Mankind is responsible for numerous achievements in technology, arts and science.However, how much can this attributed solely to the human mind or is there another reason man has achieved such incredible feats throughout history.To look at ancient structures built thousands of years ago, how could such primitive man have built such architectural wonders that remain standing today?This is a question that archaeologists and historians have sought to answer by interpreting relics and other archaeological finds and by analysing ancient texts. However, some people believe that the real explanation for our significant human achievement is a by receiving a little “out of this world” help from some distant friends.
A very infamous Swiss author Erich von Däniken is partly responsible for bringing the theory of the ancient astronauts sometimes also called ancient aliens to the mass consciousness.In his 1968 book Chariots of the Gods Von Däniken suggested that thousands of years ago life from another planet visited Earth and gave us the knowledge to advance as a civilisation. He states that many religious texts refer to divine spirits coming from the sky above therefore claims that this ‘evidence’ suggests these beings descended to Earth and taught humans how to live and develop religion along with many other skills. Von Däniken’s book became a bestseller and subsequently he has published many other titles along the same vain. Von Daniken was later discovered to have conveniently produced evidence of ‘ancient pottery’ with UFO style artwork, which turns out to be untrue and was instead purposefully produced to support his claims.
Von Däniken’s claims are not a completely unique concept.Another author Zacheria Sitchen famous for his idea of Nibiru, a mysterious 12th planet lurking in the Solar system writes that natives (advanced human-like creatures) from this planet arrived on earth to mine gold many hundreds of thousands of years ago. They trained primitive humans to conduct the manual labour required therefore giving birth to modern man. Two rather more credible authors, Carl Sagan and I.S. Shklovski in their 1966 book Intelligent Life in the Universe dedicated a chapter to the idea that perhaps alien life has visited in the past, however they do emphasis that this idea is merely guesswork and is unconfirmed. Many science fiction novels and movies have also toiled with this idea, including a short story published in 1918 written by Jack London which features an ancient civilization worshipping some kind of alien UFO, although the idea of alien visitors to Earth being worshiped as gods really took off in the weird fiction of HP Lovecraft ). Movies such as “2001: A Space Odyssey” also look to idea that early man is influenced by a kind of extraterrestrial find, and due out his year “Prometheus” also promises to explore the origins of mankind in order to save it.
Many ancient astronauts theorists point to architectural masterpieces such as the Pyramids of Giza and suggest they would be impossible to build without today’s technological know-how.The ancient Egyptian Pyramids of Giza are an impressive and spectacular feat.The largest stands almost 139m (456ft) thought to have been originally taller perhaps up to 8m (26ft) taller but over time has eroded and shrunk.This pyramid was not the first and also ancient Egypt is not the only country to have large pyramid structures.Pyramids were built as burial sites for ancient pharaohs and a trial and error approach to building can be witnessed through the numerous different pyramids built.Before the construction of the true pyramid (like Giza) Egyptians used structures called mastabas as burial chambers.These were originally long with almost totally vertical wall.They then developed by extra layers added around the base for extra support in turn becoming a step pyramid.Other structures such as the bent Pyramid of Dahshur give more support to the idea of man working out a system for themselves.
The ancient Pharaohs had a large workforce of thousands of skilled workers dedicated to building the Pyramid of Giza and as the saying goes many hands make light work.
Other such statues such as the Moai heads on Easter island, thought to date back to 1000-1200 AD are supposedly influenced by strange visitors.The Polynesians were the first to arrive at Easter Island many years before the Europeans.Many statues sit near the coast keeping a watch over the island; this may have been purposeful to ward off invaders.The tallest erected statues stands at 10m (33ft).The basalt stone would be a hard stone to carve and ancient astronaut theorists believe a human could not have possibly achieved such a feat.However the large statues do not have lots of little details, which would be difficult with just a stone chisel.
Instead the faces have simple carved features, and the arms are thin on the bodies with hands not defined.These statues are big so the features could be achieved.They are solid and heavy so many questions are pondered as how they became erected and often onto large plinths.However, in 1868, English ship HMS Topaz arrived at Easter Island and locals moved a four ton statue called Hoa Hakananai’a (hidden friend) to the beach and floated it by raft to the ship to be brought back as a gift for Queen Victoria.If man is capable of moving the statues a few hundred years ago then surely this suggests that they were able to before.
Many other mysterious finds are yet more ammunition for the ancient alien hypothesis, such as crystal skulls. Just as Indiana Jones is fictional many of the crystal skulls discovered once analysed under microscopes are thought to have been manufactured in the 19th century. Also many strange statues and images reminiscent in shape of an aeroplane or bird have been discovered both in sculptures and images. In scripts from India 2000 years ago people claimed to have seen flying machines called vimanas. There were different types, one with man-made wings like a plane and the other a disc shape, must be the aliens or perhaps just some ancient sci-fi or perhaps we now this see these objects with hindsight and try and fit them in something that make more sense to us such as an aeroplane. Even more ancient carvings such as the Nazca lines in Peru have been explained that their creation was to act as a runway for ancient aliens. Giant carvings in the sand show pictures of people, animals and birds, these carvings in the sand are not very deep but have remained preserved due to the lack of rain fall. Ancient people drew what they saw and how they lived and maybe the desert was a perfect blank canvas.
(Article by Martina Redpath)