I’m struggling a bit to come up with new things to say about Ancient Aliens because, unlike the show itself, I have a basic respect for my audience and don’t think that recycling old content over and over again is an appropriate method of filling time. Tonight’s episode of Ancient Aliens, S11E05 “The Visionaries,” is extremely similar to earlier episodes that alleged alien contact with geniuses, including S05E05 “The Einstein Factor,” S08E06 “The Tesla Experiment,” S09E04 “The Genius Factor,” and various segments from their episodes on NASA that touched on Robert Oppenheimer and their episodes on Leonardo da Vinci and others. It’s so tiresome to see the same material recycled.
We open with the moon landing in July 1969 in order to discuss the IBM computer that helped to put a man on the moon, a computer that is so laughably outdated that an iPhone is one million times more powerful. Ancient Aliens isn’t too keen on the concept of exponential development, so “ancient astronaut theorists” suggests that aliens have to be behind the voodoo of touch screen computing. The show alleges Steve Jobs received information from aliens, but they covered this twice before—in “The Genius Factor” and in S05E07 “Prophets and Prophecy.” In “The Genius Factor” the show attributed Jobs’s promotion of the iPhone to Theosophy’s Akashic Record, which they alleged was the inspiration for the iCloud. Here they instead connect Jobs to New Age mysticism, specifically of the Indian yoga variety. David Childress asserts that Jobs’s guru, Neem Karoli Baba, was actually a space alien, without even a token bit of evidence for it other than the guru’s claim to have descended from heaven. The guru actually died before Jobs ever met him.
The second segment is another Ancient Aliens evergreen topic, recycling material from “The Genius Factor” and “The Einstein Factor” about century Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, who allegedly saw advanced mathematical proofs in his dreams. As in the previous versions, the show takes literally Ramanujan’s claim to have received his math skills from what they call “an otherworldly being” but which he identified as his family’s patron goddess. David Wilcock, in a repeat performance from “Genius,” again declares his belief that aliens are involved in developing math and technology, while David Childress says that Hindu gods are aliens.
Credit where it is due, I wasn’t able to find reference to Alan Turing in previous episodes of Ancient Aliens, so that’s something! The show describes Turing’s mathematical genius and his autistic type of literal-mindedness. However, the Ancient Aliens crew instead speculate that his autistic tendencies were actually the result of an extraterrestrial manifesting through him, since we all know that no human is capable of original thought, ancient astronaut theorists being proof of concept. The program reviews Turing’s efforts to crack the Nazi Enigma machine in order to break German codes during World War II, but with less insight than even the dramatic and superficial version given in The Imitation Game. Rather than consider Turing’s life story—he was persecuted for being gay—we instead move on to John von Neumann, a Hungarian-American mathematician who once met Turing and went on to work on the Manhattan Project and to help develop the digital computer. David Wilcock alleges that their meeting was orchestrated by aliens in 1935 “in order to ensure that the computer was brought out on schedule, at the right time.” Consider what that means: Aliens will forge “connections” in individuals’ lives to develop technology but either don’t care about or purposely induce “connections” that lead to murder, war, and mass death. So, aliens: You couldn’t do anything about Hitler or Stalin, but you were happy to book travel plans for Alan Turing?
Segment 4 covers the invention of rocketry and its origins in early twentieth century Russia. The show focuses in on Nikolai Fyodorov and Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, whose cosmism they claim as a precursor to the ancient astronaut theory. Cosmism was a philosophical school that suggested humans came from the stars and should return there, or so the show says; Fyodorov actually argued that the dust of dead humans has long since blown into space and justifies our travel to other worlds. Tsiolkovsky’s writings influenced Werner von Braun, who then becomes the focus of the remainder of the segment, repeating material from S04E05 “The NASA Connection” and S10E02 “NASA’s Secret Agenda,” which alleged von Braun was in contact with aliens.
At this point, the show goes full Blavatsky and claims that science fiction programs like Lost in Space and Star Trek were visionary fantasies that presaged actual technological development. Giorgio Tsoukalos tells us that “science fiction is part of Disclosure,” preparing humanity for upcoming technological change. Blavatsky, in 1888, had argued that science fiction writers unintentionally downloaded their ideas from the Ascended Masters and the Akashic Record (thus allowing her to adopt Bulwer-Lytton’s fake “vril” as a real substance), and here ancient astronaut theorists follow her in attributing science fiction to aliens. Here is Blavatsky: “Our best modern novelists, who are neither Theosophists nor Spiritualists, begin to have, nevertheless, very psychological and suggestively Occult dreams […] [T]he clever novelist seems to repeat the history of all the now degraded and down-fallen races of humanity.” Nick Redfern more or less paraphrases Blavatsky in claiming “profound” science fiction is real reports of the future given to us by aliens, seemingly without realizing he is repeating Blavatsky, and Tsoukalos rhapsodizes that “science fiction can serve as a direct path to science, which was inspired by fantasy.” None of the ancient astronaut theorists believe in imagination, for to do so would undermine the very credibility of the ancient astronaut theory. Tsoukalos says he doesn’t want his consciousness uploaded into a computer, and he doesn’t seem to have given a moment’s thought to the profound question of whether a copy of one’s brain in a computer is “really” the person being copied. But we covered that in S11E03, so there is no reason to repeat it again here.
As our show grinds to a closes, we recap the various advances made by the visionaries covered in the first five segments, and the show restates the central question of whether aliens are parceling out technology to us and why. Georgy Noory says that it’s a social experiment by aliens, and Childress revisits the midcentury idea that aliens don’t want us to destroy the Earth with our nuclear weapons. (Then why give them to us, aliens?) Tsoukalos says that aliens let all technological advances occur so we can “return to the stars.” Really? Even teledildonics? Why did the aliens invent that? No, wait… Don’t answer that. I’m afraid Ancient Aliens probably has an answer.
6/10/2016 10:41:05 pm
I can see the tag line now: Teledildonics - If you build it they will come*.
6/10/2016 10:46:12 pm
Saw the episode; wish I hadn't.
David Childress' Neckfat
6/13/2016 11:56:21 am
How often do I need to explain this to you people - human beings are not sentient and incapable wiping their own asses without intradimensional alien guidance.
6/10/2016 10:48:06 pm
Colavito wrote, "I have a basic respect for my audience and don’t think that recycling old content over and over again is an appropriate method of filling time."
6/11/2016 02:58:12 am
I'm sorry. I'm afraid I don't understand. Can you explain what you mean, please?
6/11/2016 03:28:29 am
He's a troll that regularly comes here. There's nothing to explain. I'm shocked he actually is posting on something that has nothing to do with Scott Wolter, who the real Steve St. Clair is actually friends with.
6/11/2016 05:27:31 am
Darn, why did i have to google that to confirm that it means what i thought it meant.
6/11/2016 10:16:49 am
I looked it up, too. Now I've forgotten what else I was going to say. Gotta go wash up
6/11/2016 11:23:41 am
This episode was a mashup of past episodes and they called it new, lol.
6/11/2016 11:53:05 am
Jason, do you know what the ratings are for "Ancient Aliens" now? I mean, I still don't get how this show is even still on tv considering how stupid this thing keeps getting.
6/11/2016 12:19:40 pm
It was the #8 cable show on Fridays at last report, with 1.1 million viewers (as of 5/27), of whom 320,000 are under the age of 49.
6/11/2016 12:38:38 pm
Well I'm not sure if thats as good as it's previous seasons ratings that you have talked about previously but I assume that by it still being in the millions is what is keeping it on air. How low do the ratings have to be on a show like this to have an affect on it being on air? And would that have to be for a certain amount of episodes too?
6/11/2016 12:58:32 pm
Wasn't that jacked in sex suit and helmet idea done in the 1990s film Demolition Man? It was then still rocky like Stallone and a young twenty something Sandra Bullock.
6/11/2016 01:01:10 pm
Leave it to AA to think Demolition Man is a documentary somehow, from the future. Dildo-onics, what? They just wanted to say 'dildo' and get away with it on cable.
6/11/2016 02:20:39 pm
Thats what really pissed me off about this whole thing. Steve Jobs was not a genius scientist or engineer in any way. He just happened to be a great marketer and spokesman. Its amazing that Ancient Aliens thinks they can get away with a claim that a lot of people know is not true. It's sad that there are people that watch this show without questioning the fact that it was Steve Wozniac, and not Steve Jobs that actually built the first Mac. And even that implies that the Mac computer is this great pinacle of human achievement when it plainly is not.
6/11/2016 05:43:09 pm
thank you! I watched the first part and that angered me. Steve Jobs didn't invent anything. He was an amazing salesman and had vision but he didn't personally work on anything.
6/11/2016 07:39:58 pm
Steve jobs could code and understood digital circuits. Yes he was an amazing marketer but more than that. He introduced ascetics and beauty to technology. Think of the trash80 and the first Mac. Werner Von Braun was an amazing engineer but more importantly he was a visionary who could lead, manage, and make people believe in creating something out of this world. Yes a v2 but also the Saturn five. The best creators are not just good engineers but artists. Steve jobs was this and should be celebrated as such. A hard man to work with but a leader unlike most software engineers who can't quite understand it is the user that counts not the designer.
6/11/2016 09:23:46 pm
Save yourself Jason. There is no longer a need to review this program.
6/12/2016 01:05:01 pm
I for one appreciate Jasons comments concerning AA. And look forward to this blog. I personally like AA, I liked it more when Giorgio had more to say. The show has changed, Giorgio is a guest speaker not like the show is his anymore. I think it's important to know how far the history channel is going to go with this, Jason makes great points.. I am shocked that they think humans are not capable of being smart unless aliens are involved.. Where is the proof aliens are smart in the first place? Maybe, just maybe the humans are the smart ones and the aliens need our knowledge.. And also, Steve Jobs never took any credit for actually doing the work ... He was the one with the ideas... The vision, he was smart enough to get someone else to put his vision into reality.
6/12/2016 04:01:11 pm
Makes you appreciate that Finding Bigfoot at least uses new footage when it retells the SOS.
6/13/2016 05:12:10 pm
I went to the "Ancient Aliens" page to check out some claims. Surprised when i saw that Ken Burns (the highly respected movie and documentary maker) not Kevin Burns, was listed as the executive producer of Ancient Aliens.
6/13/2016 10:54:23 pm
Nope, it's Kevin Burns. Ken Burns has nothing to do with that trash.
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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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