Ancient Aliens had been getting more aggressive this season in terms of positioning itself as the honest broker in a world of conspiring elites. In recent weeks, we’ve seen the show attack the British and American governments, Egyptologists, and archaeologists, accusing them all of engaging in various conspiracies and cover-ups to prevent Ancient Aliens viewers from learning the truth about aliens. This week, they take their aggressiveness a step further by devoting an episode to claims put forward by scientists that have not achieved general acceptance. These the claims that two decades ago were filed under the rubric of Cremo’s Forbidden Archaeology or the goofily names OOPARTS (out of place artifacts). Many such data points have been covered before under the mantle of the subjects they apply to, but gathered together they are essentially meant to indict modern science for rejecting the ancient astronaut theory. But on closer examination, we see that this was the week that Ancient Aliens made common cause with Biblical creationists and joined forces with religious anti-science zealots in pursuit of fruitless mysteries. As I watched segment after segment ripped from creationists books and websites, I realized someone must have recognized that aliens and Nephilim are more similar than they are different, and thus Ancient Aliens became another arrow in the quiver of creationism. The show’s subtext of taking religious mythology literally had finally become outright creationist text.
In what would become the episode’s runner, Giorgio Tsoukalos meets with art dealer Jared Collins at NYU to test an elongated skull on loan from an unidentified museum in the hope that an examination of the child’s head would reveal it to be a hybrid between humans and some sort of non-human species. Anthropologist Todd Disotell conducted a forensic examination and declared the skull “freaky.” The narrator and David Childress return to an old claim from Tsoukalos’s In Search of Aliens (repeated in seasons 7 and 8 of the mothership) that elongated skulls lack a sagittal suture, suggesting they are not human. As I have pointed out many times before, while this is an oddity it is not without precedent in human births, and the elongated skulls do not represent anything unknown to science. For example, the condition known as craniosynostosis results in premature fusion and the disappearance of the sagittal suture.
Meanwhile, the narrator (Robert Clotworthy) attacks “traditional science” for being “intolerant” of anomalous facts and accuses scientists of “prejudice.” We then go to a creationist museum in Texas to look at the so-called “London artifact,” which creation scientists (i.e. Bible-thumpers) declared to be a hammer that was millions of years old. However, the hammer is a typical nineteenth century artifact, and it appears to have been encased in rock through a recent concretion of limestone, a natural version of the limestone casing that gave the Tucson Artifacts their false rocky coating. In both cases, mainstream geologists recognized the rock as recent, while fringe geologists invented elaborate explanations for why the apparent truth was untrue.
Well, I guess it’s a good thing that I wrote an article yesterday summarizing the medieval pyramid myth, which invented the claim that the Great Pyramid dated back before the Flood, and that I reviewed Scott Creighton’s recent book on William Howard Vyse’s alleged forgery of Khufu’s cartouche in the relieving chambers of the Great Pyramid. (See my review: Part 1 and Part 2.) We get both in this segment, and the show clearly has not paid much attention to all my work on the medieval pyramid myth, which stretches back four years now. The show accuses Vyse of forging Khufu’s name, using Creighton, but worse, the show refuses to condemn the German students who vandalized the pyramid a few years ago in hopes of proving this conspiracy theory. The show then suggests that the Inventory Stela proves that Khufu did not build the pyramid or the Sphinx, and it reviews Robert Schoch’s disputed claim that the Sphinx dates back to the Ice Age—just like the medieval myth claimed. Erich von Däniken shows up to discuss the medieval pyramid myth, citing al-Maqrizi’s report of Surid’s construction of the pyramid and Surid’s identity with Enoch. While the show takes this as fact, von Däniken is wrong. Surid was never identified with Enoch; it was Hermes who was identified with Enoch and Idris. While both Surid and Hermes were claimed to have built the pyramids in Islamic pseudo-historical lore, they were not considered the same, and in fact their stories were in opposition to one another in the Arabic accounts. But von Däniken has been wrong about the pyramid myth since Chariots of the Gods (when he copied it, errors and all, from Vyse!), so it’s good that five decades later he is slowly getting slightly more accurate.
The third segment opens with a review of the discovery of the ruins of Troy, but the show repeats a false claim about the discovery of Troy, using Andrew Collins to spread a lie. Heinrich Schliemann invented a legend for himself, that Troy had been considered a myth and that he found the real place using evidence from Homer. In reality, scholars had already deduced the likely site of Troy and another man had begun excavations before Schliemann took credit for it. Other semi-legendary real cities are discussed, and this gives the show license to allege that myths contain truth so Atlantis is consequently real. The writers of the show don’t bother to pursue this line and instead move on the recent discovery that New Zealand sits atop a sunken continent. Even though it has been beneath the waters for 23 million years, according to the latest estimates, David Wilcock blasts scientists for not assuming that Zealandia was actually Atlantis, the continent that allegedly sank c. 9600 BCE, and that humans once lived on the continent, millions of years before they evolved. Mercifully, the History Channel cut Wilcock short and went to commercial seemingly slightly prematurely.
The fourth segment returns to the test of the elongated skull to check in as it is scanned in search of its sagittal suture. After the radiology suggests that no suture exists, the show says scientists refuse to accept this. Then the show attacks radiocarbon dating because a test done by Brock University on a piece of wood from Oak Island and trumpeted on creationist websites returned the anomalous result of dating an object to 3,000 years in the future. This leads the show to attack carbon dating altogether, but another sudden commercial break interrupted the flow of the argument.
The fifth segment discusses radiocarbon dating and explains that radiation can make objects appear anomalously young, or even from the future. Thus the show concludes that ancient sites are actually much older than they appear and were exposed to alien atom bombs, a claim David Childress has made for decades and which he discussed on Ancient Aliens years ago. He is still peddling false claims that the skeletons of Mohenjo Daro are radioactive and that the desert glass of Egypt, likely formed by an asteroid, was created by nuclear bombs. The show then argues that the fossil record is so spotty that we have not yet found the proof of giants and aliens, whose bones are waiting for us to dig them up.
Back at NYU, Disotell conducts a DNA study on the elongated skull and before he can give the results, we tumble into another commercial.
In the last segment, Disotell revealed the results of the test on the skull’s “maternal” DNA was a 100% match for Scottish people. He suggests that the skull is evidence of European voyages to America in the early centuries CE. Disotell agrees with Tsoukalos that it is possible that the skull is non-human and from outer space. Oddly, he also says that the skull’s DNA results were “not definitive,” and it is unclear what the data actually show or how he related the “maternal” DNA to Scotland. Tsoukalos refers to the ancient boy as “that thing” before declaring it “an extraterrestrial skull.” The narrator says that scientists are ignoring the mystery of the elongated skull in the rush to avoid dealing with hard questions. The other talking heads chime in to criticize scientists. “They’re drawing huge conclusions without really seeing all the evidence. And this is a huge problem when trying to reconstruct out ancient history,” Childress says, unaware of the irony that his own massively bizarre conclusions about Lemuria and Mu and space aliens are largely free from the taint of evidence and built on foundations of sand.
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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