I am presenting the following generalizations as generalizations only, and I will not describe individual reactions to avoid calling down the wrath of the internet trolls on anyone I know.
Everyone had heard of Ancient Aliens, and some of America Unearthed, but few had any strong views about either show. Most laughingly recalled the silliness of such programs, but no one had really given any thought to them. There was a general skepticism toward weird claims about aliens and Jesus, but few could articulate a particular reason that any of the strange claims on the shows were untrue, except that the advocates of the claims were “freaks.”
And overall, that was the most important point to emerge from our discussion: The personalities on TV overwhelmed the message, to the point that those watching judged the credibility and accuracy of the programs by how much they liked and trusted the people making the claims. Giorgio Tsoukalos, with his flamboyant hairdo and intensity of expression, garnered no support except as a cartoon. On the other hand, those who recalled Scott Wolter (though none by name) felt a greater connection to his material because he came across as measured and professional, at least in comparison with Tsoukalos, David Childress, and the Ancient Aliens team.
Explaining Scott Wolter’s speculation about the “Hooked X®” variant-A rune as the penis of Jesus inseminating Mary Magdalene’s womb garnered huge laughs—“What else could it possibly be?” one incredulous person responded in jest. But the thing that really sparked interest was my telling of how Jason Martell and A+E Networks tried to use the legal system to intimidate me. That personal story, relating as it does the background and personalities of the TV faces, did more to impact opinions of these shows that anything related to facts.
And now I will get back to waiting for the train.