Ancient Aliens s04e08 Episode Script

The Da Vinci Conspiracy

Amazing inventions centuries ahead of their time.
The helicopter, the airplane, the submarine, all of these were Leonardo da Vinci's concepts.
Paintings said to contain hidden messages.
It is only a portrait, and yet it seems to have dimensions and mysteries that have yet to be explained.
And sophisticated robots designed more than five centuries ago.
People would never have seen something like this that was able to move on its own.
Leonardo da Vinci is considered one of the most brilliant minds the world has ever known.
But what was the source of his profound intellect? He was absolutely immersed in finding out, maybe even proving, that we were not alone.
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 if so, might there have been a secret extraterrestrial connection to Leonardo da Vinci and other artists of his time? Four, three, two, onezero February 24, 2011, embarking on its final voyage, Space Shuttle Discovery docks with the International Space Station.
to deliver the most advanced model in robotic engineering to date, Robonaut 2.
But believe it or not, this masterpiece of modern technology is the latest in a line of humanoid robots whose design is based on illustrations created more than 500 years ago by Leonardo da Vinci.
When you look at Robonaut 2, you can trace his lineage back to Leonardo da Vinci.
The basic design and structure and ideas you can see in what Leonardo was working on.
They're like three-dimensional blueprints.
You could virtually create a human being from these, which is essentially what the NASA engineers did.
Leonardo holds the position as the greatest human genius that we know of.
Leonardo is somebody who is able to operate across all these various fields, which is very unusual.
He was trained as a painter, a sculptor, but he manages to move into geometry, optics, mechanical design, anatomy, geology, and so on, and in each of these, he has extraordinary insight.
So, if you're wanting to talk about a universal genius, which is a very Renaissance idea, then Leonardo is the definition of that.
Leonardo da Vinci's work, covering a staggering range of disciplines, is still influencing science, technology, medicine, art, and numerous other fields nearly half a millennium after his death, but just who was Leonardo da Vinci? Was he simply a man of profound intellect and imagination? Or is there, perhaps, something more to his genius? Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was born just outside Florence in Vinci, Italy, on April 15, 1452.
He lived during the height of the Italian Renaissance, an era marked by great artistic and scientific achievement and a universal quest for knowledge.
Renaissance is French for "rebirth," and it saw itself as giving birth again to the values that they somewhat romantically attributed to the classical past, to Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.
And they see the thousand years that have passed between Rome and the rise of the Renaissance as a dark age, and they want to bring the light of humanism back to the world with intellectual and artistic innovation.
Florence was larger than London, larger than Paris, larger than Rome at the time Leonardo lived there.
All these bright people had gathered.
But while the Renaissance is considered an age of enlightenment, it was also a time fiercely dominated by the Roman Catholic Church.
When we come to the Renaissance, the Church is pretty much running everything, so every artist, pretty much anybody who can read and write is either in the monastic system of the Church, and of course, the Church is the main patron for all the different artists in the Renaissance.
At a time when everything was subject to the scrutiny of the Church, a young Leonardo da Vinci accepted one of his earliest artistic assignments-- the illustration of a wooden shield with a likeness of the mythical Greek monster, Medusa, a Gorgon whose head was literally covered with live snakes.
Leonardo drew the Medusa so frightening that his father believed that he was actually looking at live snakes.
But why, when the most prominent artists of his day were painting images from the Judeo-Christian Bible, would Leonardo have chosen to depict a mythical Greek monster, one that many ancient astronaut theorists believe may have been based on an extraterrestrial creature? When we compare him to modern geniuses, we know, for example, that these beings were absolutely interested in the idea that we were not alone in the universe, that somehow we had been contacted by extraterrestrial beings.
Leonardo da Vinci is a person who believed in the existence of extraterrestrial beings.
While still a teenager, Leonardo earned an apprenticeship with one of the most renowned artists of the time, Andrea del Verrocchio, and it is widely considered that their most notable collaboration during this period was The Annunciation, a scene depicting the moment when the Virgin Mary is informed that she will soon be made pregnant with God's child.
Verrocchio seems to have begun the picture and begun it in a traditional medium of egg tempera, which is an egg binder for the pigments, and at some point, Leonardo intervened and finished the picture, and he painted an angel.
In 1989, experts in Florence performed an extensive examination of The Annunciation to verify if the angel in the painting was truly the work of Leonardo.
After close expert and scientific inspection, it was concluded that it was undoubtedly the artist's work, but they also discovered something strange and unexpected.
When subjected to X rays, Leonardo's angel became invisible.
Verrocchio used a lead-based paint for at least parts of his Virgin Mary.
Leonardo, on the other hand, seems to have used, uh, rather different pigments.
Leonardo completed it using a non-lead-based paint, which is why, when looked at with certain X-ray technology, Leonardo's angel disappears.
Now, why would Leonardo, being the apprentice, finish his mentor's work with a different type of paint? And one possibility is that he was leaving some type of message because he was notorious for hiding things inside his own paintings.
Might Leonardo da Vinci really have painted the angel knowing he would be creating a secret message that wouldn't be discovered for 500 years? And if so, why? Some believe the answer may be found by examining the next phase of the legendary artist's life.
From the years of 1476 to 1478, there is a gap in his life.
We don't really know where he was or what he was doing in those years.
There are years in which he disappears from the historical account.
There is a hiatus, and we don't know even what town he was living in, much less with whom he was working or what he was doing.
What could account for a man of Leonardo da Vinci's stature literally disappearing from all known historical records, especially when it was precisely during this period when he was just beginning to come into prominence? One possible scenario here is that during those years, Leonardo da Vinci was, in a sense, tutored by some special individuals; people who were showing him things that a normal person wouldn't necessarily have seen.
Perhaps like the biblical prophet Enoch, he was even taken aboard a spaceship, and the aliens showed him Earth from above and gave him a concept of the cosmos and machines and inventions and of Earth that no one before him had ever had.
Is it really possible that Leonardo da Vinci had received guidance from extraterrestrial beings, as many ancient astronaut theorists contend? that after Leonardo's return to Florence in a whole new level, going beyond art and extending to numerous other disciplines.
He would produce aerial maps of Italian cities with incredible accuracy.
He would design and build the world's first self-propelled vehicle.
And he would invent machines years and even centuries ahead of their time.
There are some people that think that maybe there's an extraterrestrial influence to what he knew, because you have people throughout history who would magically, mysteriously come along every few hundred years or so, that then contribute to the fantastic advancements to the human race and the human species.
What was the secret behind Leonardo da Vinci's incredible burst of creativity? And why-- during the age which gave rise to the likes of Copernicus, Michelangelo and Shakespeare-- did da Vinci tower above his contemporaries? Ancient astronaut theorists believe answers may be found by examining Leonardo's paintings and the many secret messages that can be found hidden within his famous works of art.
The Vatican.
Set within the fortified walls of a 110-acre plot of land and surrounded by the city of Rome, it is the smallest independent nation state in the world.
And it was here from 1513 to began performing an act that-- during the time-- was a crime punishable by death: the dissection of human corpses.
Leonardo was brought from Milan to the Vatican to paint.
But because the Vatican had these great catacombic depths, they were very cool places, and so you could dissect a body without losing it to decomposition.
A number of autopsies we know were performed in the Vatican under the nose of the Pope, who-- policy of the Catholic Church-- was to forbid that.
Da Vinci stops at nothing to find out about the human body.
He buys dead bodies even though there is a penalty of death on doing the things he is doing.
It's like he cannot stop himself.
He needs to know.
Da Vinci has this extraordinary drive to know and understand despite the fact that it might kill him.
In his 36 months at the Vatican, Leonardo da Vinci documented dozens of dissections with incredible detail.
But to keep his work secret, his notes on human anatomy were recorded in code using a device known as mirror writing.
We know from early in his life Leonardo adopted mirror writing.
At a later point in his career it also served his purposes.
Mirror writing is writing backwards.
Why did Leonardo do it? He wrote backwards so prying eyes couldn't see what he was writing.
He realized that the things that he was working on, including various inventions and even anatomy, were something that the Church would not approve of.
So he had to do these things, uh, in secret, and he knew that it was dangerous.
Da Vinci implemented mirror writing in all of his creations and he most certainly was not playing games when he did this.
It was in order to preserve the knowledge that he had gained from the uneducated masses.
But why was Da Vinci so obsessed with the workings of the human body? What secret and forbidden knowledge was he trying to uncover or reveal? Florence, Italy, 1503.
Leonardo da Vinci begins work on a portrait commissioned by a wealthy silk merchant for his wife, but it is a painting he will never part with, obsessing over every detail for what would be the last 16 years of his life-- the Mona Lisa.
It is only a portrait and yet it seems to have dimensions and mysteries that have yet to be explained.
The Mona Lisa's smile is not the kind of smile that we tend to see in portraits.
She seems to know something that we don't.
What starts as a portrait, a representation of a woman, turns into something quite different.
It turns into a kind of philosophical meditation on all his intellectual concerns.
What was it about the Mona Lisa that would so consume the final years of Leonardo da Vinci's life? And why would he dedicate so much of his time to a single There are a lot of theories that Leonardo has secret symbols and secret messages in his paintings.
Everything he's doing he's rethinking even traditional subjects in the very beginning and really imagining them in new and creative ways.
All his life Leonardo da Vinci incorporated a technique called mirror writing.
Is it possible that he also used a similar technique in his artwork, leaving hidden messages that can only be revealed with the use of mirrors? The mirror writing is something which defines him.
And so, the possibility that he was also using the mirror as an unknown dimension whereby he needs to have the mirror to see certain things within his paintings is definitely something which I think we need to explore.
At Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, graphic designer Terrence Masson uses computer technology to search for hidden messages in Leonardo's masterworks.
We know that he was insatiably curious about reflections and refractions and optics and the human anatomy of the eye, and how that mirrored reflections of conical-shaped mirrors.
Is it possible that Leonardo applied his mirror technique to hide secret messages in the Mona Lisa? But if so, why? Here's our classic Mona Lisa.
Leonardo's portraiture always has very dramatic hand positioning.
His hand position was a clue to the access points of rotation of the mirror.
So if we try this, what will we see? Is this helmet-shaped creature simply the product of a parlor trick? If so, then why can a similar creature be seen in another famous painting by da Vinci: Virgin and Child with St.
Anne? Well, this painting-- Virgin of the Rocks-- we always notice the dramatic hand poses of Leonardo.
Is that giving us a hint about where to put the reflective plane? So, we're in a 3-D environment here.
We can do anything we want.
We just make a little duplicate.
That's a little spooky.
So, interesting similarity to what we did with the Mona Lisa, right? We've got something close to modern understanding of alien heads.
Could there really be hidden messages in Leonardo da Vinci's paintings? Messages that reveal the artist's connection to otherworldly beings? And why was the artist so obsessed with dissecting the human form? Was it for purposes of his art? Or was there another, more extraterrestrial reason? Perhaps the answer can be found by examining the work of other artists during the Renaissance.
London, England.
Housed here, in the British Library, is Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Arundel, a collection of inventions, thoughts and writings covering numerous scientific and creative disciplines.
Leonardo is quite well-documented compared with most artists of the time.
We've got thousands and thousands of pages of writing, which tell us a lot about what he's thinking about, but there's almost no personal record, interestingly.
Leonardo is quite a private figure in that respect.
Found among Leonardo's papers were a few personal anecdotes, composed just after his two-year disappearance between 1476 and 1478.
In one account, the artist details his youthful adventure encountering a vast, mysterious cave.
He describes being on the edge of this dark cave, and saying that he felt terrified by the darkness of that cave and what might be within it.
On the other hand, he felt a certain desire to try to understand what was in there.
Some have speculated that this incident occurred around the same time in his childhood as when he fashioned his famous shield with the head of the monstrous Medusa on it.
So the question is, what exactly did Leonardo find in this cave? We can assume that this was a very significant event in his life, because it made a strong enough impression on him to write it down as one of the few autobiographical notes he ever made.
Why did Leonardo da Vinci, a man who wrote almost nothing of his personal life, choose to write about this cave as one of the first entries in his journal? And why was his experience with the cave so important to him? Some ancient astronaut theorists believe that several of the artist's paintings and drawings provide evidence that da Vinci may have had an extraterrestrial encounter.
One of the things that we see in the grotesque heads is a fairly marked departure from the natural appearance of the human body, the human face, even in its most extreme manifestation.
Visually, the works are so compelling.
They're often slightly creepy.
They've got this very strange presence to them.
They are misshapen faces, elongated skulls, flattened faces.
Very eerie, troubling, monstrous images.
Now this is an artist known for careful, realistic depiction of what he was looking at, which raises the question-- what in the world was he looking at? Did he actually encounter creatures that looked like this? They're very, very strange.
Are Leonardo's grotesque heads simply products of the artist's creative imagination? Or might they be evidence of Da Vinci's encounters with otherworldly beings? According to historical records, there were, during the Renaissance, a large number of unexplained phenomena seen in the skies over parts of Europe and Asia.
During the siege of Constantinople in 1453, soldiers reported that a fire descended on them from the sky.
In 1458, a giant moon-like disc was seen soaring above the landscape in Japan.
And in 1492, during Christopher Columbus' epic journey across the Atlantic, weird lights were seen floating above the ocean.
Just before Christopher Columbus reaches the New World, he sees anomalous lights in the sky, and he reports them.
People see them from his ship.
These lights cannot be explained.
Some ancient UFO was seemingly guiding Columbus' ships to the New World.
So here we may well have ancient aliens making sure that Columbus would do something so important as discovering the New World.
Might Leonardo da Vinci have been aware of these early UFO sightings? Ancient astronaut theorists believe the answer is a profound yes.
And point to even greater evidence that can be found by studying the works of other Renaissance artists.
In the Renaissance period, what we see is this extraordinary explosion of paintings which show anomalies in the background, anomalies which today we identify as UFOs.
There are paintings that depict something very odd in the sky, depictions of UFOs, of strange orbs, or rays coming out of the sky, or falling stars with people sitting inside of them.
Why would 15th century artists depict mysterious objects in paintings of biblical scenes? Were they trying to communicate something about the origin of Christianity? Or could these otherworldly images be linked to the numerous sightings of bizarre flying objects in the sky? At Northeastern University, researcher Terrence Masson examines the strange images found in Renaissance paintings.
One specific example, The Baptism of Christ by Gelder, is just bizarre.
So many other examples can be explained by different iconography, graphic representations of angels in clouds and lights, but if you look at this painting, it's just a solid, shiny disk with four laser beams shining down at the Christ child.
A specific example is The Madonna with Saint Giovannino.
You look at this, and it's not one of those that is easily explained away as being a literal interpretation of an angel in the cloud, for instance.
So, the striking feature of this is what is that, exactly, in the sky? See if I can get a little close.
Zoom in.
And we can see it's clearly something.
It's not a mistake.
It's not a blemish.
It was obviously painted there.
You can see the brushstrokes, uh, even more so now that the composition of the painting shows our shepherd shielding his eyes.
It's definitely not an angel or a cloud.
Something is flying, and it's unidentified, so when pressed, we have a 16th century painting of a UFO.
It's as if the painter is trying to depict some divine messenger, and those depictions, apparently, are of UFOs, and here we have the Renaissance painters, basically, bringing us Jesus and a UFO together in the same painting.
During the Renaissance, people like Da Vinci may well have had knowledge of extraterrestrials.
Might the mysterious images in Renaissance paintings be evidence that Leonardo and his contemporaries had encounters with extraterrestrial beings during the 15th century? For the answer, ancient astronaut theorists turn not to Da Vinci's artwork but to his incredible inventions.
The Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter.
This four-blade, twin-engine attack aircraft has a top speed of 192 miles per hour and can reach heights of 21,000 feet.
It is also able to fly just a few feet above the ground in an effort to avoid radar detection.
But even more amazing than this modern-day aerial marvel is the fact that its construction may have never been possible without the designs for vertical flight first drawn up by Leonardo da Vinci nearly 500 years ago.
The helicopter, the airplane, the submarine, all of these were Leonardo da Vinci's concepts.
He invented all of the modern weapons that we're actually using today.
If we had developed the various ideas, concepts, and scientific discoveries of Leonardo da Vinci, there is an argument to be made that we, possibly, could have landed somebody on the moon in about the 1800s.
He was 500 years before his time, and many of his devices could not have been constructed during his time.
They didn't have the technology.
One design of Leonardo's that the inventor was actually able to realize during the world's first fully functional robot.
In 1517, at the famous Chateau du Clos Lucé in Amboise, France, presented King Francis I with a gift in the form of a full-sized mechanical lion.
Like the replica that exists today in the château museum, the mechanical lion could move independently and was able to display amazing dexterity.
From the accounts that we have of Leonardo's lion, we know that it moved across the floor on its own power.
The vast majority of people who were watching this presentation to the king would probably have encountered the mechanical lion with fear because, in their experience, they would never have seen, uh, something like this that was able to move on its own.
But how did Da Vinci even conceive of such an elaborate and sophisticated device? One that wouldn't be duplicated for another 300 years? He was challenged by the engineering.
How do I get a robot to walk? Even if it's a lion robot, and even if he didn't use the word robot, he did create a functioning robot.
For Leonardo to take those ideas in his drawings and literally be able to project their use in the future is just remarkable.
He's given credit for all mechanical and robot ideas that we know today.
Here, at the Leonardo da Vinci Machines Exhibition in St.
Louis, Missouri, Italian artists and engineers have painstakingly recreated over 60 of Leonardo's inventions.
This is the first tank we know of.
Leonardo da Vinci had the idea for the 360 degree firepower.
It was originally designed for horses, but the horses became spooked so easily that he quickly designed it to the human being.
At the time that is was presented, the tank was a bit impractical, and it was not built until centuries later.
This is Leonardo da Vinci's underwater breathing apparatus.
Leonardo theorized that you did not want to exhale into the air that you were inhaling.
He had the idea for carbon dioxide, and he brought down another tube that you could exhale into that tube, only receiving fresh air from the surface.
He invented the air compressor.
Somebody on shore or on a boat could press down and force the air through the tube to the helmet, allow the person to breathe.
When the British replicated the Leonardo design, it worked.
But of all Leonardo da Vinci's incredible inventions, perhaps the most impressive are those involving aircraft technology.
Nearly 400 years before the Wright brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the 15th century inventor had designed numerous flying machines, including a hang glider and an aircraft that operated like a modern-day helicopter.
This is Leonardo da Vinci's famous air screw, and this is the first attempt that we know of for vertical flight.
This was designed to have four human beings run around in a circle, providing power, literally screwing it up into the air.
The air screw resembles our modern-day helicopters.
Leonardo needed to know answers to some of the big questions, which the ancient alien question has as well-- the question of flight.
There is no question in my mind that a person like Leonardo da Vinci most certainly asked himself the are we alone in the universe? And his conclusion even no.
What was the source of Leonardo da Vinci's incredible and prophetic inventions? Were they the product of his immense genius, or is it possible, as ancient astronaut theorists believe, that Leonardo had been influenced by an otherworldly intelligence-- an intelligence he encountered in the past or one that he possessed from within? The North Apennines, Italy.
Here, in the mountains just outside Florence, a young Leonardo da Vinci spent much of his time examining the mysteries of nature.
Because his parents were not married, he was excluded from the prestigious academies attended by many of his contemporaries.
In Florence the Platonic Academy is reformed and this institute of learning comes about.
Now, we know that Leonardo da Vinci is not allowed to enter this academy.
This is a young man who is pretty much left on his own in some ways for up to 19 years, traveling around the countryside.
He was looking at rocks.
He was studying birds.
He was looking at the flow of water.
He was studying mountains.
He was literally immersed in nature.
No other artist in the Renaissance really showed that much interest in the natural world and the surrounding world.
He strives for knowledge.
He strives for information.
He is able to create a body of knowledge which is on par with the body of information which the Platonic Academy, as a group of beings, is able to put out.
It was also in the North Apennines Mountains that Leonardo is believed to have discovered the cave that he wrote about in his journal.
The story of the cave-- it's very likely that it happened around 1480, since it appears that that's the moment at which this is written in the codex.
The fact that Leonardo chooses to record this encounter with the cave, I think, indicates that it had a significant impact on the artist psychologically.
But although the exact location of the cave-- and the date Leonardo discovered it-- remains unknown, there are many who believe that it may provide the key to understanding the source of the artist's incredible genius and the answer to the mystery of what happened to him during his missing two years.
He goes inside the cave and then he disappears, and it suggests to me time travel portals.
He's opening portals or star gates and beaming to either the past or the future and then returning to the present time.
In history you have certain people like Leonardo da Vinci, whose genius is just so incredible and the visions that they have-- in many ways it's like they are able to see the future and they're not going to just influence the world then, but what they're going to do is going to dramatically change the world forever, and you have to wonder where people get this kind of inspiration, and in the case of Leonardo he was able to see things and invent them, in a sense things that we weren't going to have for hundreds of years.
Is it really possible that Leonardo da Vinci may have obtained his incredible creative and scientific knowledge as the direct result of an extraterrestrial encounter, or might Leonardo have fallen through a time portal-- one which allowed him to actually visit the future-- a future where robots, helicopters, military weapons, and other amazing machines actually existed and which the artist would later try to duplicate? Some ancient astronaut theorists believe the answer can be traced back to work he did on The Annunciation and the significance of his so-called "disappearing angel.
" Leonardo and Verrocchio's Annunciation portrays the moment at which the Angel Gabriel has arrived and is telling the Virgin Mary that she is pregnant with the Son of God.
What some scholars have speculated is that by painting the angel in The Annunciation so that it disappears under X ray, he is telling us that, like Gabriel, he is the messenger, and then with his next painting we're told that this great gift to mankind has arrived, and Leonardo da Vinci's contributions to mankind are truly a gift to the world.
You have to wonder if Leonardo wasn't doing this because he was being encouraged in secret by some kind of extraterrestrial masters who were somehow behind him.
Might Leonardo da Vinci, the man many have called the greatest genius who ever lived, have been chosen by extraterrestrial beings to accelerate the advancement of the human race, or was he merely trying to communicate the incredible future inventions he had witnessed firsthand? Without doubt the most influential personality of the first millennium was Jesus.
Now, you go to the second millennium and I believe Leonardo is the most important, dominant personality, made the most contributions in the most areas during those thousand years.
Wherever we look in ancient times we find that the genius was always identified with superhero, divine qualities.
Even today we put geniuses on a separate pedestal and almost worship them.
And this is really something throughout mankind's history.
where does this come from? And whenever you look into mythology, you'll also find that the geniuses were the ones who were created by the gods.
Genius and divine go hand in hand.
Leonardo da Vinci-- the man who created some of the most famous artwork in the world, designed machines 500 years ahead of their time, and laid the groundwork for today's advanced robotics.
Was he a time traveler-- a man who, by accident, was provided a glimpse into the future-- or was he chosen to serve an unknown agenda-- a human messenger who conspired to keep a secret pact with extraterrestrial beings? Perhaps the answer lies not in space but right before our eyes, hidden in plain sight within the smile of a 500-year-old portrait.

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