Where do I begin?: ‘Ancient Aliens’

Ancient Aliens first aired on The History Channel in 2010, and for one month this year, I let it take over my life. The documentary-style series, produced by the Emmy Award-winning Kevin Burns, follows a group of conspiracy theorists as they attempt to convince the audience that life and culture on Earth began with aliens. Many of the “experts” featured in the show have no credentials other than having authored non-academic books on the subject. In fact, most of their claims have been blatantly rejected by actual scholars with training in archeology, and even Carl Sagan did not believe in UFOs

The Experience

The first time I watched this show, I was in disbelief. This piece of media called Ancient Aliens is out there, and the people that the show cites as specialists in alien activity are apparently real. But, from the get-go, before any so-called ‘experts’ have even been introduced, the show already had me in a daze of wonder and confusion. 

One of the immediately startling aspects of the show is its terrible production quality. The show uses bad artist renditions to help the audience visualize the encounters of ancient humans with extraterrestrial life, and I cannot imagine a worse use of money. Within seconds, I was hearing blatantly false statements, including that scientists do not understand the Bermuda Triangle. In reality, the phenomenon of airplanes and ships disappearing in the area between Southern Florida, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico has been explained by scientists as nothing abnormal. The narrator, Robert Clotworthy, had already thrown a series of bold claims at the audience with absolutely no supporting evidence even before someone that the producers cite as an expert makes an appearance on screen. Words like “decades” and “millions” are used arbitrarily, seemingly at random, without citing any actual research. 

The Highlights

The first ‘expert’ that appears on screen in season two is none other than the disheveled-looking conspiracy theorist of meme fame Giorgio A. Tsoukalos. While I am delighted that most people do not take him seriously, it is still beyond me that anyone would pay him to appear on a show where all he does is throw meaningless sentences at the camera. What sets the cast of “experts” in this show apart is that they had the gumption to go out there and make these claims to the public. 

The title sequence is a remarkable piece of television. Ominously vague questions such as “Who were they?” and “Why did they come?” flash across the screen. These words, which rattle my core to this day, float mysteriously across stock images of the pyramids, Stonehenge, and other famous landmarks that drift around the words. 

The Power

Ancient Aliens went so far as to actually make me believe in aliens less. I have always accepted that the universe is infinite, so it makes sense that there would be life out there somewhere. But, the cast of this show and their alleged “evidence” of aliens have made me reconsider where I stand. Everything they say seems to discredit them more and more, yet the show stays true to its path. I can only compare the producers of Ancient Aliens to a horse with blinders on, except they put the blinders on themselves to actively ignore the scientific evidence that overwhelmingly counters all of their claims. In a weird way, I respect their stubbornness, and maybe it was the sheer audacity of everyone involved in its production that convinced me to keep watching the show a decade later.

6 Comments

  1. You need to get your head out of the hole it’s in. You need to be more open-minded because if you think that current Scientists, Archaeologists and Egyptologists have the answers, you’re in for a big surprise. As our technology gets better (i.e. LIDAR), genealogy, etc.), the things we thought were facts, will be disproven and theories that you think are pseudoscience, will be the new facts and all our current text books will have to be rewritten. Now that we have multiple scientific disciplines working together (to include engineers, stone masons, geologists, etc), the answers to Humanity’s complicated past will be revealed. Do more research before you write anything else. Your article stinks.

  2. Paul Waygood

    Response to A Believer.
    Your name by implication suggests a form of faith. Faith in the fact that the whole of the “Ancient Alien” spiel is true. Your childish “faith” denies facts that stare into your closed eyes. You want it to be true. Conjecture does not prove anything. Could, would and if are words used so very often on the show. Never has anything been proven to substanciate your religion like, faith.
    The universe is huge (no proof of being infinite yet*) and I believe the probability of extraterrestrial life is likely.
    Why this life would come here, defying the laws of physics to get here to bugger around with humanity doesn’t bear investigation. An older civilization may have far better tools, spacecraft etc. However if the laws of physics are true as has been PROVEN they just won’t have been here. If as is regularly spouted on AA that we were/are stupid and they are oooh so clever who taught them? God?
    A ridiculous show based on false premises followed by niave idiots.

  3. Soumya Ranjan pradhan

    I have written many more theories and i want to join ancient aliens. I am from India. I am preet sure that my theories will amaze you. Can you help me please.

  4. Soumya Ranjan pradhan

    I am a Hindu guy and have a great knowledge on hinduism, holy scriptures and tells. I have written many theories on ancient alien and I am sure any ancient alien believer will amaze by reading it. I have unlock some of the great mystery and solve many riddles. But i am not able to contact ancient alien, can you please help me. Gd day.

  5. Michael Briggs

    E=MC2 Are solar systems is shrinking as the sun gets smaller its gravity pulls the Goldilocks Zone.
    Saton and Jupiter gravity pulls on the Mars moves the Goldilocks Zone closer.
    This will give Mars life?
    As Jupiter is pushed away from the Sun Venus is pulled closer to the Sun which is shrinking (e=mc2)
    We are now in the Goldilocks Zone and the Earth is cooling as it gets closes to Mars with the Sun shrinking (e=mc2).

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