Welcome back. As per Barstool Nate’s report earlier this week that Conspiracy Sundays were returning, well, he was right. We’re here now. Every Sunday from now until football season starts back up again we’ll be breaking down some random conspiracy theory that comes across my internet desk. I don’t care how large or small these conspiracy theories, ghost stories, urban legends, or just weird shit in need of investigation may appear from afar. If there’s meat on the bone I’m going to chew it. Mostly because there are a fuck ton of Sundays between now and September. 30 of them to be precise. So if you have one you’d like to see investigated from all angles let me know. As for the first one of this year, it’s only right that I start with one of the most requested conspiracy theories: The Phantom Time Hypothesis.
In 1991, Heribert Illig hypothesized that nearly 300 years of history were straight up made up. Just flat out didn’t happen. The years 614-911 AD to be precise. In Illig’s hypothesis, he claims that The Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, Pope Sylvester II, and Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII conspired to lie about what year it was in order to place themselves in the year 1000 AD. Simply because it sounded much cooler to be alive during the year 1000. Which I have to agree with. As someone who lived through the year 2000 I definitely felt more special than anyone who lived in like 1840 or some wack ass shit like that. I don’t think anything in my life was as hot in the streets as the anticipation for Y2K. 1999 was like a whole 12 months of build up for the year 2000. It made people goddamn morons because they thought it was going to be the end of times. The Mayans didn’t have as much sway as the alleged Y2K virus that was going to send us back to the stone age and also somehow wipe out most of humanity. So I completely get where Otto, Sylvester and Constantine were coming from.
Plus, what really is time but a manmade construct. The fact that we even have an AD and BC system is utter garbage and has gone by unchecked for far too long. If we really want to get nuts we should be in the year 10 billion or some shit like that. I don’t know who made the call to hit the breaks and start walking around calling it “Year 1 AD” back in the day but it must have been confusing as fuck for people who were 24. We’re too far in at this point to make any adjustments to the calendar we have all agreed to go off of but I can’t blame these three guys for potentially attempting to just jump to 1000 AD. Mostly because, again, there had been billions of years of Earth before hand. A truly inconsequential decision indeed had it been made.
Most historians completely reject the Phantom Time Hypothesis, because they deal in things like “facts” and other hogwash. But let’s take a look at some of their “facts” to see if they truly disprove the Phantom Time Hypothesis. Pliny the Elder recorded a solar eclipse in 59 AD while he was working as a Roman officer under rule of King Nero. (Yeah, that Nero. The 666 guy.) It is this solar eclipse (along with other recorded ancient astronomical events such a Halley’s Comet sighting by the Tang Dynasty) that is leaned upon heavily to show that the dates line up with the modern calendar. Ergo, since we exactly know when to expect the next eclipse we can also go backwards in time to know exactly when one would have occurred. And if these 300 years were missing these dates would not line up. They apparently do line up, however, what I believe most fact-based historians are missing is the fact that, again, Pliny the Elder was working under NERO. Now, Pliny is very on the record of calling Nero one of the worst humans to ever walk the Earth. Whether or not he started talking like that before or after Nero forced one of his pals to kill him in a kind of suicide-by-cop type of way remains to be seen. Either way, I do not trust Pliny the Elder. You’re judged by the company you keep, those are the rules, and someone who the literal Bible warns us of returning strictly in an apocalypse sense is not to be trusted. Pliny the Elder might have seen an eclipse. Might not have. I’m not taking his personal account as the end all be all to throw the Phantom Time Hypothesis so hastily out the window.
Nearly everything else used to dispel the Phantom Time Hypothesis heavily involves religion, such as the Council of Nicaea and the literal lifetime of the prophet Muhammad. There’s also the Byzantine Empire and that pesky Tang Dynasty again. As a general life rule, anything that heavily involves Catholicism cannot be trusted. Enron’s books look clean in comparison to the corruption of the Catholic Church. So score that one for Illig’s theory. Where the train starts to come off the tracks for me is the Tang Dynasty. I was hoping the Tang was one of those Chinese dynasties that lasted thousands and thousands of years so I could say, “Hey. They had too long a run to truly know what happened exactly when. It would be easy to have some dates mixed up.” But nope. 618-907 AD. Literally the entire time Illig is trying to say didn’t exist. I have no spin for this. The Chinese had nothing to gain by playing into the lie of Charlemagne just to jump ahead to the year 1000. I don’t even think modern day China cares that it’s 2019 to the rest of the world. They have their own New Year, they do their own thing and seem not to give a shit what the rest of us got going on. And I respect the hell out of it, even if it seems to be the hardest evidence an all time conspiracy theory.
Which is a shame. Because as much as I said I enjoyed living through the year 2000, it would be WILD to throw a challenge flag and have that overruled, bringing us back to the year 1722. Think about how much better of a look for all of humanity that would be if it was 1722? All of the technological advances that have been made over the last 100 years would be credited to the 1600s. In the real 1600s the United States wasn’t even a thing yet. But since it’s looking like we cannot go backwards, I still say we go the other way with it. Since these smartass science dweebs feel so confident with post-dating eclipses and whatnot, how about they go as far back as possible and let’s get this year shit correct once and for all. No more BC and AD bologna. You tell me what year it actually is and let’s roll. Happy February 10, 478324678th everybody!