Absurd apocalypse assumptions

New Netflix docuseries filled with fallacies, misinformation

Apocalyptic Amateur \\ Self-proclaimed investigative journalist Graham Hancocks new Netflix docuseries is problematic and spreads dangerous misinformation.

photo credit: Courtesy Photo

Apocalyptic Amateur \\ Self-proclaimed investigative journalist Graham Hancock’s new Netflix docuseries is problematic and spreads dangerous misinformation.

writer: Hannah Hansen, Editor-in-Chief

Released Nov. 11, the much anticipated docuseries Ancient Apocalypse follows controversial, self-described “investigative journalist” Graham Hancock on his explorations of historical sites and ancient ruins in an attempt to find proof for his theory on a lost civilization.

In the show, Hancock argues that the human race as a whole has amnesia and that we have forgotten an ancient, advanced civilization that perished at the end of the last Ice Age, around 9,600 BC. He travels around the world, from Indonesia to Mexico to Turkey to Ohio, looking through excavation sites and meeting with supposed experts to discuss his theories.

Almost immediately, the six-part show was met with outrage from the archaeological community, who have often disagreed with and denounced Hancock’s typically outlandish and poorly-backed theories. They argue that, with the exception of Gobekli Tepe in Turkey which has been universally confirmed to have been founded around 9,500 BC, the vast majority of the sites that Hancock visits have been dated to well after the last Ice Age.

Furthermore, critics of the show also object to the blatant lack of credibility of Hancock’s sources. Many are described as amateurs or are unrecognized within the academic community. Additionally, very few of these experts are even from the foreign countries of which they claim to be experts in the prehistory of.

Additionally, Hancock’s theories, intentionally or not, promote racist beliefs, erasing the history and accomplishments of native societies of the Americas, Pacific Islands, and Asia by claiming that, instead of creating marvelous structures like Gunang Padang in Indonesia and the Great Pyramid of Cholula in Mexico, some mysterious advanced race of humans came to build these and teach the “primitive” hunter-gatherers the ways of “civilization”.

While the show does have some stunning visual shots and does serve to introduce audiences to unknown ancient cultures, despite the lack of fact-checking, these benefits do not make up for the misleading and fear-mongering that Hancock spreads throughout these docuseries. At the end of the final episode, Hancock leaves the show on an ominous cliffhanger by warning the audience that these ancient civilizations were all warning of a terrible catastrophe that had happened to them, and that would one day come back again.