Ancient Aliens s10e10 Episode Script

The Forbidden Zones

NARRATOR: Cultural artifacts obliterated.
TSOUKALOS: It is absolutely barbaric! They're destroying our cultural heritage.
NARRATOR: Irreplaceable texts reduced to smoldering ash.
NICK POPE: It's as if the roots of human civilization itself are being hidden from us.
NARRATOR: And sacred lands looted under the cover of darkness.
WILLIAM HENRY: Armed men spent three days digging and left with something in tow.
What exactly it was, nobody knows.
NARRATOR: Throughout history, mankind's most ancient and sacred sites have been plagued by conflict and warfare.
But could this constant turmoil really be part of an otherworldly agenda? DAVID WILCOCK: Could an extraterrestrial intelligence be deliberately thwarting any effort for itself to be discovered from the ancient records? NARRATOR: Since the dawn of civilization, mankind has credited its origins to gods and other visitors from the stars.
What if it were true? Did extraterrestrial beings really help to shape our history? And if so, might the most compelling evidence lie hidden in forbidden zones? NARRATOR: Northern Iraq.
the ancient Assyrian capital city of Nimrud.
Built over 3,000 years ago in the 13th century B.
, the site is an archaeological treasure trove.
Among the antiquities found here are monumental statues of winged lions with human-heads, and massive relief carvings depicting the ancient gods of Mesopotamia.
But on March 6, 2015, militants from the Islamic State stormed the ancient site, violently destroying everything in their path.
After obliterating irreplaceable relics, they wired the entire site with explosives and leveled it completely forever wiping it from the face of the Earth.
This group seems to be more destructive than just about anything people can recall in history.
It's almost as if we're being orphaned from our past.
We are having our parentage, our ancestors, cut off from us; the record of them.
It is absolutely barbaric what is going on currently in the Middle East with some factions going deliberately to ancient sites and just eradicating our cultural heritage.
NARRATOR: This volatile region is widely considered to have been the cradle of civilization.
And its archaeological destruction could mean the loss of information about mankind's historical past.
Iraq, Syria what we call the Middle East, uh, or the Near East, uh, is called the cradle of civilization for a reason.
Anthropologically, this appears to be the place where the first humans arose.
This is where people came from.
And all of the earliest civilizations, cities, governments, come from this region.
NARRATOR: In the 21st Century, the violence and destruction have reached an unprecedented level, but the Middle East has been embroiled in conflict for thousands of years.
The Islamic state today is doing what the Taliban did before, which is doing what Byzantine Christians and Jews before them have all done.
They don't want any graven images.
So because of their religious beliefs, they are basically destroying our own cultural heritage for religious purposes.
And like human lives, many of these you can't get back.
NARRATOR: Since 1990, the Middle East has seen the destruction of cultural heritage on an unprecedented scale.
A scale not seen since the Christian vandalism that began during the Roman Empire.
Over 700,000 archaeological, cultural and religious artifacts have been stolen or destroyed.
And over 200 significant historical sites have been completely left in ruins.
The Middle East seems to be in an almost permanent state of instability.
Is this deliberate? Is someone keeping it that way? Maybe to prevent us from discovering something? Is there something that would fundamentally change our understanding of who we are and where we come from? TSOUKALOS: It is absolutely horrifying to see the erasing of our history.
And what's worse all of these ancient sites are one giant piece of the puzzle that we might have been visited in the past by extraterrestrials.
NARRATOR: For thousands of years, northern Africa, the Middle East and India have been in an almost constant state of unrest.
But also in Southeast Asia, the regions of Kashmir and Tibet are considered among the most disputed territories in the world.
And halfway across the globe, the northern triangle of Central America which includes Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras has been declared the deadliest region on Earth outside of active war zones.
Could there be a reason that these specific areas experience so much chaos? ERICH VON DANIKEN: It might be that on such places, the extraterrestrials descended some thousands of years ago, on such places, they have, uh, hidden something.
GEORGE NOORY: There could be something special about the sites.
These are areas that are so important to the things that have happened on this planet.
And, I still think that the knowledge, and the success of where we go as people on planet Earth is directly related to those areas.
NARRATOR: Is it possible that there is an otherworldly connection between certain areas of global conflict and places of significant archaeological importance? Ancient astronaut theorists say yes and suggest there could very well be so-called forbidden zones on planet Earth areas that extraterrestrial entities want to keep humans from exploring? But if so, why? Perhaps further clues can be found by examining a conflict in another volatile region, where some of mankind's greatest treasures are being looted from beneath the desert sands.
NARRATOR: Cairo, Egypt.
In what has come to be known as the Arab Spring, riots break out throughout Egypt.
Protesters demand the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.
With the media and law enforcement focused on the demonstrations, looters gain greater freedom to pillage Egypt's ancient sites and artifacts.
MARTIN: For many people, getting rid of Mubarak was just a license to profit from the new situation.
They would loot archaeological sites.
They were suddenly free of the dictator and a lot of them went crazy.
HENRY: During the Arab Spring, insiders told me that trucks loaded with deep digging equipment accompanied by armored vehicles and armed men, spent three days digging in the sands outside Cairo and left with something in tow.
What exactly it was, nobody knows.
ERIN NELL: Guards were powerless to do anything to stop it.
This created a huge amount of havoc, just because of the lack of security and the intentions of certain people to steal Egyptian antiquities.
You can tell from the satellite imagery the increase in different holes in the ground, you know, looters' pits that they've dug.
This is the site of Dahshur.
This picture was taken in 2010.
But when you look at this one over here, I think this was taken in 2013, the difference between the two is pretty amazing.
Look at all these pits that were dug by looters.
When it comes to Egypt, everyone's familiar with the pyramids, but really that's only a tiny part of what survives of that ancient and sophisticated civilization.
NARRATOR: According to modern archaeologists, less than one percent of ancient Egypt has been discovered and excavated.
But how is it that such a pivotal ancient culture disappeared unnoticed into the desert sands? NELL: There were several different cultures that came in with armies the Nubians, the Assyrians were in there once, the Persians twice and then the Greeks.
When the Romans took over, they just drained it of Egyptian religion and culture.
So when the Arabs came in, in 641, most of these temples were at least halfway covered in sand, so all you have are these huge magnificent columns kind of coming out of the ground.
The Sphinx, you know, was buried right up to his head.
POPE: By the time Napoleon got to Egypt, the hieroglyphs were indecipherable.
No one knew what these things were, what they meant.
We had to re-learn it.
It was only with the discovery of the Rosetta Stone that we got our first insight into what these hieroglyphs might actually be saying.
NARRATOR: But is Egypt's long history of political unrest merely man-made, or is there something extraterrestrial at work? Ancient astronaut theorists suggest that further answers can be found still buried in the desert sands.
I think if you could blow all the sand away from the Middle East and Egypt, you would find incredible relics.
I also think that information about extraterrestrials is probably deeply hidden away under the sands of that region.
NARRATOR: Abydos, Egypt.
February 2011.
looters target what was once the most sacred site to the ancient Egyptians during the time of the Pharaohs.
It was here that Egypt's first rulers were buried and the earliest forms of hieroglyphs were found, as well as an inscription bearing the names and chronology of the first kings of Ancient Egypt.
Abydos was considered sacred to the god Osiris, Lord of the Dead and Egypt's first otherworldly ruler.
According to ancient legends, his dismembered head was buried at the site.
ANDREW COLLINS: So who was Osiris? Was he simply an ancestor of the ancient Egyptians? Or was he a god that descended to Earth, you know, from the sky world? Obviously, we cannot say today.
But we know he was said to have existed in an age that was known as Zep Tepi, the First Time.
NARRATOR: In the 13th century B.
, the Pharaoh Seti I was building his temple here in Abydos, when according to some accounts he had an encounter with the god Osiris.
HENRY: When King Seti was building his temple, he had a dream in which the Egyptian god Osiris appeared to him.
And he told Seti that if he was to dig behind his temple location, that he would find something of enormous significance.
Seti digs 40 feet beneath the temple and finds the tomb of Osiris.
NARRATOR: For hundreds of years, no such tomb was known to exist in Abydos.
But at the turn of the 20th century, archaeologists digging behind the temple of Seti I unearthed a massive underground structure consisting of granite and sandstone blocks, some weighing nearly 60 tons.
The Osirion, as it is now known, was found buried under 40 feet of silt.
And ancient astronaut theorists are convinced that further excavations would reveal something much more profound hidden within it.
HENRY: The interesting thing about it is that on the exterior wall of the Temple of Seti is inscribed what is called the head or tower of Osiris, what looks like some kind of an ancient antennae-type of a device.
It's clearly technological or mechanical-looking.
According to legend, it has been buried and is awaiting rediscovery.
WILCOCK: Abydos is a veritable treasure trove of artifacts, ancient records, inscriptions on temple walls of people who look very different than us.
There are repositories of ancient technologies that are still hiding under the desert sands.
There's a lot of vested interest these extraterrestrials the gods might have in keeping these things hidden from us.
NARRATOR: Could it be that Abydos holds alien technology that was deliberately hidden from mankind? Is the instability in this region like that in other forbidden zones somehow being generated by extraterrestrials that want to keep humanity from rediscovering it? And if so, just how are they accomplishing this? Perhaps further clues can be found by examining the latest scientific breakthroughs in using technology to incite violence.
NARRATOR: Lhasa, Tibet.
Situated nearly 12,000 feet above sea level, the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, or "Place of the Gods," has long been considered one of the least accessible areas of the world.
For over three decades, Tibet was entirely closed off to outsiders after the forcible takeover of the region and exile of its spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in 1959 by the Chinese Army.
During their siege of the city, Chinese Red Guards systematically destroyed temples, frescoes, and ancient religious texts.
It's a terrible legacy from the Great Library at Alexandria, the library at Sarajevo, more recently in Phnom Penh.
Other stories like the Nazi book burning there seems to be this thing that happens where some revolutionary energy wants to destroy the cultural treasures of the past.
CARGILL: When one culture conquers another culture, you want to kill their ideology, and the way that you do that is you burn their books.
You banish their ideas.
You banish their language.
You banish their religious practices.
You burn the ancient records.
NARRATOR: Throughout history, military conflict has resulted not only in loss of life but also the destruction of cultural heritage.
And even when setting out to colonize the New World, early explorers and missionaries systematically eradicated what they considered to be pagan texts and mythologies of Native American, Mesoamerican, and Polynesian tribes they encountered.
They destroy artifacts.
They bury sites.
It's almost as if this is a deliberate blotting out of the past.
It's as if the roots of human civilization itself are being hidden from us.
CHILDRESS: With the destruction of knowledge, we may well be losing our connection to the gods, extraterrestrials of the past, how they interacted with us, what they wanted us to do.
WILCOCK: Why is it that these records continually seem to get misplaced or they get burned or they get destroyed or they're deliberately ruined? Is it possible that there is, in fact, an ongoing extraterrestrial presence that has somehow infiltrated into our society? Could this extraterrestrial intelligence be deliberately thwarting any effort for itself to be discovered from the ancient records? NARRATOR: Could there really be aliens among us inciting conflict, as some ancient astronaut theorists suggest? And, if so, might we find this conflict concentrated in so-called forbidden zones? But why? And perhaps even more importantly, how has this violent behavior been accomplished? Pasadena, California.
Scientists at the California Institute of Technology identify a set of neurons in the hypothalamus of mouse brains that correspond to aggression.
Through a technique called optogenetics, the group uses pulses of light to activate the neurons and instantaneously incite violence in the mice.
There are many ways in which we can affect or manipulate the brain or brain function.
And there's a really exciting new technique called optogenetics.
And although it's not being used in humans yet, it's being used in animal trials.
And what that is is they actually manipulate a virus so that it becomes a delivery system for a gene that's taken from a photosensitive algae.
And that gene is then delivered to specific neurons, and then those neurons are triggered to fire via light.
You can control the behavior of the animal via remote control in the sense all you have to do is trigger the different types of receptors to fire.
If you actually go in and stimulate the prefrontal cortex, you can cause animals to act out aggresivly.
NARRATOR: In 2010, scientists at Osaka University and at the University of Texas publish separate findings both indicating that up to eight percent of the human genome comes from viruses and not from our ancestral DNA.
Could this help explain how extraterrestrials might be able to incite humans to violence, just as researchers have used viruses to trigger aggression in mice? NOORY: Somebody genetically altered us a long, long time ago, and they intentionally put in this ability to become violent.
There's no question that people could be manipulated, could be used to do all kinds of things and they wouldn't even know it.
We are simply a pawn on an extraterrestrial chess game that they can move and manipulate any time they want, that they serve up, at their whim, whenever they want.
There's no question about that.
NARRATOR: Could humans be artificially stimulated to create acts of violence, as some ancient astronaut theorists propose? And might this stimulation be targeted to people living in certain regions of the world? Perhaps the answers can be found buried deep in the jungles of Guatemala.
NARRATOR: Deep in the jungles of Guatemala lie the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of El Mirador.
Dating back to at least the fifth century BC, the site is believed to predate the classic Mayan civilization.
But, curiously, it was abruptly abandoned around 150 BC.
Western archaeologists rediscovered the site in 1979 in an area currently controlled by one of the most feared drug cartels in the region.
Today, armed soldiers stand guard just outside the archaeological site that is larger than Manhattan and contains one of the tallest pyramids in the world.
ED BARNHART: El Mirador, in fact, has dozens of pyramids.
Many of them are as big as anything that the classic Maya made.
But it's also one of their very oldest cities.
NARRATOR: But perhaps the most intriguing discovery at El Mirador is a carving believed to be a depiction of the Mayan creation story known as the Popol Vuh.
It dates back more than 2,000 years and is the oldest known version to survive after Central America was overtaken by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century.
TSOUKALOS: The conquistadors requested for all these different Mayan codices to be destroyed.
And so after this pillaging and destruction happened, the Popol Vuh was re-created by the ruling elite at the time.
And, to the best of their abilities, they tried to put on paper their histories and their mythologies of their ancestors.
But these stories go back much further back in time.
The Popol Vuh is foundational to Maya civilization.
As foundational as the Bible is to Christianity.
But now, things like what we found at El Mirador are telling us that that story goes back at least to 200 BC.
And that's exciting.
Now we have a continuity of the Popol Vuh being pivotal to Maya people all the way back to their origins.
NARRATOR: Curiously, the Popol Vuh narrative and the Hebrew Bible's Book of Genesis contain many similarities, including the stories concerning the creation of the world, animals, and then, finally mankind.
They both include stories of a great flood.
And in both texts, it is suggested that there is information purposely kept from mankind by his creator.
But what is unique to the Popol Vuh is an account of an earlier time when humans had access to greater knowledge.
YOUNG: In the great Mayan creation narrative, the Popol Vuh, the gods created humans, and they had terrific knowledge.
So much so that it worried the gods.
And so they put a veil over the consciousness of the people so that they could only see what was right there in front of them.
They limited their ability to know.
WILLIAM BRAMLEY: The earliest human beings in the Popol Vuh they were very smart.
They basically understood things.
They could see things.
And so, the gods of creation said, "Oh, we can't have this.
"So what we have to do is, we have to put a screen over that vision.
" Knowledge became less and less available to the overall population.
What happened to the humans who were smarter than us? Were they, in fact, the ancient Egyptians, the Sumerians and many other ancient cultures? These areas, apparently, would have all of the records that we would need to completely rebuild our history.
These are the most unstable areas on Earth.
Could this be why? NARRATOR: Is it possible that ancient humans possessed greater knowledge than we currently do today, as the Mayan mythology seems to suggest? If so, who were these gods that the Mayans believed to be their creators? According to ancient astronaut theorists, their true identity might be revealed by examining one of the carvings contained within the Popol Vuh the so-called "Hero Twins.
" If you look at that carving, the guy is clearly wearing a helmet, and he has this backpack.
And he's actually floating in space, or he is descending from the sky.
You have, uh, what seem to be like some kind of helmet.
And even one of the figures looks like a flying saucer.
Could these stone carvings be depictions of ancient astronauts? And if that is the case, then it would indicate that these extraterrestrials have actually created us.
And in fact, they're still here today, manipulating us and guiding us into the future.
NARRATOR: Do the carvings at El Mirador contain information about mankind's past that we were not meant to discover? If so, could it be that extraterrestrials have been creating barriers and warfare to prevent us from learning about our true origins? Or is there an even more profound explanation? Ancient astronaut theorists suggest the ultimate proof of just what they are trying to hide can be found by examining one of the most fought-over sites on Earth Temple Mount.
NARRATOR: Jerusalem, October, 2014.
Amidst tension and violence after the assassination attempt on a Jewish activist, Israeli authorities shut down the sacred site of Temple Mount.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas pronounces the closure "a declaration of war.
" And although access to the temple is quickly restored, many fear that a third intifada, or holy war, is now inevitable.
That was the uprising that the Palestinians engaged in.
This was their revolution.
It began first in 1987, and was waged for five years.
Then, in 2000, it lasted for another five years.
There was tremendous violence between Palestinians and Israelis.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that the Temple Mount would be a flashpoint for all these conflicts.
NARRATOR: The Temple Mount is a 35-acre platform that has long had great significance to Jews, Christians and Muslims.
It is revered in the Jewish tradition as the place where God gathered the dust to create Adam, where Abraham nearly sacrificed his son Isaac to prove his faith to God, and where King Solomon built the First Temple to house the Ark of the Covenant.
Christians honor the site as the location of some of Jesus's most sacred teachings.
And for Muslims, Temple Mount which they refer to as "the Noble Sanctuary," or "Haram al-Sharif" is believed to be the location where the Prophet Muhammad ascended to Heaven on the back of a winged horse.
The three monotheistic faiths Judaism, Christianity and Islam all believe that God has a special connection to this area.
They all believe that this is where people will ascend to Heaven when the day of judgment comes.
They all want it, but they don't want to share it.
FANTHORPE: Temple Mount has been a holy place for many, many generations.
And there are strange religious traditions, rumors, legends of what lies underneath it.
And the idea is, there is something so precious underneath it that God himself intervenes to protect it.
NARRATOR: Could there really be some powerful force contained within Temple Mount? Is that why three religions are at such odds over this sacred site? Some researchers and religious scholars suggest that Temple Mount may not only serve as a place of spiritual connection, but also as a gateway to other points in the universe.
The Temple Mount has long been considered to be a portal to Heaven.
It is said that when the patriarch Jacob rested one night, he placed stones on the ground.
And there, he saw a ladder ascending to Heaven, where the angels were going up and coming down.
This was always known to have been a vortex, a portal.
NARRATOR: A ladder descending from Heaven? A visitation site for otherworldly beings? Could it really be that the significance of Temple Mount is not what's under it but the location itself? WILCOCK: It could very well be that there was a natural area on the Earth that the Temple Mount was deliberately built around and that natural physics that we don't yet understand in conventional science allow for there to be a slipstream between realities, a gateway, a parting of the veil between this world and other parallel universes.
POPE: There have been a number of UFO sightings around the Temple Mount.
Is the site important not just to human religions but does it have some special significance for extraterrestrials? Is that why this site is so untouchable? NARRATOR: Do sacred sites like Temple Mount in Jerusalem not only hold secrets about mankind's origins but possibly even serve as portals to other parts of the universe? And, if so, might the turmoil in various forbidden zones be due in part to extraterrestrials that want to keep humanity from discovering the truth? Perhaps the answers can be found by reexamining what some claim is the motivation behind the Western invasion of Iraq.
March 19, 2003.
The United States military begins its Shock and Awe air campaign over the city of Baghdad.
It is a preemptive strike aimed to overthrow Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who the government believes is in possession of weapons of mass destruction.
POPE: Saddam Hussein wanted to make Iraq a regional and perhaps a global superpower.
He spoke about himself as the new Nebuchadnezzar.
NARRATOR: Nebuchadnezzar II was the great Babylonian warrior king, most famously known for rebuilding and expanding the Babylonian Empire in the sixth century BC.
His armies conquered Egypt as well as ransacking and destroying Solomon's Temple in 597 BC.
MARTIN: Saddam Hussein went nuts.
He believed he was the reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar, so he ordered massive reconstruction of Babylon, which was done with bricks bearing his name on them.
Everyone would come to respect the ancient Nebuchadnezzar and the new Nebuchadnezzar.
HENRY: The missing piece to the puzzle of why we went to war with Iraq is the understanding that Saddam Hussein sought to outdo what Nebuchadnezzar had accomplished in his earlier life.
The ultimate accomplishment of Nebuchadnezzar was the opening of the fiery furnace.
Nebuchadnezzar had gone to Jerusalem, looted and leveled the Temple of Solomon, and he brought the wise men of the temple back to Babylon with him.
What happened in the story is absolutely amazing.
These three wise men enter this fiery furnace.
Not only did they come back out in perfect condition they weren't alone.
They came back with an extraterrestrial visitor in tow.
In today's terms, we would obviously call this a stargate or a portal.
Saddam knew this.
Saddam Hussein's esoteric interests were probably like those of the Nazis, aimed at uncovering some power, some technology, some relic that would enable him to become this world leader that he dreamed of being.
There's one theory that the Iraq War was actually a war about a stargate.
Saddam Hussein, so the theory goes, got access to this stargate, maybe threatened to use it.
Was that why the allied powers went in? It sounds farfetched, but this theory is widely believed.
NARRATOR: Is it possible the United States military was pursuing more than weapons of mass destruction when they invaded Iraq? Could something of great significance, perhaps a portal to another world, have been found amongst the chaos? And if there are truths about extraterrestrial involvement with our planet hidden in forbidden zones, just what would happen when the truth is finally revealed? WILCOCK: With the knowledge that's coming into view now as we're reconstructing bit by bit, piece by piece this tile mosaic of ancient history, we're gaining the ability to reconstruct the view of what really happened to us and what it means to be human and our relationship to the greater cosmos that's around us.
NOORY: If you believe in the extraterrestrial presence, it was always to kind of keep us down so that we wouldn't get that much knowledge.
They want to keep us ignorant and fighting and greedy.
It's very possible that we will never know what happened on this planet a long time ago.
TSOUKALOS: It's our own test, and the reason why no official contact has taken place yet is because we ourselves are on the verge of destroying this planet.
So my suggestion is we first have to learn how to interact with each other before being allowed to receive this knowledge.
NARRATOR: Is it possible that the perpetual violence experienced in certain parts of the world is more than just a consequence of political and religious conflict? Could it be that it is actually spurred on by extraterrestrial forces, forces that are trying to hide the truth about mankind's origins? Perhaps once we have proven that we can conquer our aggression and anger, we will be able to access this knowledge and join our creators in the stars.

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