Before we get into today’s topic, I wanted to share the official press release announcing the release of Cthulhu in World Mythology. According to the press release, in addition to the eBook now available, a PDF version will be on sale next week, with the print version set to go on sale later in March. I’m really looking forward to seeing it put together as a print book.
Now on to today’s television news.
This morning a British TV producer working for an American cable channel (not one of the A+E Networks’ channels) contacted me to ask if I would be willing to talk with him about the Smithsonian’s conspiracy to cover up the existence of Bible relics and giants in America in preparation for an upcoming episode of a series about world mysteries. This is how terrible ideas spread like a cancer: producers for the cable channel (which, as per my policy, I won’t name until after I’ve spoken with them) saw the Smithsonian conspiracy idea on fringe websites and fringe programs like America Unearthed and decided to reproduce the same idea on their own world mysteries TV series. This repetition, in turn, creates the propagandistic effect that there is something to the claim as seemingly independent sources appear to confirm the idea.
I’ll know more about it after I’ve spoken with the producer, but I promise you this: I will do everything I can to nip this in the bud. As I discussed some time ago, the Smithsonian conspiracy claim emerged only in 1993, from the pen of David Hatcher Childress, based primarily on a few pieces of flawed “evidence”:
I plan to explain to the producer how Childress created the Smithsonian conspiracy idea from flawed data points, and if they choose to go ahead with claiming one exists anyway (Without evidence of any giants of relics), I will happily tell you who these people are who are intentionally telling lies for cash.
This brings me to another depressing television topic. I received (secondhand) a press release from the H2 network promoting this Saturday’s launch of their new ancient history conspiracy series The Universe: Ancient Mysteries Solved, a “miniseries” spinoff of the popular Universe science series that proposes to travel the world to explain how ancient peoples from one end of the earth to the other used the imaginary “megalithic yard” to plan their cities and their monuments. Here’s the official description:
How were ancient builders, including those at Stonehenge, able to create structures around the world with one consistent unit of measurement – the “megalithic yard” – despite being oceans apart? This miniseries uses experts and CGI to reveal the answer and demonstrate how our past is connected to the history of the universe.
I quit. I can’t take it. Unless the series concludes that this megalithic yard is a fraud, it can’t help but serve to promote paranormal and fringe ideas given how closely tied the “megalithic yard” is to outrageous hypotheses built on little to no evidence.
I need not remind regular readers that the megalithic yard is an imaginary unit of measurement invented by Alexander Thom, a British engineer, along with his son Archie, to explain what he believed (wrongly) to be a standardized unit of measurement at Neolithic sites in Britain. When archaeologists attempted to confirm Thom’s findings with more careful measurement of ancient sites, they were unable to find Thom’s allegedly consistent unit of 82.96656 cm at work amidst the irregular stones, many of which had shifted or been moved out of position over the centuries. The real reason behind the supposed existence of the measurement, of course, is because 83 cm is roughly the length of three human feet (average of 26.3 cm with a standard deviation of 1.2 cm, yielding a “yard” of 79 cm). Any system of measurement derived from the human body will yield similar results.
However, Christopher Knight and Alan Butler refused to accept the findings of archaeology and have instead created an elaborate, global, and immortal conspiracy stretching from the Neolithic stone monuments to the corridors of power in modern Washington, D.C. through which the megalithic yard became the standard unit of measurement for an eternal goddess-worshiping cult of Freemasons (who also built the moon by time traveling to the distant past).
I don’t really want to add another show to my review list, and I can’t imagine how I could spend every episode repeating the fact that there is no archaeological evidence that a megalithic yard actually exists—or that it’s even possible to measure the position of an irregularly-shaped standing stone to the ten-thousandth of a millimeter.
Is the whole H2 network devoted to nothing but conspiracy theories about ancient history from the same small group of fringe thinkers—Erich von Däniken, Zecharia Sitchin, Alan Butler, David Childress, and those who blindly repeat their ideas?
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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