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Is it possible that intelligent life forms visited Earth thousands of years ago, bringing with them technology that drastically affected the course of history and man’s own development?

Ancient alien theory grew out of the centuries-old idea that life exists on other planets, and that humans and extraterrestrials have crossed paths before. The theme of human-alien interaction was thrust into the spotlight in the 1960s, driven by a wave of UFO sightings and popular films like 2001: A Space Odyssey. The space program played no small part in this as well: If mankind could travel to other planets, why couldn’t extraterrestrials visit Earth?

Presented in the 1968 bestselling book Chariots of the Gods, by Erich von Daniken, the theory of “ancient aliens” rocked people’s beliefs in mankind’s progress. Ancient cave drawings of strange creatures, remains of landing strips in Peru, and Indian texts that describe the “flying machines of the gods” were just a few of the odd archaeological artifacts cited by von Daniken as proof that ancient astronauts were well known to our ancestors.

Produced with the exclusive cooperation of von Daniken himself, the documentary series Ancient Aliens launches all-new expeditions to seek out and evaluate this evidence, with a concentration on discoveries of the last 30 years, including unusual DNA findings on man’s evolution and newly decoded artifacts from Egypt to Syria to South America. It is a balanced investigation into a theory some believe cannot be true, but many agree cannot be ignored.

EPISODE GUIDE

Episode 1: Aliens and the Old West
Ancient Astronaut theorists believe aliens have been visiting earth for thousands of years. If so, might we find evidence of this even in the stories of America’s Old West? In Aurora, Texas, the local cemetery claims to hold the body of an alien whose ship crashed there in 1897. In Utah, petroglyphs depict strange beings wearing what look like space suits. In southern California, 19th century ranchers reported seeing an otherworldly creature emerge from Elizabeth Lake. And even in Tombstone, Arizona, the home of Wyatt Earp and the site of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, cowboys claimed to have shot at a giant, metallic bird Are these simply campfire tales, or did the cowboys and native people of America’s Wild West actually come in contact with alien beings from another–much more distant–frontier?

Episode 2: Aliens and Monsters
Hindu scripture describes an enormous flying creature called a Garuda that shook the ground when it landed on Earth. Is it possible that this monster was actually a misinterpreted alien craft? Are hybrids like the Centaur, the Minotaur and Medusa just mythical creatures of fantasy–or could these ancient depictions of terrifying monsters have been the result of advanced extraterrestrial transplantation procedures?

Episode 3: Aliens and Sacred Places
Are sacred places the product of man’s reverence for God–or the result of contact with ancient space travelers? Jerusalem’s Temple Mount has been called a heavenly gateway. Islam’s shrine at Mecca displays a Black Stone believed to have fallen from heaven. And the temple at Baalbek, Lebanon was built on a massive stone structure resembling a landing pad. Did man encounter divine beings at these holy places, or might they have met ancient extraterrestrials?

Episode 4: Aliens and Temples of Gold
Could gold be the ultimate link between humans and aliens? A church in southern France is said to hold the key to alchemy–and a gateway to another part of the universe. Locals in Cusco, Peru believe UFO sightings are connected to lost gold at the bottom of Lake Puray. And some believe underneath the Great Sphinx of Giza lies an entire library left behind by extraterrestrials–a library stored on gold.

Episode 5: Aliens and Mysterious Rituals
Throughout the world, ancient rites and rituals are believed to connect humans to another dimension. But just who–or what–are we communicating with? Could today’s rituals, such as festivals, coronations and funerals, be based on early man’s attempts to emulate ancient alien visitors? If so, what other ancient rituals might find their roots in a kingdom–not of this world?

Episode 6: Aliens and Ancient Engineers
Might the tools and technology of ancient builders have come from distant galaxies? Evidence suggests that an ancient mountaintop fortress in Peru was constructed with laser-like tools. Temples at Vijayanagara India were built to harness cosmic energy and an acoustic chamber in Malta enabled interplanetary communication. If the ancient builders did use advanced technology, could it prove that aliens visited Earth thousands of years ago?

Episode 7: Aliens, Plagues and Epidemics
Scientists are continually challenged by unidentified strains of bacteria with mysterious origins. Could some of our most crippling plagues and epidemics be traced to the darkest voids of space–or even extraterrestrial intervention? During the Black Death of the Middle Ages, people reported bronze flying ships emitting a strange mist. As recently as 2011, NASA scientist Richard Hoover published evidence of life in meteorites. Is it possible that ancient aliens–as small as microbes–have shaped human history?

Episode 8: Aliens and Lost Worlds
Mysterious legends and crumbling ruins are all that is left of our planet’s lost worlds. But could there be proof of ancient alien visitors hidden among the artifacts of civilizations that have long vanished? Strange carvings suggest the Mayan city of Copan was ruled by the descendants of otherworldly beings. And some believe the ancient Nazca people altered their bodies, and their lands, to signal the star gods to return. Are the astounding accomplishments of lost civilizations merely the products of ancient folklore or could they have been something out of this world?

Episode 9: Aliens and Deadly Weapons
Iron swords forged in blazing hot fires, gunpowder with the power to tear apart human flesh and rockets capable of destroying entire cities. Throughout history, advances in technology have lead to the development of powerful weapons, each more deadly than the last. But were these lethal weapons the product of human innovation or were they created with help from another, otherworldly source?

Episode 10: Aliens and Evil Places
For thousands of years, there have been places around the world considered dangerous to humans. Might these locations hold the key to an otherworldly connection? At Australia’s Black Mountains, local myths speak of ancient serpent gods and hikers disappearing. Every year hundreds are drawn to a dark forest at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan–to commit suicide. What causes these places to be evil? Could there be evidence that past extraterrestrial activity lead to the negative energy in Earth’s evil places?

Episode 11: Aliens and the Founding Fathers
What is the meaning behind secret messages found throughout Washington, D.C.? Did America’s Founding Fathers know something about ancient aliens that the general public did not? And if so, could this knowledge have been incorporated into the symbols, architecture, and even the founding documents of the United States of America?

Episode 12: Aliens and Deadly Cults
Mass suicides. Human sacrifices. Unholy rituals. Throughout history, people have claimed to have otherworldly knowledge, and have led followers to commit horrific acts of violence. Are they con men? Are they insane? Or might the voices in their heads really be of an extraterrestrial origin? And if so, did they simply misinterpret the messages they received? Or might there be extraterrestrials with a sinister agenda?

Episode 13: Aliens and the Secret Code
Megalithic monuments linked together by electromagnetic energy… Prehistoric ruins arranged across vast distances in straight lines… And advanced mathematics carved into landmarks more than 5000 years ago. Were ancient man’s spectacular structures built by humans alone? Or do they bear evidence of being designed–and interconnected–by otherworldly visitors?

Episode 14: Aliens and the Undead
Zombies rising from their graves, blood sucking vampires damned for all eternity and humans trapped in a life and death struggle between heaven and hell. For thousands of years, mankind has told tales of encounters with strange, soulless creatures. Are these beliefs merely man made fabrications or could there be extraterrestrial origins in earthly encounters with the undead?

Episode 15: Aliens, Gods and Heroes
Superhuman strength… Supernatural powers… And the awesome ability to fly. Throughout history, mankind has told incredible tales of gods with extraordinary powers. But are these accounts merely tall tales, or could they be based on factual events? If mythical gods really did exist, were they, as ancient astronaut theorists believe, extraterrestrial beings? And could this help to explain the enduring popularity of gods, titans and other so-called “super-heroes”?

Episode 16: Aliens and the Creation of Man
Why are humans so different from every other species on Earth? Did we evolve from ape–or is our intelligence the result of contact with an otherworldly source? Could unexplained advances in human evolution be the work of interstellar beings? 10,000-year-old petroglyphs link our ancient ancestors with star beings. Might evidence of alien contact help unlock the mystery of the Creation of Man?

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