Various pundits talk about monarchs’ claims of divine descent, and we go (as always) to Egypt to look at Ramses II’s temples and his many statues of himself, including those of him as Osiris. We rehearse the death and resurrection of Osiris and his son Horus’ assumption of the Egyptian throne. From this fictive history, the narrator asks us whether the Egyptians were right that the gods reigned before humans and that the pharaohs were human-alien hybrids descended from those pharaohs. Here we get into an issue Ancient Aliens doesn’t want to tackle, which is that the various dynasties of Egypt were not all lineal descendants of one early king but rather used fictive claims of descent to justify various usurpations and conquests. The pharaohs did not consider themselves to be descendants of Horus but rather to be Horus (and, after death, Osiris); thus, anyone by being pharaoh, was the god.
Unable to keep on this idea for a full two minutes, the show talks about the architecture of Ramses’ temples, but even here the show seems to recognize it’s grasping at straws. The door of one temple, Abu Simbel, is designed so that twice a year the sun shines straight down the main hall and illuminates Ramses’ statue. This is a rather simple calculation, and one no one bothers to suggest was designed by aliens; instead, the show speculates that it was done to “channel” supernatural energy. However, the show can’t quite work up the conviction to suggest that this energy is alien, just symbolic.
Giorgio Tsoukalos claims that Ramses II asserted he was in contact with the aliens, by which he seems to mean that Ramses’ inscriptions make conventional reference to his consultations with the gods, which is about as definitive proof of aliens as Bill O’Reilly’s claim that the Holy Spirit comes to him in his sleep to suggest topics for new books. David Childress adds that pharaohs’ DNA contains extraterrestrial traces, which really ought to be something we could test—yet no one seems interested in doing that.
Next we move to Asia to look for alien emperors. The Yellow Emperor of China, Huangdi (or Huangti), is claimed to be a civilizing alien. I have posted the ancient Chinese historian Sima Qian’s accounts of the Yellow Emperor in my library (first paragraph of chapter one) so you can see for yourself that Tsoukalos is not on firm ground when claiming that the Yellow Emperor orbited the earth and descended from the sky. Sima Qian is quite clear that he was born here on earth, a human child. Instead, Tsoukalos seems to be vaguely referring to modern interpretations that see the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi) as a historicizing figure derived from the Shang sky god (Shangdi). The on-screen graphics do the work that the words cannot or will not and make Huangdi’s magic cauldron into a beacon signaling a yellow, grasshopper-shaped spaceship meant to represent a Yellow Dragon. While the show quotes unidentified folklore that the Yellow Emperor ascended to the sky after death, Sima Qian records that he died and was buried like any other person. The Chinese today believe that he died, and they venerate him at his mausoleum in Shaanxi, where they tell visitors that his body still lies.
Now we’re off to Japan and its first emperor, who was the descendant of the sun goddess. Although she was (and is) the sun in Shinto, William Henry says she is “like” the sun to make her into an alien. If this be true, the sun goddess is a terrible alien overlord since Japanese emperors have been notoriously powerless throughout Japanese history, only occasionally asserting control over government. Today, the emperor isn’t even the titular head of state; he is merely a constitutional officer with fixed functions. Erich von Däniken, Giorgio Tsoukalos, and David Childress suggest that the ancient Japanese emperors’ magic mirror was a tablet computer giving him spy capabilities across the Pacific. It’s interesting that in the past, before the iPad, these same theorists likened such devices to television sets and were convinced they were cathode ray tubes. Now they’re touch-screen tablets. Ancient alien ideas seem to keep up with the latest tech trends.
As we pass the halfway point, we go to India to talk about King Rama and his mighty weapon, the Brahmstra (= Brahma Astra, or “Brahma’s Weapon”). This magical device existed in the realm of pure thought and appeared only after its user exerted great meditational power. It’s the same weapon that appears in the Mahabharata and the Ramayana and led to David Childress’s false quotations used to assert the reality of ancient nuclear warfare.
We don’t spend even a second thinking about this because it’s time to look at stupas and King Ashoka. We review a text I am not familiar with called the Ashokavadana in which a levitating, meditating monk was half on fire and half dripping water, inspiring Ashoka to convert to Buddhism. I checked John S. Strong’s 1983 translation of the text, and this is the poetic wording from the section called “Samudra and Asoka’s Conversion”:
From half of his body, water poured down;
From the other half, fire blazed forth.
Raining and flaming, he shone in the sky…
The show asserts that this is an “eyewitness account” even though many versions, with discrepancies, exist in Asian poetry. It is, instead, a polemical text designed to emphasize the power of Buddhism; such mastery of the elements is the highest level of yoga.
The stupas we’ve discussed before when Ancient Aliens last claimed they were inspired by UFOs because they are round.
After the break, we assert that the House of Windsor are among the most powerful and long-lasting royal families “in human history,” which would be a surprise to the British, who know that the Windsors were formerly the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha family, and they originate (in the female line of Victoria) from minor German princes from Hanover in 1714, when George I became king to resolve the crisis of establishing an acceptable successor to Queen Anne, when the succession fell, by parliamentary decree, on Sophia, Electress of Hanover, and then to Anne’s second cousin George I, who claimed the right to rule not because he was the closest relation to Queen Anne—that was the Stuart family—but because he was the closest Protestant relation, the Catholic Stuarts having been disqualified by the Act of Union of 1707 between England and Scotland. George’s relationship to the Stuarts was only though his maternal grandmother.
Oh, right, none of this matters because the show ignores all of the history of the monarchy to assert that Elizabeth II descends from the Norse God Odin, in his Germanic form, Woden. No proof of this is offered. Instead, we talk about Odin’s Wild Hunt at midwinter, when the ghosts of the dead followed the psychopomp to the underworld. Tsoukalos asserts that Sleipnir, the eight-legged horse of Odin, was “fiery” (I can’t find proof of that in the Eddas) and was therefore (as the graphics show) a spaceship with eight fiery thrusters.
David Childress dances around the Holy Bloodline conspiracy by noting that European royalty claims “special” blood that is protected through intermarriage to preserve alien DNA. (I guess the Duke of Cambridge didn’t get the message, marrying a commoner and all. Worse, the Danish Crown Prince married an Australian commoner. Both even reproduced with these commoners!)
In January 2013, the show says, a “unique” DNA sequence was discovered that 24% of “leadership behavior” is attributed to DNA--non-alien DNA, let’s note—and somehow we’re supposed to feel that this means that the aliens imputed that DNA into royal families to make them “born to rule.” This is genetic determinism of the worst sort; leadership behavior is nebulous and varies by culture. Worse, many of the “divine right” rulers were, frankly, worthless. One of the truths about “royal” bloodlines is that the inbred rulers produced more duds than brilliant leaders.
Even the show seems to lose its own train of thought and instead throws up its hands, recognizing that if everything they just said in this hour were true, then the “alien” DNA would be present in the genomes of “millions” (actually, billions) of people worldwide. “The implications are both astonishing and profound,” says the narrator. Well, no: The implications are exactly what you prattle on about every week: the claim that aliens genetically engineered humans. Of course, this neatly absolves the ancient alien theorists from needing proof: If everyone has alien DNA, then there is no way to find it since we think it’s just regular DNA. But it also means that this entire hour was a complete waste of time since the “royal” bloodlines aren’t special or unique and therefore have nothing to do with the final claims of the hour, which were presented as a religious revelation: You, too, dear viewer, are both related to royalty and a descendant of the divine. Holy, holy, holy, the spark of divinity is within you. Fall to your knees and send money, please.