The ratings are in for Tuesday’s episode of America Unearthed, and the show’s audience ticked down a notch this week. Total viewers fell by 9,000 viewers to 431,000 live plus same day viewers, with a total rating of just 0.06 among the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults 18-49. The 10 PM ET broadcast of this week’s new episode was trounced in the ratings among that demographic by the 9 PM rerun of, yes, America Unearthed, which brought in a 0.09 rating against 372,000 viewers.
As much as I would prefer not to keep talking about Scott Wolter’s conversion to ancient astronaut theorist, his performance on Tuesday’s America Unearthed was so mind-numbingly stupid that I feel compelled to talk a bit more about it. Also, ancient astronauts are kind of my area of expertise and I would be remiss if I did not cover this thoroughly. First, I want to note that the producers were perversely clever in giving Wolter nine-tenths of the episode to debunk fake alien artifacts to bolster his bona fides before he dropped the hammer and declared the prima facie fake carving of the alien from Alien to be more than 9,000 years old. It was effective propaganda.
But on his blog, Wolter delivered a confused discussion of the “alien” artifact that belied the claims he made for it on TV. He now says that a few days after he filming the scenes in which he claimed to have found proof of alien contact in the remote past, he now says that he has determined that there are ways to make adhesive seem older than it is. But in the weeks since, he let the wrong conclusions go to air anyway because he is friends with Giorgio Tsoukalos of Ancient Aliens and now entertains the possibility that aliens impregnated Templars, or something like that:
I have come up with possible ways to make a glue that would date that far back and I hope to have the opportunity to test my idea. Setting [aside that] the artifacts might not be as old as the testing says, what if they really are that old? If so, then we have to seriously consider the possibility that ancient cultures in MesoAmerica did interact with extraterrestrial beings as my friend Giorgio Tsoukalos of "Ancient Aliens" fame has been telling us for the past two decades.
It seems that even Wolter recognizes that his conclusions from the episode are unlikely to be correct. I think it’s a pretty big ask to tell us to simply set aside the obvious problems with the artifacts in favor of fantasizing about what if. It’s a bit like planning your financial future based on the potential that your Mega Millions ticket will hit the jackpot.
What followed was an even more depressing display of ignorance:
I've never given the idea aliens visiting us from other planets a serious thought. That is, until now... I'm not ready to jump on the bandwagon yet, but until we get to the bottom of how old these artifacts really are, who made them, and if the obvious reference to aliens, spaceships and the interaction of apparent aliens with early native cultures, we must maintain an open mind to these possibilities. Irronically, the week before the episode aired, curious articles like this one appeared on news feeds: https://www.yahoo.com/news/navy-ufos-reporting-guidelines-updated-202515828.html Was this a coincidence, or something else?
The articles Wolter went on about were those related to the efforts of To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science to promote their current History Channel series Unidentified. To the Stars pushed the government to do more with UFO reporting and happily hyped the results to bolster the new series. The only “coincidence” is that both the Travel Channel, where America Unearthed airs, and the History Channel, where Unidentified airs, both began their summer seasons the week after Memorial Day, the traditional start of the summer TV season, allowing Wolter to imagine that his own efforts to copy Ancient Aliens have a deeper significance.
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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