Egyptians Issue Polite Invitation to Musk to See that Aliens Didn’t Built the Pyramids

Here’s a rather lighter story from yesterday’s I, for 3rd August 2020. Elon Musk, the billionaire industrialist and space entrepreneur, has managed to cause a bit of controversy with Egyptian archaeologists. He’s a brilliant businessman, no doubt, but he appears to believe in the ancient astronaut theory that alien space travellers built the pyramids. He issued a tweet about it, and so the head of the Egyptian ministry for international cooperation  has sent him a very polite invitation to come to their beautiful and historic country and see for himself that this is very obviously not the case. The report, ‘Musk invited to debunk alien pyramid theory’, by Laurie Havelock, runs

An Egyptian official has invited Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX tycoon, to visit the country and see for himself that its famous pyramids were not built by aliens.

Mr Musk appeared to publicly state his support for a popular conspiracy theory that imagines aliens were involved in the construction of the ancient monuments.

But Egypt’s international co-operation minister corrected him, and said that laying eyes on the tombs of the pyramid builders would be proof enough.

Tombs discovered inside the structures during the 1990s are definitive evidence, experts say, that the structures were indeed built by ancient Egyptians. On Friday, Mr Musk tweeted: “Aliens built the pyramids obv”. which was retweeted more than 84,000 times. It prompoted Egypt’s minister of international co-operation Rania al-Mashat to respond: “I follow your work with a lot of admiration. I invite you & SpaceX to explore the writings about how the pyramids were built and also check out the tombs of the pyramid builders. Mr Musk, we are waiting for you.”

Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass also responded in a short video in Arabic, posted on social media, saying Mr Musk’s argument was a “complete hallucination”.

Hawass used to be head of their ministry of antiquities, and a very senior archaeologist. He was on TV regularly in the 1990s whenever there was a programme about ancient Egypt. And he doesn’t have much truck with bizarre theories about how or why the pyramids were built. ‘Pyramidiots – that what I call them!’ he once declared passionately on screen.

The idea that the ancient Egyptians couldn’t have built the pyramids because it was all somehow beyond them has been around for some time, as have similar ideas about a lost civilisation being responsible for the construction of other ancient monuments around the world, like Stonehenge, the Nazca lines and great civilisations of South America, Easter Island and so on. Once upon a time it was Atlantis. I think in certain quarters it still is. And then with the advent of UFOs it became ancient astronauts and aliens. One of the illustrations Chris Foss painted for a book cover from the 1970s shows, I think, alien spacecraft hovering around the pyramids.

There’s actually little doubt that humans, not aliens, built all these monuments, and that the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids for which their country’s famous. Archaeologists have even uncovered an entire village, Deir el-Medina, inhabited by the craftsmen who worked on them. This has revealed immensely detailed records and descriptions of their daily lives as well as their working environment. One of the documents that has survived from these times records requests from the craftsmen to their supervisors to have a few days off. One was brewing beer – a staple part of the ordinary Egyptians diet – while another had his mother-in-law coming round. I also distinctly remember that one of the programmes about ancient Egypt in the 1990s also proudly showed a tomb painting that at least depicted the system of ramps the workers are believed to have used to haul the vast stones into place. And the great ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, in his Histories, states very clearly that the pyramids were built by human workers. He includes many tall tales, no doubt told him by tour guides keen to make a quick buck and not to worried about telling the strict truth to an inquisitive foreigner. Some of these are about the spice and rich perfumes traded by the Arab civilisations further west. He includes far-fetched stories about how these exotic and very expensive products were collected by giant ants and other fabulous creatures. But no-one tried telling him that it wasn’t people, who built the pyramids.

On the other hand, the possibility that aliens may have visited Earth and the other planets in the solar system isn’t a daft idea at all. Anton ‘Wonderful Person’ Petrov, a Russian YouTuber specialising in real space and science, put up a video a few weeks ago stating that it’s been estimated that another star passes through the solar system once every 50,000 years. A similar paper was published by a Russian space scientist in the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society back in the 1990s, although he limited the estimated to a star coming within a light-year of Earth. That’s an incredibly small distance, and if there have been other, spacefaring civilisations in our Galaxy, they could easily jump off their solar system to visit or explore ours. We can almost do it ourselves now, as shown by projects that have been drawn up to send light-weight probes by solar sail to Alpha Centauri. In addition to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence using radio telescopes to comb the skies for a suitable signal, there is also planetary SETI. This advocates looking for the remains of alien spacecraft or visitors elsewhere in our solar system. It’s advocates are serious scientists, though it suffered a major blow to its credibility with the furore over the ‘Face on Mars’. Which turned out not to be a face at all, but a rock formation as its critics had maintained.

Aliens may well have visited the solar system in the deep past, but it was definitely very human ancient Egyptians, who built the pyramids. Because, as Gene Roddenberry once said about such theories, ‘humans are clever and they work hard.’ Wise words from the man who gave us Star Trek.

Let’s go out in space to seek out new life and new civilisations by all means, but also keep in mind what we humans are also capable of achieving on our own down here.

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6 Responses to “Egyptians Issue Polite Invitation to Musk to See that Aliens Didn’t Built the Pyramids”

  1. trev Says:

    The building of the Great Pyramid and the whole Giza complex was a monumental feat of engineering, one that teaches us just what can be achieved by a supremely well organized society coming together to work in unity as one. That is the main point of their achievements. The rest can be speculated, studied and learned about; the methods used, the logistics involved, the necessary knowledge of mathematics, geometry, trigonometry, astronomy, geography etc.

    I don’t believe that ETs were involved but I read another interesting but equally way-out account according to the American psychic, Edgar Cayce, who said that the Great Pyramid was built in one day (or night?) by an Atlantean magician and the stones were levitated into place, zinging through the air like bullets! Interestingly enough, all the major archaeological digs and investigations of the 20th Century were organized and funded by the Cayce Foundation, who also sponsored Zahi Hawass’ Doctorate paying for his studies in the USA.

  2. Blissex Says:

    «as have similar ideas about a lost civilisation being responsible for the construction of other ancient monuments around the world»

    As to that I reckon that it is quite likely that our is not the first *human* “high machine age” civilization to have risen on this planet. I suspect the previous one arose in the 75,000-100,000BCE range, and there may have been one more recently than that in the 20,000-25,000 BCE range.
    Probably like ours most advanced civilizations happened in littoral areas, and that means that any faint remains may be underwater, as seas have risen and fallen by over 100 meters over time, and are currently near a high point.

    Apart from faint echoes and legends (from the sumerians, iranians, indians for example) my argument is basically the old “when it is steam-engines times, it steam-engines”, that is given suitable conditions “high machine ages” happen, and suitable conditions are in essence high population density and high agricultural productivity plus availability of some cheap energy source.
    In the 2-million years of human history several “high machine age” civilizations might have happened. There may be *dozens* of lunar landers of various ages on the moon :-).

    My guess is that history is a lot more cyclical, both in evolutionary biology and level of civilization, than the whiggish conception of ever-greater-improvement allows.

    • trev Says:

      Have you ever read ‘A Dweller on Two Planets’ by Frederick S. Oliver? The first half of the book is about life in Atlantis. It was written in the late 19th century by an 18 yr old (Oliver) through the process of automatic writing, done very quickly scribbled in his note book in a short space of time. He was exhausted and died soon afterwards. The publishers described the book as ” a work of speculative fiction”, but you really have to make your own mind up about that.
      There’s also ‘Fingerprints of the Gods’ by Graham Hancock, which is interesting but highly speculative and pseudo-archaeological.

      • Blissex Says:

        «highly speculative and pseudo-archaeological»

        I prefer to guess based on general principles of development economics, not underestimating how enormously and strangely things can developer over long periods of time (and our advanced machine age is at best 500 years old), and books from ages that cannot possibly have conceived high machine age things and report unlikely but telling details (see below).

  3. Blissex Says:

    «Apart from faint echoes and legends (from the sumerians, iranians, indians for example)»

    Probably the most disturbing one is not the “not black-haired ones” genetic engineers described by the sumerians, or the airships with yellowish liquid fuels of the Mahbharata, but the “long winter” nuclear powered “vara” of the iranians, because it is both detailed and directly comprehensible, even if it must have been incomprehensible to the transcribers of the “legend”, as reported in a book published at the end of the 19th century:

    “O fair Yima, upon the material world the fatal winters are going to fall, that shall bring the fierce, foul frost; upon the material world the fatal winters are going to fall that shall make snowflakes fall thick, even on the highest tops of mountain”
    “Therefore make thee a Vara [a hypogeum, or underground enclosure] long as a riding ground on every side of the square, and thither bring the seeds of sheep and oxen, of men, of dogs, of birds, and of red blazing fires… Thither thou shalt bring the seeds of men and women of the greatest, best and finest kinds on this earth; thither shalt thou bring the seeds of every kind of cattle, of the greatest, best and finest kinds on this earth. Thither shalt thou bring the seeds of every kind of tree, of the greatest, best and finest kinds on this earth; thither shalt thou bring the seeds of every kind of fruit, the fullest of food and sweetest of odour. All those seeds shalt thou bring, two of every kind, to be kept inexhaustible there, so long as those men shall stay in the Vara. There shall be no humpbacked, none bulged forward there; no impotent, no lunatic… no leprous.”
    “Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created by his witchcraft the serpent in the river, and winter, a work of the demons… [Now] there are ten winter months there, two summer months, and these are cold for the waters, cold for the earth, cold for the trees. Winter falls there, with the worst of its plagues.”
    “In the largest part of the place he made nine streets, six in the middle part, three in the smallest. To the streets of the largest part he brought a thousand seeds of men and women; to the streets of the middle part, six hundred; to the streets of the smallest part, three hundred. That Vara he sealed up with the golden ring, and a he made a door and a window self-shining within.
    O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What lights are there to give light in the Vara which Yima made? Ahura Mazda answered: “there are uncreated lights and created lights. There the stars, the moon and the sun are only once (a year) seen to rise and set, and a year seems only as a day.”

    • Blissex Says:

      To add to the titillation :-), there have been reports even in the USA Congress (whatever you make of it) that russian governments have been building a veritable Vara under Yamantau mountain.

      Another amusing details is that assyriologists who study sumerian texts have been reported to have switched to publish in obscure german journals to escape the attention of “sumerian legends” nutters who are mostly american.
      The problem is that while several sumerian legends are of the usual “cultural myth” type, the plain text of several other sumerian “legends” is actually very strange, with details that may make sense to us but not to those who transcribed them and cannot be easily dismissed as standard “cultural myths”, so the “nutters” may be onto something.

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