I was listening to the latest episode of the Paranormal Podcast, where Jim Harold interviews Dr. Rita Louise about ancient aliens, and I began to think about my preferred explanation for who the ancient pagan 'gods' were -- humans from a lost advance civilization. I've written about this idea before in my post Give our ancestors more credit, but after listening to the Paranormal Podcast today, I started thinking more about what might have happened to the pagan 'gods'.
Questions raised on the Ancient Aliens TV show about the ancient astronaut hypothesis include where did they (the aliens) go and will they return? And those are good questions to consider if you follow the ancient astronaut hypothesis. All you can really do is speculate as to where they went and if they will come back. Other questions to consider are why did they leave in the first place? And if they are coming back, why have they been gone so long?
I feel these questions are more easily answered by replacing the aliens from space with humans from Earth. Like I said before in the post I mentioned above, the so-called 'gods' may have just been a prehistoric class of aristocrats. Maybe we can take it a step further and consider the possibility that these prehistoric aristocrats were the remnant of a highly advance civilization that existed prior to some sort of prehistoric cataclysm. Perhaps it was a civilization with technologies similar to what we have today. Maybe they had cars, flying machines, and laser technologies. Dr. Louise speculated that when 'gods' smote people with lightning, maybe they were using laser weapons and the people just called it lightning. What if that were true....except it wasn't aliens but advanced humans instead?
It's easy to replace ancient aliens with advanced prehistoric humans, but what about the questions I mentioned above? Where did the 'gods' go? Will they return?
If the ancient pagan 'gods' were the remnant of a highly advanced prehistoric civilization, they may have been able to attain the position of 'god' in a post-apocalyptic society by saving or scavenging technologies from the time before the cataclysm. They may have impressed less developed populations with flying machines and charm, or scared them into obedience by threatening them with their advanced weapons...possibly some kind of laser weapons. The problem for the 'gods' would come when they could no longer maintain their old technologies.
Let's take a look at our technologies today. If you are reading this, then you must know how to operate a computer or tablet or smartphone. But if you survived some sort of massive cataclysm on the Earth, would you know how to build a computer from scratch? If, by chance, you just so happen to be a computer hardware engineer, do you know where you would get the parts to build one from scratch? And if you do, do you also know how to program the software for it too? You can probably see where I'm going with this. You may know how to use a computer, but can you build one? You may know how to drive a car, but can you build one? You may know how to fly a plane, but can you design and manufacture one? Not everyone has the same skill set. Not everyone has the same level of education.
Now let's go back to the possibility of an advanced prehistoric civilization remnant living in a prehistoric post-apocalyptic world. Perhaps a prehistoric pilot flew his flying machine somewhere and was able to impress some people with his fancy gadgets or maybe they feared his laser. Maybe those people would begin to worship and serve him. Maybe his knowledge gave him leverage and he didn't want to pass it along because he liked being worshiped and served. Maybe being served was as close as he could get to a life of luxury he had had before. Or maybe his life wasn't all that luxurious in the first place, and he saw his technology as an opportunity to have the life he couldn't have before. It's also possible that the first generation of people living after the prehistoric cataclysm understood that he wasn't actually a 'god', but a leader. Later generations may have perpetuated a myth that he was a 'god' because they were so far removed from the time before the cataclysm that they had no recollection of the way things were or they technologies that had existed.
The problem would come for this 'god' when he could no longer maintain his old technologies. Maybe he had some mechanical knowledge and was able to MacGuyver some repairs for a while, but eventually the engine would probably fail and he may not have known how to build another one. His days of flying would be over. As for his laser, maybe he no longer had the appropriate power source to charge it. After a few generations, no one would even have any memory of the old world and without proper maintenance, the technologies of the old world would no longer work.
So where did the 'gods' go? They simply died. Let's take a look at Greek mythology for a possible example. Cronus was the original leader of the gods of Greek mythology. He was eventually overthrown by his son Zeus. What if Cronus was actually from an advanced prehistoric civilization? Maybe he flew to ancient Greece and was worshiped by the ancient Greeks already living there. His son Zeus may have been able to maintain the old technologies for a while, but would the next generation still know how to do that? What if there were no engineers? Is this why there were no more generations of 'gods' after the Olympians? Did the 'gods' simply die off, and with no more technologies, their offspring eventually just merged with the rest of the society, only to be replaced by a preisthood that claimed to have a continued connection with them? Is this why the 'gods' also had children with 'mortals'? Did the 'gods' and 'mortals' merge together after that because the 'god' families no longer knew how to build the technologies of their ancestors? Did they forget how to be 'gods'?
So, if the 'gods' were real humans, will they ever return? Maybe the question should be, have they already returned and no one has noticed? Obviously the original 'god's won't be returning if they were human and are now dead, but have we built what they lost? The technologies that are attributed to ancient aliens such as space ships and lasers are things we have today in one form or another. Granted, we don't have long distance space craft capable of carrying people to other star systems, but if the 'gods' were actually prehistoric humans, maybe they didn't either. Maybe they just had flying machines capable of flying in the atmosphere, and those without flying machines just saw them as magical people coming from the sky. Maybe they never really came from space at all. Maybe we now have all that they ever had...or more. With that in mind, could the 'gods' have returned in us?