On Friday, April 28, 2017, the History Channel premieres a new season of Ancient Aliens. This will be the 11th season. The first true episode debuted on April 20, 2010. This is something special. Eleven seasons is a milestone for a History Channel series not reality based. I’m not complaining. I love Ancient Aliens. The History Channel has a way of giving a series one season then canceling it. MysteryQuest comes to mind as does Giorgio Tsoukalos’ In Search of Aliens and Bible Secrets Revealed. Other shows get canceled after a good run because “the channel is going in a different direction,” think Gangland or MonsterQuest. I need to write something about the History Channel.
Let’s get back to the original topic, Ancient Aliens. The History Channel never planned for this groundbreaking and controversial program to be a series, never mind the hit series it became. The initial concept was a 90 minute (2 hours with commercials) special titled Ancient Aliens and premiered March 8, 2009. This special became the pilot episode, re-titled “Chariots, Gods, & Beyond.” It was the success of this special that spawned the series. The special was a new version of the 1970 documentary Chariots of the Gods? It explored the ideas and theories presented by Swiss author Erich von Daniken in his first book, 1968’s Chariots of the Gods?
Since then von Daniken has written 36 books, 19 in English and 17 in German. Many of his older books are out of print. He also appears on many episodes. He doesn’t appear in every one, but he’s mentioned at least once. There’s an episode devoted to von Daniken, “The von Daniken Legacy.” IMDB lists it as the 5th episode of the 5th season, with an original air date of April 5, 2013.
So, what is this Ancient Alien thing? That’s a good question that can go in any direction, cover a vast amount of subjects, and get a bit complex. It can, but at its core is a single theory. The Ancient Astronaut Theory, brought into the mainstream by Erich von Daniken. This isn’t something he invented as previous books discussed the theory.
The Ancient Astronaut Theory states what we know about history is wrong. Theorists believe in the distant past of antiquity; extraterrestrials came to Earth. It was the extraterrestrials who made our species. Either creating humans by changing our DNA, or by introducing civilization. This includes culture, technology, and religion. Perhaps all at the same time. When dealing with religion, the theory offers a simple view that everyone can understand. The myths and legends of gods are accounts of encounters with extraterrestrials. These gods would be the extraterrestrials responsible for teaching the human species civilization.
Besides Erich von Daniken, many other theorists appear on the show. Other speakers who appear in the greater majority of episodes include:
- Head van Daniken disciple Giorgio Tsoukalos
- Author and explorer David Hatcher Childress
- Founding curator of the Joseph Campbell Archives Jonathan Young
- Coast to Coast AM radio show host George Noory
- Investigative journalist Linda Moulton Howe
- Author David Wilcock
- Author Philip Coppens, unfortunately in many posthumous appearances
I love this show. It’s one of the most interesting topics I’ve ever encountered. I can’t think of one that has interested me as much as this does, and I’ve always liked these paranormal topics featured on Unsolved Mysteries, In Search Of, and Coast to Coast AM. As with other documentary style programs, some episodes are more interesting than others. Watch a few, give it a chance. The History Channel used to have a marathon of varying length every day. Since dropping H2, they’ve been hard to find. I recommend watching the original special, the “pilot” episode first. It’s a great introduction to the world of Ancient Aliens. It’s the best way to meet the faces appearing throughout the series and decide if you want to dive into deeper into this topic.
Copyright © Drew Martin 2017