A while back I discussed the “Ancient School” project that ancient astronaut theorist Jason Martell launched and promoted on Ancient Aliens. He had hoped it would become a non-accredited lecture series that would see users paying Martell $17 per month for access to speeches from ancient astronaut theorists in a “live” online classroom setting. It appears that the plan was a failure, and “Ancient School” has been reduced to a self-published DVD series, which from the highly limited information that Martell makes available seems appears to feature primarily Martell himself.
Part of this is a failure on the part of Martell, who has never been able to develop a personality that popped on camera in order to craft a unique ancient astronaut approach. Of course, he’s also stunningly unoriginal, recycling Zecharia Sitchin without offering anything new. But I wonder if it doesn’t also represent the limits to how engaged ancient astronaut audiences are with the theory, and how much time and money they are willing to put into pursuing the “intellectual” and “educational” component of it, as opposed to the “entertainment” factor.
After all, hundreds or perhaps even thousands of people are planning to visit History’s “Alien Con” ancient astronaut and Ancient Aliens fan convention next week. And nothing there is designed to educate. But there is plenty to obfuscate. I received a press release telling me that the convention plans to release rare and previously unseen recordings from family members of the characters involved in the alleged UFO crash at Roswell.
It’s probably also worth mentioning that after Alien Con offered me an interview with an ancient astronaut theorist to promote the conference and I accepted the offer, they went dead silent. Several weeks later, they have stopped responding to my emails and refuse to speak to me. But they are still sending me press releases.
I also saw a copy of the casting call for ufologists and investigators going out from MUFON and GoGoLuckey Productions for a new UFO-hunting TV series to follow up on Hangar 1: The UFO Files. While this would seem like bad news (another UFO show?), the accompanying letter from the executive director of MUFON said only that the show was going to be “pitched” to a “major network,” which means that it isn’t guaranteed, and it hasn’t been picked up yet. It also means that MUFON is a little desperate for some fresh blood to create a compelling TV show. It looks like they don’t have any telegenic and dynamic ufologists on hand.
Speaking of disappointments, I suppose I should note that after Xplrr Media claimed that they would be making a major announcement at this year’s Ancient Artifact Preservation Society meeting, nothing publicly came of it. While the team behind the company are still hinting that they plan to allege that the Ark of the Covenant is buried on Oak Island, it looks like this is another “game-changing” revelation that has been mysteriously delayed. (Did they decide to time their claim to capitalize on the return of Curse of Oak Island next month?) Similarly, the team went silent on the alleged “giant” skeleton that they claimed that they would have professionally excavated for a television show that also has failed to materialize. On Twitter, Scott Wolter of Xplrr Media told his followers that he is not currently filming any television series.
But this tweet pretty much summed up everything there is to say:
I’m pretty sure that the team who believe in secret global conspiracy hand signals and hidden messages about Jesus’ corpse embedded in Oreos have done a good job of that all by themselves.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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