Australian Reality Show Celebrity Contestant Supports Ancient Alien Theory, Says Aliens Engineered Humans
I’ve always like Australia. It seems like a nice place, giant spiders notwithstanding, and it’s on the list of places I’d love to visit someday. I’ve watched Australian TV since at least when the Australian-produced Beyond 2000 (later Beyond Tomorrow) and the Crocodile Hunter used to air in the U.S., and I also liked the Chaser’s War on Everything a decade ago. I’m a big fan of Danger Five. In fact, while doing my work I live streamed the Nine Network’s Today show online most afternoons for the last ten years, until they switched to a new streaming video provider and geo-blocked me last week. (You’re dead to me now, Nine Network.) It’s a relatively fun, pleasant news show, and certainly better than the crap that cable news airs in the afternoon. And I like seeing how other parts of the world perceive events without the filter of America-centric media. But beyond my being pissed off at Nine, I saw that former Australian cricketer Shane Warne came out as an ancient astronaut theorist on I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here, a popular Ten Network Australian reality show based on the UK series, itself modeled on Survivor.
Warne discussed a mixture of ancient astronaut and creationist beliefs on the program, speculating that the theory of evolution cannot be true because monkeys still exist. This repeats a common and fallacious creationist argument that misunderstands the evolutionary history of humanity and fails to recognize that modern apes and humans share a common ancestor rather than humans evolving directly from modern apes.
But rather than go the Christian creationist route, Warne speculates that space aliens “turned a few monkeys into humans,” echoing the claims of Zecharia Sitchin and Erich von Däniken for an Australian audience.
Warne went on to reveal that he has swallowed the whole Ancient Aliens enchilada, in its most reductive form. Warne believes that the Egyptian pyramids cannot be the work of human beings, something that even ancient astronaut theorist Giorgio Tsoukalos refuses to claim! Here Warne is speaking to British dancer Bonnie Lythgoe, who agreed with the ancient astronaut theory:
“Cos I’m saying, aliens. We started from aliens. Look at those pyramids, Bonnie, you couldn’t do them. You couldn’t pull them with a rope, those huge bits of brick, they make it perfectly symmetrical. Couldn’t do it. So who did it?”
When asked in 2011 if humans built the pyramids, Giorgio Tsoukalos said, “Of course we did. With assistance by ETs.”
It’s interesting to see the difference between ancient astronaut theory claims in Australia and the United States. Here, when a celebrity like Megan Fox or Katy Perry advocates for the ancient astronaut theory, the tabloid media treat it as a fun fact and don’t really push back against the idea. When a rapper came out for a flat earth, he was mocked but also given equal time to explain his views, which the media reported in detail. In the Australian media today, reporters had a field day laughing at Warne for not understanding how evolution works and labeling Warne the “Fox Mulder of the cricketing world.” The very idea that it’s a national news story in Australia when a celebrity believes in ancient astronauts is foreign to American audiences, who wouldn’t bat an eyelash if a TV personality believes in aliens. Heck, we even put ancient astronaut theorists in our Super Bowl commercials!
While I’m sure that other countries have their fair share of crazies (Australia has a number of people who believe Egyptians colonized their country, for example), perhaps the difference in media reaction reflects the fact that in the mainstream press of most of the First World evolution is a normal and accepted part of science and not a crazy ideology of the liberal elite.
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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