The opening segment deals with the interstellar object Oumuamua, already covered on Ancient Aliens last year. The show offers Prof. Avi Loeb’s speculation that Oumuamua could be an artificial spaceship, speculation that other scientists rejected after further evidence emerged. I honestly can’t decide whether the show is simply recycling material from last year because they are lazy or if their fairly regular staff turnover means they actually don’t remember doing it. Anyway, since Oumuamua may have come from the direction of the Pleiades, this ties the waste of time to the putative topic. Seth Shostak returns to the show to blather about the Pleiades and Michio Kaku does the same, because the two men never turn down a chance to put their mugs on TV. Bruce Fenton alleges that many ancient sites were either aligned to or patterned after the Pleiades. This is of no particular value since the constellation is so prominent that any imitation of it is to be expected. David Childress, however, finds this unconvincing and suggests that no one would be interested in those stars if aliens didn’t live there. Jason Martell seems to call the Bronze Age Nebra Sky disc, which depicts the Pleiades among other astronomical objects, an “artifact coming out the 1600s.” I assume he meant BCE, but the show doesn’t bother to explain that. For no reasons, the narrator offhandedly wonders if humanity originated in the Pleiades. That would be a tall order since they had just finished telling us in previous episodes that humanity had been created by Anunnaki genetically engineering apes into humans.
The second segment discusses the Hawaiian new year’s festival, which is tied to the reappearance of the Pleiades, known in Hawaiian as Makali‘i. The show alleges that native Hawaiian believe themselves to be hybrids from the Pleiades, but this isn’t supported by extant literature. The show also claims that other indigenous cultures such as those of Siberia, Australia, and even the Maya believe themselves or their cultures to descend from the Pleiades. The stories they tell are false. They claim, for example, that native Hawaiians believe in Lemuria or Mu, an impossibility since those fake continents weren’t invented until the nineteenth century for Lemuria and the twentieth century for Mu. (The warrant for this is an old Polynesian story that the Pacific islands they occupied were once linked, a story whose transparent origins have nothing to do with James Churchward’s fake continent, or the wrongheaded effort to relocate Lemuria from the Indian Ocean (where the Victorians had put it) to the Pacific so it could be Mu. Giorgio Tsoukalos returns to an old claim he once made about Atlantis—that it was a massive spaceship—and recycles it for Lemuria. The narrator claims Lemuria flew off into space to return to the Pleiades, but no one seems to have given much thought to the physics of moving a continent the size of the Pacific or what that would have done to the Earth when you push against it with the power needed to lift that much mass. You can tell they gave it no thought because the animation to illustrate it depicts Lemuria as roughly the size of a football stadium.
And yet, somehow, we are not even halfway through. In the third segment, we are off to Tibet where Tibetan Buddhism’s seven sages are imagined to be aliens from the Pleiades. The show alleges that the Sherpas of the Himalayas inherited their oxygen-regulation genes from the sages, who they say are the Denisovans. The Denisovans are thought to have given the Sherpas their oxygen-regulation gene, so naturally the show decides to devote a chunk of the segment to the Denisovans--again—a subject covered multiple times on Ancient Aliens. Andrew Collins pops up to promote his book claiming that Denisovans were Nephilim-giant civilizing gods. The show claims that indigenous peoples who descend from Denisovans are also members of cultures who imagine themselves as coming from the Pleiades. The narrator calls this a “profound connection,” and George Noory arrives to complicate the issue by reminding everyone that modern American “experiencers” believe the Pleiades to be inhabited by Nordic light-skinned Aryan super-gods. Connect the dots for ignorant racism!
The show backs off of its own claims by accidentally admitting that just as many ancient cultures have special relationships to Orion, Sirius, or other stars. Consequently, they undermine their own thesis unless you are willing to concede that aliens from “more than one star system” adopted different cultural groups for some strange reason. The ancient astronaut theorists all agree that there is “a whole roster” of different aliens who, as William Henry claims, all had sex with human women to create a panoply of hybrids. The implausibility of that claim should be self-evident even to Ancient Aliens, but somehow it is not; nor, for that matter, do they notice that the claim would mean that different ethnic groups are not just genetically distinct by also quite nearly separate species, another ignorantly racist claim.
The fourth segment covers Serpent Mound in Ohio, which the ancient astronaut theorists allege is a monument to a (misrepresented) Native story that a water serpent and thunderbird using “high technology” battled over the mound and sprinkled it with iridium debris. (The original story involved a thunderbird killing a horned serpent in a lake with a lightning bolt.) Why not read my book about the mounds instead? After this, the show relates the Greek myth of the Seven Sisters, who became the Pleiades after the hunter Orion pursued them, and they allege that a story from the Kiowa of seven maidens escaping a bear by becoming the Pleiades after Devil’s Tower grew and grew until they reached the sky is, in Bruce Fenton’s words, “identical” and therefore refers to a war between beings from the Pleiades and Orion. Unfortunately, the show misrepresents the Greek tale, which involved the sisters committing suicide after suffering a tragic loss. Not the same. Somehow this returns to Lemuria, with the bonkers idea that the Lemurians folded their continent into a ship to escape Noah’s Flood (!) and this time—contradicting Tsoukalos from only minutes earlier—descended into the ocean to live in a giant underwater base. I’ve given up on the show remembering what its talking heads say from one episode to the next, but is it so much to ask that the producers remember what they said in the same episode?
The fifth segment involves modern UFO tales, including claims from Enrique Castillo Rincon, a UFO abductee who said his abductors were from the Pleiades and made him an ambassador from the Pleiades to the Earth. The claim is so stupid that I wonder how the talking heads can talk about it seriously. Naturally, the show returns to its frequent refrain that the aliens are “preparing” humanity for their return, yet like Jesus’ second coming, they are somehow always about to arrive to save us but never actually do. Weirdly enough, Ancient Aliens declines to discuss the man who popularized the Pleiades’ place in UFO lore. Perhaps the fact that the infamous Billy Meier identified the Pleiades as the aliens’ home system was too obviously false even for Ancient Aliens.
The final segment describes a comet that came from outside our solar system, even though this had nothing to do with aliens from the Pleiades. The talking heads seem to think that interstellar objects will prove the existence of life on other planets, though there is no evidence that any such objects are “intelligently directed” or artificially constructed. Giorgio Tsoukalos asserts that space aliens “will look like you and me” once they arrive, though this claim has nothing to do with any of the other claims in the segment. The narrator tries to tie it together by asserting that all of this surrounds the question of whether humans originated in the Pleiades, but even the most stones and sleepy viewers must have noticed that the pieces of this segment and the hour as a whole fit together even worse than usual and only rarely seemed to support the alleged thesis.
This episode is definitely Ancient Aliens Classic®. It’s a return to early seasons’ style, with no field segments and with the episode constructed out of talking head interviews, stock footage b-roll, and lazy computer graphics. I wonder if the demotion to Saturdays came with a cut to the show’s budget, or if they realized that viewers needed more than the ancient astronaut theorists’ vacation videos to stay engaged.
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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