.

Have We Been Visited by Extraterrestrial Beings in the Past?

Excerpt from The Ancient Alien Question
Author: Philip Coppens

If you have ever had the opportunity to visit one of the most renowned archaeological sites in the world, such as Teotihuacan or Chichen Itza in Mexico, the Parthenon in Greece, the pyramids of Giza in Egypt, or Stone Henge in Britain, to name only but a few, chances are that one of the questions that came up was: How did they build this? Where did they get such precise and extraordinary knowledge to accomplish it? And in most cases the answers provided in history books and by archaeologists do not seem to fully account for what we just saw in front of us.

The idea that extraterrestrial beings have come to Earth in the past and helped in the development of ancient civilizations has been put forward by many experts as a possible answer. Despite the logical reasoning and evidence to support this theory, scientists for the most part have ignored or ridiculed it.

Ancient AliensAs we enter the 21st century, the question still remains and seems all the more pertinent than ever. The technological advance in recent decades, since the Hubble Telescope, has made it possible for scientists and astronomers to recognize that there seems to be hundreds, if not thousands, of planets in our universe with similar conditions for life as Earth. The fundamental building blocks of life have been found in space.

At the same time, new archaeological sites have been discovered and many of the original explanations given by historians and experts are being challenged, with the help of new technologies available now for research.

Philip Coppens appears regularly in The History Channel’s documentary series Ancient Aliens, and is about to publish The Ancient Alien Question, based on his research. His book revisits Erich von Däniken’s theory of ancient aliens and leads us through the evidence that supports it.

Coppens has given us permission to publish the introduction to his book as a prelude to an interview that we will have for our readers next month, when his work becomes available to the public.


In 1968, Swiss hotelier Erich von Däniken posed these key questions in his book, Chariots of the Gods, which sold more than 63 million copies, proving that millions of people in the Western world were open to the notion that we might have been visited by extraterrestrial beings. Now, 35 years on, there is still tremendous popular interest in this “Ancient Alien Question.” The television series Ancient Aliens is continuously rated as The History Channel’s most watched documentary.

But despite media and public interest, the phrase ancient aliens remains taboo within the scientific community. Whether or not we were alone in the human adventure that was early civilization is a question that is still not answered, or even addressed. The closest topic explored by science is the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), executed by a handful of radio astronomers, each one of whom continuously sees his budget challenged and then removed because it is perceived to be a niche discipline. Even so, SETI merely investigates whether there are extraterrestrial civilizations somewhere out there, in the depths of the universe. It is far less controversial than the Ancient Alien Question, about which science states that it knows that were no alien interventions in our past. Is science right?

despite media and public interest, the phrase ancient aliens remains taboo within the scientific community. Whether or not we were alone in the human adventure that was early civilization is a question that is still not answered, or even addressed.

In Chariots of the Gods, von Däniken posed more than 230 questions, each one of them challenging the scientific paradigm of the late 1960s. Demonstrating that science had not properly explained a given structure, artifact, or legend, he then queried whether they could be evidence of an alien visitation or intervention. He pointed at the pyramids of Giza in Egypt, and the phenomenally intricate walls at many Peruvian archaeological sites, such as Sacsayhuaman, where the most oddly shaped stones, some weighing more than 100 tons, fit perfectly together, as if first designed on a computer screen. Questions are also raised by quaint descriptions in the bible, such as how Lot’s wife could possibly have turned to salt when looking back at Sodom being destroyed by God. And what are we to make of Genesis 6, where there are references to giants and the “sons of God” coming down to mate with “the daughters of men”? The question of alien intervention in our planet’s history has continued to be posed … not only in the rarest of occasions has science provided an answer.

Ancient Aliens“Science” — I use the term occasionally to encompass the entire scientific field and its members; similarly “archaeology” — feels it should not have to answer these questions, because, as scientists see it, they are posed by an idiot (though on occasion science will try to find a nicer word for it).

What von Däniken wrote in 1968 is the underlying principle of Ancient Alien Theory: that we need to re-examine all our archeological records through the lens of the late 20th and early 21st century, as we might have failed to recognize that some ancient structures were built with highly technological means and/or by, or with the help of, nonhuman intelligences.

Though science as a whole has refused to accept this invitation, individual scientists have. Dr Herman Oberth, the father of modern rocketry, was once asked about the Ancient Alien Theory, and he replied that he was convinced that there were other intelligences in the universe, and that they had probably visited Earth in ancient times. He added, “Most conservative scientists are against everything that is new, just as they were against my plans to build rockets that could take man to the moon. Scientists who considered themselves to be very modern-thinking people announced that man might reach the moon, but not before many, many thousands of years.”

Skeptical scholars have claimed that they do not need to look at the Ancient Alien Question, because von Däniken has been proven wrong. They site certain ancient sites, like Peru’s famous Nazca lines, hundreds of lines drawn on the desert sands of Peru, somewhat resembling the layout of a modern airport, which were hardly explored by scientists at the time von Däniken brought them to global attention. Could it be an ancient airport? Von Däniken pondered. The suggestion has since become one of the most famous examples of the Ancient Alien Question. By posting it, von Däniken forced scientists to study the lines closely, after decades of neglect. He forced science to come up with an answer. Though the answer revealed that the Nazca lines were not the product of an alien civilization or intervention, the investigation did radically alter science’s understanding of this region and the local civilization, discovering that it was far more advanced than previously assumed. There is even speculation that the people who created these petroglyphs between AD 450 and 600 possessed hot air balloons!

On rare occasions such as this, science has addressed the Ancient Alien Question, but still, at more than 40 years later, most of the 230 questions posed by von Däniken remain unanswered by science. Worse, science refuses to pose the question itself, and, almost half a century later, it therefore remains the task of people outside the scientific community to ask the question again.

Since 1968, many new archaeological discoveries have been made. Some, like the pyramid complex outside the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo (discovered in 2005), have clearly illustrated the standoff between traditional historians and archaeologists when it comes to discoveries that challenge our accepted view of history. Western European and American archaeologists even declared a boycott of the site: They all agreed that they would not provide archaeological services for the project. I participated in a scientific conference on these pyramids in August 2008, which was attended by more than 50 academics, including 20 leading Egyptologists, among them deans of archaeology of Ain Shams and Cairo University. During the debates, the audience was astonished to learn that these leading Egyptologists did not know that officially the oldest pyramid is now in Peru (dated to 3200 BC, almost a millennium older than those of Egypt). Neither did they know that the world’s largest pyramid is in Mexico (Cholula). When the leading archaeologists of our time do not even know — or can’t accept — the latest scientific findings in their field, is there any hope that they will ever be willing to address the Ancient Alien Question?

Ancient Aliens

The answer is a clear no, as can be seen in one of the most famous examples of the Ancient Alien Question: the Great Pyramid of Giza. Elements of the Giza Plateau continue to pose serious problems to established archaeologists: Egyptologists declare that the blocks of the Great Pyramid were hewn from a nearby quarry, but French scholar Joseph Davidovits strongly disagrees. Davidovits is internationally known and respected as the father of the new science of geopolymers. Geopolymerization is a chemical process through which artificial stone can be created that is almost indistinguishable from natural rock. This science is considered to be a revolution in the building industry. Applying this new science to old discoveries Davidovits has identified the blocks of the Great Pyramid as geopolymers, not natural rock — a conclusion he has reached through both chemical and observational analyses. However, leading Egyptologists, such as Dr Sahi Hawass, misinterpret his conclusion by thinking that Davidovits is saying that the blocks are “cement,” and vociferously proclaim that the Great Pyramid is clearly not made of cement, and therefore Davidovits is wrong! Hawass’s approach to new radical conclusions is typical of science as a whole when confronted with new discoveries; rather than trying to respond to a most scientific theory supported by substantial evidence, Egyptologists prefer to ridicule and push aside this esteemed scholar. Of course, assuming Davidovits is right — and he more than likely is — the next question to be asked is how the builders of the Great Pyramid were familiar with a chemical science that was only (re)discovered in the late 20th century. That is exactly the question Egyptologists do not want to hear asked, for it is automatically followed by the Ancient Alien Question.

Today, hundreds of sites across the world display signs that the history of these monuments is far more involved than mainstream archaeology would have us believe.

Because archaeology and history are such insular disciplines — always looking within a culture but never across cultures — a series of pertinent questions are never asked, let alone answered. For example, why is it that in 2500 BC, the three pyramids of the Giza Complex in Egypt were laid out in the formation of Orion’s Belt, and that two millennia later, the three pyramids of Teotihuacan in Mexico, on the other side of the world, were constructed similarly? Clearly, there was a common understanding or an exchange of ideas, yet science dogmatically states that there was no such contact, and that the cultures of Egypt and Central America developed completely independently from each other until Columbus discovered the New World in 1492. Why is it that cultures that supposedly never met still held gold to be the metal of the gods, even though gold as such has little practical value or utility? Such evidence makes it clear that our ancestors communicated far more frequently than accepted history dictates. At the very least, a group of experts must have traveled around the world, sharing advanced knowledge among ancient civilizations.

Today, hundreds of sites across the world display signs that the history of these monuments is far more involved than mainstream archaeology would have us believe.

By posing the Ancient Alien Question, it will become clear whether civilization (agriculture, organized religion, and so on), that great adventure our ancestors began several thousand years ago, was purely human enterprise or was aided by otherworldly intelligences. Indications are that the truth about our past is far more interesting than what we have believed, and this book will show that the evidence clearly suggests that we were not alone.

Ancient Aliens

Indeed, what astronomy is discovering is that the building blocks of life did not originate on Earth, but came here from outer space. In the early 1970s, Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, argued that DNA was too complex and intricate to have been accidentally created in primordial ooze on planet Earth. Half a century later, he is being proven correct. Scientific juggernauts like Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are now proposing that comets brought amino acids to our planet. British astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe have even shown that a number of viruses — including the common flu virus — come from outer space, arriving on our planet via passing comets whose dust settles in our upper atmosphere. In November 1999, the Leonids meteor rain was found to contain signatures of organic material. All life on Earth is therefore likely to be of extraterrestrial origin, with the building blocks of DNA, according to the latest scientific research, even spontaneously being created in interstellar space. This suggests that DNA-based life is intrinsic to the very fabric of the universe; it means that somewhere out there, the odds are good that we could find life as it exists on our planet.

Our ancestors understood that they were not alone, and said as much. The legends of so many civilizations speak clearly of a time when “the gods” walked among us. The Egyptian civilization is but one of several that has such references. Science scoffs at these legends. But, we just choose to disbelieve them, until the evidence becomes so substantial and direct that it has to be accepted as factual. Hundreds of legends exist about deities that descended from the skies and interacted with humankind and taught them civilization. Almost every ancient civilization on this planet has written accounts that say as much. This is a cross-cultural phenomenon, occurring in civilizations that officially never had any contact with each other. The Ancient Alien Question is merely asking, if some legends are proving to be true, whether other legends could be true as well. And there is substantial evidence, from the Giza plateau to the mountainous heights of Peru, that the answer to the question is yes — We Were Not Alone.

Hundreds of legends exist about deities that descended from the skies and interacted with humankind and taught them civilization. Almost every ancient civilization on this planet has written accounts that say as much. This is a cross-cultural phenomenon, occurring in civilizations that officially never had any contact with each other.

Reprinted, with permission of the publisher, from THE ANCIENT ALIEN QUESTION: A NEW INQUIRY INTO THE EXISTENCE, EVIDENCE AND INFLUENCE OF ANCIENT VISITORS © 2012 Philip Coppens. Published by New Page Books a division of Career Press, Pompton Plains, NJ. 800-227-3371. All rights reserved.

How would our perception of history and the future change if this theory was proven right? Tell us below!