Ancient astronauts in popular culture

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Ancient astronauts have been addressed frequently in science fiction and horror fiction. Occurrences in the genres include:

Ancient astronauts pseudo-scientific hypothesis that posits intelligent extraterrestrial beings have visited Earth

"Ancient astronauts" refers to the pseudoscientific idea that intelligent extraterrestrial beings visited Earth and made contact with humans in antiquity and prehistoric times. Proponents suggest that this contact influenced the development of modern cultures, technologies, and religions, and even human biology. A common position is that deities from most, if not all, religions are extraterrestrial in origin, and that advanced technologies brought to Earth by ancient astronauts were interpreted as evidence of divine status by early humans.

Science fiction genre of fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction, typically dealing with imaginative concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations, and has been called a "literature of ideas".

Horror fiction genre of fiction

Horror is a genre of speculative fiction which is intended to frighten, scare, disgust, or startle its readers by inducing feelings of horror and terror. Literary historian J. A. Cuddon defined the horror story as "a piece of fiction in prose of variable length... which shocks, or even frightens the reader, or perhaps induces a feeling of repulsion or loathing". It creates an eerie and frightening atmosphere. Horror is frequently supernatural, though it can be non-supernatural. Often the central menace of a work of horror fiction can be interpreted as a metaphor for the larger fears of a society.

Contents

Novels and comics

J.-H. Rosny aîné Belgian writer

J.-H. Rosny aîné was the pseudonym of Joseph Henri Honoré Boex, a French author of Belgian origin who is considered one of the founding figures of modern science fiction. Born in Brussels in 1856, he wrote in the French language, together with his younger brother Séraphin Justin François Boex under the pen name J.-H. Rosny until 1909. After they ended their collaboration Joseph Boex continued to write under the name "Rosny aîné" while his brother used J.-H. Rosny jeune.

Babylon a kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia from the 18th to 6th centuries BC.

Babylon was a key kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia from the 18th to 6th centuries BC. The city was built on the Euphrates river and divided in equal parts along its left and right banks, with steep embankments to contain the river's seasonal floods. Babylon was originally a small Akkadian town dating from the period of the Akkadian Empire c. 2300 BC.

Garrett P. Serviss American astronomer, and early science fiction writer

Garrett Putnam Serviss was an American astronomer, popularizer of astronomy, and early science fiction writer. Serviss was born in upstate New York and majored in science at Cornell University. He took a law degree at Columbia University but never worked as an attorney. Instead, in 1876 he joined the staff of The New York Sun newspaper, working as a journalist until 1892 under editor Charles Dana.

Movies and television series

<i>The Super Dimension Fortress Macross</i> 1982 anime

Super Dimension Fortress Macross is an anime television series from 1982. According to story creator Shoji Kawamori, it depicts "a love triangle against the backdrop of great battles" during the first Human-alien war. It is the first part of two franchises: The Super Dimension series and Macross series.

<i>Outlander</i> (film) 2009 science fiction film directed by Howard McCain

Outlander is a 2008 independent science fiction-action film starring Jim Caviezel, Sophia Myles, Jack Huston, John Hurt, and Ron Perlman, and written and directed by Howard McCain. The plot is loosely based on the 9th-century epic poem Beowulf, adapted to a science-fiction backstory involving a spaceship crashing in Iron Age Norway. The film was a box-office failure, grossing US$7 million compared to a budget estimated at $47 million, though it has since become a minor cult classic.

The Outer Space Connection is a 1975 documentary film produced by Alan Landsburg, directed by Fred Warshofsky and narrated by Rod Serling. This documentary was the last in a trilogy of ancient astronaut documentaries produced by Landsburg. This film was one of the last projects that Rod Serling worked on prior to his death in 1975.

Music

Video games

Related Research Articles

The Fermi paradox, or Fermi's paradox, named after physicist Enrico Fermi, is the apparent contradiction between the lack of evidence and high probability estimates for the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations. The basic points of the argument, made by physicists Enrico Fermi (1901–1954) and Michael H. Hart, are:

Alien invasion common theme in science fiction stories and film

The alien invasion or space invasion is a common feature in science fiction stories and film, in which extraterrestrials invade the Earth either to exterminate and supplant human life, enslave it under an intense state, harvest people for food, steal the planet's resources, or destroy the planet altogether.

Zecharia Sitchin was an author of books proposing an explanation for human origins involving ancient astronauts. Sitchin attributed the creation of the ancient Sumerian culture to the Anunnaki, which he stated was a race of extraterrestrials from a planet beyond Neptune called Nibiru. He asserted that Sumerian mythology suggests that this hypothetical planet of Nibiru is in an elongated, 3,600-year-long elliptical orbit around the sun. Sitchin's books have sold millions of copies worldwide and have been translated into more than 25 languages.

Erich von Däniken Swiss writer

Erich Anton Paul von Däniken is a Swiss author of several books which make claims about extraterrestrial influences on early human culture, including the best-selling Chariots of the Gods?, published in 1968. Von Däniken is one of the main figures responsible for popularizing the "paleo-contact" and ancient astronauts hypotheses. The ideas put forth in his books are rejected by a majority of scientists and academics, who categorize his work as pseudohistory, pseudoarchaeology, and pseudoscience. Early in his career, he was convicted and served time for several counts of fraud or embezzlement, and even wrote one of his books in prison.

Earth in science fiction status of the Earth in fictional stories

An overwhelming majority of fiction is set on or features the Earth. However, authors of speculative fiction novels and writers and directors of science fiction film deal with Earth quite differently from authors of conventional fiction. Unbound from the same ties that bind authors of traditional fiction to the Earth, they can either completely ignore the Earth or use it as but one of many settings in a more complicated universe, exploring a number of common themes through examining outsiders' perceptions of and interactions with Earth.

Humanoid something that has an appearance resembling a human without actually being one; creatures with a mostly human shape

A humanoid is something that has an appearance resembling a human without actually being one. The earliest recorded use of the term, in 1870, referred to indigenous peoples in areas colonized by Europeans. By the 20th century, the term came to describe fossils which were morphologically similar, but not identical, to those of the human skeleton.

<i>Chariots of the Gods?</i> Chariots of the Gods

Chariots of the Gods? Unsolved Mysteries of the Past is a book written in 1968 by Erich von Däniken and translated from the original German by Michael Heron. It involves the hypothesis that the technologies and religions of many ancient civilizations were given to them by ancient astronauts who were welcomed as gods.

The idea of self-replicating spacecraft has been applied – in theory – to several distinct "tasks". The particular variant of this idea applied to the idea of space exploration is known as a von Neumann probe, after being conceived by mathematician John von Neumann. Other variants include the Berserker and an automated terraforming seeder ship.

Asgard (<i>Stargate</i>) alien race in the fictional Stargate universe

The Asgard are a highly advanced, fictional extraterrestrial race in the science fiction series Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. They are first mentioned in the episode "Thor's Hammer", and first seen in "Thor's Chariot". In the series, the Asgard gave rise to Norse mythology on Earth, as well as accounts of the Roswell "Greys". Due to their technological Prowess, the Asgard are critical allies in Earth's fight against the Goa'uld, and later the Ori. The Asgard characters on the show are realized through a combination of puppets and computer-generated imagery.

The Ancients are a fictional humanoid race in the Stargate franchise. They are called by this name in the Milky Way galaxy, and the Ancestors and Lanteans in the Pegasus galaxy. The Ancients are one of two groups of the Alterans; the other being the Ori, the main antagonists in the later seasons of Stargate SG-1. In the Stargate universe, the Ancients are one of the most technologically advanced species known to have existed. The Ancients evolved tens of millions of years ago and reached advanced level of technology long before humans evolved on Earth. They lived in the Milky Way and Pegasus galaxies prior to their ascension, see also Ascension (mystical). The Ancients might be best known as the ones who constructed the Stargates; big ring-shaped gates allowing wormhole travel. The Stargates are commonly used by Earth humans, Goa'ulds and Wraiths as seen in the Stargate TV-series to travel and explore Milky Way and Pegasus.

Xenoarchaeology, branch of xenology dealing with extraterrestrial cultures, is a hypothetical form of archaeology that exists mainly in works of science fiction. The field is concerned with the study of material remains to reconstruct and interpret past life-ways of alien civilizations. Xenoarchaeology is not currently practiced by mainstream archaeologists due to the current lack of any material for the discipline to study.

Monolith (<i>Space Odyssey</i>) Monolith in "2001 a Space Odyssey"

In Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey, Monoliths are machines built by an unseen extraterrestrial species. In the series of novels, three Monoliths are discovered in the Solar System by humans. The response of the characters to their discovery drives the plot of the series. It also influences the fictional history of the series, particularly by encouraging humankind to progress with technological development and space travel.

The zoo hypothesis speculates on the assumed behavior and existence of technically-advanced extraterrestrial life and the reasons they refrain from contacting Earth. It is one of many theoretical explanations for the Fermi paradox. The hypothesis is that alien life intentionally avoids communication with Earth, and one of its main interpretations is that it does so to allow for natural evolution and sociocultural development, avoiding interplanetary contamination, similarly to people observing animals at a zoo. The hypothesis seeks to explain the apparent absence of extraterrestrial life despite its generally accepted plausibility and hence the reasonable expectation of its existence.

An elder race in science fiction, fantasy, or horror fiction is a fictional alien race that preceded humanity. Occasionally they are a more advanced version of humanity instead of aliens. Elder races generally have abilities and technologies that generally far surpass that of humanity. In works of science fiction, their technologies are often so advanced as to seem magical or even godlike both to the human protagonists and to the present-day reader.

First contact (science fiction) Science fiction theme about the first meeting between humans and extraterrestrial life

First contact is a common science fiction theme about the first meeting between humans and extraterrestrial life, or of any sentient race's first encounter with another one, given they are from different planets or natural satellites.

In the fictional universe of the Stargate franchise, the people of Earth have encountered numerous extraterrestrial races on their travels through the Stargate. In addition to a diversity of alien life, there is also an abundance of other humans, scattered across the cosmos by advanced aliens in the distant past. Some of the most significant species in Stargate SG-1 are the Goa'uld, the Asgard, and the Replicators. Stargate Atlantis, set in the Pegasus galaxy, introduced the Wraith and the Asurans. One of the most influential species in Stargate, the Ancients, have moved on to a higher plane of existence. For practical reasons of television productions, almost all of the alien and human cultures in the Stargate's fictional universe speak native English. Because of the time constraints of an hour-long episode, it would become a major hindrance to the story each week if the team had to spend a sizeable part of each episode learning to communicate with a new species.

A UFO religion is any religion in which the existence of extraterrestrial (ET) entities operating unidentified flying objects (UFOs) is an element of belief. Typically, adherents of such religions believe the ETs to be interested in the welfare of humanity which either already is, or eventually will become, part of a pre-existing ET civilization. Others may incorporate ETs into a more supernatural worldview in which the UFO occupants are more akin to angels than physical aliens; this distinction may be blurred within the overall subculture. These religions have their roots in the tropes of early science fiction and weird fiction writings, in ufology, and in the subculture of UFO sightings and alien abduction stories.

Throughout history, some people have claimed experiences that are the supposed results of alien visitation. While some of the factors of extraterrestrial visits range in variety, the basic structure stays the same, motivating further research into the topic.

The cultural impact of extraterrestrial contact is the corpus of changes to terrestrial science, technology, religion, politics, and ecosystems resulting from contact with an extraterrestrial civilization. This concept is closely related to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), which attempts to locate intelligent life as opposed to analyzing the implications of contact with that life.

References

  1. "Ancient humanity - Halopedia, the Halo encyclopedia".