Sadly, the carpal tunnel syndrome I’ve been suffering from off and on for years now has flared up again thanks to too much typing, so I’m going to have to try to keep my blog posts on the short side for the next few days while my wrist heals.
The H2 channel has announced the topic for the first episode of Ancient Aliens’ fifth season: “The Secrets of the Pyramids.” It seems like I picked a good time to have translated Al-Maqrizi’s Al-Khitat passages on the pyramids, seeing as they are ancient astronaut pundits’ (inappropriate) source for claims of alien involvement in the pyramids.
To get ready, I’m preparing myself with pyramid facts and fantasies, and you can, too. You can check out Al-Maqrizi’s pyramid passages here, and you can review the four dozen pyramids fictions put forward by the nineteenth century alternative authors in my completely annotated anthology Pyramidiots! It’s also a great time to review the last season of Ancient Aliens and all its crazy claims. My Critical Companion to Ancient Aliens Seasons 3 and 4: Unauthorized is now available as an eBook, conveniently priced at just $3.99 in advanced of the season 5 premiere.
But I’d also like to talk a moment about the season 5 premiere of Ancient Aliens and the utter hypocrisy of ancient astronaut pundits. Last season, Ancient Aliens devoted an hour to the Maya “Doomsday Prophecies” (S04E02, Feb. 17, 2012). In that episode, Sean David Morton, David Childress, and others told us that December 21, 2012 was going to be either the end of the world or the return of the aliens, but either way a fundamental end to modern civilization. (Giorgio Tsoukalos, to his slight credit, refused to endorse this scare-mongering.)
David Childress specifically said: “It’s hard to know the future—what’s going to happen at the end of 2012—but it seems that perhaps the Mayans had some glimpse into the future that we have yet to find out.” Similarly, Erich von Däniken wrote in 2009’s Twilight of the Gods that December 23, 2012 (his date for the Apocalypse) would be the time when the aliens return to rule over us and punish us for our sins.
He then says we can “pretty much” count on the aliens returning that day.
But Childress and von Däniken clearly don’t believe it. Like charlatan religious prophets, they leave just enough wiggle room to say that they never promised the end of the world, not absolutely, allowing for new prophesies to follow the failure of the first.
Besides, the entire Ancient Aliens crew is back, for an episode scheduled to air on December 21, the exact date of the alleged Maya apocalypse. These pundits, who scared their audience with wild claims of cataclysmic destruction and the return of the aliens, spent this fall filming interviews for season 5, which they knew at the time would air after the alleged End of Days in December. So why did they do it?
It must be because they don’t believe a word of it, never did, and will say anything for cash. We can't prove that, of course, but when December 21 (or 23) comes and goes, we'll see whether they feel any shame and whether their beliefs suddenly and miraculously change again.
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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