Nick Redfern’s book “The Pyramids and The Pentagon” is subtitled “The Government’s Top Secret Pursuit of Mystical Relices, Ancient Astronauts, and Lost Civilizations“, and its 250+ pages basically deliver what it says on the tin, although (as nearly always with this kind of thing) each short vignette seems to end with some variation on the rider ‘…but perhaps They don’t know what’s going on either‘.

What intrigued me about the book enough to buy a copy was its suggestion (repeated by Redfern on a Binnall of America podcasty interview he did) that Jonathan Swift had seen the Voynich Manuscript, and from that had (somehow) deduced that Mars had two moons (as mentioned in his book “Gulliver’s Travels”, some 150 years before Phobos and Deimos were physically observed for the first time). Redfern had the Voynich connection suggested to him by someone called “Robert Manners” (who I’ve never seen any mention of, please leave a comment here if you know who he is!), who also asserted that the NSA archives were full of other extraordinary Voynich Manuscript-related information, which will presumably all come out in the fullness of time.

To be fair, though, NASA’s view on the subject is that Swift was probably more influenced by Kepler’s ideas on Celestial Harmony, and for whom the Earth’s one moon and Jupiter’s four moons mathematically implied that Mars (in between) could well have two moons. And – to be brutally honest – it’s hard to see how Swift (who I don’t think ever ventured onto mainland Europe) would have even seen the Voynich Manuscript (which during his lifetime probably languished unseen in a Jesuit trunk or archive), let alone deduce from its deviously impenetrable script some meaning relating to two moons that telescopes would not be able to optically resolve for another century or so. It’s all a bit… thin, I have to say.

All the same, I rather enjoyed the rest of Redfern’s book: given that it had interesting stuff about the Rollright Stones, I had better pass it on at speed to my old friend Pete Edwards (who was once a Rollright Stones trustee) who is bound to enjoy that section thoroughly. As would you, I think, just… don’t take too much notice of the Voynich bit, OK? =:-o

One thought on “2012 Advent Calendar Day #5: Review of Nick Redfern’s “The Pyramids and The Pentagon”…

  1. I don’t know about Swift’s influence for the moons of Mars and the C14 dating of the manuscript as it stands excludes and reason to even consider optics, Kepler etc. But given a later date (by any miraculous means – such as late use of vellum) I would (and have) said that such works as astronomy, optics and astronomers of C16/C17th (Kepler enigma – where is the missing folio?) are plausible explanations of the data seen in the VM. Tycho and Kepler were heavily involved in observations and calculations of Mars, and predictions may be formulated on data alone so in this scenario I would expect Mars to be found in detail probably in the astronomical/biological folios and the rosettes too. Swift’s deductions let alone observation of the VM may be thin to say the least be, but Kepler…

    Still, an impossibility as we all know.


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