I'm reviewing chapters from Frank Joseph’s new alternative history anthology, Lost Worlds of Ancient America (New Page Books, 2012). This is my review of Chapters 36 through 40. That means I'm just 5 chapters from being done with this horrible book!
With Part IV, we transition to supposedly convincing evidence of “Foreigners in Prehistoric America,” which of course raises the question of what the previous three sections were supposed to be. The distinction seems somewhat arbitrary to me. If I were editing this… well, I wouldn’t have allowed in anything that lacked facts and evidence. But that’s not the point. If I were designing the book, I’d probably have arranged the material geographically to at least give the illusion that there was a wide-ranging survey of the ancient Americas going on here.
The preface to Chapter 36 states that “The false paradigms of Establishment archaeology are based on the unswerving conviction that what is official is incontestable.” I suppose that’s why archaeologists eagerly went to Monte Verde to study the evidence for pre-Clovis Americans, or why there is an active debate over Dennis Stanford’s suggestion that Clovis technology came from Europe. BECAUSE THEY HATE CHANGE.
Patrick C. Chouinard fails to understand the distinction between Caucasoid and Caucasian and assumes they are the same thing. He repeats the false myths of “white” savior gods in Mexico (these were Spanish inventions) and seriously entertains the possibility of an Aryan super-race on the sunken continent of Mu—a continent that geologically speaking can’t have existed. Chouinard incorrectly identifies the Chachapoya as Caucasian, which they were not. They did have a lighter color skin than other Andean peoples, but this was due to mutation and the founder effect, not to Caucasian genes. “Amerindian males cannot grow facial hair,” Chouinard claims, again falsely. Many Native Americans can and do grow facial hair. Here’s one:
He also thinks the Easter Island statues are Caucasian because they just look white to him. Since they are so heavily stylized, I don’t think one can draw racial conclusions. Otherwise, we’d say they were all monuments to H. P. Lovecraft.
* * *
David Allen Deal’s Chapter 37 reports the entirely uncontroversial notion that the Anasazi of Chaco Canyon traded with Central America. This material was well-reported a few years ago in both the archaeological literature and the popular press, disproving Frank Joseph’s claim a chapter back that “Establishment archaeology” refuses to recognize new evidence.
* * *
In Chapter 38, William Conner, a self-described “autodidactic expert” in Kentucky’s “holocaust” of prehistoric times—when, yes, the lost white race was killed off by all those evil red people, uses a novel as evidence because, he said, the novelist’s fans know the novelist did the research Conner was unwilling to do. I am not going to waste my time analyzing an article based entirely on a fictional passage from the 1967 novel The Frontiersmen by Allen W. Eckert.
* * *
In Chapter 39, Patrick C. Chouinard is back, this time telling us that a carving of a handprint is evidence that ancient people were giants because the carving is larger than the author’s own hand. And Michelangelo’s David is taller than real life, so naturally Renaissance artists were all 15 feet tall. This is just stupid. He then relies on David Hatcher Childress, an unreliable source, to “prove” that giants once roamed America. He claims their skeletons were found based on early travelers’ reports, but nary a bone remains of any prehistoric person of superhuman height. In the second half of the chapter, Chouinard gives a rundown of every time the word “giant” appears in mythology, suggesting that this makes them real. If that were true, then flying gods and talking animals must be real, too. Chouinard suggests that some of these accounts could be “exaggerated”—so why should we trust any of them in the absence of even a single “giant” skeleton? But let’s assume they really existed. How do we get from there to the claim that the giants are “red haired” and “white [skinned]”? All we have to go by are the myths that Chouinard himself admits may be exaggerated. The sources for these myths, naturally, are Spanish and colonial era racists and Mormon extremists, who developed the “Mound Builder myth” to explain away Native American accomplishments to justify appropriating Native lands in the 1700s and 1800s. This is not exactly unbiased research.
* * *
Mormon hyper-diffusionist Wayne May gives us Chapter 40, reporting the alleged connection between Native Americans and Europeans via haplogroup X, a DNA marker. This was long-debunked, and there is—as everyone well knows, I hope—no genetic evidence of European origins for Native American populations. I addressed this issue in Skeptic magazine back in 2006:
But if there is one thing I’ve learned, people with religious agendas won’t listen to any facts that can’t be squeezed between the lines of their holy writ. If Joseph Smith said evil red people killed off all the white people of early America, then by hook or crook Wayne May will find white people in ancient America, even if they were never there.
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.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter, The Skeptical Xenoarchaeologist, for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities, and subscribe to Culture & Curiosities, my Substack newsletter.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.