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Analysis > Thursday, 3 June 2010 06:43:09 EST

The Evidence For Ancient Communications

Keywords: aliens, ancient alien theory, conspiracy, historical

You've gotta love this Ancient Aliens stuff.  It's time to take a look at the third segment of this episode, where they talk about the evidence for an ancient worldwide communications network. 

Ancient Aliens The Series

We might as well just label this segment "Ancient Flight Part 3", since they're just talking more about what they consider to be evidence for ancient flying ships.

You can view this episode here,  Each segment corresponds roughly to one of the ten minute YouTube entries.  So this third segment begins in the third YouTube video, beginning at 2:57.  The segment ends in the fourth video at 3:32.

You can see my reviews of the first two segments here and here.

So, let's get our hands dirty and look at the new claims being made here.

Mainstream archeologists believe ancient civilizations such as those found in the remote Pacific islands, Asia, and South America developed independently from each other.  But ancient astronaut  theorists contend that similarities in building styles and beliefs found in these cultures suggest that a world wide trade route may have connected them to each other.

There is no further word in this segment about similarities in building styles or beliefs.  I'll just point out here that this talk of similarities is basically people seeing what they want to see.  No "mainstream archeologist" would mistake the building style of one culture for that of another.  Cultural beliefs also tend to be very distinct from one another.

Ancient alien theorists basically look for shallow surface similarities and say "case closed!".  Pyramids, for example, were a popular building structure.... so they must have all been in contact with one another!  Well.... except that when you're building with stone, a pyramid structure is basically the most stable structure you can build, so it kind of makes sense that it would be developed by stone age cultures.

But this segment doesn't dwell on that, so I won't either.  The first talking head we're subjected to in this segment is our old friend David Childress, author of "Technology Of The Gods":

Just like we have airports today around the world,  in ancient times with the Vimanas there would have been hangars for the craft, airports for them to land... and those airports would have been situated in strategic places around the world.  And that's exactly what we see in remote places

Hold on a second there Childress, if these places are so remote, how do you contend that they were also strategic?  Why would your airports tend to be built in remote locations? 

If people were flying around in Vimanas, wouldn't you expect to find most of the evidence for ancient airports near to major cities?  Certainly there may be some locations that are remote today that would have been more important in the ancient past.  But there are so many more cities today that are in the same location as their ancient counterparts.  Wouldn't you expect to find more evidence of ancient airports close to modern cities, rather than out in remote locations?

Childress continues:

One of the unusual archeological sites in Mexico is a place called Monte Alban.  That is also a mountain where  the top of the mountain was completely cut off and levelled to make a very flat tabletop mountain.  And there's a magalythic city there too that's extremely old.  This was probably some kind of Vimana airport.

Explain this to me Childress: Who the hell levels the top of a mountain just to build an airport?

What reason is there, exactly, to suspect that the top of this mountain was an airport?  Childress doesn't explain himself here.  I'm guessing his thought process is something along the lines of: Leveling the top of a mountain is an impressive achievement.  Therefore it's purpose is probably really impressive as well.  What's more impressive than an airport for ancient Vimanas?

You run into this kind of thinking all the time.  People find it hard to accept that large, impressive events or artifacts can have simple causes.  The assassination of J.F.K was such an important event... and yet it was caused by some small time nutjob?   To many people, it's counter-intuitive to believe that big results can have anything but big causes.

In any case, I've been poring over information about Monte Alban, and I can't find any indication that it was ever used as an airport.  Certainly, it's layout doesn't seem to resemble an airport in any way:

Map of Monte Alban

There are some very simple reasons why ancient people might want to level off the top of a mountain and build there.  To make an airport isn't one of them.  Just off the top of my head, the top of a mountain is a good place to build for defensive reasons.  It's always best to control the high ground.

In any case, Monte Alban was founded somewhere around 500 BC.  That makes it a contemporary of ancient Rome.  If there was a worldwide network of Vimana air travel at this time, we'd certainly expect that the ancient Romans took part in it, wouldn't we?

We have tons of writings from ancient Rome, but not a single document outside of folklore ever mentions air travel.  No Roman official ever wrote about heading down to Monte Alban for the weekend.  Nobody ever shows any sign that they even know that North America exists.

If this was truly an ancient travel network that connected far flung civilizations, you would expect there to be a whole lot of documentation to back it up.  Instead, as we shall see, the ancient aliens theorists only have folklore and fairy tales.

Case in point, we now move on to the Kebra Nagast:

According to the Kebra Nagast, a holy book of the Ethiopians, written sometime before the second century A.D., the queen of Sheba was once given the gift of a flying carpet by King Solomon of Israel. 

Awesome!  Flying Carpets!  Now let's see which talking head is up next.... Excellent, it's Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, publisher of Legendary Times Magazine, he's always good for a laugh!

The Kebra Nagast is one of the most important texts you've never heard of.   The Kebra Nagast means 'The Book Of Kings', and it is the most sacred book of the Ethiopians.  In it, King Solomon is described, he had access to some type of flying machine.  And in that part of the world, the term 'flying carpet' was always used very liberally.  My question is did they really mean actual flying carpets? or was it another term with which to describe some type of flying machine?

The term 'flying carpet' has been used liberally in that part of the world?  In what way?  I've been researching all the documentation I can find on magic carpets and their history in legend.... I have yet to find any indication that the term has ever referred to anything other than a carpet that has the magical power of flight.

I would certainly be interested in knowing how the term has ever been used to describe something other than this classical interpretation. 

The Kebra Nagast clearly describes the carpet in question as a "magical carpet of green silk", and it further states that "a vast army of birds of every kind kept flying over the carpet to protect its occupants from the heat of the sun."

If this carpet is, in fact, an enclosed Vimana, why would this kind of ad-hoc system need to be put in place to shade it?  The story makes no sense if you assume that this is a description of an advanced flying machine.  But it makes perfect sense in it's own context as a mythical tale.

Tsoukalos here wants to pick and choose what parts of this story to accept, and writes the rest off as fantasy.  He accepts that this is a description of a flying object.... but the fact that it's described as being made out of green silk is probably mythical.  He has no basis on which to accept one part of the description but dismiss the other.... but he does so anyway.

In any case, the show moves on from here to briefly talk about ancient maps that the Ancient Aliens theorists believe have unusual properties.  Our next talking head is Graham Hancock, author of "Fingerprints Of The Gods":

Some of these maps show the world not as it looks today, but as it looked during the last ice age.  And this is really hard to explain.

I've got one for you that's even harder to explain: Why the hell would alien visitors be in the habit of handing out maps to humans that represent the Earth as it looked during the last ice age?

"Here you go my friend!  This map will be of no use to you whatsoever.... but your descendants might get a kick out of it!"

Everybody's heard of the Piri Reis map, but they've perhaps not heard of the Orontius Finnaeus map or the Mercator maps that show Antarctica in great detail hundreds of years before Antarctica was even discovered.

As it turns out, this is just not true.  At least not in the way that Hancock explains it.

Ancient maps often used to show something in the area where we know Antarctica to be today.  The landmass depicted certainly did not correspond very well to Antarctica at all.  There was no "great detail" in these maps, no real consistency with the landmass we now know as Antarctica.

It only takes a little bit of research to understand what's going on here.  The idea that there was some kind of land in the general area of Antarctica dates back to the time of Ptolemy.  Ptolemy believed that such a land mass was necessary in order to balance out all the other land masses on Earth.

His reasoning may have been in error, but it turns out that his conclusion was correct.  And it was a popular enough meme that cartographers got into the habit of drawing a land mass in that area.

Some people look at these ancient maps and manage to find small areas that seem to roughly correspond to actual features of Antarctica.  It's pure cartographical pariedolia.  It's never an actual cartographer who's making these connections.  Instead it's people who have no experience with or knowledge of the subject.

Hancock mentions Orontius Finnaeus and Mercator, each of whom created a form of map projection in the 1500's.   A map projection is a system that attempts to create a two dimensional representation of a section of our spherical planet.

It's complicated work, and it necessarily leads to certain distortions.  For example, in the Mercator maps, Greenland is shown as having roughly the same amount of land mass as the entire continent of Africa.  When you have distortions like that, small features from the source maps can be greatly enhanced.  It makes for a treasure trove of possible spurious combinations and correlations that can easily mislead people who don't know what they're doing.

In any case, the show quickly moves on from the topic of maps in order to discuss the Bible.  Specifically Ezekiel.

In the book of Ezekiel, the prophet describes a flying chariot containing wheels within wheels and powered  by angels.  Although Bible historians suggest Ezekiel was speaking symbolically about the terrifying enemies facing Israel, could this be another example of an alien visitation and proof that prehistoric aircraft existed?

I doubt it, but let's see what the next talking head has to say.  Here's Jonathan Young PH.D, founding curator of the Joseph Campbell archives:

In the story of Ezekiel's throne chariot, this flying vehicle that doesn't seem to have any means of propulsion. If we thought of the word "Angel" as representing something like celestial energy, it sounds much more like a spacecraft then because some of the angels are going back and forth... well, that sounds like flames, that sounds like propulsion.  Some of them are wheel-like, well that sounds like flying saucers.

..... and if I think of the term "discarded scrap paper" as representing hundred dollar bills, I could raid my waste basket right now and instantly become incredibly rich!

Since when is making convenient substitutions just because you feel like it a valid practice in biblical scholarship?  Mr. Young has made no attempt to understand the book of Ezekiel in it's own context.  Instead, he's forcing it into his own context and ideas without any cause for doing so.

And now Tsoukalos comes back into the picture.  I was wondering when we'd see him again.

Ezekiel saw something that was so frightening to him that he fell to his knees.  Then, out of the glory of God, came this being in these bright clothes that looked like metal and told Ezekiel "Alright, man, we brought you here, we want you to measure this monument, this building, and Ezekiel asks 'well, why should I do this?' and the being says 'that's why we brought you here.'  And then you have 40 pages in the second part of the book of Ezekiel with measurement after measurement after measurement of this gigantic building, in which, by the way, the glory of the Lord landed.

You skipped a whole heck of a lot of Ezekiel there, didn't you Tsoukalos?  Like pretty much the majority of the book?

The time between when Ezekiel first meets God and when he's given the measurements of the temple is about 25 years.  And Ezekiel never asks God "why should I do this" or anything of the sort, he just takes in all the measurements as they're relayed to him.

God spends the previous 39 chapters whining about how he's mad at the people of Israel and how he's going to do such nasty things to them, and asking Ezekiel to perform strange tasks like cooking with human feces as a fuel source, and staging a miniature mock battle of Jerusalem with a brick, some poles, and an iron pan.

If this was actually not God, but an alien, as Tsoukalos believes.... then what the hell is this alien up to??

Is he just playing a prank on Ezekiel?  Is he watching just out of sight and calling his friends over to see what he's convinced this poor human to do?

"Look at this you guys!  I can't believe that he's actually doing it!  Hold on, watch this... I'm going to insult his people at length to his face and he can't do anything about it!"

And 25 years later Ezekiel is given all these measurements in a vision, which he can relate to the people of Israel if they're good and repentant enough so that they can build this temple.  If this is an alien, why would he be messing around with having humans construct his structures for him when he can come in with robots and heavy machinery and get the job done in a fraction of the time?

The story just makes absolutely no sense if we assume that this is an alien.  It only makes sense in it's own context as a religious story trying to make a point.

But whether it makes sense or not, the episode continues.  We're told of a NASA engineer named Joseph Blumrich.  In the early 70's he wasn't convinced that what Ezekiel saw was a spaceship... so he went ahead and tried to re-create it.  In the process he managed to convince himself that what Ezekiel saw really was a spaceship, and he wrote a book about it.

The Spaceships Of Ezekiel

He basically interpreted the story by changing or discarding any part of the description that didn't fit in with the spaceship hypothesis, and making a whole bunch of unwarranted assumptions.  In the end he got the model of an alien ship that you see pictured on his book cover above.

A few years later, we're told, a German structural engineer named Hans Herbert Bayer decided to make a blueprint for the temple in Ezekiel based on the measurements in the book.  Inside the temple complex there's an open top building which Tsoukalos contends was meant to hold the alien's ship.

His big proof of this is the fact that Blumrich's ship model fits into the area of contention very well. 

Ezekiel's Spaceship In It's Hangar

As Tsoukalos explains:

So what we have here is a proof by indication.  Here we have a NASA engineer and a structural engineer.  They didn't know of each other's work, and both pieces fit together like a puzzle.  In any court of law, that's evidence that would hold up.

Is it indeed, Tsoukalos?  I'm thinking that it's evidence that will get you laughed out of court when the judge finds out that the reason the ship fits so well is because Blumrich used that open space as the basis for his measurement of the size of the spaceship.

Yes, Blumrich also contended that this open space housed the ship.  The measurements are already in the book, Blumrich didn't need Bayer's blueprints in order to crunch the numbers.   The only thing this is evidence for is the fact that they both had the same interpretation of this measurement.

Tsoukalos seems to have huge blinders preventing him from seeing anything that doesn't fit in with his narrative.  He's basically got no case here, but he seems to believe that this is iron clad.

You can decide for yourself about that.


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