I watched the first episode of the History Channel's Ancient Aliens "documentary" series, though not live--it isn't exaclty Lost, its timeslot competitor. No, let me take that back. It was a lot like Lost--wacky science, dubious mysteries, and all-encompassing belief that fate (as personified by the aliens/the island) lay behind every scrap of history. Only Lost is fiction, and the Ancient Aliens crew are a lot less telegenic.
This was quite possibly the single worst documentary I have ever seen, and I speak as someone who is not prima facie opposed to the concept of a documentary about aliens building pyramids. But this was just beyond the pale. There was not even a fig leaf skeptic to point out the utter lack of evidence for such preposterous claims (intoned with all seriousness) as these:
1. The Egyptians built obelisks to microwave beam Tesla electricity from Egypt to an orbiting satellite (!) that would send it to Easter Island to charge the power tools used to carve the Moa.
2. The Israelites wandered the desert for 40 years because the aliens gave them a giant machine that produced unlimited food--but only if it was cleaned every seven days, thus necessitating the Sabbath for the cleaning.
3. And there was an hour in their about the precision of the pyramids and blah, blah, blah...
This makes SyFy's Destination Truth look like a rigorous invetigative treatise. At least that show has a sense of humor about how silly some of its investigations really are.
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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