I’m going to start with the positives of this program. The beautiful churches carved down into the stone in Ethiopia are so beautiful. I never even heard of these magnificent structures, and here they are with their actual history presented. The Ethiopean churches of Lalibela are stunning masterpieces of human craftsmanship and a testament to the brilliant and marvelous architects and stonemasons of 13th century North Africans. The show, of course, posits that they are the byproduct of alien intervention and craftsmanship, naturally, and it is, to me, very unsettling that the show always points to the marvels of the Ancient World outside of Europe, and refuses to believe that these cultures and societies could create anything so impressive and lasting. They don’t turn that same gaze inward to the Caves of Lascaux, for example. Nazis, alone, have been presented as byproducts of alien innovation in one of the most disappointing episodes, to date.
The episode glosses over and takes for granted the concept that “angels” are actually aliens, of course. Also, I don’t know why or how a show gets away with so brazenly disrespecting faith traditions like they do without drawing the attention of those faith traditions. I mean, suggesting that Christ was actually some sort of alien/human hybrid or some nonsense should, theoretically, infuriate the right wing forces that are always so active on social media. Their treatment of Islam, as well, is just… Wow. No.
So, apparently, when making pilgrimage to the Hajj, they’re walking around and worshiping a a little, black meteorite that fell to earth, somehow that was part of the inspiration for the Qu’ran? Also, apparently, the Buddha had a space ship, because in many of the depictions of him, he is presented in this sort of canopied structure. (Never mind of course that there are plenty of terrestrial explanations for placing the Buddha in a sort of temple throne…) Also, aliens lift up prophets into space, where they reveal the cosmic mysteries. I mean, obviously this is balderdash, and it is so weird how the show continues to, on the one hand, take literally the art and words as evidence of aliens, but to also throw away the faith traditions of millions, even of those who were alive when those art and words were composed.
All of this mystical extra-terrestrial spiritual shaping happens from big, stone platforms, which are, obviously, space landing pads. I mean, these foundations of stone that would otherwise be very useful for large, monolithic structures in an era before widespread rebar-reinforced concrete, up on high places or hidden inside of holy sites, positioned carefully to mirror the transit of the sun in the sky at certain times of year, are also simply too advanced for such primitive cultures to construct on their own. I mean, it’s not like people can’t observe the sun in the ancient world, and notice that it moves around during the year. Aliens, obviously, are the ones who measure things for historic craftsmanship.
The temples carved from stone remain the highlight, however. I found that if I ignored the words, and just observed the beautiful carvings, it was a very enjoyable episode. These gorgeous temples each deserve their own documentary, celebrating their history and cultural importance. The Buddhist Temple complex carved into the side of a mountain, and the stunning Ethiopean Masterpieces, were new to me, and I would love to visit them, and walk among the ancient toolmarks, marvel at what hands made. These world heritage sites are stunning testaments to human ingenuity and craftsmanship. They remain so inspiring that even people who refuse to see what is in front of their faces, who are lost in a dream of their own conspiracy-fueled mind, have to make space and find a way to bring these gorgeous sites into their own delusions.