I was tempted just to leave the page of this post blank, but some might miss the joke and think there was a malfunction.
Those of you who don’t think biblical illiteracy is a problem will want to read this essay by Micah Hanks: “The Torah’s Teachings on Alien Life.” That title understandably caught my eye, since I have a PhD in Hebrew Bible.
Those of you who know what the Torah is (which wouldn’t include the essay’s author) will no doubt wonder why no passage in the Torah is quoted in the piece. Instead, we get citations from the medieval kabbalistic Zohar and the Sefer Habris (a presumed 12th century text). Those books aren’t in the Torah. The Torah is made up of the first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). The Torah was composed and put into its final form long before the medieval period.
The closest the article gets to ANY portion of the Bible is Judg 5:23 (also not in the Torah), part of which reads: “Cursed is Meroz … cursed are its inhabitants.” Meroz, we are told by Mr. Hanks and his source, a rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, is the name of a star, and so this verse is proof of ET life (the star had inhabitants).
Where does this idea come from? Let’s put our thinking caps on, folks.
For a little context (hey, there’s an idea — look at a verse in its context!) here’s Judges 5:19-23 in the Jewish Publication Society Tanakh translation:
19 Then the kings came, they fought:
The kings of Canaan fought
At Taanach, by Megiddo’s waters—
They got no spoil of silver.
20 The stars fought from heaven,
From their courses they fought against Sisera.
21 The torrent Kishon swept theml away,
The raging torrent, the torrent Kishon.
March on, my soul, with courage!
22 Then the horses’ hoofs pounded
As headlong galloped the steeds
23 “Curse Meroz!” said the angel of the Lord.
“Bitterly curse its inhabitants,
Because they came not to the aid of the Lord,
To the aid of the Lord among the warriors.”
In the story, Israel (the Lord’s people) are fighting against Sisera, their enemy). And so, the “stars” helped Israel but Meroz did not.
Here’s a short note from Wikipedia on Meroz in kabbalistic thought (borrowed in this instance from the Talmud):
According to the Talmud (Moed Katan 16a), Meroz is a certain planet in the stellar sphere, and because the mention of it in Judges 5:23 is preceded by the phrase, “the stars in their course fought against Sisera” (v.20), it thus follows that Meroz must be defined as a celestial body.
So, because of the word’s position in the verse – that it is mentioned next to the word “stars” – it must be a celestial body. That’s hardly sound thinking. And look at the verse. The “stars” did in fact fight for Israel and so they weren’tcursed – and so, neither would their “home planet” be getting cursed, if Meroz was their planet. Meroz is thus distinguished from these “stars.” That is, Meroz has nothing to do with these “stars” (which is why it’s cursed – the stars were favorable toward Israel; Meroz was not). The passage actually means the opposite of what Micah Hanks and Rabbi Kaplan are saying. The fact that two words appear near each other does not produce meaning — you actually have to read the text. In this case, Hanks and Rabbi Kaplan have very obviously misread it.
Meroz is a sight for which there have been a number of archaeological proposals, but which has not received a definitive identification. That’s not a mystery that lends to it being a celestial body, either, because of the preceding paragraph — Meroz is distinguished from the stars.
So what are the stars? Many scholars (and I’d be in this group) think the plainest reading of this text — which mentions the stars “in their courses” — is a reference to astrology or astrological reasoning. That is, the text reflects the belief that, to borrow a modern expression, “the stars were aligned” in the favor of Israel in this battle. That is, something in the heavens — some portent or sign — was perceived as foretelling victory or assisting in victory. Since Israel, like its neighbors, believed that her God (Yahweh) was the force behind the signs in the heavens (having created them; cf. Gen 1:14-16) and could telegraph his intentions through them.
Support for this view comes — guess where — the same chapter from which Meroz is proof-texted. Judges 5:21 tells us that a flood (and scholars believe it to be a flash flood because of regional geography) was what won the day for Israel. And so, the idea in context would be that signs in the sky (rightly or wrongly – 2nd millennium BC people didn’t know meteorology like we do) led to a weather / climate event that produced a flood that wiped out Sisera’s army. Israel won because of that event — but the slackers from Meroz never showed up, so the angel of the Lord (Yahweh in anthropomorphized form) curses them.
It’s not complicated.
Honestly, why must we force aliens into the Bible? If you like the idea (and I think it would be cool if there was ever any proof), just like the idea. Don’t distort the biblical text.
Our sun is one of a 100 billion stars in our galaxy. Our galaxy is one of billions of galaxies populating the universe. It would be the height of presumption to think that we are the only living thing in that enormous immensity. – Wernher Von Braun
And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpets exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled… And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly…And the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder… – Exodus 19:16-19.
The Ancient Astronauts Theory Revisited
by William L. Saylor
Mythology is the study of whatever religious or heroic legends are so foreign to a student’s experience that he cannot believe them to be true; hence the English adjective ‘mythical’ meaning ‘incredible’; hence the omission from standard European mythologies of all Biblical narrative even when closely paralleled by myths from Persia, Babylonia, Egypt and Greece. — Robert Graves (Graves 1968)
For many modern skeptics the world’s oldest writings, on clay, stone and papyrus, is simply myth. However, if we dismiss all of the ancient literature and inscriptions – the Bible, the Koran, the Mahabharata, and the thousands of clay tablets from Mesopotamia – as too incredible to believe, we would still have to deal with the question of the physical evidence.
- Who built the ancient megalithic structures?
- How were they built?
- Why the practice of building pyramids at ancient sites all over Earth for a period or time, and then suddenly abandon them?
- Who marked the Earth’s surface with gigantic lines and figures?
- Who created the astonishing artwork on Mars?
- Why and how were these things done?
In this space age, with it’s remarkable technological advances, it is becoming apparent that the “miracles”, and other seemingly supernatural events reported in ancient texts, the megalithic constructions, and the enigmatic lines and artwork over the Earth, resulted from an advanced technology which was incomprehensible and indescribable by the ancient human observers. On these pages we take the position that there is a reasonable explanation, within natural law, for these mysteries.
This series of articles review the evidence that these mysteries are attributable to ancient astronauts; extraterrestrials who have visited Earth in prehistoric and historical times, and have interacted with humans or their evolutionary predecessors, i.e. what authors throughout history have referred to as “the gods”.
Most authors, with the exception of Zecharia Sitchin (1976), who write about ancient astronauts, take us to familiar sites around the world where we get a “how-could-they-have-done-that?” feeling, but do not get into details concerning the god’s technology, motivation, or their whereabouts. By contrast, in these pages I attempt to touch on the following questions:
- What was the nature of the gods?
- How did they accomplish their seemingly miraculous feats?
- What did they value?
- What was their connection to humans?
- Where did they come from and where did they go?
The AA Hypothesis inBrief
AAs first came to Earth many millennia ago.
They were beings whose biology was similar to modern humans.
They created modern mankind by mixing their genetic makeup with that of sub-humans.
The purpose of mankind was to serve the AAs, principally by providing food and mining and construction labor.
The AAs did not allow humans to view them – only their symbols (idols), suggesting that their appearance was frightening; however humans were occasionally permitted to see their emissaries, e.g. “geniuses” and “angels”.
They also would not allow humans near them, except priests who had cleansed and covered themselves and spread a germicide, suggesting their susceptibility to earthly diseases.
They apparently moved about the Earth in spacecraft using chemical fuel, and only landed on mountaintops or other rocky outcroppings; this reduced the dust and provided physical protection from humans, and disease control. The earliest sites had a cave under the rock that protected the priests during the coming and going of the spacecraft.
16 On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God; and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18 And Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and the smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. 19 And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. 20 And the LORD came down upon Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. 21 And the LORD said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to the LORD to gaze and many of them perish. 22 And also let the priests who come near to the LORD consecrate themselves, lest the LORD break out upon them.” — Exodus 19:16-22
Later they built, or provided humans with tools to build, cyclopean structures – huge earthen, baked brick, or stone ceremonial platforms and pyramids, which served as landmarks and as landing and feeding sites.
Since they had little defense against earthly bacteria, they developed methods to nourish themselves with the vapors emanating from food and drink which humans provided and burned for them. The food and drink was provided through the custom of sacrifice, the burning of the meat and blood of animals, and sometimes humans, which the AAs demanded. These ceremonial and feeding sites were located all over the world, most on or near the current equator or near earlier pole-shifted equators.
They taught humans agriculture, astronomy, engineering, and provided the first laws.
They then departed from the face of Mankind.
Clues and More Clues
The grand aim of all science is to cover the greatest number of empirical facts by logical deduction from the smallest number of hypothesis or axioms. – Albert Einstein
The following twenty clues in support of the AA theory come to mind:
- The lines and figures which occur over the Earth, e.g. the Peruvian Nazca lines and “roads”, the Bolivian “ceques”, the radial lines emanating from ancient ceremonial sites, and the British “ley” lines, precisely straight lines which connect ancient sacred sites.
- The ubiquitous pyramids of various styles scattered over the Earth, in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Far East, and in North and South America. They apparently had several functions, serving as burial sites, landmarks, landing sites, bomb shelters, feeding stations, and ceremonial sites.
- The megalithic constructions arrayed essentially all over the Earth; built of enormous stones weighing up to two million pounds. Why and how this was accomplished has not been adequately explained.
- A unique and puzzling characteristic of the megalithic sites of both hemispheres is the complex polygonal stones which were used in their construction. Kiloton stones stacked, molded and sometimes fused together. Why and how?
- The Polar Rounds, the concentration of ancient sites on or near the path of the current and shifted equators, suggesting that the ancient astronauts approached the Earth thru the solar plane , probably to use the planets for braking, and built very close to the equator. Chatelain (1988) says, “The polar rounds and the shift of the equator also explain why we have found traces of civilizations in regions of the Earth that today seem unfit for human habitation…”. Remarkably many of the most mysterious sites lie on one of these ancient equators.
- The many ancient writings about “gods” who could move through the air – the Enuma Elish, the Koran, the Popol Vuh, the Mahabharata, the Bible, and the voyages of the gods as depicted on cylinder seals and stellae from ancient Near Eastern civilizations.
- The Heavenly Gateways – getting to and from the Earth. Before construction of the large pyramids and platforms the landing sites were simply a natural rock outcropping. A cave was excavated underneath which protected the priests during the coming and going of the Gods, or were some of them bomb shelters?, e.g.
- Israel: Es-Sakhra, the sacred rock on the Temple Mount, Jerusalem. There is a cave under the rock about 24 x 18 ft, and a hole in the ceiling about 2.5 ft in diameter which permitted access to the surface (Ritmeyer, 1996).
- Egypt: The Great Pyramid. The Great Pyramid was built on a huge bedrock bubble. About 115 ft under the surface, accessed via a 300 ft passageway, is an underground chamber measuring about 46 x 27 ft.
- Egypt: The Step Pyramid, with an elaborate multi-chambered cave underneath, allegedly built by Imhotep.
- Egypt: The pyramids of Mycerinus, Khafre, Unas, Teti and most other all had underground chambers. In fact the pyramids of Mycerinus and some others did not even have chambers in the pyramids – all chambers were underground!
- Mexico: Teotihuacan. There is a cave under the Sun Pyramid with several side chambers (Tompkins, 1976).
- Peru: The Torreon, Machu Picchu. A rock outcrop with a cave and altar underneath.
- Peru: K’enko. A huge, rock outcrop with an altar underneath. A hole above the altar allowed food to be passed to the surface (Fig 2-1).
- There are many other constructions on the Earth which seem to have served
as ancient navigation aids from the air, e.g. the Nazca lines next to the huge ceremonial site of Cahuachi, the Carnac stones and “Fairy Stone” in Brittany, the Sphinx at Giza, the Great Serpent Mound in Ohio, and the “Giant” and other huge drawings in the Chilean and Peruvian deserts.
- The spiral motif was a favorite design of the ancient astronauts, appearing at sites all over the world, e.g. Brittany; Cahuachi, Peru; Chaco Canyon; Nazca, Peru; Kawhia, New Zealand; Mu’a, Tonga; New Grange, Scotland; Tarxien, Malta.
- Consider this: In 1969 at New Grange, Britain, a Prof. O’Kelly proved that on the winter solstice, December 21, the morning sun would enter the passage and illuminate the spiral motif. Across the Atlantic, at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, light falling on the spiral also was used to mark the equinoxes.
- One legend has it that when we are awakening but still lightly sleeping, we might “see” one or more spirals. When this happens we are able to hear or see through the ears and eyes of someone nearby or share their thoughts (please let me know if this works!) But to be serious the spiral motif, occurring at ancient megalithic sites all over Earth, obviously had some special significance; and we now know that our galaxy has the shape of a beautiful spiral. Is that it? Is the spiral motif the signature of those who built or provided the tools to build these enigmatic sites?
- They constructed on Earth reflections of their celestial abode:
- Maurice Chatelain (1988) says that the pattern of the most famous cathedrals in 10 French cites “have the same configuration as the stars in the constellation of Virgo.”
- Bauval and Gilbert (1994) demonstrate that the Giza pyramids exactly mirror the stars in Orion’s belt on 10,540 bc.
- Leviton and Coons (1987) believe that they have demonstrated the coincidence of a pattern of prehistoric sites in central Somerset with the constellation Canis Major.
- Zecharia Sitchin (1990) finds a pattern in the Coricancha in Cuzco which he feels closely resembles the constellation Cygnus.
- Characteristics of site selection: Identification and access from the air, security and disease control.
- The important ancient sites seem to have been selected for easy identification and access from the air; on mountain peaks (Mt. Sinai, Machu Picchu, Mt. Olympus), on islands in lakes (Malta, Lake Titicaca), or on large artificial platforms (Baalbek, The Temple Mount).
- In addition various sites where the gods came and went were inaccessible by most of the people of that time, on the tops of mountains or pyramids. They would not allow humans near them, except priests who had cleansed and covered themselves and spread a germicide, suggesting their susceptibility to human diseases.
- Black and Green (1992) state that a sick person was considered to have sinned, that is, committed an offense against moral or divine law. The illness could be expelled or undone by a god whom the “patient” would appeal to through prayer. They write, “The use of the word ‘patient’ emphasizes the Babylonian view of sin as synonymous with disease. Sin could be transmitted by relatives or inherited from parents… Babylonians did not have a concept of original sin, but they believed that they were all very prone to sin.” (i.e. disease). This apparently is also the meaning of sin as used in the Old Testament.
- And Jehovah said to Moses, “Go to the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow. And let them wash their clothes.” (Exo 19:10).
If you read the old testament substituting “disease” or “germs” for “sin” and “sterilize” for “sanctify” you will be surprised.
- And Jehovah said to Moses, “Go down, warn the people lest they break through to gaze at Jehovah, and many of them fall.” (Exo 19:21).
- “And also the priests, those approaching Jehovah, let them sanctify (cleanse) themselves, that Jehovah not burst forth among them.” (Exo 19:22).
- “And Jehovah said to him (Moses), ‘Come, go down. And you come up and Aaron with you. And let not the priests and the people break through to come up to Jehovah, lest He burst forth among them.’” (Exo 19:23).
- “And if you make an altar of stone for Me, you shall not build them of cut stones. When you swing your tool on it you defile it.” (Exo 20:25).
- Apparently some of the gods were frightful to look at, and took great care to not be seen by humans, except possibly by the highest priests.
- The feeding of large numbers of AAs by the “sacrifice” of animals, and sometimes humans.
- Genetic engineering. From various ancient texts we read of the creation of mankind and “virgins” giving birth to god-kings and prophets. As our own biotechnology evolves what were unfathomable mysteries for our forefathers are now beginning to make sense.
- Astronomy and mathematics. The ancient civilizations, which arose in both hemispheres near the equator, possessed an extensive knowledge of astronomy and mathematics.
- The sudden appearance of a technologically advanced human civilization. John Cohane (1977) writes, “Until one arrives at Cro-Magnon man, about 30,000 bc, it is impossible to hold up a single piece of fossil evidence and say with assurance: ‘This came from an ancestor of man’.” He discusses other evidence and concludes, “…and this evidence indicating that only 10,000 years ago there was a sudden and unaccountable emergence of a full-blown intelligent civilization…”.
- The several references to the use of nuclear or other advanced weapons during the god’s struggles with each other.
- They must overcome the restraints of time, and there are several hints of gravitational time dilation when comparing the lives of the ancient astronauts with that of humans.
- All of the ancient ceremonial sites, in both hemispheres, have been abandoned. In the Americas the centers came to an abrupt and unexplained end, with the exception of the Aztec centers, before the arrival of the Spaniards. Tiahuanaco in Bolivia and the entire region were abandoned by 1050 ad. The AAs had all left the Earth.
- Communication with the Gods. There is the suggestion that Yahweh could only communicate with the Israelites via the Ark of the Covenant:
“And the Israelites inquired of the LORD, for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days, and Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron, ministered before it in those days, saying…”
- The Israelites were instructed to blow a trumpet to signal Jehovah (probably also other AAs) to come to the sacrifice or to call God to an assembly of the tribe, or to signal for God’s assistance during battle (Numbers 10:2-10). This suggests that Yahweh could not receive the prayers of the Israelites; however other passages suggest that Yahweh could indeed receive the prayers of the Israelites if they were within earshot of the Ark. But he apparently could not reply to them via the Ark, only through the prophets within whom he had placed his ‘spirit’, e.g. when Hezekiah prayed the Lord’s answer came through Isaiah who said to Hezekiah,“So says Jehovah, the God of Israel. I have heard that which you have prayed to Me…” ( 2 Kings 19:20).
- Also when David prayed to God, the answer came to David through his “seer”, Gad: “And Jehovah spoke to Gad, the seer of David, saying ‘Go; and you shall speak to David, saying…’” (1 Chronicles 21:9).
- Last and most important, the space colonization argument of the SETI community. The argument is that the use of nuclear propulsion at, say, 1/10th the speed of light could easily be accomplished, and that if only one advanced civilization existed in the galaxy it could colonize the galaxy in a mere 1-10 million years. They then conclude that “we don’t see them here; therefore they do not exist”. The following section examines this clue in greater depth.
The Galaxy Has Been Colonized
This, then is the paradox: all our logic, all our anti-isocentrism, assures us that we are not unique – that they must be there. And yet we do not see them! – David Viewing
Physicist Enrico Fermi once asked: “If there are extraterrestrials, where are they?”
“If they existed,” he said, “they would be here.” It was a casual question over lunch, and I suspect that if he had thought further about it he might have further speculated, “or have they been here and have left?” We’ll never know, but his question, which became known as the “Fermi Paradox” or “Space Travel Argument”, raised a great deal of discussion in the SETI community.
The paradox lead a few scientists – Freeman Dyson, Michael Hart, David Viewing and Frank Tipler among others – to speculate that any older technologically advanced civilization would have colonized the galaxy by now, and since they are not here, they don’t exist; therefore “SETI is a waste of time and money”.
The “space colonization” proponents argue that the use of nuclear propulsion at, say, 1/10th the speed of light could easily be accomplished, and that if only one advanced civilization existed in the galaxy it could colonize the galaxy in a mere 1-10 million years. They then conclude that “we don’t see them here; therefore they do not exist”. The argument apparently assumed that the alien’s would physically occupy all the habitable planets rather than just develop them. I think this was where they got off track.
Others have countered. Kuiper and Morris (1977) stated, “The search for extraterrestrial intelligence should begin by assuming that the galaxy has been colonized”. The paper was more wild speculation but the positions and titles of the authors, and a few equations, were apparently enough to get it into the journal Science.
But there is another reason we should assume that it has already been “colonized”. In a recent paper astronomer Dr Charles Lineweaver (2001), studying the tricky business of terrestrial planet formation, argues that “…this gives us an age distribution for life on such planets and a rare clue about how we compare with other life that might inhabit the Universe.” From the age distribution he then concludes, “most of the life forms in the universe have had two billion years longer to evolve than we have.” Apparently we’re the new kid on the block.
As used here “Colonization” is probably a misnomer, since in our case the ancient astronauts goal seemed to be the extension of their biology, knowledge, laws, and technology, by example or by physical manipulation of the biological blueprint of the most promising animal they found here; sort of a galactic migration of intelligence, survival traits and culture, rather then physical beings. It appears that when we attained a certain technological level they got out of the way.
My thought here is that their argument is forceful but their conclusion is incorrect. It is in fact a powerful statement in support of the AA hypothesis – that the Earth, probably along with most habitable bodies in the galaxy, has indeed been colonized by ancient astronauts and, at least in part, we are them! Curiously, to my knowledge, none of the AA authors have appreciated the compelling logic of this argument and the strong corroboration it gives to the AA theory.
The Ancient Astronauts (AA) Theory Revisited:
More articles of this series >>>>
The Gods Meet Men in Prehistory >>>>
The Gods as Architects >>>>
The Technology of the Gods >>>>
Copyright by William L. Saylor.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted with Permission
PS Are the Biblical mysteries ancient Close Encounters?
The Bible contains many descriptions that defy convincing explanation on the grounds of theology.
Follow these links below to unaltered quotations from the Bible and come to your own conclusions:
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