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When conspiracy nuts attack: Historic site defaced, but the reasons are stupid

We’re huge fans of Jason Colavito, an Albany-based writer and professional bullshit debunker who heroically takes on all of the garbage being slung at us from cable TV shows about ancient “aliens” or pre-Columbian American hoo-hah and the like.

Few people take the time not only to get ancient and more recent history right, but to amass deep knowledge about the fakers and frauds throughout recorded time who have passed off bogus stories about Atlantis and the like, and how those stories end up being passed off on television today.

Anyway, we are marveling at the maelstrom of shit that Jason has waded into now, involving an overhyped roadside attraction in New Hampshire that went by the name “Mystery Hill” for decades before its owners realized alternative history was hot and changed the name to “America’s Stonehenge.” As Jason explains in a short video he made in 2013, as a teenager he visited Mystery Hill genuinely hoping to see a mighty megalithic structure like its namesake, and was shocked and disappointed to find just “tiny stones” that rocked his youthful interest in cryptohistory. (He also admits to taking a photo of himself lying on the “sacrificial slab,” which is a pretty fun detail.)

Less excitable historians judge the structures to be remnants of early settlers in the area, and the “sacrifical slab” was used not for blood sacrifices but for the less sexy chore of making lye, or something. But that kind of thing doesn’t get in the way of a good story, and so plenty of journalists even at good publications will repeat the farcical propositions that the site is pre-Columbian, perhaps Druidic. Hell, maybe the Egyptians were involved, right?


Anyway, one of the people helping to amp up interest in the site is ‘America Unearthed’ host Scott Wolter, who argues for a “masonic” origin to the stones. Colavito has repeatedly showed that Wolter is full of shit, and Wolter, apparently, isn’t happy about it. And that became abundantly clear this week.

About a week ago, vandals attacked America’s Stonehenge, taking a power saw to the sacrificial slab and carving in the message “WWG1WGA.” As Colavito explains, this is a reference to “Where we go one, we go all,” the slogan of the mouthbreathers fixated on the Q-Anon conspiracy, and who tend to be right-wing religious conservatives.

Colavito pointed out that the lesson was pretty inescapable: With Wolters pushing a “masonic” theory and other TV types putting American’s Stonehenge in their shows and arguing for pagan origins, it’s upped the location’s visibility to the point where some Q-Anon wingnuts decided to strike a blow for Yahweh.

We agree that that’s, sadly, what’s probably going on. But Colavito was stunned to see that when Wolter wrote about it, he blamed Colavito and other debunker types — “hate bloggers and close-minded academics” — for not showing more respect for these alternative, crypto-historical theories.

Colavito tweeted about Wolter’s jab, “I hope you’re listening to the river of shit coming out of your host’s mouth, Travel Channel.”

Cable TV? Listen? No, they aren’t listening to anything other than the money piling up from shoveling pseudohistory at us, day after day.

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