Given the difficult circumstances I’ve faced today, as evidenced by another blog threat, you will forgive me if I don’t care very much about Ancient Aliens offering a pack of recycled fake claims about the moon that I have covered many times in the past. Also: My “e” key doesn’t work right, which really slows down my typing. English uses a lot of “e’s”!
The first segment reviews the history of NASA’s lunar exploration and wonders why America stopped going to the moon. Jonathan Young connects lunar exploration to science fiction, and I guess it’s a good thing that the show doesn’t buy into the moon landing hoax conspiracy theories, though they acknowledge the existence of the conspiracies. Mike Bara suggests that the astronauts in the Apollo missions used their medical radio channels to report aliens, and we hear that the astronauts looked disturbed after their exhausting return trip from the moon. Alan Butler suggests that aliens warned humans to stay off the moon. If the material sounds familiar, it’s because much of this episode’s claims are recycled from “The NASA Connection” and “NASA’s Secret Agenda” and other episodes. More directly, it’s Ancient Aliens’ version of Syfy’s Aliens on the Moon from 2014, which made all the same claims.
The second segment asks where the moon came from and suggests that there is a mystery about the satellite’s origins. John Brandenburg claims that scientific theories of how the moon formed are “phantasmagorically” false, and he argues that the size and location of the moon prove that the object is artificial and purposely positioned to appear equal to the sun from the earth. But contrary to the beliefs of the ancient astronaut theorists, the moon has not always been in this orbit, and it used to be closer to the earth and will someday be farther away. (The moon moves 1.6 cm away from the earth each year.) We happen to be living in the time when the moon is in just the right place to appear equal to the sun. If the moon were artificial, the aliens would have had to plan for it to move into position millions of years after it was “built.”
Myths about the creation of the moon are used to suggest that the moon is fake, but the show ignores similar myths claiming that the sun was also created after the earth. Hesiod (Theogony 371-374), for example, claimed that the Sun and Moon were born as twins after the earth, the mother of all.
The third segment discusses lunar geology, and Mike Bara makes a bunch of ignorant claims, backed up by Giorgio Tsoukalos and Alan Butler (who believes time-traveling Freemasons built the moon), that the craters on the moon are impossibly shallow, indicating a metallic space station within. The science is rather complex, but larger impacts tend to have shallower craters, resulting in the illusion of uniformity. Butler claims that the moon is hollow, and the show refers back to Carl Sagan’s 1966 Intelligent Life in the Universe, in which the Soviet coauthor wrongly claimed that one of the moons of Mars is hollow and speculated on anomalies related to our own moon.
The fourth segment deals with Soviet claims about the hollow moon from the Soviet propaganda magazine Sputnik. I explained why their science was wrong back in 2012, and I won’t repeat myself here. Instead you can read my explanation here. It’s worth noting that the claim was made at a time when the Soviet government officially endorsed ancient astronautics, contrary to Tsoukalos’s claim that the Soviet writers risked their careers to write the article. The Soviets wanted the West to read ancient astronaut material because they hoped to use it to sow discord with religious conservatives. David Wilcock, who in 2014 appeared in Russian propaganda programing, endorses the old Soviet propaganda and the Western fringe books that were inspired by it. The rest of the talking heads also claim that Soviet propaganda is “reasonable” and therefore the moon is a space station.
The fifth segment speculates that shadows and photographic noise in lunar photographs are remnants of “Egyptian-style obelisks” and other architecture. They see what they want to see, or rather what conspiracy theorists from decades past wanted to see. Flashing lights are also discussed, but NASA long ago explained that these were small meteors hitting the lunar surface. The show alleges that NASA hides evidence of aliens to prevent “social unrest.”
The sixth segment deals with the dark side of the moon, and we hear that the aliens and/or secret societies or the military have bases there to avoid detection. Apparently they aren’t solar powered! David Childress claims that our reality will be shattered by realizing that the moon is, as William Henry says, “an extraterrestrial spacecraft.” But if the military have space stations on the moon, then “we” didn’t “stop going back.” It’s all so confusing, and no one even tries to resolve the contradictions. All possibilities are simultaneously valid, except for the mainstream scientific consensus. That’s the only crazy idea.
7/29/2016 10:34:16 pm
I noticed the inconsistencies. At one point they swear that when Apollo 13 drove part of their rocket into the surface of the moon it reverberated to a depth of twenty miles and then less than five minutes later they swear that the surface of the moon is only 2 miles thick. It can't be both, boys.
7/29/2016 10:45:30 pm
Another batch of hooey that is so easily disproven, it's not even worthy of conversation. I can't wait for their next season, which will recycle all of this season's recycled material!
7/30/2016 04:55:40 pm
My belief in the Bible is only my opinion.
7/30/2016 06:00:16 pm
What's the matter, Time Machine? You no longer have the testicular fortitude to reply to me under your own pseudonym?
7/30/2016 12:22:45 am
Have the authors of this episode by chance seen the film "Iron Sky"? It is a fictional 2012 parody film about space Nazis living on the moon for 80 years, but then they attack the Earth, and a then relevant and topical Sarah Palin clone lady plays the President. It is quite hilarious. The sequel will deal with hollow Earth theories. Ha.
7/30/2016 03:35:13 pm
Loved that movie, hilarious! Spot on re. Palin, but the best part for me (being a budding steampunker for fun) was the meteorbliztkrieg (sp?) performed by the space Air Ship /Deriggibles (sp?) (sorry my new tablet either doesn't do spell check, or I haven't figured out how to activate it yet).
7/30/2016 12:54:38 am
If they had only read ASoIaF (or watched game of thrones i guess) they'd know the moon is an dragon egg.
7/30/2016 12:41:20 pm
A little of column A, a little of column B, and it varies from person to person.
7/30/2016 03:40:22 pm
Or Dr. Who! Yes I am a Sci Fi Geek, a History Geek, and a National Park Service Geek (Happy 100th NPS, whoo!)
7/30/2016 01:10:32 am
Jason, there is no such thing as a "dark side" of the Moon. There is the side that faces the Earth and there is the side that faces away from the Earth (the far side), but both of them receive equal amounts of sunshine.
7/30/2016 01:59:34 am
To be fair to Jason that is how the show refered to the far side of the moon. Also Pink Floyd might disagree about there being no dark side of the moon.
7/30/2016 04:08:40 am
As a matter of fact, it's all dark.
7/30/2016 10:06:47 am
So during a "New Moon", when by definition, the lighted half of the moon is facing away from us,tit is in reality dark? How does that happen? A large awning shading the sun?
7/30/2016 07:01:37 pm
People often use the phrase "dark side of the moon" to mean the side away from the earth. It's dark in a metaphorical sense- as in, "we can't see it". Admittedly, most of the people who use the phrase this way have no idea they're being metaphorical.
7/31/2016 11:38:25 pm
Pink Floyd would beg to differ.I think there is a dark side during a full moon.
7/30/2016 02:09:37 am
Also from segment one, one of the idiots stated that the moon's phases are caused by the earth blocking the sun rather than the angles the sun, earth, and moon make. If they can't get something that simple right why should we trust them that the moon is hollow and/or a spaceship.
7/30/2016 07:26:22 am
I got to wondering what is going to happen to their standard stable of talking heads when eventually "Ancient Aliens" is cancelled. If it wasn't for the program, I doubt if most of the people posting comments to this blog would have ever heard of them. I know I wouldn't have. They, I guess, will go back to writing books no one reads and going to fringe conventions, picking up speaking fees from the strange who would attend such things.
7/30/2016 08:11:26 am
Jason, if that knob on your board isn't working, it can function as an Oulipo sort of constraint. That will grant you a stylistic brain-workout!
7/30/2016 01:58:47 pm
Did you notice Childress gave a shout-out to Upper Paleolithic European culture?
7/30/2016 02:12:37 pm
After watching Action Bronson watch Ancient Aliens there is absolutely no reason for you to take the trouble of reviewing this show. How can anyone possibly take this show seriously anymore?
7/30/2016 04:56:58 pm
How can anyone take me seriously?
7/30/2016 07:26:52 pm
Now that you are available for comment, what exactly does your middle initial, H, stand for?
7/30/2016 05:23:02 pm
7/30/2016 05:37:06 pm
David Bradbury, I must correct your spelling:
7/30/2016 06:22:06 pm
At least they didnt claim the moon landing was a hoax. Seriously we know the mass of the moon and volume. if it was hollow the density would be much less than it is. Basic physics. And jason if you need any help with any blig threat i have some higher up friends at the state troopers in albany.
7/31/2016 09:05:19 pm
Under that few visible millimeters of moon rock dust is 25 miles of platinum, unobtanium and silver (lead).
3/23/2018 11:42:48 pm
If men did go to the moon then they would have had some ill effects from radiation in space. Not one of the astronauts that went even had the slightest exposure to radiation. How can it be when NASA says that the main problem with "going back (yeah, sure) to the moon" or going to mars is radiation in space since it is deadly. I realize the accumulation effect of radiation which means that the astronauts could be exposed to some and it won't be deadly but that just brings the question full circle to asking NASA then why do they consider radiation in space a problem with going "back" to the moon? I go to get a dental x-ray and have to wear a lead apron on my chest while the operator steps out of the room. NASA claims that they flew at a certain angle and it shielded the astronauts from dangerous radiation and balh blah blah how about giving us full details to this flying at a certain angle flight trajectory? The videos and photographs taken on the moon look too good to have been done on the fly while wearing a spacesuit and the lighting is so perfect it's like a photographers studio. Its possible there were too separate moon missions. NASA couldn't guarantee President Nixon that they could bring the astronauts back so what they did was send some unamed men to volunteer to go on a one way trip to the moon, essentially it was a suicide mission. Those men wouldn't be coming back and since there is no way to send a proper radiation shield they also died from radiation sickness on the surface of the moon. The men who took the credit for landing there were sworn to secrecy out of respect for those men who gave their lives in the pursuit of science and to make America appear that it has the technology to safely go to the moon and return.
7/31/2016 02:47:31 am
With all their nutty moon theories, they may as well just claim the moon is made out of Swiss cheese and all those craters are really just cheese holes.
7/31/2016 09:00:15 am
HEY where are the SPOILER tags. That's the topic of NEXT weeks show!
7/31/2016 10:09:14 am
The way I understand the moon is a man from Ohio landed on the bright side and hopped over to the dark side and found 2 men from Kentucky in a 1936 Ford, looking for a co-signer.
7/31/2016 01:00:11 pm
Hang in there Jason! As for "e" it is the most frequent letter in English according to letterfrequency dot org. Yes, that's real. The fun side of that data is its use in cryptography - to break codes.
7/31/2016 03:09:16 pm
What dum-dums. Book of the Moon author doesn't understand why we see phases on the moon. I'd go on, but I just don't have the strength.
7/31/2016 05:05:20 pm
This show is for idiots.
7/31/2016 09:12:25 pm
You are correct and that is not only the audience, but the producers, directors and on screen "talent".
Among all the misunderstandings and outright errors, my fave was when Mike Bara declared that as Apollo 11 was approaching the landing, the "sideways" radar (I assume he meant the rendezvous radar) was turned on to help avoid some spires sticking up 10 storeys high.
8/6/2016 04:21:09 pm
So they got Aldrin on the show to talk about the "flashes" but they didn't ask him about the "structures" on the moon or the 1202 alarm?
12/20/2016 01:14:19 am
This episode was the biggest pile of tin foil hat insanity I have ever watched.
12/29/2016 04:51:13 pm
So if the moon is 'needed' or the world was too turbulent before its pull helped then how come ancient texts don't describe how bad it was to live here pre moon????
7/21/2017 11:05:07 pm
Jason, I admire you take the time to debunk this garbage. This show is full of contradictory information, cherry picking facts, and outright lies. Its like listening to a Trump speach. Ancient Aliens is just a replacement for religious belief, and gets more outlandish with each episode. Its is mind boggling that people actually belief this hogwash. The lack of pepoles critical thinking and the willingness to believe anyone that claims to be authority, without any eduction in the subject they are discussing is astounding to me. Please keep up your work in debunking this trash.
12/14/2017 04:38:06 am
Watching this episode as I do with most, I do for entertainment purposes. But I am bothered that these educated people state about half way through the episode that the moon's phases are caused by the earth blocking the light from the sun.....
12/14/2017 06:59:56 pm
That is AWESOME.
8/4/2021 07:29:26 am
WHAT AMAZES ME IS THAT THE IDIOT TALKING HEADS ON THIS LOAD OF CRAP SHOW CAN KEEP A STRAIGHT FACE WHEN ON SCREEN.... WELL, ALMOST, AS A LOT OF THEM HAVE A STUPID SMIRK ON THEIR FACE WHEN PEDDLING THEIR INANE THEORIES.... THEY MUST KNOW THAT THEY'RE TALKING GARBAGE.... MIND U, I DON'T SUPPOSE THEY CARE WHEN YOU CONSIDER HOW MUCH MONEY THEY'RE BEING PAID!....ITS WELL, WELL PAST TIME THAT THIS UNSCIENTIFIC LOAD OF RUBBISH SHOW WAS TAKEN OFF THE AIR..... ITS A SAD TESTAMENT TO THE LACK OF COMMON SENSE AND CRITICAL THINKING THAT PREVAILS TODAY.... AND YES... "YA HAVE TO WONDER"....... "YA HAVE TO WONDER WHY ITS STILL ON!".....AND IF GEORGIO TSOUKALOS SAYS "MISUNDERSTOOD TECHNOLOGY" ONE MORE TIME, IM GOING TO PUT A BRICK THROUGH THE TELEVISION SET!!..... STEVE
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
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.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities, and subscribe to Culture & Curiosities, my Substack newsletter.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.