Last week Frank Johnson over at the Ancient Aliens Debunked blog provided an intriguing explanation for the alleged “astronaut” figure etched into the hill near the Nazca plain. Ancient astronaut writers have long claimed that this geoglyph was a depiction of a goggle-eyed extraterrestrial visitor waving to passersby. Johnson discusses the work of two Czech engineers who investigated the site, and I’d like to amplify his comments with additional material.
The “Nazca Astronaut,” known to archaeologists as the “owl-man,” is an etched geoglyph in human form, approximately 100 feet (30 meters) high, situated between two etched parallel lines on a hill near the Nazca plateau such that it could be seen from the coast. The longtime scholar of the Nazca drawings, Maria Reiche, named the figure the “owl-man” when she published the first aerial photograph of it in her 1949 book, The Mystery of the Desert, which suggested an astronomical purpose for this and other Nazca etchings. It became known as the “astronaut” only after ancient astronaut writers popularized the image.
Sarah Moran’s discussion of the so-called Nazca astronaut in her 1998 book Alien Art: Extraterrestrial Expressions on Earth, written in cooperation with Erich von Däniken, is typical of the way ancient astronaut believers view the image.
Erich von Däniken has suggested that [this figure represents] the beings who landed their craft thousands of years ago on the plains. He maintains that the whole area … has been carefully designed as a marker to guide the extraterrestrials back to Earth safely.
Unfortunately, little material has been published about the “astronaut” except for what ancient astronaut writers have written. Mainstream sources are content merely to refer to it as a “peculiar anthropomorphic figure” (National Geographic Concise History of the World) or attribute it to religious impulses, perhaps depicting the “Oculate Being” (Recent Studies in Pre-Columbian Archaeology, vol. 2). This has given ancient astronaut writers a blank check to write whatever they wish about this figure and its supposed resemblance to “Grey” aliens.
Against this, Frank Johnson has provided a Google machine translation of a 2002 Radio Praga article about a more convincing explanation for the geoglyph. Unfortunately, this machine translation is somewhat inaccurate and misleading. Since the original article was in Spanish, which I can read reasonably well, I have made a corrected translation:
The alleged astronaut raises his right hand, which holds a net ... a fishing net, Czech scientists say. At the foot of the figure is seen a fish, or perhaps two, one above the other. The alleged astronaut is a fisherman, say the engineers Frantisek Klokocník and Jaroslav Vitek. And indeed, archaeological investigations have revealed an intense exchange of goods between the coast and the mountains, and fish was one of the most important items of exchange.
The Czech scientists conducted an experiment in which they had locals try to recreate a geoglyph. They estimated that a small geoglyph could be etched in a few days, while the “Astronaut” might have taken a full year to produce.
Johnson provided only a small “artist’s impression” of how the geoglyph would have looked, which makes it difficult to visualize exactly what we’re looking at. Below, I have taken a photograph of the geoglyph and have outlined in white the two parallel lines, the fisherman, his net, and the fish. I have used a photograph from “Paradise in the World,” a travel website that favorably presents the ancient astronaut hypothesis.
When outlined, it is very easy to see how the figure depicts a fisherman in a fishing outfit, holding a net in his left hand and raising a fish on a line with his right hand.
Thus, according to the Czech hypothesis, the mountain-dwelling peoples of the Nazca plateau would have etched the fisherman and the parallel lines into the hill to direct coastal fisherman to the plateau to market their fish. So, in that sense the ancient astronaut writers got one thing right: The figure was a signal, but not to aliens. It was a billboard screaming “Fish Bought Here!”
1/7/2013 11:50:45 am
Brilliant investigative work, as usual!
2/20/2013 12:42:55 pm
I've been upstaged :'(
2/20/2013 01:05:02 pm
Thanks! Glad you approve of me stealing your thunder!
7/17/2013 12:01:07 am
Guess , formulation of Engineers Jaroslav Vítek and Frantisek Klokocník of the hypothesis that the figure of the fisherman has been a kind of billboard has the right for life..It seems very much the same. Butt anyway it can symbolize other things more related with cosmos. Hope this secret will be revealed! Thank you a lot for sharing with us.
9/27/2014 01:49:54 pm
QUOTE Thus, according to the Czech hypothesis, the mountain-dwelling peoples of the Nazca plateau would have etched the fisherman and the parallel lines into the hill to direct coastal fisherman to the plateau to market their fish. So, in that sense the ancient astronaut writers got one thing right: The figure was a signal, but not to aliens. It was a billboard screaming “Fish Bought Here!” UNQUOTE
9/30/2014 04:48:31 am
I think the point is that it is/was visible from ground-level.
12/17/2014 02:11:50 pm
Having now read several books about the Nazca Lines and the various figures, I've come to the conclusion that "no one really knows now why and how these lines and figures were made so many thousands of years ago. I for one believe that it is entirely possible that an alien civilization made them. How else to explain that these lines and figures can only be seen from high up in the air!
1/9/2016 03:56:21 am
This 'fisherman' analysis is done inside a information vacuum. But if you view this giant geoglyph in a bigger context, it will be different. This is my analysis:
9/22/2017 02:57:25 am
Excellent rebuttal. This fisherman hypothesis is clearly nonsense.
1/12/2017 07:41:57 pm
Pao Yabao, took that lame Czech analysis and buried it. Literally made those scientist look stupid. Respect due.
Atul Oya Attch
6/6/2017 01:24:03 pm
Its untrue that crop circles were used as weather veins before 1920, you see a Racet is also another name for a deviner or divining instrument or diving rod.
9/14/2018 05:57:13 am
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