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Noah Robinson
Noah Robinson

Watch Ancient Aliens S01 E01

Ancient Aliens explores the controversial theory that extraterrestrials have visited Earth for millions of years. From the age of the dinosaurs to ancient Egypt, from early cave drawings to continued mass sightings in the US, each episode in this hit HISTORY series gives historic depth to the questions, speculations, provocative controversies, first-hand accounts and grounded theories surrounding this age old debate. Did intelligent beings from outer space visit Earth thousands of years ago?

Watch Ancient Aliens S01 E01

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Ancient Aliens is an American television series produced by Prometheus Entertainment that explores the pseudoscientific hypothesis of ancient astronauts in a non-critical, documentary format. Episodes also explore related pseudoscientific and pseudohistoric topics, such as: Atlantis and other lost ancient civilizations, extraterrestrial contact and ufology, and popular conspiracy theories.[1][2] The series, which has aired on History since 2010, has been a target for criticism of History's channel drift, as well as criticism for promoting unorthodox or unproven hypotheses as fact.[3] According to Smithsonian, episodes of the series overwhelm the viewer with "fictions and distortions" by using a Gish gallop.[4]

The series is based on and inspired by the pseudoscientific ancient astronauts hypothesis popularized in Chariots of the Gods?, by Erich von Däniken, and The 12th Planet, by Zecharia Sitchin. According to von Däniken, Sitchin, and others, extraterrestrial beings visited Earth in the distant past and introduced civilization, architecture, and high technology to pre-historic humans. Many, if not all, of ancient man's achievements in language, mathematics, science, technology and architecture, such as Egyptian pyramids, Pumapunku, Teotihuacan, and Stonehenge, are attributed to the influence of extraterrestrials. Remnants of extraterrestrial visitations are claimed to be found in religious texts, ancient myths and legendary histories, in addition to fragments found in the texts and practices of Hinduism, Ancient Egyptian religion, Gnostic Christianity, and more recent religious movements such as Mormonism. The hypothesis also holds that ancient visitations left etymological remnants in many of the world's languages, such as the root words for "Dagon", "dragon", "dog", and "Danann", or the frequent occurrence of the prefix anu- meaning "friend" or "visitor." Additionally, anatomically modern humans are the result of genetic modification and or modern humans are somehow biologically descended from ancient astronauts.

There is little use of precise dates in many episodes. Guests use terms such as "the remote past", "prehistoric times", "ancient times", or "remote past", or they refer to "our ancient ancestors" in the abstract, when discussing hypothetical historical events. There is a frequent demarcation of pre-history from the modern era used by guests: "before or after 'The Ice Age'", or approximately 12,000 years ago. Many guests featured on the series have claimed a sophisticated human civilization was destroyed at the end of the Ice Age, including Graham Hancock, and Robert Schoch.

Terms such as "ancient astronauts", "ancient aliens", "alien visitors", "extra-terrestrial beings", "ancient gods", and "otherworldly beings", are used interchangeably by guests and the narration. And guests frequently conflate the meaning of "theory" and "hypothesis", or they frequently obscure or ignore the difference between mythology, legendary history, and verifiable archaeology, anthropology, or documented history.

Radio talk show host George Noory appears in more than 80 episodes, including the pilot episode. Reverend Barry Downing, known for describing angels in the Bible as ancient astronauts, appears in the pilot episode, and his comments are repeated in several other episodes. Writers Robert Bauval and Graham Hancock appear in many episodes. They both express skepticism of ancient astronauts, instead discuss their own theories of ancient civilizations. Hancock repeats the statement from his work that "There is a forgotten episode in human history."

In many episodes, little empirical evidence is offered to support the presented claims. Episodes or episode segments focus on out-of-place artifacts, such as: the London Hammer, Antikythera mechanism, or the Aiud object; or segments focus on alleged inconsistencies in the historical record. Guests discuss evidence which supports their claims in general or abstract terms. Some guests have alleged professionals and government have suppressed evidence of ancient mysteries, such as the episode "The Prototypes" in which guests alleged the Smithsonian Institution suppressed findings of "giant humanoids" found alongside American Indian remains in the Kanawha Valley.

Other claims linked to the ancient astronauts hypothesis, such as UFOs, alien abductions, the Roswell and Rendlesham Forest incidents, panspermia, and human space exploration, feature prominently in many episodes. Guests have presented other unproven historical and pseudoscientific hypotheses related to, or dependent upon an understanding of: Atlantis and other lost civilizations, as described in works by Brinsley Le Poer Trench and Edgar Cayce; or ley lines as originally described by Alfred Watkins, or more recent interpretations; cataclysmic pole shifts as promoted by Charles Hapgood; various forms of Christian and Hindu creationism, or pseudohistory promoted by various religious movements; mythical elements of the Kabbalah, Zohar, and Book of Enoch; and various new religious movements.

Prior to December 2012, several episodes explored facets of the 2012 Mayan doomsday prophecy. The episodes "The Maya Conspiracy" and "The Doomsday Prophecies", which aired in February 2012, explored the Maya calendar and its relation to the construction of Palenque, the god Kukulkan, in addition to links between the Maya civilization and the ancient astronaut hypothesis. Episodes focusing on Mesoamerica broadcast after 2012 make no mention of the 2012 phenomenon. In the episode "The God Particle", guests linked the Mayan long count to the discovery of the Higgs boson.[13]

The series has been criticized by historians, cosmologists, archaeologists and other scientists for presenting and promoting pseudoscience, pseudohistory and pseudoarchaeology as fact. Episodes are frequently characterized as "far-fetched",[18] "hugely speculative",[19] and "expound[ing] wildly on theories suggesting that astronauts wandered the Earth freely in ancient times."[20] Many of the claims made by guests are not commonly accepted as fact by the scientific community.[21] In 2009, History professor Ronald H. Fritze observed that pseudoscience has a periodic popularity in the U.S.:[21][22]

Brad Lockwood of Forbes characterized Ancient Aliens as an example of History's channel drift toward "programs devoted to monsters, aliens, and conspiracies". He added that, "Ancient Aliens defies all ability to suspend disbelief for the sake of entertainment."[3] Alex Knapp, also of Forbes, cited archaeologist Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews' rebuke of History for treating "nonsense as though it were fact."[23]

In 2011, South Park parodied the series in the episode "A History Channel Thanksgiving". Ramsey Isler of IGN commented, "The aim is placed squarely on Ancient Aliens specifically".[24] South Park's animation style created "a perfect satire of all the ridiculousness of this series, including the black and white art with aliens photoshopped in, and interviews with people of dubious authority".

In the 2019 issue of Public Archaeology, Franco D. Rossi of Johns Hopkins University published a retrospective of his experience at the 2018 Boston Alien Con. He characterized Ancient Aliens and its fans as a "science fiction fandom" which also trafficked in "misinformation" and "conspiracies."[27] He warned professionals in various history fields will have to reckon with ancient astronaut hypothesis and its adherents. In March 2020, podcaster Brian Dunning challenged and debunked many of the claims featured on Ancient Aliens. At the conclusion of the third episode, Dunning quoted Kenneth Feder's Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology:[28]

Many guests featured in episodes of the series have publicly expressed skepticism of the series' premise or of the ancient astronaut hypothesis. In the pilot episode, Sister Ilia Delio of the Washington Theological Union repeated comments made previously[where?] about the predilection for literalism common among supporters of the ancient astronaut hypothesis:[29]

At a 2014 hearing of the House Committee on Science, Seth Shostak said, "The public is fascinated with the idea that we may be being visited now, or maybe in the past," but there is not any evidence which has convinced him "that we were visited in [historical] times."[30] Shostak has appeared in twelve episodes. In a 2018 episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, Robert Schoch said promoters of the ancient astronaut hypothesis "want everything to be 'ancient aliens'," which in his view was "sort of a cop-out". He added those same promoters are often motivated to sell books, DVDs, and conference tickets instead of presenting facts.[12] Belief in the ancient alien hypothesis and other ancient mysteries "fills a void" for some people, according to Schoch, but he "tries to fill that void with something real."[12]

In 2016, Vice on TV released Action Bronson Watches Ancient Aliens, which was followed by a ten-episode series, later retitled Traveling the Stars. Each episode features rapper Action Bronson and celebrity guests watching to episodes of Ancient Aliens while intoxicated by cannabis. The series is presented in a comedy-documentary format which parodies Ancient Aliens's presentation style.

Many guests featured on Ancient Aliens appear in other History channel series, such as The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch, America's Book of Secrets, and The Curse of Oak Island. Segments from those series have appeared in Ancient Aliens.[citation needed] An illustrated companion to the series was published in November 2016 (.mw-parser-output cite.citationfont-style:inherit; .citation qquotes:"\"""\"""'""'".mw-parser-output .citation:targetbackground-color:rgba(0,127,255,0.133).mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free abackground:url("//")right 0.1em center/9px .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration abackground:url("//")right 0.1em center/9px .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription abackground:url("//")right 0.1em center/9px .cs1-ws-icon abackground:url("//")right 0.1em center/12px .cs1-codecolor:inherit;background:inherit;border:none; .cs1-hidden-errordisplay:none; .cs1-maintdisplay:none;color:#3a3; .citation .mw-selflinkfont-weight:inheritISBN 978-0-06-245541-3) which offered an overview of the ancient astronaut hypothesis, and introductions to a number of topics explored by the series up to Season 11. The audiobook adapted from the companion features the voices of Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, Angela Cartwright, Bill Mumy, Robert Clotworthy, and producer Kevin Burns. 041b061a72


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