The episode opens here in the Hudson Valley with Communion author Whitley Streiber recounting his abduction by creatures that he never quite identifies as Grey aliens. In the book, the aliens sexually assaulted him (his was the most famous anal probe ever), but here on the show, his abduction has been sanitized for family viewing. The show goes on to describe other 1980s UFO sightings along the Hudson River. Hundreds saw the UFOs, but as Unsolved Mysteries and Discover magazine both reported, the sightings were actually of groups of amateur pilots flying in formation. Ancient Aliens ignores this and claims that the entire area from the Hudson Valley to Maine—covering parts of seven states!—is a vortex. Nonsensically, this leads the show to ask if there is a connection to Druid colonization of New England. No, it doesn’t make sense.
The show then takes us to America’s Stonehenge in Salem, New Hampshire, a set of colonial-era cold cellars that were mistaken for Celtic temples by fringe history believers. The show takes at face value Barry Fell’s laughable claim that scratch marks at the site are Celtic Ogham writing.
We go to commercial without making any sort of point except for the racist one that we should be giddy at the thought of Europeans in the pre-Columbian Americas.
Hugh Newman explains that many people think that the stone chambers in New England are colonial root cellars, but he and Whitley Strieber deny that they could have functioned as such. Strieber alleges that the chambers are three thousand years old and have some story of “feeling” that proves they are not meant for storing vegetables, cider, or other goods. William Henry says they are “virtually identical” to Druid structures, though the show conflates the Druids with the earliest Bronze Age cultures of the British Isles. None of the men has any idea how colonial people stored goods, so their feelings about the chambers carry rather little weight.
The show next decides to tell us about the Druids, whose knowledge they attribute to the Tuatha De Danaan. I discussed this years ago in detail, but suffice it to say that the Tuatha De Danaan are euhemerized pagan gods. The show mixes and matches details from the extant sources and then misrepresents them as arriving in flying ships. This conflates two versions of the story, one that involved them arriving by air in a cloud and the other by sea in a ship. I wrote about this in my previous account.
Following this, the show discusses a nineteenth century report of two seven-foot tall skeletons found in Connecticut, which the show relates to (fabricated) Native traditions of red-headed giants. (The claim is a wild exaggeration of a line from Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, who had an old lock of hair that had turned red as it faded with age. She said that the hair belonged to an ancient giant.) Andrew Collins claims that because Celtic people have red hair, red-headed giants are therefore Irish supermen.
The third segment takes us to North Salem, NY, where David Childress and Hugh Newman go to visit the “balanced rock,” a set of rocks deposited by a glacier that the men and Andrew Collins believe was created by Druids in the manner of a European dolmen. Childress and Newman simply can’t accept that a glacier could set down a rock, so they falsely claim it is “identical” to a British dolmen. Most dolmens are much taller, for one thing. The rock in New York is elevated only by a foot or two atop the smaller rocks it settled on. Childress and Newman discuss the piezoelectric effect, which Newman says the rock demonstrates, indicating an energy vortex. Childress plays the fool and pretends not to know anything about this, even though in earlier episodes he led the discussion of the piezoelectric effect in Egyptian obelisks. Whitley Strieber calls the balanced rock one of “the great structures of the past.” But it’s just a rock on the side of the road next to somebody’s garage. Childress rapturously declares that the Tuatha De Danaan and the Irish “chose this spot” because it is a “vortex.” Somehow the discussion manages to sidestep the fact that there were Native people living in the area for thousands of years before the Irish showed up to whiten the landscape with their Caucasian majesty and call down the divine from the heavens in ways that the benighted Native people could not.
In Putnam County, NY, Childress and Newman arrive at another colonial cold cellar that they suggest is both British in origin and a focus for UFO activity. The narrator suggests that the “same” builders constructed both this chamber and Stonehenge, and I am not certain at all that they understand that the Druids did not build Stonehenge.
In Hartford, Conn., we look at Gungywamp, an archaeological site composed of Native American and/or colonial-era stone structures, many being root cellars. As archaeologist Ken Feder explained, the site’s stone circles are the remains of a mill used in leather-making. The show declares this al a Celtic site designed to channel vortex energy, even though its recumbent stones bear no resemblance to the standing stones of European megalithic circles.
The fifth segment describes Celtic (here called Druid) human sacrifice, which it attempts to relate to America’s Stonehenge. At America’s Stonehenge, a colonial apple press used for making cider is displayed as a “sacrificial table,” but I have lain on that table as though a human sacrifice (I was a teen—it seemed fun) and can tell you that it would be rather ineffective as a table of sacrifice. There is no easy way to strap down a person on it, for example, and Collins exaggerates when he calls it “huge.” It barely held me when I was a young teen, and I am hardly a tall man. The narrator tells us that this proves that the Druids left an “indelible mark” on America, presumably much more than Native peoples, who might have been expected to have something to say about meeting all these alien-worshipping, super-powered Irish giants. Even Strieber seems content to associate supernatural, spectral, and divine aspects of North America with Europe and with white men. It’s all very strange considering that the Druids first appear in the historical record in the fourth century BCE, though presumably deriving from earlier Celtic and proto-Celtic priests and shamans. The Celts, an Indo-European people, only emerge in the historical record around the eighth century BCE, and therefore have no connection to the British and Irish megalithic cultures of thousands of years prior that the show conflates with them.
The final segment tells us that Strieber believes that colonial root cellars can help him communicate with other levels of reality and can empower us to manifest space aliens—sorry, “entities,” since he doesn’t use the ET term—in our reality. This is bullshit. If you can manifest a space alien by sitting in a glorified pantry, go ahead and bring one here. Strieber also claims that when he goes into rooms he forgets why he is there and “loses” time. The show compares this to the story of Rip Van Winkle, which the show strangely enough recognizes has European origins. They are wrong that the story of Rip’s “lost time” is a Celtic “fairy” story, however. It’s a derivative of the ancient “sleeping king” myth, which is found in stories as diverse as King Arthur, Charlemagne, and Odin. It has nothing to do with aliens abducting people and everything to do with the longing for the return of great men from the past to signal the return of virtue. I wouldn’t expect this lot of corrupt intellectual prostitutes to know anything about that.
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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