Ground Control: Five Proponents (and Theories) of Ancient Astronauts Pt 1

Welcome back once again! This is a particularly interesting week for me, as I have a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it. I’m still aiming to have the revised version of Corridors of the Dead out in the next two weeks (at least the eBook version) and editing is ongoing with Pathways of the Dead. Did I also mention I’m participating in a short story contest in September? Whew.

But here’s the big thing: I’ll be participating in a writing marathon this coming weekend. Four straight days of writing 10 to 11 hours a day. The goal? Finish a 50,000-word “novel” in four days. I have a concept, I have the majority of an outline (another goal for this week), and I have a detailed schedule. We’ll see if I can make it through, as this is typically a month’s worth of output, but I’m determined. Red Bull, Mountain Dew, and Nootropics will see me through, which reminds me, I really should talk about writing supplmements someday…

Anyway! Today we’re here to start the discussion on Ancient Astronauts. It’s a fascinating theory that’s pretty much completely bullshit but underlies the Among the Dead series. In my novels, the Watchers were extra-dimensional beings sent by the Aetelia (now known as angels) to help guide humanity’s evolution. This stuff is pretty much directly based on ancient astronaut theory, specifically the Anakim or Annunaki, often associated with the “historical” Watchers. It’s a lot to untangle, so let’s take a look at some of the proponents and their theories before talking about the underpinnings of the novels.

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1. Eric Von Daniken. Dude is completely out of his mind, but insanity is a plus here. Von Daniken is kind of the grandaddy of the movement and has been pushing his theories since the 60s. You may be familiar with his most famous work, Chariots of the Gods? In his view, buildings such as the pyramids, Stonehenge, and the Moai of Easter Island stand as evidence of extraterrestrial
visitation and exchange of technology. He has also famously claimed that much ancient art depicts alien visitors, the most famous of which is the Sarcophagus lid of Pacal the Great:

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He claims that this depicts an ancient astronaut in his spaceship and I suppose I can see it, but I also see some of the more common motifs that gave rise to ideas like the Tree of Life. He also believed that religions arose as a way of explaining/recording these ancient contacts. I could write an entire entry just about the guy, but if you’re at all familiar with the concept of ancient astronauts, you’ve encountered his ideas, since they underlie so much of the “movement”. They’re so fundamental that I’ve never read a single Von Daniken book and yet a lot of his theories form the basis of my novels. Do I believe it? Hell no, but it’s fascinating to think about.

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2.  Zecharia Sitchin. You have to admire this guy’s dedication. Originally an editor and journalist in Israel, he moved to New York in the 50s and became a shipping executive. While working there he taught himself Sumerian cuneiform. Who the hell does that? Anyway, Zecharia became convinced that the solar system held a hidden planet beyond Neptune. This planet, which he called Nibiru, allegedly follows an insanely long orbit and only passes within the range of the rest of the planets every 3600 years. Riiiight. It gets better, though; he believes that Nibiru once collided with a planet he called Tiamat, which once laid between Mars and Jupiter. This collision formed Earth, the asteroid belt, and all of the comets. I’m guessing the Van Oort cloud.

But wait, there’s more! Nibiru is home to an advanced alien race known as…drumroll please…the Anunaki. Also known as the Nephilim (or, as I call them in Among the Dead, Nephil, the half-breeds of Aetelia and humans). These “gods” came to Earth 450,000 years ago to mine natural resources and were the worker bees of the Nibiru colonization efforts. After some time one of the Nibiru, Enki, realized that they were getting screwed over on this deal so they would use SCIENCE to create a race of workers. And those workers…well, humans of course, the result of crossing their genes with homo erectus. Things went great up until 2,000 BC or so, at which point a nuclear war broke out and conveniently wiped away all traces of the old regime of Annunaki. I strongly suspect this whole thing serves as the basis for the Assassins Creed video game series, but only time will tell for certain.

So there you go, two of the Ancient Astronaut theories. Join us next time when we’ll dive in and get really crazy.

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Maintain the Myth: The Mythology of The Corridors of the Dead Part 1

I’ve talked about the mythology behind The Corridors of the Dead in a few offsite interviews, but I’ve never given the whole story behind the mythology. Buckle in, kids, it’s a long and twisted road to pull all of these influences together.

The story begins back in 1992…or maybe 1993. I’m a little fuzzy on the exact date, but I surely couldn’t have been older than 16. I was an impressionable kid who still hadn’t quite figured out his identity (I think that’s normal for that age). I started talking more to a certain neighbor, who will remain unnamed for his sake. He once told me that he saw something of himself in me, so he took me under his wing, teaching me different ways to think about the world. Through him I learned more about the Socratic Method, Existentialism, Descartes, and comparative religion. It’s not much of an exaggeration to say that he had a guiding hand in my development during that time. I know that I wouldn’t be pursuing these ideas in my fiction without his influence. After a time of knowing him, about a year, he revealed to me that he practiced magick. Continue reading