Facing Up to the Fear Thing

By J. Douglas Kenyon

From ‘global warming’ to ‘asteroid impact,’ from swine flue to ‘2012’ the sheer number of doomsday scenarios mak­ing the rounds these days is mind boggling. Stir in popular conspiracy theories —from 9/11 “truth” to Apollo-moon­landing “doubt”—heat it up on the internet and in the media, and pretty soon justifiable anxiety over the reliability of society’s institutions morphs into a kind of toxic stew threatening to engulf us. All of which begs the question: are our problems causing the fear or is fear causing our problems?…

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The Calaveras Skull

By Michael Cremo

The most notorious human fossil discovered in the nineteenth century Gold Rush mines of California was the Calave­ras skull. The state geologist of California, J. D. Whitney (The Auriferous Gravels of the Sierra Nevada of California 1880, pp. 267–273), described how it came into his possession. In February 1866, James Mattison, the principal own­er of the mine on Bald Hill, near Angels Creek, removed this skull from a compact auriferious (gold-bearing) gravel layer 130 feet below the surface. The gravel was near the bedrock, underneath…

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Rennes-le-Château and the Tree of Life

By Philip Coppens

The small village of Rennes-le-Château in southern France has been the center of an enigma ever since a century ago a local village priest, Bérenger Saunière, spent millions decorating the church and surrounding buildings. For decades, despite the skepticism of some authors, no one has been able to explain where Saunière got the money to pay for the extravagant building works, which have attracted millions of visitors to this small hilltop village—or, indeed, why he constructed them at all. The history of the village, Saunière’s…

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