Those of us working on an alternative history of humanity need to hold ourselves to standards of evidence AT LEAST AS HIGH as is demanded of mainstream scholars if we are ever to get history rewritten. With this in mind I want to say a few words about the “ancient astronaut hypothesis” and its claim that revelations and radical new meanings emerge from ancient texts and traditions when they are read in the light of modern space-exploration technology.
I have no problem with the notion that the universe is full of life, or with the notion that we are being visited now, or have been visited in the past, by “astronauts” from other planets. Much remains unknown and while that is the case we should not be too hasty to ignore extraordinary possibilities.
I am quite clear, however, having spent more than quarter of a century walking the walk across many of the most intriguing ancient archaeological sites on earth, and digging into ancient texts and traditions from all around the world, that NO ancient archaeological site and NO ancient text or tradition that I have yet come across provides persuasive evidence for the “ancient astronaut hypothesis”.
And I’m equally clear that in order to give the impression that the sites and texts do support their hypothesis, it is necessary for ancient astronaut theorists again and again to take the ancient texts out of context, or to misquote them deliberately, rather than to present them to readers in an honest and transparent way.
Please DON’T send me screeds of the late Zecharia Sitchin’s “translations” by way of refutation of this! If you were to spend as much time as I have examining the original source material upon which Sitchin drew, and comparing what you find to how Sitchin presented it in his Earth Chronicles series, you would, I think, be horrified by the scale of the illusion that has been created: a gigantic work of science fiction masquerading as fact, and giving rise to something like a New Age “religion” in which people have “faith” in the existence of a planet called Nibiru and its advanced, high-tech inhabitants — our creators, no less! — known as the Nefilim or the Anunnaki.
I am in the midst of writing a lengthy article on this subject which I will post here in due course. Meanwhile I have a question. Is anyone reading this aware of an author or advocate of the “ancient astronaut” hypothesis who documents any kind of technological PROGRESS amongst our supposed alien overlords? For example, in the case of Zecharia Sitchin’s work, we are told that the Nefilim/Anunnaki first visited Earth 450,000 years ago and that they thereafter made repeated visits over many millennia, during which long span of time evidence begins to emerge of “Mankind’s march to civilization through the intervention of the Nefilim”. In particular Sitchin claims that crucial interventions occurred around 11,000 BC, around 7400 BC and around 3800 BC – dates that are each separated from one another by intervals of 3600 years, the period of the alleged orbit of Nibiru. (The 12th Planet, 2007 paperback edition, p. 251).
As readers may be aware Sitchin first published The 12th Planet in 1976 – at a time when NASA had been aggressively exploring near-Earth space for about 13 years. I find it curious, therefore, that Sitchin’s Nefilim allegedly used space-rocket technology identical to that deployed by NASA in the 1960’s and 70’s. My question is this — at any point in the Sitchin opus has any reader come across reports of any enhancements and improvements being implemented in “Nefilim” spaceships – or are we to believe that they remained for hundreds of thousands of years at the technological level we ourselves had reached at around time Sitchin wrote The 12th Planet and subsequent volumes of the Earth Chronicles series — namely of “fiery rockets”, space shuttles with long glide paths and colossal “landing platforms” to take the weight of the alleged rockets/shuttles”?
Did Sitchin FIND evidence of alien space tech in the cuneiform texts, or did he PROJECT late 20th century NASA technology onto his imagined ancient astronauts?
My own view is that all of the anomalies of history and prehistory pointed to by advocates of the ancient astronaut hypothesis are far better and more elegantly explained as emanating from a lost, advanced HUMAN civilization of prehistoric antiquity than from high-tech alien visitors from another planet. I’ll be making the case for this at Contact in the Desert, Joshua Tree, California, 3-6 June. As well as my lecture on this subject to the full conference I’ll be hosting a workshop on the “consciousness connection” to ET abduction and encounter experiences — which I think are evidence of something MUCH more mysterious going on than JUST contacts with physical beings a bit like us but from another planet and with higher tech. Finally I will also be holding an open-house “Intensive” for discussion with critics and supporters of my work. Let’s discuss everything! Details of my main presentation, and for registration at my workshop and intensive can be found by clicking this link: http://contactinthedesert.com/grahamhancock/. Hope to see you in the desert!!
The illustration accompanying this post shows Mesopotamian seal VA 243, kept in the Vorderasiatische Museum in Berlin. This seal is the centerpiece of Zecharia Sitchin’s theory that the Sumerians had advanced astronomical knowledge of the planetary bodies in our solar system. For a critique of Sitchin’s take on the seal see http://www.michaelsheiser.com/va_243%20page.htm, with more detailed information available on this pdf: http://www.sitchiniswrong.com/VA243/VA243.htm