Nick Redfern: U.S. Government Could Be Working with Ancient Astronaut Theorists on Immortality Elixir
Nick Redfern’s prose is clunky, and he has an infuriating habit of writing articles in a disorganized and roundabout style that serves only to obscure what ought to be clear. Sometimes I think he is simply a bad writer, but more often I think that it is an intentional affectation designed to allow him to hide the thinness of his research and the threadbare nature of the stories he retells. Reading his recent article on an alleged U.S. government immortality research program derived from Mesopotamian technology left an impression that there was more to the story than the facts allow, and I think that was Redfern’s goal.
Redfern begins by telling his readers that he often receives information from tipsters whose stories can’t be verified. Since Redfern has run out of alien claims that pass even his low threshold for verifiability, he wants to share a story he admits is nothing but hearsay. He does not, however, identify the person or persons who shared with him the claim that the U.S. government brought top scientists to Utah to work on ancient astronaut immortality technology. In fact, he goes out of his way to use the passive voice to avoid even hinting at the origin of the story, saying only “it was told to me” in 2012. Without that key piece of information, the only real interest the story holds is how it reflects the prevailing currents of fringe history. And you know what that means: The Nephilim!
According to Redfern, his anonymous informant told him that the story begins with the invasion of Iraq in 2003, but Redfern declines to provide the kind of details that would be necessary to evaluate the claim. After the discovery of unnamed ancient “things” in Baghdad (what, when, and where are unspecified), the U.S. government called together scientists, theologians, historians, and archaeologists in Utah and forced them to sign nondisclosure agreements. Their absence from society apparently went unnoticed, and Redfern never bothered to look to see if there was a period between 2003 and 2010 when so many prominent people went missing for weeks or months at a time. The team of experts allegedly looked into monatomic white powder gold, the fictional substance alleged by ancient astronaut theorists to be the food of the Anunnaki space aliens.
Back in 2013, I explained the ridiculous origins of this fringe history staple:
The claim […] probably derives from alchemy’s alleged aurum potabile, or drinkable gold, promoted by Paracelsus in Treasure of Treasures and other works in the sixteenth century. He claimed to have invented aurum potabile and he believed it to be the elixir of life, a cure for disease, and a path to immortality. The occultist Manly P. Hall adopted aurum potabile into his system via a secondhand summary of alchemy from a Victorian textbook, and from there it entered occult circles, where it sits today.
There is no monoatomic white gold powder and never has been, but its identification in fringe circles with Hermes Trismegistus and the philosopher’s stone allows certain fringe types to fold it in not just to Sitchin’s gold-mining Anunnaki from Nibiru but also to Enoch and the tablets of wisdom, since Enoch and Hermes are often identified with one another in medieval lore. The most extreme version of the white powder myth alleges that Enoch transmitted the gold-making method down his lineage to Solomon, who kept it in the Temple. The Essenes took it to Qumran after the destruction of the Second Temple, eventually using the secret of the gold to counterfeit Jesus into a god by giving him Anunnaki superpowers.
Redfern alleges that his unnamed source told him that the monoatomic gold project utilized the talents of biologists and biblical scholars, who worked together to apply ancient texts to modern science in the hope of duplicating pre-Flood biblical lifespans. “And learned souls in the fields of none other than ‘ancient astronauts,’ and the Bible’s legendary ‘men of renown,’ crossed paths with demonologists.” This is for me the silliest line, if only because it posits that the same people who assert the existence of government conspiracies to suppress the truth are also participating in government conspiracies, adding another layer of conspiracy—and doing so with other conspiracy theorists who believe in different conspiracies! Could you imagine Giorgio Tsoukalos holed up in a secret bunker trying to decode ancient texts for the U.S. government while L. A. Marzulli rants about Nephilim and a demonologist tries to summon the Old Ones?
It’s rather a cornucopia of fringe history claims, though: demons, ancient astronauts, the Nephilim… all names for the same beings, seen through three different lenses. Once again we see the centrality of Genesis 6:1-4 (and its amplification in 1 Enoch) to the fringe history worldview, be it ancient astronaut, alchemical, creationist, etc.
Redfern claims that because his unnamed source asserted that the program failed, it is therefore likely to have actually existed. “Rather ironically, the fact that I was told the project was a 100 percent failure added credibility to the story – for me, at least, it did.” Redfern implies that he “hit a brick wall” in investigating the story, but he declines to share with readers any actual research he did into the allegations, or any information he tried to solicit from his source to help verify the claims. As I mentioned, knowing the identity of some of the “experts” working on the project would, for example, let us cross-reference their public schedules with the times that they allegedly were in Utah translating ancient texts. Redfern declined to take this elementary step, or at least to share with us any attempts that he made to find out the identity of the experts. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would it was because he did not actually do any research.
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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