I still hate the new opening sequence, especially its invocation of the Twilight Zone by using “There is a door…” and imagery recalling Rod Serling’s title sequence. It’s not wholly inappropriate, though, since Serling was an ancient astronaut believer who hosted In Search of Ancient Astronauts, the ancestral TV special that eventually gave rise to Ancient Aliens, both being adaptations of Chariots of the Gods.
Anyway, the first segment tries to make the case that the Badlands Guardian is an intentional carving and not a natural formation, and David Childress shows up to tell us that archaeologists are “often mistaken” about what is artificial and what is natural. For no good reason, they use part of the time to give us a history of the carving of Mount Rushmore, which is a mountain carved from stone, while the Badlands Guardian is made from soil and clay. William Henry and Giorgio Tsoukalos claim that only space aliens could provide the answer. Henry says that humans could not have made a geoglyph on their own and needed aliens to do it for them, while Tsoukalos differs and says that First Nations people in Alberta carved it themselves because they were trying to signal space aliens. The show presents these mutually exclusive ideas as though they were harmonious.
The show had an expert use computer simulations to try to argue that the formation was intentionally created, and it’s interesting that the show refers to skeptical views of the Guardian as an optical illusion with the word “apophenia” (seeing patterns that don’t exist) instead of “pareidolia” (seeing familiar patterns in vague, abstract, or natural patterns). I can’t help but think that’s because the Guardian’s Wikipedia page refers to apophenia.
The second segment tries to make an argument by analogy, asking viewers to assume that the existence of geoglyphs elsewhere on Earth proves that the Guardian is an artificial geoglyph. This leads to yet another discussion of the Nazca Lines, a subject that has appeared on Ancient Aliens with depressing regularity since the show debuted a decade ago. The discussion of global geoglyphs ranges from the mundane to the nonsensical, and most of the show’s usual talking heads, including Nick Pope and Hugh Newman, try to claim that what they call geoglyphs (some of which are actually earthworks) were intended to communicate with space aliens who were looking at Earth from other galaxies. If the aliens can see a small geoglyph from that distance, they could see cities and other signs of human habitation, so this argument seems weak. The show repeats the lie that a geoglyph of a fisherman in Peru is really a space alien, a claim debunked many years ago.
The show seems to struggle with the idea that the Badlands Guardian looks like the head of a stereotypical First Nations person (the show says “Native American,” but the formation is in Canada) in profile in what looks to be a realist nineteenth century art style, which is vastly different from the style of any other geoglyph. They try to make this out to be a sign of specialness or superiority, but surely even they realize that the enormous difference suggests that they are simply seeing things.
The third segment visits Canada (well, through photos and stock footage) to view First Nations petroglyphs about a hundred miles from the Guardian. The show claims that indigenous references to any being from the sky or from a plane above the Earth is necessarily a space alien, and they believe that rock art showing any stylized human that doesn’t seem photorealistic is consequently a space alien. William Henry tells us that the “headdress” of the Guardian figure, which resembles feathers, was a helmet that functioned as an “antenna” to communicate with space aliens. He claims that shamans’ feathered headdresses are similarly antennas for tuning in to alien signals via feathers. If feathers get you alien ham radio, what must life be like for birds?
This leads to a discussion of supposed modern UFO sightings in western Canada, and William Henry says that this might suggest that “aliens have a continuing interest in this area.” Childress adds that part of western Canada must be “a portal” with an interdimensional stargate to other realms.
This show is getting stupider by the minute, and their utter refusal to even pretend to find evidence in support of their rankest speculation rankles me. You have to wonder if the space between the ears of ancient astronaut theorists is an interdimensional portal, seeing as it would otherwise be a vacuum and nature abhors a vacuum.
In the fourth segment, a computer artist claims that mapping the geoglyph onto a real human would prove that the Badlands Guardian is really someone with an elongated skull, a meaningless claim since the Guardian isn’t an intentional piece of art, nor is it intended to be proportional or in the realist style. To “prove” that the geoglyph was modeled on an alien-human hybrid, you have to move through the various stages of proof, from proving the geoglyph artificial to proving that the art style accurately represents its subject in the realist style. This whole segment is a set of stacked ethnocentric assumptions that Giorgio Tsoukalos simply can’t contemplate, despite the fact that his own towering hairstyle belies the fact that a drawing of something large atop a figure’s head necessarily implies an elongated skull.
The fifth segment returns to another old chestnut, the so-called Face on Mars—long debunked but here assumed to be an alien monument. For reasons that are never made clear, the imaging expert who “analyzed” the Badlands Guardian earlier in the show attempts to analyze the Face on Mars using blurry old Viking photos rather than more recent and higher-resolution photos. The expert alleges—bizarrely—that the difference between the 1976 photos and the more recent ones is due to “erosion” over time! For that to be true, that would mean that the face could only have been built a few decades or a century or two at most before, if it crumbled half to dust in three decades.
All of this leads to a repeat of the show’s frequent claims that Ancient Egypt had some sort of esoteric alien connection to Mars, with Martian pyramids corresponding to those of Egypt—a claim invented in 1898 when Garrett P. Serviss made it up for a novel.
The show, which previously claimed the Badlands Guardian was Native American, now claims that the Guardian is Akhenaten, the heretic pharaoh. Henry tells us that a statue of Akhenaten is “identical” to the Guardian, even though, objectively speaking, they bear no resemblance to one another in terms of facial features or physical proportions.
But points for completely voiding their entire effort to give Native Americans / First Nations people credit for something, even if it was a natural formation, to score a cheap point about Akhenaten and offhand claim that First Nations people had been subject to alien hybrid rulers from Egypt.
As this turkey comes in for a landing, we see another example of people seeing things in random shapes. Now we hear that a bunch of splotches and grooves on Mars is a face of an old man with an underbite wearing a helmet. It’s a bit cartoonish, but I guess it looks something like a person, but when Childress alleges that “we have similar structures on Mars and on Earth” because Martian humans moved to Earth, I really felt that this claim needed something more than a blurry photo of a rock that the show thinks looks like the Maya pyramids at Tikal to support that claim. In the final moments, the show asks if crop circles are modern versions of the geoglyphs, and the show simply assumes that crop circles are the work of aliens. The show also doesn’t bother to address the point that they claimed geoglyphs to be the work of human beings (well, all except Henry, who is in his own world) while they imply crop circles are made by aliens. So who is communicating with whom an why? Surely this show isn’t doing a very good job of it.
6/7/2019 10:19:13 pm
Sadly, very sadly I must agree that this episode was a huge dud. For once you are right.
The theme from the movie shaft
6/7/2019 11:40:43 pm
When even this blindly believing buffoon is jumping ship, you know that things must be getting pretty bad.
6/8/2019 07:30:03 am
"For once you are right." Right back atcha.
6/7/2019 10:27:49 pm
Say what you will. I am convinced that this is a crater in the soil caused by a Nephalim-First Nations hybrid giant stuck here when his ship ran out of Unobtainium fuel and pretzels. While following a map clearly emblazoned with a “Hooked X” the hybrid was struck down by Vikings looking for the Northwest Passage. What we see is the impression of his face plant after being hit with Thor’s hammer.
6/7/2019 10:48:32 pm
"Did I leave anything out?"
6/10/2019 02:45:53 am
Don’t forget some mention of a rune stone. Maybe when the giant fell his face created the rune stone. Oh and don’t forget it aligns perfectly with Orion’s Belt.
6/12/2019 06:36:56 am
You do realize that Oak Island actually exists and there is SOME validity that something, perhaps a silver coin or two, is actually burried there or at least WAS buried there and then dug up.
6/12/2019 10:52:45 am
No Gavin. There is absolutely no reason to believe anything of any value was ever buried at Oak Island. Zero evidence. Nothing. Nada. Goose-egg. Squat. Zip. Zilch. If you truly wish to learn about the history of the hoax, you can start here:
6/26/2019 06:20:11 pm
Joe: you referred me to that web page a while ago, I remember we had a discussion about Oak Island. It has excellent information, I never thanked you for recommending it.
6/12/2019 06:46:04 am
The map was retrieved from the Akashic record and is alleged to have been written by Toth-Hermes himself.
8/9/2019 11:55:48 am
You forgot to mention the Pyramids!
6/7/2019 11:14:14 pm
6/7/2019 11:37:29 pm
Dave Chorley and Doug Bower confessed to having started the practice as a hoax from the get-go during the early 1990s on a BBC Farming Television series and gave a demonstration of how easy it was done.
Crop Circle Believer
6/8/2019 06:59:45 am
Saying it over and over doesn't make it true.
6/8/2019 07:07:14 am
It was Dave Chorley & Doug Bower that said and demonstrated it. On film.
Crop Circle Believer
6/8/2019 07:33:15 am
Saying it over and over doesn't make it true.
6/8/2019 08:52:33 am
They haven't managed to prove anything and what you're saying is known as special pleading.
Crop Circle Believer
6/8/2019 10:58:08 am
"Special pleading" doesn't mean what you think it means.
6/8/2019 12:59:14 pm
You don't know what Blind Faith means
Crop Circles Replier
6/11/2019 06:51:41 am
The crop circles they make destroy the plants in a different way than unexplained crop circles. Look up about the elongated nodes on the plant.
Crop Circle Believer
6/11/2019 09:17:06 pm
Like the crop circle hoaxers I've been faking it, and the idiot who didn't figure that out is just an idiot. You too are an idiot.
6/8/2019 05:24:20 am
The Badlands Guardian is the SAME COLOR as the Martian surface. Coincidence? I think not.
6/8/2019 06:57:31 am
The problem with "humans" on Mars is not just the lack of oxygen but the extremely low air pressure. A manned mission to Mars is a bugaboo, a shiny object to distract from actual problems here.'
Mission To Mars (and back)
6/8/2019 07:08:37 am
That's a very long time without nuptials.
6/8/2019 10:16:22 am
The lips of the figure are distinctly negroidal. Clear proof of Olmecs migrating to the north to take advantage of lands left vacant following the Dryas Impact.
6/9/2019 03:01:08 am
Robert Redford and Clint Eastwood
6/9/2019 07:33:56 am
Because men don't have moles? Good to know.
6/10/2019 12:40:53 am
Brewbaker and Beto,
Robert DeNiro You missed the point of the article. There were no "Carver's".
6/10/2019 03:06:28 am
If you have to explain it and belittle the other guy it's not a joke, it's just you being ....you.
Why Anthony Warren is the Best
6/10/2019 08:46:20 am
Anthony Warren was High School Champion of Everything.
6/13/2019 03:22:31 pm
Of course, this feature has carvers. Their names are Wind, Water, and Time. Duh! Hobbs and Pale Rider didn't get the joke.
6/10/2019 10:01:59 am
The "Dryas Impact" ? Very funny way of calling attention to the confusion over the two Holocene Start Impact Events -
No one cares
6/10/2019 10:25:22 am
No one cares.
6/8/2019 10:24:51 am
Clearly the infinite monkey theorem applies here. Or alien woo. Your choice.
An Anonymous Nerd
6/8/2019 10:57:32 am
[[To “prove” that the geoglyph was modeled on an alien-human hybrid, you have to move through the various stages of proof, from proving the geoglyph artificial to proving that the art style accurately represents its subject in the realist style.]]
Ted Knight First Starman
6/8/2019 11:03:28 am
Also look at Jeff Bridges in Starman. Dreamboat!
6/8/2019 12:28:01 pm
Yeah this one was really sad. No archaeological digs have been done? Any sign of old settlements or human activity? Tools? The show doesn't talk about any of that. Sad episode.
You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me
6/8/2019 12:58:39 pm
I’m curious how many (and which ones) of the talking heads on this show believe this garbage vs willing to say anything for money. I mean can they really be that stupid?
Can they really be that stupid
6/8/2019 01:00:42 pm
There's lot worse than Scott Wolter
6/10/2019 01:31:59 pm
That's like saying there is lots worse than a suppurating lesion on your left buttock.
6/10/2019 01:58:14 pm
So when did you meet Anthony Warren and start hunting together?
6/8/2019 03:26:29 pm
When this show first aired it came off as an interesting expression of intriguing riddles of history that I found interesting. But now after watching this episode, I realize these are all paid government shills tasked with artificially building up and then destroying and then mocking anything linked to alien theories to continue the decades old campaign of misinformation. Siting evidence from fat Canadian grandmothers from Saskatchewan was it, even for me.
Lots more rubbish
6/8/2019 03:36:41 pm
There's the Trinity Broadcasting Network - now there's something to put holes into people's heads....
Where “Disco” lives forever!
6/8/2019 04:42:03 pm
Thanks James for explaining that it was something interesting that you found interesting.
6/8/2019 06:15:27 pm
Yup, they're now clutching at straws to keep the series going.
6/8/2019 06:44:09 pm
I'm just waiting for the episode that they investigate the Man in the Moon.
6/9/2019 01:32:25 am
6/9/2019 02:02:20 am
Are you saying that the Bible is not equally escapism?
6/9/2019 03:39:59 am
The Bible is neither here nor there, really; a red herring in this context - no need to try to argue whether humans just now developed a capacity and propensity to cope with dreadful reality in a certain way. Let's just agree that Hans makes a good point and see whether it takes us - it's more relevant to a big-picture discussion, one that merits attention and some thought, certainly more, I'd think, than this episode, which you, Jason, have so adeptly and coherently skewered. Really admirable work IMHO, demonstrably so as it sparked insight, potential or genuine. So much more satisfying than Ancient Aliens precisely because you're both unafraid to apply your minds to a thing rationally. So refreshing these days.
6/9/2019 06:32:07 am
The Bible originates from the same place as all other pseudo histories. No difference. Same thing.
6/9/2019 06:42:39 am
Do you know what "Scores" means? Stay cooool, my baby!
6/9/2019 04:52:31 pm
It's a depression, anyway, not a mound: https://photos.wikimapia.org/p/00/02/57/04/43_big.jpg
6/9/2019 05:00:26 pm
Note the word "concave" in the article.
6/9/2019 06:17:00 pm
The Guardian is clearly using an iPod ear bud, and the headdress is the partially emerging head of Will Ferrell.
What an Idiot
6/10/2019 10:59:55 pm
AnonymousJune 10, 2019 at 11:04 AM
6/13/2019 11:33:44 am
I love some ancient aliens but this episode bothered me so badly that I had to look around to see how many others agreed and i found this page. The Badlands guardian? Really? They were grasping at straws all over the place and just released an episode making themselves look like a joke. I know the show has had alot of repetition and covered some outlandish things once in a while. But this was just ridiculous. I thought they would spend 5-10 min max on this and move on but a complete episode... Cmon now. I do not understand all this repetition and even wasting money on something like the Badlands guardian. There's soooo many new and old things out there to cover... Get ya stuff together AA. As someone said above... DUD huge dud of an episode... Like I just dropped a dud like that in my toilet that was more interesting and looked like the Badlands guardian.
6/15/2019 07:37:04 pm
If you closely behind the image "carved from erosion" you will see the Badlands Beaver head!!! It was chewed by beavers millions of years ago!!!!
6/15/2019 08:02:25 pm
There is also another face going the opposite direction coming light of the "medicine hat"
7/4/2019 07:21:40 am
I have a second degree in archaeology and I believe that today there are ufo . I am not sure if the ufos are not man made.
Fools will scoff
7/13/2019 12:47:59 pm
Fools will scoff at wizdom and the belligerent and profane will never received the knowledge of light and knowledge of self
James L. Coster
10/13/2019 01:22:23 am
i have an Ivy League education and have been a trial attorney - primarily in jury trial doing criminal defense work - for some 30 years. i agree that one must never suspend "reality" and "rational thinking" for any topic presented to humans. forming a "logical" argument based upon "evidence" or "reasonable conjecture" has been the foundation of my legal practice. as to "entertainment", i watch the TV show Ancient Aliens on a regular basis. some of the topics and conclusions are obviously open to a wide range of analysis and debate. however, there is also a substantial portion of topics presented in that show that IS "troubling" in relation to human explanation. i have watched that show for years because i find intriguing the arguments that the producers present that are based upon factual evidence and visual, real-time observations. it is foolish, and frankly, uninformed to discount and dismiss that show out of hand as "bottom of the barrel" childishness. i regularly make arguments before juries based upon observations, logical evidence and reasonable conclusions from that data. much of the show Ancient Aliens includes the same kind of analysis. automatically rejecting all of the ideas presented in that show could only be expected from a person who lacks advanced intelligence and formal academic training.
11/9/2019 06:35:34 pm
Everyone deserves their own view points, and in a capatalist world eveyone is fighting to put their material out their for the masses, real or not. To say its the bottom of the barrel, when you use that show for a new blog post, you are both stroking your egos to an extint. We only have an idea of what is... GOD OR ALIENS? Both mythology to me till the day the sun kisses the earth.
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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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