The History Channel program, Ancient Aliens, is generally an exercise in drawing the conclusion that everything that has ever happened and ever will happen on Earth is somehow due to ancient aliens. Trees are green? Ancient aliens. Humans have two eyes? Ancient aliens. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is a hit? Ancient aliens.
One of my favorite parts of the show, now the flagship program on the new H2 channel, is how the English language is used. Statements such as “I am certain that there is no doubt that there may have been ancient aliens at work here” or “this constitutes conclusive proof that ancient aliens could have been involved” make my head spin as I try to figure out what exact tense they are speaking in.
Among all of the colorful characters who show, my clear favorite of course is Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, the big-haired publisher of Legendary Times magazine, which is ancient alien theory on every page.
If you sift through the Erich von Däniken-inspired narratives, however, you can find some good travel information on the show, as the show does travel to some incredible ancient monuments and locations, some of which you may have never heard of.
One recent example is evidenced in a recent episode entitled “the Mystery of Puma Punku” the “Ancient Aliens” abstract of which asserts that it “investigates Bolivia’s 14,000 year-old Puma Punku ruins where an ancient civilization constructed sophisticated and intricately carved blocks that inter-lock together, and suggests the site was not built and inhabited by humans, but by advanced extraterrestrials.”
What is great about this episode is that we get to travel with the ancient alien theorists to Tiwanaku, a Pre-Columbian archaeological site in western Bolivia. While this site is recognized by Andean scholars as one of the most important precursors to the Inca Empire, ancient alien theorists argue that it was a spaceport for ancient ETs. If you are not interested in the ancient alien narrative and turn down the sound, there are some amazing location shots of this site with its monumental architecture and incredible workmanship. The huge stone structures of Puma Punku are of particular interest.
If you are interested in ancient sites, this is an easy way to plan future trips. So turn on H2, grab a pen and paper to write down the names of the archeological sites, and lock your doors and windows just in case a grey alien comes knocking.
New episodes of Ancient Aliens are broadcast Fridays at 10:00pm EST on H2.