As most of you know, I like to give alternative theorists the benefit of the doubt and actually listen to their evidence before explaining why their theories don’t make any sense. But they don’t make it easy. Have you seen the way Ancient Aliens star Giorgio Tsoukalos has been inflating his credentials? He is routinely identified as the “publisher of Legendary Times,” even though this is (a) only a newsletter and (b) apparently produced very irregularly. According to their website, the last issues were published in 2010—though as with everything in the ancient astronaut world, even this isn’t clear since the website stopped being updated regularly. There is no evidence of any issues after 2010 after a Google search. I’m not sure what kind of credential it is to be the publisher of a title that no one is allowed to know if it still exists.
Anyway, Tsoukalos has also taken to promoting himself as the “author” of something called Gods or Ancient Aliens?, implying that this is a book, since that is typically what authors write. So, since, as I said, I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt to alternative theorists, I figured I ought to read this book to see what evidence it provides for the ancient astronaut theory. I Googled it, and… nothing. Just as searching for Legendary Times fails to turn up the magazine, a search for Gods or Ancient Aliens yields no book. Instead, all I can find is a 90-minute “dynamic, fast-paced powerpoint [sic] presentation” and a rash of fake (I hope) OkCupid profiles for Giorgio Tsoukalos copying his promotional text about being the “author” of Gods or Ancient Aliens.
Is that all it takes to be an “author” in the ancient astronaut world? I suppose after having redefined “science” as “opinions” and “facts” as “lies,” ancient astronaut theorists can also redefine “author” as someone who pastes together quotes for a PowerPoint presentation.
But it cheapens the title of author for all of us—including, heaven help us, ancient astronaut theorists—who actually do the work of writing actual books.
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.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter, The Skeptical Xenoarchaeologist, 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.