Ancient astronauts

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Ancient astronauts
Template:Px250
Petroglyphs from Val Camonica, Italy. Ancient astronaut proponents point out that these pictures resemble modern day astronauts during EVA.
Claims Intelligent extraterrestrial life visited the Earth in ancient times and profoundly affected the development of human civilization.
Related scientific disciplines Archaeology
Year proposed 1919
Original proponents Charles Fort,
Erich von Däniken
Subsequent proponents Robert K. G. Temple, Zecharia Sitchin, Richard C. Hoagland, Burak Eldem
Pseudoscientific concepts

The Ancient astronauts or ancient aliens[1] theory is a pseudo-scientific proposal that posits intelligent extraterrestrial beings have visited Earth and made contact with humans in antiquity and prehistory. Proponents suggest that this contact influenced the development of human cultures, technologies, and religions. A common claim is that deities from most, if not all, religions are actually extraterrestrial in nature, and that such visitors' advanced technologies were wrongly understood by primitive men as evidence of divine status.[2][3]

Proposers subscribing to the resultant paleocontact hypothesis proposal have popularized, particularly in the latter half of the 20th century, include Erich von Däniken, Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, Zecharia Sitchin, Robert K. G. Temple, David Icke, and Peter Kolosimo,[4] but the idea that ancient astronauts actually existed is not taken seriously by academics, and has received little or no credible attention in peer reviewed studies.[5] Ancient astronauts have been widely used as a plot device in science fiction.

Overview[edit]

Ancient Astronauts proponents suggest that aliens came to Earth and profoundly affected the development of human civilization by manipulating the DNA of prehistoric hominids, citing evidence as found in this ancient Mesopotamian cylinder seal as proof of advanced technological influences

Proponents of the ancient astronaut hypotheses often maintain that humans are either descendants or creations of extraterrestrial beings who landed on Earth thousands of years ago. An associated idea is that much of human knowledge, religion, and culture came from extraterrestrial visitors in ancient times, in that ancient astronauts acted as a "mother culture". Ancient astronaut proponents also believe that travelers from outer space, referred to as "astronauts" (or "spacemen") built many of the structures on Earth (such as the pyramids in Egypt and the Moai stone heads of Easter Island) or aided humans in building them.[6][7]

Ancient Astronauts Theory of Creation[edit]

Proponents argue that the evidence for ancient astronauts comes from documentary gaps in historical and archaeological records, and they also maintain that absent or incomplete explanations of historical or archaeological data point to the existence of ancient astronauts. The evidence is argued to include archaeological artifacts that they deem anachronistic, or beyond the accepted technical capabilities of the historical cultures with which they are associated. These are sometimes referred to as "Out-of-place artifacts"; and include artwork and legends which are interpreted in a modern sense as depicting extraterrestrial contact or technologies.

Legitimate academics have responded that gaps in contemporary knowledge of the past need not demonstrate that such speculative ancient astronaut ideas are a necessary conclusion to draw.[8]

Thomas Gold, a professor of astronomy, suggested a "garbage theory" for the origin of life, proposing that life on Earth might have spread from a pile of waste products accidentally dumped on Earth long ago by extraterrestrials.[9]

Artist rendering of the suspect FOXP2 protein

The genetic argument[edit]

Ancient astronaut creation theorists believe that language is a gift from the gods. Theory proponents argue that the Forkhead box protein P2 (FOXP2) gene, which research shows to be linked with language,[10] is of extraterrestrial origin. The theory contends extraterrestrials are responsible for giving mankind the ability to communicate, use tools, manipulate fire, socially organize and interact symbolically with one another. The ancient astronaut creation theory further argues the possibility that all life on Earth is of extraterrestrial origin.

Genetic research and brain evolution[edit]

In 2004, researchers at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, at the University of Chicago, Illinois, conducted a study and found human genes that control the size and complexity of the brain have undergone rapid evolution in humans, and that mammals and other non-human primates had not evolved in this manner.[11] Ancient astronaut creation theorists believe that this evolution is the result of extraterrestrial beings manipulating the DNA of early hominids as well as natural selection.

Theory origins and proponents[edit]

A physiologically manipulated Nazca skull (housed at the Museo Regional de Ica in Peru). AAC theorists claim the culturally-based practice came about in as a societal attempt to emulate the bone structure of ancient alien visitors to earth.

Paleocontact or "ancient astronaut" narratives first appeared in the early science fiction of the late 19th to early 20th century. The idea was proposed in earnest by Harold T. Wilkins in 1954; it received some consideration as a serious hypothesis during the 1960s; and has been mostly confined to the field of pseudoscience and pop culture since the 1970s. Ancient astronauts appear as a feature of UFO religions (beginning in 1967), with the Scientologist 'Scripture", and followed by Raelism (1974), and others.[citation needed]

Alfred Russel Wallace[edit]

The AAC theory challenges Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection. Proponents of the theory cite the research and theory developed by one of Darwin's contemporaries, Alfred Russel Wallace, as at least partial basis for their beliefs. According to the ancient astronaut theorist, Craig Stanford, the theory of evolution by natural selection is inaccurate because Darwin had no means to gain a clear understanding of the amount of time that had passed since early hominids had started to walk upright, began the use of tools, and developed language.

Wallace believed that an unseen creative spirit had interceded three times on planet Earth. First, to create life from inorganic matter; second, to create consciousness within animals; and the third, to give humans the mental abilities we have today. Wallace argued that these jumps in evolution were not the product of natural selection, but were the result of a "creative intelligence" acting upon Earth and manipulating nature.[12] AAC theorists believe, in accordance with Wallace's theories, this unseen creative intelligence is of extraterrestrial origin.

Erich von Däniken[edit]

According to Eric von Däniken, the Sarcophagus lid of Pacal the Great represents an "ancient astronaut" ascending to the stars in his spaceship.

Erich von Däniken was a leading proponent of this hypothesis in the late 1960s and early 1970s, gaining a large audience through the 1968 publication of his best-selling book Chariots of the Gods? and its sequels.

Certain artifacts and monumental constructions are claimed by von Däniken to have required a more sophisticated technological ability in their construction than that which was available to the ancient cultures who constructed them. Von Däniken maintains that these artifacts were constructed either directly by extraterrestrial visitors or by humans who learned the necessary knowledge from said visitors. These include Stonehenge, Pumapunku, the Moai of Easter Island, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and the ancient Baghdad electric batteries.

The so-called "Helicopter hieroglyphs", at Abydos, Egypt, which are argued to depict flying craft

Von Däniken claims that ancient art and iconography throughout the world illustrates air and space vehicles, non-human but intelligent creatures, ancient astronauts, and artifacts of an anachronistically advanced technology. Von Däniken also claims that geographically separated historical cultures share artistic themes, which he argues imply a common origin. One such example is von Däniken's interpretation of the sarcophagus lid recovered from the tomb of the Classic-era Maya ruler of Palenque, Pacal the Great. Von Däniken claimed the design represented a seated astronaut, whereas the iconography and accompanying Maya text identifies it as a portrait of the ruler himself with the World Tree of Maya mythology.

The origins of many religions are interpreted by von Däniken as reactions to encounters with an alien race. According to his view, humans considered the technology of the aliens to be supernatural and the aliens themselves to be gods. Von Däniken claims that the oral and written traditions of most religions contain references to alien visitors in the way of descriptions of stars and vehicular objects travelling through air and space. One such is Ezekiel's revelation in the Old Testament, which Däniken interprets as a detailed description of a landing spacecraft.

Von Däniken's hypotheses became popularized in the U.S. after the NBC-TV documentary In Search Of Ancient Astronauts hosted by Rod Serling and the movie Chariots of the Gods.

Critics argue that von Däniken misrepresented data, that many of his claims were unfounded, and that none of his core claims have been validated.[13]

Zecharia Sitchin[edit]

Stone glyphs depicting a story about the Anunnaki (inhabitants of the planet Nibiru) mentioned in ancient Sumerian texts)

Zecharia Sitchin's series The Earth Chronicles, beginning with The 12th Planet, revolves around Sitchin's unique interpretation of ancient Sumerian and Middle Eastern texts, megalithic sites, and artifacts from around the world.[14][15] He hypothesizes that the gods of old Mesopotamia were actually astronauts from the planet "Nibiru", which Sitchin claims the Sumerians believed to be a remote "12th planet" (counting the Sun, Moon, and Pluto as planets) associated with the god Marduk. According to Sitchin, Nibiru continues to orbit our sun on a 3,600-year elongated orbit. Modern astronomy has found no evidence to support Sitchin's claims.[14]

Sitchin claimed there are Sumerian texts which tell the story that 50 Anunnaki, inhabitants of a planet named Nibiru, came to Earth approximately 400,000 years ago with the intent of mining raw materials, especially gold, for transport back to Nibiru. With their small numbers they soon grew tired of the task and set out to genetically engineer laborers to work the mines. After much trial and error they eventually created homo sapiens sapiens: the "Adapa" (model man) or Adam of later mythology. Sitchin contended the Anunnaki were active in human affairs until their culture was destroyed by global catastrophes caused by the abrupt end of the last ice age some 12,000 years ago. Seeing that humans survived and all they had built was destroyed, the Anunnaki left Earth after giving humans the opportunity and means to govern themselves. Sitchin's work has not received mainstream scholarly support and has been roundly criticized by professionals that have reviewed his hypotheses. Semitic languages scholar Michael S. Heiser says that many of Sitchin's translations of Sumerian and Mesopotamian words are not consistent with Mesopotamian cuneiform bilingual dictionaries, produced by ancient Akkadian scribes.[16][17][18]

Robert Temple[edit]

Robert K. G. Temple's 1976 book, The Sirius Mystery argues that the Dogon people of northwestern Mali preserved an account of extraterrestrial visitation from around 5,000 years ago. He quotes various lines of evidence, including supposed advanced astronomical knowledge inherited by the tribe, descriptions, and comparative belief systems with ancient civilizations such as ancient Egypt and Sumer. His work draws heavily on the studies of cultural anthropologists Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dieterlen.[19]

His conclusions have been criticized by scientists, who point out discrepancies within Temple's account, and suggested that the Dogon may have received some of their astronomical information recently, probably from European sources, and may have misrepresented Dogon ethnography.[20][21][22]

Shklovski and Sagan[edit]

A Dogū figurine from Japan (dated 1000–400 BCE). Ancient astronaut proponents suggest that these may represent extraterrestrial visitors.

In their 1966 book Intelligent Life in the Universe,[23] astrophysicists I.S. Shklovski and Carl Sagan devote a chapter[24] to arguments that scientists and historians should seriously consider the possibility that extraterrestrial contact occurred during recorded history. However, Shklovski and Sagan stressed that these ideas were speculative and unproven.

Shklovski and Sagan argued that sub-light speed interstellar travel by extraterrestrial life was a certainty when considering technologies that were established or feasible in the late '60s;[25] that repeated instances of extraterrestrial visitation to Earth were plausible;[26] and that pre-scientific narratives can offer a potentially reliable means of describing contact with alien.

Sagan illustrates this theory by citing the 1786 expedition of French explorer Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse, which made the earliest first contact between European and Tlingit cultures. The contact story was preserved as an oral tradition by the preliterate Tlingit. Over a century after its occurrence it was then recorded by anthropologist George T. Emmons. Although it is framed in a Tlingit cultural and spiritual paradigm, the story remained an accurate telling of the 1786 encounter. According to Sagan, this proved how "under certain circumstances, a brief contact with an alien civilization will be recorded in a re-constructable manner. He further states that the reconstruction will be greatly aided if 1) the account is committed to written record soon after the event; 2) a major change is effected in the contacted society; and 3) no attempt is made by the contacting civilization to disguise its exogenous nature."[27]

Working

Votive relief of the winged priest of Dudu (on display at the Louvre Museum, France)

Additionally, Shklovski and Sagan cited tales of Oannes, a fishlike being attributed with teaching agriculture, mathematics, and the arts to early Sumerians, as deserving closer scrutiny as a possible instance of paleocontact due to its consistency and detail.[28]

In his 1979 book Broca's Brain, Sagan[29] suggested that he and Shklovski might have inspired the wave of '70s ancient astronaut books, expressing disapproval of "von Däniken and other uncritical writers" who seemingly built on these ideas not as guarded speculations but as "valid evidence of extraterrestrial contact." Sagan argued that while many legends, artifacts, and purported out-of-place artifacts were cited in support of ancient astronaut hypothesis, "very few require more than passing mention" and could be easily explained with more conventional hypotheses. Sagan also reiterated his earlier conclusion that extraterrestrial visits to Earth were possible but unproven, and improbable.

UFO religions[edit]

Various new religious movements including some branches of theosophy, Scientology, Raëlism, and Heaven's Gate believe in ancient and present-day contact with extraterrestrial intelligence. Many of these faiths see both ancient scriptures and recent revelations as connected with the action of aliens from other planetary systems. Sociologists and psychologists have found that UFO religions have similarities which suggest that members of these groups consciously or subliminally associate enchantment with the memes of science fiction.[30]

Evidence cited by proponents[edit]

Rama being welcomed upon his return to Ayodhya in his "flying car." Some ancient astronauts proponents claim this narrative is further evidence for flying vehicles, or Vimanas, in antiquity.

Ancient religious texts[edit]

Proponents cite ancient mythologies to support their viewpoints based on the idea that ancient creation myths of gods who descend from the heavens to Earth to create or instruct humanity are actually representations of alien visitors, whose superior technology accounts for their perception as gods. Proponents attempt to draw an analogy to occurrences in modern times when isolated cultures are exposed to Western technology, such as when, in the early 20th century, "cargo cults" were discovered in the South Pacific: cultures who believed various Western ships and their cargo to be sent from the gods as fulfillment of prophecies concerning their return.[31]

The ancient Sumerian myth of Enûma Eliš, inscribed on cuneiform tablets and part of the Library of Ashurbanipal, says humankind was created to serve gods called the "Annunaki". Theory proponents believe that the Annunaki were giant aliens who came to earth to mine gold for their home planet. According to the Enuma Elish story, the Annunaki realized mining gold was taking a toll on their race, and then created the human race as slaves.[32]

Ramayana[edit]

In Hindu mythology, the gods and their avatars travel from place to place in flying vehicles (variously called "flying chariots", "flying cars" or Vimanas). There are many mentions of these flying machines in the Ramayana, which dates to the 5th or 4th century BCE. Below are some examples:

From Book 6, Canto CXXIII: The Magic Car:[33]

Is not the wondrous chariot mine,

Named Pushpak, wrought by hands divine.

This chariot, kept with utmost care,
Will waft thee through the fields of air,
And thou shalt light unwearied down

In fair Ayodhyá's royal town.

From Book 6, Canto CXXIV: The Departure:[33]

Swift through the air, as Ráma chose,

The wondrous car from earth arose.
And decked with swans and silver wings

Bore through the clouds its freight of kings.

Erich von Däniken discusses the Ramayana and the vimanas in Chapter 6 of Chariots of the Gods? suggesting that they were "space vehicles". To support his hypothesis, he offers a quotation which he says is from an 1889 translation of the Mahabharata by C. Roy: "Bhima flew with his Vimana on an enormous ray which was as brilliant as the sun and made a noise like the thunder of a storm".[34]

See also, the Vaimanika Shastra, a text on Vimanas, which supposedly "channeled" in the early 20th century.[35]

Book of Genesis and Book of Enoch[edit]

The Book of Genesis, Chapter 6 verses 1–4, states:

When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.
...
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them.
— Genesis 6:1–4 (New International Version)

One interpretation is that the Nephilim are the children of the "sons of God" and "daughters of humans", although scholars are uncertain.[36] The King James Version translates "Nephilim" as "giants" (or Gibborim). AAC theorists believe that the serpent and the forbidden 'Tree of Knowledge' story from The Bible is a metaphor. They argue that Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit in order "to be godlike", and this was the first step in human evolution. Theory proponents argue further that the biblical tree of knowledge is a metaphor for the human DNA sequence.

The first part of the apocryphal Book of Enoch expands and interprets Genesis 6:1. It explains that the "sons of God" were a group of 200 "angels" called "Watchers". Against God's wishes, these Watchers descended to Earth to breed with humans. Their offspring are the Nephilim, "giants" who "consumed all the acquisitions of men". When humans could no longer sustain the Nephilim, they turned against humanity. The Watchers also instructed humans in metallurgy and metalworking, cosmetics, sorcery, astrology, astronomy and meteorology. God then ordered the Watchers to be imprisoned in the ground. He created the Great Flood (or the numerous Deluge myths) to rid Earth of the Nephilim and of the humans who had been given knowledge by the Watchers. However, to ensure humanity's survival, Noah is forewarned of the oncoming destruction. Because they disobeyed God, the book also describes the Watchers as "fallen angels".[37]

Some ancient astronaut proponents argue that this story is a historical account of extraterrestrials visiting Earth. In their interpretation, the "angels" are extraterrestrials and were called Watchers because their mission was to observe humanity. Some of the extraterrestrials disobeyed orders; they made contact with humans, cross-bred with human females and shared knowledge with them. The Nephilim were thus half-human-half-extraterrestrial hybrids.[38]

Chuck Missler and Mark Eastman argue that modern UFOs carry the fallen angels, or offspring of fallen angels: the Nephilim of Genesis, who have now returned. They believe it was this interbreeding between the angels and humans that led to what they call "the gene pool problem." Noah was perfect in his "generations," that is "Noah's genealogy was not tarnished by the intrusion of fallen angels. It seems that this adulteration of the human gene pool was a major problem on the planet earth."[39]

Von Däniken also suggests that the two angels who visited Lot in Genesis 19 were not angels, but ancient astronauts. They may have used atomic weapons to destroy the city of Sodom. In any case, the otherworldly beings acted as if there was a time set for Sodom's destruction. Von Däniken questioned why God would work on a timetable and why an "infinitely good Father" would give "preference to 'favorite children,' such as Lot's family, over countless others."[40]

Marc Dem completely reinterprets the Book of Genesis by claiming humanity started on another planet and that the God of the Bible is an extraterrestrial.[41]

Book of Ezekiel[edit]

An engraved illustration of Ezekiel's 'vision' (1670)

In the Biblical Old Testament, Chapter 1 of the Book of Ezekiel recounts a vision in which Ezekiel sees "an immense cloud" that contains fire and emits lightning and "brilliant light". It continues: "The center of the fire looked like glowing metal, and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures". These creatures are described as winged and humanoid, they "sped back and forth like flashes of lightning" and "fire moved back and forth among the creatures". The passage goes on to describe four shiny objects, each appearing "like a wheel intersecting a wheel". These objects could fly and they moved with the creatures: "When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose".[42]

In Chapter 4 of Chariots of the Gods?, entitled "Was God an Astronaut?", von Däniken suggests that Ezekiel had seen a spaceship or spaceships; this hypothesis had been put forward by Morris Jessup in 1956[43] and by Arthur W. Orton in 1961.[44] A detailed version of this hypothesis was described by Josef F. Blumrich in his book The Spaceships of Ezekiel (1974).[45]

Elsewhere in the Bible[edit]

The characteristics of the Ark of the Covenant and the Urim and Thummim have been said to suggest high technology, perhaps from alien origins.[46]

Robert Dione and Paul Misraki published books in the 1960s claiming the events in the Bible were caused by alien technology.[47][48] Barry Downing, a Presbyterian minister wrote a book in 1968 claiming that Jesus was an extraterrestrial, citing John 8: 23 and other biblical verses as evidence.[49]

Some ancient astronaut proponents such as Von Däniken and Barry Downing believe that the concept of hell in the Bible could be a real description of the planet Venus brought to Earth by extraterrestrials showing photos of the hot surface on Venus to humans.[50] Proponents of the theory state that 'God' and 'Satan' were actually aliens that disagreed on whether or not human beings should be allowed the information that is offered by the tree of knowledge. David Childress, a leading proponent of ancient astronaut creation theory, compares this story to the Greek tale of Prometheus, who gave mankind the knowledge of fire. AAC theorists believe the biblical concept of Satan is based on a misunderstood visit by extraterrestrials. Erich von Däniken posited that the descendants of extraterrestrials had children with hominids, and this was referred to in the Bible as the "Original Sin." Von Däniken believes that the biblical great flood was punishment after an extraterrestrial 'God' discovered that earthbound, fallen angels ("Nephilim"), were mating with ape-like early humans.[51]

Ancient artwork[edit]

Wondjina rock art in the Kimberley region, Australia
Comparison of some Ural pictograms to modern structural formulae of several chemical compounds (according to Russian researcher Vladimir Avinsky)

Worldwide petroglyphic evidence[edit]

Ancient astronaut theorists believe Hopi cave drawings found in the southwestern desert, link the origins of Hopi and Zuni tribes with "star people" (sometimes referred to as "Kachinas"). They point to similar etchings found in caves across the planet as evidence that extraterrestrials visited many different ancient civilizations. They state that the Hopi and Zuni drawings depict contact with "beings from space who are not gods, but [have] brought knowledge from another planet."[citation needed]

Other artistic support for the ancient astronaut hypothesis has been sought in Palaeolithic cave paintings. Wondjina in Australia and in the Rock Drawings in Valcamonica, in Italy (seen above) are claimed to bear a resemblance to present day astronauts.[52] Supporters of the ancient astronaut hypothesis sometimes claim that similarities such as dome shaped heads, interpreted as beings wearing space helmets, prove that early man was visited by an extraterrestrial race.[53]

More support of this hypothesis draws upon what are claimed to be representations of flying saucers in medieval and renaissance art.[54] This is used to support the ancient astronaut hypothesis by attempting to show that the creators of humanity return to check up on their creation throughout time.

Nazca Lines[edit]

"The Astronaut" - a large geoglyph near the Nazca Lines

The ancient Nazca Lines are hundreds of huge ground drawings etched into the high desert of southern Peru. Some are stylized animals and humanoid figures, while others are merely straight lines hundreds of meters long. As the figures were made to be seen from a great height, they have been linked with the ancient astronaut hypothesis. Von Däniken (1970) says that the Nazca lines and figures could have been made "according to instructions from aircraft" and suggests that the longer and wider lines might be runways for spacecraft.[55] However, professor Joe Nickell of the University of Kentucky, was able to re-create one of the figures using only wooden stakes and string.[55] In an episode of Ancient Aliens, it is suggested that the Nazca had been visited by extraterrestrials and, after they left, the Nazca created the huge figures to try to draw them back to Earth.

Ancient artifacts[edit]

Alleged physical evidence includes the discovery of artifacts in Egypt (the Saqqara Bird) and Colombia-Ecuador, which are claimed to be similar to modern planes and gliders,[56] although these have been interpreted by archaeologists as stylized representations of birds and insects.

Megalithic sites[edit]

Ahu Tongariki near Rano Raraku; ancient astronaut proponents claim the stone structures were built by (or with the help of) extraterrestrials

Evidence for ancient astronauts is claimed to include the existence of ancient monuments and megalithic ruins such as the Giza pyramids of Egypt, Machu Picchu in Peru, or Baalbek in Lebanon, the Moai of Easter Island and Stonehenge of England.[57] Supporters contend these stone structures could not have been built with the technical abilities and tools of the people of the time and further argue that many could not be duplicated even today. They suggest that the large size of the building stones, the precision with which they were laid, and the distances many were transported leaves the question open as to who constructed these sites.

These contentions are categorically rejected by mainstream archeology. Some mainstream archeologists have participated in experiments to move large megaliths. These experiments have succeeded in moving megaliths up to at least 40 tons,[58][59] and they have speculated that with a larger workforce larger megaliths could be towed with the use of known ancient technology.[60] Such allegations are not unique in history, however, as similar reasoning lay behind the wonder of the Cyclopean masonry walling at Mycenaean cities in the eyes of Greeks of the following "Greek Dark Ages", who believed that the giant Cyclops had built the walls.

Religious and cultural practices[edit]

A number of ancient cultures, such as the Ancient Egyptians and some Native Americans, artificially lengthened the skulls of their children. Some ancient astronaut proponents propose that this was done to emulate extraterrestrial visitors, whom they saw as gods.[61][62] Among the ancient rulers depicted with elongated skulls are pharaoh Akhenaten and Nefertiti. It has been pointed out that the Grey aliens (historically referred to as "little green men"), described by many alien abductees have similarly shaped heads.[61] In the program Ancient Aliens it was suggested that the owners of the biggest of the lengthened skulls may be human-extraterrestrial hybrids.[61]

Critics[edit]

Alan F. Alford, author of Gods of the New Millennium (1996), was an adherent of the ancient astronaut hypothesis. Much of his work draws on Sitchin's hypotheses. However, he now finds fault with Sitchin's hypothesis after deeper analysis, stating that: "I am now firmly of the opinion that these gods personified the falling sky; in other words, the descent of the gods was a poetic rendition of the cataclysm myth which stood at the heart of ancient Near Eastern religions."[63]

The Christian creationist community is highly critical of many of the ancient astronaut ideas. Young Earth creationist author Clifford A. Wilson published Crash Go the Chariots in 1972 in which he attempted to discredit all claims made in von Däniken's book Chariots of the Gods.[64]

In a 2004 article in Skeptic magazine,[65] Jason Colavito claims that von Däniken plagiarized many of the book's concepts from Le Matin des Magiciens (Morning of the Magicians), that this book in turn was heavily influenced by the Cthulhu Mythos, and that the core of the ancient astronaut hypothesis originates in H. P. Lovecraft's works "The Call of Cthulhu" and At the Mountains of Madness. He later expanded on this claim in his book The Cult of Alien Gods: H. P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture.

Popular culture[edit]

Ancient astronaut hypothesis has been used as background or main topic in many fictional works such as Lovecraft's short story "The Call of Cthulhu" (1926) and novella At the Mountains of Madness (1931) as well as in many of his other works, the television shows The X-Files and Earth: Final Conflict, the films 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Stargate (1994), Alien vs. Predator (2004), Knowing (2009), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) and Prometheus (2012), as well as many comic books, manga, and video games.

Ancient Aliens is a television series that features the main proponents of the ancient astronaut hypothesis, such as Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, David Childress, Erich von Däniken, Steven Greer, and Nick Pope.[66]

Proponents[edit]

Many publications have argued for ancient astronauts hypotheses. Notable examples include:

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Darling, David. "paleocontact hypothesis". The Encyclopedia of Science. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Lieb, Michael (1998). Children of Ezekiel: Aliens, Ufos, the Crisis of Race, and the Advent of End Time. Duke University Press. p. 250. ISBN 0-8223-2268-4. 
  3. ^ Cithara. St. Bonaventure University. 1961. p. 12. 
  4. ^ Von Däniken, Erich (1984). Chariots of the Gods. Berkley Pub Group. ISBN 0-425-07481-1. 
  5. ^ Harrold; "Noah's Ark and Ancient Astronauts: Pseudoscientific Beliefs About the Past Among a Sample of College Students;" The Skeptical Inquirer; vol 11.1; 1986: 61; Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal; 13 Dec 2010.
  6. ^ Olien, Michael D. (1978). "Did Ancient Astronauts Bring Civilization?". The human myth: An introduction to anthropology. USA: Harper & Row. pp. 236–241, 245, 255. ISBN 0-06-044918-7. 
  7. ^ Ancient Astronauts; article; Weekly World News Apr 3, 2001
  8. ^ Sagan, Carl (1979). "II The Paradoxers - 5. Night Walkers and Mystery Mongers: Sense and Nonsense at the Edge of Science". Broca's Brain. USA: Random House. pp. 53–54. ISBN 0-394-50169-1. 
  9. ^ Gold, T. "Cosmic Garbage," Air Force and Space Digest, 65 (May 1960).
  10. ^ Bryner, Jeanna. "Human Speech Gene Found". Tech Media Netweork. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  11. ^ Keeley, Jim. "Human Brain Evolution Was a 'Special Event'". HHMI. Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  12. ^ Camerini, Jane R. (2002). The Alfred Russel Wallace Reader, Selections of Writing from the Field. New York: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 154. ISBN 978-0801867897. 
  13. ^ Erich von Däniken's "Chariots of the Gods"—Science or Charlatanism?; Robert Sheaffer; October/November, 1974; "NICAP UFO Investigator", retrieved .
  14. ^ a b Carroll, Robert T (1994–2009). "The Skeptic's Dictionary". Zecharia Sitchin and The Earth Chronicles. John Wiley & Sons. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  15. ^ Kilgannon, Corey (January 8, 2010). "Origin of the Species, From an Alien View". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 October 2010. "Mr. Sitchin was called silly before—by scientists, historians and archaeologists who dismiss his hypotheses as pseudoscience and fault their underpinnings—his translations of ancient texts and his understanding of physics." 
  16. ^ "Open Letter to Zecharia Sitchin". stichiniswrong.com. 
  17. ^ Zechariah Sitchin, Mark Pilkington, Fortean Times, August 2003.
  18. ^ "The Anunnaki". stichiniswrong.com. 
  19. ^ Temple, Robert K. G., The Sirius Mystery, 1976. ISBN 0-09-925744-0
  20. ^ Sagan, Carl, Broca's Brain, published by Random House, Inc. in 1974
  21. ^ Investigating the Sirius "Mystery" at the Wayback Machine (archived February 16, 2008) - Skeptical Inquirer (1978) Ian Ridpath
  22. ^ Walter E. A. van Beek: "Dogon Restudied: A Field Evaluation of the Work of Marcel Griaule." Current Anthropology, 32 (1991): 139-167.
  23. ^ Shklovski, I.S and Carl Sagan. Intelligent Life in the Universe. San Francisco: Holden-Day, 1966
  24. ^ "The Possible Consequences of Direct Contact," authored mostly by Sagan, according to line-by-line indications of individual or collaborative sections.
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References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Avalos, Hector (2002) "The Ancient Near East in Modern Science Fiction: Zechariah Sitchin's The 12th Planet as Case Study." Journal of Higher Criticism, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 49–70.
  • Harris, Christie (1975) Sky Man on the Totem Pole? New York: Atheneum.

External links[edit]