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Archive for the ‘Ancient (Non-Alien) Technology’ Category

Readers may recall a few months ago when I announced I’d be interviewed for this documentary. That happened in August. Well, I’m happy to announce that the documentary is finished and online. It’s just over three hours, and free to the public. I haven’t had time to watch it yet, but having read all the scripts, I can tell you it will be well worth viewing. Make sure you visit the actual website, since other video that didn’t make it into the final product will be kept there for viewing, along with source documentation.

I’ve also created a Page on this blog with a link to the documentary so you can easily find it later and direct friends to it.

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Just a heads up on an academic essay I posted over at PaleoBabble about 2012 and various New Age interpretions. The essay discusses John Major Jenkins and others, basically pointing out that the Mayan calendar is being very much abused. Since this dovetails in the minds of some with an alien return/invasion/rapture/fill in the blank, I’ve linked to it HERE.

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Readers will find this recent (2007) scholarly article on “Paleo-SETI” / ancient astronaut beliefs of interest.  Such articles are not common in academic circles. It’s 25 pages. The first half overviews the beliefs of major ancient writers (mostly von Daniken), which is predictable. The second half gets into what motivates those who espouse such beliefs. You may want to skip ahead to page 15 to the sub-heading, “Paleo-SETI philosophy or secular exo-theology?” Here are some excerpts to get you to read it:

It would demand a separate essay to analyze Erich von Däniken’s own spiritual background and involvement behind his Ancient Astronaut narrations. In his early books one can still find many references to Madame Blavatsky, for example, and it is clearly not wrong to count him among the technological strand of modern esotericism.

Blavatsky? Theosophy? Where have we seen that before? . . . Hmmm . . . Oh–yeah, my blog posts on Corrado Balducci. Wow, what a coincidence.

it should be kept in mind that the Ancient Astronaut myth is always a ‘broken’ myth; it is a mythic narration which is typical of the fantastic literary genres of modernity: narratives where the ‘supernatural’ is always ‘explained’ – explained away in rational terms. In the same style
as modern fantasy literature’s rational, immanent explanations of mysterious places, ghosts and ‘paranormal’ events, the Ancient Astronaut narrations always come up with a rational, immanent (though space alien) and ‘technological’ explanation of mysterious architecture, alleged ‘gods’, sacred scriptures and visions. How, then, does a socially organized new religion cope with such a modern ‘broken’ myth?

I think this last excerpt says a lot about why people make ancient astronauts their new faith (my emphasis added):

To many of our contemporaries, at least, the mysterious conspiracy story about Ancient Astronaut gods seems to appear more plausible and understandable than traditional religious interpretations of the texts – and much more plausible and understandable than straightforward academic scientific interpretations. The Ancient Astronaut narrations knit our specific late-modern mode of being-in-the-world together with lay-people’s attempt at a new search for the fundamental truth of myth: they still ‘want to believe’, and they find it plausible that a pre-astronautic “truth is somewhere out there”, yet to be discovered by mainstream society. The
self-evident technological possibilities of our age (and much more beyond that) are projected back into a remote past, and the result is a shining mirror of us, and of our time.

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This is pretty cool. The famous Antikythera Mechanism has been rebuilt to scale, and it works perfectly. So what did this ancient machine do?

“In short, Antikythera’s user interface is deceptively simple, operated by a simple knob on the side. This conceals the intricacy within, amounting to a complex mathematical model, tracking the movements of planetary bodies and incorporating a series of submechanisms to account for the eccentricities of their rotation.”

And for all those out there that will want to attribute this early computing machine to extraterrestrials, take note that the machine only accounts for five planets — since only five were known in antiquity. If ET knew only five planets, he’s a pretty incompetent astronomer for being so “advanced.”

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