Because I am formatting my manuscript this week, I will wait to post a new blog this evening when I review Ancient Aliens.
My deadline for finalizing my Legends of the Pyramids manuscript is December 1, which means that I need to devote extra time over the next two weeks to getting my submission put together. So, today, I will only briefly remark that this year is the centennial of Charles Fort’s Book of the Damned, a seminal work in the world of the bizarre, fringe, and pseudoscientific. In honor of the anniversary, Micah Hanks published an article this week celebrating Fort’s unreadable, gibberish style (“oddly poetic”) and describing “one of my absolute favorite passages” (emphasis in original) in Fort’s book. That he has a favorite passage in Fort, and that it is a list of red rains culminating in a bizarre non sequitur about a “super-dragon” crashing into a comet and bleeding all over the Earth probably says more about Hanks than it does about Fort.
This week, Nephilim hunter and Christian bigot Steve Quayle visited the Evangelical extremist broadcaster SkyWatch.tv to discuss UFOs, cataclysms, and giants, as well as the True Legends conference he held in America’s conservative entertainment capital, Branson, Mo., a few weeks ago. The True Legends conference builds on Quayle’s True Legends brand of Christian Ancient Aliens knockoff products, which like much of the Christian entertainment market involves copying something secular, adding sanctimony and hypocrisy, and reducing the quality by 40-50%. Things got off to a great start when Quayle told viewers that he believes that we live in a holographic universe dominated by demons who have created a “hell-ographic” world, and that UFO disclosure is imminent because Satan is using demon-driven flying saucers to undermine believe in Nephilim giants.
Last week, George Knapp launched Mystery Wire, a paranormal and UFO news service presenting his back catalog of local TV news reports about unidentified aerial phenomena, supplemented with other local news reports from his employer’s sister stations. It’s not a very well done site, and it contains very little original material, so I wouldn’t normally write much about it, except that the more I’ve thought about it, the angrier its existence makes me. The reason is that Mystery Wire isn’t owned by George Knapp but rather by Nexstar Media Group, one of the largest operators of local television stations in the United States. Nexstar and Knapp launched the service on KLAS, the Nexstar CBS affiliate in Las Vegas, last week. Here is how he introduced it to mark the thirtieth anniversary of his first broadcast UFO story, using archival footage and new commentary:
Later tonight, Ancient Aliens will explore the profound question of whether aliens invented tattoos. In the meantime, we might as well pile on Ashley Cowie some more since he published yet another crappy article this week trying to spin mystery out of discovery in the belief that ancient history needs to be sexed up with fakery and myths to attract the attention of the public. Today’s subject is Atlantis, which Cowie understands at about the Wikipedia level of research, citing as sources Atlantipedia and an article in National Geographic. It makes me wonder why I bother researching primary sources when, apparently, one can get paid to surf the web and summarize the results like a high school book report.
Last month, Ancient Aliens hit record low ratings for original broadcasts, spending most of the month drawing a live plus same day audience of fewer than 800,000 viewers. At the time, I suggested that part of the decline could be attributed to the show airing its new episodes opposite postseason baseball games and the World Series. However, I noted at the time that sports couldn’t be responsible for the entirety of the decline since the show almost always airs opposite some sort of sports event. Now, the ratings are in for the November 1 broadcast, and they indicate that the show’s audience has indeed entered a period of substantial decline.
Most readers are aware that I don’t have a terribly high opinion of Ashley Cowie’s work. He is, after all, a guy who made all manner of bizarre claims about secret maps and codes in Rosslyn Chapel. This week, he published a half-assed, pseudo-conspiratorial article in Ancient Origins claiming, with more than a little absurdity, that the pretender to the Napoleonic imperial throne and a minor descendant of the Habsburg emperors married in some sort of mystical attempt to revive the power of the Bonapartist dynasty. Many European tabloids have noted the historical echoes between the union of Jean-Christophe Napoleon Bonaparte, 32, and Countess Olympia von und zu Arco-Zinnerberg, 31, and Napoleon I’s politically motivated marriage to the Archduchess Marie Louise. But to badly paraphrase what Marx once said of another Napoleon, Ashley Cowie has repeated history and made it a farce.
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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