Scientific establishment debunkheads have no shortage of words to describe British author-journalist Graham Hancock – pseudoscientist, pseudo-historian, pseudo-archaeologist, fanatacist, charlatan, and “pyramidiot,” to name but a few – but the prize goes to Scientific American, which branded him an “audacious autodidact.”
We prefer to think of Graham Hancock as he describes himself – an “unconventional thinker who raises questions about humanity’s past.” Hancock does not purport to claim everything he says is a scientific fact. Rather, he proposes plausible and intriguing scenarios that challenge conventional thinking and invite further inquiry.
Hancock has at the very least led an unconventional life. His family moved to India when he was three, and he is married to a woman from Malaysia who specializes in photographing ancient monuments. They have six children. Hancock’s writings, however, were quite conventional until he neared the age of 40 – at which time he became fascinated with the possibility that advanced human civilizations existed during the Ice Age, thousands of years before the dawn of our recorded history.
If you think about it, the idea is not far-fetched. The end of the Ice Age was a massive global warming event that caused ocean levels to rise 400 feet and submerge a substantial portion of the planet’s land area. Is it not possible that once-thriving civilizations were destroyed without a trace? Why does nearly every culture around the world tell tales of a great ancient flood? Does the story of the mystical lost city of Atlantis not have a familiar ring to it?
Hancock has written many books on this topic. Some of his ideas are thought-provoking, while others are, well… just out there. Does the Sphinx predate ancient Egypt by thousands of years? Did a destructive comet obliterate much of civilization during the Ice Age (and is another one headed our way in 2030)? Does the Ark of the Covenant still exist, and is it currently housed in a heavily-guarded chapel in Ethiopia? Is NASA concealing evidence of an ancient extraterrestrial presence on Mars?
Hancock freely admits he has made mistakes but believes always in striving for accuracy and setting out his sources clearly and openly. And just as importantly, he is determined to experience “boots on the ground” adventure as part of his research and not be an armchair theorist. When writing about submerged civilizations, he spent five years visiting sites of interest and scuba diving in difficult and dangerous waters. When exploring the history of human consciousness and investigating the supernatural, he traveled to the Amazon to drink the visionary brew Ayahuasca with shamans.
Hancock’s energies are no longer focused exclusively on studying Ice Age civilizations. He has incorporated his learning into several imaginative novels and continues to enjoy immense popularity among open-minded enthusiasts who share his passionate curiosity about the world’s mysteries.