I know many of you are eagerly anticipating my review of tonight's new episode of America Unearthed. I will be working on reviewing the program tonight and tomorrow morning, and as was my practice during season one, I will have my review up around midday tomorrow, December 1. I am not a machine. I can't go faster.
In the meantime, I've already pre-debunked some of the episode's claims in this blog post from November 19, and I've posted in my Library the full text of F. R. A. Glover's England, Remnant of Judah (1861), the British-Israel text that introduced the myth that Jacob's Pillar traveled to Ireland and to Scotland.
As Ancient Aliens grows older, it is noticeably struggling to find new ways to present the same claims. The topics for the show have grown more diverse and less focused on aliens. The topic for S06E09 “Aliens and Forbidden Islands” is islands—simply an entire category of landmasses. We can look forward next season, I suppose, to “Aliens and Mountains,” “Aliens and Really Tall Trees,” or “Aliens and Pleasant Lakes.” At least this time the show tries to connect the subject to aliens, positing that islands worldwide are ancient alien bases.
Note, though, that the “forbidden” islands are so “forbidden” that not only did Ancient Aliens get to them but they are also mostly open for tourism.
Recently, we’ve seen an author named Kathleen McGowan appearing on Ancient Aliens, and I assumed this was because she is the widow of ancient astronaut theorist Philip Coppens, who married her a year before his death, not long after McGowan divorced her previous husband, Peter, with whom she had three children. But McGowan has started cross-pollinating other programs on the History family of channels, and she showed up Wednesday on Bible Secrets Revealed to discuss the “sacred feminine” and the early Church’s suppression of femininity.
I watched this episode because it promised to explore the Book of Enoch and the concept of the Watchers, key elements of the ancient astronaut theory. While this segment was interesting, though not without the suggestion that Biblical authors were hiding the “truth” about giants, the show was mostly intent on exploring the “sacred feminine” and the “Holy Bloodline.”
Scottish novelist Charlie Stross posted his thoughts about the driving force behind H. P. Lovecraft’s cosmic fiction yesterday, and he attributed Lovecraft’s dread at the limitless cosmos to advances in physics during the first decades of the twentieth century. Specifically, he related Lovecraft’s inter-dimensional, infinite cosmos to the growing understanding in the 1910s and 1920s that universe is larger and older than the physicists of the 1890s had assumed.
Sometimes I imagine a parallel world where, for whatever reason, the Roman Empire never adopted Christianity and the world moved forward with Classical paganism. Would we today be plagued with Olympian fundamentalists searching atop Mount Parnassus for Deucalion’s chest? Would we be facing controversy over whether to include in textbooks the Promethean account of creating mankind from clay in a single-sex world until the arrival of Pandora? Would internet posters be complaining that mainstream academics refuse to admit the reality of the Heroic giants? The Babylonian priest Berosus told us that even before Christians started hunting for Noah’s Ark on Mt. Ararat, the Babylonians had already made a tourist attraction of the site where Utnapishtim’s (a.k.a. Xisithrus’) Ark had had supposedly come to rest. Things don’t change that much.
After a bit of a break to give me time to read ahead, we move forward to Part Three of Graham Robb’s The Discovery of Middle Earth, in which the author attempts to defend the premises elaborated in Parts One and Two. This will be the final part of my review.
Late last night I received a cryptic note from Pastor Doug Riggs containing three hyperlinks and signed only with the words “Proverbs 18:13.” I got out my Bible and looked up the passage to see what the good pastor was trying to tell me. “To answer before listening—that is folly and shame.” It appeared that I was being rebuked, but for what? To find the answer, I needed to check out Pastor Doug’s links. What I found was so very sad and so very disturbing.
“There are consequences to ideas. There are consequences to mythologies.” So said Himmler’s Crusade author Christopher Hale in the Channel 5 documentary The Nazi Quest for the Holy Grail, which aired in Britain last week and which I have now viewed. The program drew a direct line between Heinrich Himmler’s belief in Atlantis as the homeland of pure Aryans and the Holocaust because his “investigations” led him to believe that race-mixing after the fall of Atlantis was responsible for the loss of much ancient wisdom. The historian Herman Wirth scoured the history books and decided that Plato’s myth of Atlantis was true. He convinced Himmler that ancient myth could be proved through archaeology and could thus support Nazi race theories.
We’re just a week away from the season two premiere of America Unearthed, so I figured it’s time for another installment of my parody series America Unhinged, in which I use the methods and evidence of fringe history to show how easy it is to “prove” ridiculous claims. Last time we went in search of the Templars’ hidden stable of unicorns. In today’s edition, we look for the Templars’ pterosaur army.
Lutheran Pastor: Congregants Increasingly Interested in Ancient Aliens as Explanation for Bible Mysteries
Yesterday UFO Sightings Daily announced that the producers of Ancient Aliens requested permission to use the site on an upcoming episode of the show—which, of course, means that there will be yet another season of it. Although Prometheus Entertainment is not paying UFO Sightings Daily for use of their material, they did have the site sign a contract allowing images of the website to appear. Isn’t that nice? When my material from Skeptic magazine appeared on Ancient Aliens in 2009 and America’s Book of Secrets this year, no one asked for my permission, and Skeptic had only given them permission to reproduce a drawing, not my article.
Interesting, isn’t it, that there is a different standard for UFO believers?
I'm an author and editor who has published on a range of topics, including archaeology, science, and horror fiction. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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