Astronauts from other planets who allegedly visited Earth in spaceships in ancient times.
This theory holds that extraterrestrial beings visited ancient Earth, mated with human beings, and taught them advanced science, technology, and mystical wisdom. This theory also proposes that the extraterrestrials who visited Earth long ago continue to monitor the progress of the human race, waiting for the time when their presence and patronage can be revealed.
Beings from the sky, fiery chariots with wings, creatures part-man and part-animal, super-human heroes, angels — all of these themes are part of the folklore and legends of almost every ancient culture around the world. Even the Bible has numerous references to events and beings that could be outer space and extraterrestrial connected. Could it really be that in the distant past we were visited by extraterrestrial beings?
This theory actually could explain some profound mysteries, such as the evidence of ancient sophisticated technology, and primitive societies feats of engineering. Ancient astronaut writers also say that Man did not evolve only from earthly beings like Adam and Eve. Genesis also states, quite explicitly, that a second strain not from this world but from a 'heavenly source', was added to the human gene-pool (Genesis chapter 6). And, a believer could say, if extraterrestrials are visiting Earth today, why not in the distant past?
Many of the devotees of this theory like to quote the myths and legends of ancient or primitive peoples in an attempt to justify their case. According to the folklore and mythology of many peoples, the gods gave fire and the skills of agriculture to mankind. However, this fact alone does not mean that the gods of the ancients were extraterrestrial beings, and that our ancestors were so simple minded that they could not have discovered these things by themselves.
Others point to the marvels and wonders of the ancient world — elegant architecture, remarkable wisdom, unusual advanced technology and surprising medical expertise — as proof of extraterrestrial visitations. But were ancient peoples really incapable of such accomplishments?
Human ingenuity and adeptness has no limits or bounds in the world of today. Can we really declare that our ancestors did not have the same resourcefulness and aptitudes we display at present? As more is learned about the distant past, it seems that much of the vital knowledge we assume has been acquired only recently, is not so fresh after all. Society, practices and systems evolved a great deal, there is no question about that, but has the human being himself changed that much in the last few millennia? We are still driven by the same reasons, goals, ambitions and desires ancient peoples had. . .
In 1968 Erich von Däniken published his best-selling book 'Chariots of the Gods?' in which he argued the ancient astronauts theory, presenting supposedly 'proof' of his claims. Tens of millions of people have read the book worldwide, and it has been translated into 26 languages. Even though Däniken's theories provoked immediate derision from the scientific and archeological communities, his ideas had, and still have, an enormous popular appeal.
Today we must point out that many instances of the so called 'evidence' presented in von Däniken's books have been debunked, such as the Nazca Lines and the mysteries of Eastern Island. Furthermore, some of his claims — in particular the one made in his book 'The Gold of the Gods' about visiting Ecuador's 'marvelous secret caves' — have been proven outright fraudulent.
However, as most of us know, over half the world's population believe in UFOs and extraterrestrials; also, a great percentage of the movies, TV series and other main stream media produced these days relies on these themes. Therefore, it is not surprising that any theory involving such circumstances is still well received and earnestly entertained by many in the general public.
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Sources: (1) Mysteries of Mind, Space & Time: The Unexplained, H. S. Stuttman Inc.; (2) von Däniken, Erich, Chariots of the Gods?, Berkley; (3) Tomas, Andrew, We Are Not the First: Riddles of Ancient Science, Bantam Books.
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