According to once and future TV host Scott Wolter, the new season of America Unearthed will debut on May 28 on the Travel Channel. The History Channel announced that the new season of Ancient Aliens will debut three days later, on May 31. The two shows used to air together on the H2 network back in 2012, so it’s almost like we’ve gone back in time and it’s 2012 all over again.
My birthday is this week, so I am going to be taking the Thursday and Friday off. I will return on Saturday for a weekend post. In the meantime, you might have seen the story in the Chicago Tribune that Scott Wolter and the crew of America Unearthed visited Chicago two weeks ago to shoot an episode about the Haymarket Riot of 1886. According to the Tribune, the episode will attempt to discover who threw a bomb at police during a peaceful labor protest in favor of an 8-hour workday, sparking the riot that took lives of seven police officers and four civilians.
Yesterday, we all watched the horrible images of Notre Dame de Paris burning, and it is a terrible loss to history that will take years to undo, if at all. The cathedral had survived the French Revolution, the Franco-Prussian War, and two World Wars, but saw its worst damage from renovation work. It was another sad event in what seems to have been an endless cycle of bizarre and unprecedented events. If history is any judge, every generation feels that way.
Starz’s Now Apocalypse is a strange mixture of quarterlifer angst, sex farce, and space aliens. Going into the series, I had no idea it would involve History Channel-style conspiracy theories about Reptilians, government cover-ups, and cattle mutilation. I’m not sure that the aliens added anything to the series, but the show certainly helps to continue mainstreaming conspiracy theories, albeit under the guise of fiction.
I had a very busy day yesterday and ran out of time for writing, but I wanted to share with you a bit of an interview that voiceover artist Robert Clotworthy did with Monsters & Critics recently. Clothworthy is the narrator of Ancient Aliens and The Curse of Oak Island and has spent a decade complicit in the spread of pseudoscience and conspiracy theories across the country and around the world. In the interview, Clotworthy was asked whether he believes the ancient astronaut theories he shares with the world on Ancient Aliens or whether he is a skeptic of his own show’s claims. So, is he a skeptic?
If you are a subscriber to Science magazine, you may have seen Lizzie Wade’s article “Believe in Atlantis? These Archaeologists Want to Win You Back to Science,” which ran online on Tuesday and will appear in the print version of the journal. The article features a number of archaeologists that regular readers of this blog will be familiar with and (I hope) fans of, as well as a few comments from me, too. In lieu of a blog post today, I urge to you give Wade’s article a read. In it, she discusses the continued popularity of pseudoarchaeology and its dominance in popular culture. It covers the racism of pseudoarchaeology and its connections to nineteenth century colonialism and imperialism.
On Sunday, Expedition Unknown broadcasted a live special in which host Josh Gates presided over the opening of an Egyptian sarcophagus containing the mortal remains of a priest of the god Thoth. Gates took to Twitter to share his excitement, declaring the dead man to be “a stunner.” I get the idea of being excited by digging up a mummy, but it makes me uncomfortable to turn a corpse into entertainment.
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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