Ancient Astronauts: Did Extraterrestrials Rule Us?

Anunnaki (Sumerian Gods) Descending from the Sky Allegedly in a Spacecraft
Anunnaki (Sumerian Gods) Descending from the Sky Allegedly in a Spacecraft | Source
Dogu Japanese Figure allegedly wearing space goggles
Dogu Japanese Figure allegedly wearing space goggles | Source
An artifact discovered on the Russia-China border that allegedly depicts an ancient astronaut.
An artifact discovered on the Russia-China border that allegedly depicts an ancient astronaut. | Source
A Mayan Figure with a Serpent's Head that resembles a Delta Wing Plane.
A Mayan Figure with a Serpent's Head that resembles a Delta Wing Plane.

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 Nazca Lines in Peru. A Monkey Drawn in the Earth.
The Nazca Lines in Peru. A Monkey Drawn in the Earth.
Ancient paintings from Val Camonica, Italy are believed to depict forgotten deities; ancient astronaut proponents claim these pictures resemble modern day astronauts despite being painted ca. 10,000 BC.
Ancient paintings from Val Camonica, Italy are believed to depict forgotten deities; ancient astronaut proponents claim these pictures resemble modern day astronauts despite being painted ca. 10,000 BC. | Source
Figures in "Space Helmets" from Ecuador.
Figures in "Space Helmets" from Ecuador.
A Mayan Figurine as compared to A Modern Day Astronaut
A Mayan Figurine as compared to A Modern Day Astronaut

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!

Best regards,

Lane Weinberg


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Comments 39 comments

fordie profile image

fordie 5 years ago from China

Well constructed hub. A very interesting read


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 5 years ago Author

Thanks I appreciate the comments! A bizarre theory.


fordie profile image

fordie 5 years ago from China

Check out Sanxingdui (and the related Jinsha Ruins) near Chengdu China. There are more finds there that have baffled archaeologists and lead to alien-visit speculation


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 5 years ago Author

Wow those are some amazing finds. Thanks for the heads up.


fordie profile image

fordie 5 years ago from China

I'll try and get this written up from the visitors perspective but will leave this angle to you. Cheers


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 5 years ago Author

Great! I'm definitely going to follow you.


fordie profile image

fordie 5 years ago from China

It may not be today!

Thanks - I'm following you now too.


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 5 years ago Author

Whenever it is, I'll be there to read!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California

This was a wonderful read. I LOVE this stuff, I love space and aliens and I love history and anthropology, so this was just a win-win-win-win article. I think that while there are no good pieces of evidence for the interference of aliens, I think there are no solid pieces of evidence against them either. Frankly, to me aliens make a more believable explanation for all the stuff coming out of the sky and interfering with us than angels and Gods do. Frankly, aliens as misinterpreted to be gods makes perfect sense to me. One needs only to believe in patience and in our ignorance to explain why "they haven't been back" or we "don't notice them among us." I often wonder if they aren't checking us out discretely like cosmic Jane Goodalls to our chimpanzee selves. lol. So, while some of those writers lack the academic discipline to confine themselves to fact, I think imagination plays an important part of discovery too. Not saying it is aliens, just not willing to say it's not either. Anyway, real quality hub here, thanks.


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 5 years ago Author

I totally agree with you! I think aliens most likely have been here in the distant past or even now, but we are so conditioned to ignore 'quack theories' that we avoid things that are real. However, Sitchin and his lot are a discredit to their own theories by using faulty logic, but some of those figurines are so similar to modern day things its hard to deny. Also, the fact the Sumerians had conceived the method of which the Moon actually did form is pretty bizarre in itself. It's our arrogance as a race that makes the possibility of extraterrestrial life so 'silly', after all how can so many cultures separated by oceans have the same architecture or mythologies.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California

I know what you mean about arrogance. To me the recent theories on how "maybe water isn't necessary for life" seems like something I've intuited my entire life. Of course water isn't necessary for life. If liquid water works, so can liquid methane or anything else. It just needs a different set of evolutionary processes. To think that our little planet is an example of anything to the exlusion of anything else is silly for sure.


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 5 years ago Author

Totally agree! Mother Nature has means to create life any and everywhere. Heck, we still find life in places life 'should not be'. Fish on the bottom of the ocean with lights hanging from their heads, or a fish caught by a random fisherman that was supposed to be extinct for 65 million years. It's funny to me when scientist insist upon something being a fact, because they say so lol


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California

It's so funny you say that. I was literally thinking of those fish, those wierd-ass things by the volcanic vents 10 bajillion miles under the ocean... like we don't have plenty of evidence that we don't know anything. lol.

I can see you and I are going to get along famously.


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 5 years ago Author

Most definitely! Back in the day Gorillas were considered a stupid myth...come to find out their DNA is 95-99% like ours.


Mark M 5 years ago


lightning john profile image

lightning john 5 years ago from Florida

Hi Lweinberg, I'm very impressed with your writing this. These are topics that more and more people are interested in. What is the true origin of man? What really is God? Thank you! I look forward to reading more of your hubs. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 5 years ago Author

Thanks for the comment, John, I appreciate the feedback! I'll be publishing an article soon about another meteorite found to have amino acids on it. Happy holidays!


Joshua526 5 years ago

This article is very thought provoking.

If ancient astronauts are real, given their technology, the possibility of space travel for anyone could be real.


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 5 years ago Author

I think space travel is possible, we are just not there yet, but with constant tinkering and growing technological understanding we will get there someday. We just need a more viable and less costly but more effective method of traveling such as the Solar Sail I wrote a hub on, or Helium-3 to fuel fusion power.


copernico profile image

copernico 5 years ago from Canada

Interesting Hub, although none of the pictures (drawings, sculptures) suggest anything about astronauts. Some of them have a vague resemblance to what we now know as a man on a spacesuit, and many of them don't resemble that at all. Out of hundreds of thousands or maybe millions of ancient figures and drawings that have been recovered only a few are picked up. That way one can support almost any conceivable hypothesis.


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 5 years ago Author

Agreed. Like I said, I think people see those and interpret them as something we recognize, while their makers would see something totally different. Our minds are conditioned to see them as we now know them, which is normal human thinking. It's just a coincidence that some of them resemble anything like 'astronauts'. Thanks for the comments!


Ron 5 years ago

Yeah, it's just a matter of staying open minded, but not so open your brain falls out. There are things that science cannot explain satisfactorily (the logistics and engineering of the building of the Pyramind at Giza, the 'missing link' in human evolution, the Cambrian biological explosion, etc. etc.). Though authors like Sitchin, Von Daniken, radio hosts and their guests (Coast to Coast AM), and highly charismatic folks like George Tsoukalos talk about amazing and possibly unrealistic things, because of the simple fact that current science cannot satisfactorily explain some of Earths enigmas means these guys cannot be ignored out of hand (keep an open mind...). Time itself has been the determining factor on many theories and associated with that ongoing time is the element of education and knowledge. I think we need to take in all the factors regardless of what ones preconceived notions might try to logically imbue upon us as I truly believe this is the proper way to come to a conclusion. We may not be able to reach that conclusion because of the effects of time (time goes on, but we don't, or do we? :) ) or because key pieces to support some of the theories have not materialized (and may never) but one thing I do believe in is mathematics, the vastness of the Universe, and the ability of human beings to persevere. If nothing else, dreaming is still a wonderful pasttime and history tells us some dreams do come true.


sunchild28 profile image

sunchild28 5 years ago from Nigeria

Interesting article which i enjoyed a lot including the ancient photos in there.Am impressed.


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 5 years ago Author

Thanks for the comments, guys! You are so right, Ron. I take issue with Sitchin's flawed translations. Otherwise I think it's very possible paleo-contact has accord. It's arrogant to assume we are the first sentient race in the universe as it would be to assume Earth is the first habitable planet. I was reminded after reading another article about ancient Mars being a tropical climate. For all we know an alien race came, visited and left millions of years and left to die off. Who knows!


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

So many different interpretations of the same stories and artifacts. But it makes one wonder -- what is the truth behind it all.

I have found evidence that links the Sumerians to the Georgians (Colchis), Etruscans, Basques and some Native American tribes. Could the common source have been Atlantis? Could the "aliens" have been our own ancestors, but from here on Earth?

If one compares the myths of golden dragons, particularly those of Cadmus, Medea and the Egyptian merchant prince, it starts to seem that the creature is instead a mechanical aircraft (anti-gravity? something else?). And the story of Cecrops (founder of Athens) who was supposedly half man, half snake -- could it merely have been the captain of a dragon ship popping the hatch to talk to his men and the locals?

The story of Ezekial is particularly intriguing -- the wheel within a wheel, and when the patriarch is whisked away on the strange platform, he feels the hand of God holding him down (inertia?). To us, such acceleration would prove quite ordinary. To someone who had never been faster than a brisk walk, such "force" would seem magical or divine.


jreuter profile image

jreuter 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Hey Lweinberg,

This is a really well-written and constructed hub. I admit I was sort of cringing when I first clicked on it, assuming it would be "pro-alien astronaut theory," but you did an excellent job of suspending opinion and just presenting the facts.

I will admit there are some bizarre things in ancient history. I've been pretty engaged in that subject for a while now, so it's impossible to not hear some of the crazier theories. I've read some Graham Hancock as well, who while not subscribing to this theory, has some interesting ideas nonetheless. Even though I really don't find much of the evidence for ancient visitors too compelling, I think it's really fun to speculate and to imagine wild scenarios.

I for one find the Books of Enoch and Genesis to both be very compelling, but not for the idea of aliens. What I find so odd is that people use these books to argue for alien encounters, when the books clearly say angels came to earth. I guess that for me, the idea of aliens is every bit as outlandish, so why not accept the author's contention?

Anyways, thanks for an interesting hub! I enjoyed it. (Oh, and I noticed something you said about the Nephilim being angelic beings. As far as I know, Genesis describes the Nephilim as the offspring of the "Sons of God" (angels) and "Daughters of men," not actually the angelic beings themselves).


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

@jreuter, on Nephilim, some translations of Genesis 6 seem to imply that they were offspring of the daughters and the sons; but others do not. And Nephilim, by some, is translated as "the fallen ones."

Could we be the "fallen ones," once angelic? And the "sons of God," could they be the spiritual children of God wrapped in Homo sapiens flesh (see Genesis 1:26-27)? And the "daughters?" Could they and their offspring have been the target of the Flood? The literal timeline for Genesis doesn't match those from science, but I've decyphered one which does -- and it points to the "daughters" being a species which looked enough like "man" to be called "man." That species died out at the new date for Noah's Flood -- 28,000 BC. Why target them? Messing with the gene pool could've thwarted the future of civilization.

Angels, gods, aliens? To a primitive hunter-gatherer, what's the difference?

There's a lot we don't know, and Lweinberg's hub, here, raises some juicy questions.


Obscure_Treasures profile image

Obscure_Treasures 5 years ago from USA

Very interesting hub indeed!


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 5 years ago Author

From what I understand Nephilim are 'watchers', but it really depends on the mythos you are talking about. Some consider Nephilim a type of demon, some angels, some watchers, etc. There's just so many mythos out there!


klevifusha 5 years ago

This is one of the most interesting hubs I've read since I joined the site. It is incredible how much evidence is present and people still tend to disregard these theories. Thank you for this wonderful hub Lweinberg. I voted it up and I will be following you.


Spacekid profile image

Spacekid 5 years ago

This is great, thanks for posting this,it explains many things.I never thought of humans were descendents of aliens,I just thought we were all weird in our own ways.


jainismus profile image

jainismus 4 years ago from Pune, India

Interesting, shared.


markbennis 4 years ago

Great Hub and a topic of my liking, I have read the late Dr Zecharia Sitchin books on the Annunaki and found the Lost Book of Enki the most revealing, I found that this book really sheds some light upon this subject.

I totally believe that the Annunaki are real because I have seen one, strong claim I know, but who cares it’s the truth! You can read more of that encounter in my Hub called ‘Kundalini Rising a Journey to an Awakening’ where I explained in detail my encounter.

So for me it’s just a matter of knowing and not having to consider these possibilities, the extraterrestrial connection is the most plausible ever known but its hidden truth can only question why?

Great Hub and voted up all the way.


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 4 years ago Author

Hi Mark, thanks for the comment! Even the great Carl Sagan said ancient astronauts is highly plausible and warrants further study. While I think Sitchin took advantage of the topic, the Sumerians were way too advance for their time. They predicted how the moon was formed, that there was another planet (proto-planet) and designated planets before they were discovered!


sparkster profile image

sparkster 4 years ago from United Kingdom

This is a fantastic hub. Personally I think the evidence is overwhelming and always have done ever since I learnt about these things in school nearly 20 years ago.

The animal on earth with the closest DNA to humans is the chimpanzee. So what happened in between?


Vijay Simha 4 years ago

Did Einstein have a degree? We don't seem to question his theories....then why the rough treatment to Mr.Sitchin?


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 4 years ago Author

Thanks for the comment. I suppose that .01 - 1% difference makes a "huge" difference. I forget where, but I read (maybe Discovery?) that if Earth were titled in a different direction by 1 degree it'd be near-uninhabitable.

Some of our DNA material is positively from "outer space" it's just a question of what and how much. In the most basic form, everything is made up of the same things from the same place at the same time. It's just a process of spacial evolution over 13 some-odd billion years,


Crings 3 years ago

Absolutley awesome read, I love stuff like this as it holds true with what I think may or may not be the origin of our species. I don't think it'll be anything like the recent movie Promethues(Which was damn good) and raised some good questions about the origin of our species. Ayway back on the subject absorbing read on the hub with some brilliant insights into the whole thing.


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 3 years ago Author

Thanks so much! Also, Prometheus's aliens were so disappointing.

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