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 which offers similar ideas to Blumrich.
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 technology(aliens). The most recent attempt to link Atlantis with ancient astronauts is 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.
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.
Jason Colavito has also drawn attention(a) to an exhibition to be held in Beijing in July 2012, which purports 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 Planet of the Apes!(d)
Perhaps even more disconcerting is the results of a survey(h) carried out by Chapman University that show 20% of Americans believing in ancient astronauts!
In 2020, we had a bizarre tweet from 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).<
Also See: Extraterrestrials
(i) Atlantis, Volume 20, No.3, May/June 1967.
Richard Cassaro (1972- ) is a journalist from New York City, now based in Madrid, with a passionate interest in ancient mysteries. His 2011 book, Written in Stone is a study of parallel architectural features to be found in ancient structures on both sides of the Atlantic and further afield in Asia. He focuses on the ubiquity of what he calls a “triptych’ feature in sacred buildings around the world and ascribes their continued use to the influence of Freemasonry. In January 2013 he published(f) a further selection of these triptych features found in China.
Up to this point I find his work credible but I think that he pushes the boat out too far when he speculates that these structural similarities are the result of the influence of a much earlier mother culture – Atlantis.
His website(a) includes excerpts from his book and interesting video clips.
Included there in January 2017 is an illustrated article on the ‘cyclopean’ wall that surrounds the ancient city of Tarragona situated southwest of Barcelona as well as a comparable wall at Orbetello in Italy. He maintains that this was a colony of the Cyclopes, a mythological race of one-eyed giants. Well, if they were giants, why does the height of the doorways in Cassaro’s images appear no greater than standard doorways today? Cassaro also implies that the Cyclopes were Atlanteans, which explains the title of the article – Atlantis Ruins in Europe? The Megalithic “Master Masonry” of a Cyclopean Colony in Tarraco (Tarragona), Spain.(n)
Cassaro also produced an article and video(b) on the frequency with which a pagan concept of a sacred trinity is expressed in symbolism found across ancient pre-christian Europe. The Wikipedia entry for ‘triskelion’(c) augments Cassaro’s case.
He has recently written an article(d) claiming that the Egyptian god Osiris was the first Messiah and that Jesus was the second! However, I must advise readers that this is not an entirely new idea(e).
October 2013 saw Cassaro publish(g) a large series of images from around the world that various deities all posing in a comparable manner! His conclusion is that “the (god) icon is the chief symbol of a lost ancient universal religion.” He also endeavours to link this ancient symbology with later esoteric ideas and Freemasonry. He published a second series in January 2014(i).
He has also examined the Egyptian ankh and tau symbols and identified counterparts in South America(j). In 2015, Cassaro published images online that show the ‘third eye’ symbol as found in Asia and across the great ancient civilisations of the New World(k) and expanded on this in a later article on Graham Hancock’s website(l).
I should point out that Jim Allen has published an even more impressive collection of images of artifacts(h) that clearly demonstrate that the early civilisations of America were greatly influenced by cultures in both the east and west. The contributions of Allen and Cassaro offer a persuasive argument for cultural diffusion occurring at an early date in man’s development.
Cassaro has now delved further into what he refers to as the ‘godself’ icon and published his findings in a new, fully illustrated, book, The Missing Link together with another promotional article on Graham Hancock’s website(m). Coincidentally, on the same day that I read of Cassaro’s new book, I also read of one element in the iconography at Göbekli Tepe, which was also to be found at other sites around the world. Cassaro’s work on diffusion should now be given wider consideration, although in my view hyperdiffusion is still unproven.
In his latest book, Mayan Masonry , Cassaro returns to familiar suspects in which he speculates on the possibility that the ancient Maya were an older branch of the Masonic family tree(p)! He has also posted a lengthy excerpt(o) from the new book.
Those interested in his work can sign up for Cassaro’s newsletter.
Lucile Taylor Hansen (1897-1976) was the daughter of the American geologist Frank Taylor, who suggested a theory of ‘continental drift’ in 1910, before the better known 1912 offering of Alfred Wegener, who cited Taylor. She was apparently a US attorney who published under the name of L. Taylor Hansen. She was one of the earliest female short science fiction writers and had a number of stories published in the late 1920s and 1930s and subsequently wrote a series of articles on scientific mysteries. In common with many other female science fiction writers at that time she denied her gender in order to be taken seriously.>She “once titled a letter in Amazing Stories ‘L. Taylor Hansen Defends Himself’ and on another occasion included a photo of a man with one of her stories, claiming it was a photo of herself.”(b) As late as 1963, Egerton Sykes assumed that Taylor-Hansen was male(c).<
It was not until later in her life that she privately published her major non-fiction work, The Ancient Atlantic. In this work, she draws on the traditions of the Carib natives of Central America who tell of their ancestors arriving thousands of years earlier from their original island homeland in the east that is now submerged. Some writers have taken this as a reference to Atlantis.
However, we must keep in mind that many islands in the region must have been permanently inundated at the end of the last Ice Age so that unless the tradition also contains references to an abandoned organised urban culture it is unwise to assume any connection with Plato’s tale of Atlantis.
Hansen also discusses, at length (chap. 29), Lake Tritonis (the Triton Sea), which existed in North Africa stretching from the Atlas Mountains to Lake Chad. She relates a story of the discovery in the Middle Ages of a ship near the Drâa Depression in Morocco close to the border with Algeria, which still held the skeletons of its rowers with shackles still on their bones. If true, it indicates the existence of a substantial inland sea in the past.
The Ancient Atlantic is a wide-ranging book and although now out of print is still to be found in second-hand bookshops or your local library.
Hansen also wrote about a prophet who visited the Indians of North and South America with a strong suggestion that it was in fact Jesus visiting the other sheep that were ’not of this fold’.(d) Her work in this regard has been recently revisited by Sean Casteel(a)
>(c) Atlantis, Vol.16, No.3, June 1963
Christian O’Brien, (1915-2001) was a geologist and head of the Iranian oil industry until his retirement in 1970. He was convinced that Atlantis had been located in the Azores and has suggested a possible geographical outline of Atlantis based on the bathymetric data available for the region(c).
The O’Briens supported hyperdiffusion and proposed that ‘the Shining Ones’ better known as the Elohim(d) in the Bible were responsible for the sudden development of agriculture, city-states and monumental building sometime before 8000 BC. Eventually, they developed colonies, spreading their knowledge which in due course was responsible for the great civilisations of Egypt, Asia and America.
In The Megalithic Odyssey  O’Brien offers an overview of the many megalithic stone circles and cairns on Cornwall’s Bodmin Moor. However, from chapter 6 until the end, he takes his hobby-horse for a ride, offering a convoluted account involving an order of Sumerian ‘Sages’ who brought advanced knowledge to Egypt, Britain and Ireland and further afield. Along the way, they or their leaders are remembered by different names, Osiris, Tuatha dé Danann, Druids or in Mexico as Quetzalcoatl. O’Brien attributes the megaliths of Bodmin Moor to the influence of some of these Sages, probably the Tuatha dé Danann on their way to or from Ireland!
Included in O’Brien’s contention was the idea that the biblical Garden of Eden, designated by him as ‘Kharsag’, had been located in what is now the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. A paper(b) outlining this idea includes criticism of Zechariah Sitchin’s translation of Sumerian texts.
The Cretan Phaistos Disk was also studied by O’Brien, who concluded that the pictograms had been derived from ancient Sumerian scripts, which enabled him to offer a complete translation of the Disk(e).
One would have thought that O’Brien has ruffled enough feathers with his range of controversial issues, but went further with his support for the claim that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had been married and blessed with three children(f).
O’Brien’s work is now carried on by Edmund Marriage, his nephew, through an extensive website(a).
Gene D. Matlock (1928- ) was born in El Dorado, Kansas. He claims that from the age of twelve onward, he developed an interest in foreign languages and human beliefs.
After high school, he went to study at the University of New Mexico, and then went to Mexico City College, in Mexico, where he got a B.A. degree in Spanish and Latin American Affairs in December 1951. While in Mexico he became aware that somehow the ancient Mexicans had maintained close cultural and religious ties with India. He was drafted into the Marine Corps after graduating from Mexico City College and sent to Korea. After getting out of the Marines, he ‘travelled up and down Central America, from Mexico to Panama‘.
In New Orleans he earned a Masters Degree in Spanish at Tulane University. After teaching for a year in a New Orleans high school, he returned to Kansas where he taught for a year at Campus High School in Haysville, a few miles outside Wichita. He became a high school teacher in the Azusa Unified School District and retired after 27 years. He now lives in the California High Desert and spends his time researching the origins of Native Americans and their religions.
He believes that India ruled our prehistoric world including parts of America and that Atlantis was located in South-East Mexico at San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan. In an attempt to link his Mexican location with Plato’s description of Atlantis Matlock contends that the ‘elephants’ mentioned by Plato were in fact the long-snouted tapirs of Meso-America!(c) Furthermore, he claims that there was a connection between India, the Phoenicians, Atlantis and Mexico. Matlock has a widely quoted Internet article(a) on the connection between Abraham and India, beginning with the identification of Abraham and his wife Sarai with the Hindu god Brahma and his wife Saraisvati.>In 2000, Matlock published Jesus and Moses Are Buried in India, Birthplace of Abraham and the Hebrews, in which he develops this theme further.<
A supportive book by the controversial Sri G. Ananda (Gregory Alexander) entitled Brahma: The God of Abraham was published in 2014. However, this idea is hotly debated on the Internet by all interested parties, Christian, Muslim and Hindu.
Matlock is forced to admit that “My readers should know that the ‘Atlantis’ described in this book may not be the same as Plato’s ‘Atlantis’. I’m just proving that there was once a part of the world called ‘Atlantis’ – that a part of Mexico once had the Sanskrit name Atlán, Tlan or Toltán, whose citizens were known as Atlantecas and Atlantl”. He then continues with “if my ‘Atlantis’ is not the real ‘Atlantis’ no one will ever find the one Plato mentioned”.
Matlock has written a number of books none of which have generated any serious critical endorsement, in fact some critiques have been more than unkind. You can judge for yourself by reading some of his radical ideas on the Viewzone website(a)(b).
>He has also contributed to Graham Hancock’s website under the name of Gene Douglas!(e)<
Egypt occupies the northeastern corner of Africa. However, the ancient Egyptians considered themselves Asian (Tim. 24b). In practical terms, its territory consisted of a few miles on either side of the Nile together with its large Delta. In an expansionist period in the 2nd millennium BC, Egypt controlled parts of what are now Israel, Lebanon and Syria. Over its long history, Egypt itself was overrun by a variety of invaders – Hyksos, Kushites, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks and Romans.
As most are aware the history of Egypt is inextricably linked with that of the Old Testament, leading to the suggestion by some, such as Ahmed Osman(k), that individuals in the Egyptian 18th Dynasty can be identified with some of the Hebrew Patriarchs, most notably Moses and the heretic king Akhenaten. Interestingly, this linkage had been put forward previously by Sigmund Freud!
Osman goes further and contends that the main tenets of Christianity developed on the banks of the Nile  and additionally “provides a convincing argument that Jesus himself came out of Egypt.” This is in sharp contrast to those that claim that both Moses and Jesus are completely fictitious characters(l).
Egypt was viewed by the Greeks of Plato’s time as guardians of ancient history and wisdom and consequently was a place of pilgrimage for many of its greatest philosophers, who travelled there to be initiated into the cults of Isis and Osiris. Gustav Parthey (1798-1872), the German antiquarian, researched the education of 40 leading philosophers, writers and politicians of ancient Greece and found that all had studied under Egyptian priests. Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD) suggested that Plato travelled to Heliopolis and was a disciple of the Egyptian priest Sechnuphis. Other classical writers such as Strabo and Plutarch have confirmed this(i).
Despite this, the Greeks arrogantly referred to all non-Greeks, including the Atlanteans (Crit. 113a) as ‘barbarians’. It is of interest that Athene after whom the Greek capital is named originated in Egypt where she was worshipped as Neith.
The late Philip Coppens went as far as to suggest(a) that Greece was an Egyptian colony!
Plato’s text seems to infer that the destruction of Atlantis in 9600 BC was contemporary with Egyptian civilisation, raising archaeological questions regarding the earliest date for the establishment of an organised society in Egypt. Unfortunately, there is not a lot to support this contention. The oldest known art in Egypt was discovered in 2007 when petroglyphs were estimated to be 15,000 years old. The earliest culture along the Nile, identified by archaeologists is that of what is known as the Badarian dated to around 4500 BC. They produced basic pottery, jewellery and used stone tools although they had some knowledge of metals. The Badarians were followed by the Naqada who led on to what we identify as the spectacular ancient Egyptian civilisation. However, in 2007, rock carvings, similar in style to the Lascaux paintings were discovered near the village of Qurta, 650km south of Cairo. The 160 carvings, spread over 1.5km of the rock face, discovered so far, mainly depict wild bulls and have been dated to 13000 BC(h)
September 2013 saw the publication(c)(d) of a more definitive date for the start of the state of Egypt, beginning with the reign of king Aha circa 3100 BC. The evidence indicated that the process of moving from the pre-Dynastic groupings to a form of statehood was more rapid than previously thought. This undermines even more firmly the claims of the Egyptians that their country was founded around 8,600 BC as reported by Plato.
It is not surprising that ancient Egypt has presented us with very many unanswered questions, some of which have been compiled, posted on Wikipedia but subsequently removed(g).
Many writers have remarked how all aspects of ancient Egyptian culture seem to have arrived fully developed, while later dynasties did not surpass some of the achievements of the earlier ones! The conclusion of some is that the fully matured civilisation of the early Egyptians was a legacy from elsewhere.
Sanchuniathon refers to the original kings of Egypt calling them ‘Aleteans’. Albert Slosman claims that survivors from Atlantis had migrated to Egypt. The archaeologist, Marcelle Weissen-Szumianska, in a 1965 book, Origines Atlantiques des Anciens Egyptiens , maintained that the pre-pharaonic Egyptians originated in Atlantis, which had been situated in Morocco! Others suggest that Egypt was an Atlantean colony. The idea was brought to a ridiculous level by Augustus Le Plongeon who claimed that Egypt was a Mayan colony!
A more grounded study by Alapan Roy Chowdhury investigates the claim put forward by some researchers that there are remarkable similarities between the cultures of ancient India and Egypt. “Was there a real connection or are these similarities only coincidences?”(j)>The tributetohinduism.com website(n) develops this idea further.<
Robert Schoch has controversially dated the construction of the Sphinx to between 7000-5000 BC, while the megalithic structures at Nabta Playa suggest a sophisticated culture in that region around 5000 BC. Even if both these early dates are correct they are still over four and a half millennia short of Plato’s date. This most likely explanation is that Plato’s number of 9,000 years before Solon is incorrect as 9000 is too neat and may have been a siglum used to express a large but uncertain number or is an exaggeration just as today we speak of having ‘a million and one things to do’.
In 1897, a Russian scientist, A.N. Karnozhitsky was probably the earliest commentator to propose a close link between Egypt and Atlantis, placing the Pillars of Heracles near Sais and located Atlantis itself not far from the western mouth of the Nile.
Some years ago, Egypt was again been proposed as the original Atlantis, in a still (June 2021) unpublished book, The Joshua Crossing, by N. R. James. However, 2006 did see a paper presented by Professor Hossam Aboulfotouh of Minia University, Egypt, placed Atlantis in the Nile Delta. The following year R. McQuillen also offered an Egyptian location for Atlantis, placing it at Pharos near Alexandria.
More recently (March 2021), Diego Ratti, published Atletenu , in which he placed Atlantis in Egypt, with its capital located at Avaris, better known before now as the capital of the Hyksos. He questions a number of the English translations of the Greek text, offering his own where ‘appropriate’. The book is carefully constructed and well-illustrated, but, although he appears to match some of Plato’s Atlantis details with the Nile Delta, there was not enough to convince me.
A novel idea has been put forward by Mary Whispering Wind(b), who bravely offers the idea that the Atlantean province of Egypt was, Colchis, situated on the east coast of the Black Sea! She bases her claim on an interpretation of Herodotus (Book II.104/5) who was commenting on circumcision being only practised by Egyptians, Ethiopians and Colchians, in my mind, stretching what Herodotus said beyond the acceptable.
An even more radical suggestion was made by Reinoud M. de Jong in a 2009 paper(f) where he boldly claimed “that during the whole period of the (Michigan) copper trade, America was part of the Egyptian Empire” and during the Old Kingdom “this huge empire was known as Atlantis”!
One blogger, from California, has gone so far as to suggest that the ‘Egypt’ which Solon visited was on the shores of the Sea of Marmara!(e)
Margaret Bunson’s Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt  is now available online(m).
(a) See Archive 2136
(o) (99+) (PDF) Atlantis: ‘Lost in Translations’ – In Search of the Egyptian Version | Jean-Pierre PÄTZNICK – Academia.edu (French with English translation available) *