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Mail Bag

From time to time, Lost Civilizations Uncovered publishes some of the mail we receive each day. Here's a sample of what our readers are thinking.

   LATEST MAIL 

The following letter is in response to "Inside the Necronomicon":
 
I just wanted to congratulate you on such an in depth and informative article.  I have not seen anyone debunk a theory or a hoax such as you have done in this article.  I couldnt stop reading it, even though I knew the facts would just support the truth about it. (As if we all didn't know in the first place.)  I believe that if more people opened up top the common sense that lies within a book of such power, that they would find that it would have spawned many religious and cult-based religions, such as the Bible and other religious texts.  I just wanted to say thank you, for fighting on the side of common sense.
- Ari Racz
 
The following letter is in response to "A Skeptic's Defense of Supernatural TV":
I discovered your web site through HPLovecraft.com and your recent article for the Skeptics site. Your site is great and for a Lovecraft aficionado like myself a needed service to dispell some of the nonsense floating around about the gentleman from Providence. Keep up the fight!
- Daniel del Valle
 
The following letter is in response to "Archaeological Coverup":
I am a great niece of John Ora Kinnaman. He married my great Aunt Flossie. I spent time with him when I was young and my father was raised by John and Flossie in Georgia as a young boy. He was a very bright man and had many good qualities but unfortunately was not truthful about many things. He copied the works of others and took them on as his own. His biography is full of untruths, his travels to Europe and the Middle East for instance. My family and I are amazed at some of the things we have read. In his day people never checked facts: no computers, etc. When I log on to the Kinnaman Foundation and see how they are trying to get donations for this "research" it really bothers my family and myself. I hope all of these "theories" will be debunked. Thanks.
- Sharon Bochkay

The following letter is in response to "Who Lost the Middle Ages":
Victor Podinovski's tutorial on the three kinds of statistical error with respect to Fomenko's dating Ptolemy's Almagest to the 11th century is beside the point.  Fomenko's statistical analysis got the wrong date for the Almagest because he took as constant Earth's obliquity when it is a variable that changes at a very slow, but known, rate.  Astronomer Dennis Rawlins explained this in DIO 4.3, 1994, p. 119, which can be accessed via http://www.dioi.org/vols/w43.pdf.

- C. Leroy Ellenberger
"Worlds Still Colliding"
http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/velstcol.html

   PREVIOUS LETTERS 

I stumbled across your review of Graham Hancock's "Underworld" and was pleasantly surprised by its even-handedness. It's rare to find any review which leaves one feeling that its author has actually read what he's reviewing.

I agree with you that Hancock does wobble between a fairly strict empirical approach and unsupported theorizing.  Nevertheless, you were right to give him credit for the new ground he's breaking, regardless of what it may ultimately signify.

One small quibble -- I believe Hancock does say in "Underworld" that the chief reason for the lack of underwater research by "mainstream" archaeologists is lack of funding.

- Bill Cleere 

Thanks for keeping an eye on these folks. There's quite enough nonsense going around, and frankly the nuts seem to be winning.

 

A few years ago I was traveling in the Yucatan with a friend who is a Ph.D. in Maya myth and religion. While viewing a stone carving of an ancient figure I happened to mention von Daniken just to see if I could get a rise. Oddly enough, he said that von Daniken's ideas were what first interested him in the Maya. He went on to say that now we not only know that the figure claimed to be an "ancient astronaut" wasn't, but we know who he was, what he did, and who his daddy was. We also agreed that the more you know about the Maya, and I suspect other ancient peoples, the more insulting to them in particular, and humanity in general the idea that some outside force is needed for the achievements of their civilization. Thanks again for the good work.

 

- Chris Taber

 

You 've got a wonderful website.  I really applaud your effort.  Read your Lovecraft-Von Daniken stuff today - fascinating.

 

- Michael Heiser

www.sitchiniswrong.com

 

 

I found your article on the similarities between the stories of H.P. Lovecraft and the modern pseudosciences very interesting. There is another link that I don't think anyone has touched upon: the connection between Lovecraft and the alien-abduction phenomenon.

 

"The Whisperer in Darkness" is the granddaddy of all "aliens among us" stories, and includes basic elements of UFO beliefs. There are no spaceships mentioned, but the aliens from Yuggoth have underground bases in New England, make secret contacts with certain humans, and abduct other humans back to their home planet for further study. Sounds like William Cooper and the rest of the Dulce crowd.

 

In "The Shadow Out of Time," a man is mentally, not physically, abducted by aliens. He discovers this as he investigates the "missing time" in his own life. His memories of his abduction have been deliberately wiped by the aliens. However, fragmentary memories remain in his subconscious mind and plague him psychologically until he learns the truth, which is that he is one of many such abductees throughout history. Sounds like Whitley Strieber and many others less famous.

- E. Stutz

I started doing research on ancient civilizations, and you have put it all together for me. Thank you.

- Robert Esparza

While you do present an interesting amount of insight, your work has a bit of a flaw.

When you attempt to disprove a point, you do it from a close-minded angle. Rather than allowing your self to take a look from the view of those who believe in the idea that you attempt to disprove, or even those that kinda believe, you attack the idea from only your view point, not allowing the thought of truth in the idea to start at all.

This may seem like a good thing for a convincing piece, but unfortunately it only alienates the two groups mentioned above. In other words, the only readers you convince are the ones that already shared your beliefs.

The close-minded angle is nicely subtle, but it still exists in the little bits of biased opinion you put in there. The only way to present a pure, irrefutable truth is to do so without opinion, without bias. This creates a pure form of knowledge, one that looks at "why it can" and "why it can't." And unfortunately, the only way to do this without creating your own opinion, yet still being convincing is to give "why it can" a chance, and to present refuting knowledge in such a way that it would convince anyone. Open-mindedness is the key to this. You must be able believe the idea you're disproving, note what causes you to believe, and disprove it on those grounds, all without using any bias or religion that states otherwise. Remember, they don't believe what you believe, so all you would be doing is trying to disprove their truths with your lies.

Please do not get the idea that I am knocking on you, or acting high and mighty. This is hard stuff to do, and I'll be the first to admit that I can't. You're also not all that closed-minded.

- D. Davidson

Note: The following letter discusses the article "Who Lost the Middle Ages?" An updated and revised version of the article was published in Skeptic magazine (v. 11 n. 2):

I don't have a firm opinion about New Chronology and am not going to defend or discard it. Time will show. The purpose of my short message is to point out two of your arguments which are incorrect.

Firstly, you are saying "Let us suffice it to say without getting into complex mathematics that the Fomenko method of analyzing the stars does not quite prove his point because he must first assume that Ptolemy's values are without error in order to 'prove' their 'true' date. A small error in value on the part of Ptolemy could and does throw all Fomenko's calculations to the wind." Quite the opposite: Fomenko assumes there must be three types of mistakes: outliers, systematic and unsystematic. The first kind is obvious mistakes, they don't fit into any, old or new, chronology and have to be discarded. The second type is systematic, possible, for example, if the same unadjusted tool was used for measurement of a large cluster of stars, or similar things. This shifts a whole cluster of stars by the same value. This is identified (by statistics) and corrected for. What is left is unsystematic mistakes, or random noise, that is small imperfections of measurements. This noise should be small. Then the question is what is the century which fits best, although not ideally, into this picture. The answer is 11th century. Fomenko says that, in order to fit Almagest into its current place on the time scale, one has to assume that the noise of measurement was 4%, and even the weels of carriages were made to a better precision. Therefore, you are not right in saying that Fomenko does not account for possible erroros. He does, and uses the most sophisticated approach here, that is mathematical statistics.

Secondly, Fomenko argues (with examples) that the carbon dating method produces an error of a few thousand years. Please read these explanations or ask any physicist, they will confirm. The carbon dating only makes sense in geology where a mistake of a few thousand years is unimportant. That is all. Again, I am not trying to judge who is right, but hope you will agree with me that those two points of yours are not quite true.

- Victor Podinovski, PhD.
Senior Lecturer, Operational Research
Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

Old knowledge from Mars becomes reality. Life has been brought to Earth from the outside. The Sun created all the planets. Humans originated form dinosaurs. People live in big illusion that the Universe created for them. Your information about eternal life is behind memory barrier. Humankind is about to enter new epoch of development. There are no predictions.

- Jim Motluk

I notice that you connect Aleister Crowley with Satanism in "From Cthulhu to Cloning". He didn't so much worship Satan as accuse Christians of worshipping Satan. And even that seems metaphorical. Briefly, Crowley saw "Christianity" as an obstacle to mystic experiences, which he sometimes described in Gnostic/Hindu terms as visions of the truth beyond the universe of illusion. (Illusion created by the metaphorical Great Magician, and maintained by "demons" or distactions from the path.)

- Dan Keys

Great site: provides a much needed break from the mindrot!

- C.S. DeBlues

I much enjoyed your debunking of Childress's Ancient Atomic Warfare
fantasies but think you appear to have done L Sprague de Camp a disservice.
Whilst he was a fan of Lovecraft's fiction he was also an engineer who had
little time for the sort of twaddle put out by the likes of Childress and
Hancock. That minor point aside your site is very good and I have recommended it
a couple of times on my own
pages. I appreciate what you are doing. Best wishes,

- Ross Sargent

Nice site all the same, despite the disingenuousness all such "'skeptically" inclined are prone to be by their nature (perhaps calling it "pseudo-skeptical" would be a little unkind, but only a little). I never realized I'd been brain-washed by fiction writers all these years. I only wish I had your super-lucid grasp of 'reality'. ... YOUR (sic) NOT NEARLY AS CLEVER AS YOU THINK!

- Rainer Scott

Regarding the article "Ancient Atom Bombs":
I am not here to defend
[David Hatcher] Childress. but to make him out to be a crack pot is not fair to you or him. [To] attack his theory is one thing, but keep it fair,no cheap shots. Even Immanuel Velikovsky brings up the green glass in his book Earth in Upheaval. Let me remind you what he said: "yet the enigmatic and rather regular signs of fire in graves of the Old and Middle Kingdoms of Egypt, as if from the presence of some volatile substance that penetrated there and became inflamed by the heated ground is worth mentioning." Even he was not willing to dismiss it as a myth. But he wasnt willing to say it was from atomic bombs either. There is something there, and there are places all around the world like this [with] green glass that can not be explained. I have no clue what it is or where they come from but to poke fun at someone is not right; please keep your comments fair. Leave the cheap shots to the main frame professors who think because they have a peice of paper that they have all the answers.

- William Farkas

I'm a crew leader for the Mount Konocti Project Foundation, of over thirty years of research in Clearlake, California. We are now finding evidence that the people who inhabited this area originally came from the continent of Mu. We should be inside the volcano this summer.

- Kevin Kealey

Am quite enjoying your site, especially having devoured many of the same books and now coming to about the same feelings, it would be cool but....

- Tom Bagford

Thank you so much for your insight. I have not read Fingerprints of the Gods, but your description of Hancock's metamorphosis was enlightening.It is my impression that due to Hancock's work and others, such beliefs are on the rise, but this is just a speculation and perhaps there is actually less ignorance and superstition regarding this sort of thing than there has been in the past.

- Philip Ozdemir

I feel cheated now.

- Aaron Miles

Thanks for all the work you've done on this site - the stuff about Hancock's (hidden) debt to Lovecraft was excellent!

- Jaime Young

Intriguing. I turn here for debunking every time I see another article on related topics.

- Don Gilbert

Science is a funny thing because it claims to be impartial and unbiased due to rule based peer review. Much like the argument from authority, rule based peer review often becomes publishing it. Your site does a service by attempting at the very least to take the truth claim on it's merits and then seeing if the logic holds water.

- Charles Stegiel

Excellent website, with very interesting articles. There seems to be dearth of common-sense and sound reasoning when attempting to explain anomalies in ancient history.

- Daniel McMaster

Love this site! I love to debunk people's silly beliefs. I send all my recalcitrant patients here for more intensive therapy. A shame the web doesn't have more scholarly rebuttals for the nonsence which passes for learning these days. We live in a world filled with very serious problems. It's a shame so much human intelect is squandered on crop circles and ancient aliens. You're doing a great service. Keep up the excellent work!

- Zoe King

It's about time someone made a site like this: a Mecca of fact and reason. Incredible. Simply incredible.

- John Elizar Horton

NOTE: Some letters have been edited for clarity, privacy, and to run in the space allotted. All letters become the property of Lost Civilizations Uncovered and may be printed or quoted unless otherwise specified.

I would love to hear from you! If you have a comment or a question, send it to me at JasonColavito@hotmail.com.

2002-2006 Jason Colavito. All rights reserved.