A lot of the themes in this book have had a tendency to loop over on themselves, taking us back full circle to ideas we thought we'd left behind. Like interweaving vines all worming their way towards the same sun. In the previous chapter we ended up at Lenin, which in turn took us back in a loop to the red-haired revolutionaries of the chapter before that. In this chapter we come full circle once again, only this time right back to the first chapter, and the ancient origins of red hair. We reach this destination via the mythic-scientific (and possibly red-haired) Neanderthals, and via conspiracy theories involving redheads in ancient Egypt and elsewhere. So ouroboros-style we'll end at the start, and start at the end. It also gives us a nice excuse to explore some of the strange (but fascinating) ideas that are out there in Internet-land about red hair.
We might as well start in Atlantis ..where all things on-line begin. One Atlantis myth that often does the rounds on the Internet is the story of Prince Idon of Mu. The general story goes something like this. Prince Idon discovered Atlantis after fleeing his homeland. Arriving at sunset he was so amazed by the brilliant red colours in the sky that his hair magically became bright red upon seeing it. He was the very first redhead and all other redheads are descended from him.
The story always appears in this same form and never runs longer than one or two paragraphs. In fact, the short synopsis I've just written contains all the details that are out there about it. It seems to just get repeated again and again on various on-line sites - I can't complain too much about that though as that's pretty much all I'm doing right now. I can't find any reference to a Prince Idon anywhere else, and as far as I can tell there isn't any provenance for the tale outside the on-line world, so it very much seems to be a modern myth. No doubt created by some imaginative person and then repeated ad infinitum by red hair aficionados like myself. It's quite a cool story though, for redheads anyway, and it manages to contain all the salient elements of modern redhead lore - Atlantis, royalty, a red-haired bloodline, the orange sun. The fact that he's called Prince Idon "of Mu" is also quite clever as it taps into the notion, common in Theosophical circles, that the inhabitants of Atlantis are in turn descended from the inhabitants of Mu or Lemuria - that other fabled lost continent in esoteric mythology.
On a side note, while on the topic of Theosophy it's interesting to note that it's co-founder, the famed Madame Blavatsky, actually mentioned redheads in her works. Writing in Isis Unveiled;
"In India, as well as in Russia and some other countries, there is an instinctive repugnance to stepping across a man's shadow, especially if he have red hair ...[t]he magnetism of a red-haired man, we have found, in almost every nation, is instinctively dreaded. We might quote proverbs from the Russian, Persian, Georgian, Hindustani, French, Turkish, and even German, to show that treachery and other vices are popularly supposed to accompany the rufous complexion."Returning to the Atlantis stuff though, it all seems to tap into a wider on-line theme - namely the idea that redheads were once the sea-faring rulers of the ancient world. The basic premise states this; that all the ancient civilisations of pre-history were started and ruled by seafaring redheads, who originally came from Atlantis; and that these "Atlanteans" seeded a global cultural awakening - traces of which can be found everywhere from South America to ancient Egypt. With evidence for this being found in various ancient myths, and in the mummified remains of redheaded people discovered around the globe.
We mentioned mummified redheads in the first chapter. These mummies have not only been found in Egypt, but also in other far flung places. A brief Internet search will bring up countless examples - most notably the red-haired mummies of Peru, and the red-haired Tarim mummies that have been found in China. There are also countless legends and stories of red-haired rulers coming from far across the sea. For example, it's said that the Aztecs mistook Hernan Cortes for the god Quetzalcoatl, as he had light skin, light eyes, red hair and arrived by ship from across the ocean. It's also been suggested that the red capstones on the tops of the famous Easter Island statues are symbolic of red hair. Polynesian myths likewise speak of redheaded rulers. One Kiribati legend speaks of eels coming ashore who turned into red-haired men, with another stating that one of these redheaded men copulated with a woman who was bathing at sunrise. Stating that the "Sun" entered her loins and that a child of the sun was born to her.
There's also the interesting legend of the red-haired giants of Lovelock Cave. This is a cave in Nevada that supposedly contained the enormous remains of red-haired giants. The story goes that the Paiutes, a tribe of natives who inhabited the area, were at war with these giants in earlier times, and that they killed them off by ambushing them in the cave. According to the legend some of these giants were said to be up to 12 feet tall. The legend also bizarrely stated that the giants had a fondness for eating the natives ..no doubt the reason for the eventual war.
There are also modern myths on-line that state that redheads have "dragons" blood - or in some versions "reptile" blood. This plays into the previously mentioned notion of red-haired rulers being descended from dragons and serpents. It also fits quite nicely with modern tales of Illuminati bloodlines and their shape-shifting reptilian DNA. We can see quite clearly in this case how modern ideas about the "reptilian" British royal family, a la David Icke, tally quite neatly with the sea-spawned Merovingians and the Melusine-conceived Richard the Lionheart. Similar speculation has linked this red-haired bloodline with the Rothschilds ("Red-Shields") and the Rosicrucians - we've mentioned the rose link before. Some on-line commentators have even suggested that redheads are descended from a line of people that had copper-based blood systems, as opposed to the normal iron-based systems. Stating that this is where the royalty-denoting term "blue blood" originates.
Interestingly, some creatures in the real world do actually have copper-based blood systems, and this does indeed give their blood a blue-coloured tinge. One common example being the Horseshoe crab. The Vulcans in Star Trek were also said to have copper-based blood too. Again highlighting the blurred lines between reality and fiction.
Another variety of blood associated with redheads on-line is the rhesus negative blood type. Rhesus negative blood is linked to all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff on-line - aliens, magical abilities, grail bloodlines, pretty much everything. It's also often claimed that redheads are much more likely to possess rhesus negative blood than others. One of the problems with rhesus negative blood concerns pregnancy. If a rhesus negative woman is carrying a rhesus positive child her body may produce antibodies that attack the blood cells of the baby. The antibodies effectively treating the rhesus positive blood as a foreign invader. Some have speculated that this is evidence that inter-breeding has taken place at some point in human history - with the speculation often being that rhesus negative people are therefore part reptile or part alien, or part some other other. Interestingly, on a side note, there was actually a mythological Thracian king called Rhesus of Thrace who was said to have red hair.
Another candidate for this interbreeding is the Neanderthals. Neanderthals have become a staple of modern redhead lore. Owing to the fact that it's been discovered that they possessed the gene for red hair. This has led to speculation that redheads are descended from the Neanderthals - the product of Neanderthals interbreeding with Homo sapiens. The fact that Neanderthals occupied a similar geographical territory to that which redheads occupy today lends credence to this idea as well. However, at the present time of writing it's believed by mainstream science that the Neanderthal red hair gene was different to the red hair gene we currently possess, and that therefore modern red hair isn't a Neanderthal genetic trait. However, there has been so much back and forth regarding Neanderthals over the last decade or so it would be perhaps unwise to deem the issue put to bed.
One writer who believed modern red hair was a Neanderthal trait was the now deceased Stan Gooch. In his book The Neanderthal Legacy he claimed that not only were Neanderthals red-haired, but that they were also nocturnal, left-handed and that they worshipped the moon. In fact, he predicted that Neanderthals would be found to have possessed red hair long before we even had any genetic evidence to make the speculative leap. He believed that modern humans were the result of inter-breeding between Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon Man, and that many of our personal and societal problems stem from the fact that we have two conflicting species competing inside us for supremacy.
Gooch also claimed that Jewish people had more Neanderthal DNA than the rest of the population. He likewise believed that evidence for mankind being the product of interbreeding could be found in the bible, citing the story of Rebekah, who gave birth to two twins representing two nations - Esau and Jacob. He stated that the first born, Esau, covered with red hair, represented the Neanderthals, and that the second born, Jacob, represented the Cro-Magnons. He also believed the Nazis were subconsciously trying to wipe out the Neanderthal gene with their persecution of Jews and other groups. Similarly he believed the aristocratic practice of hunting red foxes was a modern tradition stemming from the supposedly ancient practice of hunting red-haired wild-men. Given the apparent links between red hair and Judaism we noted in the second chapter his claim that both Jews and redheads are more closely related to Neanderthals than the rest of the population is very interesting indeed.
Another theory postulated by Gooch was the idea that the face of the Sphinx in Egypt was carved as a tribute to this melding of Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals. Going on to claim that it was the "hybrid-vigour" created by this union that led to the explosion of human culture that we see in ancient Egypt and other early civilisations. He stated that the top half of the face of the Sphinx corresponded to the top half of the Cro-Magnon skull, and that the bottom half matched the Neanderthal jawline. The Sphinx therefore being created as a symbolic celebration of this epochal enjoining.
On the topic of Neanderthals and skulls it's also interesting to note that there are other variations on this theme out there in the world of alternative thinking. In the book The Mystery of the Crystal Skulls by Chris Morton and Ciri Louise Thomas they relay a supposed native American tribal tradition that tells how humans are descended from Neanderthals that were modified by alien visitors (again with the aliens). The modification being made as many women were apparently dying in childbirth due to the large size of the heads of the Neanderthal babies. This problem is still with us today of course. In fact, Gooch also touches on this issue stating that humans are actually the product of Neanderthal women mating with Cro-Magnon man, as Cro-Magnon women couldn't give birth to Neanderthal children due to the larger Neanderthal skull size.
This male/female divide may help explain why red hair is often seem as a feminine trait. And why red-haired women are often seen as sexually attractive, but red-haired men decried as effete and undesirable. It may also overlap with the idea mentioned above about the bodies of rhesus negative women rejecting their rhesus positive babies. On a similar topic Gooch also claimed that Neanderthal society was a matriarchal one, dominated by women, and that contrastingly Cro-Magnon society was a patriarchal one ruled by the males. Interestingly, he believed that our seemingly ingrained fear of snakes and spiders is a consequence of this unacknowledged genetic memory. Spiders and snakes being the only two animals on common view were the female is generally larger than the male.
Of course, the mention of alien interference with human DNA brings us to perhaps the most outlandish idea out there on-line about red hair - namely that it's a trait inherited from actual alien ancestors. This is an idea that ties in with the reptilian narrative we mentioned above, though this time with a slightly more galactic lilt. We've moved from redheads being children of the sun, to redheads being children of the stars ..and I guess a run down of a few of the red-haired aliens out there might be a quite fitting way to finish this book.
Now most people familiar with UFO literature will be aware of the main types of alien. We have the Greys (the big-headed scary aliens - the ones that abduct and probe people), the Nordics (the good-looking friendly type - generally blond of course) ..and the Reptilians (that redheads may or may not be related to). However, in the hardcore world of alien hunters there's a whole host of other alien races out there ..some with red hair.
First up we have the Lyrans. According to various on-line sources the Lyrans have red or strawberry blond hair, and have eyes in the range from very light to green. They're also said to have a very fair skin tone and have trouble when exposing their skin to certain frequencies of light (much like we're told normal freckly redheads do). Some are said to be giant in stature and some apparently much more human sized. They're said to be very violent and aggressive, and are distantly related to redheads on Earth. The marauding vikings often being given on web forums as a classic example of their descendants.
Another race of red-haired aliens mentioned on-line are the Oranges (quite a coincidental name given our previous topics). The Oranges are thought to be Reptilians or hybrid-Reptilians. There are said to be two distinct types - one with scaly orange skin and another more human-looking variety with red hair. Curiously, these guys have also been linked on-line with the red-haired giants of Lovelock Cave.
And for even more evidence of alien red hair I'll relate the Antonio Villas Boas case. This is a classic, and often repeated, case from the annals of ufology and it contains red hair in a slightly salacious sense, so it's doubly worth sharing. Plus I think anyone that's managed to get to the end of this book deserves a little bit of mindless titillation.
The story goes that Antonio Villas Boas was a young Brazilian farmer. In 1957 he was out working the fields when he encountered a circular spaceship. He was kidnapped by its humanoid occupants and taken aboard. After being stripped naked and subjected to various medical procedures he was then left alone in a room. After a brief wait another alien entered ..this time female. She was about five foot tall and completely naked. Her face was human, except for her large, catlike eyes and rather pointed chin. She had long white hair, but her pubic hair was bright red! Villa Boas claimed she then proceeded to have sex with him. He said her technique was quite unusual ..she did not kiss him, but nipped him on the chin and made barking noises! The alien-woman then apparently rubbed her belly and pointed skywards - indicating that she would have his baby somewhere up in space. Just like Captain Kirk he never saw the kid or paid child support.
And finally to complete the cycle we leave on Mars. There's a theory oft-repeated on-line that states that the original inhabitants of the "red" planet, quite fittingly, had red hair. However, they were forced to leave their beloved planet following a natural catastrophe. After moving to Earth they then interbred with the earthlings and spawned the redheads we see wandering about our planet today. Evidence for this can apparently be seen in the NASA photographs of "pyramid-like" structures on the surface of Mars, and, of course, in the Sphinx-like "Face on Mars", so famous in in the journals of alternative media. All these Martian structures are said by ET aficionados to be the product of the same red-haired "Martian" culture that came to Earth and produced the monuments of ancient Egypt. I did say I'd bring it all back to ancient Egypt.