Dissecting a Fringe Theory – Ancient Civilizations and ETs

I spend a lot of time looking at alternative theories of history, and I’ve found the Internet is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to airing alternative theories of anything. If you can google it, you can find some sort of “evidence” to support your point of view. You can also find evidence that refutes it. The challenge is to track down several strong sources that both meet scientific standards which support the theory in question while finding logical explanations for those which undermine it. This is especially important when espousing theories that contradict those that are accepted by mainstream science. An additional complication is that it is not uncommon to find fringe theories that are firmly rooted in science and evidence, but that then venture off into wild speculation. Where is the dividing line between fact and fiction?  This article is a good illustration of how I approach alternative theories, trying to winnow the wheat from the chaff.

Modern archeology tells us that civilization as we know it, with human societies organized into cities and states, began around 3,500 BCE (Before Common Era), or about 5,500 years ago. Prior to this, humans lived either in small farming settlements (the great majority being well under 100 people) or in similarly small nomadic hunter-gatherer groups. In fact, most archeologists would accept that humans have been “human” for at least 40,000 years based on excavations of tools, figurines, jewelry such as beads and pendents, and cave paintings.  Think about it – a person imported from 40,000 years ago and dressed in modern clothes wouldn’t attract a second glance walking down the street.

Why did it take humanity so long to develop civilization? One could imagine that after a few hundred years, let alone tens of thousands, it would occur to someone to try something different. Is mainstream archaeology correct in its allegation that humanity spent those 35,000 years just trying to stay alive? Yes, these early humans were hampered by very small populations, and yes, living conditions were extremely challenging, but…. The last glaciation period ended 12,000 years ago, and according to archeologists – even with the improved environmental conditions – it still took humanity another 6,500 years to begin forming its first societies.

What’s going on?

InvaderMoonThis was why I was interested in reading Invader Moon by Rob Shelsky. The author used a variety of sources – archeology, the hard sciences, historical documents and, where appropriate, oral traditions and stories – to support his theory that: 1) there was a robust civilization prior to the date put forth by modern archeology, and that this civilization was worldwide; 2) this older civilization was extraterrestrial; and 3) the moon only appeared in our skies about 12,000 years ago, and is an artificial satellite used by a certain group of extraterrestrials to win a war over the control of Earth. I dissected each idea separately.

1) There Was an Ancient Robust Civilization


Frankly, this contention is becoming increasingly mainstream as more evidence is uncovered. Keep in mind that traditional archeology claims that prior to 5,500 years ago the small population that existed lived in tiny villages or small hunting groups.

  • Ancient Mines: Even modern archeology accepts that humans were sufficiently organized in ancient times to conduct mining operations. For example, there is a 12,000 year old mine in Chile; a 15,000 year old mine in Greece, and a 30,000 year old mine in Australia and a 40,000 year old mine in South Africa (the world’s oldest, from which at least 1,200 tons of ore were removed).  Is it logical to believe this would be the work of a small village or hunter-gatherer group?
  • Circular Ruins: Adam’s Calendar in South Africa dates back 75,000 years; the average weight of the individual stones is five tons.  In 2007, a Stonehenge-like structure was discovered 40 feet below the surface of Lake Michigan; the circle is estimated to date back at least 10,000 years.  Stone circles in Saudi Arabia date back from between 2,000 – 9,000 years.  The Stones of Carnac, France (admittedly arranged in lines, rather than circles) are more than 3,000 stones commonly thought to date back from around 4,500 to 2000 BCE. However, several of the stones trail off into ocean waters that rose at the end of the last Ice Age, which would suggest a construction date a few thousand years earlier.
  • BaalbekMegaliths: The Baalbek platform in Lebanon is extremely old; no one knows who built it or when. The Romans built their Temple of Jupiter on the platform in 27 BCE. The Sumerian poem/story, The Epic of Gilgamesh, describes Baalbek as a platform where great things thundered up and down from heaven. In Turkey, Gobekli Tepe is pre-historic site that archeologists say date back to nearly 12,000 BCE. The complex consists of at least 200 pillars in about 20 circles, each pillar measuring up to 20 feet and weighing up to 20 tons, many of them with ornately carved bas relief animals and figures. Gobekli Tepe is regarded as an archeological discovery of the greatest importance since it could profoundly change the understanding of human society. Ian Hodder of Stanford University is quoted as saying: “Gobekli Tepe changes everything. It shows that the erection of monumental complexes was within the capacities of hunter-gatherers and not only of sedentary farming communities as had been previously assumed.” (Note: See how anthropologists are careful to stick to the mainstream theory of small nomadic bands or farming groups.) Curiously, whoever built Gobekli Tepe complex made sure of its survival by burying the various sites relatively soon after they were completed.  The Yoniguni Pyramid is not a true pyramid, per se, but a natural formation in the ocean off the coast of Japan that appears to have been modified by humans.  It was most recently above the water 10,000 years ago.
  • Pyramids: Pyramids are found around the world in Egypt, China, Mongolia, Indonesia, Central America, North America, Italy, Sri Lanka, India and Cambodia. Many construction dates are contested. Although the Giza Pyramids, for example, are dated to around 2,500 BCE, several archeologists believe they are much older. Robert Schoch, Associate Professor of Natural Sciences at Boston University, has pointed out (and received a certain amount of support from geologists) that the erosion wear on the Sphinx appears to have been caused by water, not wind or sand, which would date it back to several thousand years earlier.
  • hammer2Oopart (Out of Place Artifacts): These objects appear to be quite old – in some cases hundreds of thousands or even millions of years old – but according to modern archeology should not exist. Science ignores them because they don’t fit the prevailing theory of human history. Some interesting oopart includes: the Lanzhou Stone – an unfamiliar rock (possibly meteorite in origin) in which a threaded metal bar is embedded.  Some skeptics dismiss this evidence, hinting that the Chinese scientists were not up to standard and that western scientists should examine it instead. The Metal Pipes of Baigong Cave, which were discovered in a cave that appears to be artificially dug, appear to date back to 15,000 years ago. Frankly, more study is needed on this one. While they could very well comprise part of an ancient construction, these metal pipes also contained organic plant matter so some natural process cannot be ruled out.  More difficult to dismiss are artifacts – tools, figurines, a bell, mortars, small containers, etc – found embedded in stone or coal.  These have been dated back millions of years. There are at least 3,000 ooparts to date. While some of these anomalies might be hoaxes, it is unlikely in the extreme that all/most/even half of them are.
  • The ruins of Dwarka, India. The ruins of this underwater city were rediscovered in the 1980s. Geologists tell us that the most recent time this region was above water was 9,000 years ago – at least 5000 years older than any city is supposed to be.
  • Ancient Texts: The Sumerian King List is a text from a 4,000 year old cuneiform tablet that purports to list the kings of Sumer back over nearly 400,000 years. There are a couple of things that make this interesting. The text is divided into pre- and post-flood reigns, with the pre-flood kings ruling for tens of thousands of years (each!), with the years the post-flood kings ruled falling to numbers we are familiar with today (one-to-50 years each). Secondly, several kings listed are ones for which historians and archeologists have evidence they actually existed. The Piri Reis Map was drafted in 1513 by Turkish General Piri Ibn Haji Memmed, but he said it was compiled from 20 much older maps. In addition to depicting regions of the South American continent that had not yet been explored by Europeans, the Piri Reis map shows the northern coastline of the continent of Antartica, which has been covered by glacial ice since prior to 4,000 BCE.
  • longyoucaves001Underground Tunnels and Cave Systems: The Longyou Caves in China (really amazing!) have been dated to “sometime prior to 1,200 BCE.”  To date, no evidence of their construction, their method of construction or their existence has been located in the historical record. Nothing. No tools or artifacts of any kind were left behind. There is no indication of what they were used for. There are so stories or legends in which they are mentioned. Archeologists dated the caves as “sometime prior to 1,200 BCE” because they had nothing else to go on. Cappacocia, in Turkey, is the site of an ancient underground city; the oldest section has been dated back 7,500 years.  With an estimated capacity of 20,000, the complex has areas for sleeping, livestock stalls, kitchens, storage, bathrooms and ventilation areas.

In his book, Shelsky give other examples of stone constructions that have been dated back to within 5,500 years, saying “Stone is notoriously difficult to date, so they might be older.” Yes, they might be older, but they might not, and additional evidence that is controversial is not needed. Speculating that structures might be older with no supporting evidence is how the ancient civilization field of study gets a bad name. Among the sites I’ve left out are Puma Punku/Tiwanaku in Bolivia (some amazing examples of massive (several tons) stone blocks that have been machined), and Mohenjo -Daro and Harappa in the Indus Valley which is now part of modern Pakistan.

That said, does Shelsky’s remaining evidence give evidence to a robust civilization prior to mainstream archeology’s date of 5,500 years ago? I would argue yes. While any one thing could be suspect, the overall pattern and profusion of evidence overwhelmingly supports the existence of ancient civilization. These ancient mines, stone circles, stone megaliths, pyramids, oopart, ruined cities, underground cities and ancient texts do not fit into the mainstream archeology’s theories of human development, however, and so they are ignored.

For those who would argue that there should be more ruins had an ancient civilization existed, keep in mind that anything will decay over several thousand years (even plastic, honestly!). And many in mainstream science are uncovering geologic evidence (massive tsunamis, sudden climate change, floods, geological upheavals, extinctions) that some cataclysmic event, worldwide in nature, occurred on Earth about 12,000 BCE. If such an event (or series of events) did happen, it would not be surprising that only a few, well-made stone structures survived. Shelsky argues that the cataclysmic event was a war between extraterrestrials. I just look at the evidence.

2) This Ancient Civilization was Extraterrestrial in Origin


Proving that this ancient civilization was extraterrestrial in origin is more problematic than just proving it existed. Evidence is more difficult to come by, with a heavier reliance on mythic history.

  • Skull061113aXElongated Skulls: One piece of concrete evidence Shelsky does have is the elongated skulls of Paracas, Peru and the tradition of deliberate cranial deformation – especially among the ruling class – practiced in many parts of the world to artificially produce this effect. The Paracas skulls, discovered in the late 1920s, numbered more than 300. These skulls had a 25% greater brain capacity than that of average humans (something not found in deliberately deformed skulls). The elongated skulls of child skeletons had one suture rather than the two that is the norm for human children. Shelsky speculates that these skulls belonged to non-human aliens, and that they were in power in many regions of the world. As evidence, Shelsky points to the tradition of artificially creating elongated skulls by binding toddlers’ heads. While it has largely died out, this custom was practiced by certain peoples in Bolivia, Peru, Egypt, Malta, Melanesia, Russia, Sudan, Iraq and Mexico. Artificially elongating their own skulls was an attempt by humans to more closely resemble their rulers. But how credible is this evidence? I don’t believe the evidence is as clear cut as Shelsky believes – there are several scientific papers that argue the elongated skulls were artificially formed.  Additional DNA testing with the publication of the results (the actual lab report, not just an oral report from the researcher) is needed.  And even if the results conclude the skulls are not human, this would not rule out that they are just another offshoot of life on Earth (like the Neanderthals) rather than space aliens.
  • Ancient Texts: Stories recorded on ancient Sumerian clay tablets are often cited as evidence that extraterrestrials were here on Earth long ago. Shelsky points to Sumerian archives in which the writers state they were created to be servants of the Anunnaki – the Sumerians’ pantheon of gods or demigods – because they (the Anunnaki) were few in number and didn’t want to do the harder work (i.e., mining for gold). (There are wilder theories about the Anunnaki being space beings who descended to Earth on “fiery rockets,” most of which are based on author Zechariah Sitchin’s work. Unfortunately Stichin’s theory appears to be mostly made up; Mike Heiser, a scholar of biblical and ancient Near Eastern languages, cultures and religions, quite effectively crushes that theory, revealing that the Sumerian texts do not contain any of the evidence that ancient astronaut enthusiasts believe is there.  The Sumerian King List, on the other hand, with its’ 400,000 year record of kings, does exist and has been accurately translated. Shelsky speculates that the “unbelievable” reigns of the earlier kings that stretched over tens of thousands of years could be explained by extraterrestrials traveling back and forth between their planet and Earth – the Theory of Relativity would explain how a space traveler would appear to have a several thousand year lifespan to those who never left Earth.  The Vedas are a large body of ancient texts, written in Sanskrit, that originated in ancient India about 3,500 years ago. This collection of hymns and other religious texts include elements such as liturgical material, as well as mythological accounts, poems, prayers, and formulas considered to be sacred. in Hinduism. There are many references to events that we know actually happened (for example, a war with the Phoenicians). Many other events, however, are deemed to be “myths,” including detailed descriptions of flying machines and wars between gods, demigods and demons.
    The ancient Chaldeans (a Mesopotamian society like the Sumerians) had a text called the Sifrala that gives about 100 pages of technical data on how to build a flying machine. This text was originally translated by Y. N. Ibn A’haron – a scholar and Jewish rabbi – in 1958. I have not been able to find a translation of the text myself – only references to it. While the text may indeed exist, I am not comfortable with its’ absence.
  • Worldwide Civilization:  Shelsky avers that because the physical evidence of an ancient civilization (megaliths, pyramids, etc) was found in several different regions of the planet, this civilization was worldwide and must have been extraterrestrial rather than human.

Although I believe that aliens have visited Earth in the past (and continue to do so), I am not convinced that any ancient civilization was extraterrestrial in origin – ancient humans were not as stupid as people tend to think.  At this point the evidence that ancient civilization on Earth was a result of aliens is tenuous and requires a considerable leap of faith.

3) The Moon Is an Artificial Satellite That Appeared in our Skies Only 12,000 Years Ago


Shelsky supports his assertion that our moon is an artificial satellite that was placed in its’ orbit by aliens relatively recently – and that it was used to fight a war between the extraterrestrials – by pointing out several admittedly strange things about the moon. Some of the major anomalies include:


  • It’s the largest moon of any rocky world in our solar system.
  • Its’ density seems to be too low for it’s size.
  • The moon’s orbit is very close to being perfectly circular, when it should be an eclipse.
  • The top three layers of the moon seem to be “reversed,” with the densest material on the surface and the lighter areas below it.
  • Scientists still can’t account for how the moon came into our sky – the five major theories all have major flaws.
  • MoonCraterThe blue glowing light sometimes observed in craters.
  • The large quantity of Neptunium on the moon – this radioactive isotope has a relatively short half-life of only 2.14 years. By this point in time (after 4.5 billion years if the moon is the same age as Earth), there should be little – if any – Neptunium left of the moon. This is the way it is here on Earth.
  • If the moon had been here for most of Earth’s existence, there should be more moon meteorites found on Earth than Martian meteorites, especially since Mars is between 10 and 233 times farther away (depending on its orbit). Surprisingly, the number of meteorites that have been found on Earth from the moon and from Mars are about the same (about 14 pounds worth).
    The near side of the moon has “mares” – huge flat areas, but the far side of the moon is covered with craters; according to Shelsky this is evidence of violent battles between different ET groups.

Many cultures have stories about a time before there was a moon. Some of these include:

  • The Greeks: Aristotle talks of “a time when the skies were moonless,” as do Anaxagoras, Democritus and Apollonius.
  • The Romans: Ovid, Hippolytus and Plutarch all write of the Arcadians, who they described as a people who were older than the moon. Censorious talks of a time where there was no moon, and the night sky was moonless.
  • The Americas: The Mayans refer to a time when there was no moon to reveal the glory that was Venus. A Colombian tribe, the Cordilleras, always start their stories of ancient times with the phrase, “Before the moon inhabited the night sky..” Also in Colombia, the Chibchas tribe refer to “the earliest times, when the moon was not yet in the heavens.” Shelsky states that while there are many stories about times before there was a moon, there are no similar stories about a time before there was Venus or Jupiter.
  • Lack of Ancient Moon Maps: Leonardo Da Vinci made a comprehensive moon map in 1505 CE, but other than that, depictions of the Moon in the form of maps are rare. There is a lunar map on a 5,000 year old tomb in Ireland. Although there is a cave painting in Lascaux, France that shows the moon which has been dated to 15,000 years ago, Shelsky states that the dating is “fluid” and whether the painting actually depicts the moon is still questionable. There are numerous ancient depictions of the Sun, as there are of Orion and Venus.
  • Lack of references to the moon in ancient stone circles, many of which were thought to be used as calendars or observatories.

Artificial MoonShelsky believes that the only theory that explains the anomalies is the Spaceship Moon Theory.  This hypothesis, originally put forth by two Soviet Scientists in 1970, claims that the moon may actually be an alien spacecraft. Shelsky quite handily illustrates both how other theories of how the moon was formed (Impact Theory, Capture Theory, Georeactor Theory, etc) fall short and how the Spaceship Moon Theory does not. It all sounds quite convincing until I realized that Shelsky fails to mention the Electronic Universe theory (admittedly a theory that addresses the formation and nature of the entire universe rather than of just the moon), which probably has the best explanation for the cratering patterns and blue lights, among other things, of any of the mainstream theories.  Additionally, despite Shelsky’s statement that there are no oral histories regarding a time when other astral bodies (aside from the moon) were not in the sky, the Greeks, the Hindus and the Phoenicians have stories suggesting that Venus was actually a comet in ancient times (from the region of Jupiter).

In Conclusion


Yes, archeological evidence indicates a high probability that there was a well-developed civilization on Earth in ancient times – modern humans did not spend 35,000 years just wandering around the globe fighting off predators and looking for something to eat. Proof of this civilization was destroyed both by the cataclysmic event that occurred 15,000 years ago and by the natural deterioration process over the thousands of years. Although there are suggestions that extraterrestrials may have visited our planet over the past thousands of years, there is no credible evidence that ancient civilization on Earth was not human. And although any such aliens could well have fought between themselves, there is no evidence to link any battles with the moon. While the moon could be an artificial satellite, there is another scientific theory that could account for the majority of its anomalies. We should investigate that possibility before talking about galactic wars.

Invader Moon wonderfully illustrates the major problem with alternative theories that contradict the accepted dogma of mainstream science – no reputable scientist looks at the data and the baby gets thrown out with the bath water. Few researchers are willing to evaluate non-standard theories on their merit, and well-grounded concepts are discarded along with those for which the evidence is flimsy. Unfortunately, stories are coming out about how the process of mainstream science itself is deeply flawed, with the pressure to “publish or perish” becoming more intense. I don’t know if the situation will improve, or if this is mainstream science’s version of wandering around the globe, fighting off predators and looking for something to eat. Regrettably, I believe that anyone interested in alternative theories will need to dissect and evaluate the evidence on his or her own for  long time to come.




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  1. Just a slight correction, and I don’t see how to contact the author directly…. In secton 1, under Megaliths, the Turkish site should be Gobekli Tepe (not Gobelki Tepe); probably just a typo.

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