Oh, it’s getting ridiculous. The New York Daily News ran a tongue-in-cheek piece about the alleged UFO cave art in India reported in the Times of India, and rather than suggest that maybe the story isn’t quite solid, they decided to take the opposite tack and tell readers that the find had been “confirmed.” The paper then suggested that Ancient Aliens would be the right place to “investigate” it. At least they got that right.
The Times of India reported that archeologists in Chhattisgarh have confirmed that cave paintings of UFOs and aliens (of the outer space kind) decked out in space suits are about 10,000 years old. Since, shockingly, Chhattisgarh doesn’t have any UFOlogists on er, board there, they are bringing in NASA. What? Why don’t they call on Giorgio Tsoukalos and Erich von Daniken? Not only would “Ancient Aliens” pay for the research, we loyal viewers could discover once and for all whether Giorgio’s hair is alien or human. Better: If that shirt that “Aliens” contributor David Childress never takes off is also 10,000 years old.
The Daily News misread the Times of India report and suggested falsely that NASA was actually planning to investigate the cave art. The original report said only that the archaeology department of Chhattisgarh “plans to seek” help from NASA, which is a far different thing.
The funniest part is when the paper suggested that Ancient Aliens would ever pay for original research! That’s hilarious!
Speaking of Ancient Aliens, the H2 network is launching the show’s seventh season tonight as part of a three-hour block of original ancient astronaut programming. Well, sort of original. The first hour will be an Ancient Aliens Special Edition clip show, followed by the season premiere, covering (but of course) “The Reptilians.” Suggested by Theosophy, developed by Robert E. Howard, and popularized by He-Man and V, the Reptilians are the go-to aliens for anti-government conspiracy theorists. I’m surprised that Ancient Aliens hadn’t gotten to them before.
But the climax of the evening is going to be Giorgio Tsoukalos’s new show, In Search of Aliens. The six-part series will send the Ancient Aliens star on field excursions to find “evidence” for subjects not typically associated with aliens so he can then assert a relationship with aliens. The topics are to include such well-worn saws as Atlantis, the Loch Ness Monster, and Bigfoot. The show hits the sweet spot between America Unearthed and Ancient Aliens, as though the two had an alien love child.
But the best part of the show must be the instant-rerun factor: It’s built out of spare parts, so it already feels like we’ve seen it all before. Giorgio Tsoukalos is an over-exposed figure reprising his Ancient Aliens schtick. The subject matter is so well-worn that it will already be familiar to all but the most naïve H2 viewers. Even the title of the show is recycled: In Search of Aliens instantly recalls the 1980s syndicated series In Search Of…, and its progenitor In Search of Ancient Astronauts. This is doubly appropriate since In Search of Ancient Astronauts was an authorized adaptation of Erich von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods, and Giorgio Tsoukalos began his ancient astronaut career as von Däniken’s spokesperson and disciple.
So, I’ve been trying to come up with a plan for how I want to deal with this. I obviously can’t sit through three hours of this crap all in a row. My plan is to do a brief summary of Special Edition, but since my Ancient Aliens reviews have suffered declining readership since they peaked in season four, for season seven I think I’ll have shorter reviews that highlight key claims rather than exhaustively chronicle everything the show says. If I can type fast enough, these two reviews will go up tonight. Then, tomorrow I will spend more time analyzing Tsoukalos’s new show, both because it is new and also because Atlantis is more interesting to me than lizard people. To do, this, however, I’ll need more time, so that review will likely run tomorrow. I don’t think that in future weeks, however, I’ll be doing separate reviews of the two shows and might combine them as a fringe block omnibus.
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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