Into the Weird: Inhuman Offspring
One of the most common recurring themes in all of fiction is that of the inhuman human offspring. The idea that non-human entities, be they spirits, gods, aliens or monsters, might find a way to cross-breed themselves with human kind stretches back to the ancient world. Mythologies the world over are replete with stories of angels, gods, and spirits reproducing with mankind often with disastrous or grandiose results.
This concept has been used and reused in modern fiction and popular culture but its prevalence all throughout human history leaves some wondering if there might be some hidden truth behind it all. In this installment of Into the Weird I will explore the various forms this idea has taken across the centuries, from Hercules to alien chest-bursters and beyond.
Disclaimer: This hub will be fairly scatterbrained and informal in format so enjoy it for what it is. It also contains some mention of sex and sexual situations, obviously.
To Boldly Get it On
Many of the earliest science fiction films to feature alien creatures depicted them not as bizarre alien lifeforms or monsters but as people like us. Budget constraints are a likely part of this equation, especially when it comes to B-movies and television programs like the original Star Trek. If created today Spock might well have been a five foot tall green-skinned goblin done entirely in CGI rather than just an ordinary man with pointed ears and way too much make-up.
In Star Trek humanoids are quite common mainly because the series' mythology tells us that sentient life was seeded across multiple star systems by a progenitor alien race that was humanoid as well. This race's genetic information helped guide evolution in the direction of sentient, often humanoid, life. Sounding very familiar indeed to the claims of ancient astronaut believers and the movie Prometheus Star Trek provides us a plausible reason (within its own fictional Universe mind you) why Vulcans and humans (for example) can reproduce with one another.
In reality the idea that alien life would evolve to look like us is, at best, an inference based on our own planet. It is assumed that on planets similar to Earth in atmosphere, temperature and gravity life might arise just as it did here, through natural processes, and evolve to a state similar to our own. However this is mere speculation as we have only our own example to go on. It may be that we are right and Earth-like planets (or M Class planets as they are known in Star Trek) are the most conducive to producing life. It may however, turn out to be that life was lucky to evolve here and there are actually planets with vastly different conditions which are far more facilitative of the emergence and evolution of life.
The fact is that we simply don't know. We like to think, especially us men, that the stars are populated by people like us and specifically by women like those of Earth. Perhaps it is anthropocentric conceit, narcissism or a lack of imagination but whatever it is it seems that human beings are very VERY compatible with alien lifeforms. Unfortunately that's not always a good thing.
The Monsters Within
There is, of course, a dark side to the taboo relationships mankind has carried on with inhuman visitors. It's not all traveling the stars sleeping with alien babes, there are those intrusions of inhuman sexuality that are less than consensual or result in very unsettling offspring. The most iconic and recognizable example is, of course, the masterpiece of a monster movie that is ALIEN but the concept goes back way farther than face-huggers.
In movie form the idea of being impregnated by an alien is a very old one. The oldest example in film that I've come across is from an old B-Movie made by legendary filmmaker Roger Corman called Night of the Blood Beast. In the film an astronaut sent into orbit crash-lands back on Earth in a comatose state and is recovered by his colleagues. While attempting to revive their friend the scientists discover that a magnetic disturbance (read as EMP) has disrupted communications with the outside world. The group is being stalked by an alien monster and to make matters worse when their astronaut is finally revived he finds he is carrying a litter of alien fetuses inside him.
Corman appears to have spent much of his career obsessed with the idea of human beings hosting the young of aliens and monsters. One of his cult-classics, Humanoids from the Deep, features a group of mutated fish-monsters obsessed with trying to reproduce with young women from a fishing town. Another, Terror Within, features wingless hideous “gargoyles” with the same basic intention only this time in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where they have apparently overrun the human race. In one of his more famous films, Galaxy of Terror, the intrusive alien force is actually created by the mind of its attacker, given life as a giant maggot with writhing tentacles symbolizing some phallic sexual fear.
Yet another maggot is born to a regretful Mother in Croenenberg's film The Fly, though it is only part of a dream sequence.
These themes tend to prey upon both male and female fears and sentiments about sex. The idea of something foreign threatening our way of life and trying to rape our women is a primitive insecurity these movies project on their male characters only instead of Vikings, pirate, or barbarian hordes they are faced with monsters from beyond the stars or from the depths of the oceans.
For most of us the idea of alien beings procreating with people is merely fictional but there are some who believe that it is really happening to our species. In fact there are thousands of people all over the world who claim to have been hosts or sperm donors for the alien hybridization program. Taken in their sleep by otherworldly forces these defenseless people are then used against their will to create a new form of alien infiltrator, something too human to be noticed walking among us.
Thousands of years ago this sort of thing was reported all the time but as demonic rather than alien. The incubus was a spirit or demon that assaulted or seduced women usually while they were asleep. It was a matter of debate whether pregnancy could ever truly occur from these attacks but the attacks were investigated and reported for centuries nonetheless.
Fauns and Satyrs, both of whom are typically depicted looking a bit like our modern conception of Satan, were also said to sometimes seduce women and were, in a sense, to the forests what Sirens and mermaids were to the open sea. Wanderers might find themselves seduced by something less than human lest they be careful.
In the apocrypha that was cast out of the Bible it is claimed that Fallen Angels created a race of giants when they took human wives and fell from grace. These giants, or Nephilim as they are called in Genesis, are claimed to have been the main reason God needed to bring the Flood (in the book of Enoch). Some believers today equate these giants with alien encounters.
For many modern day believers the medieval reports of the Succubus and Incubus fraternizing with or forcing their affections upon human beings are in fact reports of extraterrestrials from the distant past. Or, if you're of a more religious mind, the reports of aliens forming hybrids today are actually misinterpreted demonic encounters. Either way we have an issue on our hands, someone is breeding an army that looks human but most certainly is not.
- The Alien Plan for Humans
An interesting website where a guy will send you an anti-telepathy hat to block the aliens.
The Alien Anti-Christ?
Religion and pseudoscience don't always have a cozy relationship but many facets of organized religion are now letting in elements of New Age and other beliefs. A spokesperson for the Vatican has even offered to baptize an alien if one ever turns up. All of this leaves some conspiracy theorists in a tizzy as they prepare to watch the powers that be usher in their always-just-around-the-corner New World Order. For end times believers this all makes sense, the New World Order will be the government of the legendary Anti-Christ.
So who better to give birth to the anti-Christ than an alien? Or maybe the anti-Christ IS an alien! The various theories surrounding the idea of an alien or demonic hybrid being part of the end of the world number in the dozens. Some say a false flag alien invasion will usher in world government, others say the demonic aliens will reveal themselves peacefully in a Twilight Zone-esque ruse.
Needless to say to those who claim to have directly been abducted by these beings the phenomenon is very real. While I in no way personally believe any of this stuff I think its important not to be too mean-spirited when dealing with these sorts of beliefs, as silly as they may seem to the rest of us. But still sometimes you have to stand in awe of just how bizarre human beliefs can be.
Hercules Vs Jesus: Clash of the Half-Human Heroes
Never mind the eminent end of days folks because we have a slew of heroes from our mythologies that are also born of the bond between human and, well, non-human. Two of the most famous half-gods are Hercules and Jesus. Hercules is mainly famous for his abilities in battle and his legendary feats none of which include healing anyone miraculously or claiming to be savior to all mankind. Jesus on the other hand is less about brawn and more about helping the needy (but don't tell the Republicans that).
Both Hercules and Jesus are said to have had a miraculous birth. Hercules is the son of Zeus, Zeus who often took human form, but also sometimes seduced women in the form of a swan. Jesus' origin is far harder to pin down as it's a matter of some debate amongst his followers. While most believers in modern times claim that Jesus IS God and is also the son of God at the same time that belief was not always mainstream. Jesus was once seen as lesser than God, merely his son, and not fully divine.
Jesus birth was ordained by God to a woman (and by woman I mean teenager) named Mary who was married to a man named Joseph who was part of the lineage of King David. All of this was done simply to preserve some ancient prophecy. While the Bible does not really go into detail we can hopefully assume that God ALSO took the form of some feathered fowl, possibly a dove seeing as how the Bible says it was the Holy Spirit who knocked her up.
One thing that they shared in common besides their divine origins seems to have been their tools of the trade. Here's Hercules using a big stick to overcome the Hydra.
Now here's some fourth century artwork showing Jesus using a stick to perform miracles, such as raising the dead.
Yes you are seeing that correctly, in ancient Christian artwork it is widely depicted that JESUS USED A MAGIC WAND to carry out miracles. Rarely do you ever see modern day faith healers using staffs or wands... say, maybe THAT'S why the miracles have all dried up.
So where does all of this leave us? Are human beings being visited by aliens from beyond the stars, demons from the pits of Hell or merely being haunted by our own overactive imaginations? One thing is for sure the world is filled with pseudoscience, mythology and folklore. There is so much more to get lost in, if you're not afraid to journey once more Into the Weird. Thanks for reading!