Ancient Astronauts

alien greys 918

Did aliens visit the ancient Earth and inspire human cultures? Some people claim so.

skeptoid eyeby Alison Hudson via skeptoid
Read transcript below or listen here

UFO enthusiasts often cite June 24, 1947 as the beginning of the modern UFO phenomenon. On that day, Kenneth Arnold coined the term “flying saucer” for the unidentified objects he saw flying past Mount Rainier, and sparked the public’s interest in the idea of alien visitors from another world. But what if aliens had arrived on Earth sooner than that? What if they arrived a lot sooner? That’s the basis of the Ancient Astronaut hypothesis, which suggests that alien visitors have been coming to earth for not just decades, but centuries, and maybe even millennia.

Click the image to visit Ancient Aliens Debunked

Click the image to visit Ancient Aliens Debunked

Notions of an Earth visited the ancient past by aliens from another world date back at least a century. In many ways, the Cthulhu mythos, H. P. Lovecraft’s famous mythology of Great Old Ones from deep space who come to Earth and build eons-old cities, is an iteration of the Ancient Astronaut idea. In fact, it’s quite possible that Lovecraft’s stories greatly influenced Morning of the Magicians, a nonfiction French book written in the 1960s that give serious consideration to the idea of Ancient Astronauts visiting the Earth.

If you’ve heard of the Ancient Astronaut hypothesis, however, the man you probably have to thank for it is Swiss author Erich Von Daniken. In 1968, Von Daniken drew on various ideas of ancient aliens, probably including the ideas expressed in Morning of the Magicians, and turned them into a book called Chariots of the Gods? In doing so, he launched the modern Ancient Astronaut hypothesis.

aliens1_933_824_150pxThe argument put forth in Chariots of the Gods? is rooted in Clarke’s Third Law, which says that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”” In fact, the second chapter of Chariots of the Gods? sets the stage for the book with precisely that argument. Von Daniken asks readers to imagine what would happen if human spacefarers ever visited a distant world that was populated with a primitive alien culture. He argues that these primitive aliens would lack the vocabulary and knowledge to understand our advanced technology. Instead, they would view their human visitors as divine beings capable of incredible magic.

When our spaceship disappears again into the mists of the universe, our friends will talk about the miracle — “the gods were here!” They will translate it into their simple language and turn it into a saga to be handed down to their sons and daughters.

It’s from this premise, Von Daniken spun his theory: that if other spacefarers visited our primitive Earth cultures, then we too would view them as miraculous gods. And in fact they did visit, he argues, as evidenced by the great works that these primitive cultures simply could not have made on their own and the strange drawings and myths these cultures left behind.

Chariots of the Gods? was a bestseller, as were Von Daniken’s follow-up books with titles like Gods from Outer Space and In Search of Ancient Gods. They created a widespread public awareness of the Ancient Astronaut hypothesis that persists to this day.

Popularity doesn’t equate to quality, of course, and the book itself is full of flawed and spurious logic. As just one example  .  .  .

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One response

  1. Ancient Aliens. Oh dear, there is so much about this hypothesis that is utterly implausible and downright laughable that it amazes me how it can get the coverage that it does in this day and age.
    I know many will accuse me of resorring to an ad hominen attack for this but really look at the modern day proponents on the ridiculously popular TV series of the same name. David Wilcocks,Hatcher Childress,Giorgio with the hair and the biggest fraud of them all Van Daniken himself plus the other motley bunch of them….. these people are experts of spinning a yarn but that’s about the height of it.
    What really annous me most of all though is why it isn’t consigned to the same ‘nonsense’ bin as creationism which it’s on a par with,in fact very akin to.
    It’s basically a low rent creation myth for those who have lost their religion,New Agers and anyone else who cannot get their head around evolution,who want to feel divine, special or chosen.
    That’s at the heart of it, if you ask me, a modern day creation myth which sidesteps god but replaces him/her/it with advanced, hyper intelligent aliens who genetically created mankind for some ‘higher’ purpose….. once again setting us above and apart from the rest of the ‘tawdry’ indigenous life that DID evolve naturally on this planet so never fear humanity is wonderful,destined,brought into being for a purpose (whatever that actually may be),made nominally in the image of our creators and whats more Eric,Giorgio and the boys have a 1000 loosely cobbled together notions to prove it 🙂

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