Graham Hancock wrote:
> I've been surprised and disappointed by the posts and comments
> of the current author of the month. I was expecting a vigorous
> advocacy of the ancient alien hypothesis and intelligent well
> thought out responses to critical and questioning comments.
> Instead what we got was pretty close to zilch.
The reason for this is not necessarily the subject, but the lack of credibility of the research practices and more fringe interpretations of the author which is symptomatic of the genre at large. No one has read his book or probably will and he does not respond to queries to defend what little we know of his positions so I’m not sure what there is to talk about. Regardless of your reluctance towards the subject, this is a caliber of author one would choose as a straw man to beat up on to debunk something rather than entertain a serious discussion, so I think if you are disappointed you kind of got what you deserved with this one.
> I'm seriously wondering, is this all the ancient alien
> hypothesis amounts to when closely examined, i.e. pretty close
> to zilch? Or is there solid logic, evidence and reasoning in
> there somewhere?
If this is truly how you feel then I would seriously like a refund of $27.50 for The Mars Mystery. In it you collate the research of others to create a compelling case for the artificiality of several features on Mars taking it a step further yourself to link ancient civilizations, namely Egypt, with Mars and these potential structures. If you did not think these conclusions were a form of “solid logic, evidence and reasoning” regarding paleocontact then why portray it as such in your book?
Interesting to me about Mars Mystery is that you refer to Carl Sagan often, who as you point out was also interested in the possibility these features may be artificial, yet make no mention of his and I.S. Shklovskii’s book Intelligent Life in the Universe which they devote a chapter to arguing the serious possibility of paleocontact in ancient times. A missed opportunity I think.
Regardless, no, not "zilch", but obviously no where near what is peddled by "ancient astronaut theorists" which over time has become a parody of itself. Scientists such as Carl Sagan, I.S. Shklovskii, and Hermann Oberth among others, however, all considered the idea of paleocontact during human existence a serious possibility worthy of further study so just because the theory of paleocontact has been hijacked by kooks, pro and con mind you, and transformed into "ancient aliens" does not mean that the heart of the subject is not without merit.
> Could I take this opportunity to ask the current author of the
> month, who still occupies the role through 31 March, and anyone
> else here who is interested or has something useful to say on
> the subject, what in your view are your best pieces of evidence
> in support of the ancient alien hypothesis? Ideally I would
> like to see evidence that would be really hard or impossible to
> explain by any other hypothesis.
I have yet to see that your author of the month would know fact from fiction if it bit him on the ass. He has proven to be a sensationalist capable of little more than parroting other fringe sources and repackaging them for his own interests as best as he understands them, which apparently isn't as much as he thinks.
> Although I have my doubts, which have been reinforced this
> month, I remain willing and open to be convinced.
A serious inquiry into the theory of paleocontact begins with determining if such an idea is physically possible which the answer is an ever growing resounding yes. When Sagan and Shklovskii published Intelligent Life in the Universe in 1966, though common sense suggested as much, the idea other planets existing beyond our solar system itself was just “theory” yet in the last 25yrs alone over 1,000 exoplanets planets have been discovered which current statistical estimates suggest there are over 100,000,000,000 planets in just the Milky Way Galaxy alone. The overwhelming majority of these planets are millions if not billions of years older than Earth suggesting that whatever intelligent life has evolved there, which statistically may number in the millions, would potentially be thousands if not millions of years more advanced than ourselves. The Wright brothers made their first flight only 111yrs ago. 66yrs later, a mere 45yrs ago, we landed a man on the Moon with the computing power of a pocket calculator. We barely understand if at all the true significance of quantum mechanical principles such as particle wave duality and quantum entanglement and are only just now beginning to accept the possibility of multiple universes. Some scientists are even testing hypothesis that the universe itself may be artificial. What strange creatures we humans that time and again our intellectual hubris tells us we know what is what only to turn the corner to find out we know nothing yet once again be too dumb to admit it. My wife reminds me of my own such hubris daily....
And yet just as we look beyond our solar system and develop means how to travel to these new worlds, so too can we assume these potentially millions of intelligent species have already done so themselves thousands if not millions of years before us with technology infinitely more advanced than our own. It stands to reason that Earth, a floating ball of water teeming with biological signatures would no doubt stick out like a giant “X marks the spot” being a prime candidate for visitation. If we consider the subject just on statistical grounds alone, it is impossible that at least one alien species has not been to Earth in our remote past if not dozens. And its not just that aliens may have visited us during the span of human existence, but scientists such as Nobel Prize winner Francis Crick (co-discoverer of the structure of DNA)and Leslie Orgel have proposed the theory of Directed Panspermia which suggests that life on Earth itself was the result of seeding by beings from other worlds [profiles.nlm.nih.gov] [blogs.scientificamerican.com]. The truth of the matter is that theoretically Earth may have experienced waves of interstellar contact from numerous species for billions of years from the existence of life itself to the present day.
So, while no, this is just theory and not evidence in and of itself, yet, it is also an idea that is quite logical, if not a universal inevitability, not just statistically but also as a matter of simple common sense. What we imagine possible of ourselves, again an inevitability assuming we survive that long, it is only natural to assume other intelligent alien races much older and more advanced than ourselves have already done and continue to do so and that Earth would have been a prime target for hundreds of millions if not billions of years. It is interesting to think of how many worlds we humans might seed ourselves in the future and how many of those life forms will evolve "in our own image" to ask these very same questions.
As far as the limitations of combustion propulsion go, a common bookend argument against the possibility of alien visitation along with lifespan (i.e. time of travel), it should be a foregone conclusion by now that such archaic modes of transportation will be a thing of the past in the next 100yrs if not our lifetimes. Warp drives, interdimensional travel, and the like, are all on the cutting edge of serious scientific study whose implementation are only a matter of time. ION engines are already in use in NASA spacecraft and is a technology that is advancing exponentially with each passing year. Not too far in the future ION drives will be able to make the trip to Mars in just 39 days or less. It should be common sense to even the most skeptical that just as we look back on steam power today we will soon look back on combustion propulsion all the same.
The other bookend of this argument is our relatively short lifespan, which again such limitations are fading. In the early 20th century the average life expectancy was 31yrs old, today it is nearly 70 and for countries like the U.S. nearly 80. By the year 2037 in just the U.K. alone it is estimated that centenarians will number over 100,000 individuals and those over the age of 80 will double. The point is that increased lifespan in conjunction with ever faster and efficient methods of propulsion means that distance becomes more and more relative. If travelling to the nearest star at a mere 1/10 the speed of light meant a journey of 43yrs, this would not be practical if the average lifespan were 70 yrs old like it is today. But what if the average lifespan were 140yrs? Or 240yrs? Both theoretically only a matter of time, yet if so an intrepid crew could easily make the trip there and back in their lifetime. It is interesting to note that the Gods of ancient cultures, beings whom we are told from the “heavens” came, as well as their human hybrid offspring, as a rule had lifespans of several hundred if not thousands of years.
Therefore, the first requirements of “is it logical” or “possible” I believe are easily answered yes. Statistically it is not just possible, but more likely impossible alien beings would not have visited Earth in the remote past not to mention continuing to the present day. The only limitations as far as the logistics of such a journey are our own ignorance and current understanding of physics and propulsion technology both of which are being turned on their head as we speak.
That leaves us with the question; is there any actual evidence that paleocontact did in fact occur in ancient times? The bottom line is that as of today there is only ONE piece of factual, indisputable evidence regarding paleocontact which is that most ancient cultures, from Mesopotamia to the Americas, believed in one form or another that beings from the heavens, i.e. space, came to Earth and created and/or interacted with man before recorded history, something which I am sure you are well versed. That is it, but in its totality I would suggest quite substantial. While there are many interesting bits of physical circumstantial evidence that can be interpreted as supporting the reality of such beings, by the same token these can also be equally interpreted as the work of nothing more than highly intelligent humans which more often than not, at least in part, is surely the case. The problem with saying that all of these “anomalies” are attributable to humans, however, is that that is not what the ancient people themselves are saying. They are quite emphatic that not only were humans created by these beings but also that they were responsible for imparting higher knowledge and even civilization itself.
As you yourself obviously believe Graham, as most of us here agree, civilization is much older than we are told and is the “legacy” as you aptly put it of an as yet undetermined mother culture. Though the roots of this mother culture responsible for imparting the higher wisdom and technology we see in the megalithic world may so far be unknown to us, the ancient peoples had no such qualms and were quite clear who they were and they were the Gods from the stars. Though as Carl Sagan once said “A completely convincing demonstration of past contact with an extraterrestrial civilization will always be difficult to prove on textual grounds alone.”, unless we think the ancients liars or misguided primitives then we must accept the core of ancient texts for what they are as valid testimonial circumstantial evidence.
Many an alternative author including yourself implore their readers to accept the truths found in myths when it suits their purposes and yet how is it you cannot accept as truth the greatest tenant of ancient myth of them all that the Gods from the stars who created modern humans and gave them wisdom were real? You accept in essence the tales of the global flood myth but not the part about the flesh and blood Gods who they say existed among them before this time? If not figments of their imagination, then who in fact were these Gods from the heavens then with their flying machines and technology? This human "mother culture"? Doesn't seem very likely to me.
There are also numerous complimentary texts that speak to the idea of paleocontact, like the books of Ezekiel and Enoch, and various Sanskrit writings to name a few, that go into vivid detail of what can only be described or are flatly stated as flying machines piloted by "divine", though flesh and blood, beings from the heavens. The Sanskrit writings in particular are not only bereft with such accounts of flying machines and other "divine" technology, but also such esoteric modern scientific concepts as multiple universes populated by billions upon billions of worlds all of which are part of greater universal cycles lasting hundreds of trillions of years, concepts that should have been completely “alien” to ancient man and whose possibilities have only been “rediscovered” in modern times.
“Stylized insects”? Sorry, not buying it.
You are obviously an expert on the Ark of the Covenant and believe it was a real artifact so I assume it is not lost on you that the Ark certainly appears to be a piece of technology which so happens to be associated with divinity, i.e. the God(s) from the heavens and not humans. One would think the masses not so gullible as to not know the difference.
Beyond this, and obviously I could go on and on at length, we are left with interpretation of evidence, but obviously not indisputable evidence itself which is where the AA crowd goes astray seeing aliens in just about everything. It is definitely possible that some of these artifacts or technologies may be a “legacy” of such beings as we are clearly told was the case by the ancient peoples themselves, but there is no reason to think this the product of a protracted hands on occupation of the aliens themselves. If we take the ancients at their word, there was a time of Gods and Men that ended with a diluvian catastrophe and after that time the Gods slowly fade away. The AA crowd imagines an all encompassing alien “presence” going to and from their motherships whizzing about in their rockets getting all up in human’s business around the world, but I suggest the reality would be much different being more akin to a small band of shipwreck survivors with barely more than the technology on their backs than a global “occupation”. And a group of survivors no less whom may have all never made it back home being stuck after the flood to live out their remaining long lived days shepherding select human populations on Earth as living "Gods".
Imagine if a group of 50 modern day astronauts were dropped back in time to the Caucasus mountains of Russia, say, 10,000yrs ago with nothing more than their escape shuttle. What would they do to survive? How many would die in the first 5yrs? What would their impact on local cultures be? Would they mate with the locals? What kind of technology would they develop using ingenuity and "primitive" materials that may seem “advanced” for what we ascribe to “primitive” cultures today? What would their historical legacy be? Would they be the Gods of yore?
This is getting way too long, but I guess the question you have to ask yourself Graham, is that once you have put all of the “ancient aliens” nonsense aside, do you consider statistical probabilities, common sense, and the words of the ancient peoples themselves enough solid logic, evidence, and reasoning to at least still keep an open mind regarding paleocontact? I will have to side with Sagan on this one in that at its core, though not definitive, it is still enough for continued serious consideration.
Post Edited (01-Apr-14 07:29)