Debunked: Nasa: Strange Markings Across The Globe 'Might Have Been Made By Aliens'

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
NASA did not say that ancient rock carvings were made by aliens. They did not say even say they might have been made by aliens. They simply said that they were made by humans that we know so little about (as it was so long ago) that they might as well have been made by aliens.



Here's exactly what NASA said:

http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/f...ogy_and_Interstellar_Communication_TAGGED.pdf (page 241 [pdf page 271])

Consider again, therefore, the desirability of establishing symbolic/lin- guistic communication with ETI. It is helpful to review some parallels from human existence that pose problems for us today. One of these is “rock art,” which consists of patterns or shapes cut into rock many thousands of years ago. Such ancient stone carvings can be found in many countries, and the example in Figure 15.1 is from Doddington Moor, Northumbria, England. We can say little, if anything, about what these patterns signify, why they were cut into rocks, or who created them. For all intents and purposes, they might have been made by aliens. Unless we find a readable exegesis of them produced at the time they were made, we will never be able to say with certainty what the patterns mean.
Content from External Source
Note that NASA makes clear this is a parallel from human existence - they are talking about markings made by humans that we know nothing at all about. So for all intents and purposes, they might as well be considered aliens (or angels, or fairies, or goblins).

They are simply saying we don't know anything about the old human carvings, so the degree of our interpretation of what they mean might be similar to our understanding of possible communication. Like if we get a signal from space - we might be able to discern some mathematical relationship it contains (like the ancient human carvings being concentric circles. But we can't tell if there is some additional meaning to the particular arrangement (the orbits of planets, or some pretty circles).

The example they give, the Doddington Moor rock art, is something that all scientists agree is human in origin. There's nothing to suggest otherwise - it's primitively carved in rocks, in places where humans lived. We just don't know what it means, because it's so old.

The NASA book contains a jokey little footnote to the "made by aliens" sentence:
One need only think of books by Immanuel Velikovsky or Erich von Däniken to see where that line of thinking can end up.
Content from External Source
 

Attachments

  • Archaeology_Anthropology_and_Interstellar_Communication_TAGGED.pdf
    1.6 MB · Views: 829
Last edited:

Jason

Senior Member
Great work Mick! Do they actually know how old the carving is? How did you come across this publication that was editted by Douglas A. Vakoch titled; "Archaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication". What is the purpose of this publication? And when I checked the tagged page 241 to read about this carving it wasn't located on that page, instead it discussed intelligence and animal intelligence. Its 330 pages long so its not easy to find...
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jason

Senior Member
The Huffington Post covered this story as well, and in it they make the distinction that NASA isn't telling us rock art was made by aliens, but that we should draw from it to learn how one might look for signals from other worlds or possibly communicate with other worlds. Absolutely great stuff.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/201...gy-interstellar-communications_n_5362813.html
The section relating to the markings, however, isn't quite as dramatic as you might think - which is why the pronouncement has not made international headlines around the world. Nasa isn't saying the markings were made by aliens, but that it might be useful to assume they are in order to reframe the way we go about looking for signals from other worlds, and how we attempt to make contact.
Content from External Source
I also think its really cool to see the similarities in how SETI or NASA try to communicate with interstellar life with the drawings and etches they've made on plaques and what have you with satellites we've sent to space and items we left on the Moon.


Content from External Source
 

cosmic

Senior Member.
And when I checked the tagged page 241 to read about this carving it wasn't located on that page...

Probably just a typo; it's on page 242.

Edit: the picture, I mean; the quoted text begins on page 241.
 

Jason

Senior Member
Probably just a typo; it's on page 242.

Edit: the picture, I mean; the quoted text begins on page 241.
I just realized that when I was scrolling down that the pages numbers on each page don't coincide with the scroll page down "thingy" on the right. Maybe its just my computer. Thanks Cosmic
 

cosmic

Senior Member.
Depending on what reader you're using, the page number might not match the document. I did a poor job of explaining though (I'll blame the NyQuil).
 

Jason

Senior Member
Do they actually know how old the carving is?
http://rockart.ncl.ac.uk/
This website is the celebration of rock carvings made by Neolithic and Early Bronze Age people in Northumberland in the north east of England, between 6000 and 3500 years ago. Over 1000 carved panels are known and most of them are still located in the countryside.
Content from External Source
How is it that this website claims they know who is responsible for the rock art, but NASA doesn't know.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
http://rockart.ncl.ac.uk/
This website is the celebration of rock carvings made by Neolithic and Early Bronze Age people in Northumberland in the north east of England, between 6000 and 3500 years ago. Over 1000 carved panels are known and most of them are still located in the countryside.
Content from External Source
How is it that this website claims they know who is responsible for the rock art, but NASA doesn't know.

They don't. The term "Neolithic and Early Bronze Age people in Northumberland" just means the people who lived there are around that time. It's very hard to date these rock carvings, so there's a huge range of possible dates (over 2500 years).

See here for a detailed discussion of rock art dating techniques:
http://archaeology-easterndesert.com/html/rock_art_analysis.html#Dating
 

Jason

Senior Member
They don't. The term "Neolithic and Early Bronze Age people in Northumberland" just means the people who lived there are around that time. It's very hard to date these rock carvings, so there's a huge range of possible dates (over 2500 years).

See here for a detailed discussion of rock art dating techniques:
http://archaeology-easterndesert.com/html/rock_art_analysis.html#Dating
Isn't it almost impossible to date rock art in the form of carvings. The only thing they can date is the rock itself, or study the erosive effects within the carving to come up with an approximate date, but its not exact is it? Most times they date rock art "carvings" by which civilizations were present in the area, based on what we know about them and if they were capable of doing such things, Right?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Who's actually claiming NASA said they might have been made by aliens?

The Blaze
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/201...ient-rock-art-might-have-been-made-by-aliens/
Book Published by NASA Actually Suggests Ancient Rock Art ‘Might Have Been Made by Aliens’
Content from External Source
The Daily Mail:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...ient-rock-art-created-extra-terrestrials.html
Have aliens already visited Earth? Nasa book suggests that ancient rock art could have been created by extraterrestrials
Content from External Source
news.com.au
http://www.news.com.au/technology/s...ancient-rock-art/story-fnjwlcze-1226927499237
NASA pulls e-book which appeared to suggest aliens may have left messages among ancient rock art
Content from External Source
..... etc.
 
J

Joe

Guest
Of course, the scientists and scholars who contributed to Archaeology, Anthropology and Interstellar Communications—a new 300-page volume [1.8MB PDF] edited by Douglas A. Vakoch—are not saying these carvings were made by aliens. They're saying that, since we don't really know the origin and meaning of these markings—which were made thousands of years ago all cross Europe, America and India—we can assume that they are made by aliens as a test to what we may encounter when we actually make contact with a civilization from another planet.
Content from External Source

http://sploid.gizmodo.com/nasa-publishes-fascinating-book-on-how-to-communicate-w-1579396194
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Hevach

Senior Member.
You know, NASA's scientists have had so many incidents where their words have been misunderstood because of innocent comparisons being read as literal by the media that you'd think they'd at least stop using words like "alien" in them. It won't stop misunderstandings like the Jelly Doughnut rock or plastic on Mars, but it would have stopped all the ones about aliens and life on Mars or bacteria in meteorites and so on.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
You know, NASA's scientists have had so many incidents where their words have been misunderstood because of innocent comparisons being read as literal by the media that you'd think they'd at least stop using words like "alien" in them. It won't stop misunderstandings like the Jelly Doughnut rock or plastic on Mars, but it would have stopped all the ones about aliens and life on Mars or bacteria in meteorites and so on.

It does get them publicity though. I don't think this is deliberate, however it's a rather dry academic book, and maybe a few more people will read bits of it because of this.
 

Jason

Senior Member
It does get them publicity though. I don't think this is deliberate, however it's a rather dry academic book, and maybe a few more people will read bits of it because of this.
Does anyone know why they came out with this book? Was it something they've been working on or considering doing for quite some time. For me anyway, it just seems a bit odd that NASA would even part take in such a book. Some of the book reads like; How would an ETI view our planet from abroad, and would could they deduce based on the spectroscopic analysis of the light on our planet. How could two worlds communicate with each other, or due to distances and the speed limit of light would it only be one way communication. Even if NASA didn't mean to use the world Aliens deliberately, the book in of itself is a cross roads between us and ETI or vice versa, and how one might expect to communicate, or what to look for in the cosmos to find life...
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Does anyone know why they came out with this book? Was it something they've been working on or considering doing for quite some time. For me anyway, it just seems a bit odd that NASA would even part take in such a book. Some of the book reads like; How would an ETI view our planet from abroad, and would could they deduce based on the spectroscopic analysis of the light on our planet. How could two worlds communicate with each other, or due to distances and the speed limit of light would it only be one way communication. Even if NASA didn't mean to use the world Aliens deliberately, the book in of itself is a cross roads between us and ETI or vice versa, and how one might expect to communicate, or what to look for in the cosmos to find life...

It's a SETI book. SETI is part of NASA. They publish books about SETI, there are three similar books online:
http://history.nasa.gov/seti.html

The whole book is about looking for aliens. They did use the word "aliens" deliberately, it's just that people misunderstood the full context of the paragraph.
 

Jason

Senior Member
It's a SETI book. SETI is part of NASA. They publish books about SETI, there are three similar books online:
http://history.nasa.gov/seti.html
Didn't know that, thanks. Not the SETI part, but that NASA put out books like this prior. But why are they putting out books like this? And if I'm not mistaken SETI hasn't been apart of NASA since 1994, Right? The book doesn't seem very "scientific" considering it is coming from NASA... Alot of postulating, considering, and what if's...
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Didn't know that, thanks. Not the SETI part, but that NASA put out books like this prior. But why are they putting out books like this? And if I'm not mistaken SETI hasn't been apart of NASA since 1994, Right? The book doesn't seem very "scientific" considering it is coming from NASA... Alot of postulating, considering, and what if's...

Yeah sorry, it's not a SETI Institute book, it's a NASA book, but part of their SETI work. The SETI institute itself became independent when it was largely cut from government funding, but NASA still does SETI work. Like:
https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/astep...mentation-for-the-search-for-extraterrestria/

Part of NASA's mission is education. So they publish books.
http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/about/index.html#.U3-SV5Qv9QA

This book is about the possibility of communicating with aliens, so it necessarily contains a great deal of postulating.
 

Jason

Senior Member
Yeah sorry, it's not a SETI Institute book, it's a NASA book, but part of their SETI work. The SETI institute itself became independent when it was largely cut from government funding, but NASA still does SETI work. Like:
https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/astep...mentation-for-the-search-for-extraterrestria/

Part of NASA's mission is education. So they publish books.
http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/about/index.html#.U3-SV5Qv9QA

This book is about the possibility of communicating with aliens, so it necessarily contains a great deal of postulating.
What's amazing about this book, and I'm just starting it, is that amount of work and effort that went into gettin the SETI program running, and the cost of 6 to 10 billion dollars. In part thanks to the Drake equation which estimated that there could be as little as 1000 intelligent civilizations or as much as 1 billion civilization residing in our own Milky Way Galaxy. What I find so interesting is the fact that NASA went through such hurdles to get this program going, in conjunction with foreign nations, but there are so many CT involving NASA and aliens it would take me an entire day to list em all. From the CT's perspective, why would NASA dump all this time and money into finding ET's, if they already knew they existed and had the capacity to visit earth. Seems kind of ironic if you ask me. I think this also lays to rest any notions that NASA is hiding information regarding ET's.
 
Only someone who blindly follows and believes Erich von Däniken work without checking to see if anything he is saying is real or true would think the picture at the start of this thread was made by aliens. A patten I have noticed with his books(which I read for a giggle and the great pictures more than anything else) is that he has stopped visiting and talking about parts of the world where their is any living culture that produced that art or buildings. Here in Australia he blow it big time with his first book or 2 by saying that old rock pictures of traditional ceremonial head gear of the Men were pictures of space men with their helmets on in the northern part of this country and he also totally misunderstood what the traditional rock art in Tasmania were about. I am posting this link here about them(page 7 and 8 have the information I am talking about) as some of the rock art does look a lot like the rock art in the picture at the start of this thread.

http://www.tmag.tas.gov.au/__data/a...asmania_ningenneh_tunapry_education_guide.pdf
 

cloudspotter

Senior Member.
Isn't it almost impossible to date rock art in the form of carvings. The only thing they can date is the rock itself, or study the erosive effects within the carving to come up with an approximate date, but its not exact is it? Most times they date rock art "carvings" by which civilizations were present in the area, based on what we know about them and if they were capable of doing such things, Right?

It's a puzzle. These things are dotted all round the area but there's one spot I've been to a few times with quite a few carvings on it and it's right next to one of the many Iron Age hill forts in the area so you'd suppose the markings were also Iron Age. I can't imagine this rock would have been buried under layers that would have allowed them to date the carvings either. Thankfully some of the people I work with are archaeologists so I'll ask ;)


Update: Turns out they have been dated by association with burials (seems stones with these markings have been used as lids of burials with the marked side laid face down) , with monuments and also with excavations
 
Last edited:

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It's a puzzle. These things are dotted all round the area but there's one spot I've been to a few times with quite a few carvings on it and it's right next to one of the many Iron Age hill forts in the area so you'd suppose the markings were also Iron Age. I can't imagine this rock would have been buried under layers that would have allowed them to date the carvings either. Thankfully some of the people I work with are archaeologists so I'll ask ;)


Update: Turns out they have been dated by association with burials (seems stones with these markings have been used as lids of burials with the marked side laid face down) , with monuments and also with excavations

The link I gave earlier details lots of techniques, mostly very inaccurate:
http://archaeology-easterndesert.com/html/rock_art_analysis.html#Dating
 

Aeribous

New Member
Of course, the scientists and scholars who contributed to Archaeology, Anthropology and Interstellar Communications—a new 300-page volume [1.8MB PDF] edited by Douglas A. Vakoch—are not saying these carvings were made by aliens. They're saying that, since we don't really know the origin and meaning of these markings—which were made thousands of years ago all cross Europe, America and India—we can assume that they are made by aliens as a test to what we may encounter when we actually make contact with a civilization from another planet.
Content from External Source

http://sploid.gizmodo.com/nasa-publishes-fascinating-book-on-how-to-communicate-w-1579396194
Look at his hair. There is no way human hands could have designed his hair. Back in the 90's when he was talking about the Bermuda Triangle his hair was slicked back. Some people believe this is proof of his knowledge of ancient aliens because we don't have the technology even today to design hair like that. So some scholars speculate that in the early 2000's he came in contact with ancient aliens and that's why his hair turned into this obvious attempt at cummincation. of course it was ancient aliens what else could it be.
 
Top