This year wasn’t quite as bad as 2021, so I can’t be too upset at a year that, if nothing else, did not get appreciably worse. On the other hand, nothing really improved either. Between inflation and further work cuts in my failing industry, it’s been hard. When a prominent astrologer said this year would be the best of my life, I wasn’t sure whether that was a promise or a threat. It’s a good thing astrology is bunk, or else I would be painfully depressed to think this was the best things will ever get.
In a more general sense, this was a year devoted mostly to UFOs, which dominated the paranoid paranormal discourse for the first ten months, until Atlantis made a late run for the crown.
Here, then, is the year that was, edited and condensed from my blog posts and newsletter.
New Evidence Points to a 19th Century Origin for Kensington Runestone Alphabet
The probable origin of the Kensington Runestone's runes has been found: The runic alphabet from the stone, with its distinctive "hooked X," was taught in a mid-19th century Swedish calligraphy school and the textbook its instructor published. It includes "Masonic" characters like those used by the Larsson brothers, whose runic writing had previously been the only other known runic use of the "hooked X."
Magnus Källström of the National Antiquities Office in Sweden published the results of his investigation last week. The key was in an 1876 textbook published by Eric Ström, an itinerant calligrapher (!):
Sirius Mystery author Robert Temple has a new book out, A New Science of Heaven, claiming that 99% of the universe is plasma and that plasma is a sentient form of extraterrestrial life.
British journalist Graham Hancock’s Ancient Apocalypse has become a surprise cultural phenomenon since its November 11 release on Netflix. The archaeology-themed series garnered an impressive 24.62 million hours of viewing in its first week of release, landing in the streaming service’s top 10 in 31 countries. It has also sparked unparalleled outrage from archaeologists and journalists, resulting in dozens of think pieces decrying the show’s many false claims and illogical arguments, analyzing its racist implications, and declaring the series everything from “fishy” to the “most dangerous” show on Netflix. “Why has this been allowed?” asked Britain’s The Guardian. The answer to that seemed pretty obvious: Hancock’s son, Sean Hancock, is Netflix’s senior manager for unscripted originals.
Hancock’s show speculates that a crashing comet destroyed Atlantis, or a similar lost civilization, 13,000 years ago in a series of events remembered as the Great Flood. Ancient monuments and wisdom are therefore the legacy of Atlantis’s survivors, not Earth’s diverse peoples and cultures. Explaining all the reasons Hancock is wrong would take a whole book. Fortunately, I’ve written two. Reader, he is wrong...
Read the rest in The New Republic!
Former America Unearthed host Scott F. Wolter recently announced plans to deliver a lecture at February’s Conscious Life Expo in which he’ll be expanding his Templar conspiracy theories, fully merging them with his growing involvement with the ancient astronaut theory. Get a load of the lecture description, combining his previous false claims with Jesuit assassins, the hoax documents he promotes as genuine, and space aliens:
I am sure you noticed that I have been quieter than usual this week. That's because a magazine has commissioned me to write an article, so I spent my free time this week working on that project. The good news is that the piece is done and filed. If all goes well, it should run in the coming days, and I will post a link once it does.
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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