"The Origins Of The Space Gods" ~ Jason Colavito (Part 2/2)

Art work by Jean Giraud (Moebius)

Source of this text - Jason Colavito -

Part I of this text - Here*

IV. The Evidence for Aliens

The Ancient Astronaut Theory, as it developed in the hands of Pauwels and Bergier, von Däniken, and others, uses a combination of suggestive archaeological, mythological, and artistic evidence. Though believers interpret nearly every piece of ancient history as supporting the ancient astronaut theory, in outline, the most important evidence is as follows:


Believers maintain that ancient cities and monuments the world over display three important properties that speak to their non-human origins. First, many are composed of stones that weigh so much that it seems impossible for ordinary humans to have moved them. For example, the blocks making up the Great Pyramid of Egypt weigh as much as fifty tons each, and the stones of the Incan fortress of Sacsayhuaman weigh as much as two hundred tons. Further, believers hold that these ancient sites are laid out and constructed with a precision that is unmatched by all but the most modern of contemporary constructions. The Great Pyramid, for instance, is said to be placed on a base within 0.049 inches of flat; its sides are oriented to the cardinal directions within three minutes of arc, something unmatched in nearly all modern constructions. Such engineering is said to be possible only with alien help, either as the builders themselves or as teachers who imparted the knowledge of such building techniques.

Inca masonry, which ancient astronaut theorists believe is too perfect to be the sole work of human beings. (Library of Congress)

Second, believers argue that ancient sites and artifacts encode scientific data that should be unknown to Stone Age peoples. The Great Pyramid, to take a familiar example, is said to be an accurate scale model of the northern hemisphere of the earth thousands of years before Eratosthenes first estimated the planet’s circumference. It is also said to be placed in the exact center of the earth’s land masses. The monumental pyramids of the ancient Mexican city of Teotihuacan are often said to be a scale model of the solar system.

Third, anomalous artifacts represent advanced technology of possibly inhuman origin. The famous “Baghdad battery” is a small jar that may have held electrodes that when exposed to vinegar could have produced a small electrical charge. Small golden bees from Mexico may be depictions of ancient airplanes. A sparkplug may have been found inside a billion-year-old rock known as the Coso artifact.


"Ark of Space" by Shigeru Komatsuzaki, 1968

Ancient myths and legends record the arrival of the aliens and their deeds upon the earth. Believers in the ancient astronaut theory are united in their belief that myths and holy books are factual accounts of events that happened in the real world. The apocryphal Book of Enoch is a favorite, along with the legend of the Jewish prophet ascending to heaven in a fiery chariot. The Biblical vision of Ezekiel, who saw a fiery apparition of interlocking wheels, is said to represent an encounter with a flying saucer. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in fire and brimstone is suggested to be an account of aliens dropping an atomic bomb. Elsewhere, mythological appearances of savior gods such as Oannes in Sumer, Osiris in Egypt, Quetzalcoatl in Mexico, and Viracocha in Peru are thought to be factual accounts of anthropomorphic aliens bringing civilization to benighted ancient tribes. Hindu mythology is an especially rich source of proof because of its descriptions of flying machines, ray guns, and explosions that resemble atomic detonations.

Jason Returns with the Golden Fleece by Ugo da Carpi, c. 1500. Von Däniken believes Greek gods were aliens, the Golden Fleece was really an alien helicopter, and Jason's ship, the Argo, was really an alien spacecraft. (Library of Congress)
And of course, like the Old Ones in At the Mountains of Madness, the gods who created humans and other earth life in myth and religion are here interpreted as aliens that genetically engineered earth life for their inscrutable purposes. They also manage earth life, like the Old Ones who wipe out unfavorable races, by sending floods or annihilating trouble spots with nuclear weapons.


True evidence or proof that marijuana shouldn't be legalized?

Ancient art shows images of the aliens and their advanced technology, according to believers. Aboriginal cave art in Australia depicts beings with circles around their heads, obviously the helmets of space-faring aliens. Similarly, ancient Japanese statuary of rotund monsters actually shows aliens in bulky spacesuits. Medieval paintings are said to contain images of flying discs or aerodynamic chariots that resemble flying saucers and rocket ships. The lid of the tomb of the Mayan king Palenque does not show the king in the underworld but rather depicts him at the controls of technological device, perhaps a rocket ship. An image of a lotus blossom in the Egyptian temple of Dendera is really a depiction of a light bulb, complete with power cord and filament. Ancient maps are believed to show a) Earth as depicted from space, b) the world as it existed in the Ice Age before human civilization, c) Antarctica centuries before its discovery in 1818.

V. The Science

Archaeologists, paleontologists, anthropologists, and other scientific professionals were less than impressed by the web of suggestion and interpretation that masqueraded as a scientific hypothesis. Since the mid-1970s, skeptics have produced articles, books, and documentaries aimed at debunking the ancient astronaut theory and explaining its “evidence” as a series of misinterpretations, misrepresentations, and ignorance of scientific research. It would be impossible to thoroughly explore the scientific arguments against the ancient astronaut theory in anything short of a book, but the general lines of argument run like this:


No evidence of extraterrestrial technology has ever been found on earth, and no artifact can conclusively be tied to a planet other than Earth. Such claims are exaggerations, misinterpretations, or frauds. For example, the alleged Coso artifact is not a billion-year-old bit of advanced technology but a 1920s spark plug encrusted in solidified crud mistaken for ancient rock. Ancient monuments show every sign of being constructed by the ancient people who lived around them, as demonstrated by the artifacts found in, around, on top of, and under ancient sites. Construction of buildings — even highly precise and heavy ones — can be accomplished with large numbers of people working together.

Stonehenge. Despite centuries of investigation, no alien artifacts have ever been found in, around, or under Stonehenge. (Library of Congress)


Ancient myths do not have a direct correlation with events in the distant past. Instead, they are complex web of symbolism, religious belief, historical events, and imagination. There may be some distorted truth behind myths (as the discovery of Troy proved for Homer’s Iliad), but they cannot be interpreted as literal accounts of historic happenings. Nor are the myths themselves consistent across time. The myth of Jason and the Golden Fleece, for example, shows significant changes to major events between its earliest recorded forms and the best-known version, written by Apollonius of Rhodes many centuries later. In the earliest forms of the myth, it is unclear whether the Golden Fleece was even present — a far cry from those like Robert Temple or Erich von Däniken who assumed that one version of the myth stood for all, could be considered definitive, and could be interpreted literally as evidence of alien intervention. Mythology must be seen in its cultural context, and any interpretation must account for changes, distortions, and mutations that accrue over time as oral stories are retold, come into contact with stories from other cultures and lands, and eventually take on a written form. This is not unlike the contradictory variants of Mythos legends found in Lovecraft’s own stories.


Again, ancient art should not be taken as a literal recording of events happening before the artists’ eyes. Many works of prehistoric art, such as cave paintings, depict shamans engaged in rituals designed to imbue them with the powers of the netherworld and their spirit animals. These cannot be taken literally but must be seen in cultural context and in terms of the visions of strange shapes and forms humans see when in shamanic trance states. Other pieces of ancient art, like the Dendera light bulb or Palenque’s coffin lid, must be viewed in light of other artistic depictions from the period, not by itself, in order to understand the symbolism and artistic conventions used in the work. Neither seems so much like ancient depictions of technology when compared to other Egyptian depictions of the lotus, or Mayan funerary art. No one piece exists in isolation, and an interpretation based only on what something “looks like” instead of its place in the broader cultural picture will lead to mistaken correlations.

VI. Conclusions

Richard L. Tierney noted the potential correlations between Lovecraft’s story “The Mound” (with Zealia Bishop) and actual Mesoamerican and Native American legends and traditions, and he identifies Yig, father of serpents, with the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent. At Teotihuacan, the Mexican city so old and mysterious that even the Aztecs themselves knew it only as a ruin belonging to the gods who descended from the sky, Tierney humorously identifies the sculptures of tentacled Tlaloc the rain god and serpentine Quetzalcoatl on Quetzalcoatl’s temple as representations of Cthulhu and Yig. Thus is the ancient astronaut theorists’ evidence for aliens transformed again into proof of the Mythos. This, of course, was meant in jest, but the same reasoning transformed ancient achievements into alien interventions.

In 1982, Charles Garofalo and Robert M. Price wrote an article for Crypt of Cthulhu noting the similarities between the Mythos and Erich von Däniken’s ancient astronaut theories. They concluded that despite the high degree of correlation between von Däniken’s evidence and claims and Lovecraft’s fictional conceits, direct influence was impossible because von Däniken denied ever having read or heard of Lovecraft. As we have seen, though, the influence need not be direct. The connections between those who propose ancient astronauts as fact and those who write of them as (science) fiction are myriad, and the web of influence runs in many directions. Perhaps someday the Great Race will swap minds with some of us and tell the world how aliens once ruled the past, but until that happens, Cthulhu will have to rest in his tomb and the ancient astronauts will have to stay in their fictional chariots.

Appendix: More to Explore
Where to go:

1. Giza Plateau, Egypt. Home to the Great Pyramid, the Sphinx, and other wonders of the age of the pharaohs, Giza is also a hotbed of alternative theories, from ancient astronauts to Atlantis to lost civilizations. Go to see for yourself the wonders that inspired legends.

2. Teotihuacan, Mexico. An ancient abandoned city in the heart of Mexico, Teotihuacan’s monumental pyramids rival those of Giza and have inspired nearly as many outrageous theories. The Aztecs believed the gods descended to Earth here, and ancient astronaut theorists wonder if those gods were aliens who set up a scale model of the solar system in stone.

3. Nan Madol, Micronesia. A ruined stone city made of large basalt blocks crisscrossed by canals, Nan Madol on the remote island of Pohnpei (Ponape) in the Pacific Ocean is known by the suitably Lovecraftian name “the spaces between.” The city has inspired many alien and lost civilization theories, despite its late date (no earlier than the 12  century CE). Nan Madol is thought to be the inspiration for Lovecraft’s sunken city of R’lyeh, also in the Pacific Ocean, home to Great Cthulhu.
More about author of this article: Here*
About the Author

Jason Colavito is an author and editor based in Albany, NY. His books include The Cult of Alien Gods: H.P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture (Prometheus Books, 2005); Knowing Fear: Science, Knowledge, and the Development of the Horror Genre (McFarland, 2008); and more. His research on extraterrestrials and H. P. Lovecraft has been featured on the History Channel. Colavito is internationally recognized by scholars, literary theorists, and scientists for his pioneering work exploring the connections between science, pseudoscience, and speculative fiction. His investigations examine the way human beings create and employ the supernatural to alter and understand our reality and our world.

Visit his website at: http://www.JasonColavito.com and follow him on Twitter @JasonColavito.

What to Read:

1. Colavito, Jason. The Cult of Alien Gods: H.P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture. Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 2005. Print.

2. Däniken, Erich von. Chariots of the Gods? New York: Bantam, 1968. Print.

3. Fritze, Ronald H. Invented Knowledge: False History, Fake Science and Pseudo-religions. Reaktion Books, 2009. Print.

4. Lovecraft, H. P. The Fiction. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2008. Print.

5. Pauwels, Louis and Jacques Bergier. Morning of the Magicians. Trans. Rollo Myers. New York: Stein and Day, 1963. Print.

6. Wilson, Clifford. Crash Go the Chariots! An Alternative to Chariots of the Gods? Master Books, 1986. Print.

Works Cited:

1. Fort, Charles. The Book of the Damned. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1919. Print.

2. Feder, Kenneth L. “Skeptics, Fence-Sitters, and True Believers: Student Acceptance of an Improbable Prehistory.” In Archaeological Fantasies. Ed. Garrett G. Fagan. New York: Routledge, 2006. 71-95. Print.

3. Lovecraft, H. P. The Fiction. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2008. Print.

4. Price, Robert M. and Charles Garofalo. “Chariots of the Old Ones?” Black, Forbidden Things: Cryptical Secrets from the “Crypt of Cthulhu.” Ed. Robert M. Price. Mercer Island, WA: Starmont House, 1992. 86-87. Print.

5. Scott-Elliot, W. The Lost Lemuria. London: Theosophical Publishing Society, 1904. Print.

6. Tierney, Richard L. “Cthulhu in Mesoamerica.” Crypt of Cthulhu no. 9 (1981): 19. Print.


 Comment from me (this blog's author)

Although I do not belong to the fans of Erich von Däniken and his ilk, as well as books Pauwels and Bergier evoke mixed feelings in me, I have to admit with certainty that there are too many misunderstandings and ambiguities in the so-called. Humanity History. So far nothing convinces me that homo sapiens was created by an alien race (or races), what claim all these theories about ancient aliens. Although even in these theses (when we look at the primitive peoples of the Earth - the so-called. Terrans) - lies a grain of truth, which can not be ignored. However - I do not believe that all human races living on Earth (at least 2 or 3) originated from this planet. Däniken is trying at all costs to convince people that our creators are aliens, while no one takes into account that the key to solve our - the forgotten history - may lies elsewhere. If there really were highly developed civilizations on Earth long ago, whether out of necessity is proof that aliens created them? What if We are Them, but all this knowledge was deliberately took from Us? Wars, natural disasters and the deliberate action of some elites, could forever erase from our memory all who we are (who we were), where we come from and where we are going. Then Jason Colavito argument - author of this article - that was never found on Earth any proof of a "foreign" origin of ancient monuments and so therefore necessarily Däniken's thesis is wrong, it seems childishly naive, don't you think? What would left from our Western Civilization, beyond the stone of course, after passing a global catastrophe or nuclear war? I wonder ... Are we also should believe blindly our government-agencies and scientific and religions (I bet they would like so!), uncritically accepting their explanations about our past? Is today the authorities do not hide various matters and evidence from us, guided by the low (mainly material) motives? Is, therefore, being in possession of evidence that could refute the lies of old religions, science, politics, etc, would They hesitated whether to hide them from us or not? Ask and answer on these questions yourselves. Apart from the cosmic speculation Däniken or even Sitchin, etc, one thing is certain for me that humanity has been robbed of their past. Neither ancient civilizations were not as backward as they say, neither we - the present - are not so highly developed, as we think, compared with the Old Ones.

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