To be fair, Tsoukalos claims that he does at least cursory research before commenting on the “mysteries” the producers churn up, but the bottom line is clear: The production team is the driving force behind Ancient Aliens and are currently the most active force shaping the ancient astronaut theory, which they bend and shape to the needs of television, not even to the laughably low standard of “proof” represented by earlier generations of ancient astronaut theorists.
That explains a lot about why the show is so repetitive, so out there, and so sloppy, but it doesn’t explain why ancient astronaut theorists would agree to go on TV to mouth opinions about topics they admit to have done very little checking into. I’m sure we can all imagine a few reasons. Tsoukalos also said that only he, David Childress, and Erich von Däniken are allowed to make declarative statements about the aliens on the show. Everyone else, including the narrator, must simply ask questions. “That’s what we do,” he said. “We ask questions.”
Tsoukalos’s description of the show’s process is a bit surprising considering that he admitted in the same interview that he does not believe, as Ancient Aliens so often implies, that aliens and the afterlife are intimately connected.
Now, do I think that aliens and the afterlife are sort of the same? Not really. Because the aliens I talk about are flesh and blood human beings like you and me and they at some point, too, will die. The only thing that makes them different from you and me is that they have access to more advanced technology, and perhaps technology with which they can travel from star to star.
There were a few other notable statements. Tsoukalos said, as we have heard him say before, that his love of ancient mysteries began as a small child, when his grandmother read him Ignatius Donnelly’s Atlantis: The Antediluvian World and Erich von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods as bedtime stories. More surprisingly, he claims to know that aliens have “the same questions about God, religion, life after death, all those things.” How might he know this? He didn’t say.
Tsoukalos also said that Ancient Aliens is intended as fringe speculators’ revenge on the skeptics. He said he is happy that skeptics don’t get to have a voice on the show, even for cursory balance. “Well, the last 40 years of you just saying how crazy we were, it’s now our time.”