Tonight the History Channel is rerunning its 2009 special, Ancient Aliens, which features a full-screen shot of my Skeptic magazine article, "Charioteer of the Gods" (2004), the article that formed the basis for my 2005 book, The Cult of Alien Gods: H.P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture.
In the documentary, my article is displayed full-screen as the narrator, Peter Coyote, discusses vicious "skeptics" who attacked Erich von Daniken's "bold" theory that aliens were responsible for human civilization. My article is the only piece of skeptical literature shown, and my name, clearly visible throughout the discussion, is the only one used to illustrate skeptical viewpoints.
This might have been flattering, but the producers suddenly invert my article so the text transforms from normal black text on white paper to ominous white text on black paper. While this transformation occurs, dramatic music wells up, and flaming scare quotes from other authors--never identified and therefore attributed to me--burn across my article, quotes declaiming von Dankien as a fraud and a liar, things I never said in the piece shown.
Prometheus Entertainment, the company that produced the program for the History Channel, never contacted me for permission to reproduce my work, nor did they ask me to appear to defend myself against their attacks. Attempts to reach Prometheus and the History Channel to protest their unfair treatment of me and my work were unsuccessful.
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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