So now comes the challenge where I talk about South American pseudo-science without exploding into an incoherent ball of rage repeatedly screaming VAN DANIKEN!!!!
I'm probably going to fail, so you've got that to look forward to.
I'm sorry. That's as close to seriously as I can take the ancient astronaut hypothesis.
I could bang on about this forever, seriously. Like when I decided to do this today and the internet was being unhelpful I just went downstairs and got my textbooks from ANTH 503--Archaeology Fact or Fiction because I figured I was having google fail and the truthful and un-skewed information was there somewhere. And I could bang on about Van Daniken-- oh could I--but after I'm done going on about his stupid ancient mirror stone cutter that couldn't burn a Popsicle stick it all sort of degenerates into incoherent angry grumbling.
So in the interest of brevity, I'm going to contain myself to my biggest issue with the entire concept of the ancient alien theory.
I can't separate it from it's inherent racism.
The most popular ancient alien theories are from cultures that the western world hasn't, generally speaking, been all that interested in viewing outside of their own bias. We talk about the stone walls at Machu Picchu, or the Nazca lines, or the Mayan 'airplanes' and it's always, at least to me, couched in some sly backhanded understanding that the people in these places aren't bright enough to do these things themselves. And they say 'ancient people couldn't' but I always hear 'ancient people of color couldn't.'
Probably because I was taught by someone who always pointed out that an archaeological hypothesis isn't any more removable from researcher bias than anything else is.
And I'm going to leave you with a quote from one of those text-books. It comes from the book Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology, third edition, by Kennith Feder. About the Nazca Lines in Peru...