Dec 11, 2013 I Benjamin Grundy

Remembering Philip Coppens

The late Philip Coppens, well known for his involvement with the Ancient Aliens TV series, was one of our favorite journalists and authors here at Mysterious Universe. His books still take prominent places on our shelves today and to see him pass away so suddenly following the Paradigm Symposium in December last year was a shock and tragedy for many of us.

As the anniversary of Philip's death approaches we have prepared a transcript of our 2011 interview with him which originally appeared on MU Season 6 Episode 24.

The interview below is focused on 'The Ancient Alien Question' released in the same year. Philip's most recent book before his passing was the excellent 'The Lost Civilization Enigma'.

Mysterious Universe: It's a pleasure to have you on. We've been big fans of your work for a long time. Looking back through your back catalog, you've been writing about ancient mysteries for quite a while. When I first saw the ancient alien question pop up on the radar, it popped in my head, "Why is Phil writing about the ancient alien question?"

I have to ask, when did this question become a possibility for you? When did you start pondering the idea that ancient peoples may have had contact with extraterrestrials?

Philip: It's actually going back to my earliest interests. In the sense that early on I was confronted with the work of a Belgian historian, Marcel Mestdagh, and he wrote about Atlantis. He had found new aspects to do with the megalithic civilization. One of the things he did in his work was actually highlight how the work he did in full landscapes and large-scale landscapes, and basically he realized that these ditches, which were part-and-parcel of Atlantis, could be seen from outer-space.

The obvious question which he asked next was, "Were they seen from outer-space? Was this a reason why they were constructed in such a manner?" It set me up early on with this work because I was there to basically help Marcel in promoting his work to an international audience. Marcel himself had died, and I had been asked by the publisher to help spread the information about what he had done.

One of the very first organizations who were interested in this work was actually Erich von Däniken's Ancient Astronaut Society. As early as 1995, I began to speak about Marcel's work at the Ancient Astronaut Society world conferences, and that continued in '95, '97, and '99. I've always been interested in posing the question.

But at the same time, I've always been one of those people who really felt that so much other work was being done by people in the field that I really didn't have to add my point-of-view to it. That changed two years ago in 2009 when I was asked to become one of the faces of "Ancient Aliens" for the History Channel show. Most recently, basically, I become the guy who wrote a book "The Ancient Alien Question" because I felt that there were millions of people out there who had questions, but who really had no one-stop shop to go to, to get interesting answers.

The success of the show has resulted in a number of books and a number of DVDs and the like being produced, but an awful lot of them set forward theories, set forward very spoke-parts, which don't really have that mass appeal. I felt that there had to be a book which really was written for the average man in the street which was accessible to that person so that he, too, would be able to get more familiar with the meat-to-the-bones of ancient aliens.

Mysterious Universe: I think that is why the book will be successful because it is very accessible. That ancient alien concept, it really has been inserted into the mass psyche with the success of the show. You point out that von Däniken was one of the early pioneers of the ancient alien question. But also, it seems as though that there were some much earlier thinkers who were also posing this possibility.

Philip: Oh, yeah. The ancient alien question, so-to-speak, has once again been asked in the 20th century. But really, people have always said this. Giordano Bruno the man who was put to death by the Church and the Inquisition for claiming that the earth revolves around the sun.
While he was a believer in the existence of other planets and also in other intelligent life in the universe, the ancients themselves were absolutely convinced that the gods were once physically present on this earth. I point out in the book the likes of Menito, but especially also the Hopis, for example, of Native American tradition. All of them are absolutely convinced that the gods were once physically present on planet earth.

This idea is not just something which is part-and-parcel of the space race which started to happen in the 1950s and the 1960s, or us going to the moon. It really were just events which made it that one of the people that who was writing at that moment in time, Erich von Däniken, became such a well known figure, and his books had such mass impact.

Part-and-parcel, of course, of the fact is that he was very good writer, and that he was able to bring it in a very accessible format to the masses. Again, back then as now, some other authors were more set in writing to a very misspoke section of the market and trying to convince them with theories.

Mysterious Universe: I see. Going back to that idea of ancient legends and those earlier thinkers, and the legends they drew up on, what are the best examples out of those that we could perhaps interpret as contact with aliens.

Philip: There are various categories in which this falls and my conviction is that it is best when all these categories begin to overlap. I will first take one from the historical aspect or the mythological aspect. Carl Sagan, when he was confronted with all of these things in the 1970s and wrote a book about these things, or at least a book which incorporated some of these things, he felt that the story of Hovhannes from Babylonia tradition was amongst the best evidence because this was a story about a half fish, half human creature who came out of the Persian gulf and taught mankind some of the sciences.


In my opinion, there is better evidence and I always go to this one but there are other examples in other continents as well. But in essence, when you go into Peru, you will find the pyramids. In North Peru you will find the Nazca Lines. You will find places like Puma Punku or Tiwanaku, which officially are in Bolivia, just across the border.

Then you go down from there into what is known as a Sacred Valley, which has such places as Cusco, Ollantaytambo and then Machu Picchu. When you map all of these things, as great as the pyramids are, as beautiful as the Nazca Lines are, really the anomalies are at Puma Punku, Cusco and Ollantaytambo where you see construction work on a level which defies anything which we know about the Inca or any other culture which lived there.

To some extent, it defies what humans would be able to do, and specifically when it comes to Puma Punku, it defies what our ancestors would be wanting to do with a place like Puma Punku because it is built at such a point that you really have no idea what the purpose would be, and just the blocks also reveal an extraordinary depth and precision in the way they are engineered.

When it comes to the historic layer, what we are told is that the Incas believed that this wasn't them doing it, that this was the gods doing it, and specifically they said that their creative god Viracocha materialized around Puma Punku, Tiwanaku, and then walked down to Sacred Valley, Cusco, Ollantaytambo and forwards on to the Pacific Ocean before he disappeared and basically said that he was going to civilize all the nations on earth.

Where you find that you have anthropological or historical information and archaeological information, when these two overlap, that to me really is the best evidence, and you find this in South America but again, you find this relatively common across the world.

Mysterious Universe: Yeah, that's interesting. It seems to be a crossover in cultures and belief systems. I guess if you just had one isolated case of a legend with strange beings coming from the sky and seeding knowledge, it would be a one off, but it does seem to cross over and we even have examples from the Bible, don't we?

Philip: Absolutely, and the Bible gives a number of these stories. The most famous one I think is obviously Genesis six, in which you have giants who come down from the skies, basically mate with humans of the female gender. The end result, when you read into Bible, is a very human story.

It's the story about how, as a result of this, children are trying to be born, babies are trying to be born, and because of their bigger-than-usual shape, they don't fit to their mother's birth canal, as a result of which, baby and mother die until some of them or in some instances cesarean sections are performed, and as a consequence of this, mother and/or child are saved.

We have tried to interpret this as a moral lesson but I don't think that that is really the case. When you start looking at the Bible as a story of the Jewish people who really were saying that life was far stranger than we tended to give it credit for, you really begin to see that the Bible is a collection of weird anomalies and this one fits in there. But more specifically, as things like Ezekiel who we would today identify as a UFO abductee, who gets repeated abductions while he is in exile in Babylonia, or the story of Jonah and the whale.

Some other stories in there are clearly examples of people who saw weird things and reported them. In all of these instances, it is clear that these were encounters with both high technology but specifically technology of a non-human intelligence in the sense that there was nothing which the humans would have possessed for Ezekiel to be taken somewhere.

Ezekiel's Vision

Mysterious Universe: In the case of Ezekiel, he obviously referred to his experiences as an experience with God, yet you used a fantastic example in your book about how easy it is for cultures to perhaps misinterpret contact with something as being a god. You use the example of cargo cults in World War-2. Can you tell us a little bit about the cargo cults and what they were, and how they operated?

Philip: Absolutely, basically when Japan entered the war, the Americans needed to have bases as close as possible to Japan. Some of the islands of the South Pacific became wait stations in their efforts to get there. For a few years, the American army basically came there, put bases down, did various installations and bought the locals off for or gave them things like dishwashers or whatever technology, washing machines...anything of that kind.

Then the war ended and they left. The locals began to rebuild some of these constructions, including airplanes from bamboo or whatever material they could find, in a hope that the gods would come back and bring, shower in a new golden age, but they never did. They began to makeup elaborate stories about how somehow these deities were linked with the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen's husband and that somehow he was linked with the chief deity of their pantheon.

All of these things really showed that we are susceptible to these things but I don't think we need to go to cargo cults. When you see how we sometimes venerate the people who are clearly human but give them almost supernatural status. I think Michael Jackson is probably the best example of this whereby you had this mass hysteria. Wherever he showed up when he went, it clearly shows that that is defying off of people is something which is quite common.

When you see that happening all cross the world and even in today's civilization, it's not a stretch of the imagination, I think, to say that non-human intelligences can be identified or misidentified as gods and to some extent. This is why in the book, I make a distinction between Gods with a big G and the gods with a small g, because I think that what has happened as a civil, social development in the last few hundreds of years, has probably to do with the fact that religion was a dominant factor in these centuries.

It is a fact that Gods and god were no longer distinguished and that everything became God with a big G, and that's what the ancient aliens seriously are trying to do is really to make the distinction once again, to say, "OK, this has got to do with God with a big G, and this really is about encounters with non-human intelligences," and somehow along the lines this has become misinterpreted as deities.

Mysterious Universe: I was pondering that and I am wondering if we had contact today and it was recognized worldwide, if that would, obviously we wouldn't make the same mistake today. But if enough time passed and society developed perhaps in 2000 years, that our contacts would be referred to as god's as well. It makes sense when you consider the time it could pass.

Philip: Absolutely. There's so much, and easy ways of making problems, like the prince. It's very easy to wonder like what was he the prince of? Then to so many things, or whether what is it...Gwyneth Paltrow has it, somehow gave birth to an apple?

Philip: All of these things are easily problematic given the test of time.

Mysterious Universe: I am going to keep a little score sheet of how many '80s music stars you mentioned in this interview Phil.

Philip: OK. [laughter]

Mysterious Universe: Let's get into the ancient megaliths. Obviously there is this technical knowledge and scientific understanding displayed in some of these ancient megaliths that go far beyond what we attribute to the ancients. I want to talk about some of the best examples and I was really excited to see you writing about the possibility of the Giza pyramid's geopolymer blocks.

For our audience who might not be familiar with geopolymers, could you give us a brief rundown on the technology and how that links to the Giza pyramid?

Philip: Absolutely. Basically it goes back to the early 1970s when there was a French scientist by the name of Joseph Davidovits, and he was looking outside of his window, wherever he was standing, and looked at rocks and basically said, "OK, rock formation...obviously these are created naturally. How, or is it possible to make rocks birth in a laboratory environment, speed it up, because some of these rocks take hundreds of thousands of years to form?"

The short answer is that he identified the techniques of doing this and this became known as geopolymers or geopolymerization, if you're describing a process of creating basically artificial rocks. He became interested in trying to find out whether he was the first one who had done so, and since he has become identified as the father of his science, he has had numerous distinctions across the world, specifically in France. But basically he began to look at various other things and in Egypt, he became specifically intrigued by the great pyramid, went over there, and people should read his book.

There's a summary of his book in my book. In his book he basically identifies over 40 distinctive markers as to why the building blocks of the great pyramid, as we see them today, are not natural rock, are not quarried in the way historians and Egyptologists are saying, but that they are geopolymers, and one example is very simple.

Limestone, which is what this is, is showing elements of the fact that this was once basically sea-sand lying on a beach somewhere, and this means that there were shells and various other things in there, and because the water came in and out, what happened was that all these shells are aligned in the direction of the flow of water. Now, when you start looking into the rocks of the great pyramids, you will find that they point in various directions, up/down, at whatever angle you want, and basically this is an indication that this process, one of roughly 40 distinguishing markers that this is not natural rock but that this is a geopolymer.

Basically the interesting aspect there is that the person who has been credited with this discovery was the guy in ancient Egypt called Imhotep, not the guy from the mummies. I don't think that was a 1980s movie.



Mysterious Universe: You're safe on that one Philip.

Philip: Imhotep, who was basically the high priest of Pharaoh Djoser, the third dynasty pharaoh, he in essence showed or said that he had discovered this science but only with the help of the gods, that the gods had been instrumental in helping him in identifying how to make this science. What we're having here is an interesting, what I would say, conundrum in a sense that it was a human invention but with divine help.

The pyramids were definitely not built by aliens, but the technology involving them comes from a non-human intelligence, i.e. the gods of ancient Egypt, with the ancient Egyptians that have been physically present at one point in the past.

Mysterious Universe: This where I feel that there may be, I guess, a bit of misunderstanding from the mainstream about the question of contact with extraterrestrials because people seem to jump to the conclusion, "Well, you're posing that question. You must think that everything was built by aliens, the pyramids and everything else." But it seems the best examples seem to be about the seeding of technology or the sudden wellspring of ideas and technical understanding that appears in the past.

Obviously, there are certain things that just don't match up with our current understanding of ancient technical knowledge. One of the most incredible examples are the stones in Lebanon. I think it's in Baalbek, they're located. Just the size of these alone is just mesmerizing. I think one of them is, what was it, 1,200 tons in weight and what required 40,000 people. There wouldn't be enough points to actually hold it for 40,000 people.

Philip: That is the thing. Science is great at masking these things. It was unfortunately the late Allen Alferd's...He died a few weeks ago. But Allan was the person who went to Baalbek, and Baalbek was his baby. He wrote about it, and he realized that we couldn't do this.
He began to write to all the big construction companies in the world and said, "If I have this stone which weighs 1,200 tons, what can you do with it?" They basically said, "Well, until a few years ago, we couldn't do anything with it. Now we can lift it. We have other technology to transport it, but we have nothing right now available which can lift and transport it."

Even in today's technology, we need two devices to do this. What we are seeing is that our ancestors in Baalbek, if they were our ancestors who did this, just like clicked their fingers, and there we have it. A few of these stones are just in situ.

That is like the case everywhere when you look at the extraordinary level of technology when it comes to the big stones in Ollantaytambo or the intricate drilling of Pumapunku. From that, I can always say, "history is wrong. Baseline history is wrong." Either our ancestors are far more technologically aware, or they are indeed stupid as you historians are saying, and somebody else did it.

Now historians are turning this upside down, and what they are saying is basically that the ancient alien proponents are the ones who have disrespect for our ancestors because we somehow take away some of the things our ancestors were doing. First of all, that is in my opinion not true. But specifically in all of these cases, as I was saying on examples like Terracotta in South America, our ancestors themselves were saying they didn't do this, that it was the gods who did this.

There are two options here. Either we are true to our ancestors and we accept what our ancestors are saying, or we are like the historians who are saying that our ancestors did it, but at the same time they're not basically crediting our ancestors with what they are actually saying themselves.

Mysterious Universe: You use a really good example of that. I'm trying to remember the specifics. I think it was an ancient Egyptian priest, perhaps, who was talking about their history. The things that are written down by him are accepted by archeology. They're accepted as facts.
Yet in the same text, you might say, he starts talking about the age of the Egyptian kings and how far back they go and long count calendars. All of the sudden, that can't be accepted. It seems that though archeology is willing to accept some things but leave out the anomalies.

Philip: Absolutely. What happens here is the story of Manetho who produces a king list, which is the foundation of ancient Egyptian dating. This chronology is accepted by everybody in Egyptology as being decisive. It's the period of roughly 3,000 to his time of writing which was the third century BC. They swear on it.

Now, what he's saying is that this wasn't the total chronology of ancient Egypt. Before, there was the rule of the demigods, the so-called Shansuhor, and before that there were several thousands of years in which the gods physically, directly ruled over and in ancient Egypt. What he's saying is that roughly from 25,000 BC to roughly 7,000 BC there was direct rule of gods over ancient Egypt.

When you ask historians about this, if you say like, "OK. You have this piece of evidence here. One part, you actually swear by. What do you do with the rest?" They say, "Well, they clearly invented that." When you ask why, they will come back with statements like, "Well, we all know that there are no gods. We all know that these things simply did not exist." Then the question is, "Well, what are you doing here?"

Because if this was the court of law...In the court of law, if you want to introduce evidence, you have to introduce the evidence whole, you can't just say, "Well, I like the fact that the rifle says this, but I hate the fact that the rifles do something else." No, you either accept the rifle as a piece of evidence, or you don't.

In the case of this chronology, the historians got away with saying, "Well, we like that bit, but we don't like the other, and we will just treat it as such." Again, they have created this game. Then they play with this game, and they pretend that it is real.

But the reality is that Manetho's king list are for him was real. Again, the evidence and the facts and the proof is in the pudding in a sense that for the ancient Egyptians they were absolutely convinced and spoke vociferously about it that the gods were once physically present in ancient Egypt.

Mysterious Universe: Right. Speaking of the long count calendars, so you used some Sumerian examples I believe, which go into incredible period, some of them are multiples of billions of years, correct?

Philip: We have long count calendars from Mayan civilization, from Babylonian, and Sumerian civilization. Some of these calendars we have identified as the X amounts the revolutions of this planet with this planet giving this number of days. But there are also periods, which are going into millions and sometimes billions of years, which these civilizations used.

First of all, we have no idea why they use them nor how they got to these calendars, but they are part and parcel of their civilization. Now, if you're confronted with...and I'm making up the number just as an indication, let's say six calendar systems, and you've identified that three of them are dead on, spot on. Then the assumption would be that the three other ones are going to have some kind of validity to them as well, and simply because we don't know the validity yet, doesn't mean that they're not valid.

Again, what science is doing is it is addressing at best these three because astronomy is a very hard subject for our historians and our archeologists because in their opinion, when it comes to astronomy, it really means that as a species, as a civilization, you are developed, that you know certain things, that to some extent you have to be around for a number of years because some of these observations take centuries before you are able to get them down into the detail.

Astronomy is something which archeologists hate. They tend to not to discuss it. That has a very funny incident whereby there are basically 900 known Egyptian dates. All of them which have been specifically labeled by the ancient Egyptians, as I said, the first day or so of the year, this end of the year, and that.

Of these 900 dates, only one date historians have been able to or Egyptologist have been able to make correspondence to our calendar. The reason why the other 900 dates haven't been able to do so is because basically in the 1930s there was a German Egyptologist called Otto Neugebauer who basically said that there was no reason at all why Egyptologist should study astronomy, that it was a waste of time.

As a result of that, nobody studied astronomy, and when the likes of Robert Bauval and so many others are coming up with astronomical connotations to ancient Egypt, basically the Egyptologists are completely inept in even commenting on this because they have no astronomical background or part of their education at all to talk to these people.


Mysterious Universe: You would think that that would be a core unit of their study because you would think it would be highly or very well linked in with it. I don't understand why one person made this comment, and they went, "Well, none of us will pay attention."

Mysterious Universe: Orion constellation obviously comes into mind.

Mysterious Universe: It shows up everywhere.

Mysterious Universe: There's a clear reference there. It seems bizarre.

Philip: Absolutely, and it is really bizarre as to how little interest this paid to astronomy. Clearly, you have people who are now called archeoastronomers, but largely, this is a discipline of its own. It's not a discipline which sits within Egyptology or Mayan studies or any of the other ones, it's a separate discipline.

Once again, Egyptologist will get away with completely disregarding whatever they find. Even though people who've read my book and specifically if you reread the book, I think it becomes more apparent. There are clear parallels across the world which shows that Orion's belt was extraordinarily important to our ancestors, and that they built monuments to this whether it's the Hopi in Arizona, the Mayans in Teotihuacan, or the ancient Egyptians at the Giza Plateau.

Mysterious Universe: Why do you think, Philip, that particular constellation was so fascinating to these different cultures? Why that one? I mean there's thousands if not more of them. Why that particular one?

Philip: Well first of all, it's an interesting fact that all of these civilizations allegedly came about on their own. But they all look at the sky and see the same constellations. That is not something which is straightforward. To somehow grasp Orion's belt as belonging to one symbol is more likely. But to make the same constellations everywhere across the world clearly shows that there was a unifying force there who told this to our ancestors.

Now Orion's belt has two connotations. One of them from a Mayan perspective is that Orion's belt was important because, just south of it, it was said that this was where the point of creation, where a fire was lit, and that this fire was linked with the gods and the creation of a new age. It's very much got to do with the so-called 2012 phenomenon, these big cycles in which the gods were set to return to the Mayans. In a Mayan context, Orion's belt has an awful lot to do with creation, this magical point of creation, this going into the underworld and coming back. It's also linked with the twin team.

In Ancient Egypt, contrary to what our good friend Otto Neugebauer concluded, Orion is linked with Horace, not Osiris. Osiris was linked by the Ancient Egyptians with Canopus, not with Orion. Orion, therefore, equals Horace and Horace is his divine child, the son of divine twins, and he is magically created, as well.

His magic creation has come about because, basically, Osiris has been murdered, Isis decides she needs to have a child, goes and reassembles the body parts of Osiris, and then through magic is able to create the divine offspring called Horace. Divine creation, whether it's in a Mayan context or an Egyptian context, is both linked to Orion's belt and, again, to have two cultures who see this symbolism and this one part of this constellation beggars anything to do with coincidence.

Mysterious Universe: I enjoyed the example of the golden fliers from Columbia, speaking of Germans here. That was a great example of modern archeology looking at these toys from ancient Columbia and believing they were bees.

Mysterious Universe: They flew so well.

Mysterious Universe: Most people thought they look like planes because the wings were underneath, not on the top like insects, and some budding German engineers decided to make scale models of these golden fliers. How did that turn out, Philip? How did those models go? Did they actually fly?

Philip: Absolutely. The interesting thing there was there was a series of progressions in their experiments. The first one was they took a replica, they blew up the bees, so-called, the insects are small, too small to really build as a model of a plane, so they extended it, they made it bigger. They put a propeller up front and put some wheels below it and with a little motor it basically flew.
They said this is great but these bees, these objects, don't have a propeller up front so we can't do this. The quest was to fit a jet engine somewhere. As you know, for anybody who has seen planes, which is 100 percent of our listeners here, the jet engines normally go at the bottom of the wings. Some planes, I think the McDonald Douglas, they have one on top of the fuselage, as well. Fockers normally put them at the back of the fuselage, but basically they're visible and there were no jet engines visible on these little things.

They said that there was only one possibility to put this engine somewhere where it could probably go and this was towards the back in the middle, but you still had the wing on top of it. This was causing problems for these engineers because there was not a single plane in existence which looked like that and they were having great question marks as to whether this thing was going to fly. In short, they put the engine there and the thing flew and I have seen this fly on a number of occasions.


I think on the Internet you'll probably be able to find some video of it flying. It is remarkable in the sense that what they did was they were absolutely true to the form of the insect or the bee or whatever historians have called it, didn't believe it was a bee, believed, instead, that it was an airplane, made it completely conform to the way the airplane was depicted by our ancestors.

The overall conclusion when they did tests was that this behaved impeccably, that the controls of flaps and everything, landing and takeoff, was just extraordinarily powerful. It shows you that some practical experimentation and being true to these objects actually proved a very powerful and important point.

Mysterious Universe: Philip, where do you think that this information could have come from? I inferred from your book that there's a possibility that we can rule out the idea of, therefore, of aliens. Is it possible that we've just underestimated humanity, that we've just underestimated these civilizations? Like many developmental science that we have today, a lot of it came about by accident. Could it be that these people just created these objects by accident and were able to harness a technology like flight?

Philip: In some cases like the gold flier, this is a possibility. In the case of the Nasca Lines, it is clear that this was not ET at hand. Our ancestors were definitely far more technologically capable of doing these things, but there is a large body of evidence and that is obviously where several chapters of my book is about which show that our ancestors did have and definitely claimed to have contact with non-human intelligences.

It is not just us here in the 21st century projecting back on our history and saying our ancestors were stupid, they didn't really do all of these things and they must have had help. No, our ancestors themselves are saying they had help. Minetho, the Egyptian high priest, said the gods ruled directly over Egypt. The same thing happened in the Mayan world where on a number of occasions it was said that deities lived among them. The same thing happened in South America.

In all of these cases, there are clear examples of non-human intelligences at work. In some instances, this is something that was clearly planned, but there were also a number of occasions where contact just seemed to have happened by accident. In the book I talk about the stone disks of Baian-Kara-Ula where basically there is a story, and it's something of a long story, but the short version is that there was an anomalous group of people.


There's a photograph in the book. They looked like fish. They have round skulls, they have deep, in-set eyes. They look like they are non-human. This group of creatures basically claimed that they are the descendants of in-breeding between a space craft denizen and the people inside, which accidentally crashed hundreds of years ago, and its survivors who began to interbreed with our ancestors and this tribe is a result of this.

In a census which the Chinese government did in 1989, they came across these people and they caused the interest of science. Scientists at that moment in time were saying they might look the way they do because of the fact that they were somehow subjected to lead poisoning at one point. As other scientists in China were saying, "Lead poisoning kills, it doesn't cause genetic mutations." At this moment in time, these descendants pose some challenges and some question marks to the other Chinese scientists as well.

You have this picture where by contact with a non-human intelligence comes in various shapes and forms. One of them is the accidental crash of a space ship, it seems like, in Baian-Kara-Ula. In other instances it is the physical contact with a non-human intelligence, as, for example, Oannes in Babylonian times. There's also clear evidence that quite often there was contact with non-human intelligences in a non-physical format, in a metaphysical way.

In the book I use current day examples specifically. The example of Terence McKenna and the way he came across his time wave zero which basically was he took a potion called ayahuasca in the Amazonian rainforest. He received contact with what he said was another worldly intelligence.

This intelligence gave him the mathematical equation. It said, basically, you humans have an incorrect understanding of the nature of time. Time isn't just some byproduct of gravity, time is something all of its own. It's a fractal wave. This is the mathematical equation which we have given you and now basically go off and play with it.

That is what Terence did for his life. For the rest of his life he really couldn't figure it out. Since his death in 2000, we really haven't been able to identify that, either, but it is an example of a piece of information, a piece of advanced knowledge, which we couldn't get or didn't understand ourselves.

There are a number of occasions like that. Another example, very briefly, is Michael Talbot in the holographic universe, whereby his idea that our universe is a holograph is something which he said was given to him by a non-human intelligence. It is not just something which is confined to our ancestors, it's happening today, as well.

Mysterious Universe: I loved that you had a dedicated chapter to that concept.

Mysterious Universe: My favorite Chapter.

Mysterious Universe: I said to you in an email earlier that's really getting close to...because people think of ancient aliens, they automatically think of something landing and this physical contact. If you look at the modern examples, another one that comes to mind is John C. Lily with his deprivation tanks and he claimed having contacts with some form of intelligence.

We see the thing in our field, on Mysterious Universe, with modern day stories of contact so often. It's not purely a physical thing. It's very much metaphysical in nature. I think that that could be close to explaining a lot of the ancient contact, as well. Other authors have explored the use of psychedelic substances and the explosion of culture and art in ancient societies.

Do you think that that could also play a role? You mentioned ayahuasca there. Do you think there might have been certain elements within ancient societies like shamans, for example, who were the ones that would make the contact through the use of these substances?

Philip: Yes, absolutely. Something which didn't make the book but in India there's an absolute belief that yoga, as a discipline, was taught by the gods to mankind so that mankind could enter into this other realm. Our ancestors were also all about experiencing the divine realm directly, almost on a daily basis, if somebody chose to do so.
This is also something which is, sorry for the pun, alien to our mindset today because in a Christian environment it is all about basically relying on what the church has said and speak to your priest and the priest will speak to God, but there is no real direct experience of the divine. It is something which is far away from our ordinary reality today and in the past that simply wasn't the case.

Contact with non-human intelligence, for our ancestors, was normal. It was an everyday occurrence. This is clearly apparent. It's also a reason why our history is far more interesting, I think, than we give it credit for.

Mysterious Universe: Yeah, I think, perhaps, the terminology becomes a little bit of a hurdle because when you talk about aliens, obviously that's something we can understand in modern society, but it comes with a lot of connotations, as well, and preconceptions. Then, of course, you talk about gods and God, you have exactly the same weight with that. I feel like we should be using the term non-human intelligences. It seems to be a better description.

Philip: I definitely try to make it larger. The ancient alien studies, I think, have not gotten too far. There are various hurdles, the not least one of which is that science doesn't want to hear. Getting proof is something which will not happen unless science changes. I do think that the focus or the scope of the hunt for ancient aliens, quite often, is too limited to the physical realm alone.

I think there is far more, if not better, evidence that the alien intelligence has contacted us on a metaphysical, a non-physical, level. Again, this is something which our ancestors are saying, as well. They are living in an and universe in the sense they are claiming physical experiences but also metaphysical experiences.

Mysterious Universe: Philip, do you think science is ready to take this concept seriously, though? Do you think the contact with extraterrestrials with non-human intelligence is something that science can seriously look at it?

Philip: No. There is a complete reluctance of science to look into this. In fact, the problem is far worse than that. There is a chapter in my book whereby I thought that this chapter was just going to be a brief revisiting of panspermia, which is basically that life does not originate on planet Earth but that somehow it comes from outer space.

Even the likes of Francis Crick who identified the double helix structure of DNA, for which he won a Nobel Prize, he basically said that DNA was too complex to have been formed on Earth, that it had to come from somewhere else because within the few hundreds of millions of years in which it was said to have originated on Earth it simply wasn't doable. He was a proponent of panspermia.

Again, to cut a long story short, and the longer story is in the book, what I came away with was statements like the likes of Chandra Wickramasinghe , who is one of the leading minds of astrobiology. He has said that since 1982 there is a conspiracy of silence within the ranks of scientists whereby any evidence to do with the fact that life has not originated on planet Earth but that it has come from outer space to planet Earth has basically been denied publication.

This is something which affects the ranks of NASA who basically creates scientific reports on an almost daily basis but they don't see them published in peer reviewed magazines or daily journals because there is this conspiracy of silence. The fact that an entire discipline is being refused peer reviewed access really shows you the reluctance of science to address the question whether or not we are alone, whether we were alone, and anything to do with alien life.

Mysterious Universe: You address this in your book and you said that there's proof, that there's meteorites and asteroids and these sort of items which can potentially carry things like bacteria across vast distances of space. Why do you think this information that's out there is being ignored? Is it feared by the scientific community, is it ignorance? What do you think is causing it?

Philip: Maintaining the status quo is the biggest driver, I think. Science really has become dogmatic. There's this statement that says we no longer believe Earth was formed 4,000 years ago but we are absolutely convinced that civilization began 4,000 years ago. Science really hasn't moved on.

A clear example is always that since the 1980s carbon dating tests were done on the great pyramid and the second pyramid of Giza. These carbon tests show that these two periods were 500 years older than everybody assumed and also that the second pyramid was actually older than the Great Pyramid rather than the reverse, which is what standard Egyptology accepts. There's no controversy surrounding these dates.

There's no contamination whatsoever. It would upset the entire chronology of Egyptology. What happened is these results, for almost 30 years now, have not been published in peer reviewed journals, which means that Egyptologists can pretend that they don't exist.

Whenever you go to an Egyptologist they simply can discard these things because, for them, they have created this reduced vision of reality wherein these things don't exist and they can go on and live happily ever after believing they are absolutely correct about the age and the chronology of Ancient Egypt whereas the fact of the matter is that it is clearly not the case.

Mysterious Universe: That's why I'm so thankful that people like yourself, Philip, are out there to clearly look at these facts without a lens obscuring what is really there. We love the book. It is "The Ancient Alien Question." Thank you so much for joining us, Philip, and we hope to have you back in the future because I know you're probably cooking up something new, as well.

Philip: I am always near a kitchen or an oven or a stove...

Philip: ...where ancient mysterious of this mysterious universe are indeed being reboiled into something else so I would love to be back on.

Thank you so much for having me on.

Plus Extension Interview

Mysterious Universe: Thank you, Philip, for staying back for our plus members. I wanted to ask you about your talk of the crystal skulls. I believe this is one of the topics you first brought to the ancient alien series and you have a fascinating segment in your book about it, specifically about the Mitchel Hedges crystal skull. First of all, can you tell us a little bit about the history and why this was so challenging to our understanding of the ancient world?

Philip: Yes. Basically, crystal skulls are treated with enormous disrespect by science. There is a woman called Jane Walsh who works for the Smithsonian and she will have you believe that the origin of the crystal skulls is a very small town in Germany and that they all date back to the end of the 19th century. She has zero, ie. no evidence whatsoever, for what she claims is evidence but really is a theory.
She, again, has no evidence whatsoever and she makes some really wild claims and some extraordinary claims, as well. In the book, again, on a second reading this will become more apparent. For example, she claims, and this is a fact actually, that two crystal skulls, the Parisian crystal skull and the British Museum crystal skull can be traced back to a guy called Eugene Boban who was an antiques dealer in Mexico.

We all assume that these skulls come from Central America yet she says that somehow Boban got these from Germany and then basically flung them at markets in Europe pretending that they were from Mexico. Boban was known to have had access to all of these things. In the book you will see that there is a character called Leopaldo Batres and he was the chief excavator for Teotihuacan.

He was the one who sold some of the famous Mica which was incorporated into some of the pyramids and the temples of that complex. He basically sold this on the black market. Batres was one of the people who sold to Boban and so you begin to wonder, "OK, so we know he sold stuff on the black market. Could he not have sold crystal skulls on the black market, as well?"

If so, Boban was an easy go-to and the next logical stuff is then that Boban puts these up for auction and they are bought and this is how they end up in the museum. There is more evidence and there is definitely logic to this rather than to suggest that they somehow come from a small German town.

Mysterious Universe: What was the reasoning behind it coming from German craftsman? What was the logical reasoning behind that?

Philip: Basically because the Smithsonian, and this is just one example, is on this extraordinary campaign to discredit anything to do with anything that Iraq wants to do with our ancestors. This is something which they have done on a number of occasions. This is just part-and-parcel of that.

They have some of the extraordinary finds which have been found in America proper. Whenever they were handed over to the Smithsonian, quite often they just disappeared. The Smithsonian has no recollection of them.

They can pretend that they can't do any further research as to whether or not there was, for example, transoceanic contact between Europe and America before Columbus, because, "Oops! We can't find the artifact." But when it comes to the Mitchell-Hedges one, basically there we are confronted with two stories. One of them is that he somehow got it at an auction, and that we'll never know where he got it from.

Then the story which is told by Anna Mitchell-Hedges throughout her lifetime that it was she who found it in the first of January, which was her birthday, when she was 17 years old, during an excavation in basically a temple complex, which belonged to the Mayans. Now, she was still alive, and I was doing a lecture in Scotland, when a very good friend of Anna came to me, and basically began to lay a story which he said I should not write out until her death. Then as it so happened, she died, and then obviously the Indiana Jones movie came about.

As these coincidences go, I wrote about a story at a moment in time when it really was popular. The story is this, Mike Mitchell-Hedges writes a novel in 1931 called "White Tiger". Which, if you look at his lifetime, you really begin to see how he has made himself into a fiction hero, White Tiger, who in the novel, is an Englishman who goes to Central America, gets on very friendly terms with the local people there, and in exchange for so many good things which he gives, specifically medication, various forms of healthcare is interested with the local people and becomes one of them, and they want to do something back for him.


They have this little meeting, decision is reached, and what they've decided is that he will become an initiate and he will be told that this tribe is a caretaker of an extraordinary treasure. White Tiger is taken down into a number of caves, goes down and down and down and down, and eventually is shown a vast treasure.

In the novel "White Tiger" written by Mitchel-Hedges it says, "which included crystal heads," plural. Basically what seems to have happened it this...This happened, by the way, in the 1910s, that Mitchel-Hedges was...The story, by the way, corresponds perfectly with what we know about Mitchel-Hedges, within that period of time.

Mysterious Universe: Right. It's a novel in hyphen, the hyphens there. I guess you speculate that this could be him writing his true experiences.

Philip: Yes. What we know is that there were sightings of his crystal skull in the 1930s, when him and Ana were lodging in various places, including one guest house in Cornwall where the local owner of the guest house saw how there was a crystal skull within a cabinet. We know Mitchel-Hedges had this crystal skull before. Now, the interesting thing is that Chris Winter, the person who contacted me, what happened was Mitchel-Hedges didn't want to tell the entire story.

What he didn't want to see was a gold rush, whereby everyone was going to dash to this tribe and say, "Show us your crystal skulls! Do this! Do that!" He realized that there had been too much exploitation. At the same time, he felt he had to do something with this skull. Tentatively, towards the end of his life, the 1940s onward, he tried to get this skull out there into the public domain.

Then, obviously Ana did this in another way. She circumvented the truth about how the skull came to that family, by just saying that she found it at an archeological excavation. True to form, nobody ever really thought more of it. Everybody just assumed that was a one of.

You could believe what she said or you could not believe what she said. For 50 years, nobody really went in search and said, "Maybe there are more crystal skulls? Maybe this is part of a treasure?"

The lie she created absolutely fitted the purpose as to why the lie was created, which was to make sure that there was not a gold rush to this tribe to demand or mistreat or even kill them, asking them where the rest of these things were. This idea that a person, an explorer in Central America, would come face to face with a tribe and be told as a thank you, "Here's a crystal skull", is something which other people have experienced as well.

The most famous crystal skull holder of more recent decades is probably Nick Nocerino. He always told, himself, that on a number of occasions, the locals would give him crystal skulls. Now, even though he had a crystal skull himself, which he got through other means.

He always said, "No, thank you, I do not need your skulls. Your skulls basically are part of your religion, of your spiritual practices. I don't need them, please keep them. What I gave, it is for you, doesn't have to be returned."

Throughout several decades of the 20th century, this exchange by people who really did an awful lot of good for some of these Mayan tribes really were given things in return and some of the things which they were given were crystal skulls. Again, what Mitchell Hedges wrote down as fiction fits perfectly well with what we know, and also fits perfectly within the framework of what we know happened to other westerners at that moment of time.

Mysterious Universe: Let's talk about the skull itself. Why it is such an achievement in terms of craftsmanship. It's fascinating to read that this was also presented to Hewlett Packard scientists in the 70's as well as to try and figure out how it's manufactured.
Philip: Yes, the Mitchell Hedges skull is not the only one. Things like "Max," which is another crystal skull, which is actually made of six parts of different crystals fused together in ancient times and then the skull was carved from it.
"Compassion" is another skull which has several layers in them. Compassion actually has a detachable jaw like the Mitchell Hedges one.

All of these things are done of the craftsmanship which really defies explanation, Mitchell Hedges skull definitely. All of these skulls could have been carved by humans. However, in the case of Mitchell Hedges skull, what you have to take into account is that the carving would have taken "A" person, 70 years day in and day out of carving for eight hours a day, which basically means that it's a multi-generation project.

Also, that the carving was done against the grain of the crystal, which basically means that if you use a tool, or if something goes wrong, then basically the entire crystal might break and you have to start from scratch again, i.e. another 70 years for this to happen. What is truly extraordinary in the case of the Mitchell Hedges skull is the detachable jaw because the detachable jaw comes from the same piece of crystal.

Somebody was able to carve out the skull and then'll have like a block left to fetch these precise placement of the jaw and then somebody made the jaw so that it could fit back into the skull. This is something which is simply extraordinarily difficult to do.

Mysterious Universe: You drop some details about what could have been the possible purpose of the skull as well. It seems as though eventually it was discovered that the skull itself is able to channel light from behind or underneath it, so that it appears shining out of the eyes and within the skull itself.

Philip: Mm-hmm, definitely, this is the case for the Mitchell Hedges one. Whereby, you can see that somehow there was some tools, whereby the jaw could be made to move, as if they were able to speak. When you start looking into....creation methodology of the Mayans, which goes back to what we were saying about how this is linked with Orion's Belt.

When the people go on a quest into the underworld...When the twins go into this quest of the underworld, they are said to have to come to this place called "The Skull," which speaks to them. This is skull of the Gods, who basically tells them that they really shouldn't go into the underworld because it's very dangerous and they will probably die.

We know that in places like Chichen Itza, mind creation was rendered in three dimensions. Every building corresponds to a part there and there is something called the platform of the skull near the great ball court of Chichen Itza, which basically was where the skull would have sat.

Imagine if you are the creator of this Walt Disney for the Mayans, you then have to really say that your challenge is to create a three dimensional divine concoction, a skull, and what better way to have this crystal skull, which might be original. When you start looking into things like Mitchell Hedges skull or "Max", some of the research was actually done by Harry Oldfield in Nexus Conference in 2008, if I'm not mistaken. It might have been 2007.

What he was basically doing was, seeing what happened when the Mitchell Hedges skull was in an audience at the Nexus conference where there were about 400 people. He sat behind the audience and he looked, and Bill Homann, the and caretaker of Mitchell Hedges skull, asked the audience to close their eyes and meditate or at least be silent for a period of time.

What Harry Oatfield on his cameras, which is too detailed to go into but it's basically what we have as light. Our cameras only capture what we can see with human eye and that is what really cameras are only interested in rendering because, let's face it, that's the only thing we can see, but there are aspects of life which we can't see, and which through technology we can somehow visualize. This is kind of like the technology which Harry Oatfield has been interested in.

He was doing this on the Mitchell Hedges skull. What happened was that as soon as people began to close their eyes, you could see this massive energy coming from the skull going into the audience and it some cases it bypassed people and in some cases it went through them and then after a while it went back to the skull. What he identified was that those who had over meditating, those who were part and parcel of this project were receiving the energy, whereas those who just were there in the audience, not really interested in participating in this experiment, the energy went over their heads, literally.

Harry did more experiments with Mitchell Hedges skull although people have done the same thing with that skull and other skulls like Max. But in all of these instances really, what we are confronted with is, this notion that these skulls are not objects but they're really a piece of technology and that they do allow communication with another intelligence.

Mysterious Universe: Definitely. We're heading into the metaphysical rounds as well. Philip, the one I got from Guan Dong doesn't do that. I feel ripped off.

Philip: [laughs]

Mysterious Universe: I wonder why?

Philip: For all I know, you probably were.

Mysterious Universe: Thank you so much for staying back and giving us that extra Philip. It was a pleasure to have you on the show.

Philip: Thank you so much for having me.

Benjamin Grundy

Benjamin Grundy started Mysterious Universe back in 2006. Every week he researches the fortean world and puts together the weekly free MU podcast, extended podcast and Plus + podcast alongside Aaron Wright.

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