Before we begin today, I’d like to ask for your help. Last year I put out an edition of Cory’s Ancient Fragments, which has sold poorly because the printer I used was much more expensive than my current one. Also, in the last year I’ve learned a lot about bookmaking. So, I’m reformatting it for a paperback (and possibly) eBook release at a much lower price. In doing this, it got me thinking about Karl Müller’s Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum and its descendants, Felix Jacoby’s still-incomplete Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker and Robert Fowler’s Early Greek Mythography. These books have become such standard references for fragments of ancient texts that most scholars no longer cite the original texts from which the fragments are drawn—which is a pain the neck if you don’t happen to live near a library that stocks Fowler’s or Jacoby’s really expensive books.
Ancient astronaut theorists and alternative historians are forever going on about “ancient texts,” and at this point I’ve translated or collected enough of them, so I thought it would be useful to put together a sort of Fragments of the Extraterrestrial Historians to serve as a sourcebook for all the commonly-cited ancient texts used in ancient astronaut and alternative history claims. My thought would be that the book would present a passage with information about which types of alternative believers cited it and, possibly, brief critical commentary.
But there are so many ancient texts that I’d like your help figuring out what to include. I have a list of the big things that I know have to be in there:
If you have suggestions for other ancient texts, please let me know. This is going to take a while to compile, but I think it will be worth it to have a sourcebook of ready reference of the types of materials we see used over and over again.
Now, on to today’s topic.
After reviewing Ancient Aliens’ presentation of material on the Anunnaki, the Nephilim, Fallen Angels, and Satan, I noticed something that I’m not sure I’ve discussed before. Ancient astronaut theorists seem to focus primarily on male aliens descending to earth to engage in procreative acts with female humans. Similarly, the stereotypical UFO abduction narrative involves the extraterrestrials performing male-identified penetrative sexual acts, whether on male or female abductees. Where are the female aliens?
Sure, you can argue that the ancient astronaut pundits are simply building off of Genesis 6:1-4, in which the sons—and not the daughters—of God descend from the sky to mate with human beings; or that they are operating in an Apollo-era space context where astronauts are by definition male; or that they simply don’t think about women as active narrative participants. But this ignores vast swathes of ancient texts in which female divinities descend from heaven to have sexual relations with human males. These “theorists” have to actively reject female-focused narratives, and they seem to do so. Consider the following goddess-human pairings:
Obviously, this is only a partial list. This list doesn’t include the more ambiguous situation in Japan, where the emperor claims descent from a line of gradually less divine men who trace their roots back to Amaterasu, the sun goddess, via her grandson, who was apparently at least semi-human and fathered the imperial line with the semi-human daughter of the sea god.
Yet somehow Ancient Aliens is much less interested in the role of female divinities in creating these half-human lineages than they are of male divinities fathering patrilineal hierarchies of powerful male sons—exactly reproducing modern Western patriarchal social hierarchies where the male parent’s lineage is considered dominant. What a coincidence! I tried doing some Google searches for variation on Ancient Aliens, goddesses in general, and specific goddess names. I turned up very little, either in the official ancient astronaut materials or even on supporters’ websites. Why is that? Why do some ancient texts (featuring male gods) count more than others (featuring female goddesses)?
I did find several mentions of Ishtar, but most of these related to the Ishtar Gate, the name of the Babylonian portal on which a dragon-like monster is claimed to be an alien genetic experiment.
Otherwise, the program’s discussion of supernatural females tends to fall into three categories: monster (Medusa, Lilith), witch (Circe), and slut (women who are hot for aliens). This is especially confusing since the ancient religions that they raid to produce their narratives—which were not exactly feminist themselves—had a much broader range of women, from Artemis as huntress to Athena as warrior to the most archetypical of all, the various forms of the Great Mother.
It seems that under the spell of Genesis 6:1-4 and the Book of Enoch, ancient astronaut speculators have simply written off an entire gender and good chunk of their own evidence. Either this represents sloppy research (which is always a possibility), or it suggests that ancient astronautics is much more about finding supernatural justification for an idealized social structure than it is the search for “truth.” Or, I guess, aliens just hate women.
10/30/2013 07:51:13 am
Jason, do you have an idea of how the general lack of references to female divinities in modern ancient astronaut theory compares to 19th century theosophist ideas? As I recall, a number of prominent theosophists were women. The gender disparity may be due to the fact that most modern AATs are men. I recall only one woman on the show, Linda Moulton Howe, that appears somewhat regularly. Howe seems to be more theosophist than AAT, although the distinction is semantic in many ways.
10/30/2013 01:43:27 pm
My impression is that Theosophy was not overly concerned with specific god/goddess names but considered them all manifestations of the powers from the other planes. That said, all of the Ascended Masters I can recall were male.
10/30/2013 09:02:21 am
Just my 2 cents worth, but the AAT's are not that different from the "big three" of religion, the Abrahamic ones. There are not many female heroes in them either. Ester and Ruth are the two that come to mind. There may be others, but not being a follower of any religion makes me unqualified to say if there are more. Also, as pointed out by Mandalore, with one exception, the AAT's on the series are male. I did not include the woman from the Satan episode of Monday night as it was her first time on the show.
10/30/2013 09:32:19 am
Regarding myths about female spirits/demons/aliens having their way with mortal men, there's the Indian Mohini, Arabic Qarinah, and various Succubi myths, and also narratives including the Akkadian Lilu --- forms of Hebrew Lilith, etc. Jason, of course you know Innana and Ishtar are derivative as is Tammuz and Dumuzi.
10/30/2013 09:44:59 am
Of course I know they're derivative--but AA writers don't recognize literary derivation or dependence; it smacks too much of "symbolism" and "interpretation."
10/30/2013 09:51:23 am
A few other texts you might want to include in your book:
11/1/2013 09:01:38 am
I second the vimana in the Mahabharata as well as the Popul Vuh.
11/1/2013 01:50:02 pm
Sure on the vimanas; however, the Popol Vuh is both 300 pages long and also not translated into English until 1950. Thanks to copyright, the only way I can include it is to translate it myself from the Spanish text. Maybe I can do that for one or two passages.
10/30/2013 11:38:03 am
Any female aliens coming out of space to abduct men for experiments as told by Tsoukalos would probably look way too much like an old trashy pulp story to pass for any kind of 'theory.' ...Or who am I kidding? They did just did an AA show that was nearly identical to their Tim Lehaye tells us about the end times shows or their Dan Brown pretends his stories are true shows.
10/30/2013 12:45:59 pm
A book collection of all the major texts AAT folks use for their theories would be awesome. As for additional texts, can't help but suggest the Star of Bethlehem ;)
10/30/2013 02:22:05 pm
Do the Eddas count as "ancient"? I know AATs have cited them, though maybe not frequently enough for your purposes. Parts of them may be relevant.
10/31/2013 07:29:47 am
Hmmmm. Just take one look at I believe the only female they repeatedly interview on AA. Linda M Howe? With looks like that and the scatter brained psycho babble possibly the producers and participants have learned a value able lesson. Oh my the thought of a Georigo and Linda off spring is simply revolting!!!
10/31/2013 10:54:45 am
Although not completely appropriate to the subject of this post, Courtney Brown has included on his personal website ('Courtney Brown, Ph.D') a portfolio of his drawings of alien female nudes. (http://www.courtneybrown.com/Artwork/Artwork_Female_Aliens_Listing_Courtney_Brown.html)
11/3/2013 10:32:33 am
Holy crap! is the last one pole-dancing? O.o;;
10/31/2013 02:55:18 pm
"Where are the female aliens?"
The Other J.
11/1/2013 04:34:06 am
Do accounts of Atlantis, Lemuria and Mu count for the sourcebook? Only Atlantis would be ancient (as far as I know, Lemuria and Mu both originated as concepts in the 19th century), but they all seem to pop up a lot in alternative history circles (although I'm not sure if they're as popular with the ancient aliens set).
11/1/2013 01:46:24 pm
Atlantis certainly is in, but Lemuria and Mu aren't really ancient. Since Churchward claimed Mu was from imaginary ancient texts, it might go in an apocrypha section, but sadly his work was published after 1923, so I can't reprint it due to copyright.
11/1/2013 10:43:12 am
First, there are few female aliens and that's why Mars needs Women.
11/2/2013 08:04:12 am
Looking at the times and places of the writings from a woman's perspective, I have to point out that given the high mortality rates among birthing mothers and infants, and adding the fact that all food, garments, etc. were made from resources gathered and , most often, processed by women, my ancestresses were way to busy providing their families with the necessities. It probably wasn't much different from sports today--keeps men busy and out of our hair so we can get on with the important things. (Sorry guys, just reporting an observation. Hope it's different in your home.) Also, I'm old enough to have grown up in a world where girls were told math and science was for the boys because we were just going to get married and have babies. The sciences and science fiction were boys' clubs and we weren't welcome. Georgio and the guys are cute as buttons but I think maybe they may be stuck in the 50's when it comes to seeing women as active participants in their narratives.
8/21/2016 11:13:18 am
Penny, you are correct.Historically women provided and nurtured the future warriors (and girl babies who were going to provide the same service). Women looked after basics, for which we received protection from males that wouldn't have been necessary if males hadn't been warring or raping. And, it wasn't that long ago that women could not conduct business without a male present, even if was a young son. We were not encouraged to be anything other than good wives and mothers, but this didn't mean that we didn't think. As a young girl loved science fiction, but had no one to share my thoughts or visions with. Today on Facebook it's a different story, here if your opinion is intelligent and sourced if necessary it is taken seriously regardless of gender. The odd time there's a misogynist whose remarks are obviously meant to demoralize women, but they can be unfriended. Can't take Georgio seriously as his hero is the debunked and fraudulent Erich von Daniken.
11/3/2013 10:17:18 am
I will share my two cents with you off the record if your interested.
11/13/2013 04:07:09 am
Mahabharata “nuclear bomb” passages?
11/13/2013 05:39:54 am
This article parallels closely my own article "The Case of the False Quotations," which outlined many of the same problems and traced them back to an even more specific source error.
11/13/2013 05:54:28 am
Thanks Jason, I'd missed that article, looks really interesting and useful.
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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