Ancient Aliens has talked about Hawaii many times over the years, and they have similarly covered Polynesian cultures from across the Pacific, which means that more than other episodes, this one really felt like David Childress’s vacation videos. He was the lucky ancient astronaut theorist chosen for the free vacation and luxury spa package in exchange for listening to the time-share pitch and filming an hour of pointless blather. As is standard, the show alleges that Hawaiian deities were actually space aliens or interdimensional beings. It’s not entirely clear how the Hawaiian “cultural advisor” the show speaks to came up with this idea, since the records of Hawaiian mythology show that early myths said that the god Lono placed the stars in the sky, which means that the gods couldn’t have come down from the stars. Martha Beckwith’s major work on Hawaiian myths specifically states, contrary to Ancient Aliens that there are no Hawaiian myths of gods incarnating from the stars or humans becoming stars. Instead, the scholarly literature says that the gods were imagined as coming either from a distant land beyond the sea or from the heavens, but there was no consistent agreement on the matter. My review of the literature finds no reference to star people in historic accounts of Hawaiian mythology, but news reports from the past few years have quoted Hawaiians who referenced star people, mostly in the wake of the creation of the Star Visitor Sanctuary by Native Hawaiian UFO believers a few years ago.
Then, just for the heck of it, Childress and the show falsely declare the nineteenth century Theosophical version of the fictitious continent Lemuria to be the same as a trans-Oceania story of a landmass that once connected the Polynesian cultural centers. It’s fairly clear that the Polynesian myth is a story meant to tie together the peoples of distant lands. Childress and the show do not reveal that Childress was a for a long time a promoter of the Lemurian Fellowship, whose cult texts he used as the basis for his early books.
The show then asserts that the Akua or Atua gods are “star people,” though the words refer only to a deity or supernatural entity, not specifically to beings from the stars. Polynesian gods, like other polytheist pantheons, were located all over the visible world. Famously, the octopus war gods of Polynesia lived under the sea in stone temples.
Childress and Michael Salla tour Hawaii to look for evidence that space aliens lived in Hawaii. They observe some tiki statues, and based on the large, round eyes and bulbous heads, they declare them Grey space aliens. Akua statues with rictus grins are declared a second species of alien, and Salla then claims that the Hawaiian “little people,” the Menehune, are genetically engineered dwarves, as were the Greys, intended to serve the Akua. The Menehune were ascribed authorship of several stone structures, including a large water channel. If the Menehune and their stone water channel sound familiar, it’s because Scott Wolter did an episode of America Unearthed about it, in which he declared without proof that the Menehune were pre-Hawaiian civilizers from across the ocean. Or maybe you remember them from Carl Barks’ Scrooge McDuck story about them in the old Disney comics, Uncle Scrooge No. 4, Dec. 1953-Feb. 1954. It’s a much better yarn than the one Salla and Childress struggle to spin from a rather weak foundation.
In the third segment Childress speculates that the Earth has continents that rise and fall—though he falsely implies this happens quickly in historic times—and alleges that many “lost civilizations” remain to be found. The narrator discusses Atlantis and then we get back to Lemuria, which Salla and other talking heads simply assert existed, though it never did. The show happily conflates Lemuria with Mu, following some of James Churchward’s speculations. It’s probably worth noting that Mu was postulated to exist in the Pacific, but the original Lemuria—before Churchward and others moved it—was supposed to be in the Indian Ocean. Salla and Childress claim that Atlantis and Lemuria had a war and the Lemurians his in lava tubes under Hawaiian volcanoes. These sorts of claims exist on the wildest fringes of the internet, and they reflect some of the Lemurian Fellowship nut-jobbery, but even after fourteen seasons, it is still shocking to hear a mainstream cable channel with a straight face assert that Atlantis and Lemuria fought a war and that its survivors hid under volcanoes. If I recall correctly, the Atlantis-Lemurian war from this show is actually based on racist ancient astronaut theorist Robert Charroux’s 1967 claim that Atlantis and Mu engaged in a nuclear war. Or maybe they got it from Andre Norton’s 1967 novel Operation Time Search, whose plot revolves around an Atlantis-Mu war.
In the fourth segment, Childress claims that Hawaiian petroglyphs are “identical” to the Rongrongo writing of Easter Island, though he later walks this back to “very similar.” They are not the same except that they use geometrical and curvilinear forms. This leads, for some bonkers reason, to a discussion of wormholes and whether Hawaii is a place where interdimensional beings pop in and out from other worlds. The show wonders if the geology that creates volcanoes under Hawaii are generating piezoelectric magnetic fields capable of opening wormholes across the universe. Funny how those portals never seem to suck stuff in from Earth but instead let space aliens pop on over for a visit. Michael Salla says that the portals are “happening now,” though he expresses no interest in trying to prove this and make scientific history by identifying one.
The fifth segment repeats Richard Hoagland’s false assertion that there is a geological and cosmological significance to 19.47 degrees north and south latitude on other planets. We’ve heard this before, just last month over on Graham Hancock’s author of the month blog—where it was posted right at the time that this show was being produced, according to the dates included in the episode. The show repeats claims from that blog post, and it seems fairly obvious that the producers simply read it and ripped it off for this episode. The show alleges that the false magic of 19.47 degrees means that Hawaii has extra mystical energy for creating interdimensional portals. The show then discusses UFO sightings in Hawaii to support this goofball claim.
The sixth segment discusses the Star Visitor Sanctuary, and Giorgio Tsoukalos falsely claims that all Hawaiian mythology is based on stars and star lore, which is not supported by anthropology, folklore, or history. Michael Salla claims that aliens from the Pleiades came to Hawaii and created humanity. The show then repeats some of its claims as summary before suggesting that humans can use Hawaiian alien portals to “colonize the very universe.”
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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