Monday, May 16, 2016


Starring Erich von Daniken,
Giorgio Tsoukalos,
David Hatcher Childress,
George Noory,
Robert Clotworthy

You probably never even knew, but the show has been with us all along, guiding us since 2009.
“Since the dawn of civilization, mankind has credited its origins to gods and other visitors from the stars. What if it were true?” So runs Robert Clotworthy’s narration during the opening of the first season of the History Channel show which wonders whether extraterrestrial visitors had anything to do with human origins.
Produced by Emmy award-winning director and screenwriter Kevin Burns, the show focuses primarily on megalithic structures, mysterious artifacts, and other anomalous physical evidence around the world. From the ancient alien perspective, the idea that Stone Age man went overnight from living in caves to constructing pyramids using incredibly sophisticated mathematics, in perfect alignment with the compass and the stars and resembling the constellation Orion, among a whole lot of other things, is ridiculous.
There had to be outside help. And indeed, this is what all of the world’s ancestors say. Sumerian cuneiform tablets, our planet’s oldest-known language, records that the Anunnaki—“they who from the heavens came”—created people and invented civilization. All around the world, the message is repeated.
At an ancient site in Bolivia, Puma Punku, gigantic blocks of one of the world’s hardest stones stand perfectly flat, perfectly smooth, perfectly fitted. The Incas moved into the structures, but they didn’t build them. Again and again, what we see is physical evidence of an ancient, global lost high culture, dating back approximately 12,000 years ago and much further, evidently originated by visitors not from this planet.
Central to the series is the work of Zecharia Sitchin (one of the few scholars able to read and interpret ancient Sumerian and Akkadian clay tablets), author of The 12th Planet, and Erich von Daniken, author of Chariots of the Gods. The seriousness of those who dedicate their lives to the study of “forbidden archeology” is generally overshadowed, however, by the seriousness of those who dedicate their lives to producing great television.
In his extensive career, Kevin Burns, who produced such long-lasting hits as A&E’s Biography, has probably learned that he’s not an archeologist as much as he is a TV show producer. Probably, he also has a pretty good sense that one draw to the show is inviting rebuttal from the viewers at home. Just because human history is the backdrop of the show on a mainstream channel doesn’t make it mainstream history.
Consequently, superfluities obstruct. Von Daniken’s protégé, Giorgio Tsoukalos, sports a godly coif to make Don King cringe and Albert Einstein cry. Giorgio and another of the show’s main talking heads, archeologist and author David Hatcher Childress, are both great TV men, but we let ourselves get distracted by the way one guy wears his hair and the way another guy talks at our otherworldly-knowing peril.
Did you know that about a hundred years ago a 2,000 year-old analog computer was pulled up from an ancient Greek shipwreck? Yep. X-ray analysis of the Antikythera Mechanism reveals inside the rusty chunk the complex gears and working parts of a device that seems to have computed astronomical positions. Can’t forget the Long-Head skulls in Peru, Egypt, and other places which were not the result of head-binding because the skulls have greater thickness, weight, and volume than human skulls, have only two parietal plates instead of the three found on humans, and were definitively shown through DNA analysis to not be human. And these were skulls of royalty.
Nazca Lines, Phoenix Lights, the Astronaut of the Spanish Cathedral. Boom, boom. Thanks to Ancient Aliens, the hits just keep coming.
Past episodes of the ongoing endlessly fascinating show freely available online.

 Stewart Kirby writes for

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