I can’t say that another hour devoted to cross-promotion of other UFO shows and rehashing government UFO investigations is all that interesting to me, particularly since Ancient Aliens has done this more than once over the past couple of years. However, people with the ear of Congress are babbling the fantasies that our national legislature is listening to, so I suppose we have to care.
The first segment discusses very briefly David Grusch’s claims with a Fox News clip of Marco Rubio. Some photos of Grush’s House testimony are spliced in to an episode clearly shot before he spoke last month; indeed, the episode must have been written after the June Debrief article but before Grusch’s NewsNation interview aired since it makes no mention of the dead aliens or secret treaties Grusch alleged. Instead of going into Grusch’s claims in any detail, the show rehashes a potted history of Projects Sign, Grudge, and Bluebook from 1948 to 1969. Ralph Blumenthal appears in this segment to criticize Project Bluebook. Material about Luis Elizondo and the AAWSAP/AATIP saga follows, with George Knapp cheering it on, repeating material from previous episodes on the subject. The UAP Task Force is also discussed, with Travis Taylor’s participation highlighted, and in each case the show alleges that the UFO investigation originated in the Pentagon, implying a deep military interest. Congressional involvement and influence from the same people now appearing on this show to tease their secret knowledge is ignored. UAP Task Force “chief scientist” Travis Taylor claims that he was invited to the UAP Task Force after reporting to the Pentagon that The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch had found, not aliens, but “electronic warfare” signatures. Note: Taylor ran to the Pentagon (which he does not here admit to being his then-employer; he previously said held jobs in both government and the History channel at the time) to report “electronic warfare” but still has not reported to the CDC the alleged “contagious” hitchhiker alien mind virus that he claims infected him and others and poses a clear and present danger.
The second segment deals with efforts to detect extraterrestrials, leading up to SETI, using stock footage and what seems to be recycled talking head bits from a previous episode that featured SETI. (SETI’s Seth Shostak used to be a regular on Ancient Aliens back in the 2010s.) After this the show rehashes Avi Loeb’s efforts to declare the interstellar object ‘Oumuamua an alien space probe. The show has covered this before, and Loeb’s clips in the segment are from the same interview featured in a February episode. Loeb compares himself to Galileo and suggests that “ridicule and stigma” is harming his search for UFOs just as much as the Church putting Galileo under house arrest harmed Galileo. Of course, Galileo had evidence, and Loeb wouldn’t face ridicule if he had any.
The third segment begins with a potted summary of the James Webb Telescope’s mission and images, with the hope that Webb will discover exoplanets inhabited by aliens. This leads into a discussion of NASA’s recent effort to investigate and identify UFOs in response to Congressional interest in UFOs. Blumenthal praises NASA and suggests they could identify spaceships coming in from “deep space” before any other agency. Somehow, however, the show sees no contradiction in immediately asserting that NASA already has knowledge of space aliens, leading into conspiracy theories about NASA coverups of flying saucers and “dead aliens,” citing Edgar Mitchell, the former astronaut who became an outspoken alien enthusiast in his later years.
The fourth segment summarizes the ancient astronaut theory in order to suggest UFOs have been here forever. The show again falsely claims that an 1870 photo of a rock is the “first” UFO photo. The rest of the segment praises smartphone cameras for their ability to photograph UFOs—though, of course, they haven’t produced any convincing images—and valorizes Jeremy Corbell for promoting, well, debunked videos of bokeh, bugs, flares, and other nonsense that the show pretends could be alien spaceships. Billy Carson is the featured talking head. He sells videos of himself lecturing on ancient astronauts as well as “how to raise millions of dollars for your business.” That video costs $220, which is also the secret for how to raise millions of dollars. This segment never actually gets around to making a point or remembering to ask if all this technology produced any actual evidence for aliens.
The fifth segment asks how A.I. can be used to help analyze UFO information. The 1971 Costa Rican photo of a shiny circle taken from above is discussed at length. Skeptics believe it to be a photo development anomaly, but a high-definition scan of the original contact sheet makes the circle more visible, not less, suggesting it is not simply a smudge or chip in the glass. On the other hand, it’s also a slightly irregular shape, which seems less than ideal for an alien spaceship. Enigma Labs’ data collection efforts are praised for using A.I. to attempt to identify “real” UFOs from prosaic objects.
The sixth segment is cross-promotion for sister show The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch, from the same production company. Travis Taylor says that his ability to appear on a reality TV show hunting space ghosts while also advising the Pentagon on UFOs marks “a new era” in history. “I am over the moon that this is happening!” Giorgio Tsoukalos says of government UFO interest, while the show accidentally acknowledges that there is not a scrap of conclusive evidence for space aliens yet uncovered despite seven decades of government research and nineteen seasons of Ancient Aliens. But if that’s the case, then where did these ideas come from? Best they not think about that too carefully or they might actually find the answer.
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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