Cargo Cults And Ancient Astronauts

GiorgioNatGeo

Giorgio A. Tsoukalos

[disinformation ed.'s note: The following is the foreword from the new book by Erich von Däniken, Twilight of the Gods: The Mayan Calendar and the Return of the Extraterrestrials, courtesy of New Page Books.]

What is a “cargo cult”? The term refers to the real-life ethnological phenomenon of what happens when a technologically primitive society comes in contact with a technologically more advanced society. On countless documented occasions, ethnologists have observed that if technologically advanced visitors live among technologicallynot intellectually! – primitive cultures for short periods of time and then leave, soon thereafter, the visitors’ advanced nuts-and-bolts technologies causes the native population to view these rather ordinary humans as gods and begin to worship them. On many occasions during their stay, the visitors would interact with the native population, giving them goods and food – cargo! After the departure of these “gods,” the native culture surmised that they would return if they practiced intense worship, sacrifice and emulation. Examples of modern-day cargo cult behavior can be found in the regions of the South Pacific during WWII. Why is this phenomenon so important?

It is important because if cargo cult behavior still takes place today, then it is a rather logical conclusion that cargo cult behavior also took place thousands and thousands of years ago. The cargo cult phenomenon illustrates the basic premise of the Classic Ancient Astronaut Theory: Thousands and thousands of years ago, technologically advanced flesh and blood extraterrestrials arrived on Earth in nuts and bolts spaceships. Intellectually-speaking, our ancestors were not stupid (they essentially had the same brain as we have today), however, because their technological frame of reference was limited, they did not comprehend the nuts and bolts aspects behind the arrival of those flesh and blood extraterrestrials and so our ancestors misinterpreted them for being divine in nature, which, of course, the visitors were not. And thus, the “gods” were born. Out of a simple (yet major!) misunderstanding.

According to the ancient texts and traditions, a long, long time ago, the gods (lower case ‘g’) descended from the sky and taught mankind in various disciplines. Why is it so hard for us to believe, living in a culture so rich in metaphor, that our ancestors drew similar comparisons? Is it really such a stretch of the imagination that whatever is described in the ancient texts is nothing more than the description of misunderstood, flesh and blood extraterrestrials who arrived here in nuts and bolts spaceships?

Mainstream science believes it is. They believe that all of these ancient stories and traditions are a figment of our ancestors’ imagination and that all of those legends were nothing but fantasy. But can something really be created out of thin air?

For many years, I attended an international boarding school high up in the mountains of Switzerland. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, our school welcomed a few new students from the former USSR. I remember sitting in art class, and our assignment for the day was to draw a “fantasy castle,” a “dream castle” floating in the clouds with shining towers and magnificent architectural features. The assigned project sent the entire classroom into a tizzy and we started drawing with unbridled enthusiasm. Everyone, that is, except our three new Russian classmates. None of them touched their pencils. They just sat in front of their large, empty sheets of paper. “What’s wrong?” the teacher asked. “Why aren’t you drawing?” The students replied: “What’s a fantasy castle? What does it look like? We’ve never seen one. Since we’ve never seen one, we can’t draw it.” What an extraordinary reaction!

This incident underscores one point: if something has not been seen, then it cannot be invented. Translation: it is impossible to conjure up something out of thin air if the basic elements are missing. Nothing happens without the initial spark of inspiration, without a catalyst. Therefore, mythologies, legends, tales, whatever – which mainstream science today discredits as mere fantasy inventions of our ancestors’ imagination – cannot possibly all be unfounded inventions or mere figments of someone’s imagination. Quite on the contrary! Something had to be there in the first place to act as the catalyst, the basic element that sparked the story. Something happened to our ancestors; they witnessed something that compelled them to tell of these events in their traditions.

I think we’d all have to agree that it is impossible to create, let alone solve, an algebraic equation without knowing the basics of mathematics. It cannot be done. In this scenario, the basic mathematical elements represent the aforementioned initial spark, the catalyst. Everything else follows quite naturally afterwards.

It is said that each legend has a true core. It is this core that represents the base element, the catalyst. Without a base element, or initial inspiration, nothing is possible. Therefore, if something like this happened to my Russian classmates living in the 20th century, then why couldn’t something similar have happened to our ancestors many thousands of years ago? The Ancient Astronaut Theory shows that it has.

We must remind ourselves that when all of these legends and stories first were written down, writing was a fairly new invention. Our ancestors realized very quickly that this new invention was the most powerful tool with which to preserve important knowledge. Is it really logical to think that the first stories and legends put in writing by our ancestors were only figments of their imagination? Of course not! Why?

Our ancestors lived in a time fraught with uncertainty and upheaval. The most important order of the day was raw survival, the gathering of food, finding of shelter. So it is a logical conclusion that the first people empowered with the written word had better things to do than to sit around a fire, get drunk and invent fantasy stories! “What story shall we conjure up tonight so we can painstakingly carve this stuff into stone?” But that is exactly what mainstream science proposes: all ancient stories are made up so that the storytellers could “come to grips” with the world and its surroundings. I consider this type of thinking to be an insult to the intelligence of our ancestors.

I hear the Ancient Astronaut Theory is insulting to our ancestors because it “undermines human ingenuity”. I ask you, who exactly is insulting our ancestors’ intelligence and ingenuity by pompously insisting that the records of our ancestors are “false” or that “they made mistakes in recording some dates” etc. It is most certainly not the Ancient Astronaut Theory.

With the invention of the written word, for the first time in human history, people were able to permanently record the most significant events of their time. Just like we have newspapers and books today, in which we report about things that are important to us, why would it have been any different for our ancestors?

For example, Native Americans still today refer to a train as a “fire horse,” a throwback to a time when they did not have the word “train” in their vocabulary. The same applies to the things and events our ancestors wrote down. They had no way of calling a flying object by the words “aircraft” or “plane,” so they did the next best thing: they described it with objects with which they were most familiar in their everyday lives. Misunderstood technology. So if there are detailed, intricate descriptions of beings that descended from the sky on flying shields or fiery chariots and taught ancient humanity in various academic disciplines in the remote past, then we must start to explore these accounts from another perspective.

What they immortalized at the time was their history! Their lives! They diligently recorded and attempted to circumscribe events that really happened to them (or their ancestors). Little did they know that future “scientists” would relegate their writings into the realm of symbolism and fantasy. That type of pompous attitude shows a great disrespect to our ancestors, not the idea that extraterrestrials showed up here on Earth thousands of years ago.

Five hundred years from now, after establishing permanent bases on the Moon and Mars, humanity will venture out to explore deep space. One of our generation spaceships will eventually arrive at a planet harboring intelligent life. What if the intelligent life we encounter turns out to be technologically primitive? What will we do? Will we just stand back and study them from afar? Yes, maybe for a month or two. But then, after we have studied and mastered their language (as ethnologists do every day), we will make physical contact with them because, well, that’s what we do – we poke and prod at things because we can’t help ourselves. We will interfere with their cultural development. We will guide their technological direction. We will give them a gentle push. We will teach them a few things. We will make them aware of the essentials of science and various academic disciplines.

And many, many generations after our departure, our “ancient” visit will be regarded as myth and fantasy because accounts of our visit in ancient texts will be deemed as “unscientific” by the oh-so-smart scientists of that society (“A long time ago, the gods descended from the sky and taught our forefathers! etc.”). By now that society will also have reached such an “advanced” technological development that it now readies itself to go into deep space. But our physical visit will be regarded as a figment of their ancestors’ imagination and relegated into the realm of quirky mythology because it is “preposterous” to read ancient history as recordings of actual events. Remind you of someone? And thus the cycle begins anew…

One day in the not-too-distant future, we too, will become Ancient Astronauts ourselves on some faraway planet. So why couldn’t this have happened here on Earth, thousands and thousands of years ago? The answer is self-evident, and it’s time we shed our arrogant attitude and opened our minds to what really happened in our cosmic past.

Reprinted, with permission of the publisher, from Twilight of the Gods: The Mayan Calendar and the Return of the Extraterrestrials © 2010 Erich von Däniken. Footnotes omitted from this excerpt. Published by New Page Books a division of Career Press, Pompton Plains, NJ. 800-227-3371. All rights reserved.

Giorgio A. Tsoukalos is the star and Consulting Producer of ANCIENT ALIENS – THE SERIES (2010) and publisher of Legendary Times Magazine, the only Ancient Astronaut publication in the world.

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  • splenetic

    this theory is a complete crock of shit. apparently Mr Daniken is completely unaware of mystical experience as a catalyst of myth making.

    • Marssuit

      So you must understand much more than the rest of us to label this hugely thought provoking theory as a “crock of shit.”

      • Tuna Ghost

        I would ask you to consider that the possibility that someone understands the situation with a greater depth than yourself is very, very real. Especially if your understanding of history and current events, as described here, is anything to go on.

    • Karkamo3

      Is there really difference? Alien encounters vs. mystical experience? I can say no! But that's my opinion & i base it to my experience.. Where you base your argument?

      • Connie Dobbs

        You'd be wrong. Unless transcendental meditation was given to us by aliens, of course. David Lynch is a freak, but fairly sure he's human.

  • Dust

    Yeah, I like the idea (as a fantasy) that prehistoric aliens visited us and spawned religion. It's a thread through many people's works who I admire, yet none of them seem to take it Siriusly. McKenna proposes the mushrooms might be the aliens who descended from space with information that was seeded in the great religious texts. Some religions even claim their gods come from outer space (like the Dogon). But, as fact it just doesn't hold up. There are too many other elements and common threads in religions besides the “above” location of heaven, and the idea that the Gods left man and will return. Religions and myths also keep general information such as astronomy and archetypal events that recur coded in them, and probably a lot of material from mystical experiences from drugs, dancing, food deprivation, etc. Also, if things can't be invented from scratch, do you propose every imaginary character exists somewhere? Do unicorns also live with these aliens who visited us? No, we took from horns that we'd seen and from horses that we'd seen and hodged and podged. The same goes with religions. We took birds that we'd seen and serpents that we'd seen and made quetzalcoatl, and so on. There's nothing there that isn't here on earth, it's just scrambled. Most likely from the same type of dissociation caused by the mystical experience.

  • Haystack

    It's possible to reverse this argument 180 degree, and ask, if it's so easy for us to believe that peoples of the past created myths/legends about beings from above bestowing gifts/knowledge upon mankind, then why should it be so hard for us to accept that modern day UFO lore is, likewise, a form of mythology?

  • Hadrian999

    why does this make sense to some people who discount the existence of gods,
    there is about as much proof of either, it's just more trendy to say aliens than gods.

    • Marssuit

      Proof of divinity? Please share this proof with the rest of us.

      • Hadrian999

        im not arguing for either, each have no proof.
        it's a theory made to sell books, unless you have some unknown proof showing empirical evidence for prehistoric spacemen.

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  • http://brist.wordpress.com/ brist

    There is one little thing that completely disproves the whole argument:
    The hunter-gatherers (almost) never wrote. Writing evolved in sedentary, agrarian societies. Those in possession of the technology of writing — priests, rulers, lawmen — had their basic needs well taken care of by the rest of society, and plenty of reasons to create powerful myths to ensure that they would be taken care of in the future. Now, I'm not saying that society, religion or law is inherently evil, but it is a fact that all three have always both freed us and bound us. And very often, they have done so on the authority of our belief in gods — gods who watch over us, who aid us, who judge us, who decide what's right and wrong. It's easier (and more convincing) to answer “because God says so” than “because it's a useful arrangement” when someone asks why we keep private property and don't share land and livestock. A written religious text is the ultimate go-to, the final argument. It stabilizes society like nothing else.
    But a faithful (if slightly confused) re-telling of real events? No way. Had something like an actual encounter with gods/”gods” taken place it would have ingrained itself in the culture in a whole other way. Little would have been written about it — or a whole lot more.

    Besides, there are plenty of other (possibly more compelling) explanations for why the gods “always” come from the sky. For one, they also come from the underground, from across the ocean, from the mountains, the deep woods, the desert…
    Gods have always been described as coming from places where we cannot go, where we cannot see, where noone's ever been and we therefore can fill with what ever we like.

    Like someone stated earlier. This is a complete crock of shit, and provably so if you know anything at all about the relationship between writing, myths and society.

    • Marssuit

      A technologically advanced race from who came to our planet from the sky would likely be capable of exploring our deep woods, crossing our oceans, navigating the deserts, and scaling high mountains. I'm willing to bet they could make their way underground too, if they really wanted to. I mean, if we can do it…so can someone else.

      Maybe your “one little thing that completely disproves the whole argument” can explain where all those mountain tops in South America ran off to.

      Also…what the hell is “crock of shit”. Who gave you the right to label any thoughtful opinion so vulgarly?

      • http://brist.wordpress.com/ brist

        Well, the whole argument hinges on the assumption that writing developed in an environment characterized by scarcity, which is simply not true. Early writing documented trade and inheritance, and soon also religion and law. Writing as a technology is inextricably bound to a sedentary society with enough surplus value to trade, and to “burn off” on activities like religious sacrifice and festivals (e.g. potlach).
        Following that it is naive to assume that everything that was written down was true in the sense of “corresponding to events that actually occurred.” When the use of writing had progressed to the point of writing down the oral myths they had already been put to secondary and tertiary uses, i.e. holding society together and stabilizing power structures.
        In that sense, however, I have to agree with the author in that we shouldn't downplay the intelligence of our ancestors. They were just as good as we are at playing the power games. Until mass literacy, writing has always been a tool for the powerful, not the truthful.

        And regarding the phrase “crock of shit”: this is the internet. We deal in vulgarity, profanity and a strong disregard for anyone who does not share our opinions.

      • Tuna Ghost

        What mountain tops? Care to elaborate? Mountaintop mining has been around for a while now, you realize.

        • noyes

          Tuna Ghost – It is not mountain top mining he is talking about. Are you even familiar with “Ancient Astronaut” theory? I would have to hope that you, who would proclaim to us internet viewers your side of the debate, would be knowledgeable of the evidence brought forward by the other side that supports the theorists claims.

          • Tuna Ghost

            I looked around online and couldn't find any mention of this phenomena, even on Ancient Astronaut theory sites.

            “I would have to hope that you, who would proclaim to us internet viewers your side of the debate, would be knowledgeable of the evidence brought forward by the other side that supports the theorists claims.”

            They have brought forward no evidence, buddy. Just vague mentions of phenomena. I'll be happy to deal with it just as soon as it is presented.

          • Rainer Maria

            Tuna Ghost please dont lie :)
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7C6HydJhX8
            if you dont watch the whole thing, 4:57 is what you are looking for

          • Tuna Ghost

            That, unfortunately, falls very short of “evidence”. It is a phenomena about which someone has made several unfounded conjectures. Tsoukalos keeps saying “it looks like an airport!”, as if that means anything. Even if it did, which I am very far from allowing, airports are for atmosphere-traveling vehicles of human design, they would have had little use to anyone using space travel as we understand it.

            Lines in the ground that seem to be for someone with an aerial view does not, I'm afraid, mean anything. In religions across the world, just as many gods come from the earth as they do the heavens. This is cherry-picking anthropology to support a claim.

            His claim that the remains of the tips are not found in the valleys is objectionable. I very much doubt he is capable of making that call.

            More and more as I research the subject I see people using the argument to prove the argument, which is something akin to “begging the question”.

          • Rainer Maria

            Tuna Ghost, I have read your responses to most of these comments. You seem more close minded on the topic, and are providing little on your part of the argument.

            In the course of the last few comments you have gone from having no idea what these mountains were, only to find out and completely disclaim the whole idea in with your incredibly subjective opinions in an attempt to counter what is presented to you and the readers.

            I am aware that you are only familiar with this specific article. Isn't that cause enough to stop trying to refute that which you know so little about? There is much out there on this topic with some incredibly compelling evidence. I suggest you do some research on “ancient astronaut” theory before refusing anyone who supports it and likely knows MUCH more about it than you do.

          • Tuna Ghost

            Hmm, close-minded? You know what the Buddha said about calling people close-minded… and for the record, I personally think it was time-travelers, not extra-terrestrials (although I suppose far enough into the future much of mankind may be “extra-terrestrials” by virtue of simply no longer living on earth). It makes much more sense and has the same amount of explanatory power (which is a lot) and the same amount of evidence (none at all).

            I am not aware of “only this article”–I am just dealing with the “evidence” provided in this article. I have run into this theory in many, many places. By the way, after having one flawed line of reasoning being knocked down saying “go look somewhere else” is hardly convincing as an arguing tactic.

            The arguments provided here are simply not up to snuff–they rely on one already taking the claim seriously for them to be compelling, which is pretty much begging the question. Wanting evidence for someone's claims does not make me close-minded. The burden of proof is on the folks making the claims.

            Does the theory have explanatory power? Sure. So does my time-traveler theory, as noted earlier. Both explain a great deal of things in a neat, easy fashion. And there is no evidence for either of them. And claiming that there is, is misleading. The introduction written above by Tsoukalos may be intended to entice someone, which would make sense because that is what an introduction is sort of supposed to do in a book, but it displays a very skewed (even flawed) view of history and religion in combination with a lot of conjecture.

          • Tuna Ghost

            Also, it should be noted, there are many more theories about the Nazca lines that do not involve extraterrestrials than those that do. And they do not rely on you already taking the theory seriously for it to be convincing.

  • http://twitter.com/Technomoose Eric Butcher

    Perhaps it IS a “crock of shit,” but as a student of world religions, anthropology, and the “ancient astronaut” theory, I have noticed many parallels between the “myths” of religion and modern alien abduction accounts. I have long been taught that every myth contains a kernel of truth. Most in our culture are either not open-minded enough to consider other possibilities or they are so open-minded that they believe everything they hear (or read). I choose to believe in God, but I won't be pissed off if I find out that God is just another visitor from another planet (or dimension.) Surely you don't believe we are the only intelligent species (and I wonder about that most days) in the universe? I'm not entirely sure which part (if not all) you were referring to as a “crock of shit,” but some good points are made in the article.

    • http://brist.wordpress.com/ brist

      Very true on the comparison to alien abduction accounts. There are a lot of similarities there. But the common “kernel of truth” might not be aliens, but rather the human mind. Similar experiences also come from psychedelic drugs (DMT and psilocybin comes to mind) as well as lucid/non-lucid dreaming, electromagnetic brain stimulation, sensory deprivation, asphyxiation (or carbogen inhalation)… maybe there is a mechanism, something in the make-up of the human brain, that just needs to be pushed a little bit to generate this kind of experience?
      I'm still convinced that actual contact with aliens would have made an even larger impact.

      • Tuna Ghost

        I think it should be noted that the “alien abduction” experience occurs frequently throughout human history because there are many natural causes for this type of experience, be it either lucid dreaming or narcotics or what have you.

        • Tuna Ghost

          whoops, that was meant for the post above yours. Basically agreeing with you on this one.

        • Marssuit

          So you are saying that all throughout our historical mythologies and into our own present time of information and technology… that abduction = High? And also I believe our ancestors could understand dream from reality just as you and I can today.
          It's also seeming as if you have not read one word other than this article on ancient astronaut theory.

          • Tuna Ghost

            Not necessarily “high”, just an altered state of consciousness, something that accounts for many of the reported abduction experiences today.

            “And also I believe our ancestors could understand dream from reality just as you and I can today.”

            Then you are suffering from some serious misconceptions, I'm afraid. For the record our ancestors throughout antiquity held quite different opinions of dreams than we do today–the idea that dreams are just harmless images the brain creates during sleep to sort out information is a very recent one in human development. At the times we're speaking of, dreams were considered to be a part of another reality, not just simple fantasies. I see no problem with this thought even today, but to say that our ancestors had the same understanding of dreams that we do today is wildly inaccurate.

            “It's also seeming as if you have not read one word other than this article on ancient astronaut theory.”

            Well I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean. I'm just dealing with the information at hand, much of which is inaccurate or misleading.

  • Technomoose

    My apologies, when I wrote the comment, I only saw the first one. Second, this is my first comment on disinfo, so I am learning how the tools work. My name, Eric Butcher and Technomoose is both me. In fact, I would have preferred to have had used my screenname in the first place.I have no desire to argue, but any intelligent discussion is welcomed. This is a subject (both E.B.E's and Religion) which I have long been interested in, but I do plead ignorance. I am sure there are many of you who could enlighten me.

  • wat

    wat

  • Gregory

    Well…this “ancient alien” theory is another classic example of modern humans placing their own experiences onto our ancestors instead of vice versa. The UFO/Extraterrestrial phenomenom is very recent in human history and yet “thinkers” think nothing of having these grey aliens appearing thousands of years ago, too. Sigh…

    It is just as logical that when one is confronted with higher beings, ie “gods” in this modern era of spiritual incompetence and materialism and logical positivism, etc that people are only able to perceive them as extraterrestrials. Our brains are constantly taking in external and internal stimuli and trying to translate that information into something we can perceive, but when we do not have the “correct” context, our brains have to craft a response and a frame of reference.

    Thousands of years ago, shamans communicated with animal spirits, then as mankind became more civilized and settled, these entities took on more defined humanoid characteristics and so we had gods and now in a technologically advanced and materialistic era, little green men in flying saucers. Same difference. This laughable need to have grey aliens be the ones who started civilization is yet another symptom of our reliance upon the physical sciences and our belief in technology being the most important thing because most of the western world is so spiritually incompetent they wouldn't know a god if it sat in their lap.

    To sum up for the atheists who are a bit slow: There are levels to consciousness and existence and levels of sentience in the universe beyond our superficial physical reality (which is a hologram composed of slowly vibrating and coagulated energy). When one is exposed to or communicates with these higher intelligences, our brains have to translate that experience into something that makes sense to us and in an era of political systems masquerading as religions that has made us spiritually incompetent, in an era of literal-mindedness and materialism, when one is exposed to these higher expressions of consciousness people no longer see gods and spirit guides and “wee beasties” but almond-eyed humanoids.

    These consciousnesses come from within us, as we tap into the greater subconsciousness, which is why gods and aliens have never been photographed, yet we can draw you a picture or carve you a statue or show you via a special effect just what they look like.

    fiat lux

    • Technomoose

      So, Gregory, I take it that you are of the opinion that we are the only ones out here? Again, I am surely not as learned as you, but in my book, descriptions of great wars fought in the sky found in ancient Sanskrit literature hardly qualifies as a “recent human phenomenon.” In fact, I think if you study a bit harder, you would find that many “thinkers” throughout history have indeed thought about extra-terrestrials. Their thinking, or should I say, their writings, have been quashed (at least in the west) by religious and governmental forces. Call me paranoid, fringe, lunatic, whatever, but I find no “need” to have had little green men to have started our civilization. In fact, I think we humans have been pretty resourceful and resilient in our own right. The point I think you are trying to make, unless I am badly mistaken, is that we are made up of a collective consciousness and we tap into that to “create” our own realities. I would tend to agree with parts of that argument. Ultimately, none of us knows the truth. We have our beliefs and our faith… whether it be in God or in little green men. I, personally believe in God, but am open to the idea that indeed what we, and our ancestors before us, called God or gods, were in actuality “visitors.”

      • Tuna Ghost

        re: the sanskrit accounts of “wars in the sky”, one has to take into account what they were likely describing. “wars in the sky” is a very vague term, unless one takes it literally and assumes that the watchers witnessed men hacking each other to bits in the air above them. Lights in the sky at night could be explained by any number of natural phenomena, both terrestial and otherwise, and have been for several centuries.

  • Really

    “This incident underscores one point: if something has not been seen, then it cannot be invented.”

    Um,….so nothing can exist unless it already exists?

    • Marssuit

      It means: How can so many diverse cultures invent so many hugely similar stories out of thin air?

      • Tuna Ghost

        There are a number of reasons. Common human experience, for one, similar living conditions for another. They weren't built out of “thin air”, but common experiences had by people across the globe. Shamans have existed in every culture since antiquity–are we to assume that the idea of a shaman had to have come from somewhere else because it cropped up independently in all civilizations? How about the idea of hyperbolic or spatial geometry, since numerous people came up with it at almost the same time yet independently? Since both Leibniz and Newton discovered calculus independent of each other, are we going to assume it must have come from the stars?

        Also, I find the “hugely similar” qualifier to be misleading–while creation myths do often have similarities (creator gods, etc.), actual mythologies and religions are varied. Too often people take a couple similarities and add on a bunch of assumptions and wind up saying “see? they're the same!” See the film Zeitgeist for an example of this.

      • Hadrian999

        humanity weren't always “so many diverse cultures”
        at one point humans were almost extinct due to great “bottleneck events” the common nature of certain religious themes could be do to memories of these great cataclysms distorted by the intervening years of oral tradition. sure it's a leap but no more of a leap than ancient spacemen.

    • Connie Dobbs

      This has happened before. And it will happen again.

  • Gemmarama

    oh come on folks, surely we know it's all about the mushies…

  • Connie Dobbs

    Giorgio A. Tsoukalos has FUCKED up hair.

    • JP

      finally someone got to the heart of the matter! ;)

      • Gemmarama

        totally! and what's going on with that suit? is he going to a wedding?

        • noyes

          He is trying to look classy, and he does! Who cares, really.

          • Gemmarama

            no one looks classy in a suit that shiny. i care.

          • Marssuit

            the suit is not shiny

    • Tuna Ghost

      Not long ago, after watching a video of a Douglas Hofstatder lecture, I was struck with the idea of taking a group of hairdressers to the Singularity Summit to offer free haircuts and stylings to the speakers. I think it could very possibly lead to more people taking them seriously.

    • Loretta

      What does yours look like. Many people would love to have his hair and what does that have to do with anything?

  • justagirl

    peanut butter anyone?

  • Tuna Ghost

    “We will interfere with their cultural development. We will guide their technological direction. We will give them a gentle push. We will teach them a few things. We will make them aware of the essentials of science and various academic disciplines.”

    Why would we do this? We haven't really done this for any of our own cultures. In the history of our planet, when a technologically advanced civilization runs into a less advanced, the outcome is pretty much always the same, and it never benefits the less advanced civilization.

    “Five hundred years from now, after establishing permanent bases on the Moon and Mars, humanity will venture out to explore deep space. One of our generation spaceships will eventually arrive at a planet harboring intelligent life. What if the intelligent life we encounter turns out to be technologically primitive? What will we do?”

    In a word? Exploit them. That's what we've always done, and there is no reason to assume we'd act any different than we've acted for millenia.

    • Marssuit

      So you would argue that our cultural belief systems would continue into other more advanced ages the same way it does today??? Is that really what you believe?
      Your forget that with that advanced technology we will also have the power to destroy completely ourselves. This destructive shadow has just recently been brought about and will persist throughout human kind. If we are to survive (its always been about survival) we must (and will) expand our empathy to a larger and larger scale just as we have since the dawn of our time on earth. We become less and less destructive towards each other as time passes and events happen. The more history we develop, the more we learn. And we will inevitable learn the power that peace and love can hold within our lives and others as well. By the time we are capable of traveling to other worlds and if we are ever to come across the situation described in this article, our empathy will be global in scope and therefor we will not allow exploitation ( i.e what ever happened to slavery?). Its all about empathy, because it is positive in nature and as culture and technology grow it will grow too and it cannot be stopped because it is unquestionably part of who we are.

      • Tuna Ghost

        “So you would argue that our cultural belief systems would continue into other more advanced ages the same way it does today??? Is that really what you believe?”

        It has nothing to do with cultural belief systems and everything to do with a very simple, very common human trait: greed. I'd like to believe otherwise, but the evidence abounds in history.

        “We become less and less destructive towards each other as time passes and events happen.”

        Patently untrue. Why do you believe this? Where is your evidence? The historical evidence heavily suggests the opposite. The last century, in which technology and culture progressed more than any other, was just as full of atrocities as any other century you'd care to name.

        “And we will inevitable learn the power that peace and love can hold within our lives and others as well. By the time we are capable of traveling to other worlds and if we are ever to come across the situation described in this article, our empathy will be global in scope and therefor we will not allow exploitation ( i.e what ever happened to slavery?)”

        I wish I could agree with you, but there is simply no evidence to suggest that this is happening or has ever happened or will ever happen. Slavery still exists in many parts of the globe, friend. The global slave trade may be gone, but slavery still exists.

        Empathy is an important part of humanity, I agree. It leads to co-operative survival strategies and has had a hand in human evolution. It does not, however, necessarily lead to kind-hearted actions–just as often it can lead one to patch over the problem or make justifications to assuage the guilt. Remember, many of the newcomers to the American continent who went on the rape and pillage and commit genocide thought they were doing the right thing. Others justified their actions with “well they're not really human anyway, at least not like us.”

  • Anon

    This would be quite the theory if cargo cults actually worked this way. Unfortunately, they don't. Cargo cults aren't a sad consequence of breaking the “Prime Directive.” It's not like that Star-Trek:TNG episode where a bunch of fools started worshipping “The Picard,” but we can use an example like that to demonstrate how false this notion of cargo cults are. The assumption in these arguments is always stupid and predictable…

    1. Pure, primitive society is visited by modern technology.
    2. Unable to process this visit, the visitor is given godlike qualities, Jon Frum.

    These assumptions are false, and thus, theories extrapolated from them are retarded as well.

    1. Cargo cults don't happen in isolated societies, there isn't an example of that. On the Melanesian islands where cargo cults have been observed, they frustrated the colonial administrators and missionaries that were already there. The missionaries would have loved it if islanders were that simple, but they weren't.

    2. Though they do give supernatural qualities to these figures, they also give them the ability to drive away westerners, and they also recognize that it's quite silly. If we still want to use an alien parallel at this point, it'd be as though we made an alien cult that was founded on driving away the aliens that are already here.

    The cargo cult is not like “The Gods Must Be Crazy,” yet that is how most people understand and use the concept. However, the truth of matter is more complex.

    • Tuna Ghost

      I knew the author's conception of cargo-cults was mistaken, but I had only a hazy recollection of where and when I studied about them…anthropology class was so long ago…

  • Tuna Ghost

    “I hear the Ancient Astronaut Theory is insulting to our ancestors because it “undermines human ingenuity”. I ask you, who exactly is insulting our ancestors’ intelligence and ingenuity by pompously insisting that the records of our ancestors are “false” or that “they made mistakes in recording some dates” etc. It is most certainly not the Ancient Astronaut Theory.”

    It certainly is, especially when it states with certainty that ancient civilizations simply COULD NOT have built the pyramids, or stonehenge, or what-have-you, which is what I hear proponents of this theory do very often. Doing so seriously underestimates the abilities of our ancestors.

    “With the invention of the written word, for the first time in human history, people were able to permanently record the most significant events of their time. Just like we have newspapers and books today, in which we report about things that are important to us, why would it have been any different for our ancestors?”

    There are so many things misunderstood in this series of statements that I do not know how to begin.

    1. The advent of writing was not the first time people could record descriptions of events that had occurred. Oral traditions had been doing this for quite some time.

    2. Writing was a different medium than oral translations, but they did not think it was permanent. Why would they? They wrote on clay tablets, for crying out loud. Those are even less permanent than books and newspapers, which are far from “permanent”.

    3. Books and popular writings of today do not necessarily hold any truth at all, so I'm not sure why you're making the comparison. Recording accurate descriptions is not and has not been the sole function of writing since it's inception, which seems to be what you're suggesting. As noted earlier, writing was in the hands of the upper-class for most of human history, people who planned on staying there.

  • Purplegnome

    we all have to learn how to see things. if we see something that is unfamiliar, we will try to make comparisons with things that are familiar to us. in other words, we have to view something several times before we are able to see it objectively. This is how stories of mythical creatures came about. a creature with a huge body like a lion – only bigger. it has a head like a sheep – only much bigger, and another head like a snake, and what looks like big bat wings on either side of its first head. could be a chimera, or some sort of dragon? people may draw it several times as best as they can imagine it, but only someone who is familiar with it will draw an elephant as it really is.

  • aloha

    I can relate to the Gatekeepers in Space. Some of them we'll always hate, some of them will seal your fate.

  • Marssuit

    I absolutely support this theory 100%. While certain things about it could be ultimately be proven untrue, remember it is just a theory. Take what you can from this, and follow the clues elsewhere.

    One day we all will know the truth, but for now, few of us do, so lets act reasonably until then. With reason and understanding from both sides of the debate.

  • Haystack

    Similarities between myths are by no means uncommon, and are not, by themselves, strong evidence for their literal truth.

    In “The Demon Haunted World” Carl Sagan spends a lot of time discussing the similarities between modern alien abduction stories and earlier accounts of nocturnal assaults by incubi, and shows how both of these myths are highly consistent with what occurs during episodes of sleep paralysis. The consistency between alien abduction and demonic assault is due to fact that both belief sets are trying to describe the same brain phenomenon.

    Myths are most often used to express truths about the human condition. As the human condition is essentially the same everywhere, many disparate cultures arrive at strikingly similar stories. Contrasting these to one another is a staple of the field of comparative anthropology–think Joseph Campbell.

    To note similarities between modern mythology and historical mythology, and to conclude from this that modern mythology is literally true, is to understand culture and history in the most superficial way possible.

    • Tuna Ghost

      Indeed, I forgot to mention sleep paralysis in my earlier post–like lucid dreaming, it is an altered state of consciousness that occurs all over the globe in all cultures.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Von Daniken's books still pimp that failed logic and insistent misdiagnosis…if we aren't sure where it/we came from, it must be Aliens…the new age version of 'if we don't know how we got here, it must be God'. Three rumored Russian students with little imagination and an apparently almost hermetic lack of experience don't underpin a universal truth.

    Using Occam's razor: Hmmm, religions based on beings with great power (the antithesis of our daily helplessness) come into being because of interstellar visitors OR …someone with at least a marginal imagination and a little charisma played on people's fears and frustrations…of the two, pick the more likely. I'm not saying the old 'sky cake' dodge (props to Patton Oswalt) isn't awesome…but calling it inspired by spacemen is pushing the limit of credibility.

  • Rainer Maria

    TO ANYONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO LEARN MORE ON THIS TOPIC:
    The following videos bring together real arguments and present physical evidence, A very compelling watch:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rz_C6d6jbhc

  • PussyGalore

    The “cargo cult” is the baggage we all carry in our lives. The only people flying without baggage are …. GUESS!

  • PussyGalore

    The “cargo cult” is the baggage we all carry in our lives. The only people flying without baggage are …. GUESS!

  • guest

    looked this guy up because he is sheduled to speak at ramthas school of enlightment which is jz knights cult [what the bleep]. liked his show on tv but if he teaches at the school of a 35000year old channeled beeing he looses credebilety and sincerety.

  • Loretta

    What does yours look like. Many people would love to have his hair and what does that have to do with anything?

  • bob

    extra-ter-rest-tree-al NOT x-a-ter-rest-tea-al

  • bob

    extra-ter-rest-tree-al NOT x-a-ter-rest-tea-al

  • Kleinzeit99

    giorgio…giorgio…whose agenda are you really serving?

  • Kleinzeit99

    giorgio…giorgio…whose agenda are you really serving?

  • Seanolearyoz

    “Five hundred years from now, after establishing permanent bases on the Moon and Mars, humanity will venture out to explore deep space” is an insult to the capabilities of humankind today. JFK forecast that we would be on Mars by the year 2000. We could have been, would have been. However, due to the attack on NASA which Obama and Holdren continue at a much accelerated pace, American manned space flight is all but an end.

  • Seanolearyoz

    “Five hundred years from now, after establishing permanent bases on the Moon and Mars, humanity will venture out to explore deep space” is an insult to the capabilities of humankind today. JFK forecast that we would be on Mars by the year 2000. We could have been, would have been. However, due to the attack on NASA which Obama and Holdren continue at a much accelerated pace, American manned space flight is all but an end.

  • Carrigart

    what a bunch of shite from a man who has his head up his arse ,
    i can remove it for a fee if he wants

  • Carrigart

    what a bunch of shite from a man who has his head up his arse ,
    i can remove it for a fee if he wants

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  • Nooi

    “Five hundred years from now, after establishing permanent bases on the Moon and Mars, humanity will venture out to explore deep space” is an insult to the capabilities of humankind today. JFK forecast that we would be on Mars by the year 2000. We could have been, would have been. However, due to the attack on NASA which Obama and Holdren continue at a much accelerated pace, American manned space flight is all but an end.wholesale cheap http://www.shopwholesalehandbags.com designer handbags

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  • Nooi

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