This is one of those topics that makes me uncomfortable. I studied anthropology in college, and took my degree in it, and I feel uneasy about holding other cultures’ (and subcultures’) practices up for rubbernecking as some sort of alien “other.” It’s doubly weird when the narrator, Robert Clotworthy, asks what would cause someone to alter their bodies with tattoos, piercings, and other forms of body art, as though these behaviors are completely foreign to the audience. At one point, one of the guests goes so far as to say that he observed body modification in National Geographic magazine, thought it cool, and imitated it. There’s a lot to unpack here about cultural appropriation, cultural relativism, and how we define the mainstream and the normal, but Ancient Aliens doesn’t care about any of that. They claim the practices derive from “so-called ‘primitive’” tribes and leave it at that before moving on to acupuncture, a pseudo-medical system that has no scientific evidence in its favor but which David Childress suggests was invented by space aliens and given to Ice Age Europeans.
Mitch Horowitz, who believes that rich people have magical powers and are favored by the universe, claims that tattoos of modern Grey space aliens—a type of “alien” not invented until after the 1960s—are really “primeval” symbols that connect humanity to the cosmos. He similarly claims that astrological tattoos and even the five-pointed star aren’t just symbols chosen because of modern New Age belief but instead have bubbled up into hipster consciousness from some imagined deep well of alien mystical knowledge. Uh-huh. So what does that make butterfly tattoos? Sidelong race-memories of Ray Bradbury’s “A Sound of Thunder”?
The second segment already struggles to have anything to say about tattooing, so it repeats the same few ideas over and over, namely that some Egyptian women had goddess tattoos. Lacking anything to do with this information, they fall back on old claims that the solar barge in Egyptian mythology was a flying saucer. Over and over they repeat the claim that tattoos might commemorate contact with space aliens, but they never really make any sort of argument for why the tattoo would be of any more importance than any other type of art.
Horowitz suggests that Egyptian symbols contain “power” that tattoo enthusiasts intuitively experience as “awe” without understanding it. The narrator adds that ancient symbols are imbued with alien energy that endures through subconscious connections that cause people to embrace them. This is bullshit. Regular readers know that I collect two headed eagles, another ancient symbol of power—political, rather than divine—and, yes, symbols can be inspirational without having a space alien magically charging them with mystical energy. The meaning is in the observer, not the symbol.
The third segment returns to the old canard of cargo cults, particularly the cargo cult of Vanuatu, introduced to the ancient astronaut theory by the film version of Chariots of the Gods that Rod Serling bequeathed to America. This has nothing to do with tattoos or body modification, but it gives the ancient astronaut theorists time to be vaguely racist and condescending. As per usual, the show claims that ancient people built monuments like pyramids and stupas in imitation of space aliens’ ships. They even repeat the old claim (from a very racist Erich von Däniken, writing of “wild Indians” in 1973!) that an Amazonian tribe has an “astronaut” god in a wicker space suit. It’s a beekeeper’s suit, as I showed seven years ago in debunking, yes, Ancient Aliens when they previously made the same claim. The narrator then says that body modification might be an effort to imitate the look of space aliens. The show gawks at neck rings to produce the illusion of an elongated neck and then pretends to believe that the dragons of myth that inspired the practice were really reptilian aliens.
The fourth segment describes the practice of head-binding, one of the more unusual and inexplicable human practices, found worldwide. The show alleges that the resulting elongated skulls were created in imitation of space aliens and that our DNA (!) is programmed (!!) to make us want to look like space aliens. Therefore, tattoos and other body modification are “practice runs” for transhuman alterations. This idea fails to explain why only some people seem to feel the need to look like the way we imagined space aliens after the Outer Limits invented the modern space alien during three consecutive weeks in of episodes in the winter of 1964. During this segment William Henry visits a transhumanist who likes to stick technological and radioactive material into his body. He has horns.
If this material starts to sound familiar, it’s because much of it, including the fifth segment, is largely a repeat of material from the show’s last two episodes about transhumanism. To justify the repetition, it adds a news peg about recent efforts to create “smart” tattoos whose inks change color according to temperature, store thermal energy, etc., or could strengthen the skin. The show asks if aliens had artistic tattoos that doubled as technological devices—basically Supergirl’s evil tattoo plot. Gray Scott makes a return appearance on the show after three years, and he is still a creepy, overly mannered performance imitating a person. The segment is thin, however, and the narrator is reduced to simply repeating the same questions about whether body modification imitates space aliens over and over again.
The final segment talks about whether smart tattoos can help astronauts control their space suits, and then it repeats the same material about tattoos strengthening the skin from segment 5. The narrator again repeats the question of whether aliens inspired tattooing and whether our genes drive us to do it. Tattoos make us the “equals” of aliens, the narrator says. The summation repeats material from the first segment, and this incredibly repetitive episode repeats itself a few more times before it finally hits the 1 hour and 3 minute mark and packs up its toys and goes home.
Egyptian symbols contain “power”
11/9/2019 02:46:44 am
Judaism borrowed its religion from Egypt and then rebooted it to fit in with its own culture. Judaism then invented the story of the Exodus to deny it borrowed its religious ideas from Egypt.
11/9/2019 07:48:33 am
Alternatively, it's an attempt by the Hebrews to retcon their origin story and *claim* a connection with Egypt. Some Hebrews "lit out for the territories" in Twain's phrase, others followed, then they were all enslaved, then God displayed his super powers and they di di mau'ed across the Red Sea only to get lost in Saudi Arabia for 40 years. Along the way, more super powers.
What Red Sea?
11/9/2019 10:10:34 am
Taking Exodus seriously
11/9/2019 10:25:14 am
Simply following the consensus of modern scholarship that it's all made up. You have no problem with the 10 Plagues?
WHY 10 PLAGUES
11/9/2019 10:32:38 am
Why not 11, or 9, or any other number ?
11/9/2019 12:14:44 pm
You're asking "Why are there 10 Things That Didn't Happen Instead of Some Other Number of Things That Didn't Happen?" 10 Sefirot, 10 Lost Tribes, 10 men to make a Minyan. Why 11 Sons of Israel? File it all under N for "Not My Problem". Might as well ask why Hansel & Gretel didn't have a transgender sibling.
WHY TEN PLAGUES ?
11/9/2019 02:19:45 pm
11/11/2019 02:32:30 pm
So no one's made the connection between 11 Sons of Israel and 11 (surviving) Apostles? The 11th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, כ kaf without a dot, is pronounced like the Greek χ, symbolic of "Christ".
An Anonymous Nerd
11/9/2019 01:56:42 pm
All religions have historical origins, though odd how most things I've read places the historical origins of Judaism someplace other than Egypt. Even odder how your comment does not relate to any topic covered by the article to which it replies.
Not the Comte de Saint Germain
11/9/2019 02:17:43 pm
He's a recurring commenter who keeps bringing up his idiotic fixations no matter what the topic of the post is. Argue with his historical illiteracy, as Rabbi Kent just did, and he'll act as if you're advocating biblical literalism even if you're explicitly rejecting it.
Out of Egypt
11/9/2019 02:25:34 pm
Out of Egypt Have I called my Son
11/9/2019 04:18:09 am
_before moving on to acupuncture, a pseudo-medical system that has no scientific evidence in its favor_
An Anonymous Nerd
11/9/2019 08:12:13 am
The X-Files also had an evil tattoo, in an episode that was particularly awful even for that awful show.
11/9/2019 09:54:53 am
I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that the X-Files was a terrible show. Piss poor production; mediocre scripts; lame talent; stilted, one-dimensional acting ... this show program had it all.
And you're wrong
11/9/2019 10:09:05 am
Good that your messages were deleted because they were disgraceful
11/9/2019 10:16:58 am
All these wars and conflicts between the Jews and the PLO, Hezbollah etc would never exist in the first place if those retards did not take the Bible seriously and be religious fundamentalists in the first place. The conflicts only exist through taking those past mythologies of the Middle East seriously - most of which are dismissed by Biblical scholars and mainstream historians. Some people believe in the Biblical account of Israel conquering Canaan without knowing there isn't the slightest bit of archaeological evidence to support it.
11/9/2019 10:31:53 am
You raise a good point but miss the logical conclusion: if the Biblical account is correct and the claim to be descended from the Biblical Hebrews is correct, today's Israelis are descended from invaders, slaughterers, and usurpers. Then again, if the shoe fits...
11/9/2019 10:34:59 am
This blog is all about finding evidence - show the evidence for the Biblical story of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites.
11/9/2019 11:14:18 am
It literally doesn't matter. One way or the other the people of that area were invaded, slaughtered, and had their land usurped.
11/9/2019 01:43:21 pm
Everyone in the Middle East is descended from invaders, usurpers and slaughterers.
11/9/2019 02:21:56 pm
Invaders, usurpers etc - it matters if Jewish because of The Bible and You-Know-Who
11/9/2019 02:42:06 pm
But he isn't anti-Semite just anti-Zionist. But he can go on all day long without even mentioning the word Zionist.
11/9/2019 03:05:00 pm
@ Machala: Yes, when I was a teenager I also reflexively didn't like things that were considered "cool". If your comeback is "But I was an adult!" that doesn't really help.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
11/9/2019 04:35:30 pm
How many Jews live in Damascus or Mecca and how are they treated.
The Liberty Incident Revealed
11/9/2019 05:51:44 pm
A. J. Cristol, The Liberty Incident Revealed: The Definitive Account of the 1967 Israeli Attack on the U.S. Navy Spy Ship, Revised & Expanded, 2013
11/9/2019 07:36:13 pm
Jews in Damascus and Mecca? Don't know don't care. My guess for Mecca would be zero Jews.
AND YES, THE SINKING OF THE LIBERTY WAS SETTLED
11/9/2019 07:40:55 pm
11/9/2019 08:13:46 pm
The alleged letter bomb was an unsubstantiated claim made by Truman's daughter 20 years after it supposedly happened. the alleged group involved was later suppressed by the Israeli government after independence and some ended up in prison, Hardly an endorsement of their actions if they could even be proven to have done it. A lot of people on a variety of fronts were doing bad things during that period. So what.
11/9/2019 08:41:46 pm
Possibly meant Ahmed Bouchiki, who was assassinated by Mossad agents in the Norwegian town of Lillehammer in July 1973 - victim of mistaken identity
11/9/2019 08:52:41 pm
Horrible things happen all over the world on a daily basis. One cannot even keep up with the body count attributed to Muslim sectarian violence any given week. If all you have is dredging up scattered events from 35 to 75 years ago to make your case you may not have a very good case. If one bothers to read something like the book Every Spy a Prince they can see that Israel has frequently admitted its mistakes and made amends. At lest to a greater extent than many of its neighbors, enemies, and allies.
11/9/2019 09:09:19 pm
"AND YES, THE SINKING OF THE LIBERTY WAS SETTLED
11/9/2019 09:30:13 pm
Check his box for not having not read anything like Every Spy a Prince AND confusing corroboration with substantiation.
11/9/2019 09:46:20 pm
11/9/2019 11:59:18 pm
The US government awarded 20 Medals of Honor to soldiers who participated in the Wounded Knee massacre. Jihadists are granted martyrdom for blowing up civilians. Not exactly a rarity for onetime outlaws to later become national leaders. Eamon de Valera is a good example. The royalty in some Arab nations started out as just really good thieves and killers. The warm and fuzzy Swiss and Scandanavians have their own skeletons stashed away in their closets. Israel is just another member of a really big club.
KENT IS ANTHONY WARREN
11/10/2019 01:31:31 am
Both the Israeli and U.S. governments conducted inquiries and issued reports that concluded the attack was a mistake due to Israeli confusion about the ship's identity.
11/10/2019 10:18:23 am
The big American flag on the fantail(?) should have been a tipoff.
11/10/2019 10:28:01 am
Jim, you were right, I was wrong. Fun while it lasted though. Now admit you were wrong on the long-standing legality of guns with no serial numbers.
11/10/2019 10:48:39 am
Why does Joe Kent sound so mush like a Russian propaganda machine lately ?
11/10/2019 11:14:05 am
11/10/2019 12:46:56 pm
Oh Jim. Jim. The BATFE, the regulatory agency in charge of administering this law, disagrees with you. Then again the BATFE also says that a shoestring is sometimes a machine gun.
11/10/2019 01:17:15 pm
Comrade Joe Kent, doesn't matter what you say or what you claim BATFE says.
11/10/2019 01:38:20 pm
JIm. You're like a tax resister saying "It doesn't matter what the IRS says." Jim.
11/10/2019 01:47:16 pm
Comrade Kent, are you paid in rubles or dollars ?
11/10/2019 02:13:19 pm
Not paid at all, I'm arguing in my spare time.
11/10/2019 03:27:19 pm
11/10/2019 07:03:13 pm
We're gonna need a bigger barrel.
11/10/2019 08:01:26 pm
You are just ranting now comrade, none of this gibberish laced, out of context nonsense even warrants a response.
11/10/2019 08:55:59 pm
He speaks Trumpese rather well, don’t you think?
11/10/2019 09:14:55 pm
So advocating for less killing is "gibberish"?
11/10/2019 09:25:44 pm
Kent Americanegro Joe Scales says what??
11/9/2019 01:01:57 pm
The topic was alien tattoos, which is ridiculous, but for some reason the comments refer to the Exodus, which has nothig to do with alien tattoos. This should not surprise you, Aas this blog frequently goes off the rails in comments.
Jr. Time Lord
11/9/2019 03:09:35 pm
I'm a bit surprised the facial tattoos of Cherchen Man and Woman weren't exploited. Along with with claims of a Master Ginger Race. Equally surprising is the absence of Otzi the "Ice Man". His tattoos have been compared to barcodes, and linked to early forms of acupuncture.
11/9/2019 03:43:13 pm
Maybe because they're only catering to partial idiots and not Five Time State Champions in Complete Idiocy?
11/10/2019 06:51:59 am
Otzi and acupuncture were discussed for a minute. I just didn't mention it because I can't list every passing reference, especially when they are repeating material from earlier shows.
11/9/2019 07:08:07 pm
All 50 of you retards who read this trash every day are uneducated dolts.
11/9/2019 07:21:37 pm
This Blog is a meeting place for anti-Semitic people
11/10/2019 10:21:45 am
Is 50 the new 146 or 146 the new 50?
11/10/2019 04:07:51 pm
The 146 is how many different people come here in a month, retard.
11/10/2019 04:29:32 pm
So when YOUR source, Statbrain, says "146 per day" I should ignore that and go with the "50" figure that you made up, retard?
11/10/2019 07:52:15 pm
Sorry, you are right. It says about 50 people a day and 146 DIFFERENT people a month visit this website. I guess skeptical hate blogs don’t get enough attention now.
11/10/2019 09:10:16 pm
So when it says "per day" that really means "per month"? Got it.
11/9/2019 08:14:23 pm
I'm surprised they didn't bring up Shi Jin from the Chinese classic The Water Margin. If tattoos are supposed to be magic, then a guy with tattoos of dragons (which are allegedly aliens) should have been right up the show's alley, especially since he's a martial artist. A perfect opportunity to 'prove' the power of tattoos and dragons in creating alien-empowered super soldiers wasted.
Came for the Cthulhu, stayed for the creepy pasta
11/10/2019 12:24:21 am
11/10/2019 10:16:57 am
Once again Jason’s closed mind tries to hold us all back by denying the Twilight Zone was NASA trying to prepare us for contact. Btw I’ve run out of tin foil do you think just wearing the frying pan is OK?
11/10/2019 10:22:41 am
Didn't catch the episode, just the commercials... but I suppose this now means that ancient aliens partook in self-mutilation, just like all the tatted up imbeciles out there today?
11/10/2019 12:57:29 pm
I will not have you talking about my lady love Miley Cyrus in that manner, Sirrah!
Kent is Anthony Warren
11/11/2019 12:14:30 am
Let's all become believers in the religion of Kent. Kent will be our Messiah and his irrational distorted reasoning will become our Church. The Church of Kent, All pray to Kent's irrational distorted reasoning.
11/11/2019 10:32:55 am
You could do worse, but you'd have to be cool with my binitary nature. Only initiates get to meet Kendra.
11/10/2019 01:07:59 pm
I will never look at the tramp stamp on my favorite waitresses in the same way.
11/11/2019 06:18:50 am
Jason wrote "When Serling saw the cancellation writing on the wall, he and Alan Landsburg moved on to nonfiction, adapting Chariots of the Gods for American TV. "
11/11/2019 07:30:02 am
Los of info that Rod Serling was the writer and Alan Landsburg was the producer
11/11/2019 07:39:30 am
Alan and Sally Landsburg - In Search of Ancient Mysteries (1974)
11/11/2019 10:45:58 am
Apparently Serling looked at "the cancellation writing on the wall" for 6 to 8 years because Chariots of the Gods wasn't published until 1968 and the German film Landsburg's company adapted wasn't made until 1970. The Twilight Zone was cancelled in 1964.
11/11/2019 12:31:07 pm
OOPS. I see Jason was talking about Night Gallery. My apologies for being wrong. :(
11/12/2019 06:49:11 am
I meant, Bruce, that the adapted the European film version. Landsburg edited it for American TV and Serling tweaked the narration. They didn't actually make the film from scratch.
12/2/2019 11:06:06 am
My partner has tattoos of a Ninja, mountain, cherry tree, Dragon, Pisces, tribal snake, water dragon, grim reaper, tormented spirits, tribal sun and is in the process of having a scene of hell done.
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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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