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Podcast > Wednesday, 8 December 2010 03:14:38 EST

Dumbass Podcast #2: Ancient Aliens Part 1

Keywords: aliens, ancient alien theory, conspiracy, historical

So, for my second episode of the Dumbasses Guide To Knowledge podcast, I decided to go over the material from my first article on ancient aliens.  Consider this to be the newly revised and updated version of that article, now with accompanying audio.

I think it turned out alright.  Take a listen and judge for yourself:

Episode 2: Ancient Aliens Part 1

I won't do all the ancient alien shows in a row.  I'll intersperse them with my other articles.  But I'm pretty happy with the way that my articles on this subject have turned out so I'll keep on coming back to it.

Anyway, here's the show transcript:

Hey, welcome to episode 2 of The Dumbasses Guide To Knowledge!  This is the first episode where I will actually be delving into some issue critically, and for this episode I've chosen Ancient Aliens as my subject.  I first got into this subject back in May of 2010, when I came across a documentary on the History Channel called "Ancient Aliens: The Series".  I figured it would be fun to watch and that it might provide some material for my blog, and boy was I right about that!

My articles about ancient aliens, also sometimes called "ancient astronauts", have proven to be the most popular of anything that I've written!  They bring in plenty of search hits and forum links, as well as comments and email, both complimentary and otherwise.  People just really love this topic, and the more I write about it, the more I can see why.  It's a really fascinating topic to pick apart, and there's just so much of it to cover.

The episode that I came across back in May was the first episode of the series, and it's entitled "The Evidence".  Excellent!  I'm all about looking at the evidence!  This is exactly the episode that I want to cover!

My first article covers the first segment of the show, which is approximately thirteen minutes.  I'll be going over all the same material that I covered in my original article, with a few changes and additions to make sure that everything works as a podcast and to cover a few extra details. 

All relevant images will be included in the online transcript for this episode on dumbassguide.info for your convenience.  So with all that back story out of the way, let's get into the meat of the matter and take a look at the evidence that us humans have been visited in our ancient past by advanced aliens.

The first piece of evidence we're told about is a figurine of a bird discovered in Saqqara, Egypt in an ancient tomb.  It's a wooden bird figurine with ramrod straight wings and a rudder-like tail sitting on a stick, and you can check the show transcript for a picture:

Saqqara Bird

Nobody thought much of this bird at first, but then people began noticing something peculiar.  Aerospace engineer Dr. Uwe Apel explains:

It's interesting because on one hand, clearly it should look like a bird, because it has eyes and the tubical nose of a bird.  On the other hand, the wings are clearly not bird wings.

Right... because I guess he figures those eyes and that beak look so realistic.  Seriously, take a look at the picture - there is no part of that figurine that could be mistaken for a lifelike representation of an actual bird.  Contrasting it's eyes and beak with it's wings as though the former was somehow more realistic makes absolutely no sense!

So I'll concede that the bird's shape does look a little strange.  The argument here is that the wings are thicker near the middle, and taper off near the ends,  They're also slightly swept downward at the ends.  This makes their design very aerodynamic.

The documentary also points out that the tail seems a bit strange, since birds tails are not vertical.  What purpose could this serve?

So they made a large scale replica of the bird and put it in a wind tunnel.  They found that it was very aerodynamic, the only thing missing was a rear stabilizing rudder. And you can clearly see that there's a notch on the bird's tail where such a rudder could have possibly been attached.

This is actually pretty interesting, but it's here that they take this tremendous leap and suggest that this bird may have been a model of an actual full sized glider which carried humans.

Seriously, that's one monumental leap. If this is, in fact, a glider, why should it be representative of something bigger?  Why couldn't it be just some sort of cute little gliding toy that the ancient Egyptians might have thrown just like kids today throw paper airplanes?

We know that people knew how to make gliding shapes long before the Wright Brothers ever did anything at Kitty Hawk.  And we know that ancient people were perfectly capable of creating aerodynamic flying objects like arrows and boomerangs.

So what possible reason do we have to extrapolate from this that ancient people might have created larger scale versions that would seat people?

As giant and unwarranted a leap as this is, the show makes it.  They start speculating about how the ancient Egyptians might have gotten the gliders to fly, since modern gliders often need the help of a tow plane.  Here's a quote from the show by Dr. Algund Eenboom, co-author of the book "Aircraft Of The Pharohs":

The scientifics of Egyptology told us that such a bird could be powered by catapults to fly, and we had high acceptance by Egyptian scientists

I don't know about you, but I'm picturing some ancient Egyptian screaming his lungs out as his catapult propelled glider hurdles away, spinning head over tail until it smacks into a pyramid.  This Dr. Eenboom seriously believes that you could get some sort of controlled lift off using an ancient catapult!

The show, at this point, displays a hokey computer animation of an ancient glider achieving perfect liftoff by this method.  That seems extremely unlikely to me.  But if anybody out there wants to actually test this and perhaps prove me wrong, why not try doing a small scale experiment?  Get yourself a model catapult and a paper airplane... then let me know if you get anywhere with that.

And what exactly are the "scientifics of Egyptology"?  And what exactly does he mean that they "had high acceptance by Egyptian scientists"?  High acceptance of what?  What question did they ask, and what kind of answers did they get?

Egyptologists aren't experts in aerodynamics.  My guess is that Eenboom just prodded at them enough until he got an answer something along the lines of: "Sure, it wasn't theoretically beyond the limits of Egyptian technology to launch something like this with a catapult..."

It's just pure speculation, and like I said, a huge leap.  But apparently from this, we're supposed to make an even further tremendous leap and infer that if the ancient Egyptians actually had this kind of technology, that perhaps it was because of their encounters with aliens?

Even if it were true that the ancient Egyptians had these kinds of gliders, why should that be any indication of alien intervention?  All the explanations provided so far rely completely on the technology that the ancient Egyptians already had available at hand.   If it were true that they could fly, it would be remarkable.... but it wouldn't require aliens to explain it.

The thought process behind this reasoning is a mystery to me, but we're done with the Saqqara bird for the moment.  Now the show moves on from possible ancient Egyptian flight and moves to the jungles of Colombia, where some interesting ancient artifacts were unearthed.  Among some small, golden fish and insect figurines they found a few that looked... to some... like fighter jets:

Golden Flyer


Tolima Figurine

I think you have to seriously force your imagination in order to see any resemblance between these figurines and modern fighter jets.  But there's some sort of general similarity... you've got wings, a tail, and a body or "fuselage".  I'm placing the images in the show transcript so that you can decide for yourself exactly how similar they are.

Giorgio Tsoukalos, publisher of "Legendary Times" magazine, says that they're "eerily reminiscent of modern day fighter jets".  I'd kind of like to know what he's smoking.  Author and investigative journalist Philip Coppens explains further:

There is not a single insect in the world which has got it's wings at the bottom.  When you exclude the possibility that it's an insect, one of the things which remains is that this is what it looks like, a plane.

I think he's hoping that people will skip over the part where he says "one of the things which remains", and just assume what he's implying, that the only other possible explanation is that this is a figurine of an aircraft.

I'm not sure why we need to exclude any possibility on the basis of this evidence.  Why should we expect that the ancient Colombians didn't take artistic liberties to create something new and interesting?  A minute or so before this we're shown some examples of other figurines from the same collection, including a fish with six fins and a dolphin-like fluke for a tail.  See the transcript for the picture.

Strange Fish


Since writing this article, I've looked at multiple other websites on this subject, and one of the common things I hear them say is that these ancient Colombians paid a lot of attention to detail and only created artwork that was incredibly accurate and representative of what they saw.  It's like they feel it's okay to just make stuff up!  Seriously, take a look at the representation of a fish with six fins and a fluke!

I don't believe that the ancient Colombians ever saw a fish that actually looked like this.  I seriously doubt that such a fish exists.  If anybody knows of any, I'd be very interested to learn about them.  But I think it's pretty obvious that there's some artistic license going on here.

Or.. wait a minute... maybe this was an alien fish!  Yeah, that's got to be it!  This is just more evidence that the aliens were here!  How else could the ancient Colombians have known about these strange alien fish?

Anyway, just like the Saqqara bird, they created a scaled up copy of one of the figurines, which they'e now dubbed the "golden flyer", and subjected it to a wind tunnel, and discovered that it had aerodynamic properties.  They then went further, and actually created a model which they turned into a working remote controlled airplane.

Interestingly, after I wrote this article I found a picture of this "golden flyer" figurine in a book which shows the object at a different angle from which you can clearly see two eyes, a nose, and a toothy claymation-esque grin.  The thing is clearly meant to represent some sort of mythical creature or sea god or something along those lines.  I don't know how these people are ignoring the fact that this thing has a face!  In the show they try their best to hide it from you, but it's clearly there and once again I'll place the picture in the show transcript at dumbassguide.info.

It Has A Face

And if you're in a position to have a look at the show transcript, have a look at the picture of the figurine next to the picture of the scaled up model.

Scaled Up Models
Wind Tunnel And Working Airplane Models.  Compare With Original Above


Now listen to this quote by Tsoukalos:

They did not add an inch or remove an inch, they just essentially blew the little thing into a larger size.

Sure, they didn't add an inch or remove an inch.... except that they shaved off those strange frills on the edge of the wings, they would have probably messed with the aerodynamics.  And they also reshaped the wings to make their shape more aerodynamically tapered instead of just flat.  And they smoothed out the bulge in the middle of the "fuselage" to make it more svelte.  And they seriously toned down the decorative bumps and such for the sake of aerodynamics, and let's not forget that they removed the thing's face!

And, of course, they added a propeller, engine, and landing gear.... you know, usually, when you have a model airplane, they include the landing gear and propellers.  If this were actually a model airplane, the fact that they're missing would be a really puzzling anomaly.

Here's another interesting tidbit that I discovered when I did some more research: It seems like this was the only figurine that they were able to get these kinds of results with.  They'd singled out about a dozen of them from the collection that they said looked like airplanes, and this was the only one that would pass the wind tunnel test... as long as they made a few modifications.  This is looking more and more like an example of anomaly hunting than anything else!

But the point that they're trying to make here is that their airplane actually flies.  And, lo and behold, it actually does.

It Flies!


So, now I'm curious - I thought the claim was that this represented some sort of alien fighter jet.  But their model is of a propeller plane.  Are we now claiming that this instead was an alien propeller plane??

I assume the reason that they switched and decided that this wasn't a fighter jet after all is because their model seems to envision the jet nozzle pointing directly at the airplane's tail fin.  That would be a rather serious design flaw right there, wouldn't it?

So anyway, what we've got here now is a claim that the aliens came down in propeller planes to greet the ancient Colombians.

Let me bring up a quote from the beginning of the episode:

Could ancient man have possessed knowledge far beyond that of our own century?  And if so, where did it come from?

So far we've got catapult propelled wooden gliders and golden propeller planes....  nothing exactly beyond our technology yet. 

Anyway, it's here that Tsoukalos makes the most mind numbingly asinine statement of the episode so far, though it's certainly not going to be his last such statement:

So we have two examples, from opposite sides of the planet, and both examples are aerodynamically sound, and they fly.   So to suggest that all of this is coincidence... I mean, after a while, even coincidence no longer makes sense.

That's right ladies and gentlemen, we have two objects that look absolutely nothing like each other, are made from two different kinds of material, and which even under the remarkably silly interpretations given here represent two different types of objects.... what more coincidence do you need?

And then we're told that we have ancient documents showing flight patterns and aircraft specs.  We're not told anything about those documents in this section, but that's coming up so be sure to look for it!

Ancient Documents 1


Ancient Documents 2


Ancient Documents 3
And then we're told that there are also documents showing ancient air battles "in great detail".  Apparently, these documents of ancient air battles take the form of paintings of Hindu gods doing battle.  I, for one, think that Hindu gods are awesome - You Go Ganesh! You magnificent elephant headed, milk drinking bastard! - but I fail to see how these paintings bear any resemblance to modern style fighter jets... or propeller planes... engaged in areal battle.

Detailed Air Battles

But that's all we get to cover for now, because this is the end of the first segment.  More fun stuff is to come though, including folklore, not really ancient texts, and the wackiest looking flying machines ever conceived! 

The theme song for The Dumbasses Guide To Knowledge is My Monkey by Jonathan Coulton.  Visit Mr. Coulton on the web for more great songs at www.jonathancoulton.com.  And send me an email at *EMAIL*, or post a comment on the blog.  Until next time, this has been the Dumbasses Guide To Knowledge.


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