George Knapp: Christian Fundamentalists in the Pentagon Shut Down Government Paranormal and UFO Probes Due to Demon Fears
Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House (1959) is one of the all-time classics of the horror genre, bringing the classic Gothic tale of a haunted mansion into the twentieth century and firmly locating the horror in the psychological reactions of the men and women who unwisely choose to enter its orbit. Jackson’s novel was doubly notable because it was a rare-for-its-time masterpiece by a female writer in a field that was, and largely remains, dominated by men. Its opening lines are famous:
No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more…and whatever walked there, walked alone.
A publisher has asked me to assemble a proposal for a short book on the myths and legends associated with the Giza Pyramids, notably the medieval legends of the Muslim world, so I am going to be taking some time today to work on this. In the meantime, I wanted to share something interesting I ran across in reading about Graham Hancock’s new book, America Before. Do you remember the popular claim that there were wooly mammoths flash-frozen in the Arctic as a result of a catastrophic change in climate, perhaps due to a shifting of the poles? It turns out that this claim is much older than I had imagined.
Graham Hancock has released the description of his new book, America Before, which is due out in April. According to the description, Hancock will be examining claims that the Americas were populated 130,000 years ago, and he will argue that North America was the homeland of his lost civilization before it was destroyed by a comet at the end of the Younger Dryas, a claim previously seen in Ignatius Donnelly’s Ragnarok: The Age of Fire and Gravel (1883), where the author similarly proposed a comet strike in the North American Arctic, affecting a civilization that stretched across North America and northern Eurasia. I remain interested to see what new evidence he has accumulated.
The Search for Atlantis: A History of Plato’s Ideal State
Steve P. Kershaw | 428 pages | Pegasus | October 2018 | ISBN: 978-1681778594 | $27.95
The greatest compliment I can bestow on Classical scholar Steve P. Kershaw’s The Search for Atlantis (Pegasus, 2018), released last week, is that I have very little to say about it. Kershaw’s book, whose title is somewhat misleading, offers a history of scholarly and pseudo-scholarly reception of Plato’s myth of Atlantis from Classical Antiquity to today. It is decidedly not a book about hunting for Atlantis, and the author makes plain his conclusion that Plato invented the story of Atlantis as a philosophical allegory and that there is not and never was either a real Atlantis or an Egyptian myth of Atlantis for Plato to have drawn upon. I am in almost complete agreement with Kershaw, who teaches at the continuing education branch of Oxford University, and have almost nothing to add.
Nimitz Carrier Group UFO Witness Claims Seeing "Tic Tac" Craft Gave Him "Advanced Cognition" and Apocalyptic Dreams
Did something happen to the pseudo-archaeology and pseudo-history writers over the past few months? It seems that one by one, the lights have gone out, and there is increasingly less to write about their follies and fictions. I don’t mean to imply that there is no pseudo-history on offer—YouTube, Sputnik, and the British tabloids see to it that this is never the case—but the high-profile, quasi-professional material seems to be slipping into a fallow period. If I had to guess, I’d say that the current political situation is sucking all of the air out of the room and leaving no space for other topics to gain traction.
Sometime between the when I reviewed Natural Selection nearly three years ago and Super Dark Times almost a year ago, the public relations teams representing a certain kind of independent film seem to have gotten it into their heads that I am the right person to review movies about the friendships of teenage boys. I’m not sure how I got pegged into that niche, but I receive an outsize number of screeners for a remarkably similar parade of films exploring the challenges of growing up young, white, and privileged in a world where guns are easy to come by but authenticity and genuine social connections are not. To be honest, the movies are so similar that I have a hard time remembering which act of violence occurred in which one. Was Sins of Our Youth the one where best friends are torn asunder and end up bathed in blood? Trick question. It was all of them.
I’ve been reading an old article by Hayrettin Yücesoy with the lengthy title of “Translation as Self-Consciousness: Ancient Sciences, Antediluvian Wisdom, and the ‘Abbāsid Translation Movement,” published in the Journal of World History back in 2009. I had originally downloaded the article in the hope of finding some specific information about Arabic translations from Greek in order to investigate questions I had about the Greek material underlying some of the Arabic stories of the pyramids and Hermes Trismegistus, but in reading the article, the “antediluvian” section ended up offering an interesting perspective that is worth sharing.
Recently, Maharashtra state archaeologist Tejas Garge announced that his team had uncovered petroglyphs depicting humans and animals. “Our first deduction from examining these petroglyphs is that they were created around 10,000 BC,” Garge told the BBC. When the BBC reported on the discovery of 12,000-year-old petroglyphs in the Konkan region of the western Indian state of Maharashtra, a strange choice made by BBC Marathi reporter Mayuresh Konnur (or whoever translated his work in to English) has led to a hyperdiffusionist claim that Ice Age Indians traveled from Africa and brought knowledge of animals like rhinoceroses and hippopotamuses with them. Consider this reaction from the fringe: “So, how are archaeologists going to explain the thousands of rock carvings discovered on hillocks in the Konkan region of western Maharashtra that show images of hippos, rhinos and other never-seen-in-India creatures interacting with humans 12.000 years ago?” Paul Seaburn of Mysterious Universe ignorantly asked.
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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