|The woo is out there|
|Aliens did it...|
|... and ran away|
|Fiction over fact|
|How it didn't happen|
“”How would it be if we discovered that aliens only stopped by earth to let their kids take a leak?
Ancient assho- (ahem) astronauts are aliens purported to have come to Earth thousands of years ago. Some claim that these aliens form the basis for the mythological gods of ancient cultures. Others suggest that we are descendants of these aliens. A few claim that they came, placed random pieces of architecture in random spots, and left, i.e. that structures made of stone such as the pyramids at Giza, Stonehenge, and the Nazca lines were made by a civilization advanced enough to achieve space travel.
If someone presents these arguments to you, they may or may not be persuaded by sensible, rational explanations. While many are simply too firmly set in their cognitive dissonance to budge, some of them can have their minds changed pointing out the gaping holes in the argument. While one's initial instinct is to brush them off as loons, bear in mind that this nonsense has been given an air of legitimacy thanks to garbage on the History Channel masquerading as real science. Try talking about it in a non-attacking way, and being patient. If they still cannot be budged (or accuse you of being one of the "sheeple"), then your efforts are better spent elsewhere.
The main result of the ancient astronauts' influence in the late 20th and early 21st centuries has been to upwardly mobilize sundry con artists, cynical authors and loonies (von Däniken, Scientology) and provide fodder for really stupid shows on the US basic cable History Channel.
 Purported evidence
Any obscure and/or exotic (at least to the average Westerner) piece of archaeology, history or mythology has been used as evidence for ancient extraterrestrial visitation at some time or other. (Impressive ancient ruins? Aliensdidit! Descriptions of gods or demons coming from the sky? Aliens!) A non-exhaustive list:
- The Giza pyramids and the Sphinx
- Pyramids in general
- Stonehenge and other megalithic monuments in general
- The Nazca lines
- The purported astronomical knowledge of the Dogon people
- Mohenjo-daro, a ruined city cited as evidence of ancient nuclear war
The quest for oddities has its fun moments, such as the carving of an astronaut in the decorations of the New Cathedral in Salamanca (in Spain). The Cathedral was built between the 16th and 18th centuries, but the figure itself was carved by a playful restorator in 1992.
 It's hardly ever white cultures who get science and technology from aliens
This is a coincidence.
 See also
- Ancient Aliens
- Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence
- Tower of Babel, depending on interpretation
- Peter Kolosimo
- Erich von Däniken
- Giorgio A. Tsoukalos
- Zecharia Sitchin
- Lloyd Pye
- Scientology (not proponents per se, publicly they say they have nothing to do with it. Once you pay them lots of $$$ then you find out about Xenu and aliens being on Earth first)
- Maximillien de Lafayette
- Robert Temple
- Mike Bara
- Courtney Brown
- Center for Ancient Astronaut Research