Ancient Aliens s01e04 Episode Script

Closer Encounters

President Thomas Jefferson Christopher Columbus Crusaders in the Middle Ages What did they have in common? They either experienced or believed in the possibility of alien encounters.
And the fact is there have been so many descriptions by various chroniclers talking about a strange cloud in the sky that glowed red.
Columbus, on his first voyage, he noted in the log, a glowing object rise out of the water and head off into the atmosphere.
Could alien beings have been responsible for biblical floods, medieval plagues, and even ancient nuclear attacks? Visitations occurred since before recorded history all the way to today.
Millions of people around the world believe we have been visited in the past by extraterrestrial beings.
What if it were true? Did ancient aliens really help to shape our history? And what if these visitations didn't only occur thousands of years ago, but much more recently? Might there be evidence of real-life close encounters? Alamogordo, New Mexico.
White Sands Proving Ground, July 16, 1945.
Early in the morning, a number of U.
military officers and scientists gather to watch a powerful new weapon being tested.
Some believe the device will be a complete failure, others think it might destroy the entire state of New Mexico.
As a precaution, viewing stations are placed from ten to 20 miles away from the test site.
At precisely 5:29 and 45 seconds, the first atomic bomb is detonated.
Three, two, one Fire! The blast emits a fireball over 600 feet wide and produces an explosion equal to 20,000 tons of TNT.
The mushroom cloud reaches over reverberations can be felt nearly 100 miles away.
The world had a new weapon; one so terrifying it left even its creator, Dr.
Robert Oppenheimer, shocked and shaken.
A few people laughed.
A few people cried.
Most people were silent.
For the first time in its history, the Earth had been assaulted by a manmade weapon of incredible power.
But what if it had all happened before? What if an explosion of even greater force and destructiveness had long ago shaped the Earth's history? Some people have suggested on the basis of a number of lines of evidence that there may have been atomic warfare, atomic bombs, atomic explosions, in the very distant past.
Atomic warfare among ancient civilizations may sound like something out of a science fiction novel, but descriptions of similar deadly occurrences can be found in the very same text Dr.
Oppenheimer quoted after the New Mexico atomic test.
I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, "Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
" Part of an ancient Hindu scripture known as The Mahabharata, the Bhagavad Gita was written sometime between the fifth and second century B.
This massive 100,000-verse text contains stories about the ancient empire OJ Rama, which it is said existed over 12,000 years ago, or roughly 5,000 years before the earliest recorded civilization in Mesopotamia.
If you read the ancient Indian epics, they read like modern-day science fiction.
Yet they are thousands of years old with references not only of flying chariots and of these gods that had these incredible technological capabilities, but incredible weapons that they used in those epic battles.
They had what was called a Brahma weapon.
There were many people that were singed and burned and melted by the Brahma weapon.
Ancient astronaut theorists believe the Brahma weapon was an early nuclear device because the descriptions of its deadly aftereffects are eerily similar to the effects of exposure to intense radiation.
It is a theory largely discounted by conventional science.
There is no evidence that a nuclear bomb was described in The Mahabharata, the Bhagavad Gita.
It describes a battle.
In battles there are explosions, big explosions.
It's one thing about suggesting that, you know, battles have explosions, but that's not really what we're looking at.
You've got to look at the whole picture.
One reference that we have, for example, speaks of these explosions that were brighter than a thousand suns.
And when these blasts occurred, the suns were twirling in the air, trees went up in flames and there was just this mass destruction.
After those blasts, people who survive start to lose their hair and nails start to fall out.
I mean, right there, we have a concise reference to radiation poisoning, nuclear fallout.
And those texts are thousands of years old.
But if The Mahabharata is based on fact, wouldn't archaeologists have uncovered physical or radiological evidence? According to ancient astronaut theorists, they have.
The Indus Valley, Southern Pakistan.
In 1922, an officer with an Indian archeological survey group discovered the ruins of an ancient city known as Mohenjo-Daro.
According to mainstream archeologists, the city, whose name means "mound of the dead," had flourished between However, scientists in Pakistan have suggested Mohenjo-Daro is much older.
Mainstream archeologists believe the city was abandoned as a result of climatic changes or possibly a decrease in trade.
But when the ruins of Mohenjo-Daro were discovered in the 1920s, 44 skeletons were found lying face down in the street, many holding hands.
Their faces and body positioning suggested they suffered a sudden, violent death.
You have a culture of people who literally were lying dead in the street.
Archaeologists have found human remains, and something big has happened to these people.
What, in fact, did happen to the people of Mohenjo-Daro? Why is there evidence that wild animals avoided scavenging their remains? And why, even after thousands of years, had their bones not decayed? In certain areas of that site, you find increased levels of radiation.
And radiation exists all over the place.
When, all of a sudden, you have higher levels of radiation in certain areas of the world, the question, arises, "Why?" Is it possible that Mohenjo-Daro was one of the cities mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita-- a city that suffered the equivalent of a sudden atomic attack? In his 1979 book, Atomic Destruction in 2000 B.
, British researcher David Davenport claimed to have found a 50-yard-wide epicenter at Mohenjo-Daro where everything appeared to have been fused through a transformative process known as "vitrification.
" Vitrification is a process in which regular-type stone gets molten into a magma state and then it hardens again.
But once the stone is hardened again, it feels like glass.
At Mohenjo-Daro, we find evidence of vitrification, which could have only been achieved if the material was exposed to extreme heat by some type of a blast.
When British and Indian and Pakistani archeologists began doing excavations in the Sian Desert, on the borders of India and Pakistan, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, what they found in these cities-- Mohenjo-Daro, Harrapa, Kot Diji-- was archeological evidence to show there were apparently atomic weapons.
Only it happened in ancient times.
There's other evidence in parts of Africa and the Middle East, where it would seem to be like some sort of atomic explosion had taken place there, and had turned the desert sand into glass.
And that's exactly what happened at Alamogordo, in New Mexico, when they detonated the first atom bomb in the desert.
Could the strange ruins found in the Indus Valley really contain evidence of an ancient atomic explosion? If so, where did these powerful weapons come from? Who was using them? And why? In the ancient Indian texts themselves it says, and I quote, "At one point, three giant cities were orbiting the Earth.
" And those giant cities were often described as being made of gleaming metal and iron.
And at one point, those three cities went to war with each other.
And it's described how the gods threw weapons at each other, destroying those cities, they all went up in flames and fire came raining down onto Earth.
So, when you read those passages, the question I ask is: What is it that our ancestors tried to describe here? And I think that it was some type of a technology that was witnessed, yet our ancestors, while being highly intelligent, didn't understand the nuts and bolts aspects behind that technology.
And so they created something divine out of it, something supernatural, yet it never was divine.
It never was supernatural.
If, in fact, The Mahabharata is describing historical events, might we also find similar accounts in other ancient writings? As far as ancient astronaut theorists are concerned, we need look no further than in the pages of the Holy Bible.
According to one of the stories contained in the book of Genesis, angels were sent by God to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of the sins of their inhabitants.
Only a righteous man named Lot, along with his family, was to be spared.
But while making their escape, Lot's wife ignores the angels' warning not to look back, and upon gazing at the horror and devastation, is turned into a pillar of salt.
When you are at a nuclear testing range and you witness a nuclear blast, you're told to look away and not to look straight into the blast.
And here we have a similar description in ancient biblical text where instructions were given, "Whatever you do, don't look back because you will die.
" And sure enough, it happened to Lot's wife.
Could it be that the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is really a description of a nuclear explosion, similar to the one described in the Hindus' Mahabharata? Do the stories of The Mahabharata and the Bible represent actual historical events? For ancient astronaut theorists, the answer is a resounding "yes.
" And they believe the so-called "angels" who brought forth the devastation were, in fact, beings from another planet-- alien visitors armed with advanced weaponry.
September, 2000.
The Black Sea, Turkey.
Marine archaeologist Robert Ballard and his team of underwater scientists discover what appears to be a farmhouse some 330 feet below the surface.
Estimates suggest the submerged dwelling to be approximately 7,500 years old.
Ballard and other scholars speculated that rising ocean levels could have caused the Mediterranean Sea to burst through a natural dam, creating a flood so great it drowned an estimated 58,000 square miles under 500 feet of water.
But more than finding the ruins of an ancient dwelling, had Ballard actually discovered proof that the biblical story of Noah and the great flood was true? Those villages, of course, weren't built underwater.
So Ballard concluded that the Black Sea, as we know it, was only created some eight, That is exactly what we're talking about with Noah's Ark and the flood, the same area where all that happened.
And in fact, mainstream archeologists know that in the Mediterranean there are over Those cities, too, were somehow flooded the same time that the Black Sea was flooded.
Also written in the book of Genesis, the story of Noah tells how God "saw that the wickedness of man was great ," and decided to destroy all of creation.
Only Noah, his family, and the animals aboard the ark were allowed to survive and repopulate the planet.
But is this the whole story? Was Noah selected only for his virtue? Or was there another reason he was chosen to save the planet? Ancient astronaut theorists believe the Bible doesn't tell the whole story.
In the late 1940s and early texts known as the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in a cave located in what is now Israel's West Bank.
Among the ancient writings are various stories not found in the traditional Hebrew Bible.
One such story tells of Noah and his strange, miraculous birth.
One of the Dead Sea Scrolls is called "The Lamech Scroll.
" What is Lamech? Lamech was a shepherd.
And one day, Lamech, his woman was pregnant.
And he said to her, "This is impossible.
I was not here for months.
" But his woman with the name Bathenosh swears, "No one touched me.
" But Lamech doesn't believe his wife, Bathenosh, and he goes to his father, which was Methuselah.
And Methuselah says to Lamech, "I can't help you.
I don't understand this.
I believe your woman, Bathenosh, "that nobody touched her, and I believe you.
What shall I do?" So Methuselah goes to his father, the grandfather now of Lamech.
His name is Enoch.
Now Enoch tells to Methuselah that the guardians of the sky have made an artificial insemination into the womb of Bathenosh, the wife.
And he should accept this child, because this child will be the father of a new human generation.
And in the Bible, this is Noah.
What if, as ancient astronaut theorists believe, the story of Lamech is true and the guardians of the sky described in the story are, in fact, aliens? Does this mean that Noah was the product of an artificial insemination, a genetic experiment performed by extraterrestrials? If so, what was the reason for the great flood? Well, the reason for the flood, and we need to understand this.
What it tells us is that Noah was pure in all of his generations.
What does that mean? You know, why would the account, you know, specify "pure in all his generations"? According to the Bible, God sent the flood because of man's wickedness and corruption.
But ancient astronaut theorists believe the flood was actually a means of ridding the Earth of biological imperfections.
By using Noah and his family, they could repopulate the planet with a genetically superior species.
Part of this human society is, again, genetically backward, closer to the animal.
What can we do? These humans were spread out over the planet.
So they said, "We have to mill them all by a great flood, and then we have to restart again.
" Another familiar element in the story of Noah involves the collection of animals brought aboard the ark.
In the Bible, God commanded Noah to collect two of every kind of living creature-- animal, bird and insect.
But many biblical scholars and theologians agree that such a task would have been both physically and biologically impossible.
Could there be another more scientific explanation? The story of Noah's Ark is pretty implausible, if you think about it.
You have two animals of each creature on planet Earth on a boat.
Not only would the boat have to be huge, but how are you going to collect every animal on the planet and put it on that ship? So, could it be possible that Noah's Ark was once again misunderstood technology, and Noah's Ark was a DNA bank? Could it be a story? Could it be technology somehow gathering up all living things as in a DNA bank of some kind? It fits together.
Hard to imagine, uh, how that would happen so far back, but if it did happen, it would need to be told as a story, and the to be told as a story, and the story of a boat works.
Perhaps this is really an extraterrestrial DNA bank as well.
The extraterrestrials need plants and animals and minerals on this planet, too.
Just like when we go to Mars or something, we'll be using what we can use on that planet.
So, extraterrestrials coming here would want to do that as well.
And if they knew that some cataclysm was coming, they, too, would want to preserve certain kinds of animals and plant life, and create, you know, what we think of as Noah's Ark.
An alien DNA bank? Is there any evidence that such a thing is even possible? In 2008, on the Arctic island of Svalbard, a vault was built to store the seeds of hundreds of thousands of plants in the event of a global catastrophe.
Elsewhere, similar efforts are reportedly underway to store animal and human DNA as well.
Cutting-edge science or merely history repeating itself? The Frozen Ark Project is a program that was initiated by the London Natural History Museum.
What they've done is they started to store DNA of endangered species for future generations, for preservation.
And, as of today, over a thousand species have been preserved in small little vials.
So, the question arises, could it be possible that Noah's Ark wasn't necessarily a boat made out of wood, but what if Noah's Ark was some type of a DNA storage facility that was used in order to preserve all the species on planet Earth? If each species can be held in a tiny vile like this, then it all becomes very logical.
And, once again, we have to look at it from a perspective, "What did our ancestors try to describe? What did they witness?" Aliens artificially inseminating humans Ancient DNA banks Could such ideas really help our understanding of the Bible? And is it possible that extraterrestrials have influenced the development of mankind? There are many who claim that the proof can be found in some astonishing places.
For those who believe that close encounters with alien beings have helped shape Earth's history, it is important to remember that it isn't only ancient history that has been so influenced.
There have been literally hundreds of credible accounts of strange creatures, UFO sightings and otherworldly phenomena that took place, even in the so-called Dark Ages.
There have been sightings all over the world throughout the Middle Ages.
There are stories going from Scotland to England to Italy to the Crusades.
Remember the Crusades took place over hundreds of years.
And at certain points in the battle, in some cases over Turkey, in some cases over Jerusalem, there are images captured in writing by various chroniclers talking about "a strange cloud in the sky that glowed red.
A strange image coming out of a cloud in the sky.
" Why would we say this is a UFO? Because, traditionally, UFOs mask themselves by forming a cloud around themselves.
And it's a cloud that's going through the sky-- that's their invisibility cloak.
In his 13th century historical work titled Otto Imperialia, Gervase of Tilbury wrote about an aerial craft over the city of Bristol, England, which caught an anchor in a church steeple.
He uses specifically the term "anchor.
" Now, we don't know what kind of anchor that is.
But a creature, a man, climbs out of this craft and tries to free the anchor from the steeple.
And all the people in the village start stoning him, thinking he's some sort of evil demon.
But for ancient astronaut theorists, evidence of an alien presence during the Middle Ages isn't only found in literature.
All throughout the Middle Ages, there are some magnificent paintings and in certain areas of the painting, there are what looks like to be UFOs.
They're always floating up in the sky-- usually above the Virgin Mary or above Jesus on the crucifix-- or somewhere we have sceneries that Pict what looks like UFOs.
One very interesting painting is where Jesus sits up in the clouds with quote, unquote "God ," and they're holding onto the antennae of what looks like Sputnik; and theologians say what is depicted here is nothing else but the Earth.
But why would Earth have two antennae sticking out of it? And why would it be round? Because the mainstream viewpoint at the time was that the Earth was flat.
Here are pictures of the crucifixion dated around 1350 from Kosovo.
Here are, presumably, vehicles with people driving them in attendance at the crucifixion.
Could this be a crude-- an attempt on the part of the artist drawing on a tradition-- obviously, he wasn't there-- drawing on a tradition? Could he be reflecting the folklore? Possibly.
The people of the Middle Ages depicted devils and angels frequently, in their art.
They did not depict what we today consider aliens, specifically.
But angels are heavenly creatures that come from outside of our sphere, aren't they? Did the medieval artists include strange creatures and flying spacecraft in their paintings because they had seen them in real life? Or were they trying to communicate their belief that the miraculous events of the New Testament had otherworldly origins? The most famous painting that resolved any doubt in my mind depict a UFO with its laser beam, was made by Crivelli in 1486-- The Annunciation to Mary.
In medieval art, in The Annunciation, when Mary is told that she will have a child, but she will still be a virgin, and the angels tell her this, over Mary's head is a space capsule.
But what's a UFO, or a space capsule, doing over Mary? Maybe the artist saw it and he's putting it in the painting to bring together his own vision of a UFO, the annunciation from the Bible, and the mystery of salvation that there could be a virgin birth.
According to ancient astronaut theorists, the UFO-shaped objects found in medieval paintings aren't the only evidence of an alien presence during the era.
In his book, The Gods of Eden, author William Bramley cites private journals and other publications throughout Europe which contain accounts of cigar-shaped flying objects emitting noxious mists.
The first reports of this kind began during the mid-14th century, closely corresponding to the outbreak of the worst health epidemic in human history-- the Black Plague.
The Black Plague, back in the 1300s, many have said was caused by a virus from a rodent-- bitten by fleas.
This disease that wiped out 75-plus million people on the planet at the time.
But there's another theory by a fellow by the name of William Bramley who says that the Black Plague was created by ETs, that they wanted to eradicate human beings, for whatever horrible reason.
We know that plague can be spread by rodents.
But there weren't that many rodent infestations being reported back then, at least not enough to account for all of the breakouts that we had.
So what you find in the literature from that time are numerous reports of bright lights moving through the sky, emitting gas, or what they call "mists.
" And we find them in China, you find them in Europe.
There are similar reports from the Justinian plague from earlier in history, and even later plagues, the cholera epidemics.
You find similar stories of mists that are the cause of the Plague.
We have weapons like that-- biological warfare.
As for the motive as to why this happened, I can only kind of scratch my head, because in the UFO phenomena, we see certain consistent patterns, but we don't always understand the motive.
Italian historian Matteo Villani, who both chronicled the Black Death and died from it in the 14th century, wrote of pestilential fogs reported by travelers from Asia.
He even wrote that people were convinced they could actually see the plague coming through the streets.
But what some ancient astronaut believers find to be even stronger evidence of alien involvement, are the numerous reports of mysterious black-cloaked creatures who would appear on the outskirts of villages just before plague broke out.
Contemporary accounts describe them as having "terrifying faces" and "waving long, scythe-like objects dispensing noxious mists.
" It's the image we know today as the Grim Reaper.
These figures in black would appear usually on the outskirts of a town.
They were carrying these long devices that looks like scythes.
These figures in black would start sweeping in the fields as though they were cutting down the wheat.
Then immediately there would be an outbreak of the plague.
Although ancient astronaut theorists are divided on Bramley's proposal that aliens we behind the plague, his research, like the artwork of the time, has led to one important conclusion.
What is evidenced is the fact that visitations occurred since before recorded history all the way to today.
It's not like ancient astronauts only happened thousands of years ago, and then all of a sudden we have Roswell.
The fact alone, that these visitations have been going on for all this time, thousands of years, that's sensational.
Flying cylinders spreading plague from the sky? Black-clad aliens looking to destroy humans? But even if possible, why? And, if true, wouldn't there continue to be evidence of even more close encounters-- encounters that would take place much closer to home? When Columbus and his men first set foot in what to the Europeans was the "New World," the indigenous people had never encountered anyone like them.
Their skin was pale.
They wore strange clothes made of bright, often shiny materials.
They arrived in massive ships and had powerful weapons.
To the natives, the visitors were truly aliens from a strange, faraway world-- powerful beings who might just as well have been sent from the heavens.
Columbus wrote in his journal that the inhabitants eagerly came out to see their ships, and asked them if they had come from the heavens.
And despite the fact that Columbus and his men indicated, "No, we didn't come from the heavens," they called out to the people still on the shore, "Come out and see the people who've come from the heavens.
" Certainly, it seems interesting to wonder why it is that instead of thinking that possibly they came from some other part of the sea, that they'd come from the sky.
But there is more to the story.
Less well-known is that Columbus had an alien encounter of his own, one reported in his log just days before he reached the shores of the New World.
on the 11th of October, 1492, the anxious explorer was on the deck of the Santa Maria when he saw a "light glimmering at a great distance.
" Columbus wrote, "The admiral, standing on the quarterdeck saw a light.
Calling to Pedro Gutierrez, he told him he saw a light, and bid him look that way, which he did and saw it.
The admiral again perceived it once or twice, appearing like the light of a wax candle moving up and down.
" Summoning another member of the crew, the two watched as the light vanished and reappeared repeatedly.
Seeing lights in the water isn't really an anomaly.
We all know that certain kinds of underwater life give off lights.
But this light actually traveled along with the ship.
Columbus noted in the log a glowing object rise out of the water, and head off into the atmosphere.
What did Columbus see? A phosphorescent sea creature? An hallucination? Or was it something more? Something from out of this world? What did Columbus' men see? What they saw was a luminous object, that upon breaking the water's surface, became a UFO.
To UFO researchers like Bill Birnes, Columbus' sighting is significant, not only because of when it occurred, but also because the object was spotted coming out of the sea, ruling out the possibility that what he saw was a comet or a shooting star.
What's intriguing is that this was in what we cal- today the Bermuda Triangle.
The Bermuda Triangle, that area, particularly off of Bimini, the Bahamas, may in fact be-- and I'm way out on a limb here-- Colony headquarters underneath that.
Your UFO goes down into the water and then into a subterranean.
What better position would be to monitor South America, Middle America, Egypt than the Caribbean? Many people believe that it's possible that UFOs could have established bases on the seafloor.
To some extent, it's true that we know more about the Moon or some parts of outer space than we do about the deepest parts of our own oceans.
This event is extremely important because it is the world's first recorded event that illustrate the appearance of UFO as object emerging from the water.
If Columbus sighting was so extraordinary, why do we only find record of it in his log? Some believe another account of this event exists in the official records of the Spanish Inquisition.
UFO researcher Maximillien De Lafayette claims that Columbus' shipmate, Pedro Gutierrez, reported him to the Inquisition after hearing Columbus describe the lights in the sky as resembling the Jewish menorah.
When they went back to Spain, Gutierrez went directly to the infamous Inquisition.
This is the Catholic organization created by the Vatican to persecute and kill the infidels.
The infidels means the Jews, the Muslims and Christians who are not Catholic.
The Inquisition called him for explanation, deposition.
"Did you say that you saw menorah? Why did you say menorah? Oh, so you are a Jew.
" He said, "I'm not a Jew.
" In the deposition, which is lengthy, you find more details, meticulous details of what Columbus saw above the water.
The file of the Inquisition is in the vault of the Vatican.
And good luck if you can go to the secret file of the Vatican and try to dig for document as explosive as this one.
Secret files of the Spanish Inquisition? UFOs and alien sightings in the time of Columbus? Farfetched, perhaps.
But to proponents of ancient astronaut theory, these precolonial close encounters are considered commonplace events.
For them, it offers additional proof that we are not alone.
They have several sightings of what we would call UFOs today along the discovery of America, during the conquest of America.
Columbus was not the only one.
Also on the trip of Magellan.
Fernando De Magellan, the discoverer of the Strait, who circumnavigate the world after Columbus.
He have also sightings.
Seafarers often encounter strange lights both in the sky and below the surface of the ocean.
Skeptics argue that Columbus' sighting, like many others, was simply a natural phenomenon.
At night, there are all kinds of things, for example bolides.
Bolides are these very large comets, and they're spectacular.
It's just like this enormous bright light with a trail that just arcs through the sky.
But we can tell the difference.
When you have a meteor like that or a bolide, the characteristics are very different than the ones of genuine UFOs.
As far back as the 19th century, people have speculated about what that light could've been.
Explanations have centered around the possibility that it could've been a light or a torch being carried by an island inhabitant.
They were in fact more than which makes that impossible.
The other possibility is that it was a meteor traveling very close to the horizon, and that the movement of the ship is actually what made the light appear to be moving up and down.
But what if conventional science is wrong and the ancient astronaut theorists are correct? What if Columbus, Magellan and the early explorers really did see evidence of extraterrestrial creatures visiting our planet? What does this say about our past? Our history? And our future? Germany, April At dawn, the citizens of Nuremberg awoke to what was described in a local news flier as "a very frightful spectacle.
" Various strange objects were spotted in the sky engaged in what appeared to be an aerial battle.
Could they have been witnessing a close encounter? They see this incredible sight as the sun is coming up.
They see what they describe as cigar-shaped objects, circles in the air, and crosses; flying crosses.
And suddenly, these shapes begin emitting other shapes.
The spheres and discs were seen for a long time, as they apparently were fighting in some kind of a battle over the city.
In fact, the battle was so evident that the people in Nuremberg were actually able to perceive which side was winning.
Some of the objects were seen to crash into the ground and disappear in a cloud of smoke or steam.
Other objects were seen to fly off and disappear in the direction of the sun.
This entire event becomes memorialized in a broadsheet.
Now a broadsheet in the 16th century was literally a newspaper.
And that broadsheet exists today in Zurich, Switzerland.
The Zurich Central Library to this day retains a copy not only of the famous woodcut that shows the 1561 sighting over Nuremberg, but also a 1566 woodcut showing a sighting from that year that was quite similar in Basel, Switzerland.
What's fascinating is it's a very similar event.
People saw a bunch of circles in the air.
In fact, a proliferation of circles in the air.
They didn't necessarily interpret that as a battle in the air, but they did interpret it as some kind of heavenly sign.
The broadsheets that were distributed both in Nuremberg and in Basel five years later, advised people to "repent for their sins" and interpreted these extraordinary events as signs from God.
In old time, everything paranormal, extra, extra-- hyphen-- ordinary belongs the realm of divinity, of Gods.
"God's doing this! God is punishing us! God is blessing us! Go repent! Go to church!" It's interesting to read the Nuremberg description because it is written with religious iconography in mind.
They talk about crosses seen in the sky on the previous day during that sighting.
Now what we might think of as a fuselage with wings, might've appeared as a cross to people who saw religious symbolism constantly in their everyday life.
It's difficult to imagine how these things might have appeared, but it's certainly possible that if these were to appear in the sky today, we would describe them quite differently.
Could the people of Nuremberg have actually witnessed a battle between warring alien factions; an event eerily similar to the one written about in the Bhagavad Gita over 3,000 years earlier? And if not, what else would explain the vivid accounts of luminous globes and blood-red crosses appearing in the sky? Throughout the Middle Ages, visions of strange happenings were often attributed to God or to the supernatural.
But moving into what is known as the early modern period of the 17th century, people began to look more and more toward science and the stars for answers.
And with the invention of the refracting telescope in 1608, there would be more eyes trained on the stars than ever before.
Ironically, the first report of a UFO witnessed through this new device came from colonial America's best-known Puritan minister, Cotton Mather.
There was an incredible sighting that the very famous New England preacher Cotton Mather had.
Cotton Mather said that he was looking through a telescope at the Moon, and in the telescope he saw a flying light over the surface of the moon.
Well, how did this get recorded? By none other than NASA.
And people can find it themselves.
Go to the NASA report on lunar anomalies over 500 years, and they will find Cotton Mather's sighting of a UFO over the surface of the Moon.
There are a vast number of natural atmospheric phenomena that can appear as bright lights in the night sky.
Certainly, uh, meteors are a possibility.
Even certain kinds of terrestrial phenomena do materialize as glowing balls of light that, seen from a distance, may appear to be a star.
And it's incredibly difficult to judge the distance of a point source of light in the night.
So he may have thought that it was on the surface of the Moon, or-or hundreds of miles away, when in reality, it could've been quite close to where he was.
Though it is uncertain what Cotton Mather saw, ancient astronaut theorists find it significant that a prominent religious figure would report such a sighting not as a vision from God, but as an astronomical event.
They see it as a sign, not only of the sighting's authenticity, but that views on the possibility of extraterrestrial life were starting to shift, even within the Christian church.
Cotton Mather was known as a fire and brimstone preacher.
But there's a rational part of Cotton Mather as well because this was the very beginning; the dawn of the industrial revolution.
And in this context, people were thinking about science, they were thinking about machines, and really thinking about, could there be something in space? Although sightings like Cotton Mather's were still rare in the 1700s, the increasing interest in astronomy sparked a new debate over a centuries-old theory called "the plurality of worlds;" the idea that life might exist elsewhere throughout the universe.
By the end of the 18th century, the majority of people, at least of educated people, were convinced that all throughout the solar system on Jupiter, on Mars, on Saturn.
All of them had extraterrestrials.
Very possibly the Moon would have intelligent beings on it.
I once did a tally of the leading intellectuals in the of them included ideas of extraterrestrial life in their publications.
The premier 18th- century astronomer William Herschel also supported the theory that life existed on other planets.
So did Thomas Paine, one of America's Founding Fathers, along with many religious leaders of the time.
Preachers were preaching about extraterrestrials as a proof of God's goodness.
That's the idea that if there is a good and beneficent God, he would populate all the planets, all the stars.
Though there was open debate about the existence of extraterrestrial life in the often extend to the idea of aliens visiting Earth.
But in 1731, a series of sightings occurred across Europe that were so compelling, the possibility could no longer be ignored.
In modern UFO sightings, the communications about UFOs are instant; it's on the Internet, it's on YouTube.
But what about some of these Here's something incredible.
In 1731 over Kilkenny, Ireland, there was a sighting of a luminous object coming out of a red cloud.
That same sighting is reported in the span of a week over the rest of Europe, particularly over Romania in Eastern Europe.
Now, here are two countries that are not communicating with each other.
Newspapers don't go back and forth, they don't speak the same language, there's no radio and there's no television.
Yet a UFO was spotted traveling from the Irish Sea, across Europe all the way to Eastern Europe and towards Asia, and is spotted in different places as it goes.
Independent observations that don't cross-pollinate.
Could these nearly identical reports of a strange object passing through the sky be mere coincidence? And if it was an alien craft, is it possible that earlier sightings simply weren't reported because they were interpreted as signs from God? In colonial America, the idea that aliens were visiting Earth was gaining ground.
And in the 1800s, this controversial theory would even make its way to the White House.
The United States officially declared its independence from Great Britain in 1776 and just 14 years later, a report of the first UFO sighting in American history appeared in the newly published journals of John Winthrop, the second governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
His journals, which are now known as "A History of New England, 1630-1649," are still considered the preeminent record for that period in American history.
When the journals were finally published in 1790, over death, they were found to contain an alarming account of a possible close encounter over Boston's Muddy River.
One night in March of 1639, James Everall, who is described as being a "sober and discreet man," and two of his companions, boarded a little boat in the Muddy River of Boston.
As they paddled along the river, they saw a great bright light that hovered in the sky.
As they watched, the light flared up and then contracted into what they described as the figure of a swine.
It's difficult to imagine anybody seriously reporting a sighting of a glowing, flying pig.
Looking at the sighting, one can't help but wonder if they were struggling to describe an oval-shaped fuselage and four short, what we might now call landing struts or landing gear, in a way that made sense in the 17th century.
Winthrop's account states that the object moved swift as an arrow, jetting back and forth as well as up and down for two to three hours.
And when it finally disappeared, the three passengers in the boat, who had been drifting downstream the entire time, were astonished to find themselves back at the point where they began their trip.
What Winthrop describes in his journal is really difficult to explain.
Certainly, it seems hard to fathom that, for two or three hours, three men in a boat watched a bright light moving around in the sky over the city of Boston.
And it seems almost inconceivable that their boat could've been drawn back against the tide without their noticing it.
These type of strange and inexplicable phenomenon are now associated with the phenomena that's called "alien abduction.
" As abduction cases evolved, you heard people say all of a sudden everything around them was slowing way, way down.
And they associate the slowing way, way down with whatever this event is that we call the "human abduction syndrome.
" Could this event at Muddy River be not only North America's first documented UFO sighting, but also the first account of an alien abduction? Those who believe the account! in Winthrop's journals was an actual alien encounter point to the last line of his report which states, "other credible persons saw the same light.
" By the time Winthrop's history was published in 1790, the debate over the possibility of extraterrestrial life was more heated than ever before.
In fact, the question of whether life existed on other planets had become so hotly contested, it caused one of America's Founding Fathers, Thomas Paine, to be unofficially exiled to Europe.
Thomas Paine enters the extraterrestrial life debate in a very dramatic way.
He was an Englishman, but famous American patriot.
Thomas Paine publishes a book called The Age of Reason.
And in The Age of Reason, he makes one of the most vigorous attacks on Christianity ever made.
The bottom line on it is, he says, you must believe in extraterrestrials if you know any modern astronomy.
The idea of God made the entire universe going from planet to planet redeeming people is just impossible to believe.
That creates a sensation.
Thousands of copies of the book were sold.
In December of 1793, Thomas Paine was arrested in France as a result of supporting a political party that was no longer in power.
When the American ambassador refused to speak on his behalf, Paine believed that George Washington had abandoned him because of his writings supporting the idea of extraterrestrial life and refuting traditional Christianity.
In 1802, he was invited back to America by the third president, Thomas Jefferson.
Jefferson, an intellectual, was considered a genius by many in his time, both for his skill as a statesman and his scientific aptitude.
And some believe he was also a proponent, like his contemporaries Ben Franklin and John Adams, in the concept of the plurality of worlds.
The concept of a plurality of worlds was a very widely accepted concept in the People like John Adams and Thomas Paine didn't view extraterrestrial life as a possibility but rather as a matter of fact that everybody knew to be true.
The new rationality in science changed the way that these Founding Fathers talked about religion.
for the University of Virginia.
And John Adams writes to him and gives him advice on how to do that hiring.
He says, "Do not hire any European professors.
If you hire a European professor, they are liable to believe in Christianity, and that is a very dangerous doctrine that we should stay far away from.
" Other Founding Fathers also agreed with this view, which included a belief in the existence of life on other planets.
Benjamin Franklin wondered if there were different gods for every sun that harbored intelligent life.
Many of them felt it was clear that there were intelligent beings conceivably through the whole universe, and that the notion that God came to this planet as a person who was spit on and persecuted, simply was ridiculous.
And they rejected that long- held traditional belief, which was a very radical thing at the time.
America's Founding Fathers defending the concept of extraterrestrial life against Christianity? A revolutionary idea to be certain but perhaps not so revolutionary to the country's Earlie inhabitants, who long before claimed to have met visitors from the sky.
In northwestern New Mexico lies a vast concentration of ancient ruins known today as Chaco Canyon.
Built from sandstone blocks and timber between 900 and 1150 A.
, the 15 major complexes of Chaco Canyon contained four-story structures with hundreds of rooms that required thousands of man-hours to construct.
Until the 19th century, they were the largest buildings in North America.
Chaco Canyon was a center of activity for a lot of different Indian tribes, Pueblo tribes.
Archeologists, anthropologists have a lot of theories about what that was.
But what I have studied and what I can tell by just some of the chants from our own tribe, and other Pueblo tribes, is that this would've been a big center of activity for technological-spiritual activities.
There's a lot of places on there that has direct bearings up into the universe.
When archeologists first excavated these ruins in 1896, they marveled at their architectural precision.
But even more astonishing was the fact that many of these ancient structures-- like those found in Egypt, England and South America-- suggested the inhabitants had a sophisticated knowledge of astronomy.
A number of devices designed for tracking solar events were found.
And at Fajada Butte, which sits at the entrance of the canyon, three giant slabs of rock are positioned near two spiral petroglyphs etched on a cliff wall.
During the solstice and the equinox, these rocks catch the sun in such a way as to shine daggers of light on different areas of the petroglyphs.
But why would early Native Americans spend so much time building the structures at Chaco Canyon along such precise astronomical alignments? And why build them in such a desolate area of the country? It is one of those sites which has been posing so many questions, and which science is only slowly beginning to explain.
But really, there are more questions than answers at this moment in time about Chaco Canyon.
In his 2006 book The Orion Zone, archaeo-astronomer Gary David proposed that the geographical layout of Hopi ruins in the American Southwest precisely mirrors the star patterns of a number of constellations.
When you look at where the ancestral Pueblan major ceremonial sites are actually located, Gary David has identified that when you just map these, you actually find that they depict constellations, specifically, Orion is very important.
Orion's Belt points to the brightest star in the sky-- Sirius.
If one looks at the Hopi mesas as the stars of Orion's Belt, they also point to an important location-- Chaco Canyon.
But why Orion? And could it be merely a coincidence that this constellation pattern has been found at other important sites around the world, and always with the belt pointing towards a place of significance? Ancient astronaut theorists have discovered the constellation of Orion lining up with the Mayan complexes along The Street of the Dead in Mexico City.
And here, Orion's Belt points to Cholula, the largest pyramid in the world.
They also find it at the Giza Pyramids in Egypt, with the belt pointing toward the city of Heliopolis; a place of worship for ancient Egyptians.
The one thing we know about Orion's Belt is that this is a theme which is recurring in Mayan mythology.
It's also actually a theme which is occurring in Egyptian mythology.
Orion's Belt, and the stars around it, were seen as the heart of creation; it is where everything began.
And it's probably not coincidental that the Hopis see the place where they are living as the heart of the world.
These are ancient people.
All they had to go by were the stars.
And so, they believed-- as astrologists believe today-- that the stars have certain powers over what goes on on planet Earth.
According to their legends, the Hopi believe there were three worlds that preceded the one we are in today.
Each of those worlds was wiped out when guardians of the sky called to the Creator to tell him that his finest creation, humans, were no longer living according to his plan.
And they called to him by setting off a warning through the Earth's axis, a vibration strong enough to shift the balance of the planet.
Is it possible the structures at Chaco Canyon were built along precise celestial alignments so that the Hopi could predict the periods of Earth's devastation and renewal? Could the guardians of the sky have led them here so they could monitor the position of the sun? Why in the world people settled at that location wasn't wasn't something that they did on their own.
There's no running water there.
There was no reason to live there.
There's no good soil.
They did that because their guardian told them to live there.
During the times of the summer and winter solstices, as well as the spring and fall equinoxes, the people at Chaco Canyon could gauge the Earth's balance by watching the path of the sun daggers at Fajada Butte.
If the daggers did not pierce the petroglyphs at the same points as the previous year, they would know that the Earth was out of balance.
And since the Earth fell out of balance at the end of the previous three worlds, this could mean the end was coming once again.
Scientists from NASA determined the earthquake that hit Chile on February 27, 2010 shifted the Earth's axis by three inches.
Would the ancestral Pueblo people have Se this as a sign from the guardians above? Well, do you think that's going to show up at Chaco Canyon on that dagger stick that comes down at the time of the solstice? Do you think the Indians were watching that? It's what the Hopi call koyaanisqatsi.
We are living in koyaanisqatsi right now.
We are living in a life that's out of balance.
Could these Native American legends be more than just myth? Is it possible that these stories, along with the ancient texts of India and the stories of the Bible, are all describing alien visitations? For ancient astronaut theorists, the answer is yes, and the proof may lie on a small, uninhabited island in Nova Scotia, Canada.
In 1795, three Nova Scotia farm boys set out to explore nearby Oak Island after witnessing strange green lights coming from its shore in the middle of the night.
As they came to the island, they saw that there was one little, you know, pit that they thought, "Well, this is very odd," so they started to dig in that particular spot.
They came across different platforms made out of wood, especially out of oak, and the deeper they dug, they also came across a mat made of coconut fiber, and they came across a stone slab that had very bizarre writing on it.
One thing is crystal clear: Canada does not have any coconut trees, so the mat made of coconut fiber-- where did it come from? That's a very intriguing question-- how all these different levels were made.
The initial excavation stopped at a depth of feet.
But since that time, over a dozen professional excavations have been attempted and funded by everyone from actors John Wayne and Errol Flynn to Franklin D.
Mining and excavation companies have dug multiple shafts surrounding the whole Money Pit with the hopes of achieving or reaching whatever is buried down there.
They've even tried to dig in sideways, and even that didn't work.
Based on the findings from numerous excavations, the Money Pit contains a series of oak platforms starting at a depth of ten feet and recurring every ten feet thereafter, going at least 200 feet down.
In between these platforms are slabs of flagstone-- not indigenous to the island-- and layers of puddle clay.
Efforts to reach the bottom of the pit have proven so dangerous, six people have died in the attempt.
Its underground is covered with canals-- flooding canals that lead seawater into the system.
Each time there seemed to be a progress, underground floods in the canals would make further searches impossible.
So, this is what we know: many centuries ago, someone constructed a giant hydraulic system under this island.
It couldn't have been pirates.
It had to be someone with great expertise for architecture and hydraulics.
We still haven't been able to access whatever is down there because of the incredible flooding system.
These treasure hunters poured red paint into one of these shafts, and not only did it come out on one side of the island, but also on the other side.
Up to three shafts have been discovered.
I mean, it's ingenious.
But who-- or what-- constructed this elaborately booby-trapped pit? And, perhaps more importantly, what-- if anything-- lies hidden at the bottom? Some have speculated that it might be the crown jewels of England, pirate treasure, Viking hoards and even the original manuscripts of Shakespeare.
But perhaps the most audacious theory of all is that the Money Pit is the hiding place for one of the most sacred objects in the world.
There is a possibility that the Ark of the Covenant, with its contents, has been hidden on Oak Island.
The Ark of the Covenant? The most sacred object in all of Judeo-Christianity? The gold chest that is supposed to contain the tablets on which the Hebrew God wrote the Ten Commandments? Why would this religious relic be placed at the bottom of an elaborately booby-trapped pit in Northeastern Canada? Ancient astronaut theorists believe the Ark may have been hidden because of the powers it held-- powers from out of this world.
According to the ancient astronaut hypothesis, the Ark of the Covenant housed an extraterrestrial device which was given to the Israelites during their 40-year wandering through the desert.
When you go back to the biblical descriptions, it becomes a weapon.
It rises up into the air.
It rushes towards the enemies of Israel.
When the Philistines briefly capture it, um, they make the mistake of opening it and filing past it.
Suddenly, thousands of people start to die.
The biblical account states quite clearly that the cause of death was cancerous tumors.
This is a very mysterious and puzzling thing.
What kind of object could have these almost machinelike attributes and cause deaths that sound like radiation sickness? What powers the Ark held is the subject of wide speculation, but an even bigger mystery is what happened to the Ark and where it might be located today.
One legend says that it was taken during the Crusades by an elite band of monk-like warriors known as the Knights Templar.
The cover story-- and it feels like a cover story-- is that they were to protect pilgrims on the route between the coast and Jerusalem in the Holy Land.
But they don't ever seem to have done any of that.
Um, right soon after they were founded, they took possession of the Temple Mount, uh, in Jerusalem.
And, uh, for the best part of themselves to what looked like an archaeological expedition on the Temple Mount.
And I'm pretty certain they were looking for the Ark of the Covenant.
The legend tells of the Knights taking the Ark to Scotland, where they formed an alliance with the powerful Sinclair family.
Some historians believe William Sinclair may have taken the Ark to Oak Island in Nova Scotia in the 1400s to protect it from English invasion.
Here, Sinclair and his men could have built what might be the most impenetrable vault ever made-- the notorious Money Pit.
But, if so, where is the evidence? In the 1990s, some scientists were able to send cameras down into one of the shafts.
There, they discovered strange objects that had a rounded, tubular shape.
Their C-14 values were diverse and their radiometric age ranged from very old to futuristic.
Now, that is basically impossible.
However, there is some chance that that effect could be caused by some kind of radioactivity.
That's why we suspect that a nuclear reactor may have been taken there and hidden inside this ingenious hydraulic system so that it would be kept safe forever.
What would it mean if the Ark of the Covenant really was discovered at the bottom of the Money Pit? Would it provide the proof of alien intervention-- the very proof that ancient astronaut theorists have been waiting for? If the Ark of the Covenant is found at the bottom of the Money Pit, well story's over.
But an even greater question persists: why? Has mankind been helped by the intervention of beings from other worlds, as ancient astronaut proponents contend? Or was there a more ominous intention? Could the Ark, if discovered, be a sort of Pandora's box that, once opened, would reveal more about our origins than we would ever want to know? As the 20th century dawned, the industrial revolution suggested that nothing conceived by man could be impossible.
We could now ride through the countryside in horseless carriages sail the seas in huge ocean liners fly through the sky in airships.
Even the idea of building rockets and flying them to the Moon, Mars and beyond seemed well within our grasp.
It was the era of science fiction writers like H.
Wells and inventors like Einstein, Tesla, Edison and Ford.
In 1896, there were widespread reports of strange airships hovering over various locations in the American West.
Coincidence or consequence? There were sightings throughout history, and of course, there were a large number of sightings in the 19th century.
But it wasn't until 1896 that there were waves of sightings.
Thousands of people in 1896 and phantom airships, the origin of which was never explained.
These reports were catalogued, discussed in newspapers.
There were sightings in 1896, 1897, 1898.
And in fact, we kind of know, from newspaper reports from the Southwest, that people were seeing craft with wings.
And the Wright Brothers didn't fly an airplane until 1903.
So what were these craft? Well, on the one hand, people were flying balloons in the 19th century.
So balloons were not high technology.
What was high technology back then was affixing a gasoline engine to the gondola of a balloon.
That whole airship mystery-- my guess is that some of those were just dirigibles that people were flying around.
On the other hand, during that time, we also find reports of objects that moved really too quickly to be dirigibles.
And some were maybe too shiny really to be the types of balloons that they were making at that time.
The prevalence of these balloons powered by gasoline engines flying around in the late 1890s in the turn of the century probably opened up people's minds to the possibility that there could be literally unidentified flying objects.
People began, to put it bluntly, looking up.
So it could be said that modern UFO history began with these mysterious airships of the 1890s.
It certainly seems possible, if we believe that the airship sightings were sightings of extraterrestrial spaceships, that perhaps the aliens were interested in human activity at the time because of the rapid increases being made in technology.
Some people have suggested that aliens have been interfering with the lives of human beings for thousands of years.
And because they were always here at significant points in human history, they introduced various kinds of technologies to spur development along a certain line.
Could the same alien presence that some believe had been visiting the Earth for centuries have been responsible for inspiring our great leap into the modern age? Or could the increased close encounters with UFOs-- which would persist through the next century-- be a sign that we were in danger of going too far? A very common idea that we have today is that, as we develop technologically, we're going to see an increase in UFO phenomena-- that UFOs are basically monitoring us.
Decades ago, we saw a lot of UFO activity around air bases, around atomic bases and also UFOs following airplanes and maybe following our aircraft.
I would say that certainly, as we keep developing, we will continue to see that monitoring aspect to the UFOs.
Especially as we continue going to space, we're going to continue seeing more UFO activity.
Whether it's for our benefit or not, that's hard to say.
Our history, the history of human beings on planet Earth-- whether we ourselves are the aliens seeded from another planet or that the aliens created us, as the stories of the Anunnaki say-- regardless, it may be that human beings are being directed toward a certain end.
In the 20th century, the inhabitants of planet Earth were capable of blasting off and touching the stars.
We were also capable of harnessing the atom Fire.
and using it to inflict the deadliest of devastations.
We would send satellites into orbit, land on the Moon and reach Mars.
But what would we find? A barren, empty universe of dead planets or something else? In the 1960s, mainstream scientists were already exploring the question of whether or not we're alone in the universe.
And there was only a handful of scientists who actually proposed the idea that, yes, there are other civilizations out there.
Now fast-forward 50 years.
You'd be very hard-pressed to find any scientist today saying that we're alone in the universe.
What we're coming up to now, in the 21st century, is going to be a redefinition.
Our entire history may have to be revised, in the context of nonhuman intelligences coming and going.
And what else is out there in this incredible universe of which we humans are a part? Perhaps the dawn of the space age was a signal to whatever or whoever was out there that, after centuries of writing on cave walls, building temples and mapping the skies, the inhabitants of planet Earth were at last ready.
Ready for their return.

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