Ancient Aliens s08e09 Episode Script

Aliens & Superheroes

Super strength.
He's a normal guy, he becomes incredibly powerful.
Super speed.
He had very advanced capabilities.
And supernatural abilities.
Suddenly he's a god with godlike powers.
Throughout history, humans have told tales of beings with incredible powers.
But could these ancient stories that continue to be retold today have extraterrestrial origins? There's an intuitive knowing that these stories are true, that beings did come from other planets to save humankind.
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, could there be a connection between aliens and today's superheroes? X-ray vision.
Incredible strength.
The power of flight.
These are just a few of the superhuman abilities of modern day comic book heroes.
But stories of beings with extraordinary powers have been told throughout history, dating all the way back to ancient times.
The most famous are those involving the Greek gods known as the Olympians.
These powerful beings could create earthquakes, become invisible, and even harness lightning.
But there is an important difference between the Olympians and the fictional superheroes of today.
The ancient Greeks believed that the Olympians were real.
A huge difference between the ancient world and the modern world is we have developed this this very strict sense of real and not real, which really didn't matter so much back then.
The ancients believed that these heroes had been there, that they were real people.
We're always looking at mythology as a basis for our storytelling.
A character like Wonder Woman is immediately established in Greek mythology.
She's built on the story of the Amazons; there's Hercules, there's Zeus; the Olympian gods play every aspect of who she is.
Could it be that today's superheroes trace their origins back to the ancient gods? And if the people who worshipped these gods believed them to be real, is it possible they actually were? Perhaps the answer can be found by more closely examining the stories of gods and heroes in the ancient world.
The Dikteon Cave on the Greek island of Crete is believed by some scholars to fit the location and description given by the eighth century BC poet Hesiod for the childhood home of Zeus, the leader of the Olympians.
Archaeologists have found remains of religious offerings here that date back 4,000 years to the exact period when the stories of the Olympians took place.
But could the ancient Greeks have left these offerings to a powerful being they actually witnessed with their own eyes? We have these stories of these gods that had these supernatural, magical powers.
Let's be honest magical, supernatural powers don't really exist.
So what was it that was described? In my opinion, it was people who had access to advanced technology.
There's an old saying one man's magic is another man's engineering.
Magic is just some knowledge we don't understand.
It is, therefore, super or above our understanding.
It is transcendent, that's what "super" implies.
Ancient astronaut theorists believe the notion that our ancestors actually witnessed advanced technology is supported by the fact that similar stories of godlike beings can be found on every continent.
Historian and author Joseph Campbell found that even cultures that had never had contact with the outside world developed similar hero stories.
So the fact that we have all these similar hero stories from all around the world, from different types of ancient cultures, to me suggests that they were visited by the same teachers.
The myths came from ancient oral culture.
We don't know when, but you can see almost identical gods showing up in ancient India, ancient Greece, and ancient Norway, so it was a long time ago before these people started to spread out.
The power of flight, magical objects, which allow the superhero to always be victorious.
Talismans that allow the superhero to change from an ordinary human being to somebody who can access those magical powers.
Those are part of a number of different stories of superheroes that really span time and culture.
But what ancient astronaut theorists find most intriguing is how remarkably similar the tales of ancient heroes are to the superhero stories of today.
It's fascinating to me when you look at the Superman stories and how Superman has come from this other planet, one that exploded.
He comes here with superpowers.
He can fly through the air, and it's very much like the ancient Sumerian stories and Hindu stories of these extraterrestrial gods coming from other planets to Earth in order to help us and move our planet forward.
Even the iconic "S" on Superman's chest seems to have been adapted from legends told thousands of years ago.
Heroes and gods from ancient Greek, Buddhist, and Christian religions are portrayed with symbols near their heart.
In Christian art, you will see Jesus wearing a glowing robe with a glowing heart.
So, we see this correspondence here of this imagery of an archetypal figure or a savior figure.
Today, almost every superhero has an icon on his chest.
Could this be inspired by some piece of technology our ancestors witnessed on an alien being like the arc reactor on Iron Man's chest that powers his suit? And might these similarities mean the stories of Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man are based on our ancestors' experiences with extraterrestrials? These are things that are common and symbolic throughout these stories, and they, to me, imply that we're talking about similar figures or figures that are here for the same reason.
And that is to advance us forward.
What we may be seeing is the reason why Superman may resonate so much with us is not just because we've heard the story before in other forms.
But because our ancient ancestors actually experienced this story in a very, very real way.
In a very, very ancient time.
Is it possible that the reason we continue to be fascinated by superheroes today is that we're trying to reconnect with similar beings that lived among us thousands of years ago? It is possible some deep part of us, perhaps in our DNA or genetic memory, is remembering that there was a time in which the gods, the extraterrestrials, did interact with us.
And that may be because, in the past, there were beings who were more advanced than we here on Earth were, who were protecting us from others who were very dangerous and harmful.
There's an intuitive knowing that these stories are true; that these events actually happened; that beings did come from other planets, other worlds to save humankind.
Could our modern stories of superheroes really be inspired by encounters that early humans had with extraterrestrial beings? Perhaps further clues can be found by examining mankind's earliest stories, in which super beings waged war not against humans, but against supervillains.
May 4, 2012.
The Avengers opens in theaters across America.
This blockbuster film chronicles six superheroes who band together to battle extraterrestrial forces of evil.
Powerful superheroes have been popular in comic books and movies for over half a century and nearly all have one very dark and forbidding feature in common: supervillains.
The arch-nemesis really defines the hero.
You can see how whatever is most interesting or powerful about the hero, the best villains are the opposite.
The archvillain is psychologically very powerful, because there's an echo of that archetype that's not just "me versus danger and chaos," but sort of "us versus them.
" Stories of superheroes fighting supervillains, with the fate of the world at stake are common across many different cultures and time periods.
In the modern Avengers pantheon, Thor does battle with his evil adoptive brother, Loki, to prevent Loki from taking over the universe.
The story is inspired by ancient Norse mythology, where Thor engages in a similar battle with Loki and his children at Ragnarok.
The Greeks had their own epic battle of the gods, which they believed created the world as we know it.
The Titanomachy was a conflict between the Titans, who ruled the world, and an upstart group of gods called the Olympians.
Psychologists say these tales of good facing off against evil have always been popular because they allow people to project their hopes and fears onto fictional characters in make-believe worlds.
But could there be another reason that these stories are told again and again around the world? Joseph Campbell concluded that somehow these hero myths had pervaded all cultures.
And you have to wonder if this isn't because extraterrestrials came here to our planet and were heroes all over the world, and so the same story was repeated over and over again.
Is it possible that some of our ancient hero myths recount specific events involving extraterrestrial visitors in the distant past? Ancient astronaut theorists say yes and, as evidence, cite a Sanskrit epic that describes an enormous war between gods that came from the stars.
In old India, we have a clear description in the Mahabharata which is the fifth book, the so-called Mausala Parva a clear description of a war in Heaven.
I mean, it reads like modern-day science fiction, this incredible battle between the gods.
Gigantic cities were said to have orbited the earth.
And when they came together at the firmament, they were battling each other.
The city Dvaraka was right at the edge of the Arabian Sea.
Some of the explosion split the city and then half of the city fell in the sea.
And it is described how two of these cities were destroyed, cities on Heaven.
And for the people on Earth, it looked as if ten thousands of little stars would fall down.
They are describing what are extraterrestrial gods with superpowers, with airships, with weapons, and it would seem that these ancient epic stories are the same as these superhero stories that we're hearing today.
Could it be that modern stories, in which superheroes battle archvillains for dominance over the earth, are actually based on ancient wars between extraterrestrial forces? Perhaps further clues can be found in the Babylonian and Sumerian origin myths.
According to modern interpretations of the cuneiform writing, the Enuma Elish describes a celestial battle some 5,000 years ago between two groups of gods that may have actually resulted in the destruction of a planet in our solar system.
Sumerian texts make mysterious references to these other planets called Marduk and Tiamat.
And within our solar system, there was some destruction here, where one of them blew up, and this would be the theoretical planet that was between Mars and Jupiter.
Astronomers have often said that there should be a planet there, but instead, we have the asteroid belt.
Could the asteroid belt that circles the sun between Mars and Jupiter really be the remnants of a planet that existed in the distant past a planet that was destroyed in an alien war? And if so, are these ancient events echoed today in the plots of modern superhero stories? In many ways, these stories, which are so familiar to us in TV and movies and comic books, are really coming to us from these ancient Sumerian and Hindu texts that are thousands of years old.
Good versus evil is a longstanding theme that we see in many ancient cultures, in which supernatural or extraterrestrial beings are coming to our aid and helping us against the greatest evil the world has ever known.
Modern stories of superheroes fighting supervillains, based on real extraterrestrial battles that took place above the earth thousands of years ago.
Could it be true? Ancient astronaut theorists believe the answer may be found not with the stories of the gods themselves, but with their technology.
Lemnos, Greece.
This island in the Aegean Sea is said to be the home of Hephaestus, the Greek god of technology.
The son of Zeus and Hera, king and queen of the gods, Hephaestus grew up on Mount Olympus, but he was a small and physically deformed child.
Unhappy with her son's physical problems, one Greek legend says Hera threw him off the mountain.
He fell for nine days and nine nights and landed in the ocean.
There he was rescued by sea nymphs who took him to the island of Lemnos.
Hephaestus became the blacksmith of the gods and he set up his forge on the island of Lemnos, and volcanoes were said to be entrances to his forge.
Working underneath an active volcano, Hephaestus is said to have forged magical objects.
He eventually created the armor, weapons and other technology used by the Greek gods and heroes.
Hephaestus is the god of the great forge and he is the builder.
He creates the armor that is impenetrable for Achilles.
He creates chariots.
Magical spears, magical breastplates and so forth, which gave the gods all sorts of miraculous powers.
He's even said to have made the chariot that the god Helios, the god of the sun, rode across the skies.
Some myths describe Hephaestus creating even more fantastic devices, including a bronze bull that breathed fire and is said to have had voices coming out of its nostrils and a powerful robot named Talus that defended the island of Crete.
He made all these wondrous creations.
And when we look back at those stories, we have to ask, "Is it possible that Hephaestus was an extraterrestrial being who brought some advanced extraterrestrial technology to Earth?" Our ancestors had no experience with advanced technology, so they would have described alien visitors as having superhuman powers because of their frame of reference.
If they saw an extraterrestrial with access to incredible "powers," which are due to advanced science, they interpreted that as witnessing God.
And that was never the case.
Magical weapons have been a key feature of heroic myths for thousands of years, but they play an even larger role in the stories of modern superheroes.
With new Superman comic books flying off the shelves, publishers rush to develop more heroes to satisfy the public's demand.
The one that makes the biggest impression is a hero of modern technology Batman.
Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, the Caped Crusader leaps onto the comic book page and immediately into the pantheon of pop culture gods.
The idea of Batman is that he is a normal person.
Nothing has given him super strength.
But he's a normal person who depends on his technology.
He has a utility belt with all kinds of modern gadgets.
And he has a Batmobile, and he has a Batcopter.
So he is a technological superhero in that sense.
Batman, for us, is probably one of the most identifiable characters we have with all of our fans, with all of our audience.
Because he's a human.
He doesn't do something that pushes the imagination beyond something that we don't believe people can actually do.
In 1963, the comics gave birth to another iconic character that is completely dependent on science for his superpowers Iron Man.
In the Iron Man story, there's this incredible suit that can make him virtually into a superman even though he's, he's a mortal.
This is a a great melding of the human-machine interface.
This is how we use technology to do extraordinary things.
Are Batman and Iron Man modern representations of what ancient astronaut theorists believe the ancient gods really were mortal beings with advanced technology? We see a similarity with modern-day superheroes in some of the ancient texts of a god who wears a special ring or holds a certain staff and can magically become a creature of flight or can fly a magic carpet.
Many of the superheroes that we have today are just normal human beings.
But when they strap on their technology, like Batman in his super suit or Iron Man in his flying capabilities, well, these are just normal mortals that are using advanced technology and become superhuman or godlike.
Could modern-day superheroes like Batman and Iron Man be the true realization of what our ancestors were describing when they wrote about powerful gods and heroes? Was Hercules' great strength the result of a robotic exoskeleton? Could Hermes' power of flight have been inspired by something like a modern jet pack or gliding suit? And could Zeus' lightning bolts have used electrical coils to generate extraordinarily large voltages? The ancient people simply used the vernacular of the time to express what they were seeing, and as far as they were concerned, this could only be the work of a supreme being.
Superhumans using advanced technology.
Gods at war.
And extraterrestrials coming from the heavens.
Could these ancient tales really be evidence of an otherworldly presence on Earth? Perhaps further clues can be found in the stories of superheroes hiding in plain sight.
July 3, 2007.
After spending decades as larger-than-life toys and animated television characters, the Transformers hit the big screen with the American premiere of their first feature film.
The extraterrestrial storyline is a familiar one.
The Transformers, in a way, are m mechanical versions of Superman.
They come from another planet.
They can adapt to being here.
And then, as in a lot of Superman stories, the enemy is from that planet.
There's some evil that follows them, that chases them down.
So, they're having this ancient battle from their homeland, but they're having it here.
Unlike Batman or Iron Man, the Transformers aren't humanoids that use technology.
They actually are technology.
But the most remarkable power the Transformers use against their foes is one of the most important in all of heroic myth.
The ability to change from ordinary beings into superheroes when evil threatens.
It's the archetype of metamorphosis or transformation.
Shape-shifting, if you will.
This comes down to us from the ancient mythologies.
Shape-shifting allows gods to interact with humans in a way that they would not otherwise be recognized.
In fact, often times the god or goddess cannot appear to the mortal in their full splendor because such a thing would actually kill the mortal.
Ancient astronaut theorists suggest that stories of gods living anonymously among us are common because they describe a time when extraterrestrials did just that.
As evidence, they cite an ancient story they believe bears an uncanny resemblance to the Transformers' shape-shifting myth.
A story about the Mayan god Kukulkan who is portrayed both as a flying serpent and a man.
We have descriptions of a winged serpent that flew over our ancestors' heads.
But at the same time, we also know that Kukulkan was also someone that gave instructions to the people in pretty much humanoid form.
So does that mean that Kukulkan was, in fact, a shape-shifter? Ancient astronaut theorists propose another possibility.
They contend that perhaps the ancient people, being unfamiliar with advanced technology, witnessed an alien being in a spacecraft.
Imagine for a moment a craft lands, a hatch opens and then the pilot walks out and gives instruction.
There isn't really a differentiation between the machine and the person coming out of it, because they didn't understand the technological concept behind it.
The instructor then went back into the craft and took off.
All of a sudden, Kukulkan becomes this winged serpent that flies across the sky.
Is it possible that this scenario may have actually played out in the distant past? And if so, did it inspire the shape-shifting myths that humans have told for millennia? We have the same stories, the core of the stories, worldwide in most of the mythologies.
They are all linked together.
They had different names, were different heroes, different personalities, but at the end, it was all the same extraterrestrials having contact with the humans some thousands and thousands of years ago.
But could there be an even deeper meaning behind the tales of otherworldly heroes like the Transformers and Kukulkan hiding among us? Perhaps further clues can be found by examining the stories of godlike beings disguising themselves as ordinary humans.
Superman hides his identity by pretending to be mild-mannered newspaper reporter Clark Kent.
Wonder Wan disguises herself as a nurse named Diana Prince.
And Spider-Man's alter ego is Peter Parker.
Virtually every really popular superhero has a clear and recognizable ordinary human identity.
It's an essential part of the superhero archetype that they be able to look like us and feel like us and live like us, but then be able to explode into their super-powered self.
We have a deep inner longing to have that story retold, perhaps through some sort of genetic memory written right into our DNA.
We seem to be remembering, on some deep level, a part of us that can come in contact with extraterrestrial capabilities and actualize them as we ourselves reach the next level of human evolution or what may have been a level that we had long ago and was deliberately turned off in our DNA for some reason.
Is it really possible that we tell stories of superheroes disguised as humans because it is written in our genetic memory that we have special abilities hidden within ourselves? And if so, what could be the source of those abilities? We may not have originated on Earth.
We may have been seeded on Earth by other humans who are far older than we are and who are far more genetically advanced than we are.
Perhaps some part of us remembers that there is a way in which we could be exposed to certain technologies that activate this dormant DNA within us, that propel us to the next level of what it means to be a live, evolved human being.
Could it be that stories of superheroes hiding among us are so popular because extraterrestrials have manipulated our DNA, hiding extraordinary powers deep inside all of us? Perhaps the answer can be found by exploring the stories of heroes whose powers are the result of genetic mutation.
New York City.
Marvel Comics editor Stan Lee, wants to create a new breed of superhero.
One of the masterminds behind the Fantastic Four and the Avengers, Lee invents a character literally born out of modern science: Spider-Man.
Radiation was very much in the news at the time.
And I figured, well, let's let him get his power through radiation.
And I figured the spider would bite Peter Parker on the hand.
Since the spider was radioactive, I assumed that his little spider sting would insert some radioactivity into Peter's bloodstream.
Now, having radioactivity in your blood, especially if it was spidery radioactivity, that should give you some of the qualities of a spider.
Spider-Man's just a normal teenager until he's bitten by a radioactive spider.
Suddenly, he's a combination of normal person, but also a god with godlike powers.
I thought, "He'll have the proportionate strength of a spider.
" In other words, if a spider were as large as a human being, that's how strong the spider would be which made Peter Parker very strong.
I also figured he could stick to walls like a spider or any insect.
Although exposure to radiation scrambles Spider-Man's genetic material, there's a precedent for it in ancient mythology: genetic manipulation through the mixing of mortal and immortal blood.
Anjaneri, India.
Two miles outside this small village, in a cave surrounded by forests and mountains, is where many believe one of Hindu mythology's greatest heroes was born: Hanuman.
Hanuman was part god because his father was the god of wind and his mother is a mortal human being.
So, then, obviously, uh, he has the qualities, the power of wind god and he's able to fly and he is able to multiply in his size.
So because of that, he's definitely a demigod.
Hanuman is often depicted as half-man and half-monkey, which underlines his mixed bloodline.
Is it possible that this is a non-scientific way of describing genetically engineered super beings, as ancient astronaut theorists contend? One of the common themes in ancient texts is ancient gods or extraterrestrials coming here and then manipulating our DNA and changing us into more superior beings.
As evidence of the genetic experiments they believe took place in the prehistoric past, ancient astronaut theorists cite depictions of hybrid creatures found in cultures around the world: winged horses in Assyrian and Sumerian myths, the elephant-headed deity Ganea in the Hindu pantheon, and Khepri, the ancient Egyptian god of the morning sun.
The Egyptian deity, Khepri, is shown as either a beetle, or as a human with the head of a beetle.
And you have to ask, what are they trying to tell us here about Khepri? Could he have been half human, half insect? Some ancient astronaut theorists believe the hybrids depicted by the ancients may have actually been the result of extraterrestrial genetic experiments in the distant past.
These things aren't very far off from what we have in our ancient tales of creation.
In the Sumerian epic of creation, we hear about the Anunnaki literally putting their genetic marker on us and creating us in their image and after their likeness.
Could genetic experiments long ago have been part of an ancient alien effort to create the human race? Some very strange things happened in the course of human evolution.
We go from Neanderthals with no apparent "missing link" whatsoever, and all of a sudden, our brain size doubles, our thumbs becomes more usable, we can walk erect more easily.
There's a large number of changes that take place in a very short time.
Might the entire human species have been created by extraterrestrial genetic experiments in the past? And could our genetic memory of this be the reason we create genetically altered superheroes today, including mutants like the X-Men and the Incredible Hulk and hybrids like Hawkman, Animal Man, and Spider-Man? Is it possible that when we are seeing superhero movies, that on some level we are remembering having been changed before? That perhaps we were like the Neanderthals before, and this already happened, we already had some sort of genetic upgrade that brought us to the next level of human evolution? Are modern comic books of hybrids and mutants actually inspired by an ancient alien intervention thousands of years ago? And might we create these stories because we are subconsciously aware of something greater within ourselves? Ancient astronaut theorists say yes, and believe that our own recent technological advances may be bringing us closer to a reconnection with our alien past.
Livingston, New Jersey.
May 2001.
Scientists at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine made headlines when they revealed they had created the world's first genetically modified baby.
Using a process called cytoplasmic transfer, they implanted mitochondrial DNA from a second mother into an egg to make it easier for it to bond with sperm and form a viable fetus.
When scientists performed genetic tests on the babies born out of this process, they detected genetic material from a third parent.
The reason the cytoplasmic transfer is controversial is because it's human manipulation of the human germ cell line, in other words the, um, cell line that is passed from parent to offspring.
We typically just inherit our genetic material from both of our parents, so there's a direct line of descent.
With the introduction of cytoplasmic transfer, suddenly you have, um, humans manipulating that germ line, that cell line, or DNA line passed on from parent to offspring.
If perfected, genetic manipulation could could allow scientists to introduce DNA from an unlimited number of people into a fetus.
This would allow them to rid babies of genetic disease.
But it could also, theoretically, let them tinker with natural traits to create superhumans that are much faster, stronger, and smarter than those that have come before.
You are altering the genetic future of the human race based on your sort of current, um, preferences, let's say, for a person's traits.
It's sort of into perpetuity affecting the genetic line of descent in humans.
And so, that's something very different than had ever been performed before, and that's certainly controversial.
The concept of altering genes whether these genes are in food, animals, or humans has always created a firestorm of protest.
In this case, the controversy forced an American moratorium on cytoplasmic transfer.
Even so, scientists say the technology may eventually be developed that will allow us to give superpowers including amazing strength, eyesight, and intelligence to our children while they're still in the womb.
Today more than ever, we're capable of playing god.
We have incredible superpowers at our fingertips with genetic technology and you have to ask, "Are we trying to duplicate what we saw the gods possessing in the ancient world? Are we hardwired or programmed to develop these technologies so that we can equal our makers?" Do we yearn to become like the advanced beings that ancient astronaut theorists believe created us thousands of years ago, and might this be why superhero stories continue to fascinate us? I think the reason why people like these superhero stories that literally go back thousands of years is because they're possibly explaining our actual human origins.
Every culture around the world talks about an intervention event where beings from the heavens came down and gave us knowledge.
If we really are the product of alien genetic experimentation as ancient astronaut theorists believe, might our own DNA resemble that of otherworldly beings? And if so, are we becoming more and more like our makers, through our own technological breakthroughs and genetic advances? In many ways, our society has come full circle where in ancient times we had extraterrestrials here manipulating our DNA, and now we're the ones who are manipulating our own DNA to also create a more advanced human species.
Who knows what's possible? It's a brave new world.
Everything changes and we have abilities that are so different that it's as if a quantum shift in human evolution has taken place.
Are ancient stories of heroes and gods with mythological powers really based on encounters with extraterrestrials? And might modern-day superheroes be inspired by our desire to reconnect with these powerful beings? Could characters like Batman Spider-Man and Superman be the humans of tomorrow? Perhaps as our technology continues to advance, we are drawing closer to coming face-to-face with our alien ancestors.

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