For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is
than to persist in delusion,
however satisfying and reassuring. ~ Carl Sagan
Apple Tree, otherwise known as Food for Thought, is dedicated to topics and subject matters some may find controversial or out of the main stream. It is intended to provoke intelligent and objective discussion and debate. At the very least, it will certainly make you go hmmm.
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Ancient Aliens 101:
Some writers have proposed that intelligent extraterrestrial beings have visited Earth in antiquity or prehistory and made contact with humans. Such visitors are called ancient astronauts or ancient aliens. Proponents suggest that this contact influenced the development of human cultures, technologies and religions. A common variant of the idea is that deities from most, if not all, religions are actually extraterrestrials, and their technologies were taken as evidence of their divine status.
These proposals have been popularized, particularly in the latter half of the 20th century, by writers such as Erich von Däniken, Zecharia Sitchin, Robert K. G. Temple, David Icke and Peter Kolosimo, but the idea that ancient astronauts actually existed is not taken seriously by most academics, and has received little or no credible attention in peer reviewed studies. Ancient astronauts have been widely used as a plot device in science fiction.
Ancient Astronaut Theories:
Proponents of ancient astronaut theories 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 known 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.
Proponents argue that the evidence for ancient astronauts comes from supposed 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 said to include archaeological artifacts that they argue are anachronistic or beyond the presumed technical capabilities of the historical cultures with which they are associated (sometimes referred to as "Out-of-place artifacts"); and artwork and legends which are interpreted as depicting extraterrestrial contact or technologies.
Certain mainstream 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. Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the double helix structure of DNA, however strongly believed in what he called panspermia, the concept that earth was 'seeded' with life, probably in the form of bluegreen algae, by intelligent extraterrestrial species, for the purpose of ensuring life's continuity. He believed that this could have been done on any number of planets of this class, possibly using unmanned shuttles. He talks at length about this theory in his book Life Itself.
Thomas Gold a professor of astronomy suggested a "garbage theory" for the origin of life, the theory says that life on earth might have spread from a pile of waste products accidentally dumped on Earth long ago by extraterrestrials.
Notable Scientific Publications and Proponents:
In their 1966 book Intelligent Life in the Universe astrophysicists I.S. Shklovski and Carl Sagan devote a chapter 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-lightspeed interstellar travel by extraterrestrial life was a certainty when considering technologies that were established or feasible in the late '60s; that repeated instances of extraterrestrial visitation to Earth were plausible; and that pre-scientific narratives can offer a potentially reliable means of describing contact with outsiders. 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.
In his 1979 book Broca's Brain, Sagan 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 theories, "very few require more than passing mention" and could be easily explained with more conventional theories. Sagan also reiterated his earlier conclusion that extraterrestrial visits to Earth were possible but unproven, and perhaps improbable.
The Spaceships of Ezekiel (1974) is a book by Josef F. Blumrich written while he was chief of NASA's systems layout branch of the program development office at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Blumrich asserts that Ezekiel's account in the Bible was not a description of a meeting with God in a prophetic vision, but a description of several encounters with ancient astronauts in a shuttlecraft from another planet.
Blumrich analyzes six different translations of the Bible in conjunction with his experience in engineering and presents one possible version of the story as seen by a modern, technological society. In the appendices to his book he presents technical specifications of his hypothesized spacecraft.
Blumrich also published an article on his belief, "The spaceships of the prophet Ezekiel" in the UNESCO journal Impact of Science on Society
Evidence Cited by Proponents:
Proponents of the ancient astronaut theory frequently cite ancient religious texts, as well as examples of ancient artwork and ancient megalithic sites as evidence to support their argument. A few popular examples include:
Ancient Religious Texts:
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 reception 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.
Ramayana: 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.
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)
Book of Enoch: The first part of the apocryphal Book of Enoch expands and interprets Genesis 6:1-4. 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 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".
Some ancient astronaut theorists believe 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.
Book of Ezekiel: 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".
Artistic support for the ancient astronaut theory has been sought in Palaeolithic cave paintings. Wondjina in Australia and Val Camonica in Italy are claimed to bear a resemblance to present day astronauts. Supporters of the ancient astronaut theory 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.
More support of this theory draws upon what are claimed to be representations of flying saucers in medieval and renaissance art. This is used to support the ancient astronaut theory by attempting to show that the creators of humanity return to check up on their creation throughout time.
Alleged physical evidence includes the discovery of artifacts in Egypt (the Saqqara Bird), Peru and Colombia-Ecuador, which are claimed to be similar to modern airplanes, jets, helicopters, space shuttles and gliders, although these have been interpreted by archaeologists as stylized representations of birds and insects.
In 1997 researchers built scaled up models of the artifacts from the pre-Incan Chimú culture to test their flight capabilities. The exact specifications were scaled up and made of materials used for flight of small radio controlled craft. The only addition was a small engine and propeller. The scaled up versions of the ancient aircraft flew remarkably well performing loops, rolls, turns, as well as takeoff and landing under the radio remote control.
The ancient Nazca Lines comprise hundreds of enormous ground drawings etched into the high desert landscape of Peru, which consist primarily of geometric shapes, but also include depictions of a variety of animals and at least one human figure. Many believers in ancient astronauts cite the Nazca lines as evidence because the figures created by the lines are most clearly depicted or only able to be seen when viewed from the air.
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 statues of Easter Island, and Stonehenge of England.
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, and they have speculated that with a larger workforce larger megaliths could be towed with ancient technology.
Various new religious movements including theosophy, Nation of Islam, Scientology, The Urantia Book, 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.
UFO religion is an informal term used to describe a religion that equates UFO occupants with gods or other semi-divine beings. Typically, the UFO occupants are held to be extraterrestials and that humanity either currently is, or eventually will become, part of a preexisting extraterrestrial civilization. Others may incorporate UFOs into a more supernatural world-view in which the UFO occupants are more akin to angels than physical aliens, though, ultimately this distinction may become blurred within this worldview.
Adherents believe that the arrival or rediscovery of alien civilizations, technologies and spirituality will enable humans to overcome their current ecological, spiritual and social problems. Issues such as hatred, war, bigotry, poverty and so on are said to be resolvable through the use of superior alien technology and spiritual abilities. Such belief systems are described as millenarian in their outlook.
UFO religions have predominantly developed in technologically advanced societies, particularly in the United States, Canada, France and the United Kingdom. The term flying saucers and the popular notion of the UFO originated in 1947. The 1950s saw the creation of UFO religions, with the advent of the contactees. The 1990s saw renewed interest, though such religious groups had never gone away.
Ancient Aliens – the TV Series:
Ancient Aliens is an American television series that premiered on April 20, 2010 on the History channel. Produced by Prometheus Entertainment, the program presents theories of ancient astronauts and proposes that historical texts, archaeology and legends contain evidence of past human-extraterrestrial contact. The show has been criticized for presenting disputed pseudoscience.
Ancient Aliens: Chariots, Gods & Beyond — presents the views of author Erich von Däniken who theorized that advanced beings from another world visited primitive humans, gave them the knowledge of the solar system, concepts of engineering and mathematics, and became the basis for their religions and cultures as he claims are evidenced by ancient monuments such as the Nazca Lines, the Pyramids of Giza and the Moai statues of Easter Island.
The Evidence — suggests that aliens made contact with primitive humans, and cites as evidence, Indian Sanskrit texts that are suggested to describe flying machines called Vimanas; Egyptian megaliths that are said to show precision cutting work thought to be too advanced for the time; and Jewish Zohar writings that are said to describe a "manna machine" similar to chlorella algae processing of today.
The Visitors — proposes that alien visitations have occurred around the globe, and cites as evidence, claims that the Dogon people were given galactic knowledge by a star god; the Hopi and Zuni celebrations of Kachinas (or "gods from the sky") that are symbolized with headdress that are said to resemble modern space helmets; and that the Chinese Huangdi was a Han leader who came to Earth on a yellow dragon which is suggested to have been a metaphor for a spaceship.
The Mission — posits that extraterrestrials have a mission plan for Earth and mankind, and cites as evidence, Sumerian tablets that allegedly describe the Anunnaki as a race of creatures that came to Earth to mine gold; the purpose of cattle mutilations; the mile-long "band of holes" near Pisco, Peru; Egyptian hieroglyphs that are said to depict hybrid creatures that are part man/part animal; and crystal skulls and crop circles that are said to contain messages from aliens.
Closer Encounters — suggests that alien encounters have been documented in various historical texts, citing as evidence, the 13th century book Otia Imperialia which describes an incident in Bristol, England ascribed to UFOs; the log entries of Christopher Columbus that report lights in the sky; stories of cigar-shaped craft allegedly seen over Europe during the Black Plague; and Medieval art that supposedly depicts disc-shaped objects floating in the heavens.
The Return — proposes that aliens have contacted man as recently as the 20th century, citing examples such as the Battle of Los Angeles and the Roswell UFO incident. It also looks at the modern SETI project and speculates what would happen if aliens answered back; what protocols exist to determine who would speak on behalf of mankind, and how we would communicate.
Mysterious Places — examines locations around the Earth that are proposed "hot spots" of UFO activity; such as the Bermuda Triangle; Mexico's "Zone of Silence" an area of land said to naturally disrupt radio signals; the portal-like structure at Peru's Puerta de Hayu Marka; and the curious rock formations of the Markawasi Plateau.
Underwater Worlds — suggests that various underwater structures and ruins said to have been found around the globe may have been used by extraterrestrials; such as the temple ruins found under Lake Titicaca in Peru; the geometric structures of Yonaguni off the coast of Japan, and ancient Indian texts that allegedly describe other sunken cities yet to be discovered.
Underground Aliens — hypothesizes that various underground places may have been extraterrestrial lairs; such as a lost cave in Ecuador said to hold metal tablets containing alien knowledge; the underground city of Derinkuyu in Turkey; Native American legends of "inner-earth" beings; and rumors of a secret U.S. Military-base supposedly built alongside aliens inside the Archuleta Mesa near Dulce, New Mexico.
Aliens and the Third Reich — speculates that Nazi Germany had experimented with advanced alien technology and built flying machines; such as the Haunebu and the Die Glocke (The Bell); and rumors that some of this technology may have made its way to the United States and helped jump start the Apollo program.
Unexplained Structures — suggests that various sites around the world; such as Göbekli Tepe in Turkey; the Incan ruins of Sacsayhuamán in Peru; the Carnac stones of France; and Zorats Karer in Armenia, show construction techniques and mathematical concepts that were not believed to have been known at the time, and that this knowledge was gained from alien visitors.
Alien Contacts — proposes that extraterrestrials may have contacted various humans throughout history, such as Moses and Joan of Arc, to help guide and inspire them to achieve great things; or to pass on important messages for humanity; such as a supposed binary message given to a UFO-contactee during the 1980 Rendlesham Forest incident who believes it is the coordinates to a mythical island called Hy-Brazil.
Aliens and the Old West — looks at American Old West legends that may have involved ET contact, such as the Aurora, Texas UFO incident where a local cemetery claims to hold a body from an 1897 UFO crash; Native American legends surrounding the Serpent mound in Adams County, Ohio; reports of a Thunderbird that periodically emerged from California's Elizabeth Lake, and a story of ranchers shooting at "metallic birds" near Tombstone, Arizona.
Aliens and Monsters — examines modern-day genetic engineering, cloning and hybridization technology, and suggests that such technology could have been used by ancient aliens in the past to manipulate mankind and the environment. Also theorized are that the legends of creatures, such as the Chimera and Hydra, and humanoids, such as the Minotaur and Medusa, may have been encounters with beings created through alien animal/human hybrid experimentation.
Aliens and Sacred Places — suggests that some of mankind's most sacred places were points of contact by alien beings. Examples given are Jerusalem's Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock; the Kaaba stone at the Islam shrine at Mecca; the temples of the Ajanta Caves in India; the churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia that are carved out of rock; and the ancient city of Baalbek in Lebanon which was allegedly built with a "landing pad" of monolithic rock.
Aliens and Temples of Gold — contends that aliens came to Earth to mine gold. Examined are the legends of cities of gold such as El Dorado and Paititi; Lake Puray in Peru where UFO sightings may be linked to gold beneath the lake; the gold-creating device called the Philosopher's Stone; the Hall of Records beneath the Great Sphinx of Giza, (suggested to be a repository of ancient knowledge); a Medieval church in the French village of Rennes-le-Château that may hold the secrets of alchemy; and Scotland's Rosslyn Chapel where a helix-shaped pillar, (suggested to represent DNA), may be the hiding place of the Holy Grail.
Aliens and Mysterious Rituals — proposes that various ancient sites and the rituals performed there were not to praise mythical gods, but to reenact contact and communication with alien beings. Examples given are the Mayan temple of El Castillo, Chichen Itza; the Celtic Beltane Festival; the ceremonies of the Kayapo people of Brazil that involve a dancer dressed in an outfit that resembles a spacesuit; Medieval coronation ceremonies and the symbolic meanings of thrones, crowns and scepters as communication devices to the heavens; Native American and Shamanistic chants and prayers; and the ritual meanings of the Catholic Mass.
Aliens and Ancient Engineers — surmises that several ancient sites were built with help from aliens. Examples given are the ruins of Ollantaytambo in Peru, (an Inca city believed built atop a far older and more advanced-built fortress); the pyramids of Teotihuacan in Mexico, (which use heat and radiation shielding Mica in their engineering); the temples of Vijayanagara in India, (suggested to have been designed to tap into cosmic energy); the temples of Karnak in Egypt, (which show symmetrical and precision sculpting believed unobtainable by primitive hand tools); and the ancient ruins on Malta, (whose designs seems to have incorporated an acoustic energy technology).
Aliens, Plagues and Epidemics — suggests that some plagues and diseases were brought on by pathogens of extraterrestrial origin. Examples given are sudden pandemics such as the Spanish Influenza, the Plague of Athens, the Justinian Plague and the Black Plague, which were accompanied by reports of unusual celestial phenomena, and the appearance of strange creatures and objects in the sky; ancient carvings of figures dressed in what are suggested to be hazmat suits; unexplained illnesses that have appeared after meteor impacts, NASA experiments with bacteria and extremophiles that can survive in the extreme conditions of space; and the recent appearance of unusual medical conditions such as Morgellons Disease.
Aliens and Lost Worlds — postulates that various past civilizations were ruled by otherworldly beings. Examined are carvings in the Mayan city of Copán that are suggested to depict kings dressed in spacesuits; the Greek and Persian temples of Nemrud Dagi in Turkey, constructed by King Antiochus who some believe had advanced knowledge of astronomy and access to "magical" technology; the Nazca people of Peru who elongated their skulls to possibly mimic beings they encountered; the Moai statues of Easter Island that may have been erected with anti-gravity technology (i.e. acoustic levitation), and the Garden of Eden which may have been an alien laboratory for the creation of mankind.
Aliens and Deadly Weapons — suggests that the development of various weapons throughout history may have been guided by aliens. Examined are ancient legends that speak of fire and the secrets of metalworking as gifts from the gods; stories of divine weapons such as Excalibur as possibly powered by an alien source; the mystery of Greek fire as a gift from angels for the Byzantines; the development of the complicated chemistry of gun powder by the ancient Chinese; the writings of the Hindu Mahabharata describing weapons reminiscent of guided rockets, beam weapons and nuclear devices used by the gods; and the Cambodian tales of Preah Pisnulok who wielded a blazing sword reminiscent of the science-fictional lightsaber.
Aliens and Evil Places — examines various places on Earth that are associated with evil and death. At Australia's Black Mountains, local myths speak of ancient serpent gods and hikers disappearing. Every year hundreds are drawn to a dark forest, known as Aokigahara ("Sea of Trees") at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan, to commit suicide. Could there be evidence that past extraterrestrial activity lead to the negative energy in Earth's evil places.