It has long been considered among several disciplines of science and non-conventional fields of study, that humanity has either been directly influenced by unearthly visitors, or has some genetic lineage that supports an alternate evolutionary origin. These theories challenge both religious and conventional science, but have developed a large enough following to generate millions of dollars in research each year. These subjects contract that there are visible signs that support alien contact, dismissing rational acceptance that we are alone in this vast universe.
Ancient astronaut theories are both surreal and discerning, since the assumption could deconstruct both religion and science definitions alike. It may be difficult for some to digest that alien life truly could exist; little alone that humanity itself is bound by unearthly ties. Before we consider whether we are the descendants of a long ago alien race or not; lets at least consider the factoids that are what ignites these claims today.
-Erich Anton Paul von Dniken-
A very famous example of this theory can be found between the pages of the best selling book, Chariots of the Gods, by Erich Von Daniken. Released in 1968, and followed by Gods from Outer Space, and my favorite In Search of the Ancient Gods, in 1973. His writing is both fantastic, and yet interesting enough that it poses some skepticism in existing historical origins regarding humanity. I do admit that several of his works are quite a stretch of the imagination. However, there are some truths that seem to seep out between the hippie-like logic found from Erich.
No matter how strange his theories may seem, his fame can't be denied, but with over 60 million copies world wide, and more documentary shows than I can count, his literature must have some merit; right? Well considering he helped co-found SETI Research foundation, which is critically acclaimed as one of the only scientific avenues that legitimately are searching for extraterrestrial life. His main focus on the debate revolves around the residual structures that have stood the test of time, such as the pyramids, sphinx, and several other famous monoliths. Despite the backing of the scientific community at large, he still is persistent that humans were lacking the technological sophistication to create some of the most profound structures. Some anthropologists and geologists have also considered that humans of many generations ago, were either much more highly advanced than we thought, or may have had some intervention that taught them highly developed attributes such as mathematics and physics.
Legendary architecture such as Stonehenge, Gaza Pyramid, Sphinx, were all subjects of debate by this supporter of alien existence. In his books he tried to introduce new and unusual theories, and although most claims have been absolved by modern science, it is the mystery of the unknown that holds a place in society today.
Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, this Palestine raised journalist and editor, had a much more interesting theory about the possibility of alien intervention, but like most lacked enough evidence to appease the scientific community.
According to Stichin's logic, there is a hypothetical planet that is sailing through the cosmos, on a very wide elliptical orbit. This obit is within our own solar system, but like other phenomenon like comets it only reaches the inner solar system roughly every 3600 years. He named the planet Nibiru, which is the planet found in Babylonian cosmology. Another part of this theory has been considered by many astronomers and scientists alike, and has some possible merit among many circles. He believes that Nibiru once collided with Tiamat, another hypothetical planet, which was between Mars and Jupiter. Apparently this collision caused Tiamat to split into two halves, but the first half was struck again causing an asteroid belt, while the remaining fragment was pushed into a new orbit, which began to form life. This planetary collision was what he considered the birth of Earth.
Now the weird part comes in with his human evolution theory. He believes that Nibiru, was in fact the home to an advanced race of beings, who discovered the Earth while in search of valuable minerals, like gold. They sent a class of worker class beings to the surface to begin mining, which the so-called race "Anunnaki", began engineering Homo sapiens as slave creatures. This was accomplished by cross genetic manipulation using both extraterrestrial genes, and the genetically developed Homo sapiens, which was so the slaves could be controlled. They later appointed a human king, to act as an advocate or ombudsman between the aliens and the growing population of humans, but this evolved into a war, which soon caused a nuclear fallout, wiping almost all life on the planet.
Like most other theories, Stichin lacked both the evidence, and the acceptance from formal accredited sciences, so barely any of his original theories still stand even today.
This last example is yet one of the most controversial examples of alien visitations, but like many others his ideals are still debated today. In 1976 he wrote The Sirrius Mystery, which presents an interesting argument that a specific culture of humans living in the central plateau region of Mali, known as Dogon people, were possibly influenced by an alien encounter that happened over 5000 years ago. Sounds pretty outlandish, but various quotes and doctrine support an increased understanding of astrophysics that was apparently inherited by this so-called alien influence.
His main body of work was extremely dependent upon cultural anthropologists such as Marcel Giraule and Germaine Dieterlen, who spent many years studying the tribe of people. The bulk of the theory stems from the resemblance between Dogon, Egyptian, and Sumerian beliefs and symbols. Using both language comparisons, and mythological scholarship, there was evidence to suggest that some influence existed that could account for the advance understanding. This is where his central theory becomes a bit out of this world so to speak.
His claim names he Dogon people to be in contact with an intelligent life form from somewhere within the Sirius star-system. The beings, lay claim to prophetic teaching of both arts and civilization, which are said to have originated from systems of the Pharaohs of Egypt, the mythology of Greek civilization, and just about everything else that man has laid claim too. Now the main factoid that presents itself in the book is not the strange story behind the claim, but the actual advance understanding and knowledge of this very far distant star system. The Dogon people seemed to have some hidden knowledge of this star-system, to the point that they described an invisible companion star known now as Sirius B.
Most of the ambiguities in this theory are still being argued even today, since most feel that the knowledge was obtained through European influence, but there is still some that feel that the Dogon were not privy or advanced enough to make such accurate and descriptive revelations. Honestly, from what most anthropologists have documented it is unlikely that this tribe of people would have any reason to make such claims, but that is why even the most toughest of critics still call the Dogon people, a true mystery!
Mankind is influenced by what it perceives or accepts as truth, but it also seeks out new understanding as we muddle our way through our existence. The mystery of life will always remain a torrid point of interest among humans, since it is within our nature to be curious. Whether we are children of God on a holy mission of faith, or alien survivors from an extinct race, there is one thing that can be said for sure; we have yet to reach the end of our journey!