Since the dawn of time, humans have wondered if they're alone in the world. If we're not, that means that there's some unknown entity out there that's just as sentient as we are. That could mean that we might be able to learn from them, or even that they can learn from us. That's a really exciting prospect, and it's one that has fuelled our collective imaginations for thousands of years. For people who believe in aliens, there are two very different camps. The first believes that aliens haven't set foot on our planet before and are either trying to communicate with us or are unaware of our existence. The second camp believes that aliens have been outright influencing us since the dawn of time.
In order to figure out which camp is right, we need to examine the evidence. More and more stories are coming out about new ways to possibly track down a race of aliens and communicate with them in some way. From high-powered telescopes picking up weird signals from space to tiny bacteria living in the craters of Mars, there's ample evidence that we're not alone in the universe. That lends credence to the idea that aliens are a new entity we've just become aware of. However, on the other hand, aliens might really have been among us for longer than we think. Artwork from different points in time has shown depictions of aliens doing everything from building churches to presenting themselves to Jesus. Aliens have shown up in ancient cave carvings, lavish paintings, and centuries-old satellites. There's a lot to talk about here, so here are eight signs that aliens are old and eight signs that they're new. From there, you can decide for yourself what theory makes sense and what doesn't.
16 Aliens Are Old: This Carlo Crivelli Altar Painting
This painting was done in 1486 by an Italian artist named Carlo Crivelli. It's called "the Annunciation with Saint Emidius," and it's supposed to commemorate the announcement that the Virgin Mary was going to give birth to Jesus, which was made by the angel Gabriel. While it might seem like an ordinary painting, many people have suggested that the ring in the top left hand of the painting isn't a group of angels celebrating the news. Instead, it's a UFO spacecraft observing the events. It's a bit hard to argue the point because of the beam of light coming out of the ring, but that line coming out of the painting could very well mean anything. This is especially considering that a fifteenth-century artist probably didn't get the concept of a "spacecraft" well enough to add it to his religious painting. Regardless, this is one example of how art shows that aliens might be a lot older than we think.
15 Aliens Are New: Microscopic Life On Mars
There's a chance that scientists at NASA actually found life on Mars in 2007. News reports like this one have suggested that not only are aliens on Mars, but we might have known about them for as long as a full decade, except the scientists studying Mars didn't notice. Scientists from the University of Arizona have found that there are weird, finger-like rocks on Mars that look a lot like rocks that can be found in El Tatio, Chile. The rocks in Chile were made by a combination of hot springs and micro-organisms, so it would make sense that the Martian finger rocks in question are made in the same way.
“We went to El Tatio looking for comparisons with the feature found by Spirit at Home Plate,” said Dr. Steve Ruff, of the school of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona. Our results show the conditions at El Tatio produce silica deposits with characteristics that are most Mars-like of any silica deposits on Earth. The fact that microbes play a role in producing the distinctive silica structures at El Tatio raises the possibility that the Martian silica structures formed in a comparable manner – in other words with the help of organisms that were alive at the time." Reports like this just highlight why we focus so much on Mars when it comes to aliens: Mars has the best chance of hosting life because it used to have an atmosphere and running water.
14 Aliens Are Old: UFOs In Japanese Art
This Japanese drawing was made in 1844, and it's called "Ume no Chiri." This isn't the first time the weirdly alien object on the right has been shown in Japanese literature, either. The object is depicted in three different Japanese texts: Toen shōsetsu (1825), Hyōryū kishū (1835) and Ume-no-chiri (1844), shown above. Hitachi sailors found the object floating in the ocean and they didn't know much about it. According to some of the notes that were found alongside illustrations of the weird craft, it was made from glass and steel. More importantly, it was just big enough that a small human could fit inside it. The sailors also found strange writing in the craft that they couldn't decipher. While it can be argued that the story was faked, or the script inside was simply in a language the sailors couldn't read, the shape of the object and the fact that it was big enough for a person to fit inside is enough for some conspiracy theorists to believe that this is a real UFO.
13 Aliens Are New: Weird Signals From Space
There are few things more alien than foreign signals coming from space. Back in 2007, a researcher named Duncan Lorimer, from West Virginia University, was analyzing data from the Parkes Observatory in Australia when he found what could only be described as “shrieks from the black abyss of the universe unlike anything ever found before. And they are deeply mysterious.” For a while, no scientist really had an idea of what to make of the situation, and no one really knows what to make of these signals today. More signals were detected out at the Arecibo facility in Puerto Rico, and researchers are calling them "fast radio bursts" now. Just because no one knows what the bursts are, doesn't mean that no one is paying attention to them, though.
12 Aliens Are Old: Italian Painting Featuring Sputnik
This 1600 painting is called "Glorification of the Eucharist." It was painted by Italian artist Ventura Salimbeny, and it shows God and Jesus looking out on their kingdom. Everything seems to be in order...except that weird round object in the middle of them. If you didn't know any better, you'd probably swear that the painting is showing Russia's Sputnik, which launched in 1957, over 350 years after this painting was made. Back in 2014, a YouTube channel called Strange Mysteries made the connection between the weird object in the painting and Sputnik, calling the object "a little bit too uncanny" to just be a symbolic reference. "If the sphere is said to represent the universe, why did the painter not include any stars or other celestial objects?" Even if you don't think that it looks like Sputnik at all, it's a question worth pondering over.
11 Aliens Are New: Officials Are Speaking Out
According to several polls, as many as 80 million Americans believe that aliens are out there in some form. A lot of high-level government officials have said some decidedly weird things about them, causing everyone to sit up and pay attention. Those comments have made people believe that new information has found its way into the hands of the government and they're not able to tell us about it. For example, John Podesta, former chief-of-staff for President Bill Clinton and an advisor to President Barack Obama, recently said that it was time for the government to “release any evidence it has about the existence of alien forms of life in outer space.” He never actually said that aliens were real or that the U.S. government knows about them, but comments like that are enough to make people believe that he knows a lot more than he's said publicly. When asked if he believed in aliens, he played coy. “There are a lot of planets out there.” He then added, “The American people can handle the truth.”
10 Aliens Are Old: Churches Built By Alien Demons
This painting was made in 1475 by an Austrian Renaissance painter named Michael Pacher. He was a very famous painter in the day, and he based this around a Saint Wolfgang legend that depicts him tricking the devil into building a church. He was the Bishop of Regensburg in Bavaria during the 10th century, and the story caught Pacher's interest. Some conspiracy theorists believe that the demon figure in the story wasn't actually a demon, but an alien that visited Earth. After all, an alien might not have the same concept of a church that we Earthlings have, so it might have built one not realizing that Wolfgang was tricking it. However, this theory is a much weaker one than some conspiracy theorists think because of the way the devil has been represented throughout history. Every culture has a different way of portraying and thinking about the devil, which is why religious artwork is so diverse.
9 Aliens Are New: The Kepler Telescope And Alien Worlds
NASA’s Kepler space telescope is all about detecting Earthlike planets that are orbiting stars in hopes of finding another planet like ours. Recently, they found KIC 8462852, a weird star that's doing something really unique. More specifically, something out there is making the starlight reflecting off KIC 8462852 to dip and burst. Researchers have ruled out a ton of possible ways that effect could happen naturally. As we know, when we've ruled out all possibilities, what remains, no matter how improbable, has to be the truth. That's what led some scientists to believe that the only possible explanation for KIC 8462852 is that it's an alien mega structure designed to harness solar power from the star. A paper was submitted to the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, which reported: "Over the duration of the Kepler mission, KIC 8462852 was observed to undergo irregularly shaped, aperiodic dips in flux down to below the 20 percent level." Some of the astronomers involved with the paper were citizen scientists from the Planet Hunters crowdsourcing program.
8 Aliens Are Old: Aliens In The Bible?
This painting was done in 1710 by Dutch artist Aert De Gelder. The painting, according to art experts, is supposed to depict this religious passage: "The heavens opened, and the Spirit descended like a dove and (put) lighting upon him." As you can see on the top, there's a circular object in the top left, shining what appears to be light on John the Baptist and Jesus. Internet UFO conspiracy theorist TheAncientAliens had a lot to say on the subject, saying that the scene had been portrayed by a ton of artists over the years. "However, this scene is particularly interesting because of the flying saucer hovering over the scene with beams of light shining down and illuminating the event. Considering De Gelder’s reputation as one of the elite artists of his time, it is likely this work was intended to be taken seriously and meant to communicate that Jesus had ties to aliens and perhaps was of alien origins."
7 Aliens Are New: Water On Saturn's Moon, Enceladus
Back in 2015, it was reported that Enceladus, a moon orbiting the planet Saturn, is essentially a big water world. Incredible geysers of water have been seen erupting from the surface of Enceladus, showing that there's water under the surface of this moon. While scientists aren't sure how much water is on the moon, it cannot be denied that there's water there. The reason scientists figured it out is that Enceladus wobbles a bit as it orbits Saturn, which is a sign of the water essentially sloshing around under the surface. That implies that the moon has a layer that's basically a subterranean ocean. "This was a hard problem that required years of observations, and calculations involving a diverse collection of disciplines, but we are confident we finally got it right," Peter Thomas, a Cassini imaging team member at Cornell University, said in a statement from the Cassini imaging team. If there's water on other planetary bodies than Earth, it stands to reason that life might exist out there as well.
6 Aliens Are Old: Carvings In Peru
Ancient Peruvians during the sixth century, like the Nazca people, were famous for their carvings that can be found in the Peruvian desert. They're centuries old, dating back to the first and sixth centuries. There's a lot to talk about there, but the carving we're going to focus on is this one, which shows a figure that is decidedly not human. It's humanoid, but it's not really something that we would recognize as a figure that looks like us. Some people have theorized that this carving and others like it were a way for the local inhabitants of the area to acknowledge that aliens were visiting them and that they valued their visits. While that's definitely an idea worth thinking about, it's more likely that the carvings were just a way for the local inhabitants to send messages to their gods. That being said, the carvings might have been for a completely different reason entirely. There's just no way to know.
5 Aliens Are New: Alien Lizard Conspiracy
According to a report last year by the Atlantic, something like twelve million Americans holds the belief that the country is ruled by interstellar lizard people. The conspiracy theory originates in Great Britain, thanks to a guy named David Icke saying that the Queen of England is a shape-shifting alien that drinks blood. While we can breathe a sigh of relief that only four percent of the population thinks that alien lizard people ruling America are a thing, that still means that you probably know someone who believes this. There are many reasons why people latch onto weird theories like this, but sometimes the best reasons are the simple ones. “If we were all completely trusting, it would not be good for survival,” explains Rob Brotherton, an academic psychologist and author of Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories. “Sometimes people really don’t have our best interests in mind.”
4 Aliens Are Old: Aliens And The Virgin Mary
This is an Italian painting made by Renaissance artist Domenico Ghirlandaio in the 15th century. It shows the Virgin Mary looking down on a pair of children. However, what's behind her might be a lot more interesting. To the right of Mary, there's a weird spot in the distance hanging in the sky. Whatever it is, there's someone in the distance shielding his eyes while he points to it. Some UFO hunters think that it's a UFO since there's no other reason for it to be in the painting. After all, the focus is supposed to be on Mary. Why would we want to look behind her and the children when she's in the immediate foreground and the whole point of the painting? UFO conspiracy theorists CoolInterestingStuff thought the same thing, noting how out of place that object is. "Upon closer inspection, the man seems to be looking away from the UFO, behind him and over his shoulder. Or, more likely, the notably out of place object may be imagined floating above the ground between them. From either perspective, could Mary be seen as blocking the two babies from the flying saucer’s view?" Art experts think people are making mountains out of molehills here, but it's definitely something to think about.
3 Aliens Are New: The Real Men In Black?
A 2014 report from The Guardian delved into the idea that there might be real Men in Black out there. That would make this theory the worst kept secret in the world since there's a blockbuster franchise about them with Will Smith at the helm. However, this might be deliberate on the part of the establishment: after all, how many times has a theory been shot down with the defense "you've been watching too many movies?" That means that the entire sci-fi genre might just be a way for the government to make aliens seem unbelievable, or for the government to prepare us for a future revelation that aliens exist. Regardless, the idea that UFOs are out there has been falling slowly out of favor, and UFO aficionados have been increasingly branded as conspiracy theorists. After all, we've got the internet and the 24-hour news cycle. If we were going to discover aliens, or if aliens have been around forever, they would have shown themselves to the world by now. That being said, that could be just what "they" want us to think.
2 Aliens Are Old: The Black Knight Satellite
The Black Knight Satellite has been a thing for a really long time. Evidently, this satellite was made by aliens and has been orbiting our planet for something like 13,000 years. A photo in 1998 is said to show the satellite, but from what experts can tell, it's just space debris. The story is said to be a massive conflation of a bunch of different stories, all of which were documented independently and none of which used the words "black knight." Senior education support officer Martina Redpath of Armagh Planetarium in Northern Ireland had a lot to say on the subject. "Black Knight is a jumble of completely unrelated stories; reports of unusual science observations, authors promoting fringe ideas, classified spy satellites and people over-interpreting photos. These ingredients have been chopped up, stirred together and stewed on the internet to one rambling and inconsistent dollop of myth." That hasn't stopped people from believing it, though.
1 Aliens Are New: Aliens Should Be Scared Of Us
It can be argued that aliens don't really mess with us because humanity is the scariest being in the cosmos. Think about it: humans were basically designed by evolution to have the most efficient brains on the planet. We might not be fast like cheetahs, but we used our intelligence as cavemen to track our prey and kill it with weapons that we figured out how to make on our own. Countless bacteria and other organisms live inside us, making us a literal army of one. Some of those organisms actually help us survive. If you eat a human, chances are you're getting prion disease and dying a horrible death since our proteins are toxic. We're not designed for hitting and punching things, so we came up with techniques to do that better than anything else. We wanted to understand atoms, so we made the Large Hadron Collider, a machine that basically throws atoms around until they break apart. The problem is that if something goes wrong, it'll create a black hole and kill the whole world. We thought about those risks and still thought it was an awesome idea! Aliens might be way more scared of us than we could possibly be of them.