Note: This project is now a few months late, but given the circumstances, things are going well. Regular readers of this blog will have seen most of this material in one form or another, but it is now re-ordered, reworked and revised to some extent. This part is the opening.
1 Teaching against pseudoarchaeology
Many people, when they first encounter a real live archaeologist, or someone who is involved in the study and teaching of the past, first ask us about pseudoarchaeological claims that they find interesting and compelling. There is an ongoing debate in the archaeological community about how to handle these questions. Should we engage with these questions? Should we confront them head on? Should we use them as a bridge to actual archaeology?
Pseudoarchaeology is very popular. Stories of ancient astronauts, telekinetic pre-glacial civilizations, and Bronze Age nuclear wars fill our televisions, our bookstores and the internet. What in the 1970s used to be confined to an obscure section of the used book store is now the central theme of some of the most watched programs on television (Curse of Oak Island and Ancient Aliens, to name only two).
As we will see in the following pages, many professional archaeologists encountered pseudoarchaeological claims and became interested in them before becoming seriously involved in archaeology. Some of us were even brought into the field by our efforts to investigate and evaluate pseudoarchaeological claims.
To complicate things, recent controversies such as the Solutrean Hypothesis and the Cerutti Mastodon site, are blurring the lines between archaeology and pseudoarchaeology. They are widely published in top academic journals. They use rhetorical strategies similar to those of pseudoarchaeology, and their conclusions are just as questionable. They provide our pseudocolleagues with some heavy ammunition in support of their arguments that archaeologists are actively suppressing knowledge about the ancient world. Explaining the difference between a program on the History Channel and a paper in Nature is not as easy as it used to be, nor is it as effective. Academic authority is under fire, appropriately and deservedly, in my opinion.
The first reaction of many archaeologists to being asked about pseudoarchaeological claims is to go into debunking mode. This is understandable. Debunking specific pseudoarchaeological claims is essential. The information to counter them has to be available, and we have to put it out there. There are already excellent resources out there that do this. Some of them are listed at the end of this section.
This booklet is about what happens at that moment when we, as researchers, educators, and administrators working in archaeology and related fields, are asked that question about ancient astronauts, the role of UFO tractor beams in building the pyramids, or the genetic engineering of the Sea Peoples. How should we react? Why?
While the resources provided by debunkers can be useful tools at those moments, they have to be used as part of a wider strategy of engagement with audiences interested in pseudoarchaeological claims.
1.1 Scolding the public doesn’t work
The message of this booklet is simple: Scolding the public for their interest in pseudoarchaeological claims is not helpful. Telling people that we’re right because we’re archaeologists doesn’t work. People are interested in pseudoarchaeological claims because they are fundamentally interesting and exciting, for the same reason that science fiction is interesting and exciting. Denying it is no use.
Archaeologists rightly point out that the claims made on programs like Ancient Aliens, in addition to being completely unsupported by actual archaeological evidence (and sometimes refuted by it), are in fact dangerous when they are used in support of hateful ideologies such as racism and neocolonialism. After all, if indigenous populations in North America needed ancient aliens, or European contact, to teach them how to build their civilizations, perhaps they are inferior, and perhaps it is natural and just that they were later subjugated. Perhaps they are even doomed to extinction.
Or if the ancestors of north American indigenous populations really did exterminate an even more ancient Solutrean population in the Americas, their claim to oppression in the present is significantly weakened. Mainstream archaeological claims can also be used for this purpose, but the pseudoarchaeological claims that are currently popular lend themselves well to it, and racists of various ilk are eager to use them.
Some of these claims are ideologically motivated and calculated to reinforce racist and/or classist conceptions. Some are merely commercially motivated and exploit those currents without regard for the harm they may cause. Some are both. Some, even, are simply misguided. Regardless of the intent of those who formulate and promote these claims, we should help the public evaluate them. That’s part of our role as educators, and it is an important part of our service to society.
1.3 Choose your ground
It hasn’t been very productive for archaeologists to engage with pseudoarchaeologists themselves. Just as we are intentional in our mission of public education, many of them are intentional in their ideological crusades or their commercial pursuits. We compete with them for the attention of audiences interested in the past. In that competition, we haven’t been doing as well as we should.
The stories told by pseudoarchaeologists are interesting and stimulating. They readily fit in with people’s wonder and amazement at the world around them. They fill gaps. They invite people to imagine more. They actively foster a feeling of scratching the surface of a deep mystery. They make people want to dive deeper. They promise answers to questions long-held.
Our denials are stodgy and stultifying. Our alternatives are buzzkills. Our data is boring and confusing. Most of all, our uncertainty is terrifying. This is how the whole of professional archaeology, in 2020, has become, in real terms, alternative archaeology. In terms of presence, both in media and the public mind, pseudoarchaeology is mainstream, and academic archaeology is a fringe pursuit.
The way for us to address pseudoarchaeological claims is to boldly show the public what we do with all claims: We evaluate them. We have to invite people on this exciting intellectual adventure with us. This is our strength. We have to meet the pseudoarchaeologists on ground of our own choosing: The energizing adventure that is the critical evaluation of claims. Making claims is fun and easy. Evaluating claims is fascinating and satisfying. It is where the real work lies, and everyone can be a part of it.
Data makes sense and is thought provoking when it relates to a problem, not to an answer. Our uncertainty about the past, contrasted with the certainty displayed by pseudoarchaeoligists, is exhilarating rather than terrifying. The past is an adventure. It shouldn’t be reassuring. Our alternatives relate directly to people’s real world experience and to the questions they have about themselves and about how we became us.
Where we don’t have any answers at all, which is still in most places in archaeology, we have to let people feel our fascination with the unknown. We have to let them discover the peace of mind that unadorned agnosticism brings. Where we have evidence to reject a claim, or to solidify our confidence in another, we have to show them the excitement of discovery. We shouldn’t tell them what to think or believe. We should invite them to think with us, and to form beliefs as a result, alongside us on our travels into the ever-changing past.
Where a claim remains attractive to a certain public in spite of a complete lack of evidence to support it, sometimes despite clear evidence to reject it, or even despite fundamental logical flaws, we have to work to understand why. Different people, different groups, will find different ideas attractive, or reject them out of hand, for different reasons.
1.4 The mental ecosystem of pseudoarchaeology
If ideas are organisms in a cultural evolutionary landscape of the mind, existing dynamics within that landscape will make it more or less hospitable to new ideas from the outside. Those dynamics will make the emergence and flourishing of certain ideas more or less likely within the landscape.
As academics, teachers, heritage professionals, SciCommers, policy-makers, or simply as concerned citizens, worried by the spread of pseudoarchaeological or other pseudoscientific beliefs, we have to understand that there is an ecological dynamic in our own minds that pre-disposes us to accept or reject the spread of various notions. We have to examine ourselves before we can examine the mental ecology of the intellectual drifts that worry us.
How did we, individually and collectively, come to reject, or at least be critical of pseudoarchaeological perspectives? How did we become concerned enough about them to actively address them in public, in the classroom, and online in our work, in our family networks, and in our daily life?
The first part of the booklet gives some prompts for us to think about our own intellectual journey to an activist critique of pseudoarchaeology. I think this must be done before we can effectively engage with the public, with our students, colleagues, friends, and family.
I talk about my own encounter with pseudoarchaeology and how it eventually made me into an archaeologist. There are similar accounts from other people involved in archaeology, from near or far.
Having a better idea of where I sit on pseudoarchaeology and why, I move on to why it is so compelling to so many people. There are already plenty of excellent resources out there for debunking specific pseudoarchaeological claims and pseudoarchaeological approaches in general, so I don’t spend time on that here. My focus is understanding the appeal of pseudoarchaeology so that we can address it in terms that its audiences will understand and relate with. In that moment, when we get that question about ancient aliens, can we know where it comes from, so that we can answer in terms that are at least as compelling and interesting?
Having made some sense of where we come from, I then get into practical discussions of how to address pseudoarchaeology in the classroom, online, and in public. These are often scenario based, and rooted in my personal experience or that of colleagues. I do a couple of case studies, including a discussion of Rod Serling’s 1973 In Search of Ancient Astronauts. Again, this is not a debunking exercise, but rather a search for understanding.
In the memetic struggle against pseudoarchaeology, I fear that sometimes our attitude is not helpful. In these days of growing anti-intellectualism, heaping scorn on those who express interest in some pseudoarchaeological hypothesis is counter-productive. Ridicule tends to backfire. In a time when senior undergrads are likely to tell us in class, on a matter of fact, that “this is your opinion, and I have a right to mine”, appeals to academic authority are hollow and tend to harden positions rather than foster engagement.
1.6 Engaging with pseudoarchaeology
I encourage engaging with pseudoarchaeology. To the iconic question of the genre: “Is it possible?” the answer is normally “Yes”. I believe we need to openly acknowledge that. By dismissing the question out of hand, we increase our audience’s doubts about our motivations. Perhaps it is true, after all, that we don’t want these questions examined. Perhaps it is true, that we are hiding something. We play into the hands of the predatory pseudoarchaeologists by confirming for their audience their predictions about us, and how we will handle their claims.
Having acknowledged the possibility that some pseudoarchaeological claim could possibly be true, we need to mentor the questioner into looking beyond that question, at more productive questions. “Is it possible”, is not the most productive scientific question. Rather, we need to ask “is it likely?” Does the archaeological evidence require it to be true? Most importantly, how could we eventually test whether it is true? How could we determine it’s degree of likelihood? What information would we need to refute the claim? What are the implications of one answer or another? What do the possible answer mean for the present?
Where the pseudoarchaeologists are publicists, we need to be teachers. Where they are loud, we must be quietly effective. Ridicule and appeals to authority are not effective teaching tools. They can, however, be powerful marketing tools for the pseudoarchaeologists, especially when aimed at academic archaeologists.
The people behind the most potentially damaging pseudoarchaeological claims are no doubt predatory. They exploit the public’s ignorance of archaeological data to bolster their harmful ideologies. However, the vast majority of people drawn to their claims are truly interested in the past, in the same way that we are.
We need to help the public discover the wonder of the human past. We need to engage in mass teaching of critical archaeological thinking, rather than in mass assertion of archaeological authority. The main strategy of the predatory pseudoarchaeologists is to make claims that capture the public’s imagination, and then use those claims for their own benefit. Our main strategy in fighting them must be to ask the right questions about those claims, and guide the public to the consequent realizations about their implications.
2 My encounter with pseudoarchaeology
There was a used bookstore downtown, in a barely renovated nineteenth century warehouse. It was five floors of dense, rickety shelves, piled high with jumbled paperbacks in various states of decay. To say that they were sorted in any kind of order would have been a gross exaggeration, but there was a certain thematic geography to the place. In a dark corner of the top floor, up a dangerously steep and narrow staircase, was the esoteric books section.
On afternoons when it was too rainy or too cold to play outside, before the place burned to the ground in 1983, my father would load a bunch of us into the backseat of his giant Ford Torino and drive us to the used bookstore. He would give each of us a two dollar bill (we still had those back then) and let us loose in the labyrinth, each to find our own minotaur. The expensive books were usually a dollar. I stayed away from those. Many were 50 cents. A bunch went for a dime, especially the well worn, marked up paperbacks in the esoteric books section, which is where I always went.
I came out with arms full each time, but I read a lot more books on the spot than I ever bought there. While my siblings and friends pursued their own interests in their own preferred regions of the store, I ascended to the top floor, found the esoteric corner, and burrowed in for the duration, among the lapsed hippies, the bearded anarchists, and the wild-eyed conspiracy theorists. I don’t remember feeling out of place.
I read about ghosts and spirits, telepathy and telekinesis, spontaneous combustion and astral projection, about magick with a k, but nothing captured me like sunken continents, their lost civilizations, and those alien visitors, ancient and modern.
Those were important formative experiences for me. They kept alive my sense of wonder about the world through the stuffocating, stupefying, and intellectually bruising early school years. They prepared me for my first real investigation into pseudoarchaeology, which turned out, in fact, to be an exo-archaeology project, using what I would today call remote sensing (and definitely not remote viewing, which I also read about at the bookstore).
2.1 My first investigation of pseudoarchaeology
It must have been summer 1978, or maybe 79. I spent my entire summer allowance at the giftshop of what was then The Museum of Man in Ottawa, of all places (now The Canadian Museum of History), on a new copy, not a used one, of a French translation of George Leonard’s Somebody Else is on The Moon (Ils n’étaient pas seuls sur la Lune: le dossier secret de la N.A.S.A). The sticker in the bottom right corner of the back cover is badly faded, but I think it says $17.75. I guess I must have had a twenty dollar bill.
The book had everything this ten year old could have ever wanted: astronauts, aliens, super-technology, conspiracy, and it claimed to have ample evidence, in the form of original NASA photographs. It claimed it was real. I devoured the book. I was astonished by the evidence. There were incredible pictures, hidden in plain sight by NASA, of structures on the moon, traces of activity ancient and new, even alien mining machinery in current use, spewing dirt into the lunar sky.
And here is where, as a budding pseudo-archaeologist, I lost my prefix. I wanted to find out more. I wanted to see for myself. I wanted to see how far I could get, what I would find. My father happened to have been subscribed to National Geographic since the early sixties. National Geographic in those days had pictures of the moon. Lots of them. Good ones, printed on glossy paper.
I dove into his collection, not for the first time, but now more systematically and with a specific goal. I wanted to find my own lunar structures. I wanted to see in greater detail and in better prints the ones Leonard had identified. I wanted to find out everything I could about them.
My grand-father’s magnifying glass in hand, I scoured the magazines, helpfully arranged by space mission throughout the 60s. I found pictures of the same regions as the anomalies shown in the book. In some cases, I was lucky to find the very same photographs reproduced.
I won’t claim that I was happy, or even that I wasn’t bitterly disappointed when, seen in the higher quality reproductions in my father’s magazines, through my grand-father’s hand lense, the blocky lunar architecture of the alien factories, their insect-like mining machinery, dissolved into no less amazing but more parsimonious and very natural assemblages of ridges, boulders, and assorted small craters.
I was overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time. Such natural beauty. Such technological achievement to have reached them and photographed them in such detail. Such heartbreak that there was no evidence of aliens in sight.
While passionately pursuing it, I had unwittingly debunked my first pseudo-archaeology claim. Such was my outrage, that had any of my friends had any interest at all in any of this, I would have given several lengthy presentations of my findings to the assembled neighbourhood kids, with side by side comparisons of grainy black and white slides projected on our living room wall, no doubt.
I wanted to communicate my findings so bad, it hurt. It still hurts. I hope for their sake that my parents have forgotten the undoubtedly impassioned and endless dinner time monologues to which they must have been subjected in the wake of my detailed investigation.
Leonard’s overall conclusions, which for me were the main attraction, that aliens had intervened in human evolution, that they had been visiting us for millions of years, supported by his photographic findings, were suddenly hobbled, their hard data foundation brutally knocked out from under them. Even back then, I remember thinking that this didn’t make his claims necessarily false, it just meant that they weren’t supported the way he said they were.
The next time I encountered lunar archaeology claims, in Don Wilson’s Our Mysterious Spaceship Moon, I knew how to approach them. I systematically checked every claim as it came up, which in pre-internet days wasn’t quite as trivial as it sounds now. This more proactive approach, that involved a lot of biking to the public library and a lot of digging through index card catalogues, I retroactively applied to my other pseudo-archaoelogical readings and explorations, in Atlantis and Mu, at the Nazca Lines and at Stonehenge, which I began revisiting with new intellectual weapons at my disposal.
3 The appeal of pseudoarcaheology
A comic by Andrew Greenstone (Beyond Belief: Exhausted by the unknown at the cryptozoology conference), allowed me to crystalize two of the principles that I think are at the heart of pseudoscience’s appeal, not only to the public, but to scientists as well. The comic is about cryptozoology, but its lessons are applicable to pseudoarchaeology and the rest of pseudoscience. Besides, what with genetically engineered ancient alien Bigfoot these days, there is significant overlap between the areas.
2.1 There is always a more complicated explanation
Greenstone’s autobiographical character remarks, after being bombarded with increasingly unlikely stories about cryptids at a conference: “That’s sort of what I liked about cryptozoologists in the first place. When an obvious explanation is staring them right in the face, they’ll bend over backwards to find something that’s totally far out.”
This is in reaction to the story that when Melba Ketchum reported positive sasquatch DNA results on a hair sample drawn from a known hoax bigfoot, some cryptozoologists concluded there must be a real bigfoot that contributed DNA material to the fake bigfoot. Maybe, for example, the fake bigfoot was made at least partly of real bigfoot hair. Is it possible? Yes, yes it is. But it is very, very unlikely.
As the comic’s tagline brilliantly distills it: “There’s ALWAYS a more complicated explanation”. That is an important insight for understanding the appeal of pseudoscience, including pseudoarchaeology. Not only is there always a more complicated explanation, but a range of more complicated explanations are usually more fun and interesting than the obvious, prosaic, simple ones.
It is more fun and interesting to at least keep in mind the possibility that a fake bigfoot is made of real bigfoot hair, than it is to simply conclude that it is, in fact, a fake bigfoot. It is more fun and interesting to keep in mind the possibility, however remote, that an ancient advanced civilization was wiped out without a trace by an ice age, rather than to simply state that there is no evidence of an advanced civilization before the last glaciation. Importantly though, we have to remember that stating there is no evidence of something, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
The fun factor alone, while important, does not explain the hold that pseudoscience has on the public’s imagination. It especially doesn’t, in itself, explain that many people who later become academic researchers, including archaeologists, first encounter their future discipline through its pseudo variant, and are drawn in by it. It doesn’t explain that many, including myself, keep a life-long interest in engaging with the claims of their pseudocolleagues.
2.2 The simple explanation is not always the right one
The twin insight to “there is always a more complicated explanation” is that the simpler explanation is not always the right one. As researchers, we all learn some version of Occam’s razor. Until we can show that it is inadequate, we should favour the simpler explanation. Many of us, to be honest, sometimes fall into a heuristic in which the simpler explanation is the right one. This is especially true when we are confronted with the claims of pseudos. By training, we retreat to Occam Castle. We speak as if we know that the simpler explanation is true. This intellectual shortcut, to which we sometimes resort out of frustration, does us no favours with the public.
When someone claims that a carving in central America represents an ancient astronaut at the controls of a spaceship, we declare that there is a much simpler explanation. It is simpler because it doesn’t require us to posit the existence of ancient astronauts in the first place, among other reasons. But we often forget to grant that there are other possible explanations, however remote and unlikely.
We forget to say that until our simpler explanations are shown to be inadequate, we should favour them. Worse, we give in to the temptation of that heuristic short-cut and declare that the alternatives are false, because the simpler explanation exists. This is not literally what we mean, but it is very literally what we say. What the public hears is that we are claiming that there are no ancient astronauts because there is a simpler explanation. This goes against their intellectual instincts, and it should.
Members of the general public don’t have our level of knowledge about our discipline and our subject matter. They often don’t have experience evaluating archaeological or any other scientific evidence. They sometimes don’t have a clear sense of why and how one explanation is simpler than another.
However, members of the general public have a very clear, hard-earned overall sense, from daily experience, that the simplest explanation is not always the right one, or even the best one. Ask any plumber, computer technician, or social worker. They will confirm. They will know that when you come up with a simplest explanation to a set of observed facts, you still need to test it, and you can’t just start ignoring all the other possibilities, because your simple, neat and elegant explanation may very well be completely wrong. And then where would you be if you didn’t have those more complex explanations in reserve?
2.3 The possible and the impossible
Possibilism, then, is at the heart of the fundamental appeal of pseudoarchaeology. A bit of a structural analysis of Erich von Däniken’s “Chariots of the Gods?”, the grand-parent of the modern form of ancient astronaut theory, and thus of a good chunk of pseudoarchaeology, reveals this clearly.
Chariots of the Gods, first published in 1968, sold in the millions. It has been copied, rehashed, followed up, and its arguments used in countless books and television shows since then. To this day, people ask me about the book and its core claims on a regular basis.
The radical “possib” appears 98 times in the 1969 English language translation of the book, and its German equivalent, “möglich”, appears 94 times in the original. In both languages, this covers such words as possible, impossible, possibility, possibly, etc. Clearly, possibility is an important concept in von Däniken’s argumentation.
The word possible appears mainly in its sense of not-impossible. Again and again, von Däniken reminds us that ignoring possibility is a mistake. Speaking of intelligent life on other planets he asks “are we entitled to discard this possibility”. No, I would agree that we are not. This quite reasonable doubt of impossibility is then extended throughout the work to include the impossibility of doubting almost anything about the past, but mainly the intervention of ancient astronauts.
2. 4 The possible
Von Däniken is centrally concerned with possibility, and that is a big part of the appeal of his book. Not only is possibility interesting and stimulating, but to his question, is it possible?, the answer is almost never no. The realistic answer is almost always: “Vanishingly unlikely, and we have no evidence for this possibility whatsoever, but no, not absolutely, strictly speaking, impossible”.
The possibilities raised, that space aliens helped build the pyramids, or that the traditional legends people tell all over the world originated with them, appeal to many readers, who, reasonably, would rather live with an appealing possibility, even if unlikely, than with an unappealing impossibility.
It isn’t surprising then, that in the many cases (47 of 98), von Däniken invokes possibility in its mundane but titillating sense of “not impossible”. Early on, on page 47 he asks “are we entitled to discard this possibility?” It really doesn’t matter which possibility. Ignoring possibility is a mistake, and we are not allowed to. This argument obviously resonates with the public. It resonates with me.
In our daily lives, we are constantly reminded of the possible. As children, we are encouraged to think about what we can possibly achieve. As adults we pursue the possible. We honour those who push its limits. Denying possibility feels like a betrayal of who we are as individuals and as a society.
Von Däniken’s other major invocation of possibility is to remind us, again and again, appealing to daily experience and to the progressivist Western mindset, that what was impossible yesterday is possible today. In an interesting reversal, he argues on that basis that what is impossible today, therefore perhaps wasn’t impossible yesterday, at least if we allow a little help from aliens. What we can do tomorrow, the aliens could do yesterday. Just as our ancestors were primitive versions of us, maybe we are primitive versions of what the aliens were a long time ago.
Von Däniken, perhaps in unconscious echo of his conservative Catholic education, uses possibility in the same way as Abélard, constantly challenging us to a game of sic et non, in which he points out apparent contradictions in the archaeological record and in oral histories. These apparent contradictions are not contradictions at all he argues, if only we accept possibility and reject impossibility. They can and must be reconciled.
When data are contradictory, the first thing to suspect is not that there are problems with the data, but that there is an explanation that reconciles the apparent contradictions. It isn’t that there is currently unavailable archaeological data that would help us make sense of the apparent contradictions. Apparent contradictions must be reconcilable using the information at hand, and the reconciliation normally involves aliens.
This trait of the pseudoarchaeological ideological complex capitalizes on archaeology’s embrace of the unknown and of the uncertain. It offers to solve in one fell swoop the many problems and questions raised by a sparse, fragmentary, and overall problematic archaeological record.
If only we accept possibility, this mass of archaeological confusion can be resolved into a clear picture of the past. Through our rejection of possibility, archaeologists are the makers of our own confusion, and of our own helplessness to find answers about the past. Worse, some of us actively deny the possibility of alien intervention, for our own mysterious motives.
2.5 The impossible
The first thing von Däniken claims as impossible, is impossibility itself. The impossible is invoked rhetorically throughout the book, often paired with the ridiculous. “Impossible? Ridiculous? It is mostly those people who feel that they are absolutely bound by the laws of nature who make the most stupid objections”. Possibilism is the only possible silent answer to this rhetorical impossible.
Even though he tells us that “The word impossible should have become literally impossible for the modern scientist”, it turns out that even in the world of Chariots of the Gods, there are a remarkable number of impossibilities. Indeed, these impossibilities are just as part of its appeal to its core audience as the possibilities it opens up.
Most significantly, certainty is impossible. This is a predictable correlate of the doctrine that possibility is the only reasonable assumption. Specifically, it is impossible that we have enough knowledge in the present to decide what was impossible in the past. Consequently, everything, especially alien intervention, is possible. “Anyone”, he declares, “who does not accept [possibility] today will be crushed by the reality tomorrow”.
In carefully selected instances, however, that fit in with, and reinforce some of the pre-conceptions of the book’s audience, impossibility becomes a certainty. It is impossible that ancient humans had certain capabilities, such as moving large blocks of stone, or cutting them precisely enough to build some of the most well known archaeological monuments around the world.
It is impossible that ancient humans developed any kind of social order without advanced teachers from another world. It is impossible that similarities in technology, social organization, and stories and legends, are due to structural factors, to diffusion, or even to chance.
Since all alternative explanations are impossible, the only possibility is that these capabilities, this social order, these stories and legends, in fact have a shared alien origin and were separately handed down to different human groups as they were guided along our evolutionary path by alien god-figures. “It is impossible and incredible that the chronicles of the Mahabharata, the Bible, the Epic of Gilgamesh, the texts of the Eskimos, the Red Indians, the Scandinavians, the Tibetans and many, many other sources should all tell the same stories of flying ‘gods’, strange heavenly vehicles and the frightful catastrophes connected with these apparitions, by chance and without any foundation.” That’s a pretty definitive statement on possibility. That particular possibility at least, is an impossibility.
It is impossible, in the world of Chariots of the Gods, that a presentist interpretation of archaeological data is inaccurate. If something looks like a representation of a landscape that could have been made after seeing it from a flying machine, it is impossible that it is something else. If something sounds to modern ears like a description of a nuclear conflict, it is impossible that it is something else.
A further very important impossibility in the development of the pseudoarchaeological thought system is the impossibility of hiding the truth. “It will no longer be possible to offer man the nonsense that has been purveyed to him so brilliantly for thousands of years”.
Just as what was impossible yesterday is possible today, what was possible yesterday, this fooling of humanity by high priests and academics for their own inscrutable motives, is no longer possible today. The pseudoarchaeologists are the saviours who will right this wrong by making it impossible to deny possibility, and by making it possible to recognize impossibility.
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