Review of "Giants and the Lost Lands of the Gods" by Peter Kolosimo and Nick Redfern, with Timothy Green Beckley
GIANTS AND THE LOST LANDS OF THE GODS
Peter Kolosimo with Nick Redfern | Conspiracy Journal Books | no ISBN | $21.95
For reasons that will become clear, I cannot assign a star rating.
Peter Kolosimo was the pen name of Pier Colosimo, an Italian communist, journalist, and mystery-monger. He attended school at the University of Leipzig in Germany, where he adopted his radical political views. Despite this, the editor of the strange hybrid posthumous partial collaboration Giants and the Lost Lands of the Gods (2017), written with Nick Redfern, expresses utter bafflement as to why Pier Colosimo would choose a German spelling of his own name as a pen name: “no one that I know has been able to surmise why he selected the nom de plume that he did,” writes Timothy Green Beckley, a longtime writer on UFO topics going back to the golden age of ufology. It’s a very small point, but a telling one, that in this book the logical inference is the one to be avoided at all costs. It is equally telling that Beckley acknowledges Kolosimo’s politics but declares them irrelevant to understanding his radical revision of human history, which included heavy reliance on Soviet propaganda and a revision of religious stories and myths to strip out the supernatural and to conform to dialectical materialism. Sure. It’s totally unrelated.
Giants and the Lost Lands of the Gods was self-published last year by Beckley under his Conspiracy Journal brand, but I only recently received a used copy. This is an unusual review because it is the first time I have reviewed a book that has apparently been withdrawn from publication. The book claims to be a corrected version of Kolosimo’s 1973 book Timeless Earth:
What you are holding is a new, updated version of Kolosimo’s “Timeless Earth.” It is exactly as written with minor “corrections” for clarity, thus preserving what is considered to be one of the most remarkable books you will ever read on the development of civilization with the help of “outside, off-world influences.”
In this book, Kolosimo is especially lazy and composes the book mostly from summaries of more famous French books of ancient mysteries by the likes of Robert Charroux, Denis Saurat, and Pierre Honoré. Perhaps he thought his Italian audience wasn’t as familiar with French works? I’m going to go with lazy. I won’t belabor the review by going through the book point for point. As we have seen in past discussions of Kolosimo, he had a habit of relying on propaganda, fabricating stories, and citing Lovecraftian science fiction as fact, and this book lessens those tendencies only by copying from other authors much more fully than in previous books.
He has an entire chapter devoted to “white gods” and the wondrous power of the Caucasian race in ancient history, speculating about whether white people came from another planet to rule over the rest of humanity. To be specific: In chapter 14, Kolosimo begins relying on Pierre Honoré’s In Quest of the White God, and he begins to argue that Native Americans received civilization from white Atlanteans and/or Caucasian space aliens. “Were these men from outer space or astronauts from Atlantis?” Chapter 15 continues the theme and claims that Native Americans worshiped Caucasians as living gods because superior white Europeans and/or Atlanteans had tutored taught them how to live civilized lives. Here he introduces a concept taken from Honoré, who borrowed it form Eugene Beauvois and still others before him, that Quetzalcoatl was an Apostle who converted the Mexicans to Christianity. At the end of the chapter he offers a disturbing suggestion, attributed only to “some” unnamed people, that the Spanish Conquest was the justified vengeance of Jesus for the Aztecs ignoring the commandments laid down by the White God, one of His Apostles.
The modern editor of the text—i.e. Beckley—did not see fit to offer even milquetoast commentary on the disturbing background of colonialism and racism that permeates such claims.
Therefore, I’d like to talk a bit about the way the paranormal enthusiast Beckley, who has made a career out of complaining that the mainstream is insufficiently enthusiastic about ghosties and ghoulies and long-legged beasties, has tried to turn Kolosimo into a pioneer of an imagined new approach to history by basically ignoring his debts to Soviet propaganda and imperialist and colonialist literature. Beckley does so, unsurprisingly, by bringing in Zecharia Sitchin, whom he, in his ignorance, has taken for a serious scholar:
But now, with the advent of ancient languages scholar Zachariah Sitchen (sic) and his pronouncement about the Anunnaki, gigantic figures who came to earth during a prehistoric planetary cycle to plunder our resources, there is an even more widespread interest and belief in giants who many rebellious students of archaeological chronicles say were not as rare upon the earth as one might have been led to believe. Nevertheless, the acceptance of the ancient giants remains almost nonexistent among those with “proper training” and credentials showing a “higher education” on their resume.
Beckely has published dozens of books on UFOs and the paranormal and refers to himself as “Mr. UFO.” He began writing about the subject in the 1960s as a protégé of Ray Palmer, the man who basically midwifed the creation of the UFO myth.
Beckley said that to truly develop Kolosimo’s ideas, he delegated the job to Nick Redfern, who contributes an original opening chapter on giants. Beckley introduces it by declaring academics to be “rigid” and berates “archaeologists who seem smug in their attitude in regard to who has lived on earth.”
In typical Redfern style, his chapter on giants is long on implied claims and short on specifics, raising a number of times the specter of the Anunnaki and ancient astronauts, only to leave the question of their reality with a “Perhaps yes” and a “what may be…”. The reader could be forgiven for thinking he had read a series of facts, while the author has plausible deniability by merely raising questions.
Redfern’s chapter is a mishmash of summaries from old books, UFO literature, and gigantology literature, with no analysis and no overarching theme except to point out that many people across time and space have claimed to have encountered giants of various kinds. The hodgepodge of material has a certain “spaghetti against the wall” quality, and the choice not to investigate any of the claims to demonstrate their reality shows that this was more an attempt to quickly assemble some “fun” stories that have a loose—sometimes very loose—connection to Kolosimo’s book, which Redfern never mentions, except once at the end. I admit to being baffled as to the purpose of this chapter, which is neither an introduction to Kolosimo, an update of him (for many of the claims are actually older than Kolosimo’s original book), nor an analysis or correction of his work. It is almost like the chapter was thrown together from bit parts of unrelated books. Oh, wait: It was. Parts of it can be found verbatim in Redfern’s Immortality of the Gods (2016), The Bigfoot Book (2015), a Mysterious Universe article on “Close Encounters of the Giant Kind” (2012), and almost verbatim in other works like Secret History (2015). At this point I got bored playing the game of spotting the self-plagiarism. It was so blatant that I started to suspect that Redfern did not purposely write this chapter at all, and that the editor had assembled it, perhaps without permission, from spare parts.
I admit to being a bit confused about the publication of this book. The text is the translation of Paul Stevenson published in 1977 by Little, Brown, but Beckley offers no credit to the translator, nor is Little, Brown credited, despite the fact that, being a book published after the 1976 copyright act, it is presumably still under copyright. I find it odd that the translator’s name and introductory note have been omitted from this edition.
I know that Redfern reads this blog and will therefore have many paragraphs of curse words to say about this, and I will be interested to see if the chapter of Giants passing under his name is indeed his work or if the whole production is a misbegotten product of a Beckley’s zeal running ahead of the law. I noticed that while the book is circulating online, and was advertised in Beckley’s Conspiracy Journal under both Kolosimo’s and Redfern’s name, it is not listed in the Conspiracy Journal’s online bookstore and appears to have been scrubbed from Amazon and other online retailers, suggesting that someone objected to it.
Regardless of how this Frankenstein monster of a volume came to be, or how it died, the parts from which its walking corpse were assembled were already rotten before Beckley tried to jolt them to a semblance of life and a misshapen approximation of a professionally published book.
I'm an author and editor who has published on a range of topics, including archaeology, science, and horror fiction. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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