Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Ancient Aliens: Innocent belief or blatant misinformation?

                If you’re a fan of educational TV shows like me, you may have noticed the slow change in programming. History channel in particular which was once known for World War 2 documentaries now has things like Pawn Stars, American Pickers, and the infamous show Ancient Aliens. The whole premise of Ancient Aliens discusses ancient astronaut theory which is pretty straight forward, maybe even somewhat plausible.

Ancient astronaut theory proclaims aliens visited Earth during a certain era(s) and that evidence is left in “odd” art pieces or inhuman marvels of architecture. The historians behind the show then present historical evidence, giving the audience a chance to decide what they think is the most plausible answer. It sounds innocent enough at face value; it’s a taste of historical education with a bit of fun theorizing thrown in. But after I saw a very long and thorough documentary titled “Ancient Aliens Debunked,” I realized that the entire foundation of the show is based around intentionally lying to the viewer or leaving out key pieces of information.
A common theme amongst the Ancient Aliens episodes is how primitive civilizations had no way to create large or ornate masonry. Their tools were simply too primitive to cut, smooth, and transport these large blocks of hard stone. Yet most archaeological evidence shows that doing these processes was actually not that hard. Cutting hard stones could often be done with a hunk of copper rubbing against sand. And detailing a stone can be done by rubbing a smoothing stone along the surface like a sort of early sandpaper.
Another big piece of “evidence” for ancient aliens is the presence of UFOs in artwork. From the Egyptians to medieval times, various spaceship shaped objects are often depicted floating in the sky. But what the fellow with wild hair won’t tell you is that these symbols are either incredibly common, or they are being misinterpreted. For example, medieval art usually depicts the same religious scenes, where there’s often a glowing cloud shape in the background. Depending on the artist the “cloud” may shoot out rays of light, contain small angels, or simply appear empty. One such picture Ancient Aliens claimed was a UFO was actually rings of small golden angels forming a sort of disc shape in the sky. Only problem was, they never zoomed in on their blurry art piece.
Looking back on the show, it’s surprising how much they got away with. I remember watching that show as a kid and I thought it was educational, just to see all of their historical points are lies.
Have you ever seen Ancient Aliens yourself? What do you think?

Source: ancientaliensdebunked.com


  1. I do not know whether I should have expected this or not. Like you, Angelica, my brother loved Ancient Aliens when we were younger. I always thought that the idea of aliens building a pyramid was absurd. As I glanced at the show, I did not hold much salt to the 'Alien Guy', but I liked to listen more intently to the historians that would appear. I was always interested in primate civilizations. Instead of underestimating them, I'd believe more in their inventions than another source. I am now questioning how much Monster Quest was factually correct. I'm wondering how much they wanted the viewer to believe in a legend and if they provided false evidence as well.

  2. There has been a shift, like you said, in the content of some "educational" channels on which pseudoscience is now blatantly portrayed. Aliens, haunted houses, and even a mermaid "documentary" that aired on Animal Planet (one of its highest viewed programs.) Aliens seem less absurd, however, because there is so much unknown about the universe beyond what we can see. It is very plausible that there may be some form of extraterrestrial life out there although they are probably not in the form of what TV portrays them in. However, due to this uncertainty, television shows cater to our limited understanding of the universe by creating sensational shows and programs that aree often misleading.