As for Ancient Aliens, well this episode is about crop circles, which means that it is very similar to 2015’s “Circles from the Sky,” a previous episode covering the same material.
We open in Winchester, England in 2022 to look at a crop circle, followed by a definition of crop circles, pretty much as they did in their 2015 episode along with some stories about people who claim to have seen bright lights making the circles. The same examples of historical crop circle antecedents like the “Mowing-Devil” are again rehearsed, just as in 2015. Old, debunked videos also used in 2015 are shown again. The same discussion about whether all crop circles were hoaxes occurs again, and the show dismisses it yet again. However, the earlier episode took two segments to cover what this version is doing in just one. Linda Moulton-Howe seems to slide close to libel by accusing the men who confessed to faking crop circles in England in the 1990s of being “counterintelligence” agents. The only reason it wasn’t outright libel was that she didn’t use the word “agent,” giving History plausible deniability by suggesting she meant that they acted independently, which she obviously did not. The segment finishes by discussing “nodes,” or the part of the plant bent to make a circle. It’s a condensed version of segment 3 of the 2015 episode, with some of the same footage.
The second segment looks at a 1999 crop circle study, repeating material from the third segment of the 2015 episode about nodes and radiation. Allegedly, crop circles make plants grow faster due to radiation exposure. The show wonders why crop circle afterimages remain in the ground a year after a circle forms. The show suggests that this isn’t due to damage caused when humans disturb the plants but due to alien microwave energy burning the ground.
Then the segment goes into the question of whether crop circles include binary code messages, which is recycled from a 2014 episode about alien messages and codes. The show proceeds to repeat the first segment of that episode nearly verbatim.
A 2011 set of spiral crop circles near prehistoric sites about twenty miles apart in England leads to a repeat of a previous discussion about the spirals being a map of a magnetar, or a collision of two neutron stars. The show says magnetars are exactly 18 miles wide, which seems weird (the standard definition estimates their size at around 12 miles), and alleges the 2011 spirals “predicted” a magnetar discovered a few days later. Another bit about a crop circle representing a wormhole is repeated from the 2015 episode.
The fourth segment notes that one crop circle imitates a cymatic pattern, the visual pattern created by sound vibrating through a thin layer of sand. The show does not consider that hoaxers who create crop circles can also Google “cymatic patterns” and instead claims that the ancient Vedas contain extraterrestrial secrets of “primordial sounds” via mandalas. Again, they do not consider that crop circle hoaxers can also Google “mandalas.” The show alleges that ancient mandalas perfectly replicate cymatic patterns, but the show selectively picks out two mandalas to match two cymatic patterns, though majority of mandala and cymatic patterns do not exactly align with each other.
The fifth segment discusses admitted human-made crop circles—though alleging that this doesn’t mean other circles aren’t alien—and claims that circle-makers are “inspired” by aliens, guided by aliens, and endorsed by aliens in the form of having UFOs visit their circles. Various speakers claim aliens listen to their thoughts and either tell them how to make circles or will return to add to the circles they made. You’d think if they could do that, the aliens would just write in English. Anyway, the show uses this to allege that “even” human-made circles are really alien communication, thus abnegating the very notion of hoaxing.
At the commercial, Pierce Brosnan, who is hosting an upcoming series called History’s Greatest Heists, says of his show, “You can’t make this stuff up.” He apparently is not aware that he is on the History Channel. Making stuff up is their brand.
The show discusses British government investigations of UFOs, which is not unexpected given their prominence in the U.K., but the show alleges that the British government is itself creating circles to communicate with aliens. As is de rigueur in the era when Ancient Aliens is a de facto Congressional research service, the episode ends by tying its theme back to the U.S. government and the UFO videos that prompted so much Congressional action last year. The show asks if the Pentagon had a secret crop circle program to complement its secret (but, really, unofficial and nearly non-existent) 2010-2017 UFO investigation. The show ends with the same bunch of useless questions it opened with, leading to no conclusion other than this episode was a waste of time.
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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