The three pundits claim that Ancient Aliens is itself the engine driving a cultural shift toward acceptance of and belief in space aliens visiting Earth. Tsoukalos adds that it has shifted the “zeitgeist” so that it is “in our favor.” They are right, but I don’t agree that this is a good thing, when fantasy supersedes reality.
Only a few minutes in, the show tells its first lie, falsely identifying an 1870 photograph of a frost formation on Mount Washington in New Hampshire as a cigar-shaped flying spacecraft.
The first “pioneer” profiled is Charles Fort. Unable to sustain interest for a full thirty seconds, the show inserts an irrelevant discussion of Roswell before moving on to discuss Coral Lorenzen, a midcentury collector of UFO sighting accounts. More interesting is the people left out—no mention of Richard Shaver or Raymond Palmer or George Adamski. Apparently, they are too embarrassing, too obviously making things up, to be worthy of the Ancient Aliens pantheon.
The next segment discusses J. Allen Hynek, the onetime skeptic who became convinced that UFOs were something more than merely natural phenomena. Again, unable to sustain interest very long, they jump to Jacques Vallée, whom they wrongly credit as being much more original a thinker than he was. Earlier writers had pioneered his supposed insights, and Vallée, as we well know, misunderstood or falsified many of the ancient texts he claimed to analyze. A worshipful profile of Vallée talks of him as though he had made actual discoveries about interdimensional UFOs and didn’t merely speculate. He speculated so widely about so many different possibilities that something was bound to match whatever the current flavor of the month in ufology currently is.
After the break, a segment covers a Rod Serling-narrated 1974 documentary, which originated in 1972 as a Nixon campaign propaganda effort aimed at discussing Nixon’s record on science. The final version, now independent of Nixon, went full UFO and claimed an alien landing at an Air Force base. I described it years ago. There is no documentary evidence that the story is true.
Stanton Friedman is up next, but the show doesn’t even pretend to profile him. Instead, we get a second discussion of Roswell. After the break, Linda Moulton Howe visits by video call to discuss her career, particularly her obsession with cattle mutilation, a “phenomenon” experts attribute to natural causes and predation, not space aliens. A repeat mutilation segment follows.
After another break, the show discusses Bob Lazar with material from its recent previous episodes about Lazar, particularly this one and this one. It does not acknowledge the various controversies over Lazar’s absurd claims about space alien research at Area 51, but it does reuse footage from Jeremy Corbell’s Bob Lazar documentary for what, as best I remember, is now the third time.
The final segment describes former CIA director John O. Brennan’s recent claim that he personally does not know what UFOs are, a claim that ufologists have alleged has some relevance to the U.S. government’s alleged conspiracy to suppress the truth and/or stage-manage disclosure. It’s both and neither, so take your pick, according to Tsoukalos.
The show literally repeats itself by ending with the same clip of Tsoukalos talking about Ancient Aliens changing the zeitgeist “in our favor” and fomenting the disclosure that it used earlier in this episode.
3/6/2021 08:17:57 pm
It’s no wonder AA keeps reeling in an audience. Few TV viewers practice critical thinking skills anymore, even folks who probably used to do so. As a side job I teach critical thinking to (mostly) millennials, and one assignment I give them is to watch an AA episode and then submit 700 words describing five claims presented without evidence, or evidence without meaningful provenance. Whether they are fans of the genre or not, most are surprised at how poor the show is on an intellectual level. It’s good practice for them, so I guess “thank you AA”.
3/6/2021 11:06:53 pm
Growing up in 1960’s America I watched all things UFO and Sci Fi related. From old 1950’s Sci Fi movies to 1960’s television: “Star Trek”, and “The Outer Limits”, to “The Invaders”. Even the cheesy, cartoonish, “Lost in Space” with that flamboyant old queen Jonathan Harris was a Wednesday night staple for me. But perhaps my favorite was an obscure 1970 British Sci Fi series called “UFO”. Set in the far off distant 1980. Where “moon base alpha” was inhabited by hot young women who wore purple wigs and silver mini skirts. Not to be out done, the men on earth roamed the oceans in futuristic submarines searching for the next UFO attack while wearing see thru mesh shirts that showed off their chiseled frames and hairy chests. And if you weren’t kicking alien butt, you were shagging! Yeah baby! And for a teenage boy going thru puberty it was about the coolest show ever!
Tom M wrote:
3/9/2021 12:27:48 pm
There are any number of conservative, liberal, and moderate women who have appeared in outfits that would make a miniskirt look tame going back to the pinups girls of World War Two..
Anthony Du Suger
3/13/2021 01:03:03 pm
"Nude on the Moon" was made in 1961.
3/7/2021 02:04:03 pm
3/7/2021 03:27:44 pm
Wow, you really can see anything anywhere can't you?
3/9/2021 04:49:24 am
DaVinci gives you two views. One with two fingers and one with both hands. Depending upon which finger you align your mirror. The two hands to hold open the vagina goes back to prehistory. There are figurines over 30,000 years old using the same pose. This was even allegedly on one side of the Great pyramid. The literature for which is available on this blog.
3/9/2021 12:52:31 pm
What exactly are you having trouble with?""
3/13/2021 02:07:41 pm
[Uh, the way you keep hammering with your insane beliefs/assertions.
3/13/2021 05:39:49 pm
Hmm. You previously claimed FIVE state football championships. That's the problem with liars, keeping the story straight.
3/15/2021 01:35:18 am
"Hmm. You previously claimed FIVE state football championships. That's the problem with liars, keeping the story straight."
3/7/2021 05:38:24 pm
I am currently re-reading "We've Never Been Alone" by Paul von Ward.(2004-2011-originally published as "Gods, Genes, & Consciousness") Because no 'aliens' have landed on the White House lawn and openly announced their arrival(s) , we examine circumstantial evidence, often thousands of years old, and try to make sense of, or interpret what we see. When I look at shows like 'Ancient Aliens' ( I haven't watched in years) then look at NASA photos of the Universe, it is obvious to me that we cannot be alone. The mechanics of making us-and our consciousness- even exist at all must be repeated trillions of times over and over again. There must be underlying biological-chemical-particle astrophysics processes at work in the Universe. We are proof of that! However, minds like the Bob Lazars often muddy the waters and make the entire premise one of doubt and ridicule. There is a fine line here, somewhere, between probability and all-out dilutions. Don't let the nut jobs detract mankind from an honest and sensible true course of study. Keep an open mind. Keep looking to the stars for answers!
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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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