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Old 18-06-2008, 05:04 PM   #1
VTracy
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Default Aliens in the artwork: Real or imagined?

[/IMG]

From 4,000 BC. Is this guy wearing a spacesuit?

[/IMG]

Ancient Japanese "flying saucers"?

[/IMG]

Cave painting from 10,000 BC.

[/IMG]

From 7,000 BC

And there's plenty more at this link:

http://www.crystalinks.com/ufohistory.html

and here also:

http://www.alien-ufo-pictures.com/ancient_aliens.html


So what's the verdict? Were we really visited? Or were ancient people just trying to make sense of what they saw? I tend to believe the latter. Still, some of the art is very interesting, and not all of it is easily explained away.
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Old 18-06-2008, 06:01 PM   #2
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Or maybe the first and third simply depict an ornamental headress? Again it amazes me that people are prepared to believe something incredible instead of the boring but most obvious and likely answer.
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Old 18-06-2008, 07:15 PM   #3
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"Chariots of the Gullible"
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Old 18-06-2008, 08:23 PM   #4
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Is it an effect of global warming/dimming* (delete as applicable)

Is the silly season starting earlier each year?

I've just got off a Times website article describing a crop circle describing PI to 10 decimal places (oy, what sophistication!). Is it me or is the world getting loopier?

As Arthur C Clarke once succinctly said (I think) in reply to the question 'Is there life on Mars?', 'We don't know'. Anything else is speculation.

That is what we have here - until and unless we build a time machine all we can do is speculate about these odd images.

Phil.
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Old 18-06-2008, 09:57 PM   #5
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Or maybe the first and third simply depict an ornamental headress?
Interesting comparison with this photo taken in Papua New Guinea earlier this year:



(I grant you there is something unearthly about our PM's grin in that pic. )
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Old 18-06-2008, 10:34 PM   #6
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I remain open-minded.
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Old 19-06-2008, 05:15 AM   #7
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I remain open-minded.
See! I told you Eagle is using this site in his role as an agent for government disinformation!
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Old 19-06-2008, 05:32 AM   #8
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Geez! I'm still laughing out loud at Brian's similar (but more detailed) comment on the other thread, and then I come here and see this!
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Old 19-06-2008, 06:38 AM   #9
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But seriously, now...

I've always been appalled at 'modern' interpretations of ancient art, and by extension ancient culture, that affixes modern science fiction elements to ancient people.
Nazca lines in the sand, pyramids, and other mathematically calculated edifices are thought by moderns to be beyond the realm of 'primitives.' "Only someone in a plane or spaceship could see the Nazca line pictures in their entirety, so they must have been made for extraterrestrials!" is the gist of what gets said.
Really?
How about whatever god(s) those 'primitives' worshipped? I'll bet the people thought their god(s) could see the pictures just fine, and had worked out how to make the lines very precise so that they'd come together over a large area, even though they themselves couldn't 'check' their own work.
"Pyramids, so precise for something so big... Impossible for such non-technological societies to have made!" Ever see the 'bent' pyramid of Sneferu at Dahshur? About halfway up, the builders realised the angle of the sloped sides was too steep, and changed to a shallower angle for the rest of the construction. It was part of a learning curve via experience for pyramid construction. And as for cultures whole continents apart having pyramidal architecture, I'd believe in cross-cultural exchanges via trade over oceans before I'd believe that ETs were ferrying builders across the oceans, or seeding Earth cultures with blueprints.
As for other artwork, the ornamental headdress thing seems more likely than space helmets. Space suits? Armour. 'Laser beams' in religious paintings? Power of God beaming directly into the annointed.
And so on...
Give the ancients some credit for being smart and creative. Those are human traits, and perhaps some of our best, in any age, when used together!
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Old 19-06-2008, 07:34 AM   #10
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Unfortunately I think you may have had your thinking rather infuenced by the new Indiana Jones movie, where the alien crystal skull did about as much for the plot as several of the most impossible CGI stunts ever seen and the frankly ludicrous but visual impressive inter dimensional flying saucer at the end.
Given that we can now detect earth like planets with our telescopes in our nearest neighbouring solar systems it is becoming increasingly likely that life may be and already has developed on other planets and may not be the rarity throughout the galaxy once feared. When this is added to The Drake equation it makes it very likely that civilisations have already arisen elsewhere.Put this way although it is statistically difficult to individually win the lottery, but there are always lottery winners (even when the numbers differ by so much) weekly.
The difficult will be meeting up given the vast intersteller distances need to be travelled. Given that you can actually detect a developed industrailized society (more likely because of the polluting chemical element signitures in the atmosphere) it would be difficult to send biological entities that will last the distance and get there in time.It is a looooooong journey and robotic life forms such as probes are more likely to survive.
And it is far easier to observe and transmit than land.Given our development of stealth technologies and not much more than half a century developing computers and space flight I think our ability to imagine alien visitations actually suffers from a lack of imagination not an "over" imagination.
I would "like" to believe we have been visited or may be visited in the future.It makes things rather more interesting. Unfortuately the evidence for either is very very very very weak. Either there would be none at all, or at least that is very detectable by current technologies and sciences or there would be something so massive it couldn't be ignored ( like a mile high carving of a statue of an alien creature in a mountain saying "Lurgatron was ere!!" ).
Either way I enjoy thinking about it, whether I read it in books or watch it in the cinema (with the current exception of Mr Joneses latest adventure. George and Steven, I'm very ,very very, disappointed)

Last edited by Known Space; 19-06-2008 at 04:26 PM. Reason: Poor accuracy of english
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Old 19-06-2008, 08:50 AM   #11
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I had to check the username attached to that last post to see it wasn't me. That covered every point I was going to write almost exactly (including the reference to the latest Indiana film). Nail hit squarely on head.
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Old 19-06-2008, 10:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Known Space View Post
Given that we can now see earth like planets with our telescopes in our nearest neighbouring solar systems it is becoming increasingly likely that life may be and already has developed on other planets and may not be the rarity throughout the galaxy once feared.
Can I just point out that when astronomers refer to "Earth like planets" they mean made of rock rather than gas and nothing more.
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Old 19-06-2008, 12:26 PM   #13
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Absolutely right Uncle Bill. HARPS uses radial velocity spectral analysis as its mesurement of detection and can therefore only determine the likely mass and size of the planet,and not its chemical composition.
However, up until a few year ago it was believed that solar systems like ours were probably quite rare and at best most systems consisted of a few gas giants that mopped up most the intersteller debris that was used to build the rest of the planets bodies, to the exclusion of worlds like Earth.
Thankfully this doesn't appear to be the case. Although water has only been detected on two extra solar planets, and both of those were gas giants, the observation that there are many 'rocky' planets out there makes it likely they could retain water within an atmosphere during the original formation of the system.
Given that most existing water within solar systems seems to come massive cometary bombardment (our oceans contain high isotopic quantities of Deuterium and Protium which points to an extra terriestrial source rather than the 'brewed' at home theories) at the beginning of their formation ,planets of a density that suggest a 'rocky' mass, not gas giant nature, are therefore more likely to retain and trap it and hence encourage the conditions for life like ours.
Having said that you would not want to live on any of those discovered yet, given their orbital velocities. But the good news is that the probability of Earth like planets being far more likely than we hoped is immeasurably higher than we thought just a few years ago and we've only just really started to look with our instruments,which within a decade will be immeasureably improved.
I've always been keen on astronomy, hence the name "Known Space" which is also a tribute to Larry Nivens brilliant series of novels which includes 'Ringworld' ,one of my favorite reads of all time. Now there is a universe I would love to have lived in (with as wide a selection of alien beings as you could wish for).
And so to quote good old Carl Sagan "There are billions and billions of stars " which means just as many opportunities for systems like ours to exist with life but with presumably slightly different soaps and reality TV (though hopefully not 'Big Ugger!). Which is nice.
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Old 19-06-2008, 01:48 PM   #14
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A lot is made of the fact that there is bound to be intelligent life out there somewhere (which I agree with), but I think perhaps something else should be considered. What if intelligence isn't the rare commodity, but things like hands (subsititute any other object manipulators)? No matter how much intelligence if the species has no "manipulators" it cannot build anything. The whales and dolphins of this world are as intelligent as we humans (some may say more so), but no-one outside this world will ever know of their existance because they cannot buld anything (being in the sea is perhaps neither here nor there).

And regardless of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy they are not about to embark on a voyage to the stars!

Keith
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Old 19-06-2008, 03:18 PM   #15
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It's a matter of numbers. If there are infinite stars so there are infinite planets so there are infinite life-inhabited ones... blah blah blah... the real chance to be visited or had been visited in the past (or in the future) is there. And I think they will lurk in the shadows.

I like the "2001" approach: A race of explorers, that leaves robotic probes behind. Maybe they know how to master space "wormholes", maybe they travel by means not even IMAGINED still. Who does know?

Maybe we are in a kind of galactic quarantine. We are quite dangerous indeed.
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Old 19-06-2008, 03:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Kane View Post
Interesting comparison with this photo taken in Papua New Guinea earlier this year:



(I grant you there is something unearthly about our PM's grin in that pic. )
Hmmmm.......seems like the old "hide in plain sight" trick. All the humans wear the masks, yet the one "real" alien does not!! You can tell by the two "Men in Black" standing behind him!!

Last edited by VTracy; 19-06-2008 at 03:46 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 19-06-2008, 03:50 PM   #17
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Absolutely right Uncle Bill. HARPS uses radial velocity spectral analysis as its mesurement of detection and can therefore only determine the likely mass and size of the planet,and not its chemical composition.
However, up until a few year ago it was believed that solar systems like ours were probably quite rare and at best most systems consisted of a few gas giants that mopped up most the intersteller debris that was used to build the rest of the planets bodies, to the exclusion of worlds like Earth.
Thankfully this doesn't appear to be the case. Although water has only been detected on two extra solar planets, and both of those were gas giants, the observation that there are many 'rocky' planets out there makes it likely they could retain water within an atmosphere during the original formation of the system.
Given that most existing water within solar systems seems to come massive cometary bombardment (our oceans contain high isotopic quantities of Deuterium and Protium which points to an extra terriestrial source rather than the 'brewed' at home theories) at the beginning of their formation ,planets of a density that suggest a 'rocky' mass, not gas giant nature, are therefore more likely to retain and trap it and hence encourage the conditions for life like ours.
Having said that you would not want to live on any of those discovered yet, given their orbital velocities. But the good news is that the probability of Earth like planets being far more likely than we hoped is immeasurably higher than we thought just a few years ago and we've only just really started to look with our instruments,which within a decade will be immeasureably improved.
I've always been keen on astronomy, hence the name "Known Space" which is also a tribute to Larry Nivens brilliant series of novels which includes 'Ringworld' ,one of my favorite reads of all time. Now there is a universe I would love to have lived in (with as wide a selection of alien beings as you could wish for).
And so to quote good old Carl Sagan "There are billions and billions of stars " which means just as many opportunities for systems like ours to exist with life but with presumably slightly different soaps and reality TV (though hopefully not 'Big Ugger!). Which is nice.
Actually, scientists believe this planet has lots of water.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24935469/
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Old 19-06-2008, 03:54 PM   #18
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Saturn Apollo- your point about hands is very accurate. There is alot of discussion currently about how both the anatomy of the human body and the structure of the brain both manage to drive evolutionary change in each other.
Human beings seem to have been able to make large "leaps" using posture (standing and finally walking upright), the branch grasping hand (from the freeing up of the fore arms evolving into the ability to manufacture and use tools) and an ever increasingly complex brain capacity to learn and remember with.
It is a very rare series of events that may have led up to that and an even incredibley rarer sequence that lead up to the formation of human societies.Its very interesting work. The reason I like Nivens Known Space series is that he takes this into account and his aliens evolve their biologies and societies from different but clearly well thought out rules of possible evolution ie dolphins are given robotic hands designed by humans, prehensile lips and tongues are used as fingers and thumbs by puppeteers , kzinti are ex plains hunting cats evolved similarly to human beings but much more war like.
For those interested in further scientific popular reading I recommend "The Dragons of Eden" by Carl Sagan (human evolution),"Rare Earth" by Donald Brownlee and Peter Ward (probability of intelligences evolving else where)
and "Our Final Century" by Martin Rees (which is a very thoughtful account of of how ,if we are so rare in the universe we should be a bit more careful about taking care we survive in it. The last few chapters also point out why space exploration and travel is essential for us as a species, but just try telling that to the politicians!!)
The rest of you keep watching the skies. And,if you see something let me know. I'd be quite keen to hitch a lift.
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Old 19-06-2008, 03:55 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by CR View Post
But seriously, now...

I've always been appalled at 'modern' interpretations of ancient art, and by extension ancient culture, that affixes modern science fiction elements to ancient people.
Nazca lines in the sand, pyramids, and other mathematically calculated edifices are thought by moderns to be beyond the realm of 'primitives.' "Only someone in a plane or spaceship could see the Nazca line pictures in their entirety, so they must have been made for extraterrestrials!" is the gist of what gets said.
Really?
How about whatever god(s) those 'primitives' worshipped? I'll bet the people thought their god(s) could see the pictures just fine, and had worked out how to make the lines very precise so that they'd come together over a large area, even though they themselves couldn't 'check' their own work.
"Pyramids, so precise for something so big... Impossible for such non-technological societies to have made!" Ever see the 'bent' pyramid of Sneferu at Dahshur? About halfway up, the builders realised the angle of the sloped sides was too steep, and changed to a shallower angle for the rest of the construction. It was part of a learning curve via experience for pyramid construction. And as for cultures whole continents apart having pyramidal architecture, I'd believe in cross-cultural exchanges via trade over oceans before I'd believe that ETs were ferrying builders across the oceans, or seeding Earth cultures with blueprints.
As for other artwork, the ornamental headdress thing seems more likely than space helmets. Space suits? Armour. 'Laser beams' in religious paintings? Power of God beaming directly into the annointed.
And so on...
Give the ancients some credit for being smart and creative. Those are human traits, and perhaps some of our best, in any age, when used together!

It's all very true about the pyramids. You can go back even a little further to the valley of the kings. It all started with the burial "mounds". This was common. Of course, later kings wanted something more elaborate, so they added a second smaller mound on top of the first. Next thing you know, they put mound on top of mound, until you get to the smallest mound on the top. Voila, pyramid. The progression is obvious. Only at the end did they coat them.
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Old 19-06-2008, 04:19 PM   #20
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VTracy-read the article carefully. The quote is all "suggests". HARPS cannot possibly say what the chemical composition of the planet is, it can only determine possible mass and density as being like a rocky planetary body,and not composed of a structure or volume similar to a gas giant.
There is no evidence at all for water there, only that it may be 'hoped" that the physical conditions for it to exist there are. There are no instruments currently able to detect water on a planet of that size at that distance against the background of its sun.
The only current extra solar planetary bodies that I am aware of where water has been spectroscopically detected are HD209458 b and HD189733 b and they are both gas giants. At the moment we cannot even say for sure there is water ice on Mars until we get the results from the current probe.It just looks that way.Until the analysis of the soil comes back and a second scoop goes in it cannot be confirmed.
These lovely "Earthlike" pictures are pure conjecture at this point and press spectulation and exaggeration.With the planets moving at these orbital speeds around their suns there are not going to be too many nice beaches you may want to sit on with a deck chair either. The climate "may" be just a little tetchy for that, given the close distance to the sun as well.Until we can "see" it we cannot know and thats an impossiblity currently.
However this may not be true for long. Nasa has a flagship science programme called "Origins" part of which includes the proposed Terrestrial Planet Finder which is an array of telescopes acting together in space (when eventually congress unfreeze it again). The ESA is also planning a similar project called "Darwin"(2015). This will help hugely. But we are not likely to get any reasonable results until at least 2025.

Last edited by Known Space; 19-06-2008 at 06:12 PM.
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