Each week I struggle to come up with a way to review Ancient Aliens that will be somehow entertaining enough to justify struggling through another iteration of the same old material. I must confess that I am beginning to run out of ways to say the same thing in different ways. This trouble extends to Ancient Aliens itself, a show that is fading into televisual wallpaper. Last week, for example, when the program discussed an alleged Sphinx on Mars, I recalled the photograph from its appearance on Unsealed: Alien Files but had completely forgotten that it has also appeared on an earlier episode of Ancient Aliens since every segment of the show has slowly blended into one long, shapeless blob.
Fortunately, Ancient Aliens S07E08 “Aliens Among Us” has a slight novelty factor in that it seems to be drawing on the recent controversy over NSA spying to speculate about whether extraterrestrials are monitoring humanity’s every move via closed circuit cameras and spyware. We open with a recap of last year’s Edward Snowden controversy, with Mark Dice, an Illuminati conspiracy theorist (and author of Illuminati in the Music Industry), presenting himself as a neutral analyst of government secrets. Giorgio Tsoukalos expresses bafflement that computers can help us learn “anything you want about a person.” The narrator suggests that aliens invented the internet to monitor us, and Tsoukalos states that extraterrestrials provide the tools to inspire ancient humans to develop the technology that would make technological spying possible.
So because spies watch us, naturally we have to talk about the Watchers, from the Book of Daniel and the Book of Enoch, where in the latter they are associated with fallen angels. Outside of dedicated Biblical scholars specializing in the Enochian literature, I doubt there are many who have read more of the many and varied accounts of the Watchers across the ancient texts than I. I can then state definitively that the idiots on this show know nothing about this. The narrator claims that the Watchers took Enoch up to space in a fiery chariot, but this is wrong. In Book 3 (70:1-4), it is angels who send the chariot and take Enoch to the Lord of Spirits. The Watchers are completely separate.
A potted history of the Watchers’ use of forbidden knowledge (6-8) is given, followed by a best-of compilation of the many culture heroes and gods like Viracocha and Osiris the show has in past episodes likened to the Watchers, to which they add the Anunnaki. It is, dare we say, the definition of culture hero for the culture hero to bring culture, but the Anunnaki did not bring culture to Mesopotamia. According to Berossus (Eusebius, Chronicle 7-26; Syncellus, Chronicle 28-30), the Babylonian culture hero figure was Oannes, the fish-man, who (with his other fishy friends) in turn grew out of the culture hero myth of the Seven Sages. According to Amar Annus in “On the Origin of the Watchers: A Comparative Study of the Antediluvian Wisdom in Mesopotamian and Jewish Traditions,” Journal of the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 19 (2010), the depiction of the Watchers in Enoch is in fact a Jewish reaction against Mesopotamian ideas about the Seven Sages—not the Anunnaki.
After the break, we discuss nuclear security issues from the Nuclear Security Summit at The Hague earlier this year, whose triangular logo raises horrified reactions about the Illuminati. Dice returns to discuss the Illuminati, but the show prefers to allege that the Illuminati are an offspring of the Knights Templar (!), who in turn were in communication with the Watchers, which the Knights’ enemies mistook for demons. But even this is merely a revisiting of claims from earlier episodes. However, it’s worth noting that “experts” here like Kathleen McGowan Coppens and Jason Martell take the Catholic Church’s anti-Templar propaganda at face value, which puts them at odds with Holy Bloodline theorists as well as mainstream scholars. The show claims that the Templars’ key symbol was an eye, which it likens to the Freemasons’ eye and to the Watchers. I can’t find any support for the idea that the Templars used the eye as a symbol.
The show claims that the Book of Enoch does not “tell of the Watchers’ departure.” This is false. The Book of Enoch clearly states that the Watchers were to be imprisoned for their sins (54:4): “These (chains) are being prepared for the hosts of Azazel, so that they may take them and cast them into the abyss of complete condemnation, and they shall cover their jaws with rough stones as the Lord of Spirits commanded.” But the Ancient Aliens crew believes that the Watchers survived the Great Flood (which, of course, they totally believe really happened) and are menacing us today. Here they confuse the Watchers with their offspring, the Nephilim, whose spirits are, in the apocalyptic and apocryphal literature, alleged to have been allowed to have a ghostly existence on earth after the flood (1 Enoch 15-16; Jubilees 10:11). The Watchers, as Jude 6 informs us, are bound in chains forever (cf. 1 Enoch 10:12).
After the break we revisit a famous underground city in Turkey, profiled many times, which David Childress and others claim is a refuge where the Watchers hid out during the Great Flood. We also revisit the caves in Nepal that are high up in the mountains. David Wilcock says that they were built by people with “flying craft.” We revisit, too, the Ant People of the Hopi, a culture hero story so frequently made on the show that Codes and Conspiracies asked me about it when I talked to them back in September. All of this has been covered so many times that it becomes the kind of televisual wallpaper I complained about before. I seriously wonder if this show is made up of rerun segments, but I know that is not true since different talking heads have been swapped out to make the same points, often verbatim. Instead, I’ll just paste in my comments from S04E09, which are point-for-point on point:
[The show] incorrectly claims the Sumerian Annunaki derive from Hopi words meaning “ant (anu) friends (naki),” a derivation not supported by any modern linguist. This is more Sitchin nonsense. The word actually means “those of royal blood” and has no relationship to Hopi words from 4,000 years later. One might as well relate them to “anno” and “gnocchi,” and claim they are New Year’s pastas from Italy. “Annunaki” is a conventional transliteration; the Sumerian term can also be transcribed as Anunna and Anunnaku, which are obviously different than the Hopi words.
After the break, we travel to Muscat, Oman, to visit a cave to talk about the Djinn, the supernatural creatures of Islamic mythology. Because they can defy Allah’s will, the narrator tells us that they must be akin to the Watchers, who rebelled against God. Here they are on slightly more solid ground, since traditionally Iblis, who is identified with the Watcher Azazel, is often called a Djinn. All the same, it’s pretty clear that the Djinn were incorporated into Islamic lore from pre-Islamic cultures where they were gods.
But why deal with such complexities when we can argue instead that the Watchers drive flying saucers and are still abducting people today? Betty Andreasson Luca, a well-known “Christian abductee,” appears next to discuss her encounter with Grey aliens who dress like late-period Michael Jackson. She explains that the aliens who abducted her in a dream state were angels, and she calls them Watchers, a term I am all but sure she derived from the Book of Daniel (4:13): “I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven.”
After the break, we’re still on the Betty Andreasson Luca case, and Linda Moulton Howe explains that abductees often report that aliens “know everything about them,” making them Watchers. This then leads into a review of the Betty and Barney Hill case, about which I have said about all I need to say in my article about the origins of that abduction in 1964 science fiction television series. Ancient astronaut theorist William Henry believes that he knows the mind and soul of these Watchers and knows their real purpose. They are “tweaking” humanity to “climb the evolutionary ladder.” Shockingly, though, the narrator allows that the Watchers who “survived the Great Flood” might not be responsible for alien abductions. Moulton Howe believes that there are different groups of Watchers, and the kidnapping kind are from the home world and are coming to check up on the Watchers who survived the Flood. Now since the canonical book of Jude tells us that the Watchers are not free and active in the world, I’m at a loss to figure out where they are getting these ideas except that they are (a) confusing the Watchers and their giant offspring (as given in Enoch) or (b) making things up to fill time. Either way, they don’t seem to have read the texts they pretend to explicate, unless they mean for us to take literally only selected verses that happen to match their mystery-mongering obsession with UFOs and abductions.
After the final break, the show discusses Apple’s iCloud service, including the 2014 hacking of the cloud to steal celebrities’ nude photos. Dice comes back a third time to explain why the cloud should be viewed with suspicion since individuals surrender control of their data to mega-corporations. The narrator expresses concern over privacy and then asks if the aliens want to render us helpless and designed the cloud to steal all our data. This is confusing to me because Ancient Aliens has repeatedly claimed that the aliens have access to the Akashic Record, a supernatural iCloud that supposedly records all of the information in the universe. What do they need the Apple iCloud for?
David Childress shows up to state that the beneficent aliens are “nurturing” “certain civilizations” (i.e. America) that conform to their technological goals, and then Linda Moulton Howe explains that the apparently bad Watchers are in league with world leaders (and here the show illustrates this with Barack Obama) and may want to do us harm. So: America = Good, but Obama = Bad. It’s as if, Moulton-Howe says, “there are political parties” among the aliens in outer space. And the space Republicans and space Democrats are going to war over how many social welfare vs. weapons programs the aliens should be spending their space dollars on. If war is politics by other means, ancient astronautics is social anxiety projected into space fantasy.
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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