Tuesday, September 15, 2015

#1463: David Hatcher Childress(?)


It is hard to imagine a more magnificent, lunatic, exciting, disturbed, cool, unhinged and batshit crazy world than the one David Hatcher Childress seems to believe he inhabits. Childress is the owner of Adventures Unlimited Press, a publishing house established in 1984 to publish fantasy novels, science fiction and hack-and-slash roleplaying accessories – though the AUP doesn’t advertise their publications as such, of course. Among their titles you will find everything from the most incoherent lunacy to the crankiest of pseudoscience centered around ancient mysteries, unexplained phenomena, energy woo, alternative history and historical revisionism. It is, admittedly, not always clear to what extent Childress actually subscribes to the ideas he is pushing, but he has himself authored numerous volumes of imaginative rubbish on lost cities (Atlantis, Lemuria), pole shifts, hollow earth, pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact, suppressed technology (Nikola Tesla and free energy), UFOs, ancient astronauts, anti-gravity and vimana aircrafts, the starchild skull (with Brien Foerster), secret societies (in particular the Knights Templar), as well as time travel and cryptozoology (yetis and sasquatch, mostly).

Childress refers to himself as a pseudo-archeologist” (rogue archaeologist” is his preferred wording, but those are synonyms; he has, of course, no qualifications whatsoever and what he does resembles archaeology only if you disregard the research, accountability, truth, care for evidence, reason or, well, the archaeology parts). In 1992, Childress also founded the World Explorers Club, which occasionally runs tours to places he writes about, and publishes the magazine World Explorer. He has also made numerous TV appearances for NBC (The Mysterious Origins of Man), Fox Network (Sightings and Encounters), Discovery Channel, A&E, and the History Channel (e.g. Ancient Aliens, of course). On The Mysterious Origin of Man he even appears to be promoting some kind of young-earth creationism, and he certainly defends nothing less than the Paluxy River tracks, which even Answers in Genesis admits is bunk, but really: If you ever encounter a piece of lunatic pseudoscience so crazy that you doubt even whale.to would push it, chances are David Hatcher Childress has already been there, done that (the Coso artifact, anyone? Oh, yeah.)

That said, we do remain somewhat skeptical. While Childress’s claims are untarnished crazy, they also have a remarkable tendency to be tailored to (and consistently outdo) whatever idiotic piece of nonsense is popular at any given time with little or no concern about diachronic consistency – some great examples are discussed here. Concerning out-of-place artifacts his 2006 view (“Atlantis, Ho!”) was that:

[M]y whole thing is that this stuff is from this planet. These giant ruins aren’t built by extraterrestrials. I say they were built by humans. Mankind and civilization goes back 50,000 years or more.”

But in The Time Travel Handbook from 1999? Well:

Nearly all of the ‘ancient astronaut’ evidence that can be found in the hundreds of books on the subject, can be alternatively explained in the time travel hypothesis, and have been.”

Ok … but what about the aliens? Well, his explanation on Ancient Aliens was:

What kind of powers would you have to have to do that? The powers of an extraterrestrial?

Or maybe he is … just adjusting his beliefs to … the evidence?

Diagnosis: Apparently Indiana Jones is a bit too much for the weak of mind. The weak of mind would perhaps include Childress, but definitely include his rather uncanny number of fans among those challenged by the fantasy–reality distinction.

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