From The Guardian: Netflix’s Ancient Apocalypse scraps US filming plans after outcry from Native American groups

Controversial British writer Graham Hancock has abandoned plans to film a new season of his hit Netflix show Ancient Apocalypse in the US following an outcry from Indigenous groups over his depiction of their history and culture.
Hancock is a former journalist who has been criticized by experts for his promotion of fringe beliefs in the show which presents theories about an advanced lost civilization active during the last ice age.

The above is a very polite way of saying that Hancock has an idea with evidence to flaky that no person who has dedicated their life to these kind of studies is interested in taking this man or his ideas seriously. He’s a crackpot. A crackpot that managed to get a Netflix deal. And - he’s probably not alone.

In my read of this story as reported, there are two problems: the complaints of Native peoples and that nonsense is being presented as legitimate fact. Both of these are similar, and overlap, but are not entirely the same.

Here is a passage from this article in which they overlap:

According to Hancock, the ancient pyramid Gunung Padang in Indonesia and the ruins of Nan Madol in Micronesia were both built by an “advanced civilization” more than 20,000 years ago during the last ice age. However, present-day Pohnpeians say their oral histories passed down through generations describe the city of Nan Madol as being built by their ancestors beginning around 1,000 years ago – a timeline supported by historians and archaeologists.

However, there are complaints in which I’m indifferent:

“[Hancock] presents his theories as being superior to what the first inhabitants of the area say about their own history,” said Stewart Koyiyumptewa, tribal historic preservation officer for the Hopi Nation.
The Hopi people have lived in or near the Grand Canyon for at least 2,000 years and claim a sacred site inside the canyon as their place of emergence. They also have strong ties to Chaco Canyon.

If your eye caught on the word “emergence” - the article doesn’t bother explaining why they’re using that word. The reason is because Hopi mythology believes that they came from a previous world into this one (The Fourth World) through an opening that may be the Grand Canyon. On this note, I have as much sympathy as I have for members of my own culture that believe that the humans have only been around for six thousand years. But, we’re not talking about a show that purports to talk about superstitions and supernaturalism like these cultural mythologies - it claims that it’s evidence based, and in this case - neither side has any evidence of their claims.

As a note, I do want to mention that I’m enthusiastic to read any, even poorly evidenced, claim that there was pre-Columbian contact with the Americas from any of the other continents. I want that to be true, which this Hancock claims, but his evidence, just like all “evidence” that I’ve seen seems too be poor. Even to a layman such as myself.

Why has this article about a show that I haven’t watched and won’t be watching caught my eye? It’s because I was raised up on this kind of show. Most notably - Unsolved Mysteries. Unsolved Mysteries mixed real life cold cases with stories of alien abductions and other events that did not ever happen. As a child, I can recall having difficulty with understanding that there were truly horrific things that people had done to each other that were being depicted to me, and truly horrific things that had not happened. I’ve told friends on several occasions that following a particularly alien heavy episode of Unsolved Mysteries, I’d go to bed and because of the placement of my bedroom window facing an intersection near the house, a passing car’s headlights might sweep my bedroom window and I was certain that the aliens had arrived to update me or my entire family.

These type of shows, in my opinion, contribute to the undermining of critical thinking and information literacy in Americans and, I presume, everywhere in the world that these kind of shows that present unbelievable and impossible claims with flimsy evidence as fact. To continue to throw stones, I don’t think that cryptozoology shows or alien shows or nonsense such as the claim that there was an advanced civilization of human beings existent prior to the last ice age are alone. Other shows that undermine critical thinking and information literacy is essentially all of corporate broadcast “news”, which is carefully sculpted opinion molded over current events and put forward to tell the viewers how to feel and think about whatever curated events the network decided to report on - or invent. American tolerance and happy consumption of this garbage creates a stupider public willing to believe more far fetched beliefs.

I left my teenage years believing that sentient, space faring life that had evolved to be a slightly different biped like me, and come to this world to do - something. Shows such as Unsolved Mysteries gave credence and plausibility to impossible happenings - plausibility and credence that I should have never held in my mind at all. The shareholders of NBC and then CBS were perfectly fine with peddling pseudoscience and nonsense as long as fools such as myself tuned in and watched the commercials that they’d sell in between episodes.

I’m happy that Hancock’s nonsense is being booted from Netflix and I hope it lands no where other than the trash can. I hope that it finds good company along with any other “documentary” project that tries to sell its snake oil.