Ancient Astronauts and Comic Books

Jason Colavito has an informative post on the “big-business-factual-data-be-damned” approach of Ancient Aliens. The early section of his post notes connections between ancient astronaut theory and pop-culture, specifically with respect to Marvel comics.

The connections between ancient astronaut worldview and the sort of science fiction of comic books are deep. The comic book worlds pre-date the work of Sitchin and von Daniken. As Jason notes, there are secure roots in the writings of Lovecraft and others, but the more “vulgar” genre of the comic book also plays a significant role in where ancient astronaut theory really gets its “data”.

I recommend to readers two works in this regard. The first is a popular work of non-fiction. The second is a scholarly work (Univ of Chicago Press). Both are fascinating. The second, naturally, is dense and a harder read.

Christopher Knowles, Our Gods Wear Spandex: The Secret History of Comic Book Heroes

Jeffrey Kripal, Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction. Superhero Comics. and the Paranormal

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Sanctified Gullibility is Still Gullibility

It doesn’t get much more embarrassing than this.

Jason Colavito has a short write up on how Christian apologists are using a prop — a giant human skeleton that isn’t a skeleton at all — from von Daniken’s ancient astronaut theme park for the gullible.

Since when is defending one’s faith with a lie a good idea?

Pretty pathetic. It leads people to follow several bogus thought trajectories:

1. That belief in a creator needs to be defended via the idea of giants (it doesn’t, and that “approach” is absurd).

2. That belief in a creator is synonymous with young earth creationism and rigid biblical literalism (it isn’t).

3. That those who defend the young earth view of creationism will basically stoop to any level to do so (many would not; that is, they aren’t ethically challenged).

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Ancient Astronauts, Esotericism, and Utopian Politics

Jason Colavito has a short post on the relationship of these three areas of study that’s a good interest-piquing piece if such connections are new to you. I can recommend it since it links ancient astronaut myths to utopian thinking on both sides of the political spectrum.

Last January one of my lectures at Future Congress was about alien mythology and utopianism. In simplest terms, the alien myth is a useful substitute for both religious and political rationalizations of fascism. Fascism, correctly understood, is about coercion, control over people’s lives. That wish is in no way isolated to the political right. The political left is in love with it as well, and it isn’t hard to demonstrate that, especially in academic source material.

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Mike Heiser Lecturing on PaleoBabble and Ancient Alien Myths in Nashville

Just thought I’d let everyone know that I’ll be speaking in Nashville, TN this coming October at the second “Christian Symposium on Aliens” – otherwise known as Ancient of Days 2013. The event is scheduled for October 3-6. I’ve been assigned two lectures that will occur on Friday, Oct 4:

“The Divine Council, Giants, and a Return of the Nephilim?” (please note the question mark)

“Paleobabble! The Role of Pseudo-Science and Bad Theology in Today’s Popularized Alien Mythos”

I’ll also be participating in a lengthy symposium and Q & A sessions on Sunday, Oct 6. I’ll come up with abstracts a little later and post those. Here’s the schedule as it stands now.

I’m not promising anything, but I’ve alerted the organizer, Guy Malone, that at my present writing rate, the first full draft of The Portent, the sequel to my paranormal / theological thriller, The Facade, should be in the can by the end of summer. That means it’ll be in the editorial stage at the time of this event. That in turn would mean (again, this is all guesswork) that the sequel would be ready for Christmas. If things follow this scenario, I’m considering the idea of taking pre-orders at this event for signed copies of The Portent. (I haven’t talked to the publisher about that yet, but it’s on my radar). This is the only event I have scheduled for the fall, so if such a pre-order offering emerges, Ancient of Days 2013 is the only place it’s going to happen.

Stay tuned.

 

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Lengthy Series on Vallee and Aubeck’s Evidence for UFOs in Antiquity

Jason Colavito recently produced a series of posts exposing the poor use of data (and perhaps deliberate deception in that regard) on the part of Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck in their book, Wonders in the Sky: Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times. PaleoBabble readers will find the series useful and interesting:

Jacques Vallee’s Deceptive Evidence for Ancient UFOs (Part 1)

Jacques Vallee’s Deceptive Evidence for Ancient UFOs (Part 2)

Jacques Vallee’s Deceptive Evidence for Ancient UFOs (Part 3)

Even More of Vallee’s Ancient UFO Deception

Back in 2011 on my UFO Religions blog I also wrote a lengthy review of this book, which Jason aptly calls Jacques Vallee’s version of an ancient astronaut book. I agree with Jason that much (all?) of the evidence drawing on ancient texts is the result of misinterpretation or wishful thinking. The criteria of the authors for weeding out certain accounts is poorly applied to material they elsewhere embrace.

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Chariots of the Frauds: The Real Erich von Daniken

Kudos are once again in order for Jason Colavito for his review of the Ancient Aliens episode entitled “The Legacy of von Daniken.” As part of his review, Jason summarizes some of the material that can be found in his book The Cult of Alien Gods: H.P. Lovecraft And Extraterrestrial Pop Culture. That book demonstrates that von Daniken is a person of low moral character and little intellectual originality. In a nutshell,  he’s a clever crook. Sound harsh? He has the prison record to prove it. Here’s an excerpt from Jason’s essay:

Erich Anton Paul von Däniken was born in Switzerland in 1935, raised a strict Catholic, and in Catholic school developed an interest in UFOs, like many youths in the early 1950s. He had a criminal record. He was convicted of theft when he was 19, and he left school to become a hotelier. He was convicted of embezzlement after leaving that job. He took another hotel position, and he stole money there, too, by falsifying records in order to obtain tens of thousands in fraudulent loans to finance his interest in space aliens and what the court later called his “playboy lifestyle.” The court psychiatrist declared him a pathological liar. Eventually, he would be convicted of embezzlement and fraud yet again, serving a year in prison.

In 1960, two French authors who were interested in the occult, Nazis, UFOs, and H. P. Lovecraft put out a book called Morning of the Magicians in which they tried to show that Lovecraft’s vision of ancient astronauts could be correlated to the “occult” truths of Theosophy and the UFO movement. Jacques Bergier and Louis Pauwels put together the entire case for ancient astronauts as we currently know it—from the claims about ancient atom bombs to the claims about “impossibly” precise and heavy stone architecture. Their book inspired several by Robert Charroux, who presented Bergier’s and Pauwel’s discursive, disorganized ideas in a more popular and readable format.

In 1964, von Däniken simply appropriated this material wholesale for a magazine article, and on the strength of the magazine article, he received a book deal for what became Chariots of the Gods … 

I’ve blogged about von Daniken’s history of deceit before. Readers might recall this telling post to which I linked maybe moons ago, where von Daniken is caught on video acknowledging making up his “evidence” and admits to Playboy Magazine that he contrived the material for the literary fabrication that made him rich.1

I have Jason’s book and recommend it to everyone who’s actually interested in the truth behind the intellectually bankrupt thing called the ancient astronaut theory. To whet your appetite, click through and read Jason’s post.

Postscript

As a side note to Jason’s post, readers will note that he references “America’s Book of Secrets,” a show on the History Channel 2.  I was contacted maybe a year ago – too lazy to look right now – about being on that show. I’m guessing now, in the wake of Jason’s post, that their interest was in regard to ancient astronauts. This isn’t new. I’ve also been contacted in the past about appearing in Ancient Aliens. My response, as it always is, was to send a link to whoever emailed me describing my account of how the History Channel censored my interview in 2003 for a “UFOs in the Bible” show, which was long before Ancient Aliens. That usually gets me dropped from consideration, which is fine with me (read the post and you’ll understand). That “America’s Book of Secrets” would put out another “love fest” (Jason’s words – and he reviewed that episode as well) for ancient astronaut nonsense is yet another testament to prove that the History Channel is not interested in objective programming. They don’t want any sort of critical material included in their “investigation” of ancient aliens. It’s about viewership and money, pure and simple. If peddling deception makes them cash, then that’s what matters.

  1. A full scan of the Playboy article can be found here.

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The Planet X Fraud

In case you haven’t heard of “Planet X,” it’s a notorious piece on Paleobabble that was derived from Zecharia Sitchin’s 12th planet Nibiru nonsense. However, Planet X has since taken on a (fake) life of its own, so that the idea cannot be equated with Sitchin’s ancient astronaut fairy tales. It’s since been married to the Mayan 2012 buffoonery and other conspiracy thinking about astronomy.

I’d encourage all readers to check out the Pseudo-Astronomy podcast for its series (now five parts) on “The Fake Story of Planet X.”  Good stuff.

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Pre-Order the Special Edition of the Facade and Get a Sneak Peek at the Sequel

Today marks the release for pre-order of the special edition of my paranormal-supernatural thriller, The Façade. The novel includes some ancient astronaut threads, and the sequel will pick up them as well. The special edition published by Kirkdale Press contains some great bonus content:

  • Behind The Façade: A look into how and why I wrote The Façade.
  • Resources for Further Study: An annotated bibliographic guide to the government documents, covert military programs, religious ideas, and UFO controversies that are part of the plot of The Façade.
  • The first five chapters of the highly-anticipated sequel!

The special edition is freshly edited and formatted for your ereader, mobile phone, tablet, and computer. Click here for a synopsis. Readers get 25% off when they pre-order it on Vyrso.

I’ll be revealing a hint about the sequel’s title tomorrow on the blog. Be the first to guess correctly and you’ll get a free copy of The Façade: Special Edition.

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Alexander the Great and UFOs

Bet you never thought you’d see those two subjects in the same sentence! Welcome to the wacky world of ancient astronaut twaddle.

A reader recently sent me a link to this essay on the Chronicon Mirabilium blog: “Did Alexander the Great Really See UFOs?” It’s a good piece, as it injects some sanity into the paleobabbling and exposes another hole in the ancient astronaut “evidence” we’ve come to know and chuckle at.

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Ancient Aliens Debunked: 3-Hour Documentary Now Online for Free

Readers may recall a few months ago when I announced I’d be interviewed for this documentary. That happened in August. Well, I’m happy to announce that the documentary is finished and online. It’s just over three hours, and free to the public. I haven’t had time to watch it yet, but having read all the scripts, I can tell you it will be well worth viewing. There’s a lot of good research that went into this. Jason Colavito’s work, to which I often direct readers, figures prominently in several places. The producer tells my I’m in the last section. Lastly, make sure you visit the actual website, since other video that didn’t make it into the final product will be kept there for viewing, along with source documentation.

I’ve also created a Page on this blog with a link to the documentary so you can easily find it later and direct friends to it.

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