On Friday Ancient Aliens star Giorgio Tsoukalos appeared on Reddit to discuss the ancient astronaut theory, his hair, and whether he’s insane. (Spoiler alert: He does not think so.) He joked that his towering hair, held together with “lots of hairspray” was “slowly being abducted,” and he also alleged that he saw a UFO at the 2014 Contact in the Desert conference, though he offered no evidence that the lights in the sky were alien spacecraft. His answers were particularly interesting because in this forum Tsoukalos seemed to back off of his alleged conviction that space aliens actually visited humanity in the distant past. Instead, in this forum he spoke primarily of possibilities and seemed to imply that the purpose of the ancient astronaut theory was to generate social change for progressive causes by asking the public to adopt a less parochial perspective.
Oh, and Tsoukalos is also planning to capitalize on his fame by finding another revenue stream: He announced that he’s following Brien Foerster, Graham Hancock, and Scotty Roberts in offering fringe history tours of exotic locations beginning next year.
Tsoukalos told Reddit users that he became interested in aliens when his grandmother, a devout Catholic, would tell him about fringe theories, including the ancient astronaut theory and Atlantis, as bedtime stories. According to Tsoukalos, she believed in these claims, and if I read him right, she was attempting to indoctrinate him in fringe beliefs from a young age. Like his grandmother, Tsoukalos claims to be a “deep believer in God” despite his belief that all references to gods are actually accounts of extraterrestrials. Where then did he derive his knowledge of God if every reference in texts is to aliens? He’ll never say.
He also shared some details about Erich von Däniken’s eightieth birthday party, which was attended by fringe history’s most important stars, paying homage to the man who made their careers possible. According to Tsoukalos, 3,000 people got together to celebrate von Däniken by listening to lectures from the usual suspects: fringe historians Robert Bauval and Graham Hancock, astronaut Edgar Mitchell, and panspermia proponent Dr. Chandra Wickramasinghe. Given that Hancock has publicly ridiculed von Däniken in interviews and in Fingerprints of the Gods, this is certainly an interesting turn of events! Fringe solidarity seems to trump all!
When someone asked Tsoukalos what he wanted the public to do about the existence of aliens, Tsoukalos seemed to concede that much of his on-air pontificating is grossly overstated:
Personally, I think that it’s something that we should just keep an open mind about, with the idea that we are not alone—it’s basically the idea that we are not alone in the universe, and that to me is a very valid question, because it puts us in a very unique position, and that the universe is shared with others.
(The italics represent his typist’s efforts to indicate Tsoukalos’s verbal emphasis, delivered by phone.)
It’s interesting that Tsoukalos doesn’t seemed convinced of his own claims and speaks in conditionals about what might occur should aliens actually exist. A similar response came when another user asked Tsoukalos directly what evidence he found most convincing when it comes to proving the existence of ancient astronauts. Tsoukalos did not agree with himself when he said on Ancient Aliens that Puma Punku was the one genuine alien-built site on earth. Instead, he conceded that there is no physical evidence of aliens anywhere on earth, and he fell back on Scott Wolter’s and Graham Hancock’s favorite analogy, the legal system: “It’s the combination of a whole bunch of pieces that can be regarded as circumstantial evidence, and in a court of law, circumstantial evidence allows you to win court cases.”
Yet at the same time, Tsoukalos answered a question about the current absence of the alien gods by affirming his belief that the aliens have been monitoring us through our entire history. He answered yet another question by announcing his disagreement with Zecharia Sitchin that humanity was created as a slave race for the gods; I guess that means he denies that ancient texts are literally true since the Enuma Elish, at 6:26-7, states clearly that people were made as slaves; the Aztec creation myth recorded by Medieta in the Historia eclesiástica Indiana at 2:1 concurs. Oh, well. The answers don’t really go together, and I’m not sure how Tsoukalos rationalizes what seem to be contradictory ideas about whether the aliens really did what he claims they did.
He tried, of course: In another response Tsoukalos revised his earlier claims about Puma Punku. “I have personally never suggested that any of the ancient structures were built by extraterrestrials.” Funny, in Ancient Aliens S04E06 “Mysteries of Puma Punku” both Tsoukalos and Erich von Däniken, his mentor, asserted that Puma Punku was the only alien-built structure on earth. Besides, the Enuma Elish, the text Tsoukalos uses to justify alien genetic manipulation of humans, specifically states at 6:46 that the Anunnaki built the temples of Babylon out of mud brick. Ah, well; foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of mediocre minds.
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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