Ancient astronaut theorists never miss a chance to make money. If you have a spare $1200 to $1650 and are free in September 2016, you can join Scotty Roberts, Micah Hanks, and Jason Martell for the second “ancient alien cruise,” which manages to have the unique honor of featuring two non-ancient-astronaut theorists among its three ancient astronaut theory celebrities. (Hanks, David Childress, and Robert Schoch participated in the first ancient alien cruise.) Micah Hanks pretends he’s simply a journalist asking questions, while Scotty Roberts has played down his ancient astronaut connections in anticipation of his potential TV career as a “History Tripper.” So, the next time you see these guys claiming they don’t advocate the ancient astronaut theory, be sure to ask them why they’re taking money to promote it as the featured ancient astronaut theorists on a cruise literally called the Ancient Alien Cruise. (Also: A+E Networks owns the Ancient Aliens name. How is it I’m the only one they’ve accused of sowing “confusion” over their intellectual property?)
And now on to the main event.
On Saturday afternoon Scott Wolter appeared with Cliff Dunning for a 90 minute interview on his Earth Ancients podcast. The interview was recorded last Sunday. In the discussion, Wolter teased his forthcoming History channel program, which he said was similar to America Unearthed, but he did not provide any details. He also said that he is working with disgraced author Charles Pellegrino on a new book. Pellegrino was the subject of scandal back in 2010 when the New York Times discovered that sections of his book Last Train from Hiroshima alleging a government cover up of a nuclear accident were untrue. Pellegrino claimed, against evidence, that his sources had duped him (the record shows he started making the claim before he allegedly met with his deceptive sources), and his publisher ended up pulping the book. Henry Holt, the publisher, originally wanted to correct the book because at the time Pellegrino was a close collaborator of Avatar director James Cameron, whose celebrity had protected Pellegrino, but within weeks, the cascade of further scandal scuttled those plans.
Pellegrino also claimed to hold a Ph.D., but when questioned about it in the wake of the Hiroshima scandal, he changed his story to say that his university had stripped him of the degree for disagreeing with Darwinism. Victoria University of Wellington confirmed that Pellegrino did not earn the degree he was pursuing with them because his dissertation failed to meet academic standards. The people he gave as witnesses to his academic persecution were either dead or had no memory of him. (For the record, Pellegrino currently accuses a cabal of enemies of hijacking his Wikipedia page to highlight his scandals—just like Scott Wolter!)
Even before this, Pellegrino had gone full-fringe, working with Simcha Jacobvici on the so-called “Jesus Family Tomb” (the Talpiot Tomb), producing a book on the subject in 2007. He had also gone in search of Atlantis. His book with Wolter will be his first since the 2010 scandal.
Pellegrino has been dogged by controversy for years. The New York Times, in reviewing one of his books back in 2000, wrote “If Charles Pellegrino weren’t so shamelessly self-promoting, it might be O.K. to let this book drift into oblivion past the icebergs that it ought to hit. But he quotes himself in epigraphs, invents friendships with famous people and claims scientific authority for a work that flouts most principles of scientific scholarship. He shouldn’t get away with it.”
It looks like he’ll fit right in with Scott Wolter, who identified Pellegrino as a “close friend” in a radio interview back in September. Pellegrino approached Wolter and asked him if they could work together. There’s something in it for both of them: Wolter gets an upgrade on his normally clunky prose and a chance at a bigger publisher than the small regional presses he usually works with, while Pelligrino gets to harness Wolter’s TV stardom to help regain the spotlight after his scandal by doubling down on wacky Jesus theories, endearing himself to a loyal and none-too-discerning subset of readers. In other words, if you cannot make it in the mainstream, become king of the fringe, where standards are lower or non-existent when it comes to making things up and failing to fact check.
Wolter also teased the fact that he has discovered the secret of the Hooked X®, but that he won’t tell anyone anything about it except that it has a connection to Jerusalem. He promises that when he publishes his new “discovery,” there will be shocking new revelations. “This isn’t the Da Vinci Code,” he said, referring to the connections between the Hooked X®, the Templars, the Cistercians, and Jesus’ genetics—i.e., The Da Vinci Code.
Aside from this, there wasn’t a lot of new information in the show, and Wolter focused mostly on his personal bugaboo, the Kensington Rune Stone, perhaps the most boring anomalous artifact, given that at face value all it would do is show that the Norse from Vinland wandered a bit further west. Wolter demanded that a “mock trial” be held to prove that the Rune Stone is real because to his mind legal procedure is the only way to examine the claims without bias. Wolter, incidentally, feels that the Rune Stone mentions an outbreak of bubonic plague rather than an attack on the Norse when the stone talks about men being “red with blood and dead.”
Wolter asserted that the Founding Fathers knew about the Knights Templar colonization of America, and that the Smithsonian, whose employees he called “frauds,” is covering up all of the evidence for this by “cleaning out” all of the mounds they excavated. He has started a new line of argument that I find quite strange. He argues that archaeologists have no right to opine on anomalous artifacts because there is no archaeology involved, only geology. This only shows Wolter doesn’t understand what archaeology is, or that it doesn’t just involve buildings and bodies. Wolter further said that archaeologists and anthropologists are not taught the scientific method, and that these are not “hard science” disciplines. Wolter has of course never studied archaeological methodology, and therefore doesn’t understand the theory behind the practice. There are “hard science” aspects (C-14 dating, for example), and there are social science aspects (interpretation of sites, for example). Wolter, though, says that archaeologists are dogmatic and more concerned with their own power and dogma than with supporting their arguments with truth. Clearly he’s never read the archaeological journals; agreement isn’t guaranteed to the credentialed!
Wolter also said that “historians” don’t know the truth about the reason the Templars were suppressed, particularly their efforts to restore “monotheistic dualism,” and therefore historians pretend that money was the real reason for it. He also said that “sources I’ve seen” show that the Templars found maps of the Western hemisphere under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. There are no such records, so this must connect back to the Masonic claim that after erecting the Pillars of Wisdom Enoch buried secret codes on golden plates that Solomon discovered and re-buried under the Temple—an echo of the Watchers myth from 1 Enoch derived from an equation of the two Pillars of Wisdom with the two pillars of the First Temple. Wolter has no idea of these historical connections, and he takes their final form for their original formulation. Indeed, he even claims that more than 90% of Freemasons don’t have any idea what’s going on! Further, he says that historians also don’t know that the Cistercians and Templars “mixed alphabets” all the time, which you’d think would be the sort of thing that should show up in their documents if it were true. Wolter says that he alone has the experience to recognize and decode these mixed-alphabet messages.
Further, Wolter admits that there is no “Knight” on the Westford Knight, but, sadly, he seems to think that it’s been “proven” that the Gunn clan traveled with Henry Sinclair. There’s not a lick of proof Henry Sinclair ever left Europe, let alone with a Gunn. He also admitted that his stone dating techniques are merely relative dating, not absolute dating, which means that many of his conclusions are vastly overstated, even taking them at face value.
Regarding the Newport Tower, Wolter claims that structural engineers say that the tower could not have served as a windmill due to is shape. He then argues that Templar-Masonic symbolism and alignments “prove,” using evidence originally used to “prove” it was a Viking structure, that the tower is Templar. He further argues, based on what he heard an unnamed member of the Wampanoag claim from an alleged oral history a couple of weeks ago, that the Templars (people of “fiery red hair”) built the tower. Since Knights Templar were not known for their red hair, this sounds a lot like a leftover nineteenth century story about the Vikings or Irish building the Tower, a popular belief in those days, turned into traditional folklore (or “fake-lore” as the case may be), like many other nineteenth century fantasies. We’ve seen it before; Clifford Mahooty, for example, recounts ancient astronaut books as though they were traditional Native American lore.
Wolter also claims that he knows about the real changes Akhenaten brought about better than historians. According to Wolter, Egyptians used to worship the setting sun, but Akhenaten wanted them to worship the rising sun, which was the “same deity” but with a “different emphasis.” (This seems to be a mixed up account of the difference between Amun and Aten worship.) Wolter claims that this occurred because the precession of the equinoxes had changed the constellation against which the sun rose on the spring equinox from Taurus to Aries and therefore required a new religion. This supposedly happened despite the fact that the constellations weren’t named for another thousand years, and in Babylon, the culture that invented the zodiac. In Wolter’s dimwitted view, the crook and flail represent Taurus and Aries. This is stupid because the crook (Wolter’s Aries symbol) was a royal symbol from the Pre-Dynastic period, long before the “Age of Aries.” He goes on to claim that Jesus was the Lamb of God because he was born under Aries but became the “Fisher King” because he inaugurated the Age of Pisces (Presumably he is conflating the Arthurian Grail guardian with Jesus’ claim that his apostles will be “fishers of men” in Matthew 4:19.) According to Wolter, no one but him and some fringe people truly understand the vast and overwhelming importance of astrology on history. He says that nobody but him truly understands that the end of the Mayan calendar was the end of the Great Year and the inauguration of a new World Age. Wolter cites Pope Francis as evidence that “change” has come about (even though the current pope is roughly 80% as liberal as John XXIII, and not yet as much a force for change). Astrology, Wolter says, is “based in science, on astronomy” just like the way the moon affects women’s menstrual cycles.
Let’s review that: He believes that the position of the sun against imaginary constellations formed by the random position of distant stars affects human consciousness because of an old wives’ tale that the moon affects menstruation. There is no scientific evidence of any menstrual-lunar connection. In the 1980s a study claimed that 40% of women had a menstrual period within two weeks of the new moon. Since the lunar cycle is four weeks long, that finding is worse than random chance; other studies from earlier in the century proclaimed with equal authority that menstruation occurred at the full moon, or the new moon, or the first quarter moon. In other words, there is no consensus whatsoever.
It sounds like just the kind of claim Charles Pellegrino would consider too good to check.
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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