Celebrate Independence Day with Fringe History's Craziest Claims about the United States of America
It’s the Fourth of July, and if you’re in the United States, you know that this is the day that America celebrates its independence from the United Kingdom. You also probably have heard that “The U.S. is the greatest, best country God has ever given man on the face of the earth,” as Fox News host Sean Hannity famously put it in 2008. Not to be outdone by conservatives, fringe historians have also adopted American exceptionalism and routinely argue that what is today the United States has always been at the center of a global—nay, universal—agenda by Altanteans, aliens, and Freemasons to control the universe, sort of like the way the villains on Doctor Who have the whole universe to work with but usually seem to end up trying to conquer the U.K.
Cynics might argue that fringe historians place so much emphasis on America—seemingly above even the ancient Near East and Puma Punku in Bolivia—because the U.S. is the single wealthiest consumer market for fringe history opinions (at least in the English language) in the world, producing and consuming more fringe history content than any other country, at least in gross tonnage. We even import it from other countries—including Giorgio Tsoukalos, Alan Butler, Graham Hancock, and their European brethren. North Korea may have crazier ideas about history, but they don’t have the population or the wealth to popularize their unicorn-riddled historiography.
So in honor of Independence Day, let’s dip into the archives to enjoy some of fringe history’s craziest claims about the “greatest, best country” the aliens, Atlanteans, or Freemasons ever gave humanity.
Was America named for the secret goddess-star of the Knights Templar?
Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas imagine the existence of a star named “Merica” and deduce that the Templars followed it across the Atlantic—all without any primary sources! Later authors suggest “Merica” was an Atlantean name.
Were the Founding Fathers inspired by aliens?
A 2011 Ancient Aliens episode on “Aliens and the Founding Fathers” tried to make the case that America was founded on orders from extraterrestrials. Too bad they relied on a Civil War-era newspaper hoax to do it.
Were the Founding Fathers enacting a Freemason agenda?
America Unearthed tried to discover whether America’s capital city contains secret psycho-sexual symbolism imposed on it by goddess-worshiping Freemasons. Come for the vagina discussion, stay for the symbolic penile penetration on the National Mall.
Did Benjamin Franklin Believe a Comet Destroyed the Lost White Mound Builders?
An early hoax by a French plagiarist spawns an unlikely anticipation of Immanuel Velikovsky and makes its way into biographies of Benjamin Franklin.
Is America fulfilling God’s judgment through the Dow Jones Industrial Average?
Fox News host Mike Huckabee gasps in shock as a “messianic rabbi” tells him that the Bible proves that America is God’s chosen land, that God speaks through the stock market, and that America will be punished for sexual sins.
If you are in the U.S., enjoy the holiday! If not, happy Friday!
7/4/2014 04:13:13 am
7/4/2014 04:17:00 am
The controversy over the Missile Defense Agency logo. The issue seemed to be over its alleged use of the crescent and star of Islam, which neocons saw as some kind of symbolic surrender to Sharia law
7/4/2014 09:48:01 am
The best thing about apocalyptic prophesies is their 0% accuracy rate so far.
Not the Comte de Saint Germain
7/4/2014 08:42:59 am
I am so tired of people seeing sexual symbolism everywhere, because (to a small extent) it rubs off on my thinking. I don't WANT to look at the Washington Monument and think "phallic symbol", because architecture looks a lot better than human genitals. Sexual symbolism will show up in practically any human culture, but I suspect the propensity to see it in everything can be blamed on Sigmund Freud, plus the adolescent attitudes that seem overly prevalent in American culture these days.
7/4/2014 03:11:01 pm
"I don't WANT to look at the Washington Monument and think "phallic symbol""
Not the Comte de Saint Germain
7/5/2014 08:39:55 am
I don't think that every time I see it, just when I've recently heard idiots labeling anything that's longer than it is wide a phallic symbol.
7/4/2014 07:00:38 pm
I'm pretty sure dirty minds were around long before Freud. Pretty sure that without dirty minds, we wouldn't know who the hell Freud was today, too. Also pretty sure that there's no greater prevalence of it in American culture now than at any other time in history. I mean. The Victorians thought that you had to put RUFFLED SKIRTS on FURNITURE so that people weren't aroused at the sight of NAKED LEGS on the furniture, for example.
7/4/2014 07:44:30 pm
Hope you're joking - that thing about the Victorians and furniture legs is a myth.
7/4/2014 09:21:43 pm
Sex is dirty
7/4/2014 09:33:58 pm
>>>Victorians and furniture legs is a myth<<<
7/4/2014 09:39:03 pm
Correction = Queen Victoria gave birth at least 9 times
7/5/2014 04:31:15 pm
EP, I was not joking. Dirty minds have been around for a VERY long time. Possibly the Victorian piano skirts thing was not a good example; I have done a double-check and you are correct that it is a myth. I am currently feeling too lazy to try and come up with another example, though.
7/5/2014 04:47:47 pm
Three words: Mormon Temple Garments
7/6/2014 08:35:09 am
Well, okay, I WAS going to say "burkas," too. I guess "harems" would work, too. Or "chastity belts," which is a good example even if they weren't widely used and not invented until much later than the myths say--the whole concept comes from dirty minds in the first place.
7/6/2014 09:44:59 am
Actually, chastity belts are a bad example, since female genitalia weren't meant to be exposed anyway. Their function (practically sensible given the culture and technology of the time) was to prevent coitus (including rape) and impregnation by illegitimate offspring.
7/4/2014 08:55:09 am
David Ovason's 2002 book "The Secret Architecture Of Our Nation's Capital: The Masons And The Building Of Washington, D.C" contains a foreword and endorsement by C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33º
7/4/2014 10:04:42 am
David Ovason reviewed here:
7/4/2014 09:58:34 am
I just finished watching the "Secret's of the Dead: Carthage's Lost Warriors," which suggests Carthaginian's may have taken refuge with the Chachapoyian in the Amazon. What annoy's me is that the scientist making these claims says over and over again there are no other ruins like the Chahapoya ruins anywhere in the America's.
7/4/2014 09:59:29 am
7/4/2014 03:08:05 pm
Sheesh! You might as well try telling us that Columbus wasn't the first European in America or that the Civil War wasn't fought to liberate the slaves! Go back to Russia, you pinko bastard!
Other choice ones include:
7/5/2014 10:05:52 am
6.) Thomas Edison most certainly never took credit for anyone else's inventions! No, Sir!
7/4/2014 04:25:29 pm
By the way, Jason, that North Korean unicorn story, as delightful as it would be to believe, is almost certainly a product of mistranslation.
7/4/2014 04:54:37 pm
Im most interested in Washington's pow-wow with The "Greenskins"
7/4/2014 05:09:27 pm
They prefer to be called "Extraterrestrial-Americans", thank you very much!
7/5/2014 10:43:51 pm
Lets not forget the claim in Ancient Aliens "Closer Encounters" that Thomas Paine fled to France in 1793 because of his work "The Age of Reason" -- which he first wrote while he was in jail in France in the late part of 1793 and finished in 1794. And why is that? Because of a non-existent debate over extraterrestrial life, that he used to debunk the Christian religion in his book. That's a lot less silly than using reason and logic to stick up for your Deistic beliefs, during a time when Deism was at it's height. Cause it's not like Thomas Paine's reputation was ruined enough by biased Federal and Tory propaganda when he was alive. So let's willingly compare made up myths in regards to his beliefs that resemble the policies of STALINIST RUSSIA!!!
7/8/2014 01:49:40 pm
I was fortunate enough to be with my family in colonial Williamsburg over the fourth. I walked over from the Williamsburg lodge to the old capital building to watch the reading do the Declaration of Independence. It was inspiring. Thomas jefferson wad a genius and not for a minute did I think aliens wrote one of the most articulate and powerful documents in history. Later we listened to a symphony concert under the stars on the parade ground and fireworks. Happy birthday america. We are exceptional not because we are better than anyone else but because we believe in liberty and live in a republic whet our rights do not come from govt but are self evident.
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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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