The crystal skulls have been debunked so many times that I’m not sure how anyone could possibly produce and entire hour on them in all seriousness. The claim that the crystal skulls are real depends on accepting the Mitchell-Hedges narrative at face value, which conflicts with documentary sources, and it depends on assuming that the crystal skulls are beyond the ability of humans to replicate, which is also not true.
Now here is where the problem comes in: There are many different types of crystal skulls that began to show up in art markets and in antiquarian reports in the nineteenth century and upon which the large skulls of the modern era are based. These earliest reported crystal skulls, however, measure only one to seven inches in size, and none can be shown to be genuinely Mexican—indeed most passed through the hands of a very few collectors and jewelers in Europe. Ancient Aliens chose not to differentiate between small skulls and the life-size skulls, which are almost certainly fake. Ancient Aliens wants us to believe there are twelve full-size genuine crystal skulls, but this is simply a modern lie; the number was selected by numerologists from among the dozens of fakes. The fact remains that not a single crystal skull has ever been excavated in a documented archaeological context, or ever documented as being in the possession of actual Native peoples.
None of this matters because Ancient Aliens S06E02 “The Crystal Skulls” is not a “documentary” but an infomercial, trying to sell us a wide range of products in the guise of “educating” us about them. It’s also a little bit of a technical deception in that the first five episodes of this season were actually filmed for last season but were reassigned to season six for promotional reasons.
Chris Morton, author of The Mystery of the Crystal Skulls, is frankly wrong when he attributes to ancient legend claims that the skulls are possessed of great mystical power. This is all hokum created in the twentieth century. I am particularly annoyed by the attribution of “legend” and “myth” to stories about the thirteen skulls (it was twelve two minutes earlier, but who’s counting?) forming a global power grid and initiating the return of the gods. None of this can be show to exist prior to the late twentieth century.
The Mitchell-Hedges skull story is rehearsed, with William Henry supporting its authenticity. The story is a well-known fake contradicted by facts (Mitchell-Hedges bought it in 1944, two decades after he allegedly discovered it and somehow failed to record the miraculous discovery), but David Childress isn’t interested in that. He relates all manner of paranormal claims for the skull.
“The entire mythology of the Mayans is based on extraterrestrial encounters in the past,” Giorgio Tsoukalos says, apropos of nothing, in claiming that the Mitchell-Hedges skull was delivered to the Maya from aliens.
We move on to a skull named “Synergy” allegedly from Melanesia, which the natives apparently, as all natives in these kinds of stories do, drop everything to bow down and worship the artifact brought back to them by the Great White Savior, Sherry Whitfield, the current owner. The show neglects to note that the owner of the skull, Whitfield, believes that it comes from the geologically impossible sunken continent of Lemuria and that far from respecting the skull’s Native heritage as she claims, she in fact uses it as a source of income, selling merchandise and pimping out its alleged “sacred mysteries” for cash—mysteries she claims on-air are so unutterably sacred that the Natives refuse to speak of them except when she lets them visit the skull and worship it. The whole colonialist narrative is disturbing and sad.
Tsoukalos returns to claim that Pacific mythologies talk about sky gods who are aliens. There are in fact sky gods, but there are also many sea gods. In fact, several Pacific cultures have an octopus god who lives in a stone palace under the sea, is resurrected on occasion, and brings terror and madness to those who meet him. His name is, in Tonga, Tutula. Does this mean that Cthulhu is also real? Of course not; you can find anything you want in ancient stories, but that doesn’t mean that similarities in stories imply connections—or a reality behind them.
Having run out of crystal skulls, we move on to crystal balls, with the assertion that crystals can be used to access other dimensions, where the aliens live. William Henry argues that crystals are interdimensional substances whose lattice-like molecular makeup communicates across dimensions, and David Childress tells us that the natives believed crystal was a “high-tech” object and that the ancients got them from extraterrestrials.
That didn’t make any sense, so we forget about any claim that can be tested—surely if skull communication gateways are as “scientific” as Childress and Henry claim, they can fire one up and get Yog-Sothoth on the horn—and we instead move on Mysteries of the East! This time the next skull is named “Amar” and weighs 22 pounds. Supposedly this skull was smuggled out of Tibet by an unnamed “High Lama” during the Chinese invasion of Tibet, which appears to be a fairy story concocted to make the skull valuable enough to exploit as part of another fundraising scheme. Would it surprise you to know that the story is sourced only to the website I just linked to, and that it doesn’t exist in the literature prior to a few years ago? The Dalai Lama is not a shy man; surely, he would let us know if a sacred crystal power skull were missing. He never said anything about it to me the couple of times he has given speeches in places where I was living.
Next: NAZIS! Another crystal skull with no provenance, this time found in Bavaria and attributed to Heinrich Himmler based on nothing more than speculation that Himmler liked ancient artifacts and skulls. Himmler wasn’t shy about his occult material, and there is no record of crystal skulls in the academic Nazi occult literature. These specific claims appear to originate with the 2004 book Reich of the Black Sun by Joseph P. Farrell, a 2004 book published by David Childress’s Adventures Unlimited Press (what a coincidence!), which claimed that aliens gave Nazis nuclear and occult secrets. Amazing, is it not, that when you try to search for the claims made on Ancient Aliens you get product pages for books published by Childress?
The ghost of Philip Coppens tells us that crystal skulls “can be used against other human beings” to control their minds by focusing hypnotic rays. Go on and try it. It won’t work because there are no hypnotic rays. Do you think, as David Wilcock does, that the “frequency of your bioenergy field” can be raised or lowered by staring at crystal skulls, propelling your soul into other dimensions? If so, you’ve discovered a new branch of science and should really get on that rather than blathering on Ancient Aliens about how your discoveries mean people should give you money for books and videos and lectures for you to tell them more about what you refuse to actually investigate or demonstrate.
Let’s pause a moment and recall that the oldest date proposed for any of these skulls on Ancient Aliens has so far been 3,600 years before 1923, give or take. Somehow we are now traveling to Atlantis, around 9,600 BCE, which the show depicts, oddly, with Greek Ionic architecture, invented around 570 BCE. The show asserts that Atlantis stored its records in crystal-based computers, a detail not found in Plato or any other ancient source. (It’s another modern bit of faux-lore.) William Henry asserts that crystal skulls contain Atlantis’ computerized records, and we are meant to believe this is probable because Hitachi recently found a way to store binary code on a crystal chip, and quartz crystals are used in electronics. But that code is simply burned in by a laser and is visible under a microscope; the crystal skulls contain no such visible coding.
Philip Coppens tells us crystal skulls show up in Maya lands and Tibet, which are “specifically linked” as refuges for survivors of Atlantis—by whom? Certainly not Plato. This is warmed over Theosophy and has no basis in history, archaeology, or even ancient myth. Oddly, the show simply asserts that there are great similarities between the two cultures and never actually lists any, so therefore I will classify this claim as without merit since the show did not bother to defend it.
We listen to a repeat—from just minutes ago—of material about how crystals have great power and communicate with other dimensions, though this time replacing generic crystals with specifically quartz. It’s all but the same damn segment with a different word substituted in.
Now we repeat again the claim that the thirteen skulls need to come together in order to power on some ancient computer and transmit a signal to another dimension. I will remind you again that this claim does not exist before the twentieth century and is not genuinely ancient. I also do not need to say that extraterrestrials from another plant and beings from another dimension are not precisely the same thing.
Carolyn Ford, who is apparently fantasy-prone, judging from her claims and her self-designation as the “guardian” of a crystal skull she named Einstein, says that the skull talks to her and told her he’s a computer and has broadcasted to another dimension history, including the history of Atlantis, since the beginning of time. Sadly, he doesn’t talk when anyone else is around to hear him. We finish the show by having David Childress—who now explicitly identifies himself as an “ancient astronaut theorist” because it brings in the cash money, despite his earlier protestations that I lied in calling him one—photographs Einstein with “aura photography,” which is about as scientific as astrology. Humorously, the aura photographer, Jamie Jones, calls is “aura technology,” as though it were anything other than Kirlian nonsense with computer additions. I wouldn’t put much faith in the energy field being supernatural or alien without some controls testing other quartz crystals, non-quartz crystals, and other inanimate objects. Oh, and some kind of proof that auras are real.
Childress, Wilcock, George Noory, and others tell us that people are desperate, “up at arms,” and on the verge of doom, and the crystal skulls can help us launch a cultural renewal and give us a purpose in a material cosmos. Blah, blah, blah… new religion… blah, blah, blah… aliens are really gods… they just want to believe…. Oh, finally, it’s over.
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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