With nearly a third of Americans sheltering in their homes under government order and many of the other two-thirds staying in out of prudence and caution, television viewing numbers are growing. Ancient Aliens saw some interesting ratings changes this past weekend. Its total number of viewers did not rise significantly—coming in at 1.043 million—but the number of younger viewers watching nearly doubled. A chunk of the show’s older viewers tuned out (they seemingly flocked to cable news coverage of the corona virus), but younger viewers switched to Ancient Aliens to make up the difference. Oddly, The UnXplained with William Shatner, which previously had more total viewers and more viewers 18-49 than Ancient Aliens, saw its ratings fall to just 883,000 viewers as younger fans apparently sated themselves on Ancient Aliens and turned the channel or went to bed.
As you might imagine, COVID-19 has limited the amount of fringe history being discussed, so there isn’t a lot to talk about right now. I feel like I should mention physicist Jack Sarfatti’s claims on a recent The Hidden Truth with James Beslo podcast that the so-called Tic-Tac UFO seen by the USS Nimitz in 2004 is a time machine, but the octogenarian Sarfatti also claimed on Coast to Coast AM last year that about seventy years ago a sentient computer from a Tic-Tac UFO contacted him and spilled space secrets. He’s been into time travel and warp drives for ages, and there isn’t anything new here.
However, I do want to highlight how he has absorbed the stream of nonsense claims about “metamaterials” coming out of To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science. Sarfatti claims that UFOs are composed of “metamaterials”—a claim he can’t possibly have evidence to prove—and that such metals can travel through time when zapped with electricity—another claim he can’t prove: “What happens is that if you pump electromagnetic energy into the material, it will have a certain resonance. In that resonance, the speed of light inside the material can go down to a very small number.” Does anyone seriously doubt that he only speaks about metamaterials because TTSA has been hyping them?
Sarfatti claims that he wants to meet with White House officials to discuss his ideas. I’d usually call that ridiculous, but, really, who can say anymore?
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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