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
Here’s the picture (yes, it’s real so far as I know). Strange indeed, and looks artificial. You can read about the image here and get some close-ups. I’ll look forward to NASA’s response.
Hat tip to Leyla for sending this to me. It needs no description. Just perfect (even the hair/fur).
I recently received this short note in email about some work done in the cuneiform sources regarding Nibiru:
Dear Dr. Heiser,I have analyzed the extant cuneiform evidence in the peer-reviewed publication “The Marduk Star Nebiru” (CDLI Bulletin 2015:3).I conclude that the hypothesis that the name Nēbiru may be assigned to any visible astronomical object that marks an equinox is supported by cuneiform evidence. It is clear to me that Zechariah Sitchin was confused by earlier translations.Regards,Immanuel Freedman, Ph.D. SMIEEEMember, International Association for Assyriology
An interesting essay on the famous Kingman, Arizona, crash, the MJ-12 SOM 1-01 manual.
I was fortunate to spend some time with Derek and Sharon Gilbert last week in Missouri. One of the things we talked about briefly was Annie Jacobsen’s work. I highly recommend her books Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base and Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America (though the former is disappointing for its lack of documentation on her take on Roswell). Derek interviewed in regard to her latest: The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top-Secret Military Research Agency.
You can listen to Derek’s interview with Annie Jacobsen here. Can’t wait to read it (hopefully by year’s end).
… because it isn’t sexy or sensationalistic:
The article notes early on:
William Borucki, the principal investigator of NASA’s Kepler mission, said he’s very surprised at the lack of evidence of extraterrestrial life, given his work discovering habitable planets outside our solar system . . . “Up till now, it was just an intellectual question. It isn’t anymore. There could be 10 billion civilizations or none. The evidence certainly is none,” Borucki said in an interview with the Hong Kong newspaper Thursday. ”The evidence says no one’s out there.”
But what about the Drake Equation? It’s a vapor, because each item in it is literally made up.
I’ll be on Reddit tomorrow at 12:30pm Pacific time for an AMA – “Ask Me Anything” – session. I’ve never been on Reddit before, so I can’t tell you much. This is a first for me. I’ve been told I’ll be for 1.5-2 hrs and will have to type my answers. Lexham / Faithlife social media marketers did the grunt work to set this up. We’re all hoping I’ll get some questions relating to content in The Unseen Realm, but folks can ask me anything.
To view the session click here.
Nice to have some change of (interview) pace. Check out the interview with the hosts of the Stary Time (not a misspelling) podcast.
I’ve gotten a couple questions recently about the Angel Scroll. It seems a fair number of people out there think it’s real. If that’s you, get ready to be disappointed.
For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, over ten years ago (probably closer to fifteen as I was still in grad school) I saw an article in the Jerusalem Post about a new ancient scroll — termed the Angel Scroll. The article gave a brief description of an alleged scroll of unknown provenance but which had begun to circulate among a handful of scholars, one of whom was Stephen Pfann. That fall of the same year I went to Orlando for the November academic meetings. I bumped into a friend of mine who was living in Jerusalem. We chatted a bit and he introduced me to the man with him, whom I had never met. It turned out that the man was Stephen Pfann. We hit it off. Stephen was quite genial. I asked him about this alleged Angel Scroll. His answer took me by surprise: “Would you like to see it?” I said sure. He said he’d let me have a look while we listened to a session, so off we went (my apologies to Bruce Waltke here — I didn’t hear a word of your lecture that hour).
We sat down and Stephen opened his briefcase. There amid the candy wrappers, pens, and sundry papers was a hand-drawn transcription of a scroll. He handed it to me. It’s been so long that I don’t quite remember if Stephen said he’d made the drawing from a photo or if he’d been given the drawing in photocopy. At any rate, he explained that the hand drawing was all there was. He’d been shown that much by a couple men who told him they had the actual scroll. They wanted him to have a look and perhaps publish it. (Stephen lives in Israel. His expertise is the Dead Sea Scrolls and epigraphy. His dissertation was on cryptic texts from Qumran). Stephen told me he wasn’t publishing anything until he saw the actual scroll and examined it for authenticity. I sat there and perused the whole thing. I couldn’t read it all at sight, but I could read enough of the content to have my attention caught. There was one specific line that was quite odd and memorable. The scroll was at least in part apocalyptic. Jerusalem was surrounded by “thousands of sun disks.”
I can’t recall at this point (and don’t have the old files) whether I mentioned this scroll (with a slightly altered name) in the original edition of The Facade. I think I did. I know I mentioned this scroll in at least one interview — and was careful to point out that there was no verification for its authenticity. I recall L. A. Marzulli asking me about it over the phone or email (again, I don’t recall which). He said he wanted to include it in one of his novels. I only read his first one, so I don’t know if he actually did that. At any rate, I was again clear that all I saw was a transcription, not the real thing. It could have been entirely made up, and I said so — and always have. (In any event, L. A.’s novels are fiction [!]).
I usually chat with Stephen each year at the meetings. Up until about 3-4 years ago I’d ask for updates on the Angel Scroll. The answer was always the same — the men who had contacted him, and of whom Stephen demanded to see the actual scroll, never produced anything. I say up until 3-4 years ago because the last time I asked Stephen told me he had washed his hands of the whole thing. He had concluded it was all bogus since no evidence (going on ten years) had ever been produced that the scroll from which the transcription he showed me actually existed. Anyone with reasonable artistic talent and a knowledge of Hebrew paleography could draw the transcription he had in his possession and which I saw. That’s how scrolls show up in journals — a photo that usually looks awful (things a couple millennia old tend to not produce great photos) along with a hand drawing done from tracing or a good eye. It’s normal procedure. (Same for how clay tablet inscriptions are hand drawn for easier reading).
So is there an Angel Scroll? No. There is no evidence that such a scroll is real. You’re hearing that from someone who held the transcription, read through it, and has had several conversations with the guy who possesses the transcription (the only one that has ever surfaced). If you or anyone you know or have read is saying this is a real text and assigning any “truth” to it, you shouldn’t. Without someone bringing forth an actual scroll, this text is a fiction. But, unfortunately, people like to believe in things for which no data exist. That isn’t new. It’s just sad that Christians are among the gullible. The whole thing was likely a scam designed to extract some money from a scholar or institution who collected such things. If you don’t think antiquities forgery is a problem, think again.
Vaughn, Andrew G., and Christopher A. Rollston. “The Antiquities Market, Sensationalized Textual Data, and Modern Forgeries.” Near Eastern Archaeology (2005): 61-65.
This puts me in the mood to ask Stephen about the scroll again this year just to see him roll his eyes.
The fly-by photographs taken of Pluto as part of NASA’s New Horizons mission to gather data on Pluto have been all the rage on the internet. Naturally, not everything has gone as expected; there have been technical glitches. Equally as normative, voices on the internet conclude that any glitch must mean a NASA conspiracy. Richard Hoagland, most famous for promoting the “face on Mars” for decades believes that something fishy is going on to conceal evidence of ET intelligence via artifacts on Pluto. What else?
Stuart Robbins, the force behind the Exposing PseudoAstronomy has managed to stay on top of all the conspiracy theories spawned by the New Horizons mission. Here’s Stuart’s summary of what Richard Hoagland thinks about Pluto:
1. The Pluto system is young or artificial: Because no rings or tiny moons have yet been found, as was predicted (and therefore “MUST” be found IF the system is natural), then the bodies are either made of material that does not produce rings or tiny moons (ergo artificial) OR it’s incredibly young (ergo artificial).
2. Richard thinks it was created by a Type II civilization (can harness the energy of a solar system) that died 65 million years ago and so isn’t enough time to accumulate rings / tiny moons. It has archives/libraries where our “true” history is stored, and it didn’t suffer from the exploding planet that created the asteroid belt at that time which is also why neither Pluto nor Charon should have many craters.
3. He expects the “regular, geometric patterns” that are evidence of this civilization to be prominent. He also thinks the cantaloupe terrain on Triton is buildings buried by methane ice that NASA released but just never mentioned, and he expects to see more of it on Pluto.
4. “We’ve already found some staggering, repeating, right-angle geometry that has no business being there, and yet no one has commented about it because they don’t know what to say!”
5. The “weird computer outage” was a warning to NASA to not show what’s really there … from “somebody.”
Here’s an archive of Stuart’s eight (as of this evening) podcasts chronicling the mission and debunking the pseudo-scientific conspiracy talk that has accrued to it.