A tale beyond comprehension begins nearly 4,000 years ago, yet it’s timely as today’s Teabaggers. Uncover now the astounding secret of human evolution as we race halfway around the world on the heels of America’s foremost amateur archaeological sleuth, Arkansas Times Editor Max Brantley, and his siren sidekick, Judge Ellen, into the blazing jaws of hell – the Tomb of the Übertrolls in ancient Syria. OMG!





I may be “disappeared” for this report, so cache it before it’s taken down.


The journey starts in Little Rock, Arkansas, where mild-mannered newspaper editor Brantley harbors a well-concealed – until now – lifelong obsession with archaeology and the secrets of the ancients. Each year, he and wife Ellen feign innocuous two-week “vacations” in Europe.


In reality, recalls old Washington and Lee friend Bertrand Lee, “Even when they were dating they used to dress up funny and go out on these digs at the Toltec Mounds and stuff. Which we all thought was weird so they shut up about it and claimed they went to the races or floated the Buffalo or something.”


Ever since, it turns out, even whilst familying and journalisming and judging and functioning under the radar in Little Rock, the Brantleys live a double life and secretly foster international contacts with radical archaeologists Bob Brier;Graham Hancock, John West, Robert Bauval, et al.


The advent of the internet deepens the Brantleys’ research and involvement in arcane digs starting in 1990, drawing them to increasingly distant and dangerous adventures under the guise of gastronomic “vacations” in Paris or Naples. By now, Max and Ellen Brantley are known on the archeological circuit by the code name, Mellen.



Armed protection proves lifesaving as the Mellens venture closer to the 4,000 year old cuneiform source of The Secret in remote Syria this past summer. Their cover? Pretending to be on a light-hearted tour of Italy and seemingly blogging about it (on a bullet-proof Dell laptop – see shoulder murse, below).


My insider pal in Ar Raqqah who accompanied the Mellens emails me this snapshot of Arky Max just before the intrepid duo donkey-up for the searing Syrian mountains in search of the cave-tomb of the Übertrolls – ever-ready to blast bad guys, whip raging bulls, if any, and blog.



Who’s Bad?



Inside the Tomb of the Übertrolls, the Brantleys discover an astounding inscription identical to one on the ancient Code of Hammurabi stele – humanity’s oldest known written codified laws.





My Ar Raqqah insider emails me (with pix) that Brantley noted a cuneiform inscription on a wall inside the Tomb of the Übertrolls that is identical to one on the Code of Hammurabi stele.


Below, the Tomb of the Übertrolls where the Mellens disemdonkeyed.





And now, The Secret.


Max Brantley confirms one of the world’s oldest human laws – inscribed both on the Code of Hammurabi stele and inside the Tomb of the Übertrolls. Previously, the puzzling inscription on the stele was thought to refer to allegorical “ogres” or “trolls.” With the discovery of the tomb’s identical inscription, science no longer questions their literal existence.


“They literally sent them up there to die,” said an excited Ellen Brantley, now back in Ar Raqqah bartering for native scarves in the local bazzar. “They starved them to death!”


Here is the cuneiform Arky Max identified inside the tomb.




4,000 years later it still looks like “D” “F” “T” “Troll” if you look at it.


The March, 2010 issue of “Archaeology,” published by the Archaeological Institute of America, honors the discoverer of the “DFTT” Principle with the official scientific appellation, the Brantley Maxim.


Thank you and congratulations, Mellens, for a lifetime of defying danger, living the dream, tripping and sharing.



P.S. The scarf works with everything, Ellen. Shukran! شكرا