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RIP Charles Appleton

GoFundMe established to assist the family

The trust-but-verify ancient history crowd was devastated last month by the passing of indefatigable YouTube science communicator Charles Appleton. I took it hard like many. But I feel particularly sorry upon his death, and a bit guilty.

Not long before Chuck died, I responded to a tweet from LasVegApps with this:

Dammit I wish I had said something different. Chuck had created almost 3000 YouTube videos when he sent his tweet. I wish I had responded, “Take a long break @alittlepervy. Consider never mentioning the subject again because you are working too hard, it is frustrating, and could give a guy our age a heart attack!” Sigh.

Here is me and Chuck a few days after he called me to do a podcast (not his format) about Tall el-Hammam (not his subject) seven months ago. What a guy.

CFapps7865 was a VERY popular figure — and willing to divert from his lane to let the Tusk ramble about an obscure archaeological site in Jordan. Just weeks later, and immediately prior to Chuck’s passing, the Tall el-Hammam paper became arguably the most read science paper on earth.

Chuck did more to communicate the importance, mystery and hard science of ancient American “Mounds” than anyone in US history. In other words, clutch your goatees, professors…but this is true…an uncredentialed hockey jock, avid golfer, rock fan and life loving resident of Las Vegas…did more from his laptop and apartment to educate us on Ancient America than any effort you can name.

Tusk buddy Rob Heatherly has established a Go Fund Me for his fans. Chuck should have had more insurance, but at least he paid us all a lot.

8 Responses

  1. Thanks for writing this piece George, and please don’t feel bad about your response to Chuck’s tweet. For me, it just clearly showed the deep appreciation you had for him & his work and that you also understood the real value & importance behind these 1000+ ancient history videos.

    Man i can’t tell you how much I’m grateful to have stumbled on his channel over 8 years ago.
    I’ve learned about more ancient sites watching his stuff than i probably ever will through the rest of my existence.
    We’ve truly lost an incredible human being and an awesome Gentlemen…

    On a side note, when i first heard Chuck talk about the ancient Native American Mounds, i became totally fascinated by the subject. I began buying books on the subject and stuff, i even bought “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Native American Indian Mounds & Earthworks” by Gregory L. Little. That thing cost me more than a 100 bucks in canadian dollars!
    I even did a little research about ancient burial Mounds in my region. Well, i was absolutely dumbfounded when i learned that there used to be a Mound site only 3 miles away from my house. It was destroyed back in 1908 when they built the road…‍♂️ Two skeletons covered in red ochre were also unearthed, and never seen again. This site was originally located next to the Magog river at the north end of Lake Memphrémagog. Nowadays, this sacred site has been replaced by a McDonald’s parking lot…‍♂️ ‍♂️
    Anyway, thank you for taking the time to write this article George, it means a lot to me, and probably even more to you.
    Best regards from the Memphrémagog region. ✌

  2. In hindsight when losing someone, most have regrets to some extent. I have regrets of not engaging with him more often than I did of late.
    Chuck was expressing in that Tweet, that he was at a crossroads, evidently reevaluating life choices, likely wondering if he was truly making a difference with his research.
    Chuck was an A type, abrupt kinda guy. We know this. He wasn’t the sentimental touchy feely type. Wouldn’t have wanted a gentle approach.
    The timely off the cuff blend of Caddyshack and Animal House affirmation coming from you that it’s his life’s calling, was exactly what he needed to hear. Also confirming him also as a peer, in the manner he could best identify with, as a coach he respected, telling him to take a quick break, then get back in the game, he’s needed. He did. 4 more vids knocked out in short order. You gave him what he needed, from who he needed, when he needed it.

  3. I’m grateful that the Tusk posted this information, cf-apps 7865 will be sorrily missed. If you’ve followed him you know his torch needs to be carried on, and if you have not had the chance now is the time to look him up on YouTube and hear him out.
    George, don’t worry about your tweet. It’s understandable. We really do need him, now that he’s gone its time for others to step up to the plate.

  4. I only really listen to three people on YouTube and Chuck is one of them.The good die young.When my time comes I will be seeking you out in the big house Chuck.

  5. Ouch, this hurts. Just found out today (Nov 18) on ur ‘Smoking Gun’ post. I’d already been concerned about him from his recent videos, and when they stopped for so long ….

    So many videos, so much self-taught knowledge, so thorough, so direct. So much compassion for the overlooked peoples who once lived here, so much more gently.

    Chuck’s body of work needs to be preserved, and what he accomplished needs to be memorialized.

  6. Chucks channel opened my eyes. His voice and stories gave life to ancient stories.
    His mound stories were legion and have me scouring my neck of the woods.
    Thanks Chuck.
    When we listen to the videos his earnest sign-off was the highlight of our day!
    “You all have…, a very nice day”

  7. Hello, I am currently doing research on the mounds, I ran across a video from Chuck where he showed a comprehensive map of the mounds, that he had been collecting. I am currently a citizen scientist very much like Chuck. I was heartbroken when I realized that he had passed in November. This is a shock, as I was hoping to begin corresponding with him pertaining to my research. I am specifically focusing on the HYD event and the reappropriation of the mounds after the event.
    If you have any information or someone with whom I could connect, I would greatly appreciate it. I am hoping to keep the light going on this type of study, it is unfortunate that our scientific establishments are simply not caring and not doing enough to bring to light these ancient edifices that merit our study and our care.

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