Last week I discussed my discovery of the 1902 French journal article by Eugène Beauvois that introduced to the world the claim that the Knights Templar colonized North America. You will undoubtedly recall that this story was based on linguistic word play, identifying the Nahuatl term Tecpantlacs (“Residents of the Palace-Temple”) with the Knights Templar. To this, the author added more than a little racism, with just a soupçon of French nationalism thrown in for good measure. In researching the story, I found that very few Templar conspiracy fringe writers seemed aware of where their own ideas came from. Frederick J. Pohl, for example, the man who invented the myth that Henry Sinclair was a Micmac god, knew of Beauvois but did not know of this article, citing a different article in his 1974 book on Sinclair. The exception seems to be Steven Sora, who discussed Beauvois’s claims approvingly in a 2009 article for Atlantis Rising magazine (reprinted this year in the Atlantis Rising collection Missing Connections), though he does not use Beauvois’s name:
The native Mexica peoples share the legends of Quetzalcoatl and of his arrival by ship with his white soldiers. According to the Vatican codex, one of the few documents preserved from the massive destruction of Mexican writings, the natives called the newcomers Tecpantlaques, which can be interpreted to mean, “Men of the Temple.”
This claim could only have come from Beauvois, but the author’s misspelling of Bauvois’s Tecpantlacs (a French rendering of a Nahuatl word) indicates that he did not use him as a primary source. I was curious as to when Sora learned of Beauvois. For that answer, I turned to Sora’s first book, The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar (1999), which he described at the time as the culmination of seventeen years’ worth of research into ancient mysteries.
Would it surprise you to discover that Beauvois is nowhere in the book? This is especially bizarre since Sora also adopts Beauvois’s most famous claim, the ancient Celts colonized the Americas and founded Mexican civilization.
It’s a bit strange that Sora doesn’t seem to have the sources that he discusses, but that is hardly a surprise. In the book Sora cites medieval texts to secondary sources, usually other fringe books, to the extent that he seems never to have read any of the primary sources that supposedly make his case for the Templars’ voyage to America.
Beauvois and the Mexican Templars also make no appearance in his later books from the early 2000s, suggesting that the claims about them are the result of later research.
So where did he get the information from?
Since he doesn’t know Beauvois’s name, we can eliminate Beauvois as a direct source. The misspelling suggests that he used either an earlier English-language source with the same error, or a source derived from a Spanish discussion of Beauvois, which used the Spanish-inflected spelling Tecpantlaques in place of the Gallicized Tecpantlacs. In his book, Sora betrays no knowledge of other languages—despite writing several chapters on French and/or Latin material that he, apparently, cannot read. This means that his source must not be a direct one. In the same section of the article, he mistakenly ascribes the origin of the Templar-Mexico claim to the novelist Jean de la Varende, which helps us to narrow down the source. That piece of wrong information originated, as best I can tell, in Pierre de Sermoise’s 1973 book Joan of Arc and Her Secret Missions.
But we needn’t speculate fruitlessly. Sora tells us in an offhand way where he got the information when he makes parenthetical reference to Alejandro Vignati’s and Tabita Peralta’s 1975 book El Enigma de los Templarios. Although I do not have access to this text, written by an Argentine journalist specializing in UFOs and ancient mysteries, I know from secondary sources that it does indeed discuss the claim that the Templars arrived in Mexico. It also meets our other criteria: Being published in Spanish, it accounts for the Hispanicized suffix on the Gallicized Tecpantlacs. This would also explain why there is a nearly verbatim parallel text in Paul Falardeau’s Societes Secretes en Nouvelle France (2002), a French-language book that cites Beauvois explicitly but otherwise contains an inexplicable use of the Spanish spelling of the Tecpantlacs’ name. (I have only read an English translation of excerpts appearing in Karen Ralls’s 2012 book The Templars and the Grail.) The logical conclusion, though one I cannot confirm without seeing Enigma, is that Vignati discussed Beauvois. The other option is that there is a later source drawing on both Vignati and Beauvois, but I was unable to find any evidence of one.
The bottom line is that regardless of whether Sora got his information directly or indirectly from Vignati, the copy-paste mentality of fringe history means that if an original source, like Beauvois, is mistaken, all of his copyists and copyists’ copyists will be, by definition, wrong decade after decade, even though they will never know the original reason for their own errors. I am not sure that to this day Sora has any idea who Beauvois was or why Beauvois made the claims that Sora accepts without proof.
8/17/2016 08:25:31 am
>>>1902 French journal article<<<
8/17/2016 09:19:20 am
The same thing can be said about the discovery of America by the Welsh, the Irish, the Chinese, etc - books have been written about that.
8/17/2016 09:47:36 am
Purposeful, unacknowledged borrowing (stealing) of faulty sources is seen here as the possible culprit, rather than total ignorance. This reminds me of another person's many "discoveries" of ideas that were written about earlier, but presented as fresh (but faulty) insights....
Maybe Another Kook
8/17/2016 12:29:43 pm
The cat is out of the bag, a 'new' ancient Maya codex that escaped deLanda's purge - the Vatican Codex...
8/17/2016 01:25:12 pm
It is clear the Spanish were taking slaves from Central America soon after Columbus came. The fact that the Spanish and every other Royal entity of this age had intelligence service capabilities is always overlooked by the 'fringe' crowd. It may be that Monctezuma was able to predict the date of Cortes' arrival because it all was a set up of sort. Later promoting the existence of "Templars" in the Americas also became part of this intelligence ploy. It is possible some party of Europeans came to the Americas long ago. What remains to be seen is the influence they had on Native Peoples if any. The similarities in the myths of Quetzalcoatl and Virchocha may also be products of a European imagination and not the native.
8/17/2016 01:39:12 pm
Maybe I'm expecting too much, but if someone is going to write about an idea, like Templars in Mexico, wouldn't simple curiosity about *where* and *when* the idea originated motivate that person to find the earliest reference/source? If repeating the same claims and citing the same secondary sources doesn't answer those questions, what is the point? Nothing's really been added or explained.
8/17/2016 01:52:26 pm
What makes you think that the pseudo historians don't know about this forgotten fossil
8/17/2016 02:00:56 pm
1) From the post above:
8/17/2016 02:44:57 pm
Could it be that the Templars exterminated the remaining Hebrews in the Americas?
8/17/2016 02:58:05 pm
“Alejandre Vignati y Peralta’s 1975 book El Enigma de los Templarios. Although I do not have access to this text, written by a Spanish journalist specializing in UFOs and ancient mysteries...”
8/17/2016 04:51:40 pm
I believe that Alejandro Vignati y Peralta was the (Argentinian) author's name - see e.g. <a href="https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=UjK3S5JoY24C&pg=PT1150&lpg=PT1150&dq=Alejandro+Vignati+y+Peralta&source=bl&ots=fD6RUe0MSR&sig=PaiJFZZk4R5jnSXdJ3nGuqQAfOE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjfocanpcnOAhWkK8AKHR4cBmAQ6AEIYDAJ#v=onepage&q=Alejandro%20Vignati%20y%20Peralta&f=false">here</a>. (In Spain, it's frequently the custom for a full name to consist of the father's surname followed by the mother's surname. Vignati looks Italian to me, whilst Peralta is probably Spanish. There's a significant population of Italians in Argentina, so it looks as if the Spanish custom has been adopted in this case, but incorporating an Italian name).
8/17/2016 05:10:22 pm
That was my reading, too, but it's confusing since the various book covers list "Vignati Peralta" with no "y" or "Vignati/Peralta" with a slash! I wish I had a copy of the book to check the title page.
8/17/2016 05:52:19 pm
The National Library of Spain has the authors as Vignati, Alejandro and Peralta, Tabita (also credited in the same year, 1975, as co-author of "Dificultades sexuales")
8/17/2016 06:03:34 pm
I haven't found a title page yet, but the covers of all editions have the author(s) as: Vignati / Peralta [always with a / ]
8/17/2016 07:25:53 pm
Thanks, David. Did the Spanish publisher really think either of them was famous enough that they could go by one name each? It shouldn't be this confusing!
8/18/2016 03:16:48 am
Title page images are available for one or two editions, and even reverse-title pages with publication details. Remarkably, even those just have Vignati / Peralta.
8/18/2016 04:22:47 am
Perhaps this crackpot theory is a dying echo of the Solutrean idea.
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