Usually I start an Ancient Aliens review with some sort of tangentially related thought about this week’s episode topic. This week, however, I am going in cold and have only a vague idea what they’re going to be talking about. As Ancient Aliens S07E12 “Alien Messages” opens, the teaser claims that it will cover the ways in which the aliens are speaking to us through symbols, but as David Childress might say, you have to wonder, if the aliens can beam thoughts directly into our brains (S07E09) and insert their consciousness into baked goods (S07E11), why exactly do they need hidden messages encoded in ancient texts and architecture? A better question, though, is this: What happened to the scheduled episode "The Great Flood" and why was it replaced with what is in essence a slapped together clip show? Promos said that the "Great Flood" would air this week, but it did not, and new promos say that its "network premiere" will be next week instead. Does this mean that it will show up first somewhere else?
After the traditional brown title card, we hear how in the 1970s SETI beamed binary code into space as a message for any aliens that might hear us. Seth Shostak of SETI is on to explain this, and he is something of a hypocrite. Shostak appeared before Congress earlier this year to blast Ancient Aliens and yet continues to appear on the program, just as he did before his testimony. For all the damage he thinks it does to history, it does not stop him for lending his credibility to the show. We then see that a 2001 crop circle reflected the binary messages sent in the 1970s. So what? You’d need to establish that aliens made the crop circle before analyzing its message. Hugh Newman, last seen on Search for the Lost Giants, said it was either a “brilliant hoax” or aliens, and Andrew Collins pretends that it’s aliens until he slips in a qualifier at the end to give him an out in case you agree that humans could well have done this.
Next, the fact the Gottfried Leibniz modeled binary code on the I Ching is used as an excuse to discuss Chinese mythology, and the I Ching’s use of a binary system. This is a misunderstood distillation of a Guardian article from earlier this year which explained the Leibniz used male and female binaries for divination as an inspiration for the idea that information could be expressed as a binary. The I Ching was not itself a binary code, nor did it provide useful instructions for creating modern computers.
In the second segment, we look at the recent NASA book on hypothetical extraterrestrial communication, which the show purposely misrepresents as a manual on how to find communication with aliens. The show also fails to recognize that NASA did not write the anthology of academic papers, and that the author of the article they single out, William Edmondson, specifically said that rock art has nothing to do with aliens and is in fact an analogy for communicating with aliens. I wrote about this back in the spring. Here is what Edmondson really said:
Consider again, therefore, the desirability of establishing symbolic/linguistic communication with ETI [extraterrestrial intelligence]. It is helpful to review some parallels from human existence that pose problems for us today. One of these is “rock art,” which consists of patterns or shapes cut into rock many thousands of years ago. Such ancient stone carvings can be found in many countries, and the example in Figure 15.1 is from Doddington Moor, Northumbria, England. We can say little, if anything, about what these patterns signify, why they were cut into rocks, or who created them. For all intents and purposes, they might have been made by aliens. Unless we find a readable exegesis of them produced at the time they were made, we will never be able to say with certainty what the patterns mean.
After this we start recycling material from this year’s In Search of Aliens. We begin by recycling material from S01E04 about the Roswell Rock, a piece of magnetic stone engraved with a crude sandblasted etching of a 1996 crop circle. For more on the rock, please see my review of the episode devoted to it. In short, the rock is easily reproduced with normal human technology. I think it’s weird that Ancient Aliens pretends that material from In Search of Aliens was done independently of that show—they won’t acknowledge that the other show even exists, let alone that they are recycling footage from the show. They recycle the sandblasted replica and Linda Moulton Howe’s interview from the episode, but with Giorgio Tsoukalos edited out as though he weren’t there instigating all of this just off camera.
In the Ancient Aliens version of the story, Howe now claims that the Roswell Rock has a coded “date” on it, and David Wilcock (whose pageboy haircut has become an unflattering shoulder-length ’do) agrees. But neither will state what the “date” is. The narrator unhelpfully tells us that it’s the date when the aliens will return, but, like the Second Coming of Christ, apparently no one knows the day or the hour despite having it written on that rock. Nice of them not to tell us, avoiding panic and all that sort of thing.
In this segment we are discussing the Nazca lines with material recycled from In Search of Aliens S01E09 and S01E10. We start with S01E09’s discussion of the Band of Holes (first seen in an early Ancient Aliens episode called “The Mission”), a Peruvian strip of seemingly endless holes that legend says were meant to represent a giant snake. Ancient Aliens instead compares the band of holes to the standing stones of Carnac in France, a frequent subject of discussion on Ancient Aliens. They were featured in the first episode I ever watched, and I don’t think they ever shot new footage of the stones again. But in a twist, the show claims that the Carnac stones are “eerily similar” to an inverted Band of Holes because they are (very) roughly the same length and width—though not similar in the number of stones or holes. (Carnac is not one set of stones but several, unlike the single, straight Band of Holes.) In an interview when Wilcock had a different haircut (consistency be damned) Wilcock repeats information from Ancient Aliens S06E01 on whether Carnac has Pythagorean geometry. Unfortunately, that claim is still as meaningless now as it was when I wrote about it then.
In this segment we retrace claims from In Search of Aliens S01E10 about whether the New Jerusalem texts (Ezekiel 40-48; Revelation 20-21) have an alien code involving multiple inscribed circles circles, where the plain meaning of the text refers only to a square. We thus follow that episode’s claims that there is a Nazca glyph that resembles a Buddhist mandala. As I wrote at the time, David Childress and Giorgio Tsoukalos “fail to note that the mandala they show on screen places the circle within a square, while this geoglyph places squares within a circle.” This brings us to the mandala-inspired Indonesian temple of Borobudur, but since that was covered in S05E01, they skip right over most of the arguments made in the past to instead ask whether squares and circles are designed to provide spiritual revelations. So far, though, there isn’t anything that would tie these shapes to aliens; even Tsoukalos can only muster a half-hearted claim that the ancient astronaut theory “excels” and seeking “connections” between ancient cultures—but no aliens are required for that!
This segment opens with Easter Island and its 900 statues. Then we fly over to Machu Picchu in Peru and Mohenjo Daro in India. The last of these the show claims (wrongly) suffered a nuclear explosion. Then Kathleen McGowan Coppens informs us that Ur, Giza, these three sites, Petra, and Persepolis were all built on a single Great Circle ringing the earth. After this we get a review of the Orion Correlation Theory that links the pyramids of Giza to Orion and its corollaries at Teotihuacan and the Hopi cities from earlier episodes. All of these are poor representations of Orion and, pace David Wilcock, none of these aligns perfectly to Orion—or, in the Hopi and Mexican cases—at all. See my review of S05E04, which covered the Teotihuacan connection and other Orion madness—from which this segment is abstracted badly.
As we slap together a few final thoughts, we talk about Francis Crick’s claims of panspermia, but with the coda that ancient astronaut theorists prefer directed panspermia—that DNA was sent to earth to create a particular type of life. We finish up this thought by repeating material from S06E14 about how junk DNA is involved in encoding alien secrets, and from S06E01 on why the number three is the key to unlocking the aliens’ secrets. But so uninterested is the show in doing anything more than pointing toward earlier episodes that David Wilcock doesn’t even explain his thoughts. Merely asserting that he has thoughts is now enough; long ago on this show argument yielded to assertion, and now assertions don’t even have to make sense!
If a viewer hadn’t seen earlier episodes, would any of this be comprehensible in the least? I barely followed their illogic, and I’ve seen all of it before. Ancient Aliens is a block of noise that looks like a TV show, but it’s more like a montage, a highlight reel for the imaginary program the producers think they’re making, run through a Cuisinart and reassembled into a dream-logic parody of television.
12/19/2014 02:31:56 pm
In addition to the show misrepresenting the Guardian article, the latter also misrepresents Leibniz. He was not inspired by the I Ching. In fact, he developed the binary first, then applied it to the I Ching.
12/23/2014 03:22:22 am
Herr Leibniz had quite an EGO.
12/23/2014 03:40:40 am
binary existed before Leibniz just as gravity existed before Newton.
12/24/2014 11:24:54 pm
Look, everybody! "." is calling Leibniz "Herr L". Because he's German. Isn't "." clever?
12/25/2014 02:31:50 pm
duckie, it would have been more fun to call I/ Newton
a new year's SACRED BEE HIVE resolution....
12/26/2014 02:20:07 pm
in 2015 i will only post here tn times for every single posting
12/19/2014 04:07:34 pm
Having met Seth Shostack I suspect he doesn't know how this show is making him look like a fringe thinker. He was probably just hinting at the possibility of alien life. It does not mean he thinks aliens came here and made monuments.
12/19/2014 04:10:14 pm
Still waiting for the follow up to all that 2012 bull pucky where they never got any hint of Nibiru or any kind of doomsday, so we can riff on to those same people since they were wrong.
12/21/2014 12:57:32 am
Seth Shostack is a regular guest of Coast to Coast AM. He knows exactly the sort of people he's getting in bed with when he agrees to make appearances such as these and does it anyway.
Duke of URL
12/20/2014 02:25:21 am
I'm curious. Having never seen that show, I was wondering who its sponsors are. Can you illuminate me?
12/20/2014 03:26:58 am
I think you mean "Can you "Illuminati" me"?
12/29/2014 07:58:10 am
Who do you think, brother? It's the New World Order. Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and I bankroll this show so we can take over the world. WHATCHA GONNA DO WHEN THESE 24-INCH REPTILIAN PYTHONS RUN WILD ON YOU!?
12/20/2014 07:13:26 am
It was kind of sad hearing Wilcock--jumping back and forth between the hair styles of 90s mainstays Ellen Degeneres and David Spade--stumble through that analogy about the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Duke of URL
12/20/2014 09:18:05 am
Oh, SURELY he didn't claim that! No-one past 6th grade could be that stupid.
12/20/2014 12:50:24 pm
There are philosophers who claim things like that for fancy theoretical reasons. For real.
12/20/2014 05:23:48 pm
I think it's likely that he confused the right triangle itself with the Pythagorean theorem--although, at best, Pythagoras invented the proof, not the actual formula, so Wilcock was still a bit off.
12/20/2014 10:30:33 am
Of course Pythagoras invented the right triangle. And Newton invented gravitation. Before Newton's time, everything just sort of floated around.
12/20/2014 12:47:05 pm
Funny thing is, lots of people do say that Newton "discovered" gravitation, which is every bit as nonsensical as saying that he "invented" it.
Dr Pangloss...is... Dr Pangloss
12/25/2014 03:15:52 pm
righto auld chap say whot!
12/26/2014 05:05:01 am
Dickey, after seeing this latest example of verbal vomit, you claiming Scott Wolter lucid is as laughable as your attempts to introduce anything relevant to the topic at hand.
12/29/2014 08:26:22 am
Chris Jericho invented the right triangle.
Steve in SoDak
12/20/2014 11:12:42 am
"A better question, though, is this: What happened to the scheduled episode "The Great Flood" "
12/21/2014 07:01:40 am
Reading the review it does come across as being put together in a rush. Maybe they stumbled into racism again in the Great Flood episode? I don't know, maybe they repeated an extremely racist version of the curse of Ham, and somehow realized it before airing.
12/22/2014 08:14:01 am
I feel that AA has made a few valid points about the possibility of ET visits in the remote past. However, their half baked and unsupported theories, their weak approach to research and any resemblance of real thought processes being put into what they are presenting makes them look kind of silly.
12/23/2014 03:58:02 am
SETI, Drake's Equation and Pansporia are close to cutting edge
12/23/2014 06:16:26 am
12/25/2014 03:52:04 pm
Typo.... up above Dr P=Dr P
12/26/2014 05:13:50 am
no... this is on topic
12/26/2014 01:59:00 pm
"We either live in a universe where
12/26/2014 02:11:19 pm
Still off topic.
12/26/2014 02:39:40 pm
Only Me ---- Wormholes are curious. If our "magic" is real,
12/26/2014 03:17:11 pm
This STILL has nothing to do with alien /communication/.
12/26/2014 03:49:52 pm
12/26/2014 04:35:49 pm
Yes. That's why the episode is called "Alien Messages".
Ms. Jean Dickey who is not one of the Georgia Dickeys
12/26/2014 05:23:57 pm
We agree. Jason reviews each A.A "ep" lookin' for
12/26/2014 05:34:26 pm
stupid stupid stupid 1980s "Terminator" drone idea...
Dickey, first name Trickey
12/26/2014 06:07:27 pm
12/26/2014 06:11:29 pm
This is my last attempt. After this, if you choose to remain a lost cause, I hope Jason deletes every comment you make from henceforth.
12/26/2014 06:28:47 pm
if memory serves me correct,
12/26/2014 06:42:35 pm
FLAT OUT, "ONLY ME" the Facebbok setting....
a test question
12/25/2014 11:13:02 pm
1.) DEFINE RAGNOROK
12/26/2014 05:14:25 am
12/26/2014 01:20:43 pm
the E.T Aliens like us and not for dinner.... as a food item.
12/26/2014 02:12:18 pm
12/25/2014 11:44:37 pm
Again... a Review by Jason "C"
12/26/2014 05:16:23 am
No one cares.
12/26/2014 01:22:34 pm
duckie... do care....
12/26/2014 02:15:54 pm
I don't care. None of this pertinent to the article.
12/26/2014 03:38:58 pm
gawd dammit.... the ufo reports of 2oo6 are like those
WEEBLY = BED OF PROCRUSTUS
12/25/2014 11:52:49 pm
IF ICELAND"s SNORRI STURLUSON IS CORRECT
Wagner's bleek take on the Death of All Gods is often overly praised...
12/26/2014 12:11:19 am
Snorri Sturluson is a poet and a diplomat.
12/26/2014 05:18:10 am
Please stop posting.
in the 1200s
12/26/2014 12:25:07 am
Thomas Aquinas dies in 1274
12/26/2014 05:19:39 am
Your crap posting has really gotten out of hand.
12/26/2014 01:32:55 pm
the Nazi response to old myths about a Ragnarok event
12/26/2014 02:16:56 pm
More unnecessary crap posting.
12/26/2014 03:22:00 pm
i miss Gunn
12/26/2014 03:22:44 pm
i miss Grunt
12/26/2014 03:30:02 pm
if the Comments Section here functions like
CAN WE EVER COMMUNICATE WITH THE VERY REAL E.T ALIENS?
12/26/2014 03:59:59 pm
our brains may make all verbal or linguistic communication an impossibility, mathematics offers only a slight promice of shared
12/29/2014 10:18:24 am
I think .'s degenerate shitposting is insulting to everyone who may be trying to have serious conversations (or a bit of fun) - which is most people who post here.
12/29/2014 11:53:25 am
IF the Comments Section here functions like a Harvard University debating society, and we are very polite to each other for more than 3 to 6 months, then things will be more normalcy normal, i.e the way
12/29/2014 12:00:18 pm
If they were more like Harvard University, you'd have been escorted off campus by police a long time ago and had a restraining order put in place to keep you from coming back.
1/5/2015 04:20:53 am
Thank God nobody actually understands real aliens. If we did, we would dig a giant hole, jump in, cover ourselves and hope like hell that we would never be noticed.
1/6/2015 05:14:34 am
The BLUE PLANET PROJECT book has some interesting illustrations of different types of aliens. It is also claimed that they were smuggled out by a government scientist working on top secret projects with aliens. Could they be real?
5/25/2017 09:29:55 pm
At around 8 minutes David Childress makes a statement about binary; "It's basically proven that this kind of mathematical binary code is what's going to drive all computers in the future". I lol'd to the power of greyskull.
4/10/2018 02:12:32 am
It's a shame Mr. Colavito has no life that he has so much time to "debunk" an entertainment show. We are treated to such amazing observations such as the band of holes are more likely a bad representation of a "snake" than something strange or unexplained.
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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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