Let me continue where I left off. In the first scene of the film, a spaceship departs a planet, leaving behind a sole engineer next to some kind of a waterfall. The engineer consumes a black substance that acts quite powerfully and results in his rapid disintegration. He then falls into the waterfall and eventually, the broken down molecules that make up the biology of the engineer (Emphasis on DNA is obvious in the film) trigger a biogenetic reaction. Fast forward to a few billion years later, Shaw and Holloway find archaeological evidence cutting across different civilizations and vastly different time periods suggesting that giant beings visited humans and that they seem to be pointing to a star map. They interpret it as an invitation for us to find them.
There are a couple of things I would like to address about these scenes. First, the idea that life originated on Earth due to a direct extraterrestrial intervention (Based on later developments in the film, it would be safe to assume that the first scene is from a prehistoric earth). The second thing is that the planet has been visited by these extraterrestrial Gods during human development.
The first idea is fairly complex, so I will tackle it in my next post. Let’s look into the second point, extraterrestrial visitation. There are several descriptions of visitations by strange crafts and beings in various cultures. Of course, a lot of people would say that the work of authors like Erich von Däniken and Zecharia Sitchin had influenced the writers of Prometheus (When Prometheus reaches LV 223 airspace, the crew just find a rocky, uninhabited land, but, suddenly, Holloway spots something in a valley and tells Janek to land there. He comments, “God does not build in straight lines”. The structure that the crew explore later is not the only one in that valley. If my visual memory is right, prior to the landing of Prometheus I could see at least four such structures, may be equidistant from one another and all laid out in a straight line. I am sure that this is what he meant. Another visual that interested me is that there are straight line markings on the surface of the valley. Later, we saw a powerful storm that partly jeopardized the mission. If such a storm is common on the moon, and assuming that the straight line marks on the surface are temporary, then, they should have been destroyed by such a storm. The fact that they are there when Prometheus arrives could possibly mean that they are etched out to attract attention and hence, probably permanent. Däniken theorized that the famous Nazca lines of Peru, especially the straight lines represented some kind of an air strip for extraterrestrial visitors. The longest such straight line in Peru covers nine miles across the plain. Perhaps, this idea inspired the writers. Although there are several theories regarding the purpose of Nazca lines, a recent theory suggests that they represent a giant map of underground water resources traced on land. For more, just head to the wiki page). These two people enjoyed their spotlight in the media as the proponents of ancient astronauts theory and reached legendary status in late night paranormal radio shows. Däniken was particularly popular, with his Chariots of the Gods? selling millions of copies worldwide. Good for both of them.
But the ancient astronaut theory is much older. My first exposure to this concept happened when I was 11 years old. My dad’s former American colleague gave me a book called, The Call of Ctulhu written by H. P. Lovecraft. I finished the book in one sitting and it blew me away. This was probably also the starting point when my visualization capabilities started to improve, for the better or worse. One thing lead to another and now, I can proudly claim that I have read most of H. P. L and he will always be one of my greatest idols. Although I have read many books from Sitchin and Däniken, I am not a fan but I did admire their imagination. And as far as Däniken’s claim that he is the father of Ancient Astronaut theory is concerned – Please! His books should be considered as belonging to the speculative fiction category, nothing more, nothing less.
At this juncture, I would like to take a small sidestep, since it is connected to the general theme of this blog as I had intended when I started it. It should be evident to the long time visitors of this blog that I have an interest in the paranormal, especially, the UFO phenomenon. But, I don’t subscribe to the popular explanation regarding their origins, namely, the Extraterrestrial hypothesis. I am a religious follower of Jacques Vallee’s work and naturally subscribe to his Control System, Unexplored aspect of consciousness approach. Extra dimensional origin theory seems to be another viable option. The reason why I am mentioning this is because Vallee has spent a considerable amount of time researching folklore and history and reports of human contact with otherworldly beings (fairies, demons, angels etc.) over the ages. Most of these extraordinary reports always involve some kind of technology that is beyond human comprehension and can be compared to the modern day UFO phenomenon. Remember Arthur C. Clarke’s third law – Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Anyway, Vallee concludes that the phenomenon has been with us since ancient times and seems to influence our belief system. He has written exhaustively about the trickster nature of this anomaly. For more fascinating details, I suggest you folks read the book, Passport to Magonia by Vallee. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. Vallee and Chris Aubeck came out with another book in 2010 called, Wonders in the Sky – Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times and Their Impact on Human Culture, History and Beliefs. This book includes chronology of reports dating back to around 1460 BC. If you wanna expand your horizons further, you should read all of Valle’s books.
The idea that ancient civilizations have been visited by intelligent God-like beings has been well implemented in the film. But it’s the message that they convey to the humans that is mysterious.
Now that we have talked about ET visitation aspect of the film, let us analyze the concept that life originated on earth based on the engineers’ intervention in the next post.