This minor foray into the depths of right-wing abuse of history is about on par with tonight’s Ancient Aliens, which also ventures into fabrication as it recycles its ten most mysterious “devices” for another instant-rerun countdown list. Note: Many of the “devices” on the list are not, in fact, devices at all but rather artifacts. Also, the show already did a clip-show episode entitled “Mysterious Devices,” from which they excerpt a second time parts of this one. Yes, this is a rehash of a previous clip show, and they didn’t even bother to come up with a new title.
10. The Djed Pillar. A repeat of an oft-repeated claims likening the Egyptian symbol to a Tesla coil. Seen in several episodes; I’m not sure which is copy-pasted here.
9. The Dropa Stones. A fraud so obvious that even Jacques Vallée called it out. Cut and pasted from a 2017 episode.
8. Pachacuti’s Mirror. This was the third segment from the same 2017 episode from which the show excerpts to the Dropa Stones segment.
7. The Mitchell-Hedges Skull. From a 2013 episode devoted to crystal skulls.
6. The Royal Regalia of Japan. From a 2022 episode about dragons. For what it’s worth, the imperial regalia may not actually exist, since no one has ever seen it.
5. Talos. Likening Talos to a robot goes back to the middle twentieth century, and Erich von Däniken and the early ancient astronaut theorists made the claim many times. This version comes from a 2014 episode whose computer graphics haven’t aged well. I’ve covered this several times before.
4. King Solomon’s Ring. From a 2014 episode.
3. Tha Shamir. From the same episode, and originally the same segment, as the preceding excerpt about Solomon’s Ring.
2. Antikythera Mechanism. As seen in a 2014 episode (recycling an earlier segment from before my time reviewing the series) and later partly reused in a 2021 episode repeating much of the same material.
1. The Ark of the Covenant. One of the most frequently discussed topics on Ancient Aliens, I’m not sure which particular episode this segment came from. I’d guess it was 2013’s “Aliens and the Lost Ark” (recycled in the first “Mysterious Devices”). Much of the material was recycled in 2022 for “Recovering the Ark of the Covenant.”
Last week’s episode’s ratings were so low the show did not rank Nielsen’s top 150 cable broadcasts for the day. While that means less in the streaming era, it’s not good for the History channel’s marquee series.
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.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities, and subscribe to Culture & Curiosities, my Substack newsletter.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.