Aliens Land in Red Bank


A Two River Times Exclusive Interview with Giorgio Tsoukalos of History Channel’s hit TV show ‘Ancient Aliens’

Giorgio Tsoukalos and friends will bring “Ancient Aliens LIVE: Project Earth,” to the Basie Sunday, April 30. The hit TV show with the same name ponders the theory that extraterrestrials have visited Earth for millions of years. Courtesy Giorgio Tsoukalos
Giorgio Tsoukalos and friends will bring “Ancient Aliens LIVE: Project Earth,” to the Basie Sunday, April 30. The hit TV show with the same name ponders the theory that extraterrestrials have visited Earth for millions of years. Courtesy Giorgio Tsoukalos

By JF Grodeska

RED BANK – On Sunday, April 30 at 7 p.m., The Count Basie Center for the Arts/Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre will host “Ancient Aliens LIVE: Project Earth,” an experiential extension of the TV show “Ancient Aliens’” that explores the theory that extraterrestrials have visited Earth for millions of years.

The 90-minute live experience celebrates the long-running program and features leading “ancient astronaut” theorist Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, investigative mythologist William Henry, aerospace engineer and intelligence expert Travis Taylor, Ph.D., U.K. government UFO investigator Nick Pope, and real-life Indiana Jones, David Childress, as they discuss thought-provoking extraterrestrial theories on fan-favorite topics from Ancient Egypt to the moon.

Tsoukalos is a charming, positive, and effervescent personality on the show and in person. He is ambitious and driven, yet quick to make you laugh and feel comfortable. He has been happily married to Krix Beeble for 10 years – whenever you see a photograph of the two they appear to be glowing. Tsoukalos met Beeble 11 years ago on Twitter.

“You know, we still laugh the same and as much as we did on that day as we laugh today,” he said. “I love her and she is the light of my life.”

Most fans also know he was the U.S. publisher of Legendary Times magazine, however his story began much earlier.

Growing Up In Switzerland

As a teen, Tsoukalos, who was born in Switzerland, attended a professional bodybuilding contest in Lausanne, Switzerland. “It was organized by some people there and attendance was OK, but it was not great and so I thought that I could do a better job” with promotion.

The following year, armed with determination, Tsoukalos approached Wayne DeMilia, the head of the professional bodybuilding division of the International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness (IFBB) with a pitch to promote the next contest. Perhaps it was his earnestness or his self-confidence and ambition that persuaded DeMilia to give Tsoukalos an opportunity. He agreed to let him promote the show.

Although the show never happened, when Tsoukalos came to the United States, DeMilia took him under his wing. “He was one of my earliest mentors,” Tsoukalos said.

“So, I was, for many years, Wayne DeMilia’s right-hand person promoting Mr. Olympia and I also worked on the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic for many years.”

When he talks about those days with the IFBB, you can hear the smile in his voice. “But this now seems like 900 years ago,” he said. “These are wonderful, wonderful days and I would not trade it for anything. It was great that I was able to experience the bodybuilding world. It brings up so many wonderful memories because it was truly the golden era of professional bodybuilding.”

Legendary Times

Growing up in Switzerland, Tsoukalos had the opportunity to meet and begin a friendship with ancient astronaut author Erich von Däniken. “This idea that we’re not alone in the universe used to be dinner table conversation in the household in which I grew up. So, ever since a little boy, I remember, especially when my grandparents would visit, that these would be highly or frequently discussed topics of conversation. When I was around 14, I discovered the books, or rediscovered I’ll say because he was always a household name in our household, of Erich von Däniken.”

A photos from an F-15 Tom Cat fighter off the Carrier Nimitz of a UFO in flight. Courtesy Giorgio Tsoukalos
A photos from an F-15 Tom Cat fighter off the Carrier Nimitz of a UFO in flight. Courtesy Giorgio Tsoukalos

While Tsoukalos was promoting events for the IFBB, he discovered another opportunity, one that would partner him with von Däniken. “Around that time there was an American publication by the name of ‘Ancient Skies’ and they dedicated themselves to the ancient astronaut theory and around 1996-97 there were rumors that the publisher of this newsletter would retire and that he would stop publication. So, I offered myself and I told Erich that I asked to publish the American version of, or the English version, of Legendary Times Magazine and asked him to publish the German version. He agreed and this is how this all began, in a roundabout way.”

Ancient Aliens

For 19 seasons, Tsoukalos has been the host and producer of the History Channel series. In a noncritical, documentary-style format, the show explores the hypothesis of ancient alien astronauts visiting Earth. “Nowhere in any of Erich von Däniken’s books has he ever proposed, nor have we proposed on ‘Ancient Aliens,’ that the ancient monuments were not built by our human ancestors. Of course, our ancient monuments were built by our human ancestors. What we are proposing, or what Erich has proposed, is that, because of the lack of, shall we say good technological evolution or a lack in evolution of technology, the most ancient of structures are the most megalithic, the most gigantic, where it should be the other way around. It should be that you begin a project the easy way. You start out with a model. You use the easiest components, use the easiest way of construction. You don’t choose megalithic blocks that are hundreds of metric tons heavy.

“That was a compelling argument for me to propose that at some point a way of engineering, or a way of technology, was somehow lost and perhaps that technology was shared with our ancestors by visiting extraterrestrials and that they were our first teachers. To propose that we had teachers, at some point, our first teachers, has somehow become problematic all of a sudden and that to me is a strange thing,” Tsoukalos said.

“All of us are the product of one thing and that is education and the gathering of knowledge, so to propose that we’ve had teachers a long time ago to me only makes sense, and this did not just happen only in Africa or in South America, it happened worldwide on every continent in every ancient culture.”

Contact In The Desert

Contact in the Desert is billed as the “world’s largest UFO/UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) conference.” In 2014, Tsoukalos said he had “an encounter” while attending the event.

On a late evening in August 2014 in Joshua Tree National Park in California, Tsoukalos said he and 30 others witnessed two additional “stars” inside the Big Dipper constellation. “Everybody’s familiar with the Big Dipper,” he said, “the rectangle and then you have a few stars on the side that represent the handle. But inside the rectangle to the naked eye, and even if you put night vision goggles on, at the center it’s dark, there is nothing there.”

But for about 10 minutes, Tsoukalos said, “these two stars, every two minutes or so, would become brighter for 10 seconds and then dim down again. Then became brighter again, then down again, and the third time that these two lights or these two additional stars became brighter again they started to move equidistant out of the Big Dipper, and then they just shot off into space.”

“We all went, ‘Whoa!’ as this thing essentially disappeared.”

“I wondered that night what the pilots look like, but at the same time I’m not remiss to even admit that with everything that we know today about drone technology and stuff like this, who knows if somebody played a prank on us?”

He questioned whether someone would bother to spend the money required to pull off that kind of prank on people who were already in the desert looking for UFOs.

“So, what’s more likely?”

he asked. “This is where I too am questioning what’s more likely that it was truly a UAP or it was a drone that somebody steered from a control room? I don’t know.”

A Live ‘Alien’ Experience

At the “Ancient Aliens Live” roadshow Tsoukalos and his fellow presenters – “all people that you are very familiar with” if you watch the show, he said – will have a discussion on stage, show slides and video clips, and also answer questions from the audience.

“These events have a special energy to them and in order to find out what that feels like, I invite everyone to please come on down.”

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The article originally appeared in the April 20 – 26, 2023 print edition of The Two River Times.