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For other reptilian humanoids, see List of reptilian humanoids. For other uses, see reptilian (disambiguation).
Artist's depiction of a reptilian

Reptilians (also called reptoids,[1] reptiloids, or draconians) are purported reptilian humanoids that play a prominent role in science fiction, as well as modern ufology and conspiracy theories.[2][3] The idea of reptilians on Earth was popularized by David Icke, a conspiracy theorist who claims shape-shifting reptilian aliens control Earth by taking on human form and gaining political power to manipulate our societies. Icke has claimed on multiple occasions that many of the world leaders are, or are possessed by, reptilians ruling the world.

Alien abduction[edit]

Alien abduction narratives sometimes allege contact with reptilian creatures.[4] One of the earliest reports was that of Ashland, Nebraska police officer Herbert Schirmer, who claims to have been taken aboard a UFO in 1967 by humanoid beings with a slightly reptilian appearance, who wore a "winged serpent" emblem on the left side of their chests.[5]

David Icke[edit]


According to British writer David Icke, 5- to 12-foot (1.5–3.7 m) tall, blood-drinking, shape-shifting reptilian humanoids from the Alpha Draconis star system, now hiding in underground bases, are the force behind a worldwide conspiracy against humanity.[6] He contends that most of the world's leaders are related to these reptilians, including George W. Bush of the United States, and Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.[7] Icke's conspiracy theories now have supporters in 47 countries and he has given lectures to crowds of up to 6,000.[8][9] American writer Vicki Santillano included it in her list of the 10 most popular conspiracy theories, describing it as the "wackiest theory" she had encountered.[10]

A poll of Americans in 2013 by Public Policy Polling showed that 4% of registered voters (+/- 2.8%) believed in David Icke's ideas.[11]


In the closely fought 2008 U.S. Senate election between comedian and commentator Al Franken and incumbent Senator Norm Coleman, one of the ballots challenged by Coleman included a vote for Franken with "Lizard People" written in the space provided for write-in candidates.[12] Lucas Davenport who later claimed to have written the gag ballot, said, "I don't know if you've heard the conspiracy theory about the Lizard Men; a friend of mine, we didn't like the candidates, so we were at first going to write in 'revolution', because we thought that was good and to the point. And then, we thought 'the Lizard People' would be even funnier."[13]

"Evil reptilian kitten-eater from another planet" was a pejorative used to refer to then Ontario Liberal Party opposition leader Dalton McGuinty in a press release disseminated by the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario on September 12, 2003, during the provincial election campaign in Ontario, Canada.

In February 2011, on the Opie and Anthony radio show, the comedian Louis C.K. asked former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld a number of times if he and Dick Cheney were lizard people who enjoyed the taste of human flesh. Rumsfeld did not answer the question. Louis C.K. interpreted Rumsfeld's refusal to answer as an admission and further suggested that those who are lizard people cannot lie about it; when asked if they are lizards, they either have to avoid answering the question or say yes.[14]

On March 4, 2013, a video depicting a security agent with unusual features guarding a speech by U.S. President Barack Obama was spotlighted in a Wired report about shapeshifting reptilian humanoids, leading to a tongue-in-cheek response from chief National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden that "any alleged program to guard the president with aliens or robots would likely have to be scaled back or eliminated in the sequester."[15]

Origin of the myth and skeptical interpretations[edit]

The origin of the myth concerning scheming reptoids or humanoid reptiles infiltrating governments through mindcontrol and shapeshifting is obscure but was initially found in pulp fiction magazines in the early 1920's , taking loosely inspiration from various themes such as mystic subterranean monarchs and hidden rulers of different "races" from Lemuria, Atlantis, Agharti and Shambhala dear to theosophists of the 19th century as found in Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine,[16] but also in the writings of Ferdinand Ossendowski[17] but taking form for the first time in in August 1929 when pulp author Robert E Howard published his story The Shadow Kingdom in the magazine Weird Tales .[18] Howard's serpent men were described as humanoid with human bodies but snake heads, being able to imitate real humans at will. They were supposed to be King Kull's enemies, being defeated eons ago , hiding in underground passages but for unknown reasons they were still active and actually scheming against him, using their shapechanging and mind control abilities to infiltrate Kull's court and gain important positions of power to invade Valusia,the kingdom that lay east to Atlantis and west to Lemuria. Maurice Doreal, an author who published stories between 1940 and 1963, the time of his death, also published in pulp magazines such as Amazing Stories and is acknowledged by experts, such as Michael Barkun, to have probably lifted a great part of Howard's serpent men mythos, putting it together with Doreal's own fabrications such as allegations of having translated the fabled egyptian "Emerald Tablets " in 1925 -which are one of the founding elements of hermecticism and occultism, but claiming that the whole concept was not fiction , but a confirmable hidden truth. Doreal insited upon having his own "Serpent Race" following exactly the guidelines of Howard: hypnotic powers, a human body with a snake head, abilities to take true human form and many other aspects. Doreal claimed the emerald Tablets were written by "Toth, an Atlantean Priest king". Returning to fiction, Howard's influence was so great that he inspired Clark Ashton Smith and Howard Phillips Lovecraft -both his personal friends - to incorporate the serpent men scenario with all its details in their own fictive worlds which already had a few connections. Following the guideline of "fiction transformed into truth" according to specialists of the origins of conspiracy theories and urban myths, Robert Ernst Dickhoff wrote in 1951 a book named "Aghartha" , without citing neither R.E.Howard nor M.Doreal,but reprising the whole concept of Atlantis, Lemuria, humanoid serpent men with hypnotic powers hiding in tunnels under Agharta and so on, claiming he was himself a "Sungma Red Lama", placing himself as an occultist leader in the eyes of his readers. He also claimed the serpent men were sort of frozen in "suspended animation", awaiting to attack mankind anytime. Previously in 1945, he founded his own religious movement called the American Buddhist Society and Fellowship, Inc. Later claims by various ufologists about the Dulce Base started to incorporate theories pertaining to "humanoid reptilians", a term first employed by Thomas Edwin Costello to describe the Dulce "aliens",as explained by political science professor Michael Barkun, a concept which he explains was expanded further when David Icke reprises the serpent man theme in his book "Children of the Matrix" as he quotes extensively Doreal's "translations" from the "Emerald Tablets", this time not found in Egypt but according to Icke in "mayan" temples by egyptian clergymen 36000 years ago, along with many other slight deviations from Doreal's descriptions of serpent men themselves lifted from early 20's pulp fiction.[19] Icke would further incorporate many other conspiracy and esoteric elements amongst which some biblical themes with his own personal twist such as the angelical Annunaki , which according to his claims would have created the "reptoid" half-breed race (as he coins it) by mating with humans, creatures with vile intentions who supposedly would have infiltrated our actual world, once again via mind control and shapeshifting powers to infiltrate various governments , according to his claims. A contemporary major source of inspiration for Icke's part-extraterrestrial reptoids theory would also be the web postings and three books published circa 1999 & 2000 by Bruce Alan Walton, which Icke quoted largely in his own writings. Branton was a Mormon apostate who had gone through jail, psychiatric problems and various personal issues which he discussed about and it led him to get interested in conspiracy theories pertaining to his own personal "visions" as a child, Area 51 , the Dulce Base "aliens", the diplomatic secret treaties between various terrestrian creatures, human secret service agencies , reptilians and extraterrestrial beings. He mainly focused on a theory about vast subterranean passages spread under the surface of the known world where a sort of "New World Order" would take form discreetly to overthrow the preexisting powers that be on the surface of the Earth. Branton also spoke of his personal encounters with supposed actors of these secret treaties.

Skeptics who adhere to the psychosocial hypothesis of UFOs argue that the "Reptilians" mythos originates from V, a series of science fiction television movies, miniseries and series which first aired in 1983. In V, supposedly peaceful alien "Visitors", who appear human, arrive on Earth in giant flying saucers and initiate first contact. In fact, the Visitors wear masks concealing their true shapes. In their natural form, they resemble humanoid reptiles and eat living mammals. The Visitors commence a stealth alien invasion in which they set out subtly undermining the human, and, specifically, the American way of life. The creators of the series intended this as an allegory of fascism.[20]

Brian Dunning, author of the blog asserts that a Los Angeles Times article from 1934 would be the true origin of the myth. It relates the "works" of a certain mining engineer by the name of G.W.Shufelt, who claimed there were subterranean labyrinths under the city, inhabited by "Lizard People" from the very Hopi legends, according to his source, a certain L.Macklin naming himself "Chief Little Greenleaf", who said it was all written in "gold tablets". The article published a map by Shufelt of the supposed labyrinthian network. Ultimately , Shufelt failed in discovering the "passages" on the map since the site he started digging ended up inundated, even though he had allegedly access to an esoteric device he claimed produced "x-rays".[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joyce, Judith (2011). The Weiser field guide to the paranormal abductions, apparitions, ESP, synchronicity, and more unexplained phenomena from other realms. San Francisco, CA: Weiser Books. pp. 80–81. ISBN 9781609252984. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Lewis, Tyson; Richard Kahn (Wntr 2005). "The Reptoid Hypothesis: Utopian and Dystopian Representational Motifs in David Icke's Alien Conspiracy Theory". Utopian Studies 16 (1): 45–75. 
  3. ^ Frel, Jan (1 September 2010). "Inside the Great Reptilian Conspiracy: From Queen Elizabeth to Barack Obama -- They Live!". Alternet. Retrieved 2010-09-01. 
  4. ^ The Shadowlands Mysterious Creatures page
  5. ^ Police Officer Herbert Schirmer Abduction - Ashland, Nebraska, United States - December 3, 1967 - UFO Evidence
  6. ^ Ronson, Jon (16 March 2001). "Beset by lizards". The Guardian UK. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  7. ^ David Icke Interview: Aliens among us
  8. ^ Lauren Cox (Dec 12, 2008). "What's Behind Internet Conspiracy Empires?". ABC News. 
  9. ^ Mesure, Susie (28 October 2012). "David Icke is not the Messiah. Or even that naughty. But boy, can he drone on". The Independent. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  10. ^ The Ten Most Popular Conspiracy Theories
  11. ^ "Conspiracy Theory Poll Results". Public Policy Polling. Retrieved 2013-04-03. 
  12. ^ "Minnesota Senate Recount: Challenged ballots: You be the judge". Minnesota Public Radio. 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  13. ^ "Why would someone vote for the Lizard People?". 2008. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  14. ^ Del Signore, John (February 25, 2011). "Louis CK Repeatedly Asks Donald Rumsfeld If He's a Lizard Alien". Gothamist. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  15. ^ Beckhusen, Robert (March 26, 2013). "White House Can’t Afford Its Shapeshifting Alien Reptile Guards". Wired. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  16. ^ pg 113-114 of Handbook of New Religions and Cultural Production , by Cusack and Norman,published by Brill, 2012, ISSN 1874-6691 Google Books link
  17. ^ pg 1967 of Culture of Conspiracy:Apocalyptic visions in contemporary America by Michael Barkun, University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-24812-0
  18. ^ pg 1969-1970 of Culture of Conspiracy:Apocalyptic visions in contemporary America by Michael Barkun, University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-24812-0 googlebooks link
  19. ^ Michael Barkun, 2003, pg 1969 of "A culture of Conspiracy"
  20. ^ Barkun, Michael (2003). A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America (First ed.). University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-23805-2. 
  21. ^ Support your local Reptoid: what started the conspiracy theory that reptilian beings control our governments?