I grant you that I often expect too much from fringe writers. I keep expecting that they’ll understand the material that they discuss, have read primary sources, or, at the very least, be able to tell the difference between fiction and nonfiction, if not fiction and fact. So it was with disappointment that I read an article by Brent Swancer in Mysterious Universe today about the alleged Nine Unknown Men of India. This is another one of those giant messes that fringe writers simply take at face value.
J. Hutton Pulitzer Makes Scott Wolter Uncomfortable with Questions about Red-Headed Caucasian Pharaohs
Before we begin, I’d like to draw your attention to this blog post by religious studies professor James Tabor, who wrote to me this morning to inform me of something I didn’t know. There is apparently a rich evangelical Christian literature on the “true” biblical origins of the pyramids, including a section in the influential Halley’s Bible Handbook that asserted that the pyramids were Joseph’s granaries. When I read that someone actually argues that Khufu was the biblical Job, I was dumbfounded! Who knew modern evangelicals were less erudite in their effort to harmonize sacred and profane history than Late Antique Christians or early medieval Muslims?
Now, on to today’s topic:
Forbidden truth and hidden history! One man on the “cutting edge” of the “truth about history”! That’s how we’re introduced to treasure-hunting “Commander” J. Hutton Pulitzer, self-described as “one of the foremost inventors in modern times” (he invented a failed bar code reader and a way to start a web browser by audio signal), author of what he says are 300 books about the “truth,” and advocate of a range of impossible claims, in the opening minutes of his SoundCloud Treasure Force Commander Podcast. (I’m not running “Treasure Force” together as one weird word, though he does.) He claims that listening to his podcast will make you “the most interesting person in the world” to talk to, as long as you’re not one of the “whiny politically correct wimps,” as his bombastic opening narration asserts. Anyway, Pulitzer interviewed our friend Scott Wolter last night, and it’s really fascinating the way Pulitzer’s self-image, as puffed up by his professional narrator, contrasts so heartily with his nebbish delivery and lack of facility with words.
Most of you probably won’t remember William H. Bradshaw, whom I wrote about back in December of last year. (I had to look it up, since I had forgotten about him.) Bradshaw is a marijuana advocate and software engineer from Canada who wrote a book called Secrets of the Pink Kush. He had some unusual claims about the Nephilim. Well, he’s back with new entries in his Pink Kush series, and this time he’s chosen to write about me! Oh, I feel so lucky!
This post has been updated to correct information about The Planetary Doctrine.
Before I was so rudely interrupted by Ben Carson’s foray into Egyptology, I was starting to look into the life and work of Andrew Tomas, one of the minor ancient astronaut and ancient mysteries writers of the twentieth century. A regular reader pointed me to some interesting information that seems to explain Tomas’s later claim that he had begun investigating flying saucers in 1935, more than a decade before the modern UFO era began. As you will recall from my biography of Tomas, he had told his colleagues at the Australian UFO Bureau in the 1950s that he had written a book called The Planetary Doctrine in 1935 in which he had described shiny, silvery disks that flew acros the sky and were associated with occult communication. This thin volume of less than 80 pages had been published in Shanghai in a very limited edition.
When I wrote yesterday about GOP frontrunner Dr. Ben Carson’s 1998 claim that the pyramids of Egypt were built by the Jewish patriarch Joseph to store grain during the Biblical seven years of famine, I assumed that like most crackpot claims from candidates it would be a one-day wonder. But then Carson doubled down on his assertion, repeating it in interviews yesterday and adding that “secular progressives” were trying to mock him for a claim that he regards as a “personal belief” that should be immune from criticism. He also asserted that the Bible supports his views on the true function of the pyramids. The story isn’t going away: It was covered on the Today show again this morning.
Note: This post has been edited to correct information about The Planetary Doctrine.
Man, it’s been a miserable week for truth. Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox completed its takeover of National Geographic’s media holdings this week, and the new owners quickly moved to fire hundreds of employees, including many of the National Geographic Channel’s fact-checkers. This makes it likely that NatGeo will now join the History Channel in being a fact-free zone. I can’t wait to see how they try to compete with Ancient Aliens and Curse of Oak Island.
Is the Loch Ness monster a marketing hoax? That’s the claim from University of Bristol emeritus professor Gareth Williams in a new book set to be released next week. According to Paul Seaburn of Mysterious Universe, Williams believes that the proof can be found in a 1950 novel by D. G. Gerahty called Marise, written under the pen name Stephen Lister. In 1980 Gerahty confirmed that he was recounting parts of his own autobiography when he wrote that he had been part of a 1930s marketing campaign to invent the Loch Ness monster as a way to increase tourism for local hotels.
Graham Hancock appeared on the Unexplained podcast with Howard Hughes this week, and he began by describing his feeling of victimization at the hands of the mainstream media. And boy was he angry! “I’m not angry,” he said, after ranting with raised voice and at one point declared that the media and academics had declared a “fatwa” against unconventional views. Most of the interview was devoted to summarizing his current book, Magicians of the Gods, but the interview began with Hancock’s recently developed hatred of the mainstream media, which he sees as in league with his enemies, the academics, to suppress the truth and discredit him personally as the chief advocate of a lost civilization.
Over the weekend the local news here in Albany reported that a contractor doing work in Schenectady found bones while working in the yard of a house in the Stockade district. Police were notified, and the police called in a medical examiner and an anthropologist to examine the remains, which several days later the anthropologist concluded belonged to a farm animal, likely a cow, and had been in the earth at least 50 years. What’s interesting about this is that many people looked at these bones and several mistook them for human, something that should give gigantologists pause when they assert that no one could confuse large animal bones for those of a giant human.
In my review of True Monsters yesterday, I noted that America Unearthed host Scott Wolter and another of the show’s so-called “experts” on mythology claimed that the Norse god Thor was a real warrior who wielded a piece of electrically-charged technology made from a magnetic meteorite that the ignorant Norse peasants mistook for a magical hammer, Mjölnir. I criticized this view as overly elaborate rationalization, and noted that the hammer is almost certainly a local form of the widespread thunder-weapon wielded by Indo-European thunder gods like Zeus, Teshub, Indra, and others. But it did make me think about where the show got this idea.
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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