It’s hardly news when a celebrity discusses his or her love of Ancient Aliens, so it was no surprise last year when music producer (and onetime Scientologist) Skrillex gave Rolling Stone a semi-spiritual justification for why loves Ancient Aliens and the ancient astronaut theory, which seems for him to be a halfway stop on the road back from Xenu:
I think it’s a fun approach to say, Maybe God was aliens, and they put us here and we learned technology from them. The whole thing is really fascinating. Why not look to the stars? Look beyond this, accept that there’s so much we don’t know and a lot of it could be up there. We’re gonna have this technology in our lifetime. It’s cool to think about. Why not? There’s a ton of astronauts and people at NASA who have spoken about alien existence for years — you don’t see it publicized.
Of course you don’t see it publicized, except in Rolling Stone, on a dozen cable channels, and all across the internet. But interestingly, with a few changes in words, Skrillex’s claim is the same one made for religious groups time and again. But that’s not why I mention this. Take a look at who Skrillex brought to his star-studded Los Angeles birthday party in January, according to a recent Open Minds article published this week: Ancient Aliens star Giorgio Tsoukalos, alleged UFO abductee Travis Walton, and celebrities Corey Feldman, Tony Hawk, and Tara Reid.
Oh, well: Lifestyles of the rich and famous, you know.
On a completely different note, watching Jeopardy on Friday I was reminded of a fact about Beowulf that made for an interesting challenge for gigantologists and creationists, particularly those of the Nephilim-believing point of view. I’m sure you will recall Bill Cooper, a creationist, has argued that Grendel and Grendel’s mother were in fact dinosaurs and therefore dinosaurs lived beyond the Flood and the Bible is literally true. But oddly enough Beowulf isn’t a favorite among fringe theorists despite the fact that the poem seems to have clear connections to the Nephilim. Why might that be?
Beowulf contains a combination of Christian and pagan elements, and the Christian elements seem to bear close resemblance to the myth of the Nephilim. An ancient sword used to kill Grendel depicts the fall of the Genesis 6 giants and was cast by these monsters:
The flood slew thereafter the race of the giants,
In defiance of strict logic, the poem similarly implies that Grendel and his mother are of the race of the Genesis 6 giants, though this is more ambiguous since there is no clear description of the pair. Instead, we are left with scattered details—Grendel was extremely large, bipedal, manlike, and had such human attributes as a head and shoulders. If the giants died in the Flood, how might they have survived? Scholars suggest that the author of Beowulf was familiar with extra-biblical legends of giants, like that of Og, who allegedly rode astride the Ark, or otherwise understood the references to later Nephilim in Numbers as being a survival of the Genesis 6 Nephilim. The Giants, therefore, in Beowulf survive the Flood, at least in part—following Nephilim-centric readings—in order to create this sword that tells of their own demise.
This should be great news for Nephilim theorists!
But the trouble for Nephilim theorists is that Beowulf doesn’t follow the Nephilim-theorists’ preferred account of fallen angels mating with human women. Instead, it adopts (partially) the euhemerized version of the myth hated by Nephilim theorists whereby the “Sons of God” who mate with the “daughters of men” to produce the Giants in Genesis 6:4 are seen as the godly race of Seth and the sinful race of Cain. To that end, Beowulf describes Grendel and his mother as being descendants of Cain:
The wan-mooded being (Cain) abode for a season
This is entirely in keeping with Anglo-Saxon beliefs of the era in which the poem was composed. The Venerable Bede, for example, in his commentary on Genesis 6:4, identified the Giants as the sons of Sethites and Cainites. This doesn’t help make the case for angel-human hybrids, so it seems that poor Beowulf has to be reduced to a dinosaur epic to fit into the creationists’ worldview. No wonder they seem to prefer purely pagan myths to the semi-Christian medieval tales.
Just for fun, here’s one for you. Sir John Mandeville, the fictional medieval author, asserted that Joppa (Jaffa) had been built before the Flood and was home to Greek mythological giants:
And ye shall understand, that it is one of the oldest towns of the world, for it was founded before Noah’s flood. And yet there sheweth in the rock, there as the iron chains were fastened, that Andromeda, a great giant, was bounden with, and put in prison before Noah’s flood, of the which giant, is a rib of his side that is forty foot long. (Chapter 5)
Mandeville didn’t know mythology, and the gender confusion suggests that he has only a hazy idea of the Perseus legend, probably from Flavius Josephus’ account of display of Andromeda’s chains (Wars 3.9.3) and Pliny’s account of the display of the forty-foot rib bones of the sea-serpent that menaced her (Natural History 9.4), and has conflated Andromeda with the Nephilim and the Fallen Angels in Christianizing a pagan story. This could be a whole blog post in itself, to show how Mandeville has weaved a Nephilim story out of pagan material, but the bottom line is that the rewriting of ancient texts to conform to Biblical ideas has been with us forever.
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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