The show opens with the recent discovery of a new species of extinct human in the Philippines, and the show discusses the greater diversity of human species in the past, of which we Homo sapiens are the only surviving member. Giorgio Tsoukalos and Nick Pope say aliens killed off the rest of them because they were “failed experiments” that weren’t as good as us. To support this, the show discusses Zecharia Sitchin’s fake version of the Anunnaki, and the show falsely calls them the “Guardians of the Sky,” a mistranslation of the Enochian Watchers that Erich von Däniken and Giorgio Tsoukalos conflated with the Anunnaki. The show mixes and matches Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, and even Persian gods and myths and calls them all Anunnaki even though none depicted is one.
Unable to maintain a line of thought more than a few seconds, the show abandons the idea of humans being genetically engineered into our current form and instead talks about myths of creatures that are part human and part animal, alleging that aliens make animal-human hybrids. Most of this material is repeated from earlier episodes, sometimes almost verbatim. But the show doesn’t explain why it uses “hybrid” in two different ways, referring to alien genes inserted into the human genome on one hand and referring to, basically, unholy monsters on the other. Granted, there is the theme of genetic manipulation, but it muddies the waters to mix and match different types of hybrids in the same breath without laying out some sort of principle behind the claims.
The second segment continues the confusion by describing gruesome Soviet experiments grafting dog heads onto other dogs’ bodies and then mistaking this for genetic transformation. They continue to conflate DNA editing with straight-up transplants of body parts, and they allege that other human species were created by aliens mixing and matching body parts. Somehow they seem to think this is both due to heads being sewed onto bodies and genes being changed.
To that end, they return to my least favorite subject on this show, animal mutilation. Although most reputable studies have concluded that supposed animal mutilation was usually due to natural causes, animal attacks, and even human action. I don’t like seeing dead animals, but the show insists on showing their corpses in extreme detail. The general point has something to do with aliens “harvesting” animals’ body parts for experimentation. Since aliens only need a few cells to culture enough DNA for a lifetime, it isn’t entirely clear what they think is happening, but the fact that they can’t tell the difference between the process that made the Frankenstein’s Monster and that which produced GMO rice, I’m guessing that they don’t really have a thorough understanding of what’s going on.
In this segment, Nick Redfern shows up to say some fairly definitive things about aliens and their agenda that (a) he can’t possibly know and (b) almost certainly doesn’t believe. I wonder how much was the magic of editing.
The third segment discusses the almost certainly fictitious alien abduction of Betty and Barney Hill and the wave of similarly fantastical abductions reported by others in the wake of the Hill story. The show alleges that Rh- blood types are more prone to abduction than other blood types, but as far as I can tell, this is an entirely anecdotal conclusion given that alien abductees are a self-selecting group and even Linda Moulton Howe admits that no one has actually counted how many self-reported abductees are Rh-. She also accidentally confirms that no one even checked whether the three or four in ten abductees who claim to be Rh- alien hybrids actually have Rh- blood. So, basically, it’s just a story somebody made up, and it became alien gospel because it sounded sort of science-like.
The fourth segment promotes the History Channel’s Alien Con yet again and suggests that there are people in our midst who look like Americans but are secretly illegal aliens or the children of illegal aliens who are consuming our resources and stealing our jobs. A kindly looking old white lady named Barbara Lamb, a hypnotist and crop circle researcher, talks about how we can determine who is a real American and who is a secret Mexican anchor baby … sorry, space alien hybrid. She uses hypnosis to give them “therapy,” and she mouths long-outdated ideas about memory as a 100% accurate video recorder. It’s not hard to see how anxieties fomented by current political concerns over immigration are reflected and mythologized in the story of secret alien hybrids who are unknowing sleeper agents just waiting to overthrow our culture at the behest of a foreign power. The show pulls back from this a bit by suggesting that immigrants and their anchor babies might benefit both cultures, alien and human.
Even in the highly edited testimonials from Alien Con attendees about their abduction experiences, it’s painfully obvious that the people telling their stories are either (a) describing dreams or (b) experiencing some level of mental illness. “The Reptilian who visits me on a regular basis,” one woman says, “realized I was infertile and backed away.” A man described what sounded like a sci-fi tinged wet dream and labeled it a sperm extraction. There are no words for the irresponsibility of Ancient Aliens in placing people like these on display. The only mitigating factor is that they knew what they were in for since they’ve done similar segments before.
The fifth segment discusses the genetic contribution that Neanderthals made to the human genome (though interspecies sex), and the narrator oddly declares Neanderthals to be the “superior species.” Tsoukalos, a former bodybuilding promoter, enthusiastically describes them as “walking refrigerators” who were “strong.” The narrator suggests that space aliens killed the Neanderthals, but no one really tries to reason out when or where or why. Nick Pope says some stuff about aliens hybridizing humans to make us better, faster, and stronger, and some of the soundbites appear to be the same as those seen in last week’s episode, edited differently.
For no good reason, the show repeats material about the Rendlesham Forest UFO incident, which has been debunked many times over. No effort is made to connect this to anything that came before, and Nick Pope and Nick Redfern start speculating that UFOs are staffed with human time travelers who are harvesting DNA to save future humanity. The talking heads and the narrator ask whether this is true in several different ways and let the repeated question stand in for any sort of evidence or even logic.
The final segment asks whether space aliens are changing human DNA so we can be taken to another planet so we can become “the perfect vehicle” in David Childress’s words for spacefaring. The aliens even left us a book all about it, To Serve Man. No, wait… that was the Twilight Zone. Giorgio Tsoukalos tells us that some unnamed people calculated that 30 percent of humans are “hybrids,” but he doesn’t say of what. He then assert that “they” are wrong and all humans are alien hybrids due to ancient genetic engineering. The show ends with the narrator repeating the same ideas yet again and claiming that the repetition is the same as a conclusion.
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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