This week, Vice ran an article by MJ Banias in which he visited Skinwalker Ranch, the onetime site of Robert Bigelow’s hunt for airborne extraterrestrial poltergeists and now the set of a History Channel pseudo-documentary series. Although not explicitly stated, the article serves as a promotional vehicle for the upcoming series and the anonymous owner of the ranch’s proposed efforts to turn the imagined paranormal hotspot into a tourist attraction and vacation destination. I want to say that the article contained dramatic revelations about the ranch and its supposed interdimensional alien portals, but instead all we really got were a few spooky campfire ghost stories and some photographs of a made-for-TV “command center” (built in 2016) that monitors cameras spread across the ranch. Everyone involved teases revelations—but only if you tune in to the History Channel series. If they had anything real to share, we would have heard about it.
Before we begin today, a quick note about Ancient Aliens: Moving the show to Saturday to get away from heavy competition in the “stuff old guys like” category paid off for the History Channel. The show’s ratings recovered from their 2019 slump, rising by around 200,000 viewers to 1.08 million this past week. However, ratings growth was largely from viewers 55+, a less favored demographic among TV channels and their advertisers.
Meanwhile, a YouTube video claiming that the famous Neolithic Irish tomb at Newgrange is really the temple of Poseidon that Plato alleged stood at the center of Atlantis is making waves in the media. Keystone University of Ireland posted the video, and Irish media picked up the story because of its obvious connection to Ireland. The video utilizes a number of long-debunked claims to allege that Ireland was the legendary continent of Atlantis, but the real story is who posted it and why.
Today I’d like to direct you to Rebecca Bradley’s excellent blog post dissecting Ancient Aliens talking head Andrew Collins’s fanciful claims about the Densiovans as civilization-bestowing Bible giants. Her analysis is clear and compelling and shows just how badly Collins misrepresents scientific data in order to develop a fake narrative of a prehistoric empire of overgrown wizard-sages. “Every source that Collins referenced in this paper was either misrepresented, misunderstood, or mangled at the outset,” Bradley concludes, and she has the evidence to prove it.
As many readers know, when I established my Tuesday-Saturday blog posting schedule many years ago, I did so to accommodate the broadcast of Ancient Aliens late Friday night. Over the years, Ancient Aliens has moved earlier on Fridays, but my schedule stayed the same. Now, Ancient Aliens is taking up residence in the television graveyard of Saturday following a year in which a third of its audience evaporated. However, I am not available to work Saturday nights, particularly now that the show is on late Saturday, past when I am too sleepy to write. I am not sure how my weekend schedule will work out. I plan to post a review sometime either later Sunday or Monday, but I am not entirely sure when I will have the time to write one. I will need to see how it goes.
In its quest to be all things to all people, Netflix releases a lot of content that wouldn’t make the cut at most networks. This filler tends to get dumped on off days, or in the shadow of higher-profile series. October Faction, nominally a supernatural monster-hunting drama, premiered just one day before the release of the next batch of episodes of the similarly themed Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and Netflix made it quite clear that October Faction was a dud. The show, filmed more than a year ago, dropped on a weekday with virtually no promotion, and for good reason. It’s bad, at least based on the first half of the season, which was as far as I got before I couldn’t take the inanity any longer.
Scott Wolter Embraces Atlantis, Claims Newly Translated Papers Document "Templar" Construction of the Newport Tower
Mysteries of the Tayos Caves: Lost Civilizations Where the Andes Meet the Amazon
Alex Chionetti | Bear & Company | Dec. 2019 | 272 pages | ISBN: 9781591433569 | $20
Publishers don’t share all of their new books with me, so I don’t always get to read all of the books that might be relevant to this blog before they are published. Ever since Andrew Collins complained that I gave one of his books a negative review prior to publication, Inner Traditions, one of the biggest purveyors of pseudohistory and New Age claptrap in the publishing industry, has stopped making available for review their books on themes related to archaeology and ancient history prior to publication, presumably to stop me from reviewing them. Therefore, I had to wait to read a new book published last month by Bear & Company, a division of Inner Traditions. The book is called Mysteries of the Tayos Caves by Alex Chionetti, and it deserves notice for two reasons: First, because of who Chionetti is and second, because of who endorsed his book. The actual content of the book is nothing you haven’t seen before on Ancient Aliens and Expedition Unknown, and for good reason, as we shall see.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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