Mike’s not a ufologist, but FATE Magazine named Mike to its 2005 list of the 100 most influential people in the field. Mike is, however, a scholar in the fields of ancient near eastern religions. He’s also devoted more of his life than seems advisable to the scholarly study of western occultism and alternative religions oriented around the belief in aliens. Religion is religion — it’s all the same? Not true.UFO Religions RSS
I was interviewed this past week by Natalina for her Extraordinary Intelligence podcast. The interview was a good one. Talked about The Facade first just a bit, and then focused on the new sequel, The Portent. Just like my first interview a year or so ago, Natalina succeeded in getting information from me, some of it even personal!
The last two reviews on Amazon capture what to expect in The Portent pretty well. Here are a few lines:
[The Portent] takes everything the reader thought they knew (and were sure of) about the return of Jesus and turns it on its head! [It] challenges all popular end times belief scenarios with stunning precision and well documented, real-life supported claims. The divine council of The Portent will forever change your perspective regarding the return of Jesus, who may be fooled, and who won’t! This is a must read for anyone who believes in intelligent evil and an elegant shadow system that operates above the law, behind the scenes, and hidden in plain sight.
When it comes to internet mythology about alleged alien assistance to the ancient Egyptians, the hieroglyphs in the picture are ground zero. As with the case of the lightbulb in Egyptian art, and the mis-identified picture of an alien grey in an Egyptian wall painting, the claim that there were technologically advanced flying craft in ancient Egypt is utterly bogus.
The glyphs in question are in the temple of Seti I at Abydos. I have blogged about these glyphs before, explaining that they are a well-known and classic instance of hieroglyphic superimposition — a palimpset. In briefest terms, the panel in Seti I’s tomb on which the current glyphs was originally carved with a set of “normal” hieroglyphs. At a subsequent point in time, the glyphs were plastered over and re-carved — a well-known phenomenon in ancient Egyptian monumental writing. After centuries of time, the plaster came off, revealing what we see now — two sets of hieroglyphs superimposed. That is why some of the shapes on this panel are unlike any others in Egypt.
The mdw-ntr website has a detailed, thorough, splendidly illustrated step-by-step explanation of this process. It is absolutely certain that these hieroglyphs are the result of carving one set of glyphs over another for a simple reason: each set of glyphs is known from other texts. It is quite easy to illustrate how the “helicopter” came about from both sets of glyphs. If you want the truth, it’s all here.
Um … no.
Here’s a link to a detailed debunking / explanation from the MDW-NTR website. It’s the same site that featured the exhaustive debunking of the “light bulb” at Denderah. The author provides the visual context that you need — and that ancient astronaut theorists never provide — for the correct understanding.
I made a page of important links related to a wide range of topics covered on my PaleoBabble and UFO Religions blogs. It doesn’t have a sidebar home yet, so bookmark it. It will eventually have a permanent home that is visually discernible. (When my webmaster gets time for that).
I created the page for easy reference for folks who listen in when I am interviewed. I’ll be on five shows in the next four weeks. I’ll post something a few days before each one, and of course send notice on Twitter.
Natalina, the force behind the Extraordinary Intelligence blog and podcast, asks it this way: “Rise in the Supernatural, Decline in the Church: What’s Going On?” Here’s an anecdotal portion of the post that I’m guessing will resonate with many readers:
At a rehearsal dinner for a wedding I was recently involved in, I had a discussion with a pastor from an Evangelical church. He asked me to share my testimony. I told him about my research into the paranormal and supernatural, and I explained to him how I had a transformational experience that led me to Jesus. He asked me why I do not regularly attend his church, or any church for that matter. I felt compelled to share with him the fact that it is not for lack of desire for fellowship, but because I’ve been increasingly put off by the church’s inability to recognize the supernatural aspects of our faith and the world around us.
He stared at me for a few moments, and I wondered if I’d crossed some kind of line; if in my passion I’d inadvertently insulted his ministry. After an awkward pause, he said to me, “You know. I’ve seen things that you could call paranormal. Things that scared me.”
This sent my mind into a tailspin. I’d attended this church a number of times in the past, and it always came across as the standard, seeker friendly type – High-energy praise and worship team, community activism, occasional discussion of end times prophecy… but really no discussion of the supernatural realm. Certainly no acknowledgement that we wrestle not against flesh and blood. And yet, here the pastor was telling me that in his personal life, he’d experienced the paranormal. Further, it had made him afraid! The fact that he’d not translated that into some kind of warning or message to his congregation was perplexing.
Personally, there are lots of reasons for the hesitancy. Some of them make sense. Others aren’t as coherent. I try to draw attention to the inconsistency in my novels, The Facade and its sequel, The Portent. Those who’ve read the sample chapters from my upcoming book, The Unseen Realm, will find my own take in chapter 2. But read Natalina’s post. It’s quite telling.
For those who haven’t read my sample chapters, here’s the section from Chapter 2:
Modern Christianity suffers from two serious shortcomings when it comes to the supernatural world.
First, many Christians claim to believe in the supernatural but think (and live) like skeptics. We find talk of the supernatural world uncomfortable. This is typical of denominations and evangelical congregations outside the charismatic movement—in other words, those from a background like my own.
There are two basic reasons why non-charismatics tend to close the door on the supernatural world. One is their suspicion that charismatic practices are detached from sound exegesis of Scripture. As a biblical scholar, it’s easy for me to agree with that suspicion—but over time it has widely degenerated into a closed-minded overreaction that is itself detached from the worldview of the biblical writers.
The other reason is less self-congratulatory. The believing church is bending under the weight of its own rationalism, a modern worldview that would be foreign to the biblical writers. Traditional Christian teaching has for centuries kept the unseen world at arm’s length. We believe in the Godhead because there’s no point to Christianity without it. The rest of the unseen world is handled with a whisper or a chuckle.
The second serious shortcoming is evident within the charismatic movement: the elevation of experience over Scripture. While that movement is predisposed to embrace the idea of an animate spiritual world, its conception of that world is framed largely by experience and an idiosyncratic reading of the book of Acts.
Those two shortcomings, while seemingly quite different, are actually born of the same fundamental, underlying problem: Their view of the unseen world isn’t framed by the ancient worldview of the biblical writers. One segment wrongly consigns the invisible realm to the periphery of theological discussion. The other is so busy seeking some interaction with it that it has become unconcerned with its biblical moorings, resulting in a caricature.
I’m concerned about both shortcomings, but since this book derives from my own story, the problem of the Christian skeptic hits closer to home and is my greater concern. If your background, like mine, is in the evangelical, non-charismatic branch of Protestantism, perhaps you consider yourself an exception to the patterns I’ve identified, or think that I’ve overstated the situation. But what would you think if a Christian friend confided to you that he believed he had been helped by a guardian angel, or that he had audibly heard a disembodied voice warning him of some danger? What if your friend was convinced that God had directed her life through a dream that included an image of Jesus?
Most of us non-charismatics would have to admit that our initial impulse would be to doubt. But we actually have a less transparent reflex. We would nod our head and listen politely to our friend’s fervent story, but the whole time we would be seeking other possible explanations. That’s because our modern inclination is to insist on evidence. Since we live in a scientific age, we are prone to think these kinds of experiences are actually emotional misinterpretations of the events—or, worse, something treatable with the right medication. And in any individual case, that might be so—but the truth is that our modern evangelical subculture has trained us to think that our theology precludes any experience of the unseen world. Consequently, it isn’t an important part of our theology.
My contention is that, if our theology really derives from the biblical text, we must reconsider our selective supernaturalism and recover a biblical theology of the unseen world. This is not to suggest that the best interpretation of a passage is always the most supernatural one. But the biblical writers and those to whom they wrote were predisposed to supernaturalism. To ignore that world or marginalize it will produce Bible interpretation that reflects our mindset more than that of the biblical writers.
For all those interested in the Majestic Documents, MJ-12, and the related Roswell UFO case, I recommend that you read the ongoing series / debate occurring over at the UFO Chronicles website. Here are the list of posts (as of today) in chronological order of their posting.
June 30, 2014 -
Sept. 23, 2014 – MJ-12: Alejandro Rojas Accepts Stanton Friedman’s Debate Challenge
Sept. 30, 2014 – MJ-12: Kevin Randle Rails Against Stanton Friedman’s Rebuttal
Oct. 8, 2014 – MJ-12 Debate Continues: Stanton Friedman Counters
Oct. 9, 2014 – MJ-12 Debate Continues: Kevin Randle’s Final Word on The Matter?
All who have read The Portent, the sequel to my novel, The Facade, know that one of the research threads in the sequel is the inherently racist nature of ancient astronaut theory — that is, it articulates the idea that the white European race (and even more narrowly for the Nazis, the Germanic strain) is descended from extraterrestrial gods. The other races are inferior.
Readers of The Portent will immediately recognize that same thought trajectory in the first season of the television series, In Search of Aliens (starring Giorgio Tsoukalos of Ancient Aliens infamy). My fellow ancient astronauts debunker, Jason Colavito, authored the summary at the link above. It shows quite clearly the racist bent of the whole idea and its “proofs.”
Tsoukalos and H2 (History Channel) should be ashamed of themselves and soundly condemned for this contemptible racist tripe. Having this sort of material in these shows sullies the reputations of people who appear in them who aren’t racist in their thinking. The History Channel producers may be too dim-witted to be able to connect these dots, but millions of racial supremacists and their followers have done so since the 19th century.
Jason ends his piece fittingly by noting that Tsoukalos “truly is the apostolic heir of his mentor, Erich ‘Was the Black race a failure?’ von Däniken.”
I came across this intriguing item today on the Top Secret Writers blog: “Why the U. S. Army Hunted for UFOs after W. W. II.” The post opens this way:
In the U.S. Army’s cache of declassified documents released via FOIA in 1994, you will find a 339 page collection of documents available on the U.S. Army website.
The bulk of those documents consisted of the U.S. Army’s investigation into the origins of “flying saucer” research in Germany, originating with the research of the “Horten Brothers” – Walter and Reimar Horton who developed advanced “flying wings” for Germany during the 1940s. The interesting fact about those investigations was that the timeline has a direct link to that of the Roswell crash in July of 1947.
To readers of The Facade, the Horten brothers aren’t news. What is newsworthy is the FOIA document cache on the U. S. Army website. The link works. I recommend downloading the document scans.
Finally – just checked the Kindle store and the newest edition of The Facade (new cover) is now available!
This edition is different from the older “Special edition” in a few ways:
1. It has a new (superior) cover.
2. The bibliographic information has been removed (for page count and cost-cutting reasons). The bibliographic data now lives here (link toward the bottom of the linked page).
One of the major trajectories in my new novel The Portent, is how Christians think about end times — specifically, how some are prone to marry end times to conspiracies about UFOs and alien abductions, which they believe are really cover for the creation of a new generation of nephilim by demons. I don’t believe that. At all. But I do believe that the conspiratorial thinking out there (not to mention flawed Bible interpretation) has a role to play — or would have a role if I were the intelligent evil mastermind tasked with an end times end game.
The Portent gave me the opportunity to put myself in that place. Frankly, intelligent evil is a whole lot smarter than the modern nephilim idea allows. I could come up with something much better, and I’d use the poor thinking of my targets to my advantage. Paraphrasing the villain in The Portent when he’s mocking the main character (Brian): “There are several ways we could accomplish the ends we want; this one is just the most interesting to me because it’s the one that makes you suffer the most.” The portents (omens – glimpses of things to come) I chose to make part of the book’s plotline were, as the villain says, the ones that seemed most interesting. There are other strategies, and maybe intelligent evil will go back to its bag of tricks in future books. I just wanted to build a rationale and plan that could actually play out in a world (like ours) where anything can be faked to move the herd in any direction. I wanted everything to already be real, or at least be on the drawing board in some think tank, university lab, or Black project. Sometimes the fakery that is the quietest and easy to miss is best, at other times more spectacular works better. The Portent uses both.
I used some role play when preparing to write The Portent, particularly when it came to thinking about what my end game would be and how I’d get there. Here’s an imaginary conversation that illustrates why the book doesn’t adopt the popular Christian conspiracy thinking about end times nephilim. The conversation isn’t part of the book (I write dialogue much better than this!) – it’s just an exercise / illustration.
NB = nephilim believer
MSH: yours truly
NB: Matthew 24 says that Jesus will return “as in the days of Noah,” and there were nephilim in those days. Daniel 2:43 prophesies that in the days when the kingdom of God comes, “they will mingle themselves with the seed of men.” The return of the nephilim are part of end times prophecy.
MSH: Let’s set aside the fact that nephilim aren’t mentioned in either of those verses for the moment, and that there are plenty of exegetical issues in them that don’t work for your interpretation — that in fact require its rejection. I just have one question for our chat: What’s the point of the idea?
NB: That’s obvious, Mike! The nephilim hybrids are servants of the devil and antichrist. They will help the antichrist deceive the multitudes, preventing them from believing in Jesus. The antichrist and his nephilim will try to destroy Israel, too.
MSH: I don’t see the deceptive power.
NB: What do you mean?
MSH: How would the appearance of modern nephilim deceive anyone?
NB: People will see them won’t they? They’ll know that the Bible is literally true and the word of God.
MSH: I think that’s my point — if this happens (and I’m just playing along, mind you) then people will know they should take the Bible for what it says — and what it says is that these guys are evil. They’ll also know if they keep reading the Bible, that they’re on the losing side — they’ll get stomped in the end. So why would anyone follow them? Where’s the power in this deception? Frankly, it doesn’t seem deceptive at all. It seems transparent.
NB: But they’ll help deceive the nations against Israel.
MSH: But why would people not think, “Hey, there really were — and now are — nephilim. They opposed God’s people in the Old Testament and got destroyed. There’s no way I want to get destroyed with them! And since I know now that the Bible’s true because I’ve seen nephilim, I’d better be on Jesus’ side.”
NB: You make the new nephilim sound like tools for evangelism.
MSH: No, it’s your idea that leads me to that conclusion. But let’s get back to the question — where is the deceptive power?
NB: That’s what demons do! They deceive, so the nephilim have to part of Satan’s plan of deception. There’s no other reason they’d be here.
MSH: I’d agree there – I don’t see any reason for them to be in the picture, either.
NB: Wait – maybe there’s another reason they’re going to be part of end times.
MSH: What’s that?
NB: To kill believers! And Jews, too.
MSH: Are the enemies of Christ and anti-Semites having a difficult time doing that now?
NB: No – but demons like to do that, too. Maybe the nephilim will put unbelievers in a rage to kill all the Christians and Jews they can.
MSH: I’ll ask again – how is that any different than today? Christians are being killed for being Christians all over the world, even as we speak. Israel is constantly under threat. Why do we need nephilim for that?
NB: They’ll accelerate things.
MSH: And we know that because …
NB: Because that’s what Satan wants!
MSH: Okay – back to my earlier question: Is Satan not getting what he wants now?
NB: He wants more dead!
MSH: So, why doesn’t he just inspired terrorists to steal nuclear or biological weapons? Those sorts of attacks could kill on a massive scale — must faster than nephilim running around with clubs and swords or guns. And if nephilim were on TV telling people to take up arms against Jews and Christians, we’re back to the part about why people would want to be on their side — they’re going to lose, big time.
NB: Maybe they’ll influence people secretly, or by mind control. We know demons can do that.
MSH: Well, we actually don’t know that at, at least if we care to look at the Bible for information. But your answer doesn’t make sense — how secretive could a nephilim giant be? Disguises aren’t going to work when you’re 8-10 feet tall.
NB: Well, I think Satan will just blind people to everything.
MSH: So, the masses of the world will be able to see clearly that the nephilim have returned, but won’t be able to discern anything else — when it’s all from the Bible?
NB: Blind is blind.
MSH: Actually, in your scenario, it isn’t. You have unbelievers being selectively blind.
NB: Satan will make sure the unbelievers stay blind to all he needs them to be blind to.
MSH: Like the gospel?
MSH: Then who are the 144,000 witnesses witnessing to?
NB: You’re confusing me now. Maybe they aren’t witnesses, smart guy. Revelation 7 just has 144,000 Jews sealed – 12,000 from each tribe. It doesn’t say they’re witnesses, so that’s your answer. 144,000 people are sealed and saved.
MSH: So the only people who are saved when all this happens is 144,000 Jews? No Gentiles? No one else?
NB: I guess that’s what the Bible says.
MSH: I don’t think it does, but I’ll keep playing. If there are only 144,000 that are saved and the others are blinded by Satan from being saved, why does Satan need nephilim to do that? If he can blind people now, what does he need all the help for?
NB: He just does. Like I said before, he wants it that way.
MSH: Is he sovereign?
NB: Knock it off.
MSH: Okay; that was a cheap shot – though I still think it’s a good question. You do realize that later in Revelation 7 after the 144,000 are sealed, that the apostle John sees a multitude *from every nation* - so they aren’t Jews – worshipping the Lamb, who is Jesus, having come out of the great tribulation. So it seems that there are a lot of people believing in Jesus at this time besides the 144,000. So your answer doesn’t work.
NB: Okay, I guess not. But the nephilim are still a big part of this. You’ll see!
MSH: So will a lot of other people in your scenario — and know exactly what they’re looking at, which strips this idea of any deceptive power, period. If I were an supernatural evil mastermind, I could do better than this and actually leave a breadcrumb trail for people to follow so they’d know it was real — but not know it wasn’t. I’d want them to believe they were believing the right way and the right thing, and use their belief against them. I’d use what they want to believe to move them to believe what they’d never want to believe.
Fiction is so much fun. You get to invent reality. And faction is the best kind of fiction.