Are they crazy people, con artists or are they correct?
Some folks think the Universe is 13.7 billion years old and that it burst from a speck of near nothing. Then the Earth moseyed on in 6 billion years ago and life evolved 2ish billion years after that. Modern Man arose one to two hundred thousand years ago; Jesus was born between 0 BC and 0 AD; The 23-pound baby Grover Cleveland came along March 18th, 1873. Beyoncé 1981 and your kid’s goldfish* a couple of years ago.
But some fools think the dawn of civilization started on long lost lands like Kumari in the Indian Ocean or Atlantis—“A land beyond the Gates of Hercules (Gibraltar)” in the Atlantic as mentioned by Homer.
But wait! We have our own long lost land where civilization arose right here smack dab in the middle of the Pacific. Unlike Kamchatka, I want to visit Mu.
Mu was a continent that stretched from the Mariana Trench east of Japan to its last shred, Easter Island. The story goes that when Atlantis sunk some of the survivors went to Egypt founding that empire which was ruled over by Queen Móo. Others sailed west becoming the Mayans. Then some of the Atlantans set sail for Mu where they flourished.
In the late 19th century, the archeologist Augustus Le Plongeon discovered several Mayan sites and he had a solid reputation and conducted the first excavations of Chichen Itza.
But near the end of his career Augustus proposed that all the ancient civilizations came from a single source and wrote books and papers about the fabled Lands of Mu.
When Augustus died in 1908, James Churchward, a British writer and researcher ran with it, publishing several books detailing Mu history. Churchward claimed to have found a trove of 2,500 ancient clay tablets kept in a secret vault by a high-ranking priest (exact religion unknown), containing writings in the lost language of Mu.
Then William Niven (suspicious name) uncovered even more tablets, these in Mexico, revealing the entire arc of Mu history. Unfortunately, all the tablets have been misplaced. Churchward unfolded a vivid narrative of Mu as the home of an advanced civilization 50,000 to 12,000 years ago. Eventually there were 64 million people living in large cities spread across 22 provinces. They called themselves the Naacals and they lived in complete harmony with no conflicts and enjoyed long lives and perfect health. I guess this would explain the large population. The Garden of Eden was in Mu, of course.
The statues on Easter Island are all that is left of this once great land.
This sounds like the stuff of novels but it is more than that. These histories were presented as facts. Augustus, James and William’s ideas fall into one of three categories though they do overlap. Either they are knowingly lying and have some reason to make stuff up; or they actually believe what they propose. The third possibility is that they are right. Evidence precludes this last option. Crazy, Con or Correct. Take your pick.
In the last few years we have gone from a time of relative sanity (I say ‘relative’ though I can’t explain the genetically engineered hairless cat or disco music) to a world with the term ‘alternative facts’; perhaps the most comical oxymoron of all time propounded by an actual moron.
All three of our archeologists had solid reputations that were dashed by insisting that Mu was real—yet they persisted. This field of inquiry is known as pseudoarcheology and it still goes on today with people like Graham Hancock. Graham is a best-selling author whose books outsell science books ten to one.
In the Eastbay of San Francisco there is a 50-mile long stone wall some say is evidence of the Chinese coming to America thousands of years ago…or is the cattle fence constructed by the Hayward Ranch in the 1880s.
Now we now live in an era when some people look straight into the cameras and say impossible things that risk making our heads explode. I like the expression that Daniel Patrick Moynihan coined, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” Now, a significant number of people subscribe to ‘truthiness.’ This is Steven Colbert’s word meaning: if my gut says it’s true then it’s ‘my truth’ and therefore a fact.
All this nonsense is a problem but the solution is pretty straightforward. Let’s invent a time machine and go back to Mu and hang out at the beach.
*A special note on goldfish. It is illegal in many cities and towns in Italy to cage a goldfish in a spherical bowl because as the animal rights people in Italy contend: “It gives the fish a distorted view of reality.” I bet you thought that the USA was the only place with woke laws. https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/rome-bans-cruel-goldfish-bowls-1.556045