9 little-known facts about the 'Ancient Aliens Guy'
His friends call him Giorgio, but to the world, he’ll always be the ‘Ancient Aliens Guy’: one of the few celebrities to become a living meme. But what got him into the alien-investigating game in the first place, and just how does he feel about becoming a bona fide icon of ufology?
Behold, everything you ever wanted to know about the man (and the haircut).
1. He used to be a bodybuilding promotor
Before he became a real-world hybrid of Agent Mulder and Indiana Jones, Giorgio A. Tsoukalos worked in bodybuilding. Sounds unlikely, but he was an avid fan of the sport since childhood and got his start by volunteering at events like Mr Olympia, building stage sets and ferrying athletes around.
He then created his own company to put on major events like the IFBB San Francisco Pro Grand Prix in the early noughties. None other than Ronnie Coleman, widely seen as the greatest bodybuilder of all time, is on record praising the young Giorgio for helping popularise the sport.
2. His grandmother got him into aliens
Giorgio’s other great early passion was ufology – specifically, the theory that aliens affected early civilisations. His biggest influence was his grandmother, who originally introduced him to seminal ancient alien texts like Erich von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods? when he was a young boy. Years later, he rediscovered the books, setting him on the path to immortal memedom. Speaking of which…
3. He loves being a meme
Giorgio has said that it’s ‘a great honour’ to have been turned into a meme and shared endlessly on social media. In fact, he takes a pretty pragmatic view of the situation, saying that his meme-ification is proof that people have really embraced his show and his ideas.
‘I think it’s wonderful, the fan-base,’ he’s said. ‘I have the best fans in the world.’
4. He had a UFO encounter himself
Giorgio has personal experience of apparent visitors from outer space. The incident occurred in 2014 while he was, appropriately enough, attending a UFO conference at Joshua Tree National Park in California. He and dozens of other people looked up at the night sky and ‘saw stars inside the Big Dipper which obviously didn’t belong there’.
The ‘stars’ moved around before disappearing. ‘We all saw the same thing,’ Giorgio later recalled. ‘Those two things most certainly were not meteors, because they were flying up, and not towards the Earth, and they weren't satellites, because they disappeared into space.’
5. He doesn’t believe aliens built structures on Earth
A common misconception about Giorgio is that he thinks extra-terrestrials used their technology to construct temples, pyramids and other age-old structures. However, he’s never said this and has emphatically stated that he believes ancient civilisations built the monuments themselves.
His take is that they benefitted from ‘the assistance and engineering knowledge’ of the other-worldly visitors. He sums up his stance in four words: ‘Our ancestors had teachers.’
6. His hair is a carefully curated artefact
Talking of iconic monuments, what about Giorgio’s hair? It has certainly attracted much speculation and wonder, not to mention some good-natured trolling. During a Q&A session on Reddit, one questioner asked him ‘Has your hair been like that since birth?’, while another very plainly enquired as to what the secret of his look is. ‘It’s definitely styled,’ Giorgio replied. ‘I mean, it’s lots of hairspray.’
During the same session, Giorgio was also quick to clear up a mystery pointed out by another Redditor – namely, what’s happened to his hair over the years. Answer: ‘It’s being slowly abducted.’
7. He accepts his kooky reputation
There’s no denying that Ancient Aliens is a controversial series, with many critics attacking the theories of Giorgio and his colleagues. He takes this all in his stride, however, saying ‘I am the first one to admit that what I am talking about is crazy, or can be regarded as crazy.’
However, he refuses to allow the critiques to stop him from interrogating conventional wisdom and asking questions. ‘Because if, in this day and age, asking questions means that you’re crazy, then I admit I am the craziest of them all.’
8. He's played himself on a sci-fi series
Unsurprisingly, Giorgio is a huge fan of science fiction. He loves Star Wars (although the prequels don’t exist in his headcanon), as well as The X-Files and Stargate.
He’s even played himself in the current US series Resident Alien, interacting with the show’s extra-terrestrial protagonist and delivering some classic Giorgio-isms about ancient structures being ‘navels of the world where deities descended from the sky’.
9. He’s not heading up the US Space Force
In June 2018, shortly after Donald Trump proclaimed a new branch of the US military called Space Force, a rumour started to circulate that the then-president had appointed Giorgio as the Secretary of Space Force.
Of course, Trump did no such thing, and the whole thing was a The Onion-like joke. But that didn’t stop the story from gaining some traction online, much to Giorgio’s own bafflement. Speaking in an interview, he pointed out that ‘If you go to that original article, in giant letters above the title it says satire. Nobody ever read the wold satire. It’s unbelievable.’
But if he had been selected for the prestigious role? ‘I would do one hell of a job.’