Wednesday Round-Up: Atlantis Found (Again), "Oak Island" Says Mi'kmaq Worshiped White Man as a God, and AltRight.com Teams Up with Red Ice Media
Yesterday, the publicists for the National Geographic Channel offered me the chance to interview Simcha Jacobovici and Richard Freund about their new documentary, Atlantis Rising, which will air on NatGeo on January 29. The two will be doing a series of interviews to promote the show, which will allege that a set of six Bronze Age stone anchors found on the Atlantic side of the Strait of Gibraltar is evidence of a wealthy maritime civilization that inspired Plato’s Atlantis. The documentary was produced with the help of James Cameron, who declined to make himself available for interviews. Jacobovici is the TV producer who famously alleged that Jesus did not die on the cross but was buried with his wife Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem’s Talpiot Tomb. Freund is the biblical archaeologist who previously “discovered” Atlantis in Spain in a 2011 NatGeo documentary widely criticized by archaeologists for false claims and for appropriating without proper credit discoveries others made.
The publicists said they would send me a screener this week, and I am dying to find out how Freund had allegedly discovered Atlantis again this time. I will be even more interested in how Freund reconciles this new discovery with his previous claim that the Greek Atlantis was actually the Biblical city of Tarshish, which he placed on the Mediterranean side of Spain.
Meanwhile, The Curse of Oak Island delivered another in its endless series of boring episodes about drilling pointless holes, but in so doing it stopped to share false claims about Henry Sinclair, the first Earl of Orkney. They are the same false claims that have been repeated over and over again, but it is worth listing the fake facts that are repeated so often that many mistake them for history:
Based on these fake facts, the Lagina Brothers have become convinced that Glooscap was Henry I Sinclair. Consequently, when Terry J. Deveau, the head of the New England Antiquities Research Association—a fringe history organization—announces that a rock that somewhat resembles a face is in fact a carving of the god Glooscap because of its supposedly distinctive and pure Mi’kmaq features (as opposed to, say, every other Mi’kmaq in the world that it could be, if it were a face), the show concludes that the carving is a representation of Sinclair, who, of course, was not a Mi’kmaq but a Scottish man who served the Norwegian crown. Deveau is described on the show as a historian, but his education is in acoustics and astronomy.
Finally, I want to say a few words about the launch of “alt-right” fringe history advocate and philosopher Jason Reza Jorjani’s new website, altright.com, produced in partnership with white nationalist leader Richard Spencer. The site launched on Martin Luther King Day, as promised, with white nationalist content drawn from Spencer’s publications and Jorjani’s publishing house, Arktos Media. But what I want to point out is that Jorjani and Spencer also drawing on a key purveyor of fringe history, Red Ice Media, an outlet that has welcomed both white nationalists and fringe historians. Now an a partner in altright.com, Red Ice Radio has played host in the past to the likes of Robert Bauval, Yuri Geller, Scott Wolter, David Icke, Richard Dolan, and Scotty Roberts, alongside programs devoted to “white genocide,” miscegenation, anti-Semitism, and the “genius” of Adolf Hitler. Its current program, listed on the altright.com homepage, is about the “war on whites.” It is a white ethno-nationalist media company that draws on fringe history and alternative archaeology in order to delegitimize mainstream history. The most obvious reason for doing so is to open space for white nationalist reimagining of history to take the place of hard-won fact-based conclusions.
Most major fringe historians seem to have gotten the message that Red Ice is a racist organization, and they have stayed clear for the past year or so. But Red Ice continues to promote fringe history, devoting a recent episode, for example, to conspiracies about the Knights Templar and the Assassin’s Creed video game series.
Yes, those Knights Templar, who are somehow part of both The Curse of Oak Island, where they had the brown-skinned people of Nova Scotia worshiping them as living gods, and white nationalism, where their esoteric wisdom has made them carriers of the magical spice that makes Western Civilization unique. I trust that I need not point how such conceptions are more or less two sides of the same coin.
1/18/2017 11:12:04 am
The Curse of Oak Island basically leads the cable ratings for its night, even against reruns of Big Bang and Family Guy, and is in the top ten for weekly cable ratings as well. So despite its constant and reliable mendacity, it ain't going anywhere; in spite of the seemingly noble intentions of its lead cast. At this point, said cast are co-conspirators in the poisoning of the well of knowledge and their credibility highly suspect. They have to know the lies behind this myth, as well as the geology of the island which dictates the futility of their continued digging.
1/18/2017 10:21:47 pm
I really enjoy the show. Unlike many others, they are willing to document their failures and repeatedly state that their true goal is to find an answer, even if that means nothing is there. Only one of the brothers talks about a possible Sinclair or templar connection, but again is sceptical as he knows there is no actual evidence. Although I hate the narrated script, repetitive nature and "cliff hangers" I like it for what it is, mostly just a documentary about what they are doing.
1/19/2017 12:08:40 pm
The Lagina Brothers, along with Prometheus Entertainment, are perpetrating a fraud based upon a known hoax in presenting lie after lie each week when this television show airs. Do you even know what they are doing on that island? How much of the filmed content is current, or even authentic? The notion of treasure on Oak Island has no basis in fact, history or science.
1/19/2017 10:58:37 pm
Sadly Joe you are missing my point as to why **I** am interested in the show. I don't care if there was, is or ever will be anything to find. I am interested in the process, devices and techniques. To me, for a diver to go down a 4 foot pipe 200 feet into a cavern, natural or otherwise, is an amazing feat that I want to watch.
1/19/2017 11:21:25 pm
Considering how dangerous such dives would be, and that as an engineer, attorney and millionaire Marty Lagina would have to realize the futility of it in the first place... I have serious doubts such endeavors are undertaken in the manner of which they are portrayed. "Reality" shows generally aren't, and Oak Island has been a con job for centuries now.
1/23/2017 10:38:40 pm
Reality TV shows regularly lie about what they are doing, who is doing it etc. They lie about the show being like a documentary and unscripted, when it is scripted with actors. So the processes and techniques you are seeing are likely special effects and distortions and not real.
2/10/2017 01:09:21 am
2/10/2017 01:08:17 am
If you have such feelings about this show, change the channel. No one has you tied to this show. Duh!
1/18/2017 11:33:47 am
I have never seen "The Curse of Oak Island", but it seems to me that it being an island means that it would be fairly small. It would seem that after a while they would run out of places to dig holes. Also, it would seem that all they are actually finding from this holes is not treasure, but television rating.
1/18/2017 01:14:47 pm
The true Treasure of Oak Island is in television.
1/18/2017 09:23:04 pm
Aka ad revenues.
1/19/2017 08:16:47 am
Speaking of revenue, once again the subject of diminishing financial resources came up, in reference to what to do. The last time this was mentioned, a couple years ago, the group subsequently trooped off to a local CAT dealership and obtained about $450K in heavy equipment. Does anyone not think that the "investors" ceased funding this project long ago, and that it has been wholly taken over by Burns?
1/18/2017 10:24:17 pm
The island is substantial especially in comparison to sinking a steel casing 4 feet across into the ground. You could miss your "target" by 6" and never find it, if there is anything to find.
1/19/2017 12:11:06 pm
There has never been verified evidence of anything that would lead a rational mind to believe there is "anything to find".
1/18/2017 11:42:07 am
Before calling Terry Deveau and the organization "Fringe" you may want to tie a deeper look into who he is, what he has done and what he does.
1/18/2017 11:50:37 am
Do you have a reference from before the middle twentieth century identifying Glooscap as white? All of the earlier references I have found make no mention of his skin color, and most distinguish between him and the European colonizers. For example, from 1891: "But the mighty Glooscap was not able to cope with the white invaders who came into his domain. He was vexed with the English beyond all endurance."
1/18/2017 02:32:17 pm
As a child growing up in Nova Scotia, at school, we learnt that Glooscap was a Mi'kmaq legend telling of a white man worshiped as some type of god. I always found it odd that this supposedly ''white man'' would be mistaken as a god by the natives of the area. But the legend has significance other than that.
1/18/2017 04:23:57 pm
No offense, Elizabeth, but when I was growing up, we were taught in school that the Pilgrims were friendly folk welcomed by the Native Americans, too, instead of the truth that the PURITANS got kicked out of everywhere else they tried to go and they had touch-and-go relationships with the Native Americans in New England, who had been recently utterly DECIMATED by disease and thus COULDN'T run them off even when they tried.
1/21/2017 02:43:25 am
1/18/2017 12:12:50 pm
If you can refer to Mi'kmaqs as Micmacs, may I refer to the God of too many people as Chrestus rather than Christ?
1/18/2017 02:34:59 pm
Neither spelling is really objected too.
1/20/2017 02:16:58 pm
The Mi'kmaq call themselves L'Nuk.
1/18/2017 12:10:07 pm
1/18/2017 12:15:49 pm
No, I object to the claim that the Talpiot tomb is where his bones and his wife's bones were buried. It is too many assumptions stacked upon one another.
1/18/2017 01:15:25 pm
Fair Enough. :) Very reasonable.
1/19/2017 09:16:06 am
It's nice that you assumed the worst, though. Given how much of Jason's stuff you read, not sure why you have refused at every possible opportunity to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Scott David Hamilton
1/19/2017 09:43:58 am
Obvious troll is obvious.
1/18/2017 12:16:35 pm
As a nerd with an engineering background who really enjoys the hole digging and excavation aspects of Curse of Oak Island, I just want to say I really appreciate and respect Jason's Fake Fact listicle in this post. The crap conspiracy theories this show gives air time to, nearly ruins the parts I do enjoy. It's always a slog to get through those parts of the show just to get to the cool hole digging stuff. But seeing a preview takedown of that crap, before I watch it on demand, helps immensely.
1/18/2017 01:53:00 pm
Anyone know why Jorjani calls his company Arktos Media? Some years ago I read a book by that title that was about mythology of the poles and how it related to Nazi occultism, and as I remember it the author claimed that Arktos was an old name for the Big Dipper, and the inspiration for the shape of swastika. I don't think Jorjani would want to invoke Nazism that directly, but maybe I'm wrong. According to Wikipedia Arktos is the name of famous centaur, but as a symbol of miscegenation I can't imagine that character would appeal to Jorjani. I also note that the symbol Jorjani uses for Arktos looks a bit like some of the viral pictures of the Antarctic pyramid that has floated around the fringe-o-sphere for the last couple years, though that would be on the wrong side of the planet for the name.
1/18/2017 01:55:17 pm
The repetition of these types of programs gets to be so tiresome.
1/18/2017 01:59:00 pm
Eh, Atlantis again.
1/18/2017 03:42:38 pm
They gain the same thing I gain from my ancestry running back to William the Conqueror and a few of the Plantagenets; absolutely nothing.
1/18/2017 03:06:39 pm
Now just why would any First Nations peoples worship some shipwrecked ancient or medieval European as a god? Other than the obvious racist answer that is?
1/18/2017 03:47:47 pm
The Maya and Inca did not worship the Spanish as gods, I see no reason to believe the Mi'kmaqs would either.
1/18/2017 03:30:52 pm
I suppose that I would be labelled a sceptic if I were to point out that that these bronze age anchors must have been made in the Bronze Age whilst the wearisome Atlantis perished thousands of years before and that the Phoenicians were actually a Bronze Age Sea going Civilisation and not Atlanteans.
1/18/2017 05:17:22 pm
As I've noted before, it's amazing Atlantis seems to have been everywhere in the world except for one place: right where Plato said it had been.
Van der Straeten Wim
1/19/2017 01:23:45 pm
Charles-Joseph De Grave, an 18th century Fleming who wrote in French, wrote a book called "La République des Champs Elysées" in which he claimed that Atlantis was located in the Low Countries (Flanders and the Netherlands). So as you can see, Atlantis has truly been located all over the world, even on Antarctica and in the Sahara.
1/18/2017 05:39:22 pm
Tom: well taken...
1/19/2017 10:05:24 am
1/19/2017 07:47:17 pm
Terry, I'm sorry, but "WHAT????"
1/21/2017 11:29:35 am
Mike, I'm not trying to make a big deal of this. Like I said, it is just a subjective reaction to what appears to me as a piece of Mi'kmaw art. I have seen a lot of Mi'kmaw art by contemporary Mi'kmaw artists. Glooscap is sometimes displayed in contemporary Mi'kmaw art. A good place to see Mi'kmaw art is at the Millbrook Cultural and Heritage Centre near Truro, NS.
1/20/2017 01:07:39 pm
"The way the clip was edited, it was made to sound like absolute claims were being made..."
1/22/2017 11:28:07 pm
I subscibe to the view of the late archaeologist John Rowe, a skeptic of such "shipwreck" scenarios and hyper-diffusionist yarns. He said (I paraphrase) that rather than being worshipped upon arrival, it is more likely that such castaways were knocked on the head and eaten.
1/23/2017 10:25:23 pm
The idea that Atlantis was the city of Tarshish in Spain just outside the Strait of Gibraltar is a fairly old idea dating back at least to the late 19th century. It is part of the great game of locating Atlantis all over the world. And of course like all other theories about the placement of Atlantis it matches Plato's Atlantis "perfectly". Whatever.
4/11/2017 06:56:52 am
Atlantis was a fairly ordinary place, but with interesting natural forma tions which became sensationalized. It's "history" probably does go back to the early Holocene. Why its actual location is not in the forefront, ahead of such as Thera , Spain, Azores, Bimini, Andes, and Antarctica, is strange.
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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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