There was a death in my family this week, so you will forgive me if I am less than enthusiastic about putting up with Ancient Aliens’ bullshit today, including the use of at least two known hoaxes as “evidence.” Last night’s episode, “Aliens and the Founding Fathers,” spent an hour suggesting that America’s founders were the recipients of extraterrestrial wisdom. But it was telling that most of the talking heads were not ancient astronaut theorists (AATs), and it was mostly left to the voiceover narration to launch into speculation about George Washington et al.’s alien encounters.
The majority of the episode featured warmed-over conspiracy theories about the Freemasons, long debunked, and occult theorizing about the Masonic symbolism of Washington, D.C.’s architecture leftover from other, sturdier History Channel programs. As the “experts” interviewed on Ancient Aliens strained to force E.T. into their prefabricated conspiracies—one talking head actually said that one could call a “heavenly being” seen by George Washington an extraterrestrial but it was a “heavenly being”—it was quite obvious that the program existed primarily as thematic lead-in and cross-promotional opportunity for Brad Meltzer’s Decoded, which does cryptographic fantasies much better. As with Ancient Aliens’ earlier episode devoted to promoting the movie Cowboys & Aliens, an alleged “truth” came a distant second to the commercial necessities of corporate synergy.
The main lines of “evidence” were laughably bad—not to mention fraudulent. One piece of evidence was an alleged vision George Washington had of a “heavenly being” that showed him “the birth, progress, and destiny of the Republic of the United States” while at Valley Forge. AAT Giorgio Tsoukalos and Ancient Aliens took this as a genuine vision (albeit of an "alien" and not an angel) reported by the 99-year-old Anthony Sherman, a (non-existent) former aid to Washington, in 1859, as told to Wesley Bradshaw. In fact, this is a well-known hoax concocted by Charles W. Alexander, the actual author of the piece, in 1861, at the start of the Civil War. It was intended as fiction, hence the anachronistic references to the “Union” projected back to 1777-1778.
Another claim made by Ancient Aliens, that Washington was visited by “Greenskins,” or alien beings, derives entirely from hoax diaries allegedly found in a Scottish castle in the 1990s and later reported on by a British tabloid reporter in the Sun. As far as I can tell, such diaries have never been published and in all likelihood do not exist.
After seeing credence given to a hoax exposed at least as early as 1917 and another with no supporting evidence whatsoever, what purpose is there in bothering to examine the AATs' other “evidence”?
Whopper of the week: The dumbest claim has to be that the streets of Washington, D.C. were laid out in the shape of a five-pointed star to communicate to the aliens that we “respect” them. Do I even have to mention that real stars do not have points, and the convention of five points on a star would have no relevance whatsoever to beings unfamiliar with the convention? Heck, even in Western civilization we don’t always use five points on a star. Sometimes we have four (like many depictions of the star of Bethlehem), six (the asterisk—literally, star), or seven (a sheriff’s badge).
8/25/2013 08:43:15 pm
Other than Tsoukalos, they have nothing as a proof of the existence of alliance. They are just manipulating the stories. I have stopped watching the series long back. Now its season five, right? By the way, I heard some good review about this season!
5/16/2014 03:51:11 am
Stumbled on your site as a result of my suspicious nature. I'm a regular but not die-hard viewer of Ancient Aliens. This morning, 5/16/14 H2 is airing several back to back to back episodes and I have nothing better to do so I'm watching. When I first began watching this series Giorgio Tsoukalos had ' Ph D. behind his name as well as publisher of Legendary Times Magazine. Now the PhD moniker has been dropped. What's up with that? Or am I remembering wrong?
6/29/2014 04:24:21 am
You didn't address the claim in this episode that Founding Fathers like Benjamin Franklin believed that there was life on many Planets, and that each Solar System might have it's own God and he God of the Bible was only the God of our Solar System.
8/9/2014 08:02:39 am
#AncientAliens, like #AmericasBookOfSecrets, used to be a fascinating show... now, like the latter, it's nothing more than a whacked out conspiracy show with #GiorgioTsoukalos repeating over and over again "Is it possible..."; well sure, anything is possible, but not when there's no evidence to support it being possible and you're bending the facts to fit your beliefs, instead of bending your beliefs to fit the facts, you turn a fascinating subject into a conspiracy subject.
9/19/2014 07:28:57 pm
Native americans knew nothing about the sirius binary system. The book "The Sirius Mystery" is the source of all those claims, AA loves to use sources that are known forgeries/lies/exaggerations and just hopes nobody decided to look into their sources....
9/20/2014 11:40:08 am
Please re-read my comment... the ethnicity was African, not Native American.
9/26/2014 03:30:22 pm
Guys get a life, don't criticize Giorgio Tsouklos and his group for putting on a good clean show. They are not making you believe in anything you don't want to believe in. All they are doing is making a show that entertaining and something to use your imagination. So don't be so harsh with these guys. Don't watch it if you don't like it. Give these guys credit for not putting on shows that are violent and bad example for our children. There is too much of that type of stupid shoot em up , killing, stabbing , cutting off heads and all the other things people think is entertaining.
9/26/2014 04:06:17 pm
There's one problem with what you just posted... this is an educational documentary, shown on the History Channel [by proxy H2], and because it's an educational documentary it must meet certain standards, the first of which is it needs to be based upon facts. If this was on any other channel but an educational one, you'd have a leg to stand on, however it is an educational channel.
1/11/2015 11:15:06 am
What?! King Herod was from the 19th century BC?! Wow, now that's a novel idea! Get a clue about some of the junk you're spewing before posting!
1/11/2015 11:27:24 am
it was supposed to read "19 BC", however it seems Word changed it to "19th century BC" when spell checked.
1/11/2015 11:30:29 am
As far as "junk" goes, I wasn't under the impression facts were considered "junk". While my opinions are contained within that post, all references to historical fact are fact... if you believe otherwise, please reply back with what you believe is not fact (that's been backed up by fact checking historical sources) and if I made a mistake, I'll request the blog owner to edit my comment.
1/11/2015 01:40:30 pm
OK, how about the part where you stated "Around the same time Israel became monotheistic, ancient Egypt following, both doing so as a last ditch effort to unite the failing Roman Empire."
2/21/2016 12:45:58 am
good for you Paul. . . I think these guys complain and don't know what they speak of either. . . The Rosecrucians use a star do they not, are they not connected to the Free Masons? Too many people fight the possibilities. . .
10/10/2014 10:12:15 am
12/2/2014 09:50:55 am
I am of like minds with JW0914, for the most part. I thought the two-hour documentary special was a fascinating exploration of information I had never heard of before, and it enthralled me. The first season revealed more archaeological information that really opened up my mind to thinking about what is possible, and to seeing ancient civilizations in an entirely new and more respectful way. And then the show went off the rails.
12/3/2014 04:31:50 am
An interesting perspective... while I agree with some parts and disagree with others, it's nonetheless an interesting perspective.
5/17/2018 04:22:49 pm
Whatever a person think and/or believe, is their reality, whether it is right or wrong. If anyone choose not to believe in aliens, i suggest you read, "The Day After Roswell," By colonel Phillip J. Cosa," and "The Encyclopedia of Alien Encounters," by Alan Baker.
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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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