Ancient Aliens s16e08 Episode Script

The Space Travellers

MISSION CONTROL: Ignition sequence start.
NARRATOR: It is humankind's most profound achievement.
MISSION CONTROL: Three, two, one, liftoff.
We have a liftoff.
NARRATOR: Blasting off from planet Earth to journey to the stars.
JERRY LINENGER: Going to space it's incredible, and it blows your mind to think that people can figure out how to make that happen.
NARRATOR: But could our voyages into the cosmos be even more extraordinary than we know? BUZZ ALDRIN: I'm looking out the window and I said, "What's that?" NARRATOR: Ancient astronaut theorist Giorgio Tsoukalos is joined by author David Childress and aerospace engineer Dr.
Travis Taylor in an attempt to answer the question: Is our space program being monitored by extraterrestrials? And if so, are they waiting for the human race to fulfill its destiny as space travelers? TRAVIS TAYLOR: We have to leave this solar system if we want humanity to survive.
GIORGIO TSOUKALOS: I think it is wired within all of us that we instinctively know that we come from the stars, and this is why we would like to go back.
NARRATOR: There is a doorway in the universe.
Beyond it is the promise of truth.
It demands we question everything we have ever been taught.
The evidence is all around us.
The future is right before our eyes.
We are not alone.
We have never been alone.
I'm excited to be here with you guys to talk about everything that's going on with space exploration.
I think it's a natural part of evolution to actually go back to the stars.
I deliberately say "go back to the stars" or "return to the stars" because, according to the ancient astronaut theory, that is where we came from.
DAVID CHILDRESS: SpaceX now has sent astronauts to the International Space Station, and so we've now entered a whole new era of space exploration one that's privatized.
Yeah, well, we're at a point right now that, uh, if you have $20 million, the Russians will send you on a trip in space.
You can go to the International Space Station.
Think about this: there are a lot of people on this planet that $20 million means nothing to, and, before long, it'll be even cheaper than that.
Like Elon Musk and Bob Bigelow, the next big commercial space guy isn't gonna care.
If they want to go to Mars, who's to stop them? - They're gonna go to Mars.
- CHILDRESS: And they don't have to go with some protocols or government I mean, they can - just do what they want.
Is that what you're saying? - TAYLOR: That's exactly right.
Long as they're not violating some, you know, uh, commerce law or whatever, but what we know right now the treaties say that space is the wild frontier.
It is like international waters in the ocean.
You're at maritime law once you get out of low Earth orbit.
Yeah, I to me, it's very exciting.
And now with more launches, the probability of seeing extraterrestrials will increase.
I really think that we are destined to explore our own solar system and then go beyond because this is part of who we are.
- I agree.
- TSOUKALOS: And this type of curiosity is hardwired within us.
- It's in our, in our DNA.
That's what you're saying.
- TSOUKALOS: In our DNA that we have to explore.
CHILDRESS: I think the one thing that's that's interesting here, too, is that the whole idea that there is extraterrestrials and, um, UFOs coming here that was all part of the Russian space program.
It's actually part of their I wouldn't call it religion, but their metaphysics.
The Soviet Union promoted cosmism.
Cosmism, right.
Cosmism, uh, taught that - Yeah, we're life on planet Earth came from space - Came from and-and it was our destiny to go back into space.
NARRATOR: At the end of the 19th century, Russian philosophers envisioned a radical new theory about the origins of humanity called "cosmism.
" You can think of cosmism almost as a Russian version of ancient astronaut theory.
It takes as its start point the fact that perhaps we come from the stars and its endpoint to we need to go back to the stars.
This is considered to be the-the motivating factor behind the Russian space program.
The Russian cosmist point of view proposed that Russia's ultimate future was to colonize space, and that, in fact, it was a-a spiritual prerogative to get out into space.
NARRATOR: In May 1903, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, a cosmist and mathematician from Kaluga, Russia, published a landmark paper on rocket science entitled "Exploration of Outer Space by Means of Rocket Devices.
" At a time when most of the world did not have automobiles or even electricity, Tsiolkovsky was trying to figure out how to travel to the stars.
One hypothesis he proposed, called "the ideal rocket equation," calculated the amount of velocity needed to lift an aircraft into outer space.
Amazingly, that 1903 equation was used directly in the launch of Sputnik 1.
So it was hugely influential, and it worked.
NARRATOR: What led Tsiolkovsky and other cosmists to subscribe to such extraordinary beliefs? Ancient astronaut theorists believe the answer can be found in Tsiolkovsky's own writings, in which he described receiving an extraterrestrial message from the stars.
NARRATOR: Tsiolkovsky's work ushered in a new era of human exploration, motivating the Russian government to send cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin to space in 1961.
Could it be that the goal of the Soviet cosmonaut program was not only to demonstrate technological superiority but to connect with extraterrestrial beings? So do we know of any stories that could relate some type of a UFO encounter? - The Russian cosmonauts have quite a few stories.
- Okay.
And a famous one happened in 1984, when three cosmonauts were on the Salyut 7 space station.
NARRATOR: Orbiting 172 miles above the Earth, the Salyut 7 was Russia's scientific research space station.
On July 12, 1984, cosmonauts Oleg Atkov, Leonid Kizim and Vladimir Solovyov were on board the spacecraft when they witnessed an extraordinary event.
During the Salyut 7 mission, Soviet cosmonauts had a bizarre encounter.
The spacecraft was surrounded by a strange glow, and all of a sudden, they saw immense figures outside in space.
The three cosmonauts saw something at one of the windows that looked like they-they described it as, like, an orange glow that looked like human faces, but they were huge, like, the size of a jet plane, and they couldn't explain what it was.
NARRATOR: What makes this event even more compelling to researchers is that the cosmonauts not only described the same bizarre vision, but they also reported being overcome with a strange feeling.
NICK POPE: The Salyut 7 encounter the cosmonauts felt a sort of sense of well-being, and that's interesting because it's counterintuitive.
You would think that, in that difficult and dangerous environment of space, when something unusual happens, the natural instinct would be to panic, and yet quite the opposite seems to have happened.
LINENGER: I was on a Russian space station for five months myself, two Russian cosmonauts, spoke Russian the whole time.
And, you know, they'll tell you stories about old Salyut 7, uh, where they had a couple cosmonauts that said they felt sort of the presence of angels.
And it gave them kind of a good, comfortable feeling.
NARRATOR: Could the sense of well-being experienced by the Salyut 7 cosmonauts indicate they were in the presence of beings from another world? Is it possible that they encountered similar entities to the ones reported by famous cosmist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky? Might they actually be the same as what the cosmonauts saw from Salyut 7? And that's interesting because this is the Russian idea that when we do go to the stars, we will encounter extraterrestrials is thus inextricably bound up with cosmism and the whole Russian view of space.
The Russian cosmonauts were more open to the whole idea that the aliens are coming here, and there are many curious episodes that have happened in space, and we're also curious about what astronauts see while they're up there on the Moon or in these space stations, on spacewalks.
TSOUKALOS: But, you know, one of the best people to ask these questions would be an astronaut, and so I have Dr.
Leroy Chiao, an actual astronaut, waiting with a video call.
I can't wait to see that.
We actually have Dr.
Leroy Chiao, an astronaut, waiting for us on a Zoom call.
So let's see what he has to say about this.
- CHILDRESS: Hi, Leroy.
- TAYLOR: Hello, Dr.
- How are you doing? Pleasure to meet you.
- CHIAO: Hey, guys.
- Excellent.
How are you guys? - CHILDRESS: Good.
Thank you.
Nice Saturn V model you have in the background.
Thank you.
So tell us, I mean, not many people have been to outer space, and I think one of the most basic question is: How does it feel? Sure.
I mean, it's really a special, uh, experience, as you can imagine, especially the very first time you get actually into the vehicle and launched into space.
More emotional than I expected.
Of course, I looked back at the Earth once we got into orbit, saw how beautiful our Earth is with the colors being so bright and quite an emotional experience.
How many missions did you have? I flew four missions into space.
My first three missions were aboard space shuttles, and my fourth flight, I trained with the Russians, and we launched the International Space Station, where I served as the commander and NASA Science Officer during Expedition 10, which was a six-and-a-half-month flight.
I'm very interested in any unexplainable events that you might have seen or experienced.
Have you ever seen something that you couldn't explain? Yes.
Actually, yeah, I did.
You know, on my last spacewalk during my space station mission, we were in that twilight, you know, time between going from darkness into light.
And I saw what looked like four or five lights flying by in formation, and it was like, "Whoa, what is that?" And I called out in Russian to my Russian crewmate, and he was also outside with me.
I said, "Hey, did you see those lights fly by?" And he was facing the other way, so he didn't see them.
CHILDRESS: So when you see the lights - going by you - Yeah.
you thought they were perhaps UFOs? You know, at the time, I didn't know what they were.
It wasn't until later, after we landed, somebody had figured out that we were off the coast of South America.
Said that I had seen a line of fishing boats using very bright lights to attract squid.
But wouldn't you see the lights of Buenos Aires or Montevideo at the same time? Because that's where - those squid boats are.
- Normally you would.
Normally you would.
But, you know, who knows? I wasn't sure which direction I was facing because we were in that twilight, and I couldn't tell which direction was the Earth and which direction was deep space.
TAYLOR: So, uh, it's really interesting.
A lot of people don't realize this other astronauts throughout history have claimed to have seen things that were not explained.
TAYLOR: Gordon Cooper claims he saw one.
John Glenn saw the fireflies around his spacecraft.
Buzz Aldrin claimed to have seen things near Earth that we can't explain.
NARRATOR: According to UFO researchers, an extraordinary sighting was reported during NASA's most famous mission.
In July of 1969, while Apollo 11 was traveling towards the Moon, Buzz Aldrin noticed that there was something kind of trailing them outside one of the windows.
And he and Neil Armstrong tried to figure out what could it be.
ALDRIN: I'm looking out the window, and I say, "What's that"? There's an object that's moving with respect to everything else.
Geez, it's not supposed to be doing that.
I wonder how far away it is.
If it's a long ways away, it's going mighty fast.
If it's not too far away, it, uh, maybe isn't going very fast.
Wonder what it is.
"Hey, Neil, look at this.
" We look at it.
"God, what is that?" "Probably the, uh, upper stage rocket.
" "Yeah, but didn't we just watch that thing carefully "out in front of us, out the window, light its engine and go" [imitates whooshing.]
Well, I guess that's not what we're looking at, [chuckles.]
'cause that's a long ways away.
What's the odds that it's some alien or Russian or something else? But we were not about to cancel the Moon mission and putt-putt over there to find out which one it was.
POPE: Few UFO sightings by astronauts are as controversial than the ones involving Buzz Aldrin.
Effectively, the believers say that UFOs followed him to the Moon.
Some even say that when they got to the Moon, they were there already waiting for them.
CHILDRESS: Leroy, when you were up in space with your fellow astronauts, including the Russians, did you ever talk about extraterrestrials or UFOs? Was that ever a subject? Yeah, I think there's no doubt a lot of us astronauts have seen some weird things, and we don't know for sure what they are.
NARRATOR: One astronaut who experienced something he could not explain is Jerry Linenger, a man who logged an incredible 50 million miles in space travel in the 1990s and survived the most severe fire ever experienced aboard an orbiting spacecraft.
So I had the privilege of flying on a shuttle flight, which was incredible.
And living on the space station Mir a Russian space station.
So people ask me, "Have you seen a UFO?" And, you know, I-I don't want to take this out of context, but unidentified flying objects? Yes.
I think we've all seen something that we're not exactly sure what that is up there.
When I was on the Russian space station, there was one time I saw sort of a white globular looking thing.
Kind of looked like a misshaped snowball, kind of off in the distance, and I actually called one of my cosmonaut crewmates over.
I said, you know, "What the heck is that?" And he says, you know, "I don't know.
" And then we kind of scratched our heads.
Said, well, "Maybe an ice chunk off the external tank and it's crossing our path again.
" You know, who knows? But it was definitely something that neither of us could identify.
It's not uncommon to see these things.
I certainly, uh, wasn't shy about talking about the-the strange lights I thought were flying by.
You know, I kind of didn't really formally report it per se, but I-I said it in the clear in a radio transmission to my partner to see if he could see them, too.
The probability of, you know, an intelligent vehicle coming to visit us uh, I think that's unlikely, but the probability's not zero.
TAYLOR: But do you think that maybe they saw something like you did that - that we just didn't figure out what the actual thing was - Mm-hmm.
or maybe there were things that-that we can't explain? Well, you know, never say never.
I mean, uh, I-I for one would never say that I know everything, you know, and I can explain everything.
I firmly believe there's intelligent life all over the universe.
In fact, I think it's the height of arrogance, uh, for us here on Earth to think that we are the only ones in the universe that-that are intelligent.
- TAYLOR: Well, thank you.
- CHILDRESS: Great talking to you.
Nice talking to you guys.
- True pleasure.
Thank you.
- Take care.
I think it's great that, you know, Leroy has had these interesting experiences.
He's seen things that he couldn't explain, although they've been explained to him now.
But lots of astronauts have seen unusual things If if you subscribe to that, but let's agree with him and say, "Okay.
There is a natural explanation - for this particular example.
" - Sure.
But there are countless other encounters that I always found fascinating.
CHILDRESS: People within space programs keep things secret.
Within the, I think, NASA, an American space program, there was more of an effort to not have those discussions of-of possible UFOs, of possible extraterrestrials.
The reason the American astronauts didn't do that is because of the stupid Brookings Report.
When the Brookings Report came out in 1960 after the beginning of the Mercury program, the final conclusion was that the general public would go nuts if they were told of any evidence of extraterrestrial life.
Yeah, they warn they warned against that.
And so, and so the astronaut program, all up through the shuttle era, was given that the-the philosophy, if not orders, if you see something like that, we don't talk about it.
- You call it - And you call it a you call it a bogey.
NARRATOR: According to UFO researchers, one of the first incidents involving the cover-up of an unidentified sighting in space took place on December 4, 1965, shortly after the Gemini 7 blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, as the 12th American spaceflight.
On board were astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell.
Just hours into their mission, they reported an unusual sighting from orbit.
They radio down to NASA that they had a bogey outside the window.
They did actually see something that was strange in orbit, and they didn't immediately know what it was.
BILL BIRNES: NASA control is furious about this.
"Don't report this.
What are you doing? Oh, it's-it's just debris, booster rocket debris.
" But no.
The astronauts fully maintained and this is multiple witness these are craft flying with the Gemini capsules.
And the whole thing is hushed up when they land.
They watched it and were stunned.
I mean, they-they didn't have an explanation.
They hadn't expected it at all, and still don't know what they saw.
What you have is a bona fide unexplained phenomena, uh, looking out the window of your spacecraft.
Edgar Mitchell is another astronaut.
- I mean, he spent his whole post-astronaut life - Yes.
- promoting, you know, extraterrestrial contact - Absolutely.
and the belief in extraterrestrials.
So here's a NASA astronaut who's you know, is totally on board with this, that, you know, we are being visited.
NARRATOR: Astronaut Edgar Mitchell served as the lunar module pilot on Apollo 14.
On February 5, 1971, he made history when he completed the third Moon landing and became the sixth person to ever walk on the Moon.
Apollo 14 was the first, uh, mission to the Moon to begin the science exploration.
We landed in the Fra Mauro Highlands, and our-our purpose there was to set up science, uh, instruments there, to make a geology trek up to the top of Cone crater and bring back samples, which we did.
NARRATOR: Four over nine hours, Mitchell and mission commander Alan Shepard explored the lunar surface.
But according to Mitchell, for him, the most significant part of their voyage occurred as they were returning to Earth.
After I had done all my work, and we were on the way home, I suddenly had an experience, uh, which I will describe as ecstasy and exhilaration.
And I realized everything is part of the same thing.
And I realized that, perhaps, that with this experience, maybe the story of ourselves, as told by our science, was incomplete and perhaps flawed and that maybe what we should be doing now is look very seriously again at: What is our origin? What is our place in the universe? And that was kind of the epiphany, the experience I had in space.
NARRATOR: Years later, Mitchell's life-changing experience inspired him to start investigating the UFO phenomenon.
I have-have not had any personal experience.
However, I do know virtually all of the research people in both Europe and the United States that have spent decades working on this problem, and I listened and investigated all the sightings for dozens of years, and I'm pretty sure it's all true.
And I've been involved in the Disclosure Project, uh, tr-trying to get this opened up and reveal what we really do know.
I still feel that, yeah, NASA, they have secrets.
A lot of people have said, "Well, look, everybody in NASA would have to be keeping some secret.
" And that's wrong, too.
Uh, within these space programs, you have compartmentalized programs, need to know.
- Well - People within the space program don't need to know everything.
I mean, they've got to keep things secret.
They have to.
You know, as far as I'm concerned, I think that the exploration and perhaps even the colonization of space is what we are destined to do.
I think it is wired within all of us that we inherently need to explore where we came from, right? I find it fascinating that there are these stories out there about astronauts and alien encounters.
We have in possession today - photographic evidence.
- Yep.
Sure, we've all seen some odd-looking photos from NASA astronauts, uh, that are actually these unidentified aerial phenomena that we have no idea what they are.
CHILDRESS: There are some photos of possible UFOs, of possible extraterrestrials.
TSOUKALOS: Have you seen the Skylab photo of the two or three red lights? I've seen the photo you're talking about.
Well, right, and that's what I was just gonna say.
We have very good photos of that, and that is an anomaly.
NARRATOR: Launched on May 25, 1973, the Skylab was America's first space station, an orbital scientific research vessel.
After roughly four months in orbit, an astronaut aboard Skylab named Owen Garriott took a photograph of a mysterious object outside the space station.
The crew of Skylab 3 saw something strange at one of their windows, and it was kind of an oscillating red-orange lights off in the distance.
The crew couldn't discern exactly what it was just the certainty that it was tracking them or they were tracking it, rather, for quite a long time.
The most logical explanation was that it was a satellite or some kind of debris, but the crew did note at the time that they had seen other satellites in orbit, and the satellites looked like they do on Earth, and this phenomenon they'd seen, these lights, didn't look like that at all.
Ultimately, the public explanation was that it was just a reflection of the panel in the background of the space st - On the window? - In the window.
But there are training modules of these things where you can actually go inside and replicate the conditions of how this would be, and so, as far as the red lights are concerned, the panel does not have two or three red lights.
It only has one.
So it dismisses the idea that it was a reflection of the instrument panel.
I find that very interesting.
Would I be correct in assuming that these space stations are, uh, equipped with cameras? TAYLOR: Well, so there is some video from the shuttle era.
We have seen some bona fide unexplained phenomena.
NARRATOR: As far as UFO researchers are concerned, some of the most compelling video taken in outer space was recorded during NASA mission STS-80 in December 1996.
During the space shuttle Columbia mission, astronaut Story Musgrave captured a number of strange events on camera, including slow-moving circular objects.
It really seems like the footage that we're looking at, the video footage of STS-80 clearly show what appear to be powered vehicles operating in low Earth orbit, clearly performing the way UFOs or extraterrestrial spacecraft are supposedly able to perform.
NARRATOR: While NASA scientists dismiss these objects as ice particles, the incredible images have fascinated researchers, including aerospace engineer and digital imaging expert Dr.
Mark Carlotto.
After spending countless hours studying the footage, he has come to the conclusion that the object in these images were intelligently controlled.
A number of objects are seen just after sunrise.
The conjecture by NASA, the explanation is that these are the result of particles that move from shadow into sunlight and suddenly become illuminated so they appear to the camera, and then they move, and then if there's a thruster firing or some other action, they change direction.
However, NASA spokespersons do not comment on what's seen earlier in the video.
Here, we're looking at the Earth about a minute or so before the discs and the streaks appear, and we're looking at, as the camera zooms, we're looking at Puerto Rico.
That's that bright blob that we see in the middle of the screen.
As the camera zoom The camera operator is moving around as if they're looking for something, and in a moment, we'll see something suddenly appear, almost literally out of nowhere.
If we look at this event more closely, it leaves a trail or a wake behind it.
It happens very quickly.
It's very unusual.
In this particular map, we see Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and I will now overlay one of the frames of the video.
See the object appearing and moving left to right? In one half second, this object moves 340 miles, which is a speed of 680 miles per second.
This object moves as fast as a bolt of lightning.
There are no thunderstorms in the area.
It is unlike any natural phenomenon that's known, and this object has never been mentioned by NASA or anyone that's talked about this video.
NARRATOR: Is it possible that NASA has already captured footage of an extraterrestrial presence in outer space only to dismiss it as natural phenomena? Ancient astronaut theorists believe that as humankind continues to venture further out into the cosmos, it is only a matter of time before we record an alien encounter that is impossible to deny.
So what's the next step, then? Going to Mars, I suppose.
Do you think we'll find some answers to a lot of our questions there? Well, I'll tell you one answer that I can't wait to find.
We had a race to the Moon, uh, and now it's a race to Mars.
- But now there's a lot more players in this game, right? - TAYLOR: Yes.
- I mean, we've got - Right now, you-you've got the three governments, you know, the Russians, the Chinese and the Americans, are gonna get to the Moon and Mars from a government standpoint.
But I'm telling you, some of these rich billionaires are gonna get there whether we want them to or not.
CHILDRESS: And they can probably do it a lot more cost effective than these governments.
Well, now that we're getting close to Mars, do you think we'll find some answers to a lot of our questions there? Well, I'll tell you one answer that I can't wait to find.
Uh, there's a-a photograph that you can still find it in, uh, the database from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
And it shows, like, a little pool of water and an iceberg and a cloud, uh, all in the same picture.
So I think we're certainly gonna find water, and if we're gonna find water and we know it gets 67 degrees - in the summer - We find life.
- Absolutely, that's what we're gonna find.
- TSOUKALOS: See, but here's the thing that, you know, to me - The life I am looking for - Yeah.
looks like you and me.
It is humanoid in-in form.
Uh, if we find bacteria life, okay.
And, in my opinion, I'm gonna say it: - big whoop.
- TAYLOR: That's what most people, I think, will say, Giorgio.
I-I agree.
Let me tell you this, though.
It's possible that Mars was the blue-green planet here, you know, a billion years ago instead of Earth, and when, whatever happened to Mars, they migrated from there to here.
NARRATOR: Migration from Mars to Earth? Some ancient astronaut theorists have proposed the incredible notion that the human race did, in fact, originate on Earth's closest neighboring planet, and it is their belief that all of humankind's journeys into space have been leading towards a return to this ancestral homeland.
While it may sound like the premise of a sci-fi movie, some scientists have proposed that, based on what we've learned about the Red Planet, this is not such a far-fetched notion after all.
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, Mars was a much more clement place, a more clement world in its own.
We know that it had 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: If Mars was once an Earth-like planet, could it have supported human life? Curiously, researchers have found a remarkable link between human physiology and conditions on Mars.
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.
NARRATOR: Could we, in fact, be Martians? And might this be why we are so compelled to explore beyond Earth? In April 2020, NASA announced that three private companies Blue Origin, Dynetics and SpaceX, will compete to design America's new human landing system, or HLS.
Its ultimate purpose: to send astronauts to Mars.
POPE: I think the next few years are going to be absolutely pivotal in Mars research.
We are seeing mission after mission after mission going to Mars, and, again, one might wonder why.
Is it because, when humanity expands out into the cosmos, we are going to have to have a planetary base and Mars is a good place for that? Or is it because scientists know or suspect that there's something there? We don't know what's on Mars right now, but we can speculate.
There are some photos.
There are books that speculate there are structures on Mars.
I like to think that there are structures on Mars and there was an ancient civilization there that-that perhaps is dead.
And you have also this curious monolith - on the Martian moon Phobos.
- TSOUKALOS: Phobos.
- Oh, Phobos.
TSOUKALOS: What's interesting, too, for example, the Cydonia region.
That is where allegedly the pyramids are.
- Absolutely.
- CHILDRESS: What is that doing there? Is that a natural formation? I mean, this seems like a very artificial thing.
NARRATOR: Researchers studying NASA photographs of the Martian surface have identified what appear to be a number of artificial structures.
MARK CARLOTTO: There's a number of pyramidal structures called the "City.
" There's a famous face on Mars.
It could be evidence of, perhaps, of a prehistoric civilization on Mars.
POPE: It's only a matter of time before we find absolutely definitive evidence of microbes on Mars.
Maybe, and this would be the absolute Holy Grail, of course, maybe we will find the fingerprints of an ancient civilization.
NARRATOR: When the first astronauts reach Mars, will they discover evidence that the Red Planet has been visited before or perhaps something even more profound? You know, for decades, we've had these questions about Mars.
And now that we are at the beginning of actually soon being able to go there, we will have these answers and possibly within our own lifetimes.
And we live in such exciting times.
TAYLOR: NASA plans to make their first manned Mars mission within the 2030s.
So that means we're only ten-ish years away from that, and so we should get to see that.
If there was a civilization there, it's likely that they're gonna land close to where it might have been.
- Yeah.
- And, eventually, - somebody's gonna stumble across it.
- CHILDRESS: Maybe when we go to Mars, we'll be returning to Mars, having actually come there originally ourselves.
- And you have to have an open mind to the possibility.
- Yeah.
TAYLOR: But there's more to it in our evolution.
We can't just stay here.
Sooner or later, something will happen that would be an extinction-level event to the Earth.
We have to leave Earth if we want humanity to survive.
This is, uh has been such an incredible and fascinating conversation that, you know, we live in the most exciting of times right now because with the privatization of space travel, we are destined to go back into space and explore our own solar system and then go beyond, because this is part of who we are.
TAYLOR: I think, in less than a hundred years, we're going to advance physics knowledge enough that we will be able to travel at speeds that are arbitrarily fast, meaning like warp speeds and things like that.
We have an understanding within our theoretical physics to do it.
- It's the engineering pieces that's next.
- Right.
- CHILDRESS: Right, okay.
- So, and here's the thing.
- We're a fairly young species.
- Right.
TAYLOR: Sooner or later, something will happen that would be an extinction-level event to the Earth.
It may be a billion years from now, maybe a million years, maybe next week.
We have to go to the Moon and put people there.
We have to go to Mars and make it livable.
And so we have to leave this Earth if we want humanity to survive.
And who's to say that that's not what has happened already - Of course.
- and that we are part of that survival process? There's so many stars out there, and there had to be other civilizations that occurred.
They had to go and explore, and they had to spread themselves across the universe.
The Russian cosmists believe that we-we came from the stars and that we're destined to go back to the stars.
And, uh, that's pretty much what we're doing now, aren't we? Uh, returning to the stars, in many ways, as explorers.
I think you're absolutely right there.
You know, this makes me think of, uh, Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Even before the golden era of-of what we would call science fiction in the '30s, John Carter of Mars Chessmen of Mars, yeah, Princess of Mars.
- The Barsoomian adventures - Yeah.
was that somebody, John Carter, left Earth some way, ends up on Mars, and there's a whole civilization there.
Science fiction drives that sort of imagination.
It's dr-driven me since I was a kid, watching Star Trek and reading Robert Heinlein and Asimov and Arthur C.
Clarke, and all these things, right? They're telling us - what the future might be.
- TSOUKALOS: Science fiction has become, in many cases, science fact.
And technology has accelerated exponentially.
Can you imagine where we'll be 20 years from now? TAYLOR: You know, I want to know all of these ancient astronaut theories.
I want to go out there and find Thor and Zeus and these guys, and I want to, I want to ask, "Where did y'all go?" Right? - Maybe they're waiting for us right now to get there, right? - Yeah.
- You know, "We've been waiting.
What-what took you so long?" - Right? I really think that we are destined to explore space and perhaps also colonize space, and if we do that, sooner or later, we will come across our actual alien ancestors.
And I'm really excited to see what the future holds.
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