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Revisited: Ancient Aliens Episode 5

Joe: Wormholes! Stargates! Magic talismans that open stargates! I feel like, watching this episode, that earthquakes are not really earthquakes. Instead, they’re old stargates rumbling with pent up energy, or wormholes opening down beneath the layers of sedimentary rock, where the ancient ruins are buried along with whatever wormholes may be there. Also, the Bermuda Triangle might just be a wormhole that opens, sometimes, and eats planes. 

Eric: Spaghetti theory. Throw enough at the wall and some will stick, I guess. I interviewed an author known for his historical writing this week–I’ll share it with our readers later this week–and he said something that really struck me: we don’t know what anything was really like thousands of years ago. We can speculate. We can guess. But the truth is, we don’t know. Viewed through that lens, anything is possible. Even planes getting eaten. 

Joe: We don’t know what is happening in our own neighborhoods, much less what happened before written history. I found this week’s episode lighter and fluffier on the whole, but it was nice to get living people who can testify to the mysteries they, themselves experienced: the pilot experienced a wormhole in the Bermuda Triangle! I was thinking about this wormhole theory of the Bermuda Triangle, and Christopher Columbus’ UFO. How would a sailor of Christopher Columbus’ time express what occurred to the pilot who was blown into a sort of wind tunnel and dropped off in the far corners of the sky? Would they even have a language to express the impossible that happened to them in a kind of storm? Being blown off course seems to be a common enough occurrence in the literature. With the record keeping and careful longitudinal and latitudinal measurings, have there been “impossible” storms before? Would the language of miracles adequately express the mystery of ancient alien wormhole seafarerers? 

Eric: Well, it’s hard enough to describe a UFO even now, as a writer. I’m reminded of one time I saw…something, while riding shotgun with my wife. Six somethings. Like, burning flames. It was night, I watched them flicker for a long time, then speed up and literally just…they could have been afterburners. My wife claimed I didn’t see anything. If there are aliens visiting earth, how many times might humans have seen them and not even noticed them? Or, like me, seen something inexplicable and completely forgotten until their friend decided to make them watch something earth shattering? (ahem).

Joe: I am reminded of the Tunguska Event, a superbolide that entered Earth’s atmosphere and flattened a serious amount of boreal taiga in rural Russia. It’s been a common motif in some of the more theoretical, and speculative edge of conspiracy theory and gonzo theory writing I’ve seen, and there is a reason for it, but the explanation seems so simple. Almost too simple. The stargate door could simply be someone carving some rocks really slowly for some simple purpose like religion or vanity or stubbornness. It could also be easier to explain the long, long work of carving all that rock as the gesture of an alien intelligence.

I had an alien visitation in my bedroom, once upon a time, at night. Was it a dream? Probably. But, it didn’t feel like a dream. Is it easier to explain it as a dream? Absolutely. Is it also possible aliens slowed time to a crawl and came into my bedroom and shined a light into my brain? I mean, I can’t prove that it didn’t happen. I just catalog it in my head as a dream I had, when I was an imaginative kid who would grow up to be a writer. No scientist, and certainly not me, would claim the wilder of the theories as the truth without actual evidence to support the supposition. 

Eric: There’s no empirical evidence, sure. Well, that’s just the thing, it really may be the simplest explanation for a lot of phenomena. Why did the dinosaurs die out? Why did a certain species, Homo Sapiens, evolve while Neanderthals didn’t? The other day I was reading an article about how scientists have started looking for other dimensions and that the answer, ultimately, is right under their nose. For there to truly be aliens traveling around in space who aren’t nomadic or on some kind of self-sustaining Ark, there would have to be some seriously advanced travel technology beyond, I think, what most science fiction like Aliens relies on, which is is cryotubes. To be able to travel across galaxies and not completely miss decades or centuries on your own home planet due to relativity really would take something like a stargate. God I sound like I actually believe this stuff. But people believe so many strange things without any proof. My father was going on about how different “cults” of Christianity were started as though it were news to him the other day. The only thing this show has proven consistently to me is that beliefs are shaped by the broader context of society at the time. For instance when Constantine embraced Christianity, he had a number of reasons to make the switch. 

Joe: I like that assertion, because it hearkens back to one of the reasons I wanted us to watch this show. This is the language of propaganda. Truth is an expression of power – cultural, logical, or merely physical. It exposes a vein of doubt into the mainstream narrative and inserts itself with concepts of science fiction culture, logical fallacies disguised as logical assertions, and occasionally the physical skip of the jumpcut from one wild assertion to another. And, it’s not wrong to say that truth is a relative thing. We only have the five senses. We only know what we are taught beyond them. We rely on experts who often ellide complex information behind much too simple representations of that information. 

Eric: When you boil it down to that, it’s amazing how worthwhile watching the first season (notice, I didn’t say ALL) of this show can be. It really made me think about what consensus truth does to our brains, and how accepting a thing as fact limits further discussion. 

So what do you think, are there aliens out there? 

Joe: Yes. Of course. Obviously. I’ve probably never seen them, and neither have you. That we know. But, have we smelled them? Is there a sense that we’re missing – a wavelength of energy that we aren’t considering between the eyes, the nose, the mouth? Maybe we’ve tasted them. Have you been to the Bermuda triangle?

Eric: I completely agree. And I’m not sure I would ever want to meet aliens. I haven’t been to the Bermuda triangle. Close, but not quite. You? 

Joe: I’ve flown to Grenada from Miami, so maybe. I didn’t notice anything strange. My brother-in-law is an Air Force Pilot, and he hasn’t told me about any strange encounters in the air. I probably don’t have proper clearance.

Eric: You’re a fictioneer. No one would believe you anyway!

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Categories: TV shows

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