Ancient Astronauts and their technology is often promoted as the inspiration behind aspects of many ancient religions such as the vimanas of the Hindus, the flying chariots of Ezekiel as well as the gods of Mesopotamia. The most widely known proponents of these ideas are Erich von Däniken and the late Zecharia Sitchin.
However, I must also include Josef Blumrich who proposed that the biblical Ezekiel had encountered an alien spaceship in his 1973 book . It is worth noting that a decade earlier Arthur W. Orton wrote The Four-Faced Visitors of Ezekiel which was recently republished  and offers similar ideas as Blumrich. Ulrich Magin has written a critical review of Bloomrich’s interpretation of Ezekiel’s visions(m).
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(s).
Another example of this genre of b.s. is offered by Tricia McCannon, who delights us with an account of Atlantis as “the seat of a Great Galactic Empire, with many extraterrestrial races coming and going from its shores”, with lots more of the same(t).
Decades before von Däniken, Harold T. Wilkins was already suggesting prehistoric extraterrestrial visitors in the 1950s. He also wrote a couple of books about Atlantis. Not long after that, Egerton Sykes wrote some short articles for his Atlantis magazine(i) that were sympathetic to the idea of ancient astronauts.
R. Cedric Leonard is another Atlantis researcher who has written about Atlantis and ancient alien technology. A more recent attempt to link Atlantis with ancient astronauts came from Kevin Falzon, who closely follows Sitchin while locating Atlantis in his native Malta. Richard Mooney speculated on a connection between Atlantis and ancient aliens four decades ago.
However, Professor Emilio Spedicato may have added some degree of respectability to the concept when he wrote(u) “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 offer some evidence of technologies at least equal to if not more advanced than that of our present-day capabilities.
Nevertheless, the idea of visitors from other worlds is often traced back to the 18th century and the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772)(e), who not only argued that extraterrestrial beings had visited our planet, but that he had met them! Greg Little has also recently(g) credited Swedenborg as the originator of the alien visitors’ idea, but Jason Colavito has rubbished Little’s article(f) and traced the concept of extraterrestrial encounters back to Lucian (125-180 AD) together with a few others before Swedenborg. Colavito and Little are not ‘best friends’, so I can only conclude that Colavito simply wished to undermine Little’s credibility as a researcher.
Ever since Kenneth Arnold saw ‘flying saucers’ near Mt. Rainier in 1947, his report paved the way for the ancient astronaut idea to evolve into the prolific writings of W. Raymond Drake and later Erich von Däniken, among others. In turn, this seemed to lead naturally to speculation of a possible linkage with Atlantis.
Jason Colavito has also drawn attention(a) to an exhibition held in Beijing in July 2012, which purported to offer evidence of these ancient visitors, and has published(b) the official U.S. Government view on ancient astronauts. He also offers an overview of alien theories and scathingly criticises their proponents(c). In 2011 Colavito published a free ebook with the self-explanatory title of The Origins of the Space Gods(j).
Colavito has also an interesting blog for 29/08/14 which quotes from a 1977 magazine that has an article suggesting that Jesus was an American astronaut who came back from the future, no doubt inspired by the film Planet of the Apes!(d)
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, who claims(v) 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 (1936-2006) 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(w).
The late Flying Eagle and his partner Whispering Wind specified the planet Xylanthia((aa) 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’s series entitled Ancient Aliens(y) has been heavily criticised on the Bad Archaeology website(x) and elsewhere. October 2011 saw another claim that the Maya had contact with extraterrestrials and that a documentary providing evidence is planned(z).
A sceptical review of extraterrestrial visitations was published in the 26th January 2014 edition of Ohio’s Columbus Dispatch(ab).
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.”
Perhaps even more disconcerting is the results of a survey(h) carried out by Chapman University that show 20% of Americans believe in ancient astronauts!
In 2020, we had a bizarre tweet from the billionaire, Elon Musk, claiming that “aliens built the pyramids”(l), I hope that this was a tongue-in-cheek comment!
Nevertheless, there are still (2021) attempts to promote the ancient astronaut idea using the same material that has failed to convince in the past(k).
An example of this is the 2023 book, Prehistory Explained  by Shane Leach, who recycled some of the ideas of von Däniken and Sitchin and then for good measure threw in the old suggestion that our Moon and the Martian moon Phobos are artificial. Of course, Atlantis was not ignored, which he placed in Antarctica and deemed that Stonehenge had been laid out like the Pleiades constellation!
More depressing is the study by Graham E.L.Holton, which surveyed the ancient astronaut literature and found nothing but superior white blond ‘gods’, usually male, such as Quetzalcoatl(n). This theme was continued in later UFO reports. Erich von Däniken is arguably the best-known of the ancient astronaut proponents, but he was not the first and certainly not the last(n). Jason Colavito has reviewed the racism expressed by von Däniken(o). Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews was equally critical of Däniken’s racist views(p).
2023 also saw the publication of Gods of the Bible  by Mauro Biglino, who also wrote a paper as ‘Author of the Month’ for Graham Hancock’s website(q). In both, he explores the Bible for evidence of ancient extraterrestrial visitors who interacted with humans, just as Zechariah Sitchin had done nearly half a century ago using Mesopotamian texts.
There are also some who have endeavoured to use the Palermo Stone as evidence of extraterrestrial visitors in our ancient past(r)!
Avi Loeb who is probably better known as a contributor to the Ancient Aliens TV series has recently (Nov. 2023) endeavoured to develop his ‘fame’, by offering by offering an alternative to the conventional theories offered to explain UFOs, now redesignated UAPs (Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena). Jason Colavito(ad) has drawn attention to an attempt by Loeb to suggest that UFOs, sorry, UAPs, might be remnants from a very early highly technologically advanced civilisation.
“Any technological infrastructure left on the surface of Earth from that early civilization could have been demolished by geological activity including subduction, covered by water or tarnished by meteor impacts and weathering.
However, functional relics could have been preserved in space. Within the past century of modern technology, our civilization has launched many thousands of functional devices in orbit around Earth. A more advanced or longer-lived technological civilization could have used more sophisticated devices. Are there unfamiliar technological relics in our sky?” (ac).
For those interested in having a look at other entries touching on the subject of Atlantis and ancient astronauts see: Jack Countryman, Christos A. Djonis, Andrew Greig, Kurt Jurgen Hepke, Marius Lleget, Louis Millette, Semir Osmanagic, Hubert Zeitlmair.
(i) Atlantis, Volume 20, No.3, May/June 1967.
(m) Spaceship or God’s apparition? The Visions of Ezekiel – Mysteria3000 (link broken)
(t) https://web.archive.org/web/20200219183927/http://triciamccannonspeaks.com/atlantis-the-lost-civilization/ (link broken) See: https://www.triciamccannon.com/dvd-time-travel-ufos-atlantis-and-world-changes/
(ab) See: Archive 2098
>Some years ago a book, by Whispering Wind and the late Flying Eagle claimed to have identified the Sea of Azov, north of the Black Sea, as the resting place of Atlantis. They further identified the Acropolis of Atlantis with the Hill of Mithridat in the presentday Crimean city of Kerch. In addition, they also asserted that the Mediterranean did not burst into the originally smaller, freshwater Black Sea but that the Black Sea rushed into the Mediterranean. This would have been fine except that as you plunge deeper into the book’s website(a) you encounter benign alien astronauts establishing Atlantis and so on, undermining the credibility, if not the rationality of the authors.<
The book has only 168 pages but contains over ‘200 colourful images, graphics and maps’, which certainly leave little space for any useful text. The authors are best described by the blurb on the website for the book; “Flying Eagle, great grandson of the famous American Indian Chieftain, Quanah Parker, is a dynamic lecturer, a philosopher, a geologist, an artist, an astrologer and an ad-lib piano composer. Whispering Wind is an artist, counsellor, a dancer, an actress and an adventurer. These two inseparable scientists have extensively researched throughout the entire Earth, to finally solve the world’s greatest mystery; the location of the ancient civilization of ATLANTIS. This 28 year research has opened doors into the innumerable quandaries of almost every field of science. Their research has created a demand for seminars and lectures. They are formulating the nucleus of a worldwide cultural superstructure; The Cosmic Vortex family. This rapidly expanding multinational family is composed of dedicated persons who possess a strong desire to find their true identity and purpose, to facilitate the harmonious rejuvenation of our cultural heritage and to restore balance to our beautiful Earth and ATLANTIS-MOTHERLAND”. This is definitely one for the feeble-minded!
Ukraine is also home to the Association of Ukrainian Mythologists and Atlantologists (AMAU)(b). The site includes a few interesting papers (use your translator), but unfortunately the content does not appear to have been updated for some time.
(b) https://atlantida.primordial.org.ua/ (Ukrainian/Russian)
The Sea of Azov, formerly known as Palus Maeotis, is a northern extension of the Black Sea bound by the Russian Federation and Ukraine.*It is claimed as the world’s shallowest sea and in ancient times was known as the Moetic Swamp/Sea/Lake.*It is the shallowest sea in the world having an average depth of 13 metres. Egerton Sykes noted that Moreau de Jonnès in 1876 and André de Paniagua in 1911, both placed Atlantis in the Sea of Azov. Palus Maeotis or Maeotian Marshes was the ancient name for where the River Don entered the Sea of Azov, then known as the Maeotian Lake.
For some comic relief, a recent book by the late ‘Flying Eagle’ and ‘Whispering Wind’ introduced benign alien astronauts to the subject and claimed to have identified the Sea of Azov as the resting place of Atlantis. Included in their theory is the idea that the waters of the Black Sea burst through the Bosporus into the Aegean Sea rather than the other direction as proposed by Ryan & Pitman. They also tell us(a) that a scientist named Xoah from the planet Xylanthia decided to create a new species that eventually evolved to rule the Empire of Atlantis.