Giorgio Tsoukalos: I Believe in Reincarnation, Pantheism; Erich von Daniken: Scotty Roberts Didn't Pay Me
During the broadcast of In Search of Aliens Friday night, ancient astronaut theorist Giorgio Tsoukalos took the time to engage with his fans on Twitter while they watched their hero discuss his belief that extraterrestrial beings share their DNA with Caucasian human beings, who formed a sort of alien-powered master race in charge of building monumental architecture around the world. In the episode Tsoukalos asserted that DNA testing of a hair from an elongated skull in Peru tied the genetic code to northern Europe, and Tsoukalos concluded that this meant that the skulls were those of actual space aliens, or, as I call them, Space Aryans.
On Twitter, Tsoukalos was asked why he has not done additional testing on the skulls to conclusively demonstrate their Aryan-alien heritage. Tsoukalos responded that “weird laws” prevented him from doing so, and that these laws are a form of “censorship.” Tsoukalos agreed with another fan who said that “they” should allow testing if they “are so confident in their beliefs” that the skulls are human.
These laws, which are actually Peruvian national laws, bilateral treaties with the United States, and international law, prevent the transport of human remains or ancient artifacts from Peru to another country without official permission from the Peruvian government. Tsoukalos leaves out that Lloyd Pye and Brien Foerster claimed to have skirted such laws in testing the DNA of bone fragments from an elongated skull from Paracas, Peru, which they asserted had mitochondrial DNA that did not match Homo sapiens.
Tsoukalos also reaffirmed his belief that the small stone carved with a crop circle image known as the Roswell Rock is “real”—whatever that means. No one doubts that the rock exists; the dispute is whether it is of extraterrestrial origin, and the fact that it can be easily reproduced by skilled stoneworkers argues against an unearthly origin. He even quoted Graham Hancock (!) to support his claim that humans have forgotten their true history, which is a surprise since Hancock recently blasted Tsoukalos’s version of the ancient astronaut theory in OM Times magazine:
I don’t need “aliens” – whatever they are — to explain any mysteries in our pre-history. Honestly I don’t need a single alien for the great pyramids or the Mayan calendar. I just don’t. […] One of the problems I have with the whole ancient alien lobby is that at one level it operates like a religion or a cult, by which I mean its believers are resistant to, and often get furiously angry about, other possible explanations that challenge their faith. But at another level members of the “ancient astronaut cult” are also crassly materialistic, seeking to reduce everything to a simplistic material reference frame, projecting our present and imagined future levels of technology onto what are in fact deeply mysterious and unexplained phenomena…
Tsoukalos told another questioner that he became an ancient astronaut theorist because his family are ancient astronaut believers. I seem to recall knowing that fact, though I can’t recall where I heard it before. Perhaps he told me back in 2002. I don’t think he’s talked much about it elsewhere. He also denied the existence of “evil beings” but affirmed that he is a pantheist who believes in both God (a divine universe) and ancient astronauts, arguing that God is the first cause of a chain of aliens who each gave the next species the technology to advance:
He concluded his chat by asserting his belief in reincarnation and the existence of a heaven-like location where unknown forces decide our fates. This is a rather confusing metaphysical construction, since the aliens would appear to be rather redundant if there is a supernatural way station where an unseen force is allocating souls to various bodies. But these unseen masters are mysterious!
Less mysterious are Erich von Däniken’s reasons for skipping this year’s Paradigm Symposium, the annual gathering of fringe figures run by Scotty Roberts and co-sponsored by H2 and Ancient Aliens. It turns out that he and Roberts have had a falling out over money. In a press release posted to Facebook on September 30, von Däniken announced that Roberts failed to provide him with promised travel expenses and as a result he would not be attending the annual gathering of fringe figures. “On September 27, 2014, I received an email that Roberts cannot pay my airfare, hotel accommodations, nor my appearance fee” after Roberts said on September 10 that the money was available. According to von Däniken, Roberts also failed to pay Giorgio Tsoukalos and Philip Coppens their promised travel expenses in 2012.
Von Däniken, who has made millions of dollars from his books and speaking engagements, said that while he hates to disappoint his fans, “under these circumstances” of not receiving more money, he cannot spread the “truth” about aliens until cash payments are forthcoming. But I kid! Honestly, though, I agree with von Däniken and wouldn’t attend any event that promised to pay expenses and then failed to do so. That is just straight up breach of contract. That said, the big reveal that events like the Paradigm Symposium are profitable money makers and free vacations for their speakers shouldn’t surprise anyone. Fringe history makes some serious coin while pretending to be a dispassionate search for the truth. But rarely is it so clearly telegraphed as when von Däniken bluntly lays bare just how much cash and how many perks famous fringe figures can get on the lecture circuit. I know from Giorgio Tsoukalos’s booking agent that last year he was commanding up to $10,000 per appearance, plus expenses. Do that five or ten weeks a year, and you’re set. It’s nice work if you can get it.
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.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter, The Skeptical Xenoarchaeologist, for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities, and subscribe to Culture & Curiosities, my Substack newsletter.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.