Alien Day: Prometheus — a case for the ancient astronaut theory


In honor of Alien Day, I decided to revisit Prometheus. For some, this is their least favorite film in the series. However, I see an interesting depiction of the ancient astronaut theory.

“There may be aliens in our Milky Way galaxy, and there are billions of other galaxies. The probability is almost certain that there is life somewhere in space.” – Buzz Aldrin

No Love for Prometheus

I remember when Prometheus was released back in 2012 to huge fanfare. Then, as with any storied film franchise, the inevitable outcries of disappointment and, in some cases, anger ensued. That was not my reaction at all.

As a matter of fact, I loved it. The storyline was very thought-provoking. After all, what was the origin story of the Xenomorph? I wanted to know more about them.

In addition, it was also one of the first movies besides the ’70s documentary, Chariots of the Gods, that actually dipped its foot into the ancient astronaut theory pool. So many movies feature the “greys” like Communion with Christopher Walken and Fire in the Sky with D.B. Sweeney.

However, none explore the possibility of humans being the descendants of ‘Engineers’ but Prometheus manages to do just that. From the discovery of ‘star maps’ all over the world to the idea that we evolved from extraterrestrial DNA being introduced into a river (life as we know it began in water), this movie is a fascinating study.

Are we the results of visitors from another world? Did the ones from the stars orchestrate or influence our evolution?

Ancient Astronauts Theory

In 1968, Erich von Däniken wrote a best-selling book called, “Chariots of the Gods.” As a youngster in the ’70s, I checked this out of the library and quickly read it from cover to cover. The idea behind it is that the human race is the result of contact with ancient astronauts and that they have been visiting our planet for years.

Of course, this is not a mainstream opinion in the least. This is more along those lines of fringe theories that scientists regularly scoff at, so I was surprised to see a director like Ridley Scott take a crack at it. The ‘Engineers’ that the crew of the Prometheus are endeavoring to meet look quite a bit like the Anunnaki.

The Anunnaki are Sumerian gods that were believed to have been descended from An, the god of the heavens. They were extremely tall, much like the ‘Engineers,’ who were eight to nine feet in height. Thought to be judges of humanity, this race also appeared in relics from the Babylonian and Assyrian periods.

Prometheus – Anunnaki – Courtesy of

It was widely believed that they came from the stars. One theory author Zecharia Stitchin had about them is that they came to Earth needing gold. Instead of working the mines themselves, they created early man to do their bidding.

After reading about Stitchin’s ideas, I thought their disdain for humanity was depicted rather well in Scott’s Prometheus when Elizabeth Shaw (played by the incredible Noomi Rapace) questions one of the ‘Engineers’ asking them why they dislike us. The resulting answer was extremely unpleasant.

More from Aliens

Prometheus Revisited

Out of the Alien series, the original is in first place for me with Prometheus coming in second. The actors are top notch, especially Michael Fassbender as David. Scott’s productions always give us stunning visuals and effects. He creates the world LV-223 with great care, and therefore, it feels like we are in a strange place that is somehow familiar.

Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof’s script is well written. They manage to blend quite a few theories into our origins as humans and then coupling those with the beginning of the Xenomorph race. Oddly enough, we are part of that DNA structure. Kudos to them for intertwining the stories and having them make sense.

To celebrate Alien Day, I am going to kick back and watch this riveting picture. There is more going on in it than meets the eye.

How are you celebrating Alien Day? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. We want to hear from you.

Next: The 1428 Vault: Strange hybrid creature found in UFO hotspot

Susan Leighton can be found on Twitter and Facebook @SusanontheLedge. She can also be heard talking up Ash vs Evil Dead every Monday night on the Nerdrotics Podcast at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT as well as their Pop Culture Wrap Ups every Friday night at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT.