Wednesday, 17 October 2012

'Ancient Aliens Debunked'

A three-hour documentary has been released by film-maker and former Ancient Aliens believer Chris White about the failures of Erich von Daeniken's ancient astronaut theories.  It goes into every piece of evidence methodically and carefully, in marked contrast to the sensationalism of Ancient Aliens.  Pumapunku, one of the archaeological sites most egregiously misrepresented by von Daeniken and the History Channel, is addressed first, probably due to its importance in ancient astronaut mythologyWhite does a good job of explaining why ancient astronauts are superfluous in understanding the site, and why almost every alien-related claim made about it is just, well, wrong.  I personally would have liked a bit more detail about who built Pumapunku and what sort of traditions it was representative of, but that's just because I'm interested in such things (and I was pleased to note the mention of the Yaya-mama iconography in the film).  Some of the claims White makes are themselves flawed, and the most recent issue of eSkeptic, the email newsletter of Skeptic magazine, discusses some of these, including especially the idea that flood myths are universal.  (They aren't, by the way.)  But either way, Ancient Aliens Debunked is a good, sensible breakdown of the claims made on Ancient Aliens and, as it can be watched in parts, it's a particularly good resource.  There is also a website on which White has provided citations for the claims he makes (quite unlike Ancient Aliens, I'd like to add!).  So if you find the time, do give it a look.

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