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.
Scott Wolter Embraces Atlantis, Claims Newly Translated Papers Document "Templar" Construction of the Newport Tower
Last week saw the last new episode of Ancient Aliens for 2019. The episode trended down from the previous week, bringing in 897,000 viewers, compared to 925,000 for the Tucker Carlson episode the week before. The numbers suggest that at least some of the previous week’s viewer spike was attributable to Carlson fans tuning in, but the numbers are so small that the greater part is probably due to random fluctuation. In Search Of had 963,000 viewers for its final episode of the season. Meanwhile, the Science Channel conspiracy fringe history series Unexplained + Unexplored trended up to 441,000 viewers for its episode hunting the alleged killer of Meriwether Lewis.
Later tonight, Ancient Aliens will explore the profound question of whether aliens invented tattoos. In the meantime, we might as well pile on Ashley Cowie some more since he published yet another crappy article this week trying to spin mystery out of discovery in the belief that ancient history needs to be sexed up with fakery and myths to attract the attention of the public. Today’s subject is Atlantis, which Cowie understands at about the Wikipedia level of research, citing as sources Atlantipedia and an article in National Geographic. It makes me wonder why I bother researching primary sources when, apparently, one can get paid to surf the web and summarize the results like a high school book report.
Let’s start today with the ratings for Friday’s UFO programming. Ancient Aliens was close to its week-to-week and year-to-year average. The first new episode of the fourteenth season drew 1.3 million people, with a 0.26 rating among the advertiser-covered demographic of adults 18-49. It ranked seventh in the cable ratings for Friday. Unidentified, the To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science UFO series, debuted with 1.286 million viewers and a 0.22 rating among adults 18-49, retaining most of its lead-in’s audience and outperforming most of the other shows that have followed Ancient Aliens over the past ten years in that regard. It ranked eleventh among all cable shows airing on Friday. But don’t despair! Both were outdrawn by HGTV’s My Lottery Dream Home, which had 1.6 million viewers and a 0.29 rating among adults 18-49. So, in the hierarchy of American life, lottery fantasies easily outdraw mind- and soul-shattering “truths” about time, space, and reality.
At the American Association of Physical Anthropology Conference in Cleveland last week, a team of researchers presented evidence that humans in Papua New Guinea may have interbred with a population of Denisovans as recently as 15,000 years ago, citing genetic evidence that genomes they tested contained evidence of two separate infusions of Denisovan DNA. The first came around 50,000 years ago. The second occurred sometime after, and the researchers suspect it occurred around 15,000 years ago. The scientists, led by Murray Cox of the Massey University in New Zealand, also said that the Denisovans living on the mainland in southeast Asia were as genetically different from the better-known Siberian Denisovans as they were from Neanderthals.
Ancient Origins published yet another entry in the endless list of places alleged to be the lost continent of Atlantis. Today’s candidate comes from the pen of Italian expatriate E. B. Ralbadisole, who now lives in Asia, claims to worship nature, and said that he became interested in Atlantis after receiving a supernatural vision of a lost Ice Age civilization. He places the fictitious lost city in the Kathiawar peninsula, in western India, specifically atop Mt. Girnar, and alleges that Atlantis did not sink into the ocean but was buried in a giant mudslide that inspired the Biblical Flood. Really.
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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