Is 300 Years of Our History Missing? —- Heribert Illig and the Phantom Time Hypothesis,
Peashooter has certainly heard a number of wild and crazy conspiracy theories over the years. Many come and go, like the comical 2012 Mayan Doomsday Prophecy which had lost all credibility by 2013. One of the most wildest theories he has heard is the “Phantom Time Hypothesis” created by “historian” Herbert Illig in the 1970’s and 80’s. According to Illig, our calendar is very wrong, and missing at least 296 years of time. As a result Illig makes the following assertions;
- The years between 600 AD-900AD never happened.
- All events that are reported to have occurred between those centuries never happened.
- To fill in the missing time, the Catholic Church fabricated history by creating false documents, artifacts, and relics for future historians to discover. Most of the historical people who lived during those centuries are fictional characters. Most of the events that occurred during those centuries never happened.
- Illig goes out of his way to specifically mention that Charlemagne never existed. He too is a fabrication.
- Illig believes that the missing 300 years were fabricated by order of Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, who he believes really reigned from 683 - 705, but added 300 years to the calendar so he could reign through the year 1000.
- Due to this conspiracy, the real date is not 2014, but 1718.
As crazy as this sounds, he does have some “evidence” to support his claims. One piece of evidence he cites is that little architectural progress that was made during those three centuries. For example, cathedrals continued to be built in Romanesque style with little change, and that many cities of Europe saw little building or construction during that period. This leads Illig to conclude that those three centuries must have never happened. Another piece of evidence he offers has to do with the switch from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calender in 1582. Because the Julian Calendar was off by about 10 minutes, the new Gregorian Calendar had to “jump” 11 days ahead (people rioted claiming 11 days had been stolen from their lives). However, according to Illig’s genius mathematics, the jump should have been 13 days. This leads him to conclude that conspiracy was about.
Unfortunately for Illig, his theories are easily dispelled by facts and logic. For example records show that the appearance of Haley’s Comet occurred on schedule during those missing centuries. In addition the rest of the world, such as China and the Middle East, saw a great flourish of technological advancement while Europe remained stalled. Obviously Illig has never heard of something called “The Dark Ages”. Perhaps the most damning disproof of his theory are the loose ends created by his method of correcting his percieved “loose ends” in history. In others words, things that happened in 900 AD cannot be explained by events that have occured in 600 AD, as history is a process of unbroken linear time. For example, if his theory is correct, sometime between 11:59:59 PM, 600 AD and 12:00 AM, 601 AD; the Byzantine Empire lost half its territory to invaders, Spain was conquered by the Moors, and the French Monarchy switched from the Merovingian Dynasty to the Capetian Dynasty (which didn’t exist in 600 AD but must have appeared from thin air in 601).
To make things worse, another “historian” named Anatoly Fomenko proposed a similar theory in 2004, except he ups the ante by proposing that 1,100 years have been fabricated. I don’t know what he claims as “evidence”, but I do know that by the time I finish this sentence, somewhere in the world a bovine animal will have a bowel movement.