The current issue of the Valley Breeze reports that Jim Vieira and his Search for the Lost Giants traveling circus blew into Cumberland, Rhode Island, to ask for assistance in proving that a giant is buried at the Nine Men’s Misery monument that marks the site of a 1676 Native American ambush that took the lives of nine European colonists. According to the news report, Vieira believes that a man named Benjamin Bucklin, who died on March 26, 1676, was a giant who had two rows of teeth. His body was exhumed and reinterred in 1976, and Vieira is looking for witnesses who might have seen the oversized corpse. Interestingly, the report also confirms that Vieira and his brother Bill have found “no remains” of any giants in their nationwide search.
I guess that counts as a spoiler!
Thursday Grab Bag: Nephilim Conspiracies, Tsoukalos on Different Aliens, Glenn Beck's Revisionist Santa, and More
Yesterday I received emails from two television producers from two different production companies. I’ll be talking with one today and another tomorrow. I don’t want to say anything more about it before I’ve had a chance to speak with the producers. However, one of the shows is about hunting across the world for the Nephilim. I’m sure you can imagine my reaction.
Here we are in the third episode of Search for the Lost Giants, S01E03 “Chasing the Bones,” and the show is already revisiting past episodes, suggesting that this show’s format is more reality soap opera than anthology. By teasing out little bits of a single major investigation over the season, it hopes to keep the audience coming back for more details. I’m not sure, though, that selecting a two-foot tall tunnel system associated with no known giant reports is really the most compelling investigation to serve as the connecting tissue for the entire season.
In its first week on the air, Search for the Lost Giants drew just shy of 1.6 million viewers in live plus same day ratings, of whom 500,000 were in the adults 18-54 demographic. In preparation for tonight’s episode, I took a look at last week’s ratings and was surprised to see that they did not budge. In its second week on the air, Lost Giants attracted just about the same 1.6 million viewers, with the same 500,000 adults 18-54 viewers, according to A.C. Nielsen. The numbers actually declined modestly, from 1.598 million to 1.571 million, even though this week the show was not airing against election coverage. Its Tuesday companion series, Curse of Oak Island declined by 500,000 viewers to 2.1 million live plus same day viewers, of whom just 700,000 were 18 to 54 years old, down from 1.1 million in its first week. In other words, young people are tuning out Oak Island and remain largely uninterested in Lost Giants.
I’m big in Turkey this week! One of the questions I get a lot is why I bother writing rebuttals to ridiculous ideas that no right-thinking person could possibly believe. This week I got my answer. Over the weekend no less a world figure that the president of Turkey spouted fringe history nonsense, telling a conference of Latin American Muslim leaders that Islamic sailors discovered the Americas in 1178, and that a mosque they left behind later surprised Christopher Columbus when he sailed around Cuba.
The Wild West holds very little interest for me. I don’t care much about noble cowboys sauntering into town on their ruddy steeds, about the whores with hearts of gold that kept frontier towns functioning, or about the glittering depths of mines. I had my fill of Westerns when I read Mark Twain’s Roughing It, and that hasn’t changed in two decades. So when it came time to try to figure out just what this episode of America Unearthed, S03E02 “Guardians of Superstition Mountain,” was going to be about, I realized that I have no background in the Old West and no knowledge of it. So I took a cue from show host Scott Wolter himself. In Akhenaten to the Founding Fathers (2013), our hero cites Wikipedia as a source 14 times in 162 notes, or 9% of all his notes. Therefore, since I had neither the time nor the inclination to pursue this in much detail I decided to follow suit and learn what I could about the Lost Dutchman’s Mine from Wikipedia. But, being unsatisfied with such a source, I then went on to check the sources and read a bit more, though the further reading in the original sources and in other books on the subject didn’t turn up much of interest except for a few corrections.
Each week I struggle to come up with a way to review Ancient Aliens that will be somehow entertaining enough to justify struggling through another iteration of the same old material. I must confess that I am beginning to run out of ways to say the same thing in different ways. This trouble extends to Ancient Aliens itself, a show that is fading into televisual wallpaper. Last week, for example, when the program discussed an alleged Sphinx on Mars, I recalled the photograph from its appearance on Unsealed: Alien Files but had completely forgotten that it has also appeared on an earlier episode of Ancient Aliens since every segment of the show has slowly blended into one long, shapeless blob.
My website and my email address are my name, so I’ve always wondered how people can confuse me for the stars of the History Channel. I’ve had people mistake me for Giorgio Tsoukalos and Scott Wolter, but today was a first: I received my first email mistaking me for Jim Vieira! The confused letter-writer asked Jim to look into a particular “giant” report from her hometown that she remembered from Coast to Coast AM years ago because she’s infuriated that the government is “burying” the truth about a case she could find no more information about. She thanked Vieira for his TV show and concluded: “I appreciate the work you are doing. It must be great to do something you love.”
The Curious Case of H. P. Lovecraft
Paul Roland | Plexus, 2014 | 240 pages | $19.95
Paul Roland is a singer, and author, and a believer in the paranormal. He has written more than forty books, many of which cover subjects related to the occult, the Nazis, and psychic phenomena. He is also the author of a new biography of H. P. Lovecraft entitled The Curious Case of H. P. Lovecraft. The publisher sent me a review copy of the book, which I read with bafflement. It is the most unnecessary and uninformative Lovecraft book I’ve ever read, and I read Donald Tyson’s Dream World of H. P. Lovecraft back in 2010.
Yesterday I wrote about the Syfy channel’s admission that paranormal reality programming has passed its peak and viewers are looking for something new. Apparently, for too many channels the hot new thing is programming modeled on America Unearthed. Not only is there a casting call for an ancient artifacts show, as I mentioned the other day, but the Travel Channel just announced that the former host of Syfy’s paranormal Destination Truth, Josh Gates, has been given a new show called Expedition Unknown, which will investigate archaeological mysteries: “Armed with a degree in archaeology, a quick wit and a hunger for adventure, Gates investigates the latest developments in each unsolved legend before embarking on a fully immersive exploration.”
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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