Hanks Fumbles Grand Canyon Hoax; Plus: Hancock Claims Cacti Are the Physical Form of Cosmic Intelligence
For those of you who are interested and keeping score at home, last Friday Ancient Aliens brought in 1.14 million viewers, down several hundred thousand from its previous outing. Its lead-out, Time Beings: Extreme Time Travel Conspiracies, clocked in with an even 1 million viewers. According to ratings data, the loss of viewers came almost entirely from younger viewers under the age of 49, especially among female viewers, the largest segment to tune out.
Also apparently tuning out is Graham Hancock, who gave a presentation at the annual Contact in the Desert ancient astronaut and UFO gathering in early June and wrote about it this week on his blog. Hancock said that he felt the need to try to reason with attendees who waited in rapturous hope for the arrival of the “Space Brothers” who will save us all, a remnant of 1950s Theosophy-influenced ufology. Hancock, of course, did not take issue with the idea that cosmic saviors would help us to achieve New Age enlightenment; no, he only wanted to make the point that one needs a lot of drugs in order to see them:
At this point I felt it appropriate to speak out for another position I have long advocated – namely that certain plants, trees, cacti and fungi are the antennae on the Earth plane of vast cosmic intelligences that are presently intervening actively and positively in the world through their profound impact on human consciousness.
Hancock claims that psychoactive plants, whom he calls our “plant allies,” are actually the physical manifestation of “vast celestial intelligences,” and he uses Marxist language to describe the act of denying that “plants, fungi, catci, and trees” are manifestations of interdimensional godlike beings, calling that denial “false consciousness.”
For someone who casts himself in opposition to the ancient astronaut theory, he sure hasn’t been watching much Ancient Aliens, a show on which he has frequently appeared. In recent episodes such as last Friday’s “The Visionaries,” Ancient Aliens has made much the same claim, specifically that when it comes to geniuses, cosmic intelligences “spoke to the sensitive among them by moulding their dreams; for only thus could Their language reach the fleshly minds of mammals.” No, wait, that’s “The Call of Cthulhu.” Anyway, it was something like that.
Hancock then announced his newest guru-like policy proposal. He said that he wants to make it a requirement that any public official seeking office must first submit to twelve drug sessions with hallucinogenic plants in order to communicate with space aliens and/or gods.
Yes, that is what politics needs: More idiots who think they’re getting marching orders directly from God.
Meanwhile, Micah Hanks continues to expose his own ignorance for all the world to see. In an article published on Mysterious Universe today, he tries and fails to discuss the infamous 1909 Arizona Gazette hoax article about underground caverns filled with the bodies of Aryan-Egyptian Buddhists. Hanks has never read the primary source, and he admits to cribbing his understanding from this webpage. In so doing, he mistakes later conspiracy theories from Robert Morning Sky and John Rhodes as part of the original hoax, quoting the following as though it were published in 1909:
John Rhodes after 3 years of field research reportedly discovered the Grand Canyon city, which is now being used as a museum for elitist groups and has lower levels that are being used by "super secret black book operatives", which can only be entered via a stainless steel door at the bottom of a stairwell deep within the "city" that is "guarded by a very lonely soldier staring into the darkness... dressed in a white jumpsuit and armed only with an M16 assault rifle to ward off his imagination."
Indeed, after quoting the above words he did not bother to even Google John Rhodes’s name to learn that Rhodes is a hollow earth theorist and “the world’s foremost authority on Reptilian-Humanoids” who has been posting crap about the Grand Canyon to the internet since the 1990s. Nope, Hanks instead self-aggrandizes his ignorance by feigning neutral skepticism:
The story above is indeed tantalizing, though it should be noted that it contains some conflicting information; namely, the fact that the excerpt discusses a “lonely soldier” armed with an M16 which, despite the story’s attribution to the year 1909, didn’t come into use until after World War II (it is unclear, based on the source, whether the anecdote about the lonely guard was added later).
It is not unclear to anyone who has the power of Google. Indeed, both John Rhodes and I offer the full text of the 1909 article on our websites. This is not rocket science. It is not even high school level research. It is literally taking 30 seconds to check your work before publishing bullshit.
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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