Arizona Newspaper Columnist: Earth Is a Prison for Alien Criminals, Ancient Aliens Are Real
If the national media are too willing to give voice to believers in ghosts, aliens, lost civilizations, and other assorted fantasies, the local media are even worse. Unfortunately, critics like me simply don’t have the ability to monitor the opinion columns of every local newspaper or minor blog in the United States—let alone the rest of the world—and that means some things simply fall through the cracks. This is a problem because surveys show that news consumers are more likely to read local newspapers than national ones and to watch local TV news than national news. Consumers also trust their local news outlets more than other sources; 81% in one 2010 survey, for example, cited local TV news as their single most important news source.
That’s why it’s so disconcerting to see outright lies and ignorant misinformation passed along as fact by the opinion columnist at a local Arizona newspaper.
Writing in the online edition of the Daily Miner of Kingman, Arizona, Butch Meriwether delivered a column on ancient astronauts that I initially took for satire until I realized he was serious. Meriwether began by claiming that he feels a weird presence watching over him and sometimes hears voices in his head. He disclaimed his sanity and proposed that the voices were “advanced beings communicating with me.” He also claims to have seen ghosts and UFOs and to have had premonitions of future events. Meriwether had a near death experience in 2003 where he claimed to have left his body after suffering a heart attack when his boat sank in Lake Mohave near Las Vegas.
Meriwether wrote that he was concerned that hardcore religious believers would accuse him of blasphemy for proposing that God, who may be an alien, used Earth to offload undesirable beings, something like Xenu did with the souls of those who rebelled against him in Scientology:
Maybe God or an extraterrestrial established Earth to be like Australia was when England shipped criminals and riffraff to that large body of land. Possibly God or extraterrestrials believed in the theory "out of sight, out of mind" and decided Earth was a great place to deposit those unwanted beings. It would surely explain a lot of the behavior of people on Earth.
The idea of earth as an alien prison planet is apparently a quite popular one and certainly not unique to Meriwether.
Meriwether asserts that he believes that aliens exist and are watching our planet, rendering a moral judgment on humans for their violence and barbarity, just like God in the run-up to the Flood—not that Meriwether quite sees the parallel, not even when he suggests that the aliens only reveal themselves to the righteous while hiding from the ignorant, violent masses.
But it gets worse. Meriwether clearly cannot differentiate between fact and fantasy, and contrary to what H2 officials and those who support the “entertainment” value of alternative history claim, he thinks that what the TV tells him is true because it was on TV:
Archaeologists have discovered prehistoric petroglyphs throughout the world that they believe are cave drawing depictions of ancient aliens visiting Earth and of spacecraft. I guess non-believers and skeptics can't say the petroglyphs are modern-day graffiti by someone who had nothing better to do, since many of them where [sic] found in caves inhabited by ancient people.
He’s taking Ancient Aliens as real and ancient astronaut “theorists” like David Childress and Giorgio Tsoukalos as archaeologists! As a point of fact, archaeologists as a group do not believe any petroglyphs depict aliens, nor do the specific archaeologists who study individual petroglyphs make such claims. Those claims were made by non-specialists, including Soviet propagandists, French New Age socialists, Swiss hoteliers, and cable television personalities.
Meriwether then suggests that the government is covering up UFOs and ancient aliens because government officials are secretly space aliens. I sincerely hope he is joking when he suggests this is the real reason no one has seen Pres. Obama’s birth certificate. (Point of fact: This birth certificate was released years ago. Arizona, however, has played a prominent role in questioning its authenticity and promoting birth certificate conspiracies.)
But Meriwether’s positions aren’t so clear-cut—obviously, he’s not opposed to illegal extraterrestrial immigration! His column is a bizarre mixture of conservative religious revival (pondering whether aliens are really angels) and liberal social panic (aliens are concerned humans are too violent and earth’s resources are being depleted). He is apparently convinced we as humans are servants to the gods, or aliens, or angels, or whatever, and need to overcome our “arrogance”—which means what? Traditionally that was the conservative, religious argument against science, to prevent mad scientists from “playing God.” Is this an old religious argument dressed up in a space suit? If so, it’s of a piece with Ancient Aliens, which similarly has tried to find new reasons to believe in an old-fashioned world where humans are childlike creatures cared for and protected by invisible beings in the sky.
5/4/2013 10:35:02 am
Perhaps Atlantis was like a super max for the worst of the worst. When judged, capitol punishment was in order and they it sank with all on board.
5/4/2013 10:42:29 am
To fast with the submit button. Should be "and THEY SANK IT with all on board" lol
5/4/2013 10:50:50 am
"a bizarre mixture of conservative religious revival (pondering whether aliens are really angels) and liberal social panic (aliens are concerned humans are too violent and earth’s resources are being depleted). He is apparently convinced we as humans are servants to the gods, or aliens, or angels, or whatever, and need to overcome our “arrogance”"
5/5/2013 03:47:30 am
Jason, why are you wasting your time with the obviously delusional writers? Stick with issues that have some possible merit or controversy.
5/5/2013 03:51:33 am
It's important because, as I noted in the introductory paragraph, local news is trusted even more than national media, meaning that readers are more likely to accept this fantasy as real than even Ancient Aliens.
6/1/2013 03:45:36 pm
you might like to read my blog before passing judgement only on what Jason says. The link is http://kingmandailyminer.com/main.asp?SectionID=109&SubSectionID=718&ArticleID=55891&TM=81454.33. Happy reading. Butch Meriwether
7/31/2013 05:10:02 am
Thanks to referring to me as delusional.
5/5/2013 03:55:13 am
Ah yes, I saw it on the TV, so it MUST be true. John Fogerty even did a song on that topic. In it he repeats a line; "I know it's true, cause I saw it on TV." Yep, I saw it on H2, the History Channel, CNN, Faux Noise, MSNBC, etc., so it HAS to be true. Yeah, and I hear there may be a certain bridge that may or may not be for sale, cheap.
5/5/2013 04:33:30 am
Butch Meriwether is not an intentional creep guys, at least it doesn't seem that way to me. If he sincerely believes this, he is obviously suffering from some type of mental illness. I feel sorry for him but part of the human experience is death and death is a very difficult concept and reality to face up to for many of us. In fact I would go so far as to say "Religion is the manifestation of man's inability to cope with our own mortality". - ME
5/5/2013 04:47:49 am
I don't even think it's mental illness, just what researchers have labeled a "fantasy prone" personality. Meriwether seems to truly believe in a supernatural/occult level of reality, and interprets everything through that lens.
5/6/2013 07:48:37 am
I could see the earth as a galactic sanitarium, but not a prison.
6/1/2013 03:15:45 pm
6/1/2013 06:48:18 pm
My wife Chris, who grew up in Watervliet, NY, just a stone’s throw from Albany, NY where Jason resides, says he should move to or visit Arizona before he formulates opinions of people here. Chris wants to know that since Jason attended Auburn High School and graduated from Ithaca College and makes his life’s efforts to debunk alternative archaeology, if the only UFOs he has actually spotted are the ones when went to watch Alonzo Fireworks at Lake George.
6/2/2013 01:41:31 pm
Well this went from pleasant to vaguely sinister quite fast. Are you saying that there is something in the environment in Arizona that makes aliens and ghosts more real that in upstate New York?
6/2/2013 03:45:04 pm
Jason, I can honestly say that a voice in my head, no matter who or what it was or what you might want to call it, told me to get off the helicopter. I heard it as plain as day. Because I followed what was said to me, I lived, but 43 others perished in the crash. As for the light/object I saw in the middle of the desert; there were no other ambient lights in the area, no houses, etc. I honestly can’t say what it was, but from my research and the more than 21 years I spent serving our nation as a United States Marine, the military has no aircraft with that capability. As for the ghost of my mom, I’m still trying to figure that one out more than 16 years later. As for Albany, I just wanted to toss in some humor. But if you’d like to discuss any of those incidents or another dealing with the rescuers on Lake Mohave, give me a call at (928) 530-8988.
6/2/2013 05:36:52 pm
I respect one to have his/her own personal, and often life-changing experience. I have spoken with people I respect that are convinced of seeing an apparition or having a near-death experience, But whether it's UFOs, aliens, ghosts, bigfoot, channeling, near death experiences, crystals, pre-Columbian visitations, cold fusion, etc etc, it is still only anecdotal, or perhaps indicative, not proof. I have no idea how to explain the numerous testimonies for ghosts and UFOs, but there is yet to be ONE hard factual, conclusive piece of direct evidence of either (that I am aware of). Still, the mystery keeps life interesting!
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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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