In an interview yesterday with Inverse to promote the upcoming Baltimore Alien Con, Ancient Aliens star Giorgio Tsoukalos … well, offered more of the same, actually. For someone who is supposedly an expert on … something … he is remarkably shallow in his interviews and rather repetitive in the potted anecdotes he parcels out. Perhaps it comes from too many years reciting prewritten lines for Ancient Aliens, or perhaps it reflects the dearth of originality behind the ancient astronaut theory. There were, however a few highlights worth mentioning.
Chapman University Finds Continued Growth in Paranormal Beliefs, Including Rising Support for Atlantis, Ancient Astronauts
Each year, Chapman University publishes its annual survey of American fears, and each year the results get worse. In the two metrics that I have monitored over the past three or four cycles, we have witnessed self-reported belief in ancient astronauts and lost Atlantis-like civilizations climb to record levels, among the highest rates of belief ever recorded. Belief in Atlantis became a majority belief last year, and it now stands at 57%, up from 55% last year. Belief in ancient astronauts rose from 35% to 41%, representing a plurality of respondents. (The remaining respondents either disbelieved or were unsure—the latter category not exactly being great for the side of science.)
Giorgio Tsoukalos Likens the Ancient Astronaut Theory to an Unfinished Puzzle in New Newspaper Interview
Yesterday, the Philippines’ largest-circulation newspaper published an interview with Ancient Aliens star and co-executive producer Giorgio Tsoukalos. In the interview, Tsoukalos described Ancient Aliens as a “beautiful show” and encouraged the paper’s readers to watch it in order to learn about the world. To that end, he spoke about the criticism that the show has received and why he feels it is wrong. (I assume the spelling and grammar issues are due to the newspaper’s errors.)
Thursday Odds and Ends: History Channel Ratings, Dating the Thera Volcanic Eruption, and Hermes' Receipt of Angelic Knowledge
Today I have a few brief topics to discuss as we await tonight’s broadcast of Ancient Aliens. The first is an update on the ratings for Ancient Aliens and its lead-out, In Search Of. According to figures released by Nielsen, Ancient Aliens is trending downward, sinking since the start of the current run of episodes to just 1.075 million viewers, a loss of about 10 percent of its audience from the start of the current half-season. I wonder if the new, slower format and primary focus on one ancient astronaut theorist and one location or “quest” per show is boring some of the audience. Meanwhile In Search Of pulled a surprising reversal. While it has not improved its ratings over its run, it did outdraw Ancient Aliens—just barely—this past week, bringing in 1.090 million viewers. A modestly larger number of men and older people watched In Search Of than Ancient Aliens. The two shows are now running neck-and-neck, but largely due to Ancient Aliens’ declining ratings than any particular momentum behind In Search Of.
Giorgio Tsoukalos Shocks the Philippines by Saying Ancient Humans Developed the Banaue Rice Terraces with No Alien Help
At the beginning of August, the Institute for Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, California hosted the 61st Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association, and one of the featured speakers was Jacques Vallée, who delivered a speech about the role of psychical research in the creation of the internet. Vallée, whose day job was in computer science for most of his life, generously credited himself with creating much of the architecture of the modern internet. He alleged that the research he and Hal Puthoff and others in their group worked on at the Stanford Research Institute in developing protocols for psychics to “locate” information they’ve never seen paralleled how computers learned to access non-local information stored elsewhere—the basic architecture of the internet. Frankly, I’d want to see a bit of proof before believing that.
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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