This Article is About
rocket ships
human imagination
reasonable doubt
This Chariot Of The Gods No Longer In Service
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This Chariot Of The Gods No Longer In Service

There are many who theorize that aliens in ancient times had visited Earth for one reason or another. As a SciFi fan I can tell you the reasons are many: they were hybridizing a native ape species to ignite intelligence that led to Homo Sapiens; they were enjoying being our 'gods', flying about, throwing bolts of lightning; they were stranded here and the survivors devolved into Homo Sapiens; they used Earth as a crossroads of Space Travel--the list is limited only by your imagination.

I have no beef with these ‘supposing’s. I have no proof that any of these theories are true or false. But I would like to address the heuristics of this sub-category of the paranormal. To begin with, there are no artifacts that can be conclusively shown to come from 'elsewhere'. While the huge designs of homonid-like creatures and other natural creatures that are etched into the hills of Britain and on the plateaus of South America do suggest a culture that had the power of flight--since none of these artifacts can be properly seen at ground level--they can also be attributed to the same human imagination and intellect that built the ancient wonders of the world--a person can imagine a bird's eye view of a large clearing as well as a person can imagine a huge pyramid, or heaven, or hell. It's not much to counter the 'flying beings' theory, but it is there--and all that is needed is reasonable doubt.

I haven’t any argument with those who point out that some Native South American stone carvings do indeed bear a strong resemblance to rocket ships, space suits, cockpits, and control panels. However, these could also be the product of certain ingestions—peyote, mescaline, psilocybin—that is, the types of draughtsman’s ornamentations that are inspired by such ‘visions’. To my eye, this seems similar to the discovery, made in modern times, that much of the dreamlike auras we see in the works of Van Gogh are styles that are oft repeated by all schizophrenics who draw or paint. At first, we credited Van Gogh with having an inspired style of painting, but these days we grudgingly concede that a large part of his style was symptomatic of his mental illness.

My point is that when one comes to artistic representation, one leaves behind the ‘photographic’ point of view—even mentally healthy artists do not paint things as the cameras see them. A resemblance to something familiar to modern people in the ancient carvings of the Incans or Aztecs falls short of journalistic verity.

But I only wish to point out the lack of verifiable evidence concerning these ‘ancient aliens’ memes—not to debunk them. I think it entirely possible that this planet may have been visited, and even influenced, by extraterrestrials. However, this question is not my main subject.

What I really wish to express is this: It doesn’t matter. If advanced tech or superior beings or science that seemed like magic to primitive humans—if any such objects occurred in the far past prehistoric times—they have left no definitive proof behind and our present civilization show no indication of them still being here, or even visiting once in a while. The above issues—the birds-eye hillside drawings, the ‘spaceman’ drawings, the sudden appearance of tool using without any sign of a ‘missing link’—all these are tantalizing hints of a spectacular story, but none of them are proof positive.

But even that is imprecise—what I’m really getting at is: even if one or more of these things were truly what the ufologists claim they are, it doesn’t change anything about our civilization’s present condition. If the day comes when an alien comes down from the sky and stands still long enough for someone to take their picture with a phone—or, better still, if they stayed long enough to sit down and talk with one of us—then it will matter. Until that day, UFOs will remain a matter of opinion—I don’t like it any more than you do—but, there you are.


Street Talk

Fascinating article, Christopher. Very thought-provoking !

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks, GA!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Interesting article. Was it inspired by that equally interesting and thought-provoking TV series "Ancient Aliens"?

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I have watched that show--it's very interesting. And yes, I suppose I did write the article to express my dissatisfaction with their many theories, all what-ifs and just-imagine. That show would get better ratings if an alien showed up in a shuttle with Mayan decorations!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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