Today I have a few short but silly things to share.
Georgia’s Psychic Scholars
First, I’m sure you’ll remember that last week I wrote about the efforts of Georgian scholars to rewrite the Argonaut myth to support claims about the Georgian origins of Greek culture and Greek myth. Well, did you know that Georgian scholars are also psychics? If you look at this recently published document by Tiblisi University linguist Nana Shengalaia on Tiblisi University professor and “famous Georgian scientist” Gia Kvashilava’s alleged decipherment of Linear A as an early form of the Georgian language, you’ll find something interesting. (Actually, I’m not sure who really wrote the piece since it isn’t particularly clear.)
Take a look at what Shengalaia says about “scientific” support for Kvashilava’s claims:
Decipherings [of] these inscriptions by Dr. Gia Kvashilava were internationally approved and commented in the scientific circles: […] 9. Jason and the Argonauts: The Epic History of a Greek Myth by Jason Colavito. New York, 2012. (emphasis in original)
In Georgia (which, to clarify, is the country, not the U.S. state), scholars are so insightful that they can actually read books before they are written or published.
I can’t imagine what gave them the idea that I supported Kvashilava’s claims. Kvashilava had in fact contacted me several times over the past few years to send me updates on his research, and I consistently told him that I was not convinced by his claims but that I did not have the linguistic training to offer any substantive critique. I did, though, briefly quote Kvahilava on my Jason and the Argonauts website, but it was an entirely neutral quotation related to a claim made by still other Georgian researchers, who argued that the Argonauts traveled to Colchis to study the art of illuminating vellum manuscripts.
This did, however, lead me to include a brief line in my book specifically stating that Kvashilava’s claims find no support outside of Georgia.
The Sinclair-Shakespeare Conspiracy
Second, did you know that Shakespeare was in on the Henry Sinclair conspiracy? It’s not exactly true but a Norwegian thinks it is and got the History Channel to fund a documentary about it. Petter Admunsen claims that he has discovered a secret code in the First Folio of Shakespeare’s works that proves that Shakespeare was not the author of the plays that carry his name. Instead, the plays form an elaborate treasure map that leads to Oak Island in Nova Scotia, home to the famous Money Pit, where various conspiracy theorists have assumed Freemasons, Templars, or Sinclairs have buried fabulous treasures up to and including the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail. Admunsen says that “Shakespeare” was a pen name for a shadowy brotherhood of conspirators linked to the Rosicrucians and, of course, Freemasons… long before there were actually Freemasons. He suspects Francis Bacon of being in on the plot.
Admunsen doesn’t look for the code in anything so pedestrian as the words or ideas in Shakespeare; pshaw! No, he draws pictures between the position of the same capital letters on facsimile pages of the First Folio to reveal occult shapes and hunt for special words “revealed” by the shapes. I suppose that makes the typesetter part of the conspiracy; imagine writing in longhand all of Shakespeare’s plays for the purpose of imagining how the typesetter would format them on a printed page decades later so you could plan out where to put your capital letters. Perhaps telling, Admunsen’s co-author writes that he (the co-author) became interested in the code because he complained of being “sick” of Shakespeare, tired of hearing he was “great,” and hoping for “fresher” theater. The Norwegian felt it was a “failure of imagination” for a theater to stage Hamlet yet again. Admunsen himself mentioned that he had no interest in Shakespeare outside of searching for shapes and hidden words in the text.
I’ll leave it to my readers to see whether you find shapes drawn on the pages convincing. I don’t.
A Bizarre New Attack
Just when I thought I’d been called every name in the book, I got a new one today in my email. An upset and seemingly paranoid reader complained that I am “not good at disinformation” and accused me of being a “worthless government hack” for hiding the truth about aliens at Puma Punku. If I were working for the government, I’d surely have more job security and a steady paycheck. Plus: Why would anyone send such a message to an alleged government agent if they were truly worried about creeping government intrusion into their private communications? In the conspiracy theorist’s mind, all unwelcome messages are orchestrated by a single massive conspiracy.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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