Fist Of History

November, 2009Archive for

Bad Moments on the History Channel – Ancient Alien Contact

Monday, November 30th, 2009

The History Channel is a fine resource for individuals with a casual interest in history to learn about many exciting topics, the History channel attempts to introduce people to a wide variety of periods and events in history, often it does an okay job in its introductions.  Unfortunately it also on occasion wings out onto a bizarre tangent of doom in which it will present, in full cable glory, a theory of incredible madness as either proven fact or as a compelling question for people to consider.  Probably one of the finest examples of this is the History Channel’s efforts to explain the idea that ancient visiting alien beings, from off-planet, had an impact upon early forming human cultures.  Theories about the level of this impact range from the aliens landing, giving our ancestors a “high-five” on being intelligent and farming, and then blasting off back to the nether regions of space to the aliens teaching us everything from stone-cutting to urban development.  Some believe that these alien visitors would have been perceived as divinities by our ancestors, citing rock-carvings depicting “odd occurrences” in the past that could be depictions of alien contact.  These usually involve stone carvings of objects flying through the sky, carvings of beings apparently sitting in stars or spheres in the sky, up to an ancient Meso-American deity depicted in a space-ship capsule.

Those who hold to these theories dismiss the notion that the carvings could be metaphors, depicting supernatural events, or that they could be attempting to capture in stone tales of the divine with cultural impact for the viewers.  Although those who support ancient alien visitors will admit that could be the case, they will then say with a smile and a twinkle of hope in their eye, “But what if they depict something else instead…”  Normally I am one to allow individuals their fantasies and if it gives people a warm fuzzy feeling to believe that the divine beings of our ancients were space aliens rather then a personification of the Earth in female form making passionate love to a personification of the Sky, so be it.  Certainly it is no more odd then believes that humans came from the armpits of a dead god who fell from the sky and decayed on the ground.  However looking at rock carvings as a possible source of this proof is faulty at best and a bad application of history, because it ignores the highly likely fact these carvings depict mythical or symbolic relationships that were understandable to those who they were carved for but whose meaning we have lost.  What frustrates me most is that people seem to understand this but actively don’t want to believe it, on this show they argue over and over again that our ancestors would have carved something depicting something flying in the sky only if they had seen it, where else might they get the idea?

Do me a favor, take a dollar bill out of your pocket, look at the portrait side, and then flip it over.  See on the back, see the two symbols that make up the Great Seal of the United States, one to a side, check out the one left, the giant eyeball floating over the unfinished pyramid, the eyeball with rays coming out of it.  You know what that means, or should, it depicts the all-seeing eye of the Judeo-Christian divinity looking over the work of the founding fathers, unfinished, as represented by the pyramid.  (If you like it represents the all-seeing eye of the Masons looking over the world and the pyramid is just another sign of the Masons, either way though, you know it means something human and earthly in origin.)  But bury a bronze medallion with that seal on it in the ground for a millennium, dig it up, and suddenly you will find people arguing that the floating eye represents the aliens, looking over us, as we build our city structures under their guidance.  People we can talk with items floating in space today, if we go through another period in which knowledge contracts and only those stories get through, how long before it was aliens showing us how to achieve that goal?  I have never seen a giant disembodied eyeball floating over a pyramid, neither have you, at least not sober, but we were able to create this symbol with meaning out of our imagination.  I am annoyed that many “experts” on this subject seem disinclined to provide the same abilities to our forebears.

As well the other annoying argument from that show, “with their level of technology this level of precision carving was impossible, simply impossible.”  To which I reply “timescale, you are forgetting timescale, the timescales of our forebears were not the same as our own.”  Our civilization builds things in months and years but past civilizations built things in decades and centuries, in fact it was only seven centuries or so ago when Europe built stone temples to the Judeo-Christian divinity that could take a full century to finish, three lifespans, yet no one would contend today that these items were built using amazing technologies from the stars.  No cathedrals of the Middle Ages were built the same way that ancient stone monuments were built: slowly, with great skill, with great patience, and with a great attention to detail.  You can carve a stone with amazing precision if you do it over a span of a year, you can move huge boulders great distances if you have a gang of a hundred working on moving one or two stones per season.  Sure it might take two centuries to finish, but when building for the divine, human time scales are not so critical.

Do I have more proof then those on the History Channel?  No, sadly, at the moment I do not, and neither do they, however I call upon those who see these sorts of shows to think carefully, what is more reasonable?  Humans working for centuries to build monuments to the divine, massive undertakings built to impress and awe, behavior we have ample written evidence of already in our history OR that aliens came to Earth and moved the boulders for our ancestors?