Extraterrestrial visitors have been suggested by a few of the more imaginative and sometimes unscrupulous authors and their publishers, as the source of an advanced civilisation in the past, remembered today as Atlantis. Martin Brady makes such a claim in a brief paper available online(h).
However, Professor Emilio Spedicato may have added some degree of respectability to the concept when he wrote(a) “There are significant indications in worldwide traditions that intelligent people from planets within a few hundred light years from Earth visited our planet and intelligently interacted with our biosphere”. He went on to claim that around 5500 BC some of these visitors landed in the Hunza valley of Pakistan where they engaged in a little genetic engineering which led to the ‘creation’ of Adam and Eve!
It should be noted that Plato’s account does not relate any technology beyond that of a Late Bronze Age society, whereas any civilisation founded by alien astronauts should present some evidence of technologies equal to if not more advanced than that of our present day capabilities. Bill Hanson and Bert Thurlings are some of the more recent promoters of this idea of an alien origin for Atlantis.
Hanson has been joined by the German researcher, Dieter Bremer (1952- ), who claims(b) that the winged disks found in Sumerian art represent a space station, which crashed! Bremer also provides a spirited defence of The Manna Machine by George Sassoon and Rodney Dale, combined with some bizarre theories regarding Christ. Incredibly, Bremer was invited to deliver a paper to the 2011 Atlantis Conference on the concentric circles of Plato’s Atlantean capital. He has published two books on his view of Atlantis[1022/3]. A more rational review of The Manna Machine is offered by Frank Dörnenburg(i).
The late Flying Eagle (1920-2007) and his partner Whispering Wind specified the planet Xylanthia(f) in the Sirius star system as the original home of a visitor who fell in love with an earthling and later became known as Poseidon!
The History Channel series entitled Ancient Aliens(d), now in its third season, has been heavily criticised on the Bad Archaeology website(c) and elsewhere. October 2011 saw another claim that the Maya had contact with extraterrestrials and that a documentary providing evidence is planned(e).
A sceptical review of extraterrestrial visitations was published in the 26th January 2014 edition of Ohio’s Columbus Dispatch(g).
I feel compelled to include a quote from the Calvin and Hobbes cartoonist Bill Watterson who wrote “The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that they have never tried to contact us.”
(g) http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/science/2014/01/26/no-evidence-of-aliens-helping-ancient-cultures.html (link broken June 2018) See: Archive 2098)