'Alone' Participants Aren’t Actually Alone
This History Channel TV series was all about people being dropped off in the middle of nowhere with only select equipment and tools to fend for themselves, all by themselves.
However, this is not entirely true. While the show claims that it is self-filmed by the participants, there are some shots that beg to differ. The participants also weren’t always in the middle of nowhere, but rather close to a small city or even on a network of trails. So help wasn’t as far off as they had claimed, making the show’s edge a little softer.
Puma Punku is Fascinating, But Not Extraterrestrial
The series Ancient Aliens is packed full of lies and conspiracy theories. In fact, that’s basically all it is. Now, while many of the “experts” on the show never really claim truth in any of their theories, the way the show is designed can very easily make you jump to conclusions on your own that aren’t true.
For example, the archaeological site Puma Punku in Bolivia, an ancient temple where many of the Inca believed the world was created, is a source for many different theories. Archaeologists say that this temple was made as early as 536 AD, about 1,500 years ago, but on Ancient Aliens, the “experts” and theorists claim that it is instead over 17,000 years old. They also claim that the blocks of the temple were perfectly uniform and that they levitated despite being very heavy, which is just flat-out untrue.
Amelia Earhart Didn’t Turn Up Alive in Japan
Another conspiracy theory turned into a History Channel special, in the special Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence, they claim that Earhart didn’t crash and die somewhere in the middle of the ocean, but that she instead survived and was later spotted in Japan.
Their proof was based around this one picture that they claim Earhart was in the background of. Only about two days after the airing of the special, the claim was dispelled because someone had found that exact same image in a book that was dated 1935, 2 years before the pilot disappeared.
'Ice Road Truckers' Don’t Have That Dramatic of a Job
While it is dangerous to drive big trucks on sometimes thin ice, this show does more than its fair share of overdramatizing the situations by feeding lines to the drivers and embellishing their personalities. It is reality TV after all.
What would be all the fun if the people were just your average truck driver who ran into problems on her route? It wouldn’t be as fun of a show, that’s for sure. That’s why the History Channel made sure to exaggerate the personalities of the people on the show.
Come On, Guys; The Egyptian Pyramids Weren’t Built by Aliens
In another episode of Ancient Aliens, the “experts” discuss the Great Pyramids of Giza and how it was so impossible for people that long ago to make that perfect of structures so mathematically aligned.
So the answer has to be aliens? Come on. Sure the “possibility” exists, but the possibility also exists that these ancient peoples were just really smart and were able to line up and form everything with mathematical perfection. If you say that the Great Pyramids were formed by aliens, there is a possibility you are lying.
The U.S. Government Has Always Celebrated Christmas
In a History Channel holiday special, Christmas Unwrapped: The History of Christmas, they claim that the U.S. Government cared so little about Christmas that they didn’t recognize it as a national holiday and treated it as a normal work day from 1789-1856.
This is a flat-out lie, because it has been proven that the House and the Senate have nearly always had Christmas Day off from work. Was this just supposed to make the U.S. Government look bad? Because we still don’t get time off for other important religious holidays like Passover or Diwali, but that’s none of our business, right?
The Bible Doesn’t Contain That Many White People
If you’ve read the Bible, then you know that just about every page of it takes place in the Middle East, the farthest north being Greece, where there aren’t many, if any, very white Caucasian people. Then how come the majority of the characters in this version of the Bible are white Eastern Europeans? Also the actor who played Satan looked super similar to Obama. What was that about?
Not only was everyone super whitewashed, but the stories took so much creative liberty that it is nearly unrecognizable even if you’ve read the Bible cover to cover several times. What was the point of this show if they didn’t stick to the actual Bible?
Hitler Didn’t Escape to Argentina
Not only is this one untrue, it’s also offensive. The rumor that Hitler escaped to Argentina is just that, a rumor and a conspiracy theory, but by the History Channel giving attention to it through a whole series of rumored leads also gives it credibility that it in no way deserves.
Hitler’s death was a great sigh of relief to millions of people around the world, and to say that this relief was the actual rumor and he is still alive is downright offensive. Clearly the History Channel was not thinking through the consequences of their actions.
The Incans Were Smart Enough to Make Complex Stonework
Yet another offensively untrue claim from the History Channel is that the Incans did not have sophisticated enough thinking or tools to make the stones that can be found throughout their ancient land. This is untrue because, yes, they did do all of that, and it's very fascinating and impressive.
This is offensive because it suggests that the Incans were incapable of doing complicated things on their own without any outside influence from other cultures such as the Europeans. Why is it so hard to believe that they were highly intelligent people that the only explanation these white guys have to how they created it all is aliens? Yikes.
That Didn’t Happen to the Kennedys
The Kennedys was a TV series that claimed to be about the lives of the real Kennedy family, but the events that happened in the show were so far from reality that it was basically about a totally different family that just happened to look like the Kennedys and have strangely similar things happen to them.
The creative liberty the writers took in the show were definitely not historically based facts, but rather fan fiction, if you will, of the idea of the Kennedys someone 50 years later had in their head. Don’t watch this show thinking you are getting a history lesson, because you’re not.
Pawn Shop Setups on 'Pawn Stars'
We’ve all had a day or weekend or month where we have binged a ton of Pawn Stars, but don’t be fooled by their seemingly natural interactions and the finds they just happen to come across. These interactions are planned way in advance and took lots of planning and foresight to execute.
Not only to mention that the actual bargaining was usually scripted to ensure maximum drama with also maximum control. So no, you can’t actually do what they are doing as easily as they make it seem because it isn’t even that easy for them.
No, the Easter Island Heads Aren’t Alive
This is another one that’s having us shaking our heads. We can’t believe they actually give these people the time of day, but we have to say, it’s amusing to watch, just don’t fall for their conspiracies!
In another one of the Ancient Aliens episodes, the “experts” claim that the Easter Island Heads were actually alive, but they were also energetic communicators to aliens, but maybe they were internet modems? None of these claims are linked to true, objective, facts, but rather the boyish imaginations of these theorists.
This Guy Didn’t Actually Find Jesus’s Nails
In a TV special Secrets of Christianity: Nails of the Cross, they interview a man who claims he has found the exact nails that hung Jesus to the cross 2,000 years ago. While there is some convincing evidence, there is still nowhere near enough evidence to prove that these were those exact nails.
There are also several other people who also claim to have found the same said-nails, so how are we supposed to know which, if any, are the actual nails? The same thing is happening with the supposed chalice Jesus drank from at the Last Supper. Is there any real way to know what is real and what isn’t?
'The Mountain Men' Don’t Have as Exciting of Lives as it Looks
This show documents the lives of men living in the middle of nowhere, away from a lot of the modern comforts most of us now live with. They appear to have a lot of adventure, danger, and excitement in their wild lives, but in interviews off of the show, they have stated how their lives really aren’t as exciting as they really look. They’re really rather mundane.
Some of the more dangerous content on the show, such as a pack of wolves being close by, were actually fabricated with trained dogs that looked a lot like wolves. Their day-to-day lives are really quite simple, and while they are definitely living much differently than the rest of the U.S., they aren’t living any more dramatically, maybe even less so.
The Nazca Lines Were Not Formed by Aliens
While the Nazca Lines are very impressive and very large, there is lots of real evidence that suggests these lines were made by hand hundreds of years ago, but have simply remained untouched because of the lack of environmental forces in this barren desert in Peru.
However, Ancient Aliens once again ignored all of the real facts to make an episode that dives into the different conspiracies the “experts” have made about the lines. Some say they were alien landing pads for their aircraft, while others say they were instead made by alien aircraft, but others claim the ancient people carved down the mountains nearby. None of this is scientifically backed. We can do better, History Channel.
'Bigfoot Captured' - He Wasn’t
This entire show was a complete fabrication. In the beginning, there is a disclaimer that there is dramatization in the show, but most of it was. Of course this was all based on conspiracy theories, but they made it look like some of them were true, when, in fact, it was basically a fictional movie about bigfoot rather than a factual documentary.
The History Channel has really been losing credibility over the years. Sure, there has been some good historical content, but fictional documentaries don’t exactly help their educational reputation.
Remember When The World Didn’t End in 2012?
You can thank the History Channel for a larger spread of the end of the world panic back in 2012 with their special 2012 Doomsday . This was based around the fact that the Mayan calendar apparently ended on December 21, 2012, so people believed that it meant the ancient Mayan civilization knew when the world was going to end.
Since we are still alive today, we can safely assume that this was false information that led to a lot of unnecessary panic. It was most likely a misinterpretation of the calendar or the simple fact that they ran out of room on the stone or just wanted to stop there. How is it possible that we assume ancient people knew both more and less than we do know? The world may never know.
Medieval Art Didn’t Depict UFOs
Last one of the list from Ancient Aliens, we promise. In one of their episodes, the “experts” claim that the spheres many medieval artists drew around Jesus’s head were meant to be alien spacecraft or even Sputnik, the satellite. Medieval artists also often depicted the sun, moon, and stars with faces.
Art historians have always believed that the circle often associated with Jesus in these pieces of art signifies the artist’s belief in Jesus’s reign over heaven and earth, or a type of halo crown to signify his majesty and kingdom. Similar concepts are associated with the sun, moon, and stars that are also highly biblical symbols. These beliefs are so common and so well-accepted that it’s hard to believe that medieval artists knew more about space and the future than anyone knows now.
'Texas Rising' is Historically Inaccurate
Don’t mess with Texas. The History Channel learned this the hard way. Texas Rising was a show that was meant to tell the history of how the Texas Rangers came to be, but what it actually did was make a lot of Texans and historians mad.
The show inaccurately depicted life at that time in Texas and how their society functioned. Not to mention, the scenery of the land was nothing like the actual lands of Texas. They appeared to have gotten more information about Texas history from old western movies than actual history books.
'American Pickers' is Staged
This one is not a shocker after hearing about all of the other staged reality TV shows. Really, all reality TV is staged, let’s be honest. However, you would expect these guys to be a little more realistic with their picks.
Just like Pawn Stars, American Pickers, is well thought out beforehand and totally not candid like they try to get you to believe. Everything is pre-arranged and staged all the way through. Still a cool show if you like looking at cool and unique items, but don’t believe that everything just happened that easily.
Ginseng is Found in Asia; Not the U.S.
Appalachian Outlaws is a reality TV show that features "hillbillies" living in the Appalachian Mountains. The characters hunt ginseng, and experts agree that there are many inaccuracies.
Ginseng was originally found in Asia, where it’s been used medicinally for more than 2,500 years. It’s no joke. A pound of it can easily sell for $400-$900. However, the show intimates that ginseng is easily grown in the U.S., something that’s hard to do in the Appalachian Mountains—where ginseng requires time, talent, and climate to grow.
'Vikings' Got Combat Wrong
Almost all shows about Vikings get the combat wrong, and The History Channel is no exception. Shields were used as the primary weapon to bash each other about, whereas swords and axes were used secondarily.
Sword-and-shield combat was based on shield binds; blade-on-blade contact hardly ever occurred, according to experts and scholars alike.
The Politics Involved in 'The World Wars' Isn't Totally Accurate
The biggest thing that the series gets wrong is the discussion of politics that led from one war to another. The social and political fallout as a result of both wars is largely ignored as well.
Another glaring exclusion depicts the Russian Revolution as an exercise instead of the social and political upheaval of Russia after the monarchy was deposed.
There is No Booby-Trapped Treasure in Nova Scotia
Another reality TV show (on The History Channel, which is ironic), The Curse of Oak Island, and this time, we follow the Lagina brothers, who spend millions of dollars digging for treasure on a swampy island off Nova Scotia. The reason?
They believe that Templars (which Templars we aren’t exactly sure) buried treasure and then booby trapped it on this small patch of land. These brothers have more money than sense because they believe it’s a justice issue to bring the treasure to light while solving a "who cares" unknown mystery.
'American Ripper' Gets Timelines Confused
This series follows the history and rise of the first serial killer in America. His great-great-grandson works of H. H. Holmen (Herman Mudgett) works hard to connect him to the persona of Jack the Ripper. Besides being a serial killer responsible for more than 200 murders, H. H. Holmes was also a con man, an opportunist, and an evil genius. He used an old hotel on Chicago’s south side to be his "factory of death".
The challenge with the timing is that Jack the Ripper was also killing people on the streets of London at the same time. The 19th century travel would have been challenging between London and Chicago.
Atlantis is (Probably) Not Santorini
Ah, the legend of Atlantis. This version makes it absolutely clear that Atlantis is actually the island of Santorini, south of Greece, which was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1620 BC. The show jumps the shark when it decides to bring in Nazis—because this is the History Channel!
However, to get to those points the show sets up the narrative that the Canary Islands off the coast of Spain are the remnants of Atlantis. This methodology makes no sense other than for the host to disprove to make his own suggestion look more credible.
The Government (Probably) Isn't Using Mind Control On Us
It’s hard to understand why a channel devoted to historical facts also purports one of the world's most ridiculous conspiracy theories: that the government is filling the air with sonar, chemicals, or implants so they can mind-control everyone on planet Earth.
Most people intuitively understand the sheer stupidity of this idea, because if it were actually true that the government was really working hard to mind-control everyone, they appear to be really, really bad at it. But that's still what they try to sell you on In Search of Mind Control.
'American Jungle' Painted Clans in Hawaii in a False Light
The 2013 show American Jungle was short-lived, so you might not even remember it. Basically, it was a show about native Hawaiians from rival clans fighting each other over hunting rights.
The Hawaiian government was certainly not amused, claiming the show might have been entirely faked and that it was culturally insensitive regardless. Depicting rival clans in Hawaii without any factual basis angered Hawaiians.
'Pirate Treasure of the Knights Templar' Wasn't Based on Any Scientific or Historical Evidence
More Templars treasures abound in Pirate Treasure of the Knights Templar as forensic geologist Scott Wolter and treasure hunter Barry Clifford and their team searched sunken wrecks off the coast of Madagascar that they believed were connected to the Portuguese Templars.
The show was called out by UNESCO, which accused them of treating the research and recovery of the vessels in "an unscientific manner, without the necessary precautions and leading to damage to the sites as well as making it more difficult to understand the historic background of the sites." UNESCO further cautioned them that searching for such things without any historical evidence amounted to a hill of bunk.
'Project Blue Book' is Based in Very Little Truth
Stop me if yo've heard this one before—another show about aliens. However, this one has a thread of truth: Dr. J. Allen Hynek, for example, was a real person who worked as a scientific consultant for a government program called "Project Blue Book," which collected 12,000-plus accounts of unidentified flying objects.
The challenge is that the story is so boring that The History Channel added some special effects and made-up stuff so viewers don’t understand where the real and fake depart.
'The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch' is More Religious Than Scientific
This history show was supposed to be a scientific deep dive into the Navajo culture’s legend of Skinwalkers, a type of harmful witch who has the ability to turn into, possess, or disguise themselves as animals. It quickly devolved into—you guessed it—UFOs.
In the instance of the Utah ranch, there's even an astrophysicist on the program—because astrophysics are totally relevant here—and even his theories seem to lean more religious than scientific. In the end, the investigation of the Skinwalker Ranch was dubbed a “useless study of supernatural occult.”
There's No Real Stakes in 'Knife or Death'
With a name like Knife or Death, you would think that the show would be about historically accurate weapons, armor, and period fighting styles.
End your expectations there. The show consists of handing “contestants” new shields, weapons, and armor that superficially resemble those of the period while still meeting ACL safety standards through an obstacle course. The winner receives $20,000.