding is that 20.3% of Americans—1 in 5!—professed a belief in ancient astronauts. According to sociologist Christopher Bader of Chapman University, who designed the survey, belief in ancient astronauts and other paranormal phenomena is positively correlated with an overall higher level of fear. Bader added that belief in the paranormal was strongest among those with the least education, and those people were also the most fearful.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if the giant-hunting Vieira brothers remade an episode of America Unearthed virtually scene by scene? No? Tough luck. You’re getting it anyway.
When we last left Jim and Bill Vieira, they were hunting for giants on the History Channel series Search for the Lost Giants. That show was a ratings disaster, and the Vieira brothers displayed the kind of stilted delivery and anti-charisma that might have destroyed careers on network television. However, it is an iron law of cable TV that once a person has been granted a TV series, it becomes statistically impossible not to be given another show due to cable executives’ embrace of the sunk cost fallacy. Therefore, last night the Vieira brothers presented a 2-hour special about the Dare Stones, a 1930s hoax that claimed that the lost colonists of Roanoke decamped for Georgia. If there is one thing History loves more than recycling hosts, it’s recycling the same few subjects over and over again.
I have an interesting archival discovery for you today, a piece of gigantology history that so far as I can tell never made it into the fringe history books. My discovery of it came through a somewhat circuitous path involving research into fossil bones and their interpretation as the remains of giants. Anyway, this led me to the 1842 Quæstiones Mosaicæ, a volume that attempted to compare the Mosaic account of Genesis with what was then known of ancient history and religion.
Did you know that Edgar Cayce didn’t just opine on Atlantis, ancient high technology, and the Hall of Records under the Sphinx when he talked about ancient history? Cayce also had some things to say about American prehistory, which he saw as a diffusionist stew of Atlanteans, Hebrews, Inca (!), and Giants. Yes, giants. Let’s take a look at a couple of Cayce’s readings regarding the prehistory of the United States.
I was all set to review the newest episode of True Monsters for today’s blog post since it was supposed to deal with a topic near and dear to my heart: Indo-European mythology. However, I was surprised to see that the History Channel abruptly pulled the series following its disastrous performance in the ratings against rival Discovery’s Gold Rush franchise. True Monsters failed to attract more than 300,000 viewers in the adults 18-49 demographic against viewership of just 1.06 million viewers. In its last outing, the series lost more than 28% of its Ancient Aliens rerun lead-in audience of 1.48 million viewers, and crucially it lost more than a quarter of the lead-in audience under the age of 49. Ancient Aliens performs reasonably well against Discovery’s Bering Sea Gold and Gold Rush, but True Monsters did not. History plans to burn off the last two episodes of the series next week, on the little-watched pre-Halloween Friday.
Sorcha Faal Claims Russian Military Wants to Use Lasers to Defend Against Fallen Angels and Their Aryan Allies
After writing about Christian Nephilim conspiracies Wednesday and Thursday, I was surprised when I discovered a “news” story published this week claiming that the Russian government had issued a warning about the return of Fallen Angels. It took only a few seconds to determine that the story, appearing on Before It’s News and other fringe sites, had been reprinted from an original published in February by Sorcha Faal, the pseudonymous conspiracy theorist behind What Does It Mean, a low-quality conspiracy website. According to Rational Wiki, Faal may be David Booth, the owner of the website. Faal once claimed to be a Russian scientist, but the character’s biography was later amended to make her into an Irish mystic, with the name referring now to a succession of high priestesses of the Order of Sorcha Faal, one of whom was Russian.
Yesterday I discussed L. A. Marzulli’s claim that the Antichrist will emerge from the bloodline (or “seed”) of the Nephilim, whom he identified as the offspring of human women and fallen angels. This got me a little curious about some of the other claims made for the supposed bloodline of the Antichrist, and I was surprised to discover that there is a whole subculture of Nephilim believers who specifically believe that Satan engineered the survival of the Nephilim in order to have breeding stock for a future Antichrist. I’ve already mentioned how disturbing this is at the practical level since it seems to encourage “Christians” to take steps to eradicate evil bloodlines before the Antichrist can emerge. But then I came across Bigfoot believers who got roped into the Nephilim-Antichrist conspiracy.
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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