Tag Archives: Astronauts

Jason Colavito’s Review of “Sekret Machines: Gods” by Tom DeLonge with Peter Levenda

Another solid review by Jason Colavito. If you’ve ever read one of Jason’s lengthy reviews you know it’s not just an essay informing his readers about what’s in a particular book or a simplistic “liked it … hated it” exercise. You’ll learn something.

As Jason points out, Sekret Machines: Gods, is “the first in a nonfiction trilogy covering what DeLonge believes to be the true history of space aliens’ involvement with earthlings.”

Jason’s review is in three parts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

 

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Mike Heiser Interview with John Ventre of UFOs Over Pittsburgh: Part 1

John Ventre is the Pennsylvania MUFON Director and has been a member of that MUFON chapter since 1998. He recently interviewed me about UFOs, alien abduction and, of course, my thoughts on Zecharia Sitchin’s work. Here is Part 1 of 2.

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Hebrew Roots Meets Ancient Aliens?

If the source blog for this piece is promoting this idea (as opposed to reporting it), and if it’s mission statement (under About) = Hebrew Roots movement, then instead of baptizing ancient alien theory, we’re now seeing it circumcised. Here we go:

The Raëlians UFO Jews of Israel

This essay is an “episode” of “Hebrew Voices”; that much is clear. What isn’t clear is whether “Hebrew Voices” considers this nonsensical voice credible. I’ve not listened to the podcast, but I have read the post and the comments (what a feast they are …). Those items make me think the blog is promoting the Raelian idea. There’s nothing critical of the idea in terms of text. But if any of you Hebrew Rooters out there want to listen to potentially distance yourself from this stuff, please let me know. I have better things to do with my limited time. I already know a lot about ancient alien nonsense (obviously, I blog about it a lot) and know the Hebrew Bible and biblical theology pretty well. This is just ancient alien kookiness in a Judaic shawl. (In other words, it’s a contrivance).

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Read Mike Bara: An Explanatory Illustration

One of my favorite blogs is The Emoluments of Mars. It’s the brainchild of “Expat,” who has committed himself to the mind-numbing task of critiquing the conspiratorial pseudo-science behind ideas like the “face” on Mars, glass domes on the moon, and esoteric meanings to NASA space missions (think Richard Hoagland and Mike Bara). Expat’s URL is something of an homage to Hoagland’s book, Dark Mission, detailing the alleged esoteric conspiracies behind what NASA does: dorkmission.blogspot.com. Since I’m neither a scientist nor photo analyst, I depend on the work of people like Expat. Stuart Robbins’ Exposing PseudoAstronomy blog is another such resource that I’ve mentioned before.

A couple months ago Expat emailed me with the wonderful news that I’d made it into Mike Bara’s most recent literary assault on clear thinking, Ancient Aliens and Secret Societies. The email sort of got lost in the shuffle, but I thankfully found it again. Bara’s book hasn’t exactly garnered an overwhelming response (four reviews to date in five months, a several of which are hilariously brutal (“zero stars if Amazon allowed it”; “Google scholarship”; “Friends don’t let friends read Mike Bara”). That last one was good enough to steal for my post title. It says it all.

Nevertheless, I thought I’d take a look at what Expat sent. After all, this year I was privileged to be colored as a government informant by Jim Marrs. When I blogged about that honor I pointed out that Marrs’ ludicruous assertion was falsifiable by a simple phone call (he had me working on a “government funded” program dealing with Sumerian lexicography). All he needed to do was call the office for that program to learn that I hadn’t worked on that project. But hey, implying I “work for the government” in my opposition to Sitchin’s nonsensical handling of Sumerian texts (and most everything else) is more fun.

Here are excerpts from what Bara wrote on pp. 88-89 of his book. I’ll jump in at MSH.

“Other critics have attacked Sitchin more directly, arguing that his interpretations if the Sumerian texts are simply wrong …

MSH: Yes, I have said that. But Bara’s missing something (and it won’t be the last time in this short post). I’ve actually argued that Sitchin’s interpretations aren’t even to be found in the Sumerian tablets. That’s right. They aren’t even in there. You can’t call what doesn’t exist “wrong” or a screwed up translation. Ideas like the Anunnaki being from Nibiru and Nibiru being a planet beyond Pluto literally don’t exist in the Sumerian material. Now how easy would it be to show me wrong with a claim like that? Pretty easy. And so I directed people on how to test my assertion. Instead of insisting that people take my word for it, I created a screen-capture video of yours truly going to the publicly accessible Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature website to check my claims. (I wonder how many times Bara lets people follow his trail — I know Sitchin didn’t do that). Anyway, the video isn’t exciting, but it does show me showing YOU how to search for all the occurrences of “Anunnaki” gods (including the shorter name, Anunna) and return them with links for English translations. Guess what? No ancient astronaut material. Funny how that happens when you direct people to primary texts. Continuing …

… Foremost among these is Michael Heiser, a committed Christian who has made debunking Sitchin something of his life’s work …

MSH: True; I am a “committed Christian.” I’m also a Christian that makes other Christians nervous for various reasons. I’m guessing Bara never read any of my blogs and their comments. Is debunking Sitchin my life’s work? Hardly. How could I make a living doing that? It would be like trying to convince people to read Bara’s books for a living. Mike seemingly doesn’t know that I’m the guy who posted my income tax returns online back in the day to shut up William Henry when he accused me of making money off Sitchin’s name. I asked William to do the same. (Cue crickets here). And guess what? They’re still up there, Mike! Have a look.

Those were the days when I first appeared on Coast to Coast. Readers may remember that Art Bell asked if I’d debate Sitchin on his show … the lowly graduate student against the poobah of paleobabble. I said yes. Sitchin refused. Funny how that happens when you appeal to primary texts.

… Heiser and other critics are fond of pointing out that Sitchin’s interpretations of certain words and phrases are “incorrect” according to the most commonly accepted academic understandings of them …

MSH: No, they’re incorrect because they aren’t there. They have no basis in reality. (See above). Prove me wrong, Mike — run the search and find the alien Anunnaki on Nibiru. Let’s have one line of one tablet that says that.

… Sitchin taught himself Sumerian at a time when only a few people in the world knew how to read cuneiform texts …

MSH: A couple of corrections here. Sitchin didn’t know Sumerian. Nothing he produces in his books about Sumerian provide any evidence of that. His “translations” would never survive peer review. Want to test that, Mike? Tell you what. You gather Sitchin’s translations *with tablet line and citation so real Sumerian scholars can go look.* Then follow these steps:

(1) Show us [this is called fact-checking, Mike] that Sitchin’s translations are not those of someone else — that is, they did NOT come from a published anthology of English translations. If they survive that test, then …

(2) Send them to a real Sumerian scholar. Pick someone from the membership list of The International Association for Assyriology, or one of the staff at these ongoing projects in Sumerian studies: CDLI or Stephen Tinney of the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary Project (PSD; the volume covering Anunnaki is published). I’m sure you and I can agree on who to send Sitchin’s translations to. I’ll publish the results of your efforts on my blog.

… Today people like Heiser have become more numerous and they have learned the language from academic sources such as 2006′s Sumerian Lexicon, all of which postdate Sitchin’s publication of The Twelfth Planet … … The Sumerian Lexicon is no more authoritative a source than Sitchin himself. In fact, one reviewer declared it to be ‘a book compiled by a dilettante who understands the basics of neither lexicography nor Sumerology.” …

MSH: There’s so much erroneous misdirection here. I’ll give Mike the benefit of the doubt that he’s just ignorant and not being deliberately deceptive. (That’s how nice I am). Here we go:

(1) Yes, people now learn Sumerian from “academic sources” — so did Sitchin learn with non-academic sources? No sources? The 12th Planet was published in the late seventies. There were plenty of (perish the thought) academic sources for learning Sumerian. (And I repeat: I don’t think Sitchin knew Sumerian at all). Bara’s argument here pits academic sources against … what? It puts Sitchin in the position of using inferior sources or no sources. Nice argument, Mike.

(2) You don’t learn a language by using a dictionary. You learn vocabulary that way. But languages have grammar (remember high school, Mike?) Dictionaries are not presentations of a language’s grammar: grammatical forms (morphology) and relationships (syntax). I can scarcely believe I have to point out that dictionaries don’t “do” grammar. In reality, there were plenty of academic grammars prior to the publication of the 12th Planet (late seventies). For example:

    • Stephen Langdon, A Sumerian grammar and chrestomathy (1911) – for years one of the standard learning grammars for Sumerian.
    • Kurt Schildmann, Compendium of the historical grammar of Sumerian (Grundriss der historischen Grammatik des Sumerischen) 1964-1970

But again, what is Bara’s point? That Sitchin didn’t have resources to learn Sumerian? If so, how could we trust his knowledge? If he did have sources, then … what?

(3) The “Sumerian Lexicon” Bara is referring to is Halloran’s Sumerian Lexicon (which originated as an online compilation of Sumerian terms). I know that because the reviewer’s comments are drawn from this review of Halloran. This is not the lexicon I directed readers to on my website for years. What I directed readers to is the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary (= PSD). Here’s the image from a page that used to be on my website:

sumeriandict

You’ll notice that the editor isn’t Halloran. So Bara is criticizing the wrong source.Here’s page 133 from the PSD that lived for many years on my site. It’s the entry for Anunnaki (and its variant forms). Notice that “those who from heaven came” or “fallen ones” (or whatever nuttiness Sitchin assigns to the term) isn’t a meaning scholars recognize:

anunnakiPSD

Since it’s not the lexicon that Bara’s source is bashing, the criticism levied by that source don’t apply to the PSD (which, per the scan above, does not agree with Sitchin). The PSD is a leading lexical project for the entire field of Sumerian. The raw materials for the PSD have lived online for many years (the project was begun in 1974 – before Sitchin published the 12th Planet, by the way). The print publication of this dictionary is an ongoing project. Three volumes have been published to date (the above page comes from vol. 1). But who cares? In fact, the lexical resources that form the basis for current projects like the PSD have been around since the early 1900s. A “Sumerian expert” like Sitchin would have known that. Lexical sources like the multi-volume Materials for the Sumerian Lexicon, begun by Benno Landsberger in the 1930s, served Sumerian students well for many years.

… Heiser’s own biography states that “He has also studied Sumerian . . . independently” …

MSH: Yes, it does. Do you know why, Mike? Because I’m honest. Bara concludes that since Sitchin and I are both self-taught in Sumerian, Sitchin is just as trustworthy. This is flawed logic. I have a publicly accessible resume that proves I have studied nearly a dozen ancient languages in a formal academic setting. Know why that’s important? One word: accountability. I had to perform in the languages for experts. Sitchin has nothing like that. Where is Sitchin’s resume? Hmmm. I’m betting he had ZERO language work at any institution. In other words, no proof he studied anything. In other words, my resume offers people some basis for concluding that I did indeed study Sumerian, even on my own. The logic goes like this: “Heiser studied nearly a dozen ancient languages. It seems plausible he could have studied one more on his own time.” On what basis can we conclude Sitchin’s claim of self-study is plausible? I see none. The guy couldn’t even wrap his head around simple concepts like subject-verb agreement when it comes to Hebrew elohim (a lot easier than Sumerian). But in Bara-land (see the Emoluments blog), logic and coherence is simply not a pre-requisite.

… A number of Sicthin’s (sic – the misspelling is Bara’s) assertions have been successfully tested (or at least supported), and Heiser’s have not …

MSH: Where have any of Sitchin’s claims about extraterrestrial Anunnaki or Nibiru been tested or validated, Mike? Let’s have those studies and that data. I’ll post them.  Oh, I forgot … First you have to prove those ideas exist in the tablets. But they don’t. Again, how easy would it be to prove me wrong here by simply producing the tablet that has these claims? I can’t make it any easier, Mike. I’m telling you (and everyone else who buys Sitchin’s Anunnaki nonsense) how to falsify my claims. The data simply do not exist. You can’t validate what doesn’t exist. But let’s widen the net … show me where Sitchin’s claims about alien intervention have been validated by any expert under peer review (as opposed to authors writing for Adventures Unlimited Press).

… Heiser comes off as nothing but a Christian fundamentalist with an axe to grind. His interpretation of the words and phrases carry no more scientific weight than Sitchin’s do.”

MSH: Right. Mine carry no more weight. Except that my interpretations are based on lines in tablets that exist while Sitchin’s don’t. So all I have going for me is a little thing I like to call reality. I’ll take that. And for the record, I’m not a Christian fundamentalist. I know Bara doesn’t really know what that term means in the spectrum of Christian sub-cultures, but it needs pointing out. I spent some time in fundamentalist circles until I was ejected. I lost a job over it. I believe several things that would make fundamentalists denounce me (and they have). Just read my blog, but get an education first about what the term means in Christian circles. After that, why I’m not in those circles will be pretty clear.

So what have we learned? A few things:

1) I’d rather be called a government informant than a fundamentalist. It’s just more fun.

2) That Sitchin supposedly taught himself Sumerian by using inferior sources or no sources at all. Maybe he channeled it.

3) That Bara likes to hide data from his readers — like the fact that Sitchin’s fundamental claims don’t exist in Sumerian tablets — and that I’ve given the world the breadcrumb trail to learning that is indeed true.

4) That Sitchin is still wrong. And so is his disciple, Mike Bara.

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Interview on Conspirinormal

Last weekend I was interviewed for the Conspirinormal Podcast. It was a fun show (a bit longer than an hour). We talked about the divine council, ancient astronauts, Zechariah Sitchin, and my new status as a government disinformation agent. Enjoy!

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The International UFO Congress: Sense of Humor Required

As many of you recall, I attended the International UFO Congress in Scottsdale, AZ a week ago. The trip had three purposes.

The first was publisher business. I wanted to promote my novels, The Facade and The Portent.  I didn’t sell much. You never do at an event like this when your aim is to give people real data (even in story form) that might lead them to rethink their UFO religion. But the good news was being able to re-unite with two members of Miqlat, “Ward” and “Clarise” (those of you who have read The Portent will understand). We had a lot of interesting conversations during the week, including some that dealt with Christianity (the real kind, not its gnostic new age caricature or its demonization that one often encounters at events like this). Several Christians came up to the table and thanked us for showing up.

For me the most interesting moment was the conversation I had with Byron Belitsos, one of the folks who were in the booth next to ours promoting the Urantia book (sort of the ET-alternative history Bible). I of course don’t put any credence in the Urantia book (it feels like warmed-over theosophical literature). Byron was in a doctoral program years ago and planned to do his dissertation on the Urantia book but couldn’t because its foundation refused to allow any citation of it in any documents. Things are different now since the foundation lost a lawsuit over that, but it’s too late for Byron. He said he was anti-Sitchin and told me he’d given a lecture critiquing Sitchin at a Contact in the Desert Conference. I haven’t been able to find any description of such a lecture, though (but I’ve only put a few minutes into that). But at least in our conversation he had no enthusiasm for Sitchin. My guess is that he “corrects” Sitchin at points (whereas my advice would be to just ignore anything he says about ancient astronauts). At any rate, it would be amazing that the Contact in the Desert conference tolerated anti-Sitchin material since 2015′s event features basically all the members of the pro-Sitchin / ancient astronaut nuttiness pantheon (Giorgio Tsoukalos, Jason Martell, Michael Tellinger, Erich von Daniken, James Gilliland). The amount of verified data/truth from primary texts and peer-reviewed research you’ll find in their collective presentations would fit on the back of a postage stamp. Byron offered to ask the organizers to invite me to speak at one of those events. I wished him luck. It was a nice gesture, but one sort of like when Art Bell tried to arrange a debate between me and Zecharia Sitchin. That of course never happened because Sitchin was no fool.

The second purpose was to chat with a couple serious ufologists (yes, they do exist) about a further round of testing for the Majestic documents. I got some encouragement, direction, and promises of data that will help frame the project. At some point in the future I’ll announce what’s up.

The third purpose was vacation time. My wife and kids were along. We had a lot of fun, on-site and off.

More generally, for those who’ve never been to a UFO conference, this one was pretty typical: lots of unsubstantiated claims (the session on the Allaghash abductions was a textbook sampling) mixed with mind-numbing nonsense (James Gilliland is the new master of that domain), with a dash of thoughtful material (Rich Dolan’s session is one example). Here are some links with pretty good synopses of the IUFO lectures by Robert Sheaffer of the Bad UFOs blog:

A Skeptic at the UFO Congress 2015 – Part 1

A Skeptic at the UFO Congress, 2015 – Part 2

A Skeptic at the UFO Congress, 2015 – Part 3 (final)

 

 

 

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Alien or Human Astronauts?

A high resolution photo of Apollo 17, the last mission to the Moon, shows a crew member (Cernan or Schmitt) on the lunar surface.

According to Streetcap1 who discovered the photo, there is something wrong with the astronaut’s face as it don’t look like a human face.

Is this Eugene Cernan, Harrison Schmitt or….?

Streetcap1 also wonders why the Sun Visor is raised as the astronaut would go sun blind.

 
Link original photo:
http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/DatabaseImages/ISD/highres/AS17/AS17-134-20471.JPG

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Strange ‘Spikes’ Spotted In Siberia By ISS Astronauts

Strange 'Spikes' Spotted In Siberia By ISS Astronauts - August 2014

By Dominique Mosbergen
The Huffington Post
8-29-14

     Astronauts looking down on Earth from the International Space Station in June were left scratching their heads when they spotted a “strange pattern of spikes” crossing Siberia’s Kulunda Steppe.

The astronauts were so puzzled that they called down to Houston to ask for an explanation, according to NASA. But only recently have scientists at the agency’s Johnson Space Center been able to explain what the astronauts were looking at when they saw the dark green spikes stretching over the rural landscape. . . .

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