I give up on trying to number these episodes; the production order and the broadcast order are so far out of whack that I think I will have to give up until season eight. My numbering will continue to follow the order season seven started with, irrespective of the retroactive renumbering. Ancient Aliens S07E16 “The Vanishings” was originally scheduled to run at New Year’s but for whatever reason has been held until now. Lucky us!
On Wednesday fringe historian Graham Hancock was to debate former Egyptian Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass on the origins and function of the Giza pyramids. However, when Hawass discovered that Hancock would be making reference to the Orion Correlation Theory and using a picture of fringe theorist Robert Bauval in his slideshow, Hawass loudly demanded Hancock remove all references to the work of a man Hawass considers a “thief.” When Hancock refused to do so, Hawass stormed out of the theater and refused to engage in a debate. Instead, both men gave separate lecturers without interacting. Their interaction was caught on tape:
I’ve learned this week why it is that revisionist historian Veronica K. Clark has a reputation as a cyberbully even among Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and esoteric Hitlerists. A few days ago I made an offhand comment that Clark had swiped a large chunk of one of my old blog posts and was using it to try to gin up controversy among racists and Nazi apologists by claiming that I was “flipping out” over her appearances on Red Ice Radio offering revisionist takes on National Socialism. Clark took great offense to my sarcastic characterization of her position as “believ[ing] in a multi-racial Nazi utopia with a Hitler of peace and love, as opposed to a racist Nazi empire of hate.” That was the whole of my comment, but Clark has now devoted a lengthy blog post and a 14-minute YouTube video to attacking me as “a liar and slanderer.” She claimed, based on this single sentence that “the blogger named Jason Colavito has chosen to hone in on me for whatever reason. [… ] You, Sir, are a lying creep. You’re a liar, and you’re speaking for me and putting ideas and words in my mouth […] and I don’t appreciate it!”
The Ant People are back again! Several year ago ancient astronaut theorists hit upon the idea that the Ant People of Hopi mythology are space aliens, and recently this has extended to making them a part of the Roswell flying saucer mythology. This week Nick Redfern opines on the Ant People over at Mysterious Universe, though it’s clear from his discussion of them that he knows of the creatures primarily from ufological sources rather than anthropological ones.
Last Friday Giorgio Tsoukalos told readers of his “Ask Me Anything” Reddit session that a number of alternative and fringe authors as well as thousands of members of the public had gathered to celebrate Erich von Däniken’s eightieth birthday. I found more details about the event on the German-language website of Erich von Däniken’s German publisher, who sponsored the event. According to the report, the celebration was billed as the Great International Erich von Däniken Congress and was held in a dramatically-lit theater in Sindelfingen, Germany on April 11 and 12. More than 2,500 von Däniken fans and fringe history “experts” filled a theater to listen to five lectures on ancient mysteries in honor of pseudohistory’s most famous proponent.
L. A. Marzulli: Alien Implants Are Part of a Program to Bring Back the Days of Noah and Nephilim Sins
Nephilim researcher L. A. Marzulli has been making some increasingly disturbing blog posts over the last couple of months in which the conservative Christian has more or less announced his believe that we are living in the End Times and that his quest to find the Nephilim is part of a larger program of preparing his audience for the apocalypse by asking them to give him money. Sorry, that wasn’t quite right. He just happens to be profiting from a wide range of products and services that capitalize on his audience’s belief that Marzulli and the human race won’t be around long enough for Marzulli to make use of the money he’s taking in from their interest in or fear of the Nephilim.
On Friday Ancient Aliens star Giorgio Tsoukalos appeared on Reddit to discuss the ancient astronaut theory, his hair, and whether he’s insane. (Spoiler alert: He does not think so.) He joked that his towering hair, held together with “lots of hairspray” was “slowly being abducted,” and he also alleged that he saw a UFO at the 2014 Contact in the Desert conference, though he offered no evidence that the lights in the sky were alien spacecraft. His answers were particularly interesting because in this forum Tsoukalos seemed to back off of his alleged conviction that space aliens actually visited humanity in the distant past. Instead, in this forum he spoke primarily of possibilities and seemed to imply that the purpose of the ancient astronaut theory was to generate social change for progressive causes by asking the public to adopt a less parochial perspective.
After seven seasons and six calendar years of Ancient Aliens, it’s a bit hard to get excited about another episode devoted to pyramids. I have a hard time thinking of any pyramids that the show hasn’t yet associated with aliens, and I suppose that’s why this week we’re treated to “Hidden Pyramids,” which tries to freshen a stale subject by proposing that there are thousands of pyramids under the sea, underground, and in other inaccessible places.
As most readers know, I’ve done a massive amount of research into pretty much every permutation of the Watchers myth in an attempt to trace the story from Babylon down to Ancient Aliens. In so doing, my general direction of research has been westward from Babylon to the Holy Land to Egypt and to Europe. It never dawned on me that the same story would also have traveled eastward, into Persia. It makes sense, of course, since Persia abutted and once ruled Mesopotamia, and the version of the Watchers-Pyramid mythology known to the Arab historians would have spread eastward with Islam as easily as it moved westward. This is why it surprised me when I found a version of the story of the pillars of wisdom in a Persian source.
I have to say that I was quite surprised to look at the final Nielsen cable ratings for last Friday, when Ancient Aliens returned to the History channel schedule after three years in exile on H2. I imagine History was shocked as well. According to Nielsen’s published ratings, Ancient Aliens did not rank among the 100 most watched cable shows for Friday April 10. This means that fewer than 300,000 adults between 18 and 49 watched the program on Friday, since 300,000 18-49 demo viewers were the audience for the 100th most popular show. I’m not able to estimate the total number of viewers since Nielsen ranks shows based on 18-49 viewers, not total viewers. In its 9 PM time slot, the program lost big to Discovery’s Bering Sea Gold and reruns of The Cleveland Show and Full House. This is a dramatic fall for a show that brought in 1.5 million viewers (400,000 in the 18-49 demographic) when it aired after Curse of Oak Island in a couple of special presentations over the winter. Can it be that the age of Ancient Aliens is finally drawing to a close? I wouldn’t count on it, but it seems that History’s efforts to rebuilt their Friday night and challenge Discovery’s dominance of the evening among middle aged male viewers didn’t go according to plan.
I'm an author and editor who has published on a range of topics, including archaeology, science, and horror fiction. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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