As mentioned previously, I have an inexplicable fondness for the “Ancient Aliens” show on the History channel. It’s such a bizarre mishmash of every crazy idea out there in the UFO community that it ends up being hilarious where it ought to be just reprehensible.

To give you an idea of the wackiness, the episode they re-ran last night featured a guy whose job title was “Biblical archaeologist,” which is usually incredibly dodgy– most of the people appearing on the History channel with that job title are trying to use archeology to demonstrate the literal truth of some Old Testament story. On this show, though, he was the voice of reason.

Anyway, while I was half-dozing and watching them swing between weirdly literal readings of the Bhagavad Gita and the Bible, I thought of the scene in Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco, in which Jacopo Belbo divides the world into four types of people: cretins, fools, morons, and lunatics. Cretins and fools never bother publishers like the Belbo and the narrator, and morons just use logic incorrectly. A lunatic, on the other hand, is “a moron who doesn’t know the ropes”:

The lunatic is all idée fixe, and whatever he comes across confirms his lunacy. You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense, by his flashes of inspiration, and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.

It seemed like the Ancient Aliens folks had hit all the bases of Eco’s definition of the lunatic, except for the Templars. I didn’t really see any way they could be connected to the loopy cosmology of the show, though.

It turns out, though, that I was underestimating them.

In the final half-hour or so, the meandering discussion of crazy things somehow wandered into Nova Scotia, specifically Oak Island. Whereupon everybody’s favorite windblown alien expert explained that the hidden treasure at the bottom of the Oak Island “money pit” was the alien power supply/ communications device, knife missile known to humans as the Ark of the Covenant. Which wound up at the bottom of a deep hole in Nova Scotia because it was carried there by…

…wait for it…

… The Templars!

He shoots! He scores! The crowd goes wild!

I think they really have achieved the Grand Unified Theory of Kookiness with this show. They’ve managed to tie essentially every batty belief, fringe fantasy, and nutty notion into a giant web of lunacy. It’s an astonishing piece of work.

And that was only the next-to-last episode of this season. I have a hard time imagining what they have left to connect to this all-encompassing kook cosmology. Suggestions are welcome in the comments, though.

Comments

  1. #1 Bob O'H
    May 23, 2010

    Perhaps they’ll suggest that mankind’s miseries are caused by the souls of aliens who were killed millions of years ago by an evil lord by being dropped onto volcanoes that were then nuked with hydrogen bombs. These souls now attach themselves to human bodies, and have to be removed through expensive counseling.

  2. #2 dean
    May 23, 2010

    If they look below the ark they’ll find the original plans for putting a socialist, foreign-born, pact-with-the-devil-making black man into the presidency of this country. examination will show that the plans were written in the 1950s and, once things were put into place, transported through time.

    there will be no mention of teabaggers, however – that would just be silly and nobody would buy it.

  3. #3 nina
    May 23, 2010

    have they tied in the reptilian aliens who are linked to the Bush clan and Tony Blair?

  4. #4 Rob R.
    May 23, 2010

    Bob O’H:
    Perhaps they’ll suggest that mankind’s miseries are caused by the souls of aliens who were killed millions of years ago by an evil lord by being dropped onto volcanoes that were then nuked with hydrogen bombs. These souls now attach themselves to human bodies, and have to be removed through expensive counseling.

    That’s just silly. Anyone, worth the tin-foil hat on their head, knows that the soul gets caught up in John Lear’s* Soul Catcher on the Moon

    *Side Note: His father is the Lear in Lear Jet.

  5. #5 Geoff
    May 23, 2010

    Brilliant!

    You see, I’m quite proud of that fact that I can trace my family back to very-possibly the Templars. Don’t worry, I don’t take it very seriously, but it’s a good way to mess with a conspiracy theorist’s head.

    Both my mother and my father’s families can be traced back to the clan Gunn, who were hired by the Templars (whilst in a Star Wars III style, self-imposed exile) to guide them to the new world. There’s apparently a grave out belonging to a Scottish knight by the name of James Gunn.

    My middle name is James, I mean come on, how much proof do you need?!

    So I’ve always claimed to have a pre-Columbian claim on not only the US, but in fact all of continental North America.

    And now you tell me I also own the Ark of the Covenant, which is incidentally much the same as the 2001 monolith?

    Cool…..

    :)

  6. #6 Rob R.
    May 23, 2010

    sorry for the bad link.

    John Lear’s Soul Catcher on the Moon

    There, now I’ve just blown your minds.

  7. #7 Christopher
    May 23, 2010

    I always knew there was something wrong with Nova Scotia.

    And now I have proof.

  8. #8 Rob R.
    May 23, 2010

    okay, how about…

    http://www.thelivingmoon.com/47john_lear/menu.html

    … now?

    (this really isn’t worth the effort, The Powers That Be obviously don’t want this information out there!)

  9. #9 scidog
    May 24, 2010

    Geoff–hummm..i’m also a Gunn by way of a sept,and my middle name is James,and the family never talked about what went on in Scotland around me–it was always “the boys don’t need to hear about that”..maybe we should contact the History Channel as “experts” in something.

  10. #10 Birger Johansson
    May 24, 2010

    Nova Scotia? That is approximately where the southernmost “Vinland” viking settlement is believed to have been…..maybe we have found the real reason why the vikings were unable to hang on… (insert references to Yogge-Sothoth, Nyarlahotep and other sinister entities / Other narrative universe: Wait for agent Muller to show up and find viking style rock carvings depicting things with tentacles)

  11. #11 pluky
    May 24, 2010

    Props for the “knife missle” reference. Love me some Iain Banks. Now if only I could figure out how to translate myself to some parallel universe where I could be a Culture citizen.

  12. #12 Not Sure
    September 24, 2010

    Has anyone considered the fact that perhaps there may be some truth in some of this, after all you have to admit it’s no more kookie than the Egyptians building the Great Pyramid or the Aztec’s or whoever building the great cities in Latin America using bronze/Copper or even stone tools…??? theres a lot of stuff out there that can’t be answered using the Norm..

  13. #13 E
    November 13, 2010

    I think there are a lot of crazy theories that are thrown out there regarding interpretations of ancient texts. The things presented in this show that are really interesting are the ancient structures that cannot be explained by modern engineering or archeology.

  14. #14 looking4trth
    November 25, 2010

    Here’s a thought: There’s more “evidence” to suggest the existence of “Ancient Aliens” than there is Jesus!! Why would one be less believable than the other?

    Seeingthetrth

  15. #15 Mike
    December 28, 2010

    So, Chad, which are you: cretin, fool, moron, or lunatic?

  16. #16 jdog85
    January 8, 2011

    “I’m not suggesting these ancient sites didn’t require awesome engineering skills (or the backs of slave labor), but giving credence to alien-gods insults human ingenuity.”
    -Leigh E. Rich

    I’ve always had a serious problem with this “aliens influenced ancient cultures” BS. For starters, people 10,000 years ago had just as much brain capacity as we do now. Homo Sapiens have been around for a good 200,000 years. However, all the truly important technologies (that we know of) have come about in the last 4,000 years. So what were we doing for the other 196,000 years, sitting around with our thumbs up our asses? More and more scientists are finding evidence that ancient cultures were at least as advanced as we are now (hell, the Aztecs knew more about mathematics than we did 100 years ago). I believe eventually we’ll find an ancient laptop or nuclear reactor or something and them mainstream science will have to accept that ancient people were as smart as we are now, not the stone-chucking dummies we like to think they were.

  17. #17 jdog85
    January 8, 2011

    “I’m not suggesting these ancient sites didn’t require awesome engineering skills (or the backs of slave labor), but giving credence to alien-gods insults human ingenuity.”
    -Leigh E. Rich

    I’ve always had a serious problem with this “aliens influenced ancient cultures” BS. For starters, people 10,000 years ago had just as much brain capacity as we do now. Homo Sapiens have been around for a good 200,000 years. However, all the truly important technologies (that we know of) have come about in the last 4,000 years. So what were we doing for the other 196,000 years, sitting around with our thumbs up our asses? More and more scientists are finding evidence that ancient cultures were at least as advanced as we are now (hell, the Aztecs knew more about mathematics than we did 100 years ago). I believe eventually we’ll find an ancient laptop or nuclear reactor or something and them mainstream science will have to accept that ancient people were as smart as we are now, not the stone-chucking dummies we like to think they were.

    As for why it’s so hard to find evidence, watch Life After People sometime and you’ll know why.

  18. #18 Mark
    January 12, 2011

    While I can not necessarily accept the suggested theories as to our intellectual origins, I must admit that the History channel’s “Ancient Aliens” is, at the very least, original. I do not accept the “science” behind the theory, but will say that there are some interesting ideas being proposed. If that makes me a moron or cretin in your eyes, then so be it, but I do think that some of these ideas should be looked into by a more traditional and skeptical group of scientists. You may argue that humans have had the intellectual ability and engineering prowess to have constructed some of the structures, simply stating it doesn’t make it true. While I am sure that some of the positions that some of the researchers of the show seem to be a bit “out there,” this doesn’t make them wrong or mainstream scientists more right. For me the best answer is a simple I don’t know.

  19. #19 doug rozplochowski
    January 14, 2011

    page 3 please go to dwight rozplochowski at facebook or contact me at starmyself@yahoo.com
    for the first three pages if your interested in What im talking about!

    Now the stuff that causes life to evolve, that is why scientest can’t find it that is they can find fossils of living creatures that make it seem like we evolved only they can’t figure out how
    and that is where the story’s from Antient Aliens the t.v. show comes in and those that are on it as well as the story of the tower of babel, that is the people on that show believe that
    aliens came and put some of their D.N.A. in us and that is how we evolved from primates into what we are now.
    According to certain authors, intelligent extraterrestrial beings called ancient astronauts or ancient aliens have visited Earth, and this contact is connected with the origins or development of human cultures, technologies, and religions. A common variant of the idea include proposals that deities from most, if not all, religions are actually extraterrestrials, and their technologies were taken as evidence of their divine status.That they did this to get us to mine gold and other material for them
    only the story of the tower of babel says when they came we were already like we are and changed our language and with that tecnowledgy that is to change our lanuage they would know what materials on earth would cause us to evolve and this stuff would be more valuble then anything else for with it we could of made medicines that would extend our lifes and futher advance our evolution.
    That is ancient aliens or astronauts people say that they can’t figure out why they left and didn’t come back for there is more gold here.
    So I believe when they came they didn’t dig up gold but took all the elements that caused us to evolve and every mineral that would create this material on top the planet that they took every thing from the earth that would make it as well from our entire solor system and that is what they were diging for not gold but materials that would help us, that it wasn’t so people could come up with the story of Adam and Eve and the tree of life and the tree of knowledge that was moses and the pharaoh Akhenaten in which was pharaoh when the isrealites left egypt that they misunderstood the old text of the storys they were reading and came up with those storys from the stuff that caused all life on earth to evolve for it was rare like gold or dimands only more presious and is what caused us to be come sentient. That is just like a man has to do it with a women and join sperm and that is microbes as I have explained that is our sperm so we do evolve from microbes this stuff is what caused the evolututionary jumps that made us and when different cells come in contact with this stuff causes a diferent mutatian so to speak that is it caused us to grow and become senceiant and would also be able to make us smarter and as I said if Jehovah found us to be a threat this substance would of aided us in our futher evalution and for a being that is about twelve billion years old would find this substance very valuable that is also why we don’t and won’t be able to contact other beings that is weither you believe in ancient aleins or the ones at babel for they put a out of limits on our solor system due to the prophecy about the human race and Jehovah the being ruling in the direction of Orion and some dog star that is they took it all from earth and possible our solor system that part that is from our solor system I’m not exactly sure of because all the information that was down loaded in my nogin I kind of did have a small break down and that it is taken me a few years to get my faciltys back togather.
    That is why I would love to get a hold of some of the people from ancient aliens for they might under stand what I am talking about and would understand me better then most not that others won’t understand me just they are right about stuff just got it confused that is they can prove that there were those diggen for something and like that place in The Nazca Lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. The Nazca Lines include straight lines and geometric shapes as well as stylized depictions of animals, humans and plants. The figures include:monkey, condor, round-headed, rather friendly-looking human (known as “the astronaut”), another human figure, spider, hummingbird, hands, tree and that they removed part of a mountian top.
    They can can Radiocarbon dating (sometimes simply known as carbon dating) is a radiometric dating method that uses the naturally occurring radioisotope carbon-14 (14C) to estimate the age of carbonaceous materials up to about 58,000 to 62,000 years.[1] Raw, i.e. uncalibrated, radiocarbon ages are usually reported in radiocarbon years “Before Present” (BP), “Present” being defined as 1950 CE. Such raw ages can be calibrated to give calendar dates. One of the most frequent uses of radiocarbon dating is to estimate the age of organic remains from archaeological sites. When plants fix atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) into organic material during photosynthesis they incorporate a quantity of 14C that approximately matches the level of this isotope in the atmosphere (a small difference occurs because of isotope fractionation, but this is corrected after laboratory analysis
    That is they can date stuff only that can’t date when some one moves rocks and that is they realy can’t say or date certian sites on earth only the carbon they find only when they seperated us at babel in the bible they took some to different places on earth and these people dug for them only they didn’t know what the ones that seemed like gods to them were actualy taking at the time.
    and their was moe then one race and that is if we go to other worlds and discover other life forms they will be worshiping different gods then they do on earth and when they came at Babel as I’ve said Jehovah said let us go down there and that is different life forms representing their gods and that is why different relgions believe in different etuff and the different races gave the ones they moved their language and told them to worship thheir main god.
    And it would acount for why scientest can find fossils that prove life evolved and changed on earth and as to why they can’t find were the stuff went that caused it for it was due to the beings that came at babel and took all of it from earth and then qurantined our solor system from other sencient beings.

  20. #20 MIKE HUNT
    January 23, 2011

    what about Puma Punku ? how can this amazing feat be accomplished with such precision over a 1000 years ago ?

  21. #21 Dan Wiltfong
    April 1, 2011

    I love the series “Ancient Aliens”. This is definately my new religion. Yes, some of their theories are at the hieght of kookiness, the hollow moon theory is case and point. I don’t think that they are saying these are facts, just possible theories up for legitimate debate. The theory that sells me on ancient aliens is Pumapunku in Bolivia. Megalithic sites around the world are hard to explain but Pumapunku takes the cake.

  22. #22 seanb47
    September 25, 2011

    I whole heartedly agree with Dan W..There are just too many discrepancies that are conflicting with the facts and what is theorized from unknown facts.Erich Von Daniken’s “Chariots Of The Gods” is the basis of this ideoligy most of these gentlemen get the basis of their creedance from and one would have to be a devout man of whatever religious faith out there to not give Von Daniken credit for asking the questions he does in his studies noted in the book.Which are essentially what this eludes to the heart of being about despite some of the “whacky” ideas or speculations of others.I say be open minded to the very mathimatical reality that we are not the only species in. the Universe.

  23. #23 livv
    September 28, 2011

    jdog85. you’re an idiot. We are homo sapien sapiens. homo sapiens were the man prior to us. humans thinking.. we are thinking humans thinking.. one step above.

  24. #24 JustAnotherSoul
    September 28, 2011

    All I’ve heard on this show and in your comments are assumptions derived from relatively unexplained facts. I am never one to discredit human ingenuity. One might argue and say that the baffling ignorance of people back then (based on their beliefs such as human sacrifices) could easily demolish any idea of their intelligence being high enough to design such great architectural wonders. However, I still see incredible ignorance in people all around us even when education and technology have clearly taught us otherwise. I refuse to believe that aliens are playing hide and seek with us because they are testing us. I understand how many stars and planets are out there and can easily imagine how many other intelligent civilizations could have formed. However, I hope you understand that this only further affirms that there is very little chance any civilization could have made it past it’s star’s supernova and other such disasters. I refuse to believe in a god that won’t show himself because of some ultimate purpose. I only believe that we are the highly improbable yet inevitable product of nature.

  25. #25 JustAnotherSoul
    September 28, 2011

    and Rob R., your quote:

    “Anyone worth the tin-foil hat on their head…” I find this very amusing :-) I googled it and apparently, you are the only one who said this online…so far.

  26. #26 Joe The Artist
    November 17, 2011

    It’s good to see that the garbage proffered by the so-called history channel is very disconcerting to the honest part of the scientific community: the part that has no vested interest in the outcome of investigations. Science is about facts, not opinions, nor “what else could it be but….????”

  27. #27 someone
    February 4, 2012

    This is yet another example of simplemindedness. Instead of being open to new possiblilites we choose to live in the stubborn mindset of the present. Yes, the idea sounds pretty crazy, and yes, some of the arguments are obviously false. However, we cannot rule out the possibility completely while we have no proof against it. Until then, stay open to new possiblities. Modern physics would have seemed crazy to civilizations 200 years ago!

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