Ancient Aliens s13e15 Episode Script

Return to Mars

1 Currently, there is a race to get off the planet.
This is what all of human history is about, this present moment where we migrate into space.
NARRATOR: It's a special two-hour Ancient Aliens event.
JOSH RICHARDS: This is very much about humanity setting up a permanent outpost on another planet.
MICHIO KAKU: Either we prepare to leave the Earth, or we prepare to die.
NARRATOR: When humans become the alien visitors on other planets, what, or whom, will they encounter? What if we arrive on Mars, and there are artificial structures? LINDA MOULTON HOWE: There is alien intelligence, and our government knows about it.
And that has to break out if we're going to go beyond Earth.
NARRATOR: As a new generation of astronauts prepares for life on other worlds, are they simply realizing mankind's future, or returning to its extraterrestrial past? HENRY: We're very near a discovery where we're gonna understand that everything that ancient astronaut theorists have been talking about is true.
NARRATOR: The Mojave Desert, California.
May 29, 2018.
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Unity lifts off from the Mojave Air and Space Port under the power of a carrier jet named VMS Eve.
PILOT 1: Three, two, one.
NARRATOR: At 50,000 feet above the Earth, the Unity is dropped from its mother ship and rockets upward to an altitude of 114,500 feet, before descending back to Earth.
-(applause) -The Unity is the brainchild of billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson.
It represents a new era in space exploration, as it is designed to carry not only astronauts, but civilians.
Right now is an amazing time to see what's happening with the world's space exploration.
You have commercial entities that are building rockets that we're actually using to get to the Space Station, and maybe even to Mars in the very near future.
We've got people talking about putting colonies on the Moon and on Mars.
And we also are now talking about a Space Force that's very similar to what you might have heard in the old days of, uh, like the Starfleet Academy in Star Trek and other science fiction stories.
Within a few short generations, we're likely to have people that are being born as Martians.
We will soon be the Martians.
So we are really reaching a point where space is right there, right for us to reach out and grab.
NARRATOR: Today, a new 21st-century space race has captured mankind's collective imagination.
Not since the Apollo program's history-making Moon landings has there been such interest in and hope for a return to manned missions to explore other places in our solar system.
Although only the United States, Russia and China currently have human space flight capabilities, dozens of other nations, in addition to well-funded corporations, are committing unprecedented resources to join this exclusive club.
I'm old enough to remember that first small step that Neil Armstrong took.
And, at the time, I think we all believed it was the first step on a stairway to the stars.
NEIL ARMSTRONG (over comm): That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
DAVIES: And then, after a few years, everything seemed to stall, people lost interest.
What we're seeing in recent years is other nations getting into this, and so particularly China, and also India with the prospect that we'll be blazing a new trail to the stars.
KAKU: We're entering the second golden age of space exploration.
Even Silicon Valley billionaires are jumping into the game, funding their own fleet of rockets.
FLIGHT DIRECTOR: NTS is ready for launch.
-(crowd cheering) -WOMAN: There's Falcon Heavy.
KAKU: Elon Musk shot that Falcon Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral.
Millions watched it online.
Why? Because that was a Moon rocket.
For the first time in 50 years, a Moon rocket, capable of putting astronauts on the Moon, took off from Cape Canaveral.
And now, Jeff Bezos, the richest man on the planet, has funded his own private space port in Texas, with a fleet of rockets, one of which we think is designed to go to the Moon.
NARRATOR: Many experts have suggested that space exploration slowed down after the initial Apollo Moon missions because of the staggering costs.
So, what is driving humankind to once again undertake such an expensive endeavor? It is a law of nature that organisms have to either leave, adapt or perish.
9% of all living forms on the Earth have gone extinct.
Extinction is the norm.
If you don't believe me, simply drill right under your feet until you hit the bones.
PETER DIAMANDIS: Backing up the biosphere, so to speak, backing up humanity into a multitude of different locations makes a lot of sense.
One of the quotes I love comes from Tsiolkovsky, who's one of the Russian founders of the whole space movement, and he goes, "Humanity was born in the cradle of Earth, and we should not always remain in the cradle.
" I think that it's an inevitability.
As humans, we love to explore.
We started in the savannahs of Africa and moved out throughout the entire planet, and that made us a robust species.
And so that will continue as we move off the planet.
(man calls contingent to prayer) STEPHEN PETRANEK: It would appear that there is a genetic survival mechanism we have which says that we must explore, and we must move on beyond the next horizon.
I think that's built into us.
NARRATOR: For humans to thrive on alien worlds, they must first learn to overcome profound technological, physiological and even psychological challenges.
But they must also face something even more daunting: what if they encounter other intelligent beings? The idea of intelligent life, of sentient life being confined to the Earth is just a human-centered, anthropocentric idea that we've got to get rid of.
In our Milky Way alone, there is reckoned to be 140 billion planetary systems that are not too dissimilar to the Earth and the solar system.
KAKU: The Kepler satellite has allowed us to create a census of the Milky Way galaxy.
We now know that, on average, every single star has a planet going around it.
And of them, we know that a fraction of them maybe one out of 20 or so have Earth-like planets going around them.
In other words, the Earth could have a doppelganger.
The Earth could have a twin in outer space.
And how many of them? Billions.
Billions of Earth-like planets.
And so, for us to assume that we are the only game in town, I think, is ridiculous.
NARRATOR: As far as ancient astronaut theorists are concerned, evidence that there is other intelligent life in the universe has already been found on every corner of the globe.
They believe Earth has been visited by intelligent beings for thousands of years, and that it most likely began during the time of the ancient Sumerian kings.
Khorsabad, Iraq.
March 23, 1843.
While excavating for archaeological treasures, a group of men, led by French scientist Paul-Emile Botta, came upon the remains of a huge Assyrian palace, and within it, an abundance of Sumerian cuneiform inscriptions.
When translated, the inscriptions told of what archaeologists believe to be the world's oldest civilization, and a group of powerful beings called the Anunnaki.
ANDREW COLLINS: "Anunnaki" was a term of the gods used by the ancient Sumerians.
But the original form of it, it simply meant, "the sky people.
" It meant those that were connected with the stars.
The Anunnaki were seen to be the givers of civilization to mortal kind.
And they are described as having these shining eyes, and having a radiance and an otherworldly feeling about them.
NARRATOR: Based on 30 years of studying the Sumerian cuneiform tablets, in 1976, author and researcher Zecharia Sitchin published a book called The 12th Planet, in which he proposed that the Sumerian gods were, in fact, refugees from another world.
According to Sitchin's interpretation of the tablets, these alien visitors, the Anunnaki, created humankind.
JASON MARTELL: It appears to be that gods came down and literally started a colonization project here on Earth, creating us in their image and after their likeness.
It also might stand to reason, then, that they've infused us with a desire to then spread this colonization project beyond Earth.
GEORGE NOORY: I think if you look at what we've been doing in our space program, it's a blueprint for what may have happened here a long time ago with extraterrestrials.
But I think we're on the same path.
HOWE: We're beginning to understand that the Anunnaki gods that were actually ETs could be still out throughout the universe, that we could now, as we are starting to head out into space, be encountering the prime intelligence that originally had civilizations on Earth and were working throughout this solar system.
NARRATOR: Are today's astronauts simply repeating an ancient pattern, that of exploring the universe with an eye toward future colonization? But, if so, what will become of the planet they leave behind? Perhaps further clues can be found by taking a closer look at our most likely destinations.
NARRATOR: Houston, Texas.
June 7, 2017.
At Johnson Space Center, Vice President Mike Pence announces NASA's 2017 astronaut class.
As American astronauts, you may yet return our nation to the Moon.
You may be the first to travel to Mars.
You may have experiences that we can only imagine, those of us who walk on terra firma.
NARRATOR: These 12 men and women were chosen from a record 18,300 applicants, more than doubling the previous record of 8,000 set four decades earlier in 1978.
Today, humankind's desire to travel to space has never been greater, and establishing colonies off Earth is not only a possibility but a priority.
The only question is, where will we go first? In the near term, there are three basic locations: there is going to the Moon, there is going to Mars, and then there is free space.
This is going to the asteroids, and using the asteroidal materials to build colonies.
I think you can look at all three of those as options in the near term.
I firmly believe that, um, a single-planet species is not long to survive and that we really have to be able to move out into the solar system.
Early on in the evolution of the solar system, we believe Venus, Earth, and Mars had a significant amount of water.
And they all evolved differently.
Venus went through a runaway greenhouse effect.
The water evaporated, and now the temperature is so high and the pressure is so high, it's a place we just can't inhabit.
And when you think about that, what is the next place for humankind to go? It's Mars.
It's smaller than the Earth, but it's got a lot of the basic characteristics and it's a great place to start and work from.
I think the most common misconception about Mars is that it's going to be easier than it actually is.
Right now, the International Space Station is orbiting 250 miles above us.
The Moon is 250,000 miles away, a factor of a thousand.
The trip to Mars will take you on a trip that's 250 million miles away.
This is not a simple rocket trip.
Wernher von Braun built the Saturn V rocket to get astronauts to the Moon.
We took three days to go there in the Saturn V.
Going to Mars is at least 240 days, given current technology.
And that's not an easy trip.
NARRATOR: While a manned mission to the Red Planet will be a long and perilous journey, experts say Mars has many advantages for human colonization.
Temperature fluctuations are less extreme than those of the Moon, for example, and its gravity is more Earth-like.
People don't seem to be terraforming the Moon.
Mars is a little easier.
Mars already has an atmosphere.
There's a lot of real estate.
I mean, you could do this.
NARRATOR: For thousands of years, Mars has practically been a human obsession.
Even before it was known to be a planet, it was distinguished from the other nearby stars by its deep amber color.
HENRY: Mars was referred to as Nergal by the Babylonians, the great hero, also a god of war.
In Greece, they referred to Mars as Ares, the god of war.
The god Mars, the god of war, the god of aggression comes from this particularly visible heavenly body.
And I wonder if the desire, the quest, the yearning to explore Mars has an aggressive or competitive element to it, if Mars himself is not somehow involved in the project.
The ancient Egyptians had a very particular interest in Mars.
Cairo was named after Mars: al Qahirah.
It means the vanquisher, or the conqueror.
Even the Sphinx itself was believed to have originally been painted red, perhaps an homage to Mars.
NARRATOR: Over the centuries, humans have conceived numerous and often humorous notions of what Mars and its possible Martian inhabitants might look like up close.
It has been the subject of countless books, motion pictures and even video games.
But what if some of the creative depictions of our interplanetary neighbor don't come from human imagination, but from human memory? Carl Jung theorized that mankind had a collective consciousness, and this is a kind of genetic memory, or inherited memory.
For instance, if our ancestors perceived that lightening was dangerous, we might inherit, then, a fear of lightening.
And so it's possible in the same way that our ancient associations with Mars are actually within our genes and embedded in our neurons as part of our DNA.
If our ancestors experienced something, it goes into our genome.
It goes into our DNA.
What if humanity originated on Mars and we are still answering to that call unknowingly? NARRATOR: Could there be a profound connection that links humans to Mars deeply embedded in our subconsciousness? Ancient astronaut theorists say yes, and suggest the answer is slowly being revealed as we get closer to colonizing the so-called Red Planet.
Amersfoort, the Netherlands.
A private Dutch organization known as Mars One announces a global mission to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars.
The following year, they begin accepting applications from would-be colonists for a manned expedition scheduled for 2023.
But while the opportunity to be among the first humans on Mars is an exciting one, one aspect of the mission seems certain to turn away many would-be applicants.
It will be a one-way trip.
Nevertheless, thousands of people apply.
By the time I heard about Mars One, I had been telling all my friends, "I don't care what it's gonna take, I'm gonna make it to space in my lifetime.
" And it felt like there was a calling, a destiny there.
I get asked if it's worth the sacrifice of leaving everything I've known on Earth family, friends, sunshine (laughs) rain, the beach and I think to live the first half of my life as an earthling, and the second half as a Martian, what an amazing way to kind of give your life to the greater cause of humanity.
This is a defining point in the human time line.
So, I suppose the biggest thing that draws people to Mars One, the thing that kind of hooks their attention, is the fact that it's a one-way mission.
This is very much about humanity setting up a permanent outpost on another planet, and that's I suppose, the thing that drew me to it in the first place.
PETRANEK: Mars and Earth have to be in a very synchronous place in order to make the shortest trip to Mars.
When you get there, Earth and Mars are gonna be very far apart and you will not be able to leave and come back for at least 400 days.
In fact, it would take you longer to get back if you left right away than if you waited 400 days to come back.
So once you get there, you're stuck, and you have to stay there.
And the truth is that it's so expensive to get people to Mars and to establish the first colonies that this is always, always gonna be a one-way trip.
I don't like the idea that we do the same thing that we did with the Moon 50 years ago, where we go there, walk around, explore it a little bit, and then come back, and then sort of ask the question: Why bother going there? We've been there before.
The most common attribute through all of the candidates is this idea that we're all interested in serving something that's bigger than ourselves as an individual.
It's very much about doing something for the species.
PIEN: The journey to get to Mars is very similar to the first settlers arriving in the Americas.
Mars One plans to send teams of four at a time, and every two years afterwards, there will be a new team to arrive and join the community.
Eventually, probably, we're gonna see tens of thousands of people arrive.
I think for us right now, if we make the leap and start to create colonies off planet, we're looking at the next giant leap of humankind.
NARRATOR: Are current efforts to leave Earth and travel to Mars simply based on a desire to explore and colonize a new world? Or could it be based on something even more profound? Is it possible that we wish to return home to humankind's place of origin? As far as ancient astronaut theorists are concerned, further clues still need to be examined, starting with recent discoveries made on Mars that point to evidence of life.
NARRATOR: July 20, 1976.
NASA's unmanned Viking 1 orbiter and lander touches down on the surface of Mars.
Three weeks later it is joined by its companion, the Viking 2.
For the first time ever, humanity has established a presence on another planet.
The Viking landers actually landed on Mars and took a sample.
But they landed in one spot and they stayed in one spot.
We've since sent the Pathfinder Sojourner.
And for the first time, we have a system on Mars that, if we see something shiny over there and we want to go check it out, we'll send the rover and get a very close look at it, take samples, get high-definition video from it.
And, uh, that is a very good start for figuring out where people need to go when we get ready to send them there.
NARRATOR: In 2012, the Curiosity rover landed on Mars' Gale Crater.
It was the most ambitious Mars mission flown by NASA to date.
(cheering, applause) One of its objectives was to gather data that will help scientists determine what is needed to make the planet more habitable for human exploration.
In June 2018, scientist and aerospace engineer Dr.
Travis Taylor traveled to Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
There, he met with NASA exploration mission scientist Dr.
Elizabeth Rampe.
Rampe analyzes data obtained by the Mars Curiosity rover, which, six years into its mission, is sending back some of its most extraordinary findings yet.
So there was very late breaking news recently from the Curiosity rover, and some interesting information came out of the sample analysis at Mars or SAM instrument.
-So, SAM can measure gases in the atmosphere, and it can also measure gases that are evolved from samples.
So basically, we drill a rock, deliver that powder to the instrument, and then that instrument heats up the sample and measures the gases that are coming off.
Whatever outgasses, it can tell you what this -what that is, right? Okay.
So a big piece of information from the atmosphere is that we've been tracking methane over the last few Martian years.
And what we see is that there is a cycle to it, where it spikes late summer, early autumn, and then dips again.
-Yeah, so the big question is: -Why is that happening? -Right.
(Stammers) So that could possibly be due to an organic material, right? -Or a biological source? -Exactly.
-Meaning life.
-So that's right.
I know.
-So huge.
I-It's not the only hypothesis out there.
-But, you know, there is the possibility that there is extant life on Mars that is creating this methane.
The fact that NASA has now released information that they've measured a cycle of methane that goes up in the summer and down in the winter, it sounds very similar to how biological processes create methane here on Earth.
That could be evidence that there's life, right now, on Mars.
NARRATOR: Life on Mars? According to NASA, such a profound notion is a distinct possibility.
But although the space agency is still working to confirm their findings, ancient astronaut theorists remain confident of the outcome.
They have maintained for decades that not only does the Red Planet contain life, but that it was once home to a highly advanced extraterrestrial civilization.
And for their proof, they point to the existence of possible structures found on its surface.
There are lots of claims of photographs showing different features on the surface of Mars.
These have come from the orbiters that are obviously taking pictures as they go around, all the time.
And some people will find different features, and interpret them as geometric or rectilinear structures that suggest civilization.
You see everything you would expect to see if you went to someplace on Planet Earth 50,000 years from now, when the human race have been wiped out.
They clearly are technological objects that have become fossilized.
NARRATOR: While the notion that an ancient civilization once existed on Mars may sound farfetched, NASA has continued to make discoveries that could reveal something even more incredible: that life on Earth actually originated on Mars.
So what is this? Tell me what this is.
RAMPE: Okay, so this is a Martian meteorite.
So this is a rock that came from Mars.
TAYLOR: How long ago? The rock itself is about 180 million years old, so that's when it crystallized on Mars.
And to give you some context, 180 million years ago, dinosaurs were roaming the Earth.
Well, we know that this rock came from Mars.
So if there was organic material on Mars three and a half billion years ago, something could have caused that organic material to go from there to here, right? Right.
And what's interesting about, you know, "three and a half billion years ago" is that's when life was taking hold on Earth.
-So and, and Mars was once very Earth-like with, uh, rivers and lakes.
So why not Mars? We've got all the building blocks for life on Mars, so why couldn't it happen there? So it's very possible that we're descendants of Martians.
I, it I'm not gonna rule that out.
(both chuckle) There have been a lot of changes in my lifetime about speaking about life on other planets.
"Is it possible that humanity evolved from Mars?" If I would have said that ten years ago, people would have thought I was crazy.
And what that tells me, though, is the conversation has changed.
NARRATOR: While NASA's most recent findings suggest that there may be life on Mars, and that life has potentially existed there for billions of years, is it also possible that Mars was the original source of life here on Earth? Since 1974, Dr.
Chandra Wickramasinghe has advanced an intriguing theory known as panspermia.
He maintains that carbon-based matter exists amidst space dust and can be carried, via asteroids and comets.
The standard position is that life started on the Earth in the very small primordial soup.
And the Earth is a very small place, in terms of cosmic distances and cosmic sizes.
It's a, a speck of dust.
So to argue that the most complicated system that we can ever know about, which is life, started here on the Earth, is almost a travesty of common sense.
I think the first life is certainly there's no question that it came from space.
The first thing to say about the origin of life on Earth is that we really have no idea how, where or when it happened.
But there's one scenario that does work, in my view, very well, and that is, uh, impact ejector.
Mars takes a hit, Mars rocks come here to Earth and Mars material is raining down on Earth all the time.
If there were any life on Mars, it would be conveyed to Earth in this impact ejector.
And so it's entirely possible, in my view, that life started on Mars and came to Earth only later, when conditions here settled down.
NARRATOR: In 1953, British geneticist Francis Crick along with American biologist James Watson discovered that the shape of human DNA resembles that of a three-dimensional double helix.
But as Crick learned more about our genetic code, he came to the conclusion that it was so complex, it could not have developed by mere evolutionary chance.
He also believed it did not originate on Earth.
When we hear terms like panspermia, this really resonates with the ancient astronaut theory because it confirms the idea that life has arrived on Earth whole and complete, and that the evolutionary process for life even to begin would take a much longer lifespan than even Earth was able to provide.
This raises the question, is it possible that life doesn't just randomly arrive, but is actually sent here to Earth? NARRATOR: If, as ancient astronaut theorists believe, life on Earth was seeded here by extraterrestrials millions of years ago, did they have a plan for humanity? Perhaps further clues can be found by examining the ancient Sumerian stories about the earthly activities of the gods.
NARRATOR: In 2017, NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems division asserted that identifying and extracting mineral resources in space such as iron, tungsten and titanium would be essential for future space exploration and colonization.
The Moon and the near-Earth objects that are not too far from Earth, they're loaded with minerals and-and raw materials.
You can look at the Moon and where the, uh, Sea of Tranquility and the other seas, they have a different coloration, because there's titanium oxide covering the surface.
We know there's uranium there because we've detected radon gas.
So there's all sorts of materials.
DIAMANDIS: One of the companies I'm proud of having cofounded, uh, is a company called Planetary Resources, who's got a vision of going to near-Earth asteroids to mine those asteroids for fuel, and ultimately, precious metals platinum-group metals, or construction metals.
NARRATOR: But as NASA makes plans to mine essential space minerals, is it possible that other advanced civilizations came to Earth centuries ago for the same reason? As far as ancient astronaut theorists are concerned, the answer is yes, and they believe the evidence can be found in the Sumerian stories of the Anunnaki, written more than 5,000 years ago.
MARTELL: When we analyze the story of the Anunnaki's creation of humanity, some very interesting nuances come out that might lead into understanding what humans might face in their own eventual colonization of another planet.
NARRATOR: When famed ancient astronaut theorist Zecharia Sitchin studied the Sumerian tablets in the 1970s, he not only reached the conclusion that the Anunnaki came to Earth to escape a dying planet, but also noted that, while here, they used humans to mine for gold.
MARTELL: When we look at the creation stories of biblical tales, we understand that God created the Earth in seven days.
It turns out that this consolidated version of seven days can be translated to a much earlier story in Sumerian form, called the "Atra-Hasis," where there is actually seven tablets of creation, telling how the Anunnaki came to Earth and genetically engineered us in their image, and in their likeness, to mine the gold for them here on Earth.
NARRATOR: Is it possible that when the ancient Sumerians wrote about giant beings coming down from the sky and digging for gold, they were, in fact, documenting a visitation by extraterrestrials who were mining for resources just as NASA is planning to do in the not-too-distant future? June, 2018.
Scientist and aerospace engineer Dr.
Travis Taylor is at Johnson Space Center's Building 9, the astronaut training facility.
He is meeting with robotics engineer Lucien Junkin, who is eager to show him the latest in extraterrestrial transportation.
I see this is a-a rover.
Tell me a little bit about it.
Yeah, this is basically an off-roading RV for Moon and Mars.
And what-what is it that makes this so much better than, say, the lunar rover? It can go out and explore.
So the concept is if you have a habitat, you're gonna take two of these rovers and they'll go out for a week to two weeks and explore, come back, refuel and then we'll be back out exploring.
Can-can we look inside or maybe go for a ride? Absolutely.
Let's go for a ride.
-Oh, that'll be awesome.
Just put your foot there, jump on up.
All right.
Pilot's on, power's on.
-Go to low gear.
-Low gear.
Push forward on the stick.
NARRATOR: The Planetary Analog Test Site, also known as The Rock Yard, is a multi-acre simulation of lunar and Martian terrain.
It is here that the Space Exploration Vehicle endures rigorous testing to determine its readiness for eventual off-Earth deployment.
-Let's go through that crater first.
-Just go up and over? -Yeah.
TAYLOR: Can it handle that kind of a? -Yeah, if you put your foot right up there -All right.
that'll brace you in your seat.
So, like, on a tank, -you would typically feel it tip over.
JUNKIN: So, active suspension, each one of the wheel modules, it senses it.
I see that.
How about that? It's all right to ride across these? Yeah, drive over across anything.
TAYLOR: Wow, this is amazing.
When it sees a big rock like that, it just goes right over it? JUNKIN: Yeah, it just goes right over it.
-Let me show you something.
-All right.
So you're gonna pick out a rock and we're gonna explore the rock -in this.
-Yeah, let's look at that rock right over there.
-Okay, that one.
-So, look at this rock right here.
We can bow down to it.
And now, another cool feature: you twist this way TAYLOR: Oh, that crabs.
Yeah, yeah.
I got you, I got you.
JUNKIN: That crabs.
See how we can just rotate -all the way around? -That-that's amazing.
JUNKIN: You're doing perfect.
And then we're gonna shoot straight up that hill right there.
-All right.
Straight? -It'll take you yeah.
TAYLOR: All right.
JUNKIN: So it is a rock-climbing fool.
-You could climb up a wall in this thing.
We want the vehicle to go places where they're like, "This is my life support system.
" -Right.
Yeah, right.
-"I'm not going there.
" -But the vehicle would go -Will do it, -if they had to.
-Will do it, if they have to.
NARRATOR: If ancient astronaut theorists are correct, and extraterrestrials came to our planet thousands of years ago in search of gold and other precious minerals, wouldn't there be evidence? Some telltale sign that the Earth was once the site of a vast, global mining operation? CHILDRESS: There was a place in Peru called Cajamarquilla, and at this spot there are thousands of shallow pits that are going up the ridge of a mountain, and they're in-line.
They're quite uniform.
They are only say, two, three feet deep, these pits.
And they are baffling.
What these pits might actually be is the result of some kind of mining probe that was going up this mountain, digging these holes, and then sampling for valuable minerals.
NARRATOR: Today, Cajamarquilla is mined for zinc, a mineral used in metal alloys and electrical equipment.
But if Earth may have provided a treasure trove of raw materials for extraterrestrial space travelers, what resources would Mars have to offer? Recent NASA findings suggest the Red Planet could be capable of supporting human life, and in ways never before imagined.
NARRATOR: After decades of searching, scientists believe they have recently found something incredible on Mars: water.
On July 25, 2018, the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft reported the discovery of a subglacial lake located a mile or so beneath the planet's otherwise arid surface.
If confirmed, it would be the most significant evidence yet that Mars either did or perhaps still does provide a habitat for living organisms.
We know that evidence for life occurs almost as soon as you have a liquid water environment on Earth.
We could anticipate that, you know, there would be scenarios where people could have seeded the Earth with life so that life would develop very similarly on Mars.
NARRATOR: The existence of water on Mars would also be of huge benefit to colonization efforts.
And while scientists are still confirming the presence of this subglacial lake, they are now certain that in the distant past, the Red Planet was once blue, and boasting a more robust atmosphere.
One of the most fantastic things that we've discovered with our orbiters and our rovers on Mars is about its history.
And a number of really spectacular surprises have come out.
The first one is that Mars, at one time in its past, looked more like the Earth.
It was a blue ocean world, with a significant amount of water.
We know for a fact that billions of years ago, when we were first getting started here on Earth, then Mars was a much more clement place.
We know that it had a thick atmosphere to shield and blanket the planet.
And it would have had organic molecules, the building blocks of all life as we know it.
So it stands to reason that maybe Mars had its own genesis, its own origin of life.
NARRATOR: Was Mars a fertile planet, teaming with life, thousands or perhaps millions of years ago? And if so, could the planet be modified in such a way that it could sustain human life? It is NASA's stated goal to send astronauts to Mars in the 2030s.
But while humanity's efforts to colonize space are well underway, there is still a tremendous amount of planning and scientific groundwork to be done before we can truly begin to populate alien planets with large numbers of humans.
Right now, we're we're basically just tourists in the in space.
We take everything we need with us.
And in order to make the next giant leap, you're gonna actually have to start using the materials that you find in space to help you explore.
Okay? As soon as you make that step to use the materials that are available to you on the surface, now you're truly a pioneer.
There's a number of resources that are already available to us.
And then, of course, we're going to want to start planting things.
We're going to have to grow food.
We're going to have to live off the land the best we can.
NARRATOR: Live off the land? On Mars? According to NASA, innovations in technology will be able to make the Martian landscape more hospitable to humans than was previously believed.
But could this same adjustment to a planet's environment be similar to what extraterrestrials could have accomplished here on Earth centuries ago? Ancient astronaut theorists say yes, and suggest that stories from nearly every ancient culture prove this audacious notion to be true.
One of the strangest traditions in South America is with the Kayapo people in Brazil.
And they have this legend of the Bep-Kororoti, who came down from the sky in a lot of noise and wind, and landed his craft.
He then taught the people knowledge of civilization, of herbs and medicine, of building and agriculture and crops.
And today, the Kayapo people celebrate him every year, and a priest dresses up in this outlandish outfit that looks like a spacesuit.
So you have to wonder, where are they getting these ideas of people in spacesuits if not from some extraterrestrials who landed there in the distant past? Today we are on the verge of going to other planets and seeding them with life.
And it makes complete sense that something like that happened on our planet in the very distant past.
NARRATOR: At Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, NASA exploration mission scientist Dr.
Elizabeth Rampe introduces -Travis Taylor to John Gruener -Nice to meet you.
a space scientist with NASA's Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Division.
Gruener is working to determine what humans will be able to grow and eat on Mars, so that they can live off the planet's resources.
TAYLOR: So what is this? GRUENER: It's weathered volcanic ash, or tephra.
And it's very similar to what's on Mars.
Everybody thinks of Hawaii as this paradise, right? -Warm beaches -Right, right.
You get up on top of these volcanoes, -and it's cold, it's dry.
-That's right, cold.
And so we've been using this for a number of decades.
It's kind of our general-purpose Mars simulant.
Uh, we've tried growing plants in it.
-Well, have you been able to grow plants in it? -Sure.
Because people grow in volcanic soil all over the Earth.
It's full of minerals, all right? But what we're lacking on Mars are -those biological things -Well, at least we think -we are, right? -At least we think, yeah.
Maybe not.
We're finding this methane.
Well, will we need some other things, like bacteria or something that you have to mix into the soil -before seeds will germinate and grow? -Yeah.
GRUENER: Yes, 'cause those roots in the soil don't just suck up the minerals by themselves.
And, of course, that makes the planetary protection people go crazy, because we want to bring bacteria and fungi and microbes to Mars, and, of course, we're trying to understand -If they're already there -if they're already there or if there ever was.
So I have a theory about that.
And I believe that we've already contaminated the rest of the solar system the way Mars has contaminated Earth with its organic material.
'Cause we've had major meteor impacts on Earth, and it's likely that an impact meteorite that's ejected from Earth with enough escape velocity to achieve an orbit that would bring it to Mars.
And absolutely, if a comet had impacted Mars and Earth, -we all have the same stuff, so we're all -Yes.
I think whatever we find here, we're likely to find there, and vice versa.
And so this stuff's just sitting there, waiting for us to use it.
NARRATOR: If many of the minerals that exist on Earth already exist on Mars, is it possible that not only did the planet once support life, but that it does so even today? There are scientists who believe the answer is yes, and they are even willing to go one step further.
They suggest we might be able to use sophisticated terraforming technology to transform the Mars environment so that it more closely resembles that of Earth.
DIAMANDIS: When we go off Earth, whether it's to the Moon, to Mars, ultimately we have a choice.
We either evolve ourselves to meet that environment, or we turn that environment to an Earth-like environment.
GREEN: As we have evolved on the planet, so has the biosphere.
And indeed, that's what will happen on Mars.
We'll be using the resources there and changing that environment.
It's fascinating that right now there are active talks by scientists who are proposing the terraforming of Mars.
It means that we know that Mars is a great candidate to, over time, develop a similar atmosphere like here on Earth.
Which is incredible, because a planet that can sustain life is a rare thing in the billions and billions of celestial bodies that we have in the universe.
NARRATOR: When the first Earth pioneers arrive on Mars, what will they discover? A barren world devoid of life? Or will they confront a profound reality, one in which they encounter evidence of an advanced alien civilization which once existed thousands of years ago? NARRATOR: As scientists face the enormous challenge of colonizing space, it is widely believed that robots equipped with artificial intelligence will play a critical role.
Even now, AI technology has been used to find alien planets classify galaxies and even create spacecraft capable of dodging space debris.
Robotic probes, like NASA's Cassini, for example, explored space for nearly 20 years and was instrumental in the study of Saturn and its rings.
We always send robots out ahead of the humans to find out a lot of those unknown things, like, uh, is the radiation, you know, hazardous to us.
When we get there, rather than astronauts going out in spacesuits by themselves, it's gonna be astronauts and robots going out and exploring together.
NARRATOR: Most experts agree that before travel into deep space can take place artificially intelligent robots will need to be able to harvest mineral resources to keep operating.
A version of this idea was first proposed by Hungarian scientist and mathematician John von Neumann in the 1960s.
He came up with the idea of a self-replicating robotic probe that could be built and rebuilt from materials found on asteroids.
BRANDENBURG: Von Neumann envisioned the idea of self-replicating automatons using asteroidal rubble as source material.
Machines could be sent to another planet, and it would start making copies of itself, and perhaps evolve from just the original copy to something more complex.
From one probe, you get a thousand, then a million, then a billion, and a trillion.
And pretty soon you have a sphere of trillions of probes colonizing the galaxy at near the speed of light.
BRANDENBURG: NASA has proposed the idea of self-replicating automata to be sent out to the asteroid belt, which is a place rich in minerals and materials that are easy to get to because they have low gravity.
You don't land on an asteroid, you dock with it.
Is it possible that we are looking at, in the future, such self-replicating automata building spaceships out of asteroids, going different places, doing exploration for us? It's quite conceivable.
NARRATOR: But if intelligent space robots are mankind's best hope for exploring the galaxy, is it possible that Earth was visited by extraterrestrial robots hundreds, and perhaps even thousands, of years ago? If so, are we likely to encounter them again? CHILDRESS: If we go to other planets, we would first send mechanical probes down to evaluate the climate and the minerals and the temperature and everything.
You would think that extraterrestrials would do the same for our planet.
GREEN: When you think about it, it's got to be one of the most fundamental things that they would do first.
Sending out intelligent robotic systems to probe.
They're expendable, and you can send them everywhere.
And perhaps we should be looking for those systems first as aliens.
NARRATOR: According to ancient astronaut theorists, evidence that extraterrestrials sent robots to Earth can be found in the stories of ancient cultures.
ERICH VON DANIKEN: In the story of the Argonauts that's an old Greek myth we for the first time hear about Talos.
Talos was today we would call it a kind of robot.
Talos was always surrounding the island of Crete.
And whenever someone went to come close to the island of Crete, he shut it down.
Except they had a certain code on which he did not shoot anymore.
So for us, Talos was like a robot.
YOUNG: An important figure in early Greek mythology was Cadmus, a divine character, the first hero, fifth in the lineage from Zeus of the Greek gods.
It was Cadmus that started agriculture, who brought civilization, and he brought the making of bronze.
He knew how to make alloys, special metals, which, in the early days of civilization, was the beginning of technology.
He was a slayer of monsters.
And he killed a water dragon, and he took the dragon's teeth and planted them like seeds, and great, fierce warriors grew out of the process.
MARTELL: We have to wonder if a lot of this is, again, depicting machines being powered by some type of extraterrestrial energy.
NOORY: When you look at the planet, you try to hypothesize what came here, in terms of extraterrestrials, and what came here first.
Look at what we do to Mars.
We send little rovers all over the place, electronic things.
Did they do that to Planet Earth, too? Or did they come here directly and then come down with occupants? I think what probably happened was the craft came to the planet, and then they sent down robots or androids to explore the planet.
You must be Julie.
-I am.
-I'm Travis.
NARRATOR: During his visit to the Johnson Space Center, aerospace engineer Dr.
Travis Taylor visited NASA's Robotics Lab, where he was shown the latest in space-faring robots.
Wow, so this is the robotics lab, huh? Well, this is the Dexterous Robotics Lab, -and this is Robonaut.
-Oh, wow.
BADGER: A lot of our future exploration concepts have us sending our assets, sending our spacecraft, sending the food and logistics first, and making sure everything's set up, and then sending our crew members.
So it's possible that the robots could actually build our habitats and things before we got there.
That's the That's the thought, yes.
And what if you needed to make repairs on the outside of the ship? Could Robonaut do stuff like that instead of you having to go out and do that? Absolutely.
Robots are great for the dull, dirty, dangerous, and the crew members inside the spacecraft could basically be the robot, commanding everything about it.
So, I noticed that Robonaut looks very human.
Why make it look human? It doesn't have to have a head.
You could put the sensors anywhere, right? BADGER: Yes.
However, since we were trying to make it for a human environment, and to work with humans, we thought that, well, form should follow function.
So, it's an engineering decision, but it's also kind of a good human-interaction decision, too.
We've had one on board the International Space Station for many years.
And we always, always get the crew request to say, "Hey, can I tweet this really cool photo" "that I took of me and Robonaut, and we're doing Tae Bo together"? So, it tends to promote bonding a little bit more.
TAYLOR: There's something we could learn from that.
If we ever were to, say, go to another star system, and we found a culture that were not bipedal -Right.
-We might want to send our AI that's got, whatever, if they were quadrupeds, we might want to make a quadrupedal robot, right? Absolutely.
I mean, people put faces on everything, right? You'd want to do the same thing for an alien culture, if you would.
And what kind of AI, or whatever, runs its systems? We have sound, uh, on board.
So, we do a lot of vision processing, and we have used neural nets.
Uh, we're working right now to connect the Robonaut to the spacecraft.
So, have a smart spacecraft that knows what's going on within its walls and be able to say, "Hey, Robonaut, I need you to go and change this filter out.
" Well, the other thing that jumps out at me is, of course, the negative scenario, where they can become smart enough, and they want to take over.
I'm not worried about that yet.
TAYLOR: You're not worried about that just yet.
NARRATOR: Is mankind following in the footsteps of its alien ancestors by using humanoid robots in the exploration and colonization of other worlds? Ancient astronaut theorists say yes.
But how will mankind fulfill its own extraterrestrial destiny if only robots are able to function on other planets? For many, the answer is simple.
Surviving on Mars will require not only new technology, but a new breed of humans.
PAUL VALLE: All right, you want to go to Mars? TAYLOR: Sure, let's go to Mars.
NARRATOR: At the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, aerospace engineer Dr.
Travis Taylor meets with Paul Valle, the project manager for the Active Response Gravity Offload System, otherwise known as "ARGOS.
" Travis is eager to experience firsthand how space colonists will be trained in order to survive in reduced-gravity environments.
And now you are on Mars.
So this is what Mars is like? -Yep.
-I can jump oh a lot higher.
So, if I were gonna try and walk across Mars TAYLOR: The ARGOS simulator is amazing in giving me some insight in realizing it's not easy to work on a planet that isn't the planet I came from.
If I was on Mars or the Moon or anywhere else, I would have to completely retrain my mind and body for working there.
-Whoa, getting up is the hard part.
(laughter) So if any civilizations have done that, they would have had to do the same type of training, or when they got here, they'd be extremely clumsy.
Ah, that's almost impossible.
-Yeah, now imagine doing it -Uh-oh.
There we go.
-(laughter) -VALLE: Now imagine doing it with a space suit, life support Yeah, like the Michelin Yeah.
You don't realize how much you use gravity to do everything.
-Yeah, you don't realize until it's gone.
NARRATOR: Although recent NASA footage of astronauts doing somersaults in midair and eating floating M&Ms paints a whimsical picture of what it's like to live in a low-gravity environment, the lack of gravity can, over time, have a devastating and profound impact on the human body.
What we have to do when we decide to go to Mars is really study all aspects of human physiology, how we're going to operate in a gravity that's much less than the Earth.
Our body will change because of that environment.
We're doing research in many ways right now, studying the effects of being weightless and then coming back to the Earth.
NARRATOR: March 2, 2016.
American Astronaut Scott Kelly returns to Earth after a record-setting 360-day mission aboard the International Space Station.
The duration of the mission was intended to help researchers understand how prolonged periods of time in zero gravity can affect the human body.
Scott's identical twin brother, Mark, also an astronaut, served as a control subject.
Because of his twin's DNA, which is, in theory, identical to his, they could then determine what kind of DNA changes had happened to him.
And what they discovered was that about seven percent of his DNA had been altered.
NARRATOR: Extensive post-mission lab tests confirmed the astonishing changes that had taken place.
Genes related to Scott Kelly's immune system, DNA repair, bone formation networks, his bloodstream, and numerous other systems have all been altered.
The startling results prompt scientists around the world to ask: what are the implications for humans who leave Earth permanently? So, I did a lot of my early medical work and medical research on how the human body adapts to space as you go up into orbit.
So, we are gonna begin to speciate and form sub-species of humans as we head off towards the stars.
Perhaps we should genetically modify ourselves to thrive in outer space.
We're gonna have to modify ourselves to adjust to different atmospheres, cosmic rays, radiation, you name it.
DIAMANDIS: Do we want to use gene editing technology to evolve ourselves and modify our DNA, modify our bodies to meet the needs of space as the human race is moving irreversibly off the planet? NARRATOR: February 2017.
Maverick geneticist Dr.
George Church, of Harvard University, makes an announcement that sounds like something out of a Hollywood movie.
Using a genome editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9, he and his team have combined DNA from an Asian elephant with genetic material from a species that's been extinct for nearly 4,000 years.
With the substitution of 45 sections of the elephant's genome with the DNA of a woolly mammoth, they insist that a creature from ancient times could soon be, once again, walking the Earth.
Once you have the technology to completely decode DNA and-and recode it, you also have the technology, then, to genetically alter any human being, or any animal or plant.
And so, therefore, you're able to genetically engineer a humanoid species that will be better adapted to space travel, better adapted to life on a different planet.
Extraterrestrials coming here in the ancient past could easily have done exactly the same thing.
NARRATOR: Could extraterrestrials, in possession of this same DNA-altering knowledge, have used it to aid their colonization efforts here on Earth thousands of years ago? An idea which once seemed absurd now seems remarkably and eerily plausible.
TAYLOR: Could you go back in time and look at something like the prehuman creatures, and genetically modify them and create what has become Homo sapiens? With our technology today, we could pick a near-sentient creature, and start doing genetic modifications on it, and create a new, sentient race.
NARRATOR: In addition to genetically modifying the human body in order to make it better suited for space travel and colonization, many experts propose that there will also need to be a merging of man and machine.
Genetically modified space colonists, they argue, will have to be fitted with bio-mechatronic parts in order to create a human that is smarter, faster, stronger and more durable.
HOWE: I've been talking with some scientists, and they say the next thing that's going to be coming is the cyborg evolution of humanity for those that are going to go into space.
KAKU: We have this Hollywood image that the aliens are gonna land, and they're gonna come out looking somewhat like us.
And they'll say, "Take us to your leader, Earth man.
" But I think it could be quite different.
They could be part robotic.
Realize that they could be thousands of years more advanced than us.
TAYLOR: There is a culture out there that's more advanced than us, that they've already built these robotic bodies.
Why wait for them to come to us? We have to become a huge, spacefaring culture, a civilization to go out and answer these questions for ourselves instead of just sitting on our hands and waiting for them to give us the answer someday.
NARRATOR: In finding ways to modify the human body, along with developing highly advanced methods for terraforming other planets, is mankind really going "where no one has gone before"? Or are we simply fulfilling our destiny, one that stretches back to the very beginnings of human life here on Earth? As far as ancient astronaut theorists are concerned, the more humans venture into space, the closer they will be to discovering their true origins.
Not on Earth, but on an alien world, far, far away.
NARRATOR: December 20, 2013.
Noted ecologist Dr.
Ellis Silver publishes his book Humans are not from Earth.
In it, he proposes that humans possess a multitude of physical vulnerabilities, such as slower childhood development, a heightened susceptibility to illness, spinal problems and difficulty giving birth.
He concludes that they most likely evolved on another planet.
There are a lot of indications that mankind, the human race, actually did not evolve on the planet Earth.
For one thing, you know, if we go out in the sun too long, we get sunburned.
And that doesn't make a lot of sense unless the conditions on Planet Earth have changed very dramatically in the last few thousand years.
You have to wear sunglasses outdoors.
That also indicates that our eyes are not properly adapted to the planet.
Some recent studies in sports medicine have shown us that the human body creates two types of fat.
One is isn't a good type of fat, and the other one is.
And interestingly enough, the studies show that if you bring the temperature down to about 67 degrees Fahrenheit, you create the good fat and not the bad fat.
Near the equator on Mars in the summertime, it's about 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now, that's Mars today, with very little atmosphere.
Imagine, in the past where Mars had an atmosphere, the average temperature on the surface might be around 67 degrees.
BARA: Another factor is that when astronauts actually go into space, their circadian rhythms, their body clocks, change from 24-hour days to a 24.
9-hour day, and that happens to be the exact rotational period of a single day on the planet Mars.
Given the fact that our body clocks are tuned to the planet Mars, not to the planet Earth, that indicates to me that we actually came here from there.
Some have suggested that at some point, Mars had an atmosphere, and due to some cataclysmic events on Mars, the Martians had to find a new home within our solar system.
And they came to Earth.
So what if we are the Martians? NARRATOR: Could it be that the human race actually evolved on Mars? And if so, what might have caused our ancient ancestors to come to Earth so many years ago? At some point, billions of years ago, Mars, it suffered a kind of environmental catastrophe.
Its atmosphere started bleeding away into outer space 'cause it had no magnetic field to help shield the planet.
NARRATOR: In 1976, author and researcher Zecharia Sitchin proposed that a 12th planet once existed in our solar system just beyond Mars that was somehow destroyed.
Although his declaration was based on his study of ancient Sumerian texts, it was largely dismissed by the academic community, who thought the idea absurd.
But recent physical evidence has come to light that may prove Sitchin more correct than even he believed possible.
NARRATOR: October 7, 2008.
An 80-ton asteroid enters the Earth's atmosphere and explodes 23 miles above the Nubian Desert in Sudan.
That day, an estimated 600 meteorites literally showered the landscape.
But when examined, the meteorites were found to contain something incredible: diamonds.
They also contained something else: evidence that they came from what scientists now believe to have been a lost planet in our solar system, one which was destroyed thousands of years ago.
The asteroid belt in our solar system, it's a strange thing.
And some have suggested that these are the remnants of a planet that exploded at some point.
And the inhabitants of that planet either went to Mars or they came to Earth.
I am convinced that the reason why there's such a huge fascination with space travel is because that's where we come from.
NARRATOR: If there really were an additional planet in our solar system that was destroyed by a cosmic collision, as Zecharia Sitchin suggested, could its displacement have had a calamitous effect on other, nearby planets, perhaps Mars? And how would the ancient Sumerians have known about it? Between Mars and Jupiter today, we have the asteroid belt, and the asteroid belt, in my opinion, was once a planet which exploded.
Which exploded because there was a war.
There was a war in space, a war in heaven.
Many mythologies speak about this war in heaven, including our Christian religion, where they speak that the archangel Lucifer fighted against the archangel Michael.
Greek mythology, every mythology around the world begins with the war in space, the war in heaven.
In my opinion, Mars was inhabited.
NARRATOR: Could the human race actually be populated by the descendants of refugees from Mars? And could this be the basis not only for our longstanding fascination with the so-called Red Planet, but why we are so compelled to return there? NARRATOR: June 20, 2018.
The White House Office of Science and Technology releases an 18-page report.
It outlines what NASA and FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, must do in the next decade to prevent deadly asteroids from crashing into Earth.
The document covers everything from earlier detection and possible deflection to ways of dealing with the fallout from a catastrophic impact.
We have a lot of these small bodies, these things that are coming out of the asteroid belt, these rocky meteors that then impact the Earth.
So over the last 15 years, we've studied how many are there, how many cross our orbit.
And we find that there are some really big ones.
They are gonna hit the Earth.
It's not a matter of if, it's only a matter of when.
We get a single hit from an asteroid that's as big as the one that took out the dinosaurs and, that by the way, is a 100% probability that that is gonna happen, sooner or later.
When that happens, all human life on Earth comes to a halt and we go extinct.
All of our proverbial eggs are in this one basket.
If anything happens to us, if there is an asteroid incident, if there is, a human disaster created, every element of our culture can get wiped out instantly.
NARRATOR: In recent years, more and more experts have come forward to stress the importance of establishing human settlements off Earth in order to insure the continuation of the species.
But is humankind still many years away from having the capability to realize this ambitious goal? Or could efforts to colonize Mars be much further along than the government is willing to reveal? Boulder, Colorado, August 8, 2018.
Tech titan and SpaceX founder Elon Musk convenes a secret meeting of high-level scientists, engineers and space colonization experts.
The 60 attendees are warned not to publicize anything about the meeting or even acknowledge their participation.
But news of the meeting leaks, sparking widespread speculation.
Why such secrecy from its organizer, a man who rarely shies away from the spotlight? Some have suggested there could be a connection to an event that happened seven weeks earlier President Donald Trump's call for the establishment of a new branch of the U.
military, the Space Force.
So, recently, President Trump announced a Space Force.
Basically, what he's saying is, we are going to develop an outer space initiative, a deep space program that's gonna be started from the military, controlled by the military and apparently will have militaristic aims.
Now, some people may find this alarming, but others may look at it and say, what's really happening here is a very, very crucial moment in human history and in the history of the United States, where we are stepping into space in a real, real serious way.
NICK POPE: In relation to the space program, the private sector players the billionaires, the Elon Musks they're increasingly the people making the decisions on this.
It's almost as if government is losing control of this.
Or it might be now wholly in the private sector.
Maybe being deliberately moved.
It is, I think, sometimes more difficult for people to find out what's going on in the private sector than actually what's going on in government.
I had an interview once with an astronaut about the fact that if we don't get ourselves, get some contingency of humans off some on the Moon, some on Mars and going beyond that eventually, homo sapiens sapiens, as a species, if confined only to Earth, might face an existential crisis.
We deserve to know the truth, that there is alien intelligence, and our government knows about it in great detail.
And now we're finally at the intersection, in time, where that has to break out if we're going to grow and go beyond Earth and start moving out into our own solar system.
NARRATOR: Is it possible that there are people within the United States government who already know that the first astronauts to land on Mars will encounter intelligent extraterrestrial life? And are they secretly working with billionaires in order to help carry out preparations for this inevitability outside of the public eye? As far as ancient astronaut theorists are concerned, whatever the government does or does not know, as we begin to migrate off Earth, all of humanity will soon learn the truth: that we are not alone in the universe.
I think what we're very near is an event, a discovery.
Could be on the Moon, could be Mars, could be maybe Proxima Centauri or any of our local stars, where we're gonna understand that everything that ancient astronaut theorists have been talking about is true.
We human beings, we fancy ourselves as, you know, being pioneers and wanting to be the first.
And that's wonderful.
We are pioneers.
We are the first on many, many things.
But what if we arrive on Mars, we actually land there, and there are artificial structures? It's just the closing of a gigantic circle.
NARRATOR: Is it possible that ancient stories, involving everything from angels and gods descending to the Earth to miracles and extraordinary extraterrestrial events, were handed down from generation to generation in order to prepare mankind for interplanetary exploration? Ancient astronaut theorists not only believe the answer is yes, but they also point to a recent scientific discovery that may indicate we are rapidly approaching an exodus from Planet Earth.
NARRATOR: The University of Tennessee.
Forensic anthropologists examining human skulls dating from the mid-1800s to the mid-1980s find that, in the past 100 years, human skulls have become larger, taller and narrower.
Although exactly why these changes have occurred is still being debated, many scientists believe that even more rapid changes will take place when future humans spend more and more of their lives living in outer space.
According to them, the human head will continue to grow wider as brain mass increases.
Decreased access to sunlight could lead to the development of larger eyes.
And nostrils might elongate, in order to facilitate breathing in dusty environments, like that of Mars.
Scientists have suggested that if beings like us were to go into space and spend long periods in space, without normal gravity and such, that our muscles would begin to atrophy, we would have much more longer, spindly arms.
And this is how, sometimes, extraterrestrials are described as well.
If I say that, somehow or other, life on Earth came from an extraterrestrial source, your first thought is immediately: ooh, little green men or little grey aliens with big bug eyes or whatever did that.
But it's an interesting parallel when you hear people talk about humans' evolution.
Is it possible that that's what humanity might become for spacefaring purposes, is more like these grey aliens? One theory that's been proposed, that these are actually ancestors of humanity that left Planet Earth at some point, and over millions and millions of years have evolved into this more spindly-limbed, more neuro-focused, night vision-focused creature, but actually are tied to humanity's past.
Some have suggested that the ancient astronauts that our ancestors encountered perhaps were us human beings from the future going back in time to teach us.
That's an interesting idea, because I think that time travel is conceivably possible.
However, with the ancient texts that I'm familiar with, I have yet to come across a passage that one of these "gods" says to our ancestors, "We're the same, but we are from the future.
" NARRATOR: While ancient astronaut theorists are divided on the question of whether extraterrestrials, like the so-called Greys, are, in fact, biologically evolved humans visiting us from the future, what they all agree on is that the day is fast approaching when we will finally know the truth about mankind's alien origins.
HENRY: In creation mythologies, there's a plan that emerges, and this plan is for people to become more like the gods, so that we could be reunited with them in the stars.
We are on the cusp of, or perhaps even in the middle of, right now, this tremendous transformation that will connect us with extraterrestrial beings.
HOWE: A Gallup poll was done to ask questions of the population that would indicate whether or not they had had interactions with biological entities that were not human.
And that Gallup poll came to the conclusion that three to four percent of the current population of our planet have had an interaction with something that's in the nonhuman category.
So are the nonhumans waiting for a specific moment in which they will say the human experiment is beginning to grow up? We want to go out and explore.
And we think it's the beginning.
It's not the beginning.
HENRY: I don't think it's coincidental that at this moment we are recording mass sightings of extraterrestrial craft.
We're understanding the ancient world and how they interacted with extraterrestrials.
Science is advancing to understand this.
Communications are being put in place.
I think all of this is leading to this moment where we're gonna peak, where we're gonna experience this disclosure, this convergence, this return, and it will forever change humanity.
NARRATOR: Will humankind succeed in establishing new colonies on other planets? And if we do, will we discover that we are not the pinnacle of creation, but just the newest members of an intergalactic society? Perhaps as we transition off of Earth and out into the stars, we will find that we are not reaching the peak of our human evolution, but only the beginning of a destiny that's as limitless as the universe.

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