Atlantis Revisited, Could There be a Lost Technological Civilization on Earth?
I just read How Much Aliens Fit With UFOs? on the Weird Sciences Blog and it inspired me to write this post. I do recommend Weird Sciences, it’s nice to read about “fringe” ideas from a rational intelligent middle of the road perspective. As I am sure I have ranted about before, I find arch sceptics and true believers equally annoying, together they have polarized so many interesting topics that mainstream researchers are loathe to even look into them for fear of ridicule or even career damaging censure. Yeah, that’s helpful for scientific enquiry.
In any event, the esteemed author posits that maybe UFOs aren’t aliens at all, maybe there was once a high tech civilization on Earth, not even necessarily a human civilization, that achieved space flight and either left Earth and is based somewhere else, or is hidden on Earth somehow. And that these hypothetical beings are responsible for UFO reports throughout the centuries. Could this be true? Well, of course it could be true, in the sense that it isn’t crackpot thinking. IE if it was true, it wouldn’t violate any vast body of scientific research and understanding. So the Ancient Techno Theory, to give it a name, passes the first hurdle.
The next hurdle: is it possible that some high technological race is hiding somewhere on Earth or in the Solar System? And as far as I can tell, the answer is a qualified maybe. If we are assuming they are centuries ahead of us technology wise, then we have to assume they have the technology to cloak their bases and that they use some form of communication that isn’t detectable with our technology. And hell, a largish asteroid painted black would do for a hiding place so long as they were careful not to let it come too close to something else where orbital perturbations might give them away. It’s a little contrived, but not impossible, so I’ll grant that maybe our Ancient Techno peeps could be based nearby.
Next problem, if they evolved on Earth, where are the ruins? Good question. Again though, especially if we are talking a race that evolved millions of years ago, there are possibilities. There are vast sunken land masses like Zealandia in the Pacific or the Kerguelen Plateau in the Indian Ocean. Heck, our putative beings might have lived on the sea floor, and their ancestral home has now been subducted into the Earth’s mantle. There’s also Antarctica or Greenland. Lost civilizations are being discovered to this day, so it’s possible that their ruins are either long gone or simply haven’t been discovered yet.
OK, why haven’t we found so much as a pull tab they left behind somewhere else on Earth, and wouldn’t they leave layers of pollutants in sediments world wide? Well, maybe they didn’t explore much or by the time they did start exploring, they were really big on not leaving any debris. Or no one has yet stumbled upon one of their dumps, or maybe even we have, but didn’t recognize it. As for ancient layers of pollutants, I don’t think anyone has really been looking, and one can’t find what they aren’t looking for. It’s even possible that unmistable evidence has been found and is sitting in some university geology department or a drawer in a museum, but no one has yet recognized it for what it is.
So, they had to evolve right? Where are the bones, the fossils, the ancient species that could have evolved into an intelligent race? Well, there were raptors that had a larger brain to body ration than a wolf, and they walked upright and thus had “hands” to boot. It’s even been conjectured that they might very well have evolved into an intelligent species had they not been so rudely interrupted by a 6 mile (10 kilometre) wide rock that dropped in on them from space. And it’s not like the fossil record is complete, even the comparatively recent evolution of humans has some gaps in the record.
Well, at this point I think I’ve covered all the obvious things that our Ancient Techno Theory suggests we look for to prove our theory. And while we haven’t found any evidence that supports our theory, we have found plausible reasons why such evidence either doesn’t exist or hasn’t been found yet. So if we have all these plausible reasons and assumptions, is our theory sound? And here’s were I have a problem, in the two little words “all these.” In my above analysis, there’s four broad areas and a number of sub areas where plausible assumptions exist for the lack of evidence we would expect to find if such a species did once exist. And some of them are pretty contrived assumptions. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here to say that if one has to make this many assumptions to explain away objections to a theory, at best it’s not a very robust theory. The arch sceptics would say that Occam’s razor clearly shows the Ancient Techno Theory isn’t tenable.
I’m not going to go that far, the Universe is a pretty strange place, but I think at this point even aliens is a more likely explanation for UFOs than some lost intelligent species on Earth. Heck, a lot of scientists are still looking for aliens, few if any are looking for Atlantis or it’s ilk. I tend to believe that for the most part scientists pursue the most promising lines of research. And on the topic of aliens, tomorrow I will publish my idea about how to look for evidence of aliens. Yes, I have a SETI idea I’m not sure anyone has ever tired before! At least I haven’t found any reference to it, and I’ve read a lot about SETI. So I might as well get it in print and maybe a SETI researcher will see it and say … “You know, that just might work. Let’s give it a try!” More likely some commenter will point out some obvious flaw in my thinking or point out that it was tried in the fifties, but hey, until tomorrow, it’s fun to think about.
(The above image was painted several thousand years ago, so I think I can safely assume it’s Public Domain. Credit: Atlantis. It’s from a mural found on the Island of Thera, one of the major candidates for the inspiration for Plato’s Atlantis story. I chose it because it relates to Atlantis, it’s still not fully understood by scholars, and it’s kind of a cool picture.)