Welcome to the twelfth (!) season of Ancient Aliens, which at this point is less a TV show and more of a thought experiment in how a TV production crew of cockroaches might survive a nuclear holocaust that destroyed all facts, evidence, and reason. There isn’t much to say about this episode, “The Alien Hunters,” by way of preface, as it is as much as possible just more of the same. This episode hews away from the show’s title adjective in favor of its recent devolution into freshman dorm room bullshitting about anything vaguely related to space aliens.
This week the Trump Administration opened a new office called Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) so Americans could report victimization at the hands of what Immigration and Customs Enforcement called “criminal aliens.” The office, and its 1-855-48-VOICE hotline for reporting “alien” crime, are widely seen as part of a propaganda effort aimed at depicting immigrants as violent and dangerous. (VOICE officially targets “illegal aliens,” but Homeland Security secretary John F. Kelly said that the perpetrators were “often” in the U.S. illegally, leaving room for legal immigrants, students, and tourists to be included, too.) Anyway, the internet was unhappy with the rather transparent attempt to create a climate of fear (real crime rates among immigrants, legal and illegal, are lower than for the general population, according to the FBI), so many did the most logical thing and took the government literally. They started calling in reports of UFO sightings, space alien abduction, cattle mutilations, etc. After all, they’re “aliens,” too. ICE was not amused.
I wasn’t going to mention Nick Redfern’s recent article on Neil Armstrong and the “Men in Black,” mostly because it is beyond my area of interest, and also because it was remarkably light on content, even for Redfern. But I saw the piece pop up a few times on social media and across the internet, so it seems like I had best point out the article’s biggest and most glaring flaw.
Steven Greer Claims UFO Disclosure Will Solve Climate Change and Create World Peace; Plus: Peter Levenda Is at It Again
Over the past year, Dr. Steven Greer has raised almost $700,000 to produce a documentary and companion book called Unacknowledged that claims to investigate questions surrounding UFO “disclosure.” I was surprised to see that Greer has hired Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul costar Giancarlo Esposito to narrate the film, according to Movie Web. We have been down this path before, of course. Greer produced Sirius a few years ago, promising disclosure then, too, and the results were underwhelming—a bunch of hearsay and a fetal skeleton.
Disclose.TV Attacks Me Over Giants; Plus: Peter Levenda Tries to Explain Why Fiction Is the Key to Understanding UFOs
On the Disclose.tv website, writer Lukas Magnuson complains that skeptics like me devote too much time to investigating the origin of claims for gigantic human skeletons. After praising Jim Vieira for devoting literally every single day for several years to posting articles about giants, Magnuson suggests that it is somehow inexplicable that a couple of times per month I would return to the subject to understand how and why people came to believe there were giants in ancient times:
This week we learned that ancient astronaut believer Rob Lowe signed on with A&E, a corporate cousin of Ancient Aliens broadcaster the History Channel, to star in a reality series in which he and his 20-something sons will travel around solving Scooby-Doo-style supernatural mysteries – if by “solving” them you mean standing out in a field in the middle of the night and gawking at whatever skitters before their night vision lenses. Lowe said that he has long been obsessed with aliens, monsters, and ghosts: “When I became a father I shared those tales with my two sons. Together we bonded over Bigfoot, UFO’s, and every creepy and bizarre story we could find, passionately debating if they were real … or not.” The Lowe Files, according to A&E, won’t be as much about the “truth” as it will be about the Lowe family bonding through doing activities together.
FBI Investigating Russian Connection to InfoWars: Why Do So Many Outlets Tied to Russia Back Ancient Astronaut and UFO Conspiracies?
A few weeks ago, the Los Angeles Review of Books published a brief summary of the contents of a 2016 volume called The Age of Lovecraft, but it was reviewer and Ph.D. candidate Alison Sperling’s opening line that caught my attention: “As a feminist, I am reluctant, at times, to admit to friends and academic colleagues that I appreciate H. P. Lovecraft’s work.” I found that to be a bit of an astonishing statement, largely because it, and the sentences decrying Lovecraft’s racism and sexism which followed, suggest that even among academics who should know better there is a sort of perverse identification of reader and writer, as though one’s choice of literature reveals the darkest part of one’s soul. I’ve always found that to be strange because so many of works of great literature came from the pens of people who were, by contemporary standards, miserable human beings. But even leaving that aside, could you imagine an archaeologist, for example, saying that “As someone who values human life, I am ashamed to admit that I enjoy researching Aztec culture” because of their record of human sacrifice? Of course, on the other hand we might look askance at a film student who professes not just technical admiration but love for the works of Leni Riefenstahl.
Tom DeLonge Says That His "Strong Sense of Business" Will Help Him Dole Out UFO Revelations Little by Little for "Years" to Come
I must admit to being a bit surprised that it seems that no professional reviewers, or even UFO enthusiasts, have reviewed Peter Levenda’s new book, Sekret Machines: Gods. I had expected to see at least some reviews outside of Amazon.com customer reviews, especially since this wasn’t just a self-published vanity project but had secured distribution through Simon & Schuster’s network. As best I can tell, however, credited author Tom DeLonge’s company, To the Stars, Inc., did only puff-piece publicity for the book, which he tied in with the near simultaneous paperback release of his novel Chasing Shadows from last year. This pulled the focus from the new release to DeLonge’s personality and business instead. While I didn’t expect him to send me a review copy, I didn’t hear from anyone working in media that they had received one, either. No wonder it landed with such a resounding thud. As of this writing, a Google search for the book plus the word “review” brings up just my review and sales pages. No wonder Levenda was upset with me.
Yesterday, ex-Blink-182 member and current ufology-award winner Tom DeLonge released his new ancient astronaut book Sekret Machines: Gods, the first in a nonfiction trilogy covering what DeLonge believes to be the true history of space aliens’ involvement with earthlings. In a previous post, I explained some of my philosophical problems with the approach that DeLonge’s coauthor, Peter Levenda, took in developing the book, as well as my concern that Levenda is either duplicitous or wholly ignorant in claiming that his approach to the ancient astronaut theory is wholly new and unprecedented. In a nutshell, my criticism is that Levenda frames the early history of aliens on Earth as the story of a cargo cult, something he wrongly believes is unique to him. The claim was first made in the film version of Chariots of the Gods, broadcast in the United States as In Search of Ancient Astronauts in 1973, and it has been a common trope among ancient astronaut theorists since then.
The Curse of Oak Island had its season (and possibly series) finale last night, and after big promises about a major discovery, nothing much happened. The team found some colonial era materials, including a gold button, and that was that. No evidence of pre-Columbian expeditions came to light, and with that my interest faded to nothing. It’s what I expected. A real discovery would have prompted news coverage long ago. Such is life.
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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