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Series / Ancient Aliens

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"Is such a thing even possible? Yes, it is!"
Giorgio A. Tsoukalos

To go along with The History Channel's Network Decay, Ancient Aliens is a program that deals with conspiracy theories about aliens. Taking a glance at a list of episodes reveals that—as far as this show is concerned—aliens did everything. No, really, everything—they exterminated the dinosaurs, they influenced all major religions, and they were in contact with all ancient cultures. Nazis, the Old West, Atlantis, Greek Fire, Stonehenge, King Arthur, all influenced by aliens.

The show is known for having frequent appearances by Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, consulting producer and ancient astronaut researcher. More specifically, it's known for the involvement of Giorgio A. Tsoukalos' hair.

In July 2014, it received a pseudo spin-off called "In Search of Aliens", hosted exclusively by Tsoukalos as he explores the globe looking for evidence of aliens. It's just as outlandish and silly as the original; for example, offering the theory the Loch Ness Monster is an alien craft docking at an alien base built beneath the lake.


This show provides examples of:

  • Advanced Ancient Humans: Usually from alien assistance. The ancient Egyptians, for example, are claimed to have a central power network from the obelisks that dot their empire.
  • Agent Mulder: Many of the experts, but particularly Giorgio, who appears in every episode and seems to think aliens are responsible for every aspect of human history and beyond.
  • All Myths Are True:
    • Albeit aliens were involved with all of them. Yes, all of them—an episode involving the Crystal Skulls (which have been thoroughly debunked) explored the idea of them having mystical science powers or alien knowledge encoded in them, and somehow managed to link them to the Nazis, Atlantis, the Dali Lama, and Native American mythos. That's just how absurd the show can be when it tries. A 2014 commercial for the series even directly states "Aliens were part of everything. Now you know."
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    • They will occasionally admit that mainstream (read: real) archaeologists have an answer for the "mystery," or that some of the claims have been proved hoaxes (crystal skulls, crop circles). It's usually followed immediately with something like "But ancient astronaut theorists have a different, more profound, explanation."
  • The American Civil War: As part of the show increasingly reaching for alien connections, a Season 7 episode claimed that aliens intervened in the Civil War as well.
  • Ancient Astronauts: It subcribes to this, using scripture and myths. Pretty much any instance of gods, angels, demons, spirits, etc, was ancient people meeting aliens and misunderstanding them.
  • Anime Hair: Tsoukalo's hairstyle makes him a notable Real Life example.
  • Artistic License – Engineering: Almost every single argument made by the show's sources can essentially be boiled down to the claim that Ancient civilizations could not have had any way to build the impressive structures they left behind - while conveniently ignoring every tool or practical knowledge historians have learned about of these civilizations.
    • The most blatant and probably oft cited argument is that ancients could never have cut, moved, shaped, or lifted some form of stone without lasers, levitation, diamond saws, or whatever. This despite the fact you could literally do most of the work with stone tools, wood, sand, pure human labor, and a little bit of ingenuity.
  • Artistic License – History: Gratuitously!
  • Blatant Lies: The entire show. All the lies and deception are picked apart by Ancient Aliens Debunked. Notable is presenting 19th and 20th century New Age texts as ancient texts, deliberate mistranslations, deliberately presenting false dates, not citing actual sources, quote mining, cherry picking data, and presenting hoaxes as true (such as the infamous Crystal Skulls). All in all, the show is one big lie that is getting far, far too much attention.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy:
    • Anyone with ideas ahead of their time either had contact with aliens or was exposed to alien technology left on earth.
    • With Leonardo da Vinci, they think that he was either kidnapped by aliens, or even was actually a time traveler.
  • The Bermuda Triangle: This along with Japan's "Dragon's Triangle" are theorized to be portals which UFO's travel through to get to Earth.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: They're aliens, too. Alien made hybrids of humans and something else.
  • Buffy Speak: During the episode regarding aliens and superheroes/gods (Season 3, Episode 15), one of the commentators refers to what Greek mythology calls telchines as "god human monster things."
  • Cargo Cult: All religions are this, in their minds. They've even specifically mentioned this trope in their explanations.
  • Creative Sterility: The hosts of the show basically assume that ancient man had no imagination. All myths, legends, etc, were attempts by our ancestors to accurately record things they saw and experienced first-hand. They just didn't have the technological sophistication to realize they were seeing aliens and machines, not gods and magic.
    • They also seem to believe there is no such thing as true genius. As mentioned above, anyone who had radical ideas (Leonardo, Einstein, von Braun) must have been influenced by aliens. They never seem to consider the possibility that these people were visionaries who benefited mankind with their own brainpower.
      • The whole "theory", when one thinks about it, is pretty darn misanthropic.
  • Dan Browned: A staple of this show. About ten minutes research on some of the subjects they cover will turn up evidence that they're twisting facts, if not outright lying.
  • Delusions of Eloquence: The cast seem to really like referring to themselves as "scientists". Any elementary school student could tell them they're misusing a lot of the words they use, though.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The series is actually a Spin-Off from a one-off documentary that presented a much less biased examination of the Ancient Astronaut theory; both proponents and detractors were interviewed. Myths were not presented as evidence. Artistic licence and symbolism were acknowledged. It should come as no surprise that, by presenting both sides of the argument with evidence for and against, the result is far more reasonable.
  • E.T. Gave Us Wi-Fi: Along with a good chuck of technological innovations throughout history.
  • For the Evulz: Aliens apparently cause volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Why they're doing it and what they would have to gain from doing it isn't known or dwelled upon in the show. Later episodes claim there are both good and evil aliens in the usual "Good vs Evil" dichotomy.
  • The Great Flood: The show takes the Noah's ark story as the literal truth. But aliens did it.
  • The Grim Reaper: According to the show the black death was caused by Grim Reaper aliens with plague scythes. Seriously.
  • Groupie Brigade: According to pics, Giorgio A. Tsoukalos is quite the Kavorka Man. It's gotta be the hair.
  • The Greys: Being the quintessential aliens in pop culture and conspiracies, it's only natural the series continuously talks about them.
  • Hollywood Science: And how!
    • The biggest example is probably in how they call it "Ancient Astronaut Theory." Paying close attention to what they're proposing, it's clear they're using the word "theory" as it's used by laypeople: i.e. a guess. "Theory" has a much different meaning in scientific circles.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: The famous hair of Giorgio Tsoukalos.
  • Insane Troll Logic: As picked apart in this spectacular takedown of the show, written by a scientist who understands the topic of the week inside and out. To be more specific, the commentators, especially Philip Coppens and Giorgio Tsoukalos, like to suggest there's a chance that aliens may have been behind something, then in the next sentence, pretend like that minor chance is itself proof of their claims, and they tend to take wild leaps at the smallest of possibilities.
    Tsoukalos: These statues look like some type of a being wearing an astronaut suit, and in my opinion, that means that we were visited by some type of extraterrestrials.
    • Here's a tip, kids. If someone presenting a theory to you uses the words "In my opinion," he's probably not doing real science.
  • Jedi Truth: A lot of their claims fall under this. For instance, they state that Pumapunku could not have been constructed with the tools available at the time.note  This is technically true, as they also claim that Pumapunku is way older than it actually is.
  • Logical Fallacies: The main one showing up all the time is the Converse Error Affirming the Consequent.
    1. If aliens really existed and visited Earth, they could theoretically have shown humans how to build pyramids.
    2. Humans built pyramids.
    3. Therefore, aliens!
    • They engage in Appeal to Authority a lot, whenever anyone with some kind of credentials (government, military, etc) is mentioned. Regardless of whether said credentials have anything at all to do with the topic at hand. This is especially so when recurring contributor Nick Pope is involved. The show likes to state that he worked the British Ministry of Defence for 15 years, studying reports of UFO sightings to find if there was any truth to them. The implication is that he's such an expert on UFOs, that even his own government recognized his authority.note 
  • Lost Technology: A number of artifacts, like the Antikythera mechanism, are claimed to be this. Alternately, several ancient sites, especially Pumapunku, were made using Lost Technology.
  • Once per Episode: At some point during any given installment, the phrase "as ancient astronauts theorists believe/contend/argue/theorize" will be uttered at least once. This functions more or less as a disclaimer or possibly a Catchphrase.
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: Yup, the aliens apparently offed them, too. Oh, and they made them in the first place as well.
  • The Reptilians: Yup, one episode was about the good ol' shapeshifting, megalomaniacal manipulative lizards David Icke is so obssessed with. Icke himself even appeared in said chapter as well.
  • Satan: Yup, he was an alien, too.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale:
    • No Sense of Distance: Aliens come from stars tens to hundreds of light years away to mine gold (a relatively common metal in asteroids) on Earth, where the total amount of gold mined in the entirety of Earth's history was estimated as of 2011 to be about 171,300 tonnes, enough to form a cube just over 20 meters to a side.
  • Sequel Escalation: The first couple of seasons weren't too bad. Stories of angels were aliens, the Nazis studied alien technology, the Egyptians and the Aztecs were visited by aliens, the Bermuda Triangle is aliens; in short, nothing that numerous other speculative documentaries on aliens and/or unsolved mysteries haven't suggested before. Then the later seasons really got carried away. The first episode of season three being titled "Aliens and the Old West" is your first clue that things are about to go downhill.
  • Shout-Out: One theory mentioned a few times but never really discussed seriously is the idea aliens come to Earth to hunt the most dangerous predators on the planet, humans.
  • Speculative Documentary: Basically, everything important happened because of aliens.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: They do this in a few episodes. The Nazis were all over studying aliens and their technologies left behind on earth.
  • You Keep Using That Word: The show frequently misuses the word UFO (Unidentified Flying Object), such as talking about underwater UFOs. An underwater unidentified object would be a UAO (Unidentified Aquatic Object).
    • The fact they call it a "theory" certainly counts, as that would imply they actually have supporting evidence, and/or have applied the scientific method in any way, shape, or form.


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