Get a load of Conde’s next claim, presented with no source and no opposing view:
One of the most famous alien visitations is supposed to have occurred in Cusco, Peru. The sun temple Qurikancha had a giant golden disc that some alien experts believe was a symbol of a gold-plated UFO that had landed in front of the Inca emperor Atahualpa, legendary for having direct contact with the “sky gods.”
Narrator: Ancient astronaut theorists believe a golden sun idol called the Punchao that once resided in Coricancha may provide evidence that extraterrestrials had contact with the Inca.
Giorgio Tsoukalos: Coricancha was famous for its gigantic golden disc that the ancient Inca worshiped that was a symbol of a giant golden disc that allegedly landed from the sky in front of the Inca ruler, Atahualpa. And he had direct contact according to legends with the sky gods.
Narrator: Could the giant golden disc that once resided inside Coricancha have been made to honor an alien visitor?
Atahualpa was the last Inca emperor before the Spanish conquest, deposed by Pizarro. At the temple of Coricancha (Quirkancha) at Cuzco, the Inca emperors had a large gold disc called the Punchao, symbolizing the sun on the summer solstice. There is some dispute over whether this idol was actually an oval-shaped disc, as Garcilaso de la Vega claimed, or whether, as others said, it was an image of a child with rays emerging from his head. The confusion comes from the fact that it was described as being the size of a small child. At any rate, there were other sun-discs in the temple. As for the sky gods, an earlier emperor, Inca Pachacuti, had seen a vision of the sun god in a dream (something also reported by Garcilaso in a slightly different form), which might be the warrant for this story. Atahualpa, like all Inca emperors, viewed the sun god as his true father and that he was therefore also the sun god himself. Conde has simply removed all subtly from the Ancient Aliens discussion (now there’s a first!) and made the gold disc into a model UFO (Tsoukalos at least does not define what the disc was) and presented it to ABC News readers as fact! Conde failed even to understand the simplistic fables created by Giorgio Tsoukalos!
But since this sloppy piece of fact-free opinion-mongering does pass under the ABC News banner, it must at least pretend that alien intervention could be fiction. Notice the way Conde has absorbed the Ancient Aliens theme of the religious yearning manifesting as alien fantasy:
Whether real or imagined, aliens challenge our beliefs and notions of what it means to be human. And while we are sometimes afraid of things that we don't understand, World UFO Day gives people an ideal to strive for, celebrate that we too are potential aliens. Someday we will venture beyond the limits of our solar system. And like Superman, the most famous alien in our culture, we hope to become symbols of our science and technology, and our compassion and morality.
But, thanks ABC; because of you, ancient astronaut theorists will forever be able to say that their idea is a legitimate theory reported as fact by ABC News.