Ancient Astronauts: Did Extraterrestrials Rule Us?
Evidence Aliens Already Made Contact
You may have read my previous article about Zecharia Sitchin’s theory that the ancient Sumerian culture had been in contact with extraterrestrials and were aware of the existence of the unknown planet known as Nibiru. The pseudo-scientific author had also been the main force behind the Ancient Astronaut theory, along with Robert K. G. Temple, David Icke, and Erich von Daniken. This article will address this proposal on various levels. Though both the speculations on Nibiru and Paleo-contact (aliens contacting ancient humans) are separate they are also intertwined.
The Ancient Astronaut theory proposes 1 of 3 things: 1) Humans are the creations of an alien race who came to Earth thousands of years ago or in the time of our so-called ancestors. 2) We humans are in fact the descendants of an alien race that had arrived on Earth thousands of years ago or perhaps longer. 3) An extraterrestrial race visited Earth thousands of years ago, made contact with the Sumerian culture and were hailed as Gods or spirits.
Proponents of this theory cite numerous texts, artifacts and wondrous sites as evidence for Paleo-contact. According to Sitchin the race that made contact with the Sumer culture was also portrayed in the Five Books of Moses. The Book of Ezekiel tells of a flaming object descending from the sky causing tumultuous winds, appearing to be metal and in the shape of wheels within wheels (This is also shown in the movie, Knowing as aliens. Silly, but still it was a good movie!). Ezekiel reported seeing four travellers within this craft, all of who appear ‘as men’. Sitchin cites this passage as Ezekiel having come in contact with extraterrestrial life and mistaking it for ‘angels’. Erich von Daniken also proposes this theory in chapter 4 of his book, “Chariots of the Gods? ”
Ancient Astronaut believers also cite the Book of Genesis as proof, particularly, Genesis 6:1-4 which states that:
"When men began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair; and they took to wife such of them as they chose... The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them."
It is common among the writings of Zecharia Sitchin, von Daniken and others that in the bible that extraterrestrial visitors are mistaken as angels and that the whole idea of religion is based on misinterpreting interactions with those visitors. They have also suggested in various other chapters of the Five Books of Moses that the appearance of God travelling in columns of smoke, and making the sounds of trumpets are in fact an alien spacecraft leaving Earth.
Sitchin also cites the Book Of Enoch, in which divine beings known as ‘Watchers’ leave heaven and descend upon the Earth to mate with humans. This allusion also is one of his false translations, which I will address later on.
Finally, the most intriguing evidence Ancient Astronaut supporters present is global artwork, from even 30,000 years ago that do indeed seem to validate their case. There are figurines of hominoids wearing what appears to be ‘oxygen masks’ as Sitchin cites in his book, There Were Giants Upon the Earth . Instances like this among ancient artwork is by no means limited to the Sumer civilization, and has been seen in places such as China, and in Paleolithic drawings such as the Ancient Astronaut Cave Art at Val Comonica, Italy where two people appear to be wearing space helmets.
Sitchin focuses most of his attention on artwork in the form of numerous Sumerian drawings that have objects that resemble modern day rockets with people stepping outside and wearing masks of some sort.
In Columbia there were 5 figurines discovered that resemble airplanes with a serpent’s head, though most archaeologists state they are merely insects in a curious shape. Again there are helmeted figures from Ecuador, and lets not forget the infamous Nazca Lines.
The Nazca Lines are a bizarre set of geoglyphs carved into the earth of the Nazca Desert in Peru. Many UFO and alien proponents like Sitchin suggest the lines are some form of map or communication for extraterrestrial visitors. The main reason given is that the shapes the lines form are only visible by looking down from above, say in a passing spacecraft. However, mainstream astronomers and archeologists believe the lines were either carved for the Nazca gods to see or as a method to track the sun and moon.
Other great wonders of the world such as the pyramids at Giza, Machu Picchu, and the Easter Island Moais are claimed to have all been built either for or by alien visitors. There has been little evidence to suggest this, other than simply not knowing how they were built.
The Experts Weigh In
As preposterous as all these beliefs may seem, they have amassed a heap of evidence and even astrophysicists Carl Sagan and I.S. Shklovski suggest the Ancient Astronaut theory should be seriously considered by the scientific community in their book Intelligent Life in the Universe , published in 1966. They, however, strongly urge that the theory is groundless, and the minute evidence is circumstantial.
Returning to the translations Sitchin and his associates propose suggesting Sumer was in contact with extraterrestrials, they are mostly mistranslated words from ancient Sumerian and Hebrew, which Sitchin was in no way an expert. He did not possess any degrees in either language and Roger W. Wescott, Prof. of Anthropology and Linguistics at Drew University, Madison, New Jersey, called his skills very poor. In reviewing Sitchin’s book, The Twelfth Planet Westcott stated the following:
“Sitchin's linguistics seems at least as amateurish as his anthropology, biology, and astronomy. On p. 370, for example, he maintains that "all the ancient languages . . . including early Chinese . . . stemmed from one primeval source -- Sumerian". Sumerian, of course, is the virtual archetype of what linguistic taxonomists call a language-isolate, meaning a language that does not fall into any of the well-known language-families or exhibit clear cognation with any known language. Even if Sitchin is referring to written rather than to spoken language, it is unlikely that his contention can be persuasively defended, since Sumerian ideograms were preceded by the Azilian and Tartarian signaries of Europe as well as by a variety of script-like notational systems between the Nile and Indus rivers.”
- Wescott, Roger W. 1979. Kronos Vol. IV, No. 4, pp. 90-92.
The same concern arises with Sitchin’s translations of Hebrew texts, where he claims that the Anunnaki whom are a group of Sumerian gods are present in the Five Books of Moses. Only there, he claims the Anunnaki are called the Anakim or Nephilim . The Nephilim are mentioned only twice in the five books, and their interpretation varies among groups, but they are most often portrayed as some form of fallen angel who has engaged in sexual activity with a human. The very world Nephilim is most likely based on a Hebrew root-word meaning "to fall" or "to cause to fall." As it seems, the only real evidence for Sitchin’s theory on the Anunnaki is the similarity in the words.
Sitchin also has been accused by colleagues, Peter James and William Irwin Thompson of being “liberal with mythology”, as the author states the creation myth of Enuma Elish, in which Marduk the Sumerian god-king overthrows the cruel regime which controls him and creates Earth is not a story, but rather a historical account of extraterrestrial uprising. Almost every culture on Earth has creation myths involving such scenarios in some form or another, so what is it about the Sumerian myth that has Sitchin so convinced it’s true? The answer lies in the myth of Gilgamesh, which you may recognize from the flood myth that was the precursor to the Noah’s Ark story.
Gilgamesh was a great Sumerian king, who did actually exist around 2500 BCE or so. He allegedly ruled during the Urk Dynasty for 126 years. The length of his life may be faulty, but according to fragments in cuneiform he was real and was hailed as a demi-god who possessed great strength. Gilgamesh was also credited with building a mighty city wall in order to defend his people, along with seeking immortality.
It appears to me that having seen there was a king called Gilgamesh, Sitchin jumped and took the whole Sumerian mythos as fact based on that piece of information alone. If you were to ask a random pool of astronomers, historians, archeologists, anthropologist or anyone with a degree in those fields they will confirm that there is no valid evidence of ancient astronauts.
As for the drawings, figurines and effigies that appear to be ‘space men’ it is believed by most researchers (and I agree with them) that these images we are seeing appear to us in a way that we can understand them. This means we look at something in the shape of a rocket and we recognize as that, because our brains are conditioned to do so. However, if an ancient Sumerian were looking at that same drawing of a ‘rocket’ he may see something we would consider to be in the realm of childish imagination. Think about this, mankind has created and used rockets for decades and has been unable to put a man any further than the Moon. If extraterrestrials used those same machines how could they possibly reach Earth with such ease, let alone have the advanced technology to create or design mankind.
Some might say that these alien gods ‘utilized fusion fuel’ or discovered ‘warp drive’ or used ‘antimatter’ or any such thing, but realistically speaking wouldn’t they have returned by now? I have an open mind, and know there are extraterrestrials somewhere in the universe (I find it arrogant to think otherwise), but I doubt they were in contact with Sumer, mainly because certain authors needed a revenue source.
As always keep your eyes to the sky, and leave me a note what you think, I’m interested in seeing what other scientific minds think!
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