Yesterday, the Canadian National Newspaper, an alternative-progressive online publication, posted a Google-baiting “news” story proclaiming that the angels of the Bible are in fact extraterrestrial visitors from space. This brief article, intended to lead readers to donate to the paper, contained a number of false assertions before segueing into a defense of the online publication as a bastion of progressive and alternative values. According to the newspaper, progressives believe in alternative history and an international inter-governmental conspiracy to suppress ancient astronaut information.
(Full disclosure: I was asked to write for the newspaper several years ago, but the stint ended after one article when the editors realized I am not a conspiracy theorist and would not pretend false theories were true.)
Here’s the essence of A. G. L. Buyers’ view of aliens:
Interesting, isn’t it, that outside the rarefied world of elite ancient astronaut theorists, the distinction between demons and aliens is all but nonexistent in the demotic form of the ancient astronaut theory? In other words, the popular audience for ancient astronaut theories doesn’t seem to see a real difference between angels and aliens, gods and extraterrestrials. Perhaps this is because, as I discussed yesterday, the ancient astronaut theory has a mystical streak that collapses the distinction between aliens and the gods they were meant to replace.
The idea of angels as aliens is of course a well-worn trope in ancient astronaut circles. Erich von Däniken discussed the idea in the 1960s and 1970s. This all traces its origin to the idea that the Fallen Angels (the Nephilim) from Genesis 6 were extraterrestrials, based on a reading of the passage with its amplification in the first-century BCE apocryphal Book of Enoch, which discusses the history of the Watchers in great detail.
Of course, if these Watchers really were aliens, they sure had funny priorities:
Aliens really liked their women made up nicely. It was the only way they could bring themselves to have sex with them to make giant alien-human hybrids.
Some time after Enoch was written, there was also written the Book of Giants which told more about the Nephilim and their offspring, the giants, but, tellingly, Giants is dependent upon and younger than Enoch, which in turn is younger than and dependent upon Genesis. If the material contained in Enoch and Giants were a genuine report of early alien intervention, we should find the same material in both texts, as well as Genesis. But the fact is that Giants contains material found in Enoch and Genesis, while Enoch contains material found only in Genesis but not Giants, and Genesis has nothing of either Giants or Enoch except what all three share in common. The obvious conclusion is that the later books were fictional additions to the earliest legends embodied in Genesis.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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