The annual “Contact in the Desert” meeting of fringe history and UFO fans ended in Joshua Tree last night after three days of zany speeches about conspiracies and aliens. According to Victoria Irwin of Fangirl Nation, who attended the event, the most notable part of the conference was the fact that the vendors who hawked their wares to the mixture of more than 2,000 conspiracy theorists and neo-hippies in attendance were mostly selling New Age holistic healing paraphernalia such as crystals, hippie clothes, organic food, and “natural” cures, all set to the tune of 1970s pop music—probably a conscious nod to the average age and cultural affiliation of fringe believers. Guests could also partake of ’70s favorites like aura photography, and they could see Nick Redfern, dressed like the teenager he was in the 1970s in a black t-shirt and bandana, both emblazoned with skulls. There was, by all accounts, copious amounts of marijuana being smoked, and every observer noted that the vast majority of attendees, as USA Today put it, “were united by their skepticism of common science, doubt of by-the-book history and distrust of the U.S. government.” Just like in the 1970s!
And to cement the feeling of a return to the heady days of the ancient astronaut theory’s 1970s glory, Erich von Däniken was on hand to give a speech about ancient aliens in the mysterious and exotic East, combining two 1970s New Age trends, fringe history and Orientalism. Anyway, according to the Ghost Diaries website, von Däniken’s speech discussed what he claims to be “secret” discoveries that occurred under the Great Pyramid in Egypt. These discoveries allegedly confirm the account of Herodotus that, according to Ghost Diaries, discusses “the existence of a lake underneath the pyramid that contained the remains of the ‘gods’ of Ezerius.”
Presumably this refers to the passage in Histories 2.124 where Herodotus writes of “chambers on the hill upon which the pyramids stand, which he caused to be made as sepulchral chambers for himself in an island, having conducted thither a channel from the Nile.” Note that Herodotus attributes this simply to the Giza plateau, not the pyramid itself. It’s possible that this refers to the Osiris Shaft, interpreted as a cenotaph for Osiris, and located belowground at Giza. I have no idea what the word “Ezerius” is supposed to refer to but sounds enough like Osiris that perhaps the author of our account misunderstood von Däniken’s heavily accented words.
According to the account of von Däniken’s speech in Ghost Diaries, Egyptologists have used radar to discover hidden rooms in the Great Pyramid filled with “red writing” different from the quarry marks found above the King’s Chamber. How radar would reveal “writing”—and its color!—is beyond me. They also allegedly discovered an “actual lake” below the pyramid, which he alleged might be the burial site of an ancient astronaut.
Among other breakthroughs at Contact in the Desert was the revelation by Marshall Klarfeld that the Anunnaki are also the giant Nephilim of the Bible since they are nine feet tall. Daniel Sheehan also claimed that the Catholic Church would announce the existence of aliens shortly. But are they really aliens if they are also Nephilim?
Paul Andrews, the cofounder of Contact in the Desert, told USA Today that at the conference researchers are not allowed to contradict or disagree with one another, and no “snickering” is allowed, no matter how ridiculous the theory—or, presumably, how wrong the evidence. Thus, USA Today talked to ancient astronaut theorists, believers in Atlantis, proponents of a flat earth, and other advocates of ideas that, logically, are difficult to reconcile. The only thing everyone agreed upon was that the United States government was all-powerful and able to bend history to its will, except, of course, for the History Channel and Contact in the Desert, where brave patriots take arms against a sea of lies and somehow have discovered the truth despite the best efforts of the government and interdimensional alien-Nephilim-Bigfoots.
6/1/2015 07:33:19 am
I would guess that the rooms filled with red writing refers to the rooms at the top of the shafts leading from the Queen's Chamber. In 2011 the Djedi Project used a small robot (not radar!) and found hieroglyics written in red inside the rooms.
6/1/2015 07:35:34 am
*** hieroglyphics ***
Hawass is wriong
6/1/2015 08:05:09 am
Mainstream scholars believe in rubbish/ Like for example Hawass believing the fantasy that Napoleon entered the Great Pyramid. Pity he could not manage to produce a historical reference.
Hawass is wrong
6/1/2015 08:15:02 am
The claim that Napoleon entered the Great Pyramid on 12 August 1799 is traced back to Peter Tompkins, who did not provide a reference in his book Secrets of The Great Pyramid, 1972.
6/1/2015 10:42:28 am
The story of Napoleon entering the Great Pyramid is very early. The basics appear in the "Impartial History of the Life of Napoleon Bonaparte" (1808) by Major Hume Robertson (an American then living in France):
6/1/2015 11:00:56 am
... in fact, it was reported in French newspapers in 1798, and swiftly rebutted (according to the "London Packet" of 7 Dec 1798) by "Langles, in the Chronique Universelle".
6/1/2015 12:08:45 pm
Dear "Hawass is wrong,"
Hawass is wrong
6/2/2015 12:20:10 am
Thanks for that early reference. This was at some unknown point later embellished into the legend of Napoleon undergoing a profound experience in the Great Pyramid -- refusing to give any information about it on his deathbed to Count Las Cases, saying "What's the use? You would never believe me"
Hawass is wrong
6/2/2015 12:40:13 am
It's impossible to find again the online account where Hawass was quoted as saying that Napoleon entered the Great Pyramid (as one of the famous who did this).
6/2/2015 04:08:26 am
I will give you Boorstin, Hawass is wrong. That's pretty black-and-white, yes. I would point out that Boorstin's focus was American history, not Egyptian, but he still should have known better.
Hawass is wrong
6/2/2015 05:42:35 am
Guess what V, I lied about Hawass. Now that makes you feel better.
6/1/2015 12:25:55 pm
Of course, he would. He knows he has homefield advantage at this event, so he can make any claim he wishes, knowing he won't be held accountable for flip-flopping on the subject.
6/1/2015 08:25:57 pm
There seems to be a Don Schmitt episode of FTB on tonight (2 June):
6/3/2015 04:57:27 pm
I just listened to Jimmy Church's Fade to Black with Don Schmidt and Tom Carey. Don Schmidt said that he couldn't generate any interest in the US for a show about the slides. Jaime Mausson said he could do it in Mexico. DS said he was paid a speaker's fee plus travel money. DS claimed that there were several Mexican scientists who appeared at the show and said that the slides were not of human mummies. There was quite a bit of discussion over the placards that appeared in the slides. DS claimed he had a number of experts try to deblurr the placards without success. Someone in the skeptical camp was able to recover the writing on the placards.
6/2/2015 09:57:35 pm
The Roswell slides. Its supposed to show a body of an alien from the Roswell incident right? How can any one buy that? The infamous wreckage photo shows a smashed up radar target. So where did all this alien body bs come from?
6/3/2015 04:59:38 pm
Don Schmidt says that the skeptical camp started the name "Roswell slides" not the UFO folks.
6/2/2015 10:41:00 am
"The Most Astonishing Dreamland I have Ever Done"--Whitley Strieber
6/2/2015 11:21:59 am
In that case we cannot discount the possibility that Linda Moulton Howe is herself a disinformation agent brainwashed into spreading lies. After all, she can't prove she isn't!
6/2/2015 11:49:58 am
I asked the Magic 8-ball if she was a disinformation agent, and it said:
6/2/2015 04:37:45 pm
Even if she proved she is that could only mean she isn't and was hypnotized into saying so by the Greys.
6/2/2015 11:30:27 am
Hey now, I have several Museum of the Weird t-shirts, including I think that one.
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