The ancient astronaut theory states that extraterritorial beings have made contact with Earth several times during our early history and provided us with knowledge and technology to help us develop civilizations. As our creators, they lived among us until one day simply abandoned the planet. Ancient astronauts are considered a pseudoscience in the professional scientific community because no hard evidence can be presented to prove their existence.
Despite this, there exists a community of scientists, kooks and amateur archeologists who study ancient astronauts with the hopes of one day proving or disproving their existence. These proponents of the theory cite our prime examples of the existence of early alien contact in human history.
Dolichocephaloids is the scientific term used to describe irregularly shaped skulls found and dated to the ancient world. Archeologists and scientists alike claim that the skulls are the result of deformities, but for some reason these deformities only occur in the skulls of those believed to be leaders and some show signs of brain surgery. The skulls are sometimes referred to as “coneheads” by those who can't be bothered to science it up every now and then.
Ancient astronauts are often credited with teaching ancient civilizations advanced mathematics, biology, medicine, and architecture. The medical part could perhaps explain the surgery, but proponents of these theories can't come to an agreement on whether or not this is the case. Dlichocephaloids are generally considered the weakest evidence supporting ancient astronauts.
Like most things that can't properly be explained, ancient astronauts can be drawn back to the Holy Bible. Under the common theory that mythological gods were actually alien visitors, several different pieces of evidence can be drawn from the good book. Commonly cited elements are:
Angels. Biblical descriptions of angels lend themselves pretty well to aliens: tall, shrouded in light, sawnk clothes, and capable of flight. Author Erich von Daniken believes that the book of Genesis describes aliens as angels experimenting with human beings by cross-breeding (with the resulting offspring being born as giants). However, this created a gene problem that could only be rectified by wiping out the entire species. Only Noah was permitted to survive because his family hadn't participated in the cross-breeding.
Advanced weapon technology. Von Daniken also states that the angels that visited Lot could have used nuclear weapons to destroy the city of Sodom which, if true, would kick just about every ass possible.
Such weapons could further explain the feats of a wrathful God in the Old Testament and plagues described in the book of Revelations.
The description of God. In the old Testament God is described as the sound of a trumpet, traveling as a pillar of smoke or fire. Von Daniken asserts that the sound itself could be a reference to an alien craft or the full description could actually describe a machine, making God some kind of awesome robot. However, he notes that Hebrew descriptions of God contradict this, so it's less likely than the whole “angels with deadly explosives” thing.
The Nazca Lines
The Nazca lines a group of geoglyphs drawn in the Nazca desert of Peru. The lines of the glyphs were created by removing a top layer of stones to reveal whitish earth below, creating sharply contrasting lines that create very large images when viewed from a distance. The glyphs are preserved by the dry climate and remain relatively intact despite being believed to have originated around 400 AD. The lines draw various animals, plants, human figures, and shapes without an explicit purpose.
Two popular theories exist in regards to the Nazca lines and ancient astronauts. The first is that they are a sort of blue print or documentation of experiments and creations as they occurred.
However, the idea of blueprints brings up the question of technology: these beings can reach Earth from distant planets through use of complex spacecrafts but their preferred method of recording important information is draw it with a stick? No one saw a problem with this?
The second theory, once again proposed by Von Erich, states that the site had been used as a landing area. Once the aliens left the planet for the last time the images were drawn by the humans left behind as an attempt to communicate with them. That makes sense, in a sort of non-nonsensical way.
Various artifacts depicting advanced technology are said to be in reference to ancient astronauts. The Saqqara bird of Egypt was at first speculated to be a model of an Egyptian aircraft. However, no such aircraft (nor any other evidence pointing towards such aircraft) has ever been uncovered. That, and it pretty much looks like every bird ever.
Artifacts like these are usually disregarded as being alien in nature. Stronger evidence can be found in drawings and carvings found all over the world that seemingly depict alien figures and spacemen.
Of course, the exact nature of such drawings can't be known for sure, but multiple images featuring the same figures depicted in the same way have been discovered the world over in deserts and mountains. But just as easily these pieces can be attributed to ancient astronauts they can just as easily be said to depict ancient gods and ceremonies. So we look to more recent art for evidence:
Paintings from the Renaissance and earlier occasionally depict what appear to be modern UFOs in the background as subtle elements, often in Biblical scenes, such as the birth of Christ:
These depictions, while not solid evidence of anything, can at least attest to sightings predating modern UFOlogy with descriptions of ships matching our own. Proponents of the ancient astronaut theory use the paintings as evidence, citing that these sightings throughout history are enough evidence to prove that visitors to the ancient world constantly returned.
Evidence of ancient astronauts is limited but theories abound. If the theory were to somehow ever be proven it could unlock the mystery of human creation and life on earth in general.