Over the past few days, there have been some interesting tweets from Ancient Aliens star Giorgio Tsoukalos about the ancient astronaut theory. Twitter users asked Tsoukalos about what they perceived to be a conspiracy to suppress knowledge of extraterrestrials, a perfectly logical conclusion from Ancient Aliens' frequent refrain that mainstream archaeologists and the American government are purposefully ignoring the ancient astronaut theory. Tsoukalos, though, took exception:
But this is not the tune that ancient astronaut theorists traditionally have played. Take Erich von Daniken, who in Chariots of the Gods makes explicit his belief that an all-powerful scientific establishment is working to marginalize or suppress his theory:
Sirius Mystery author Robert Temple took it a step further, asserting that the American government targeted him for his claims that flying space frogs from Sirius bequeathed humans their civilization because he had revealed too much. In 1998, Temple explained the program of persecution:
What is the intelligent reader to conclude? Yes, it is true that these authors do not explicitly state that scientists and the government are trying to suppress knowledge of ancient astronauts, but what else are we to conclude from references to the Catholic Index of banned books or claims that government agencies targeted ancient astronaut authors? In fact, a decade ago I compiled an entire essay of alternative authors' claims of a conspiracy against them.
Tsoukalos is right that it is up to individuals to educate themselves, especially in an era when the institutions once trusted to do that job are failing us, especially cable television networks like H2. People do "choose to remain ignorant." Giorgio Tsoukalos is the leading example.
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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