Ralph and I actually have something in common. Both of us were initially inspired by the books of Ahmed Osman. Also, Ralph is a airline pilot. I am an engineer working in the field of flight simulation and training!
I've read some of Ralph's books, not all. Most recently I read Solomon Falcon of Sheba. If I had not developed my own model of the time period he covers I would probably be quite pleased with what he offers. Unfortunately our models are quite mutually exclusive. I still admire him and his work. I don't feel a strong competitiveness with other alternative researchers, because I don't see much liklihood that my model will be generally accepted in my lifetime if at all. For that reason I prefer for now to keep the work on the web in a more or less "liquid" form. It would be gratifying to formally publish, but the feedback I get from readers (directly or by their silence) is that the public and my model are both not yet ready for it.
By the way, Graham Hancock has just published a short article defending independent/alternative research featured today at The Daily Grail:
He has shown genuine leadership in ancient studies. His website is very open and he regularly encourages other fledgling authors.
I certainly understand your frustration in not knowing how to evaluate the merit of various authors. I don't have a solution. It only takes time and money I suppose.
Most independent types, myself included, would be leary of the approach you suggest. It sounds too idealistic and probably would not result in much helpful feedback to authors in practice. We can barely put out something of value much less help others. Since I did not find a true partner, I prefer to just read what other people publish and then incorporate anything useful into my knowledge base. I occasionally get an insight from someone who posts on my web site, but more often a good question from a reader will trigger a new insight after I think about how to answer them.
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