Let's return to the opening metaphor of an oceanic journey following the promise of some old maps and unfamiliar stars...
You hear some strange tales in the dive bars by the docks when you go looking for your crew.
Whilst you may fear that your own speculations -your possible El Dorado- may strain the credulity of the bar denizens... there will always be some grizzled sea dog sitting in the corner with an even-more bizarre story, a personal account with even creepier implications... a sea shanty with a catchier hook.
All along the edges of the map of forbidden places where you would expect to find warnings of dragons you find tales that are stranger still. Tales that are corroborated rather than confirmed. And they make the existence of artificial structures on the moon seem positively quotidian.
Take the Annunaki.
Sitchin, with his classic pseudohistorical view of them, was probably the first to point out the repeated instances depictions of a heliocentric solar system in the earliest Sumerian records -even in the Seven Tablets of Creation. His interpretation depicts the planets all in the right order... even the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter that owes its existence to a stellar cataclysm.
According to his thesis the Annunaki came to Earth via their waystation on Mars to mine gold in order to save their atmosphere. Most of their mining was conducted in eastern and southern Africa.
Fine. Not the most insane thing I've ever read -not even the most insane thing I've ever read on this blog- but still a scenario of too low a probability for me to get interested in. Might leave that to others potentially more credulous.
Except the guy being interviewed in the video below has uncovered a few 'sea dog' stories of his own whilst exploring the 100,000 or so vastly ancient stone structures in South Africa in the areas where the Annunaki allegedly mined (and where we still mine today).
Megaliths, whatever they were built for, are ontologically highly malleable. They stir something in us that makes it all too easy to project our own gods onto the stones. In some ways it's what they were designed to do. So if this guy sees the Annunaki... fine. It would still take a few pieces of outlying High Weirdness to throw it into firefly territory.
Like maybe the assertion that in southern Africa, AngoAmerican encounters ancient, inexplicable megalithic mining sites with such frequency that they simply cover most of them back up with sand and continue on or else they'd never get any actual mining done?
Or how about how De Beers found an ancient mineshaft stretching down 22,000 feet in the same area?
I know a bit about the corporate world. Little truth bombs like these have the unerring habit of being dropped in hotel bars at 2am during conferences with the grim regularity of secret Apple tech. People swap secure info of High Weirdness as a way to drunkenly let off steam. And these odd factoids are like the account of the GitMo servicewoman hearing stories of Atlantis from inebriated seals. You can almost smell the beginnings of a trail back into the firefly swamp.
Switching up locations: What about the high levels of radiation emanating off bodies found at Mohenjo-Daro?
What is even more baffling is how the ancient Sanskrit texts say this civilization ended.
According to the texts a great war erupted between the Rama Empire and a more militaristic group called the Atlans. The Asvin Priest Kings of the Rama Empire were forced to use their mental-psychic powers to create a defensive illusion. While this tactic was successful at first, the Atlans persisted and returned with their ultimate weapon.
This weapon is described as Kapillas Glance in both the Mahabaharata and Drona Parva. It was described, "A single projectile, charged with all the power of the universe. An incandescent column of smoke and flame as bright as the thousand suns rose in all its splendor. It was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death which reduced the entire race of the Vrishnis and Andhakas to ashes. The corpses were so burned as to be unrecognizable. The hair and the nails fell out. Pottery broke without apparent cause and the birds turned white. After a few hours all the foodstuffs were infected. To escape from this fire, the soldiers threw themselves in streams to wash themselves and their equipment.".
Within the remains of Mohenjo-Daro there is evidence to back up the Sanskrit texts. Beginning in the 1950's thousands of black lumps and stones in these cities were examined and found to be vitrified. This process is only possible with heat well in excess of natural means. Also, skeletal remains examined by soviet scientists found radioactivity levels 50 times that which is considered normal.
Oppenheimer famously (and not necessarily apocryphally) said the first atomic bomb was "the first in modern history." President Truman said "we have resurrected an ancient technology".
At the moment I don't have anywhere to put these tantalising little hints, these strange little jigsaw pieces that don't match the picture I think I'm building.
And it strikes me that is precisely what a whisky rant is for. We are not in the business of stitching together an overarching narrative... we can leave that to those who want to sell us something; a political belief, a car, a book about magic, a mortgage.
(Hence the limitations in conspiracy theory: when I said that governments can't get their shit together enough to run a conspiracy what what lost on some people is that this means they don't display a capability to have "it all connect", to behave as a cohesive oppressive force. Little tip: once you hear yourself say "it's all connected" you have become Choronzon's bitch. There is no one conspiracy... that's your clever, little inner-storyteller. Rather it's a pack of hundreds of individual lies and cover-ups and not one all-encompassing whitewash... It is a fool's errand to try and connect the dots.)
We aren't so much completing a jigsaw as we are squirrelling away the discarded pieces like a demon haunting a retirement home.
Whisky rant as trebuchet
There is a sunken city off the western tip of Cuba. That's actually a thing. The Stamford Research Institute spent years researching and conclusively proving the existence of remote viewing. That's also a thing. People who have been to the moon will go on television and tell you about alien structures on Mars. A. Thing.
These things do not rely on selective reading of ancient texts. They are not ideas shoehorned and mistranslated from Ancient Greece or the Levant. They are solid. You can -and we should- lob them at the ivory tower until it crumbles.
For no reason other than it pleases me, I am trying to track down via some old colleagues some independent verification of Graham Hancock's claim that the BBC misrepresented him at the behest of "top" academics in the late nineties because they were sick of their students reading his books and asking them difficult questions. Unfortunately calendars didn't align in time to close out the rant. Stay tuned. You hear his version of events in a massively under-edited interview here. (Sidebar: Attention Fortean internets! Your interviews do not need to be two and a half hours long. Twenty minutes is fine. I will even pay for an edited one. It's easier than you think. Just cut every single word you say that isn't a question. I'm not there for your opinion. Plus it makes the guests feel awkward.)
Nick Redfern: I think most people realize that our world, our history, the field of archeology, are all filled with mystery, and unresolved issues that mainstream science either ignores or tries to place into rigid, simplistic camps.
Maybe, it's some deep, inherited, ancient memory, but I think most people know - even if they don't exactly know why they know - that our views on the very, very earliest years of human civilization are sorely lacking, and that significant things have happened in our past that are primal, subconsciously remembered and that strike a chord - huge floods, ancient races possessed of fantastic technologies, amazing cultures that flourished and died, and much more.
And you know what? The walls actually are falling. There is trebuchet damage but there are also spies in the house of ivory. Conscientious objectors. Digital freedom-fighers.
Are you aware there is an Academic Spring going on right now? Thousands of academics are revolting against the grossly unreasonable journal fees charged by large publishers like Elsevier. Good. The free distribution of academic research is inevitable. That's what digital innovation does.... it destroys bottlenecks, it breaks down walled gardens.
As more and more barriers are removed, across-the-board topic literacy can improve. It also makes it harder for the increasingly tired orthodox (and wrong) narrative hide behind arbitrary divisions like access to -or published work in- a self-referential loop. (I'm sure Steve Jobs is looking up at us and smiling from down there.)
What will the story of mankind look like when we can, with just a few clicks, get the archaeological field reports from areas where AngloAmerican is mining? (Idea for a business: elance.com for academic research. I would totally pay a geologist for a meta-analysis of the earliest Olmec dates.)
Ownership of meaning is democratising. We're getting it back. And whaddaya know it's publishers on the wrong side of history once again.
Reload the trebuchet.
Whisky rant as rampart
Forget angels... we are on the side of astronauts.
The most comprehensive university study of entheogens in more than thirty years concludes the beings encountered under DMT most likely have a separate existence.
Think about that... Mr Science says there are beings living in a nearby dimension.
Let these assertions serve as ramparts against encounters with the overly literal who confuse their own Aspergers symptoms with the non-existence of the mythic. (Tip: bookmark relevant articles on your smartphone. There's nothing they hate more than being gazzumped by dispatches from inside their own crumbling tower.)
Such encounters will occur with diminishing frequency. You see... in a strange way... we've already won.
The era of the meta-narrative, the single defining version of events, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is well and truly over.
It has been destroyed by orthodox history's refusal to even contemplate new evidence, by government's refusal to admit extraterrestrial/multidimensional contact. Expert may be a title only you can earn but ultimately it is we who determine whether you get to keep it. You lose it when we turn away from you out of pity and disgust.
This is the era of multiple narratives... of quantum history. Each whisky rant is a terrorist attack on barren, single narratives by a Trickster God. "If Egypt is only that old then what about this? How did the banana get to Peru 10,000 years ago? Why are there human structures twenty kilometres off the coast of southern India?"
And like a terrorist attack a frontal assault utterly fails to stop it. If a rant goes from disputed to refuted then fine. Two more will take its place. Every time. Those are the rules. If they want to be in charge of the Big Book Of All True Things then it's up to them to contiually swat away our grubby, crayon-stained hands. We will never stop smudging the badly written pages. Never.
Because.... to paraphrase one of my all-time favourite movies this happens. These are things that happen.
Whisky rants don't need to be combined into a single story, they aren't asking to be mixed into something bigger, they are better off on their own... Neat. Or maybe, in honour of The Flood, with just a dash of water.
Like an Islay single malt.
Thanks for listening.