I had a very busy day yesterday and ran out of time for writing, but I wanted to share with you a bit of an interview that voiceover artist Robert Clotworthy did with Monsters & Critics recently. Clothworthy is the narrator of Ancient Aliens and The Curse of Oak Island and has spent a decade complicit in the spread of pseudoscience and conspiracy theories across the country and around the world. In the interview, Clotworthy was asked whether he believes the ancient astronaut theories he shares with the world on Ancient Aliens or whether he is a skeptic of his own show’s claims. So, is he a skeptic?
Well, I am…I have to look at it this way. I have a particular job with the show. And, if I were to go on one side of the fence or the other, if I was a skeptic, then it would be, the show would be different.
Clotworthy went on to endorse the idea that Ancient Aliens is not a science show but a show about New Age religious beliefs:
Again, my job is to be the audience. I’m not supposed to give you an opinion. It’s a show about questions. Its a show about searching for the answers. As humans, we’re told that from more and more people that it’s all just a cosmic field guide that we’re here. It’s the big bang, there’s no purpose to it.
That last line is disingenuous. The show doesn’t give “the” possibilities but rather a narrow set of unlikely possibilities defined by a heterogenous New Age belief system made from warmed over Theosophy and conspiracy theories. But the broader point is an important one—The Ancient Aliens crew are upset and distraught by scientific explanations for the cosmos that need lack teleological purpose. But unwilling to accept traditional explanations for the purpose of the universe, they try to find one that fits halfway between traditional Abrahamic Christianity and scientific materialism.
But when Clotworthy leans into the spiritual side of Ancient Aliens and refuses to outright endorse the show’s claims, it seems pretty clear that he thinks that a lot of the ancient astronaut theory is bullshit but is too happy to cash Prometheus Entertainment’s hefty checks to care about the consequences.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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