Sunday, July 5, 2015

Stan Gooch and the Red-Haired Neanderthals

I've recently re-read The Neanderthal Legacy by Stan Gooch.

I mentioned this book on my website a while ago, but on re-reading it I realised I'd missed a few interesting bits out. I'll briefly give a synopsis of the book then mention these few points of interest.

Basically, Gooch believed that modern man was a hybrid of Cro-Magnon man and Neanderthal man, and that our conflicted, yet impressive, civilisation was a consequence of this fact. Interestingly for us he believed that Neanderthals were red-haired and that this was where our modern red hair originated. He also believed the Neanderthals were nocturnal, matriarchal, left-handed moon-worshippers - and that the Cro-Magnons were patriarchal, right-handed, day-dwelling sun-lovers. He believed this was where our social division of "left wing" and "right wing" originated.

Anyway, the few bits I'd missed now. Firstly, on page 35 of the book he mentions that the famed Russian "wild woman" Zana was covered in red hair. This story will be quite familiar to anyone au fait with Bigfoot mythology. Zana was said to be a "wild" woman that was captured in Russia in the 1870s. Bizarrely she was said to have had four children with local men during her period of captivity. Gooch suggests that she was a remnant Neanderthal, as he believed that Neanderthals were covered in red body hair - the biblical Esau being cited as one of many examples. It's interesting to note in this regard that in the book Mary Magdalene: Princess of Orange, the author Ralph Ellis mentions Christian traditions that claim Mary Magdalene was covered with body hair too.

On page 39 Gooch then mentions a link between red hair and the Philosopher's Stone;
Chinese alchemists consider the Philosopher's Stone to be red cinnabar and say that if this is mixed with honey and eaten, it restores youth, confers immortality, and turns your hair red.
Later in the book he then also mentions that both zombies and vampires are cultural memories of Neanderthals. This is interesting because over the last few years we've started to link red hair with vampires on this blog as well. Maybe this overlap suggests there's some grain of truth to all this speculation.

On a final note Stan Gooch died in 2010. It's a shame his work isn't a little more well known as it's both interesting and challenging. Hopefully this article will help readdress the balance in some tiny little way.

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