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INTRODUCTION: If there were only one line of evidence suggestive of ‘ancient astronauts’ then it could probably be easily dismissed. But when there are a half-dozen or more independent core concepts that point in the direction that at the very least ‘ancient astronauts’ is a plausible hypothesis, that’s another can of worms entirely and that’s what we have here.
IN THEORY: We can start off with arguments from theory like the Fermi Paradox which suggests that technologically advanced aliens (an extremely logical concept given the age and vastness of the cosmos) should have noted and logged the third rock out from the Sun many times over since the time it takes to explore the Milky Way Galaxy from stem to stern, even at one to ten percent the speed of light is but a tiny fraction of the age of the galaxy. Then there’s the theoretical argument that if the modern day UFO phenomena is at last in part due to extraterrestrial intelligence, then it would be such an extraordinary coincidence that our generation should just happen to be THE generation so blessed with alien visitations. Of course if aliens were here in the distant past, then that extraordinary coincidence goes down the gurgler.
IN ART: Ancient humans could draw and sculpt as accurately as modern humans; therefore otherworldly looking images need to be taken at face value barring any evidence to the contrary.
IN ARCHITECTURE: There just would appear to be several structures that when dated are incompatible with the ancient technologies required to construct them. For example, there are ‘impossible’ architectural structures like the Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek (Lebanon); Pumapunku within the Tiahuanaco/Tiwanaku complex (Bolivia); Nan Modol (Micronesia); and those Olmec heads (Mexico) with the added oddity that they appear African. (Note: I do not include the Egyptian pyramids here. There are some things humans can do.)
IN CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY: Cultural anthropological anomalies abound, like a) why the sudden emergence of human culture around 50,000 years ago and settlements around 10,000 years ago in unconnected geographical regions; b) why did some bands of humans choose to live in environments (like the tundra) totally unsuitable to their home environment of equatorial Africa.
IN PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY: Physical anthropological anomalies also abound, like a) why did all our hominid ancestors go extinct (unless you want to count the as yet unconfirmed existence of Bigfoot, the Yeti, etc. as ancestors); b) why are humans (and their immediate ancestors) the only species to have a bipedal gait without benefit of a balancing tail; c) how can you get the ethnic or racial diversification of the human species in just 50,000 years; e) how is it that humans alone have evolved massive brain complexity, skyrocketing IQ, and the ability to have abstract thoughts and concepts; d) how is it that humans lost their natural fur only to then have to put on artificial fur (clothes). Might these all be explainable more by artificial selection (genetic engineering) than natural selection (a concept possibly reinforced today given the emphasis on genetics and breeding in UFO alien abduction cases).
IN MYTHOLOGY: When mythologies of every society and culture share common (but unworldly) concepts then one has to sit up and take some notice that something extraordinary is going on. For example: a) animal-animal and animal-human hybrids; b) sky gods; c) dragons; d) gifts, like agriculture presented to humans from the gods; e) shape-shifters and shape-shifting; f) wars in heaven; g) an extraordinary focus of just a relatively few astronomical objects like Sirius, the Pleiades, and Orion; h) gods who left promising to return one day, much like Jesus, and much like Lono, a top god of the Hawaiian Islands who descended to Earth via a rainbow, was alas another case of mistaken identity since the natives originally mistook Captain James Cook for the return of their Lono.
IN ABSTRACTIONS: Those rather strange concepts that humans have come up with like extremely long cycles of creation and destruction or for that matter the idea of creation itself which is anything but obvious from day-to-day observations and experience. Humans seem to have had ingrained some ideas that are rather unlikely to have developed naturally or which have or had no real relevance to their daily grind. For an example of the latter, the Mayans had this thing about tracking the cycle of the planet Venus from where it appeared in the sky until when it reappeared in the exact same spot. It must have been an overly academic exercise since it had no day-to-day relevance to say planting or harvesting crops. What was the real point of doing this? Well I gather it was an early form of ‘practical’ astrology, and important decisions (like going to war) were based on all of this. Reading tea leaves or chicken entrails, the throw of a dice, or even having their high priest/shaman smoke some magic mushrooms for inspiration/guidance would have been far easier, so we see the extraordinary importance here of a celestial object. In an ‘ancient astronaut’ context, why Venus? Now Venus is certainly not a planet one would associate anymore as home to intelligent life (micro-organisms in the upper atmosphere could be another story). But there was that ‘satellite’ of Venus, called Neith, noted and logged numerous times by astronomers that just disappeared! Today, Venus does not have any natural satellite(s).
IN ASTROARCHAEOLOGY (ASTROLOGY): Ancient cultures around the world engaged in astronomical observations that had no relevance to their immediate survival needs* – you don’t need a Stonehenge in order to do agriculture. Whether it is ten, eight, six, four, or even two thousand years ago, your basic priorities were food, shelter, sex, family, community and defence. The only real celestial object of any relevance to the above is the Sun – warmth, light and food (via photosynthesis, though that wouldn’t have been an obvious connection). Why the emphasis by our ancient ancestors on observational astronomy (studied today as the discipline of astroarchaeology), unless of course the sky and celestial objects therein had some extra special meaning? That’s sort of like to what we would call today astrology.
The most obvious reason for intense sky-watching is to chart the ever changing seasons, of obvious importance to any culture dependent on agriculture and hunting. Except – you don’t really need celestial alignments to tell you when to plant your crops or go fishing. Mother Nature’s own local signals should easily clue you and give you all the signs you need, like when the trees start putting forth leaves; flowers start to appear; or when a particular migrating bird species reappears in the sky; or when you see the fish. And you certainly don’t need celestial cycles to tell you when to harvest your produce or go hunting. An apple that’s ready for eating is pretty obvious. A herd of livestock in the distance is pretty obvious too, only of course by ten thousand years ago one didn’t have to rely on the hit-or-miss appearance of game animals as domestic animal husbandry had already come to pass (there were chicken farmers and cow farmers and sheep farmers and pig farmers, etc).
Another related oddity is while everyone and their great grandma put emphasis on the solstices – the longest and shortest periods of daylight of the year – the equinoxes are far more significant. On the shortest day of the year (winter solstice) you can’t start immediate planting even though the days are now going to get longer. It might be yea, spring’s coming – eventually in three or four month’s time. On the longest day of the year (summer solstice) you can’t yet harvest though the days are now going to get shorter. It might be oh dear; winter’s now coming – eventually in three or four month’s time. Eventually is hardly a reason to pay special attention to the solstices. However, it is close to planting time at the spring equinox; close to harvest time at the autumn equinox.
Another oft given reason for sky-watching is to predict eclipses. How many lunar eclipses do you need to predict and see before you realise they are of no terrestrial consequence (and the waxing and waning of the Moon gets a bit boring too after several cycles)? And you are petty much unlikely to see even one solar eclipse in your lifetime, even if you can predict them, so there’s hardly any need to predict them. If by chance you do just happen to be in the right spot at the right time under the right conditions, well you might in you astronomical ignorance, experience up to seven minutes of terror, but you’ll survive none the worse for wear. Eclipses are non-events within the broad context of your day-to-day living and survival.
But you might need to chart celestial alignments or cycles to honour your ‘gods’ that are identified with such celestial objects for whatever reason. That just might be what turned ancient humans on to intently charting what are just a relatively few points of light in the sky (comets, the Sun and the Moon I can understand as being interesting in their own right, but I don’t care how many Stonehenge equivalents are constructed; they can’t be used to predict comets).
Speaking of honouring the ‘gods’ it’s one thing to come up with all manner of tall tales as to how the constellations came to be, it’s quite another thing to position your structures to mirror the pattern of those constellations. That’s elevating their importance to the realm of honouring the ‘gods’ identified with them.
In fact the entire concept of astrology (using celestial alignments to predict the future) shows some extraordinary and extensive fascination with celestial bodies that not only make no practical sense but are certainly not consistent and therefore offer up no practical results. I mean take twins – same birthday and birth-year, more likely as not, different fates. There are some 400,000 people born every day. Will they all share the same fate?
IN WTF IS GOING ON HERE: Even some of the ancients wondered how some of their own constructions came to be. The ancient Greeks attributed some of their massive walls and fortifications to the Cyclopes, calling them Cyclopean Walls. The Eastern Islanders didn’t move their massive stone statues from quarries to where they are found today – the statues walked all by themselves. Other cultures attributed the movement of massive stone blocks as having been carried on the backs of dragons. When humans don’t take credit for allegedly human achievements, something is screwy somewhere, like human mythologies crediting the gods for giving their culture the gift of agriculture. At least the ancient Egyptians took credit for the pyramids.
*Navigating the oceans way outside of the sight of land using the positions of the Sun, Moon and stars would become important but not until way into the Current Era (CE), probably starting with the peopling of the Pacific Region with corners of Hawaii, Easter Island and New Zealand. European maritime exploration and discovery followed. But in the Before the Current Era (BCE) celestial navigation was of minor importance in those sailing-on-the-waters-but-in-sight-of-land (wherever possible) days.
write by Adela