Aliens and mysterious rituals

Humankind has for millennia sought comfort and guidance in rituals. Could some of these traditions have been brought to us by extra-terrestrial visitors? Come with me on a journey through time and space where we will find out the truth about these claims. 

Hi, hello, and välkommen to Digging Up Ancient Aliens. This is the podcast where we examine the TV show, Ancient Aliens. Do their claims hold water to an archeologist, or are there better explanations out there? 

I am your host, Fredrik, and this is episode 28. Since it's almost Christmas, it might be nice to look into different rituals and how they might be evidence of Alien visitation. We will start in Mesoamerica and investigate human sacrifices, then go to the UK and the Stone of Destiny. Is the tradition of monarchy and regalia really an invention by aliens? We also learn about the Bep Kororoti and how Egyptian and Viking ships try to emulate spaceships. 

Before I get too far into this episode, I want to highlight something listener Stella sent in. In our previous episode, I said that Orion's belt would be foreign and unimportant in Mayan society. Well, it turns out I was wrong. The name was, of course, not used, but in some creation myths, the belt is important. This is due to the Mayan hearth in their house having three stones. So it was believed that the god's home also would have three stones. We will get into more creation stories in this episode and see more versions of this. The episode notes have been updated, and a huge thank you to Stella!

Remember that you can find sources, resources, and reading suggestions on our website, There you also find contact info if you notice any mistakes or have any suggestions. And if you like the podcast, I would appreciate it if you left one of those fancy five-star reviews I've heard so much about. 

This episode is based on episode five from season three (S03E05), Aliens and Mysterious Rituals.

Now that we have finished our preparations, let’s dig into the episode.

Chapter 1:

Mayan blood sacrifices 3:10

El Castillo 15:30

White Gods 19:00

Chapter 2:

Beltane Festival 24:04

Bep Kororoti 25:16

Is the monarchy alien? 30:36

Chapter 3:

Olmec rituals 35:40

Electroscope and the power of prayer 35:53

Egyptian and Scandinavian funerary ships

Sources, resources and further reading suggestions

Mayans Blood sacrifice

We start again with a trip to the Mayans, maybe to show the Mayan idea of cyclical time. The show will focus on two things in this part. Human sacrifice and El Castillo (Kukulkán) at Chichen Itza in the Yucutan. The reasons, I believe, are more due to these two things being more known and drawing in the viewers in a sense. Most of us react with a sort of horror fascination when we hear the word “human sacrifice,” and the show makes us of this.

There’s no great reason for the show to bring up this phenomenon; the connection to aliens is vague and more of an afterthought. William Bramley describes the sacrifice as.

They would bring their human victims up the stairs of their temple, they would cut up their being hearts, and that would be the form of sacrifice the Mayans engaged in.

– William Bramley (Author, The Gods of Eden)

Now it's a gruesome act that they are describing here and one that I'm sure you're familiar with, and we'll look into the Mayan religion here and human sacrifice a little bit. As you might suspect, the show claim that the gods worshiped among the Mayans were not gods. They were aliens, coming to earth and giving the Mayan the idea of civilization. Now let's look into a bit of the religion and spiritual beliefs and then compare what we have learned to what the show claims.

First, we should acknowledge that Mayan religion and spirituality were severely traumatized by the Spanish Conquest. What we know today is a reconstruction of the bits and pieces that survived the destruction and attempts at annihilation by the Europeans and the Catholic Church. 

Moving on, we see a couple of ideas that might seem strange to us. For once, all living things have something called "k'uh," an invisible sacred quality. The gods could have either animalistic or humanoid looks. But at the same time, they could have actual forms you could see as the sun, moon, venus, or rain. But they could also take an auditory form, such as thunder. We also have the idea of an invisible companion; it was not only us mere mortals who had these spirit companions. No, even the gods had one assigned to them.

So, for example, we can look at God G or Kinich Ahau. Why did I call this God G? As we briefly discussed in the last episode, the Mayan hieroglyphs were decoded relatively late. So when scholars tried to examine the early codices (a sort of book), they had a problem. They could not read the texts, but from the context, they could see that gods were represented in the document. Paul Schellhas set up a system where each representation got a letter between A-P, which has since been stuck in the literature. Kinich Ahau is a god well rooted in the Classical era and was the sun god. Kinich Ahau could be represented as a man, a jaguar, or a deer, but at the same time, be the literal sun. While also having a spiritual companion just like everyone else.

Looking at the Mayan society, you will learn that they found comfort in order. They found this, especially in the sky, through astronomy. The stars move in a way that you can expect where they will be at a given time. The Mayans called the stars and planets "sky wanderers" due to their movements. Note that these bodies were astronomical concepts and the literal embodiment of the gods. But to the Mayan people, the sky wanderers would not come to earth. It would not make sense. These beings had a life; each day they were born, they lived throughout the night or day and then death as it set. We will see this cyclical idea a bit more later. 

We see the kings (or Ajaw) as high priests in this society. Now they were not god-kings, but they were the highest-ranking person in the religion of the state. 

Let's look into the creation story since we have only brushed upon this in earlier episodes. I must warn you, though, there's not one creation story in the Mayan religion. There are several, but they contain similar elements. The common characteristic is that humans were not born into the first world. Remember that the Mayan calendar starts at the beginning of the 13th baktun. In most stories, we have three worlds before the final one. The people in the northern Yucatan believed that the first world was inhabited by dwarfs. But all these first attempts had flaws, and the gods had to start over, just as they would do with our version at one point. Most of these destructions are by floods, but in contrast to the bible, there were no survivors or boats. Since there are so many versions, I've decided to use the most common telling found in the Popol Vuh. 

So in the aftermath of the last destruction, the earth is left as an ill-defined mess. Vukub Kaquix, a giant bird, is going around claiming to be the lord of both the sun and the moon. The hero-twins kill Vakub with a blowgun, and with the birds' death, the sun and the moon can rule their rightful domains. 

But where did the Hero-Twins come from? To answer this, we have to talk about the demise of the maize god Hun Hunapu and his brother Vukub Hunapu. These two were terrific ballplayers who unfortunately lost a ballgame in Xibalba (the underworld) to the gods of death. The name of my deathcore metal band, it's not, but it should be. The brother was buried under the Xibalba ball court, while Hun Hunapu's severed head was hanged in a Calabash tree. There Hunapu somehow spits in the hands of the daughters to the death gods, that way, impregnates here. This causes her to flee to the surface, where her mother protects her and she births the twins. 

They are taken care of by the grandmother, and someday after they killed the monster Vukub Kaquix, they find their fathers' ballgame equipment. The Twins are outstanding players and get invited to Xibalba to play the gods of death. But it turns out that the gods of death don't like to lose, so they try to kill the twins through trials during the night. Luckily the animals are on their side and tell the Hero-Twins about this. But in the end, the death gods would not let them go; to escape, they sacrificed themself. The gods of death burned and milled their bones and spread the ashes in the river. From this river, the twins were reborn and returned back to Xibalba. This time for vengeance!

Instead of playing the ball game with the gods, they showed them a new trick they had learned. One of the twins beheaded the other and then resurrected the dead sibling. The gods of death found this trick so amusing and fantastic that they demanded the Hero-Twins to perform the tick on them. They did, of course, oblige and beheaded the gods. But they did not resurrect them. Instead, the twins were transformed into the Sun and Venus, forever fated to relive their birth, escape, and death for eternity. 

This is one version, and as I mentioned, there are others out there. In some, the hero twins are not turned into celestial bodies. Instead, the maize god rises through a spring in the ball court. In other, the god Chaak resurrected the Maize god by breaking into Xibalba. The Maize god becomes the tree of life, starting the new creation.

We have mentioned ancestral worship in the past, and the dead was a big part of Mayan society. Something I find refreshing is that there's no idea of hell. Everyone goes to this place of abundance called "Flower Mountain," The Spanish react strongly that even people commit suicide, die in childbirth, war, or whatever went there. But there were two layers of the afterlife, the normal and being a god. The Mayan kings were not gods on earth like the Egyptian Pharaoh, but upon their death, they became gods. This is why blood sacrifice is essential. The king isn't just talking to his ancestors; he is talking with the gods through his ancestors. We even have examples of queens doing the bloodletting since they might have a particular ancestor in their bloodline. 

So looking at all we have learned in the past episodes and today, you have to shoehorn aliens into the Mayan mythology. Looking at their beliefs, there is not much room for aliens. But what we see instead is the idea of sacrifices and repetition. Everything was bound to happen again. Time was not a line; it was a cycle. What happened in the past shall occur in the future. The most important sacrifice was the king's blood; his bloodletting rituals ensured the cycle would continue. But if you wanted to sacrifice someone, the Mayans preferred a king. They were often beheaded as a representation of the Maize god, as we saw earlier. But ordinary people would be sacrificed too, their blood was a sort of food for the gods but more importantly, it was a celebration of the sun's rebirth and life. 

El Castillo, Mayan pyramid

El Castillo - Photo by José Andrés Pacheco Cortes.

Some early accounts from the Spainyards claim that the Aztecs or other Mayan-speaking cultures introduced human sacrifice to the Mayans. But looking at Mayan art, this seems to be a later construction from the Yucutan Mayan. If, of course, these accounts are even true. As we start to note, there's not much room for aliens in their religion or human sacrifice. The show's thesis is that they performed these sacrifices to try to get their alien gods to come back. But something else is needed to fit in with the ideas of the Mayans. The human sacrifices were to make sure the gods gave them good favors. That's why we see an increase towards the end of the Mayan civilization before Spain started to force their culture on them.

We have spent some ten minutes explaining roughly Mayan religion; the show spent maybe two minutes on this. This is good to highlight; it's easy to make things up without evidence. But it takes a lot of time to explain why this is wrong. This is a comprehensive guide to Mayan religion and practice, but I hope you, my dear listener, are inspired to go and learn more. The show notes will provide excellent resources for learning more about this topic.

El Castillo

But let's move on to where some sacrifices took place, El Castillo, or as it was called by the Mayans, Kukulcán. As the name indicates, it was a temple dedicated to the deity of Kukulcán or Quetzalcoatl, as the feathered serpent was known in Mexico. The show's main focus here is a particular shadow that appears on this pyramid on the equinoxes. I'll let Von Däniken explain this to us.

"This is a model of the pyramid of Chechen ltza in Mexico. And every year, on March 21, when the sun goes up, directly on the stairway here is created triangles of light and shadow coming down the stairs which represents god Kukulkan has descended to the humans. At the end, you see the face of god Kukulkan. On September 21st, it is the opposite, this time when the sun rises up in the morning, god Kukulkan goes up the stairs, and ends in a bright light up on the little temple which means god Kukulkan visits the earthlings, teaches them and after a certain period, it disappears into the sky, with the promise to return one day."

So the idea presented is that since the shadow descends and ascends, this must indicate that aliens visited us. We're back to the claim if something goes up or down, it might be a civilization explaining an encounter of the third kind. But does this really happen as presented? Well, the shadow only goes one way, and we're still determining if this was intended or a happy coincidence. 

What was more important to the Mayans here is that the stairs add up to one solar year. We also see 52 alcoves, probably referring back to the Haab calendar cycles consisting of 52 years. We also have cenotes going out in all four weather directions. A cenote is a pit or sinkhole that may occur after a collapse of limestone, revealing the groundwater beneath. If you picture a large well, you are close enough. So its importance for water supply is a given. They were also vital for sacrificial reasons, especially for the Itza Maya in the Yucutan peninsula. People were sacrificed in the cenotes to the rain-god Chaac. Of course, not all cenotes were used for sacrifices, but two of the four we have in Chitzen Itza have evidence of the practice. 

Unfortunately, we know little about the prehispanic version of Kukuklan. But the Itza idea of the feathered serpent spread through the Mayan culture and was picked up by the Aztecs. What's interesting about it is that it's a dualistic god; it has feathers and flies and still can serpentine on its belly down on earth.

White gods

I think it's crucial to at least bring up here that Quetzalcoatl is, by some of these "alternative history" proponents, believed to be evidence of white people in the Americas pre-Colombus. In a previous episode, we covered the shortlived colony of Vikings in northern Canada, but this claim is different. We have encountered the idea about white people or gods in America in earlier episodes but let's look into this claim about Quetzalcoatl. They don't bring this up in the episode, but this might be an excellent place to explore this idea. 

This idea is not new, not at all. The white god theory comes in many forms and from a few different places. We have the to us now famous authors like David Childress in his books "Lost Cities of North & Central America" and "Lost Cities of Atlantis." We see this claim in Graham Hancocks' "Fingerprints of the Gods" more than once. But the Mormons also support this idea since it's in their scripture that white Israelites came to America. But let's wind back the tape and see if we can find this claim's earliest mention or origin.

If we do this, we end up with Gerónimo (Jerónimo) de Mendieta, a Franciscan missionary and chronicler who lived between 1525–1604. In his work "Historia eclesiástica indiana" volume two, chapter 10 (2.10), we learn about some of the histories of Quetzalcoatl. de Mendieta probably based this on the now-lost writings of Andrés de Olmos, another priest operating a bit earlier than de Mendieta. But in this chapter, we learn that Quetzacoatl (or Kukulkan) was described as follows.

"He was a white man, tall in body, broad forehead, large eyes, long black hair, and large round beard." 

"Era hombre blanco, crecido de cuerpo, ancha la frente, los ojos grandes, los cabellos largos y negros, la barba grande y redonda"

Historia eclesiástica indiana 2.10

This is the earliest description of Quetzalcoatl as a white person; this description does not exist in any prehispanic sources. If you, my listener, have an earlier source, please send it in, but I've looked, and I've not found any. It's not only me who struggles to find an earlier source; we would all be happy to be proven wrong. The writings of de Mendieta inspire similar depictions of Veracocha in Peru. As with these claims, they tend to spread and be reworked, like a very long game of telephone. 

So the idea is festering, but it's not until the American congressman Ignatius Donnelly we see a connection between white gods and Atlantis. Donnelly was a politician, Shakespear denier, and Atlantis believer. Building on the ideas of again Blavatsky and Steiner, he argued that the Atlanteans were a population of white people who went around and taught people how to be a civilization. If you were to read his book Atlantis: The Antediluvian World, you would quickly learn how his idea of an advanced neolithic society is similar to Hancocks' ideas about a lost civilization. In this book, Donnelly, based on the works of Désiré Charnay, claim that the Toltecs were white. On page 349, it's stated that Quetzalcoatl is white, and both the Toltecs and Quetzacoatl originate from Atlantis. 

I've also heard these strange claims that since the people of Mesoamerica can't grow beards, it must have been the Europeans they talked about. Again taking de Menditas' history and adding a layer of racism. Note that neither Childress, Hancock, nor other alternative history promoters really deal with the racist origins of their claims. They just hope you won't go and look any of this up and will fight you if you call them on it.

Now, I think we will return later to the "White Gods" theory because they play quite a role in this universe. We didn't really get into the Mormon angle here, either. As we learned back in episode 22, the LDS history is weird. But for now, we will leave this part of the world, and after the break, we will look into some rituals that the alien proponents claim to be evidence of visitation.

Beltane Festival

Let's return to the proof for Ancient Astronauts. The show will now bring up two ceremonies that, as evidence, are pretty weak. The first is the festivities of Beltane, a Celtic celebration celebrated in the spring by lighting fires. This festival comes down to us through Gaelic dictionaries such as Sanas Cormaic. The earliest reference to this is during 900 BCE. The Ancient Alien proponents claim that this celebration was an attempt to recreate the lights from UFOs:s that the celts had seen. It's also claimed that it was believed that portals opened up during this time. The Celts, Scandinavians, and Balts indeed celebrated the start of spring with lightning fires. But this was not to recreate UFO lights but to scare away spirits. Even the fires in homesteads were extinguished and re-lit. The entry of spring was a celebration of life and rebirth in a sense. The UFO angle seems quite silly here, or more than usual.

Bep Kororoti

The second celebration originates in Brazil. The show starts to talk about a tribe called Kayapo and a ceremony performed within this tribe. We see a figure dressed in an oversized costume that seems to be woven, and this figure is supposed to be called Bep Kororoti (or Bepkororoti). The show claim that this person is trying to resemble an astronaut and the tribe is celebrating an extra-terrestrial visitation.

The show does something in this segment that, if you have followed along and watched these episodes might have noticed. We have Giorgio on the screen telling us something originally claimed by Von Däniken. This particular case is from Dänikens' 1973 book "Gold of the gods."

The Kayapo tribe refers to themselves as Mebêngôkre, meaning "the men from the water hole." The name Kayapó originated during the 1800s, was coined by other groups, and translates to "those who look like monkeys." This is probably not referring to the physical look of the people but to a ritual using masks. The Mebêngôkre lives in central Brazil, in an area large as Austria and covered in rainforest. They have unfortunately struggled for a long time to be able to keep their land since other settlements are closing in. Several NGOs are trying to help the tribes to acquire the rights to their land, and if you wish to help, you can visit the Kayapo project.

So the Mebêngôkre are a real tribe. So far, so good, I guess. Even if I have some opinions on using a name, the people do not prefer. But how is it with this Bep Kororoti (Bepkororoti) character the show talks about? Well, here it gets murky. Von Däniken claim in Gold of the Gods that João Américo Peret visited the tribe in 1952 and learned the story about this spaceman. We get the story about how the Mebêngôkre meets this strange man in a suit who they can't hurt with their weapons. The figure finds this amusing and then demonstrates a powerful sticklike weapon that pulverizes some stones and threes. Von Däniken also makes quite a deal that this is way before Yuri Gagarin's trip to space in 1961. So how would they have this spacesuit-like figure?

Since Von Däniken did not give a reference, it was pretty tricky to find Peret's own account of this. It's not presented in the text or in the small reference list at the back of the book. I did not have any luck in the books written by Peret available and was close to giving up when I had some luck. João Américo Peret tells this story in an article for the weekly Brazilian magazine O Cruzeiro in the issue published on the 29th of march 1972. In the article "Bep-kororoti o guerreiro do espaço" or "Bep-Kororoti space warrior," Peret talks about this conversation taking place in 1962.  

Bep Kororoti (Bepkororoti) is known from the anthropological records. For example, Claude Levi-Strauss discusses this figure in his book "The Raw and the Cooked" in 1969. In it, we learn that Bep-Kororoti (Bepkororoti) was a powerful shaman who, after gutting a tapir, was only left with two paws by his greedy friends. Taking revenge, he shaved his head and climbed a hill to control lightning with his wand. An interesting tidbit that explains this suit is that the Mebêngôkre are skilled beekeepers. They have colonies and use different species of bees, some even stingerless. Bep-Kororoti among the Mebêngôkre is usually associated with rain and thunder, but due to his mortal beginning, he is fond of honey. Etnobiologist Darrell Posey talks about how the Mebêngôkre leaves honey in the wild nest they open. This is so the bees will return later, but traditionally people of the tribe have done this so Bep Kororoti will get his share.

So the suite is to keep bees and not get stung. Jason Colavito landed on the same conclusion in his exploration of the subject. So while we see similarities between João Américo Peret's telling and other anthropological collections. I'm not sure why Peret's telling differs from the other anthropological work, he might have influenced the group, or the myth evolved. I can't find any instances of this story after or before Peret, it does not mean it's not true, but we should keep it with some skepticism.

Is the monarchy alien? 

This next part is giving me quite some David Icke vibes. Not that we will discuss shapeshifting Jewish reptilians here today, but this is a tad silly. The show proposes that kings are a tradition either instituted by aliens or kings are trying to emulate aliens. This is a bit unclear, to be honest. 

We start with the Stone of Scone or, as the show put it, The stone of destiny. This name is not wrong but make it sound fancier than it is. This stone is a stone on which the king or queen sits during the coronation ceremony. Or nowadays, it's beneath a bench on which the monarch sits.

For some reason, the show claims the stone is from outer space. But since it's out of Old Red Sandstone, quarried close to the Scottish village Scone. Other being named for a tasty bread, the townlet was the coronation place for Scottish royalty once. 

We descend into a section of loose threads they try to tie together. But the main argument is that we kings are viewed as gods. In some cultures, this is true. That's one reason, for example, why Alexander the Great conquered Egypt. It was the one place he could be a literal god on earth. But while religion and monarchy have had close ties, most cultures have had different approaches to how the king is viewed. In the Maya world, the king was a high priest, as we have seen, while in Rome, some emperors were deified upon their death. 

If we look at Catholic Europe, the kings were ordained or chosen by god but didn't speak for god or was a representative of god. The idea of what a king, emperor, chieftain, ajaw, or any other name for the role differs widely between societies. But luckily, they have hidden some clues within the coronation. Again we have the Eurocentric approach but okay, let's see what it is. 

It's part of the regalia of the monarch, the scepter. You know how the rod looks like an Ankh, the Egyptian symbol. Yeah, neither did I. But this is the claim they make with this little fact from Jason Martell.

"The Ankh is always a symbol used in Pharaonic times as a scepter. But an interesting play on the word, Ankh, shows that also stems from the word Anunnaki, which meant, those who from heaven came to earth."

- Jason Martell

What Jason does here is to smash two words together without understanding them. The Ankh is an Egyptian symbol representing three sounds that form this word. In no form is the word or even the sounds related to Annunaki; that's just some sort of pareidolia for words. If we translate it, Ankh would mean "key of life." Even the translation of Annunaki that Martell gives is wrong, as we have covered many times now, is false. It's something Zacharia Sitchin invented and now for those in the back. Annunaki would be translated to something like "of princely seed."  

While the Ankh has its place in Egyptian depictions of the pharaohs, it was never used as a scepter. In fact, the Egyptian Pharaoh already had a scepter, which we have drawings dating back to pre-dynastic times. Add to this the staffs we have found from the first dynasty. Not one but several, both in Abydos and Saqqara. The finest example is the scepter of the Pharaoh Khasekhemwy. Found by Petrie in 1901; I recommend you go and look it up. 

The Ankh scepter connection might not be the evidence that would blow this thing open. But we should start using our heads because have you thought about the crowns?

If not the stick work, you got to use your head. Jason Martell returns with another Annunaki claim that they had a glow around them. From the light, we're supposed to think about halos. The Annunaki Angel connection here is made, so we start to think about things that can be put on the head to represent aliens, I guess? We don't really have to think about this claim too hard for it to be silly. People have always needed to differentiate themself from others; this becomes even more visible when we look at monarchs. The best way to stand out is to have visible headgear. Usually, these segments have some anchor to make them sound more plausible, but I'm not sure what happened in this one. It's just been a collection of silly claims. I don't know about you, but we need a break here. When we return, we will investigate how much energy prayer generates and the Egyptian boat mystery.

Olmecs and Shamans

So this last section has some more fun things to bring us. This next segment is going a little bit all over the place. We start first with the Olmecs, the mother culture of Mesoamerica. They are most known for the giant stone-heads we found 17 of. These are large affairs, with full lips and sporting something that looks like a helmet. This has resulted in some quite interesting alternative theories of Olmec origin. Even in 1850, when the first stone was uncovered in Veracruz, the ideas of Africans sailing over to Mesoamerica and starting the Olmec culture began to appear. This culminated in 1980 with the short story "The olec football player" by Kathleen Smith, in which an Afro-American football player traveled back in time. Culminated and culminated, I'm maybe not so sure about that. These ideas tend to appear every so often. 

Now, what will the show claim about these colossal heads? Well, not much; they use the heads to talk about something else. I'll let Fiebag take the wheel. 

Olmec head

Olmec head - Photo by Roberto Carlos Román Don

"The mother culture of Central America, were the Olmecs. In old images made by the Olmecs, we can see helmeted beings dressed in overalls ascending. They have wings and they have microphones almost in front of their mouths. Are these the heads of rulers or priests? Or were they maybe aliens that they wanted to portray?"

Peter Fiebag

It's unclear what images Fiebag refers to here, but I don't recognize them, and I've not found these examples. A more common motif would be shamans transforming into jaguars; this transformation is sometimes depicted in small children. We also see concepts that will be important in Mayan cultures, such as twins and dwarfs. Fiebag is correct in the statement that the Olmecs can be viewed as the mother culture of Mesoamerica. 

But from the giant heads, we get into the concept of shamans, and here we will have a segment dominated by Nancy Red Star, Clifford Mahooty, and Standing Elk. I'm not going to get into what they say here because myths evolve and expand. I mean, Christianity has more than 45 000 dominations; that's big enough that we know about them. I'm not going to pretend to know more about the Native American religion and just have the approach leave it at this is one version of many. 

Electroscope and the power of prayer

But now it's time for what you might been waiting for; how much energy does a prayer produce? The show gets to this question by following the Olmec shamans, to the Native American religions, through the horseshoe valley. It is quite the trip, and we are led to believe that dr Boguslaw Lipinski has proved that prayer is real and has energy output. Dr. Lipinski got his degree in Biochemistry at Uniwersytet Warszawski and seems to do decent work in cancer research. So his field is not related to this claim that originates from an article published in 2009 on Medjugorje USA. The report was named "Scientific study," Lipinski claims to have measured prayer output with an Electroscope in Medjugorje in today's Bosnia Herzegovina. This experiment took place in 1985 with a "rechargeable Electroscope (BT-400, Biotech-Electronics, Lachine, Que. Canada)". Ancient Aliens and Lipinski refer to the country as Yoguslavia for reasons probably only known to them.

But you might ask yourself, what is an Electroscope? I wondered that, too, and the short answer is a crude volt meter. The electroscope was invented in the 1600s by William Gillbert; to be honest, it has mostly stayed the same since. I don't know if this is the tool Lipinsky refers to. But since we don't have anything else to go on, we have to assume he refers to the proper device.

Lipinsky claims that he managed to measure high electric charges and radiation when people prayed in the room. But from what I can tell, neither Lipinski nor anyone else has replicated this. The method makes little sense since the charge must be close to the electroscope to register. The electroscope can "Detect ionizing radiation or an electric charge on a body," but it's within limits here. But luckily, you can build your own electroscope in your home and start replicating this study. 

But in all seriousness, reading the study, we will start to note the same issue many ghost hunters face. They don't know how to use the tools and interpret the data in a way that favors their preconceived notion. 

Ships, vessels, and starships

Let's move on to the stars! We are brought all the way back to Egypt for this last section of the show, where we will explore the meaning of vessels and cremations. We open up on a thrilling discovery in 1952 of Khufu's funerary boat, a 45-meter (or 150 feet) large vessel made out of cedars from Lebanon. The ship is strange for reasons other than aliens, it has no place for a mast, and the oars are really too small to be functional on the boat. The leading theory today is that this was a funerary vessel made to bring the dead Pharaoh from the east to the land of the dead in the west. It was indeed not for your daily sailing. Phillip Coppens explains this boat like this.

"In the case of King Khufu, we find there is a literal boat thought to be a boat of a million years, even though this might appear to be a normal ship, it is actually something far more, it can almost represent a spaceship because they just didn't speak of years, they spoke millions of years, and this is precisely what space travel is all about. Somehow, the dead body was able to go on this voyage."

Philip Coppens

Now the idea of the boat comes from Ra's daily expedition across the sky and predestined return to the underworld. Yes, the Egyptians believed that you traveled west and down. Not up to heaven; this is something the Alien crowd has invented. So if you were rich, you could have a large boat, and the middle class may have a smaller model. If your means were tight, the coffin would suffice with the right spells, of course. 

We also have a short appearance from Robert Bauval, who claims the word for god in Ancient Egypt was neter/neteru and translates to "a being that came from the cosmos." Where he got this idea is highly unclear, the glyph representing this word looks like a flag on a pole or maybe an axe. Its meaning is a bit murky, but the most accepted translation is strength or power. This can change; it's still being pondered on, but Bauvals' translation does not fit, and he's offered no explanation for how he got there. 

But we continue this idea of boat, meaning spaceship, to my dismay, by going north. To my home, to my stone ships. For the love of Thor. Yes, they will now claim that the Stone Ships/Ship setting in Sweden is evidence of extra-terrestrial visitation. 

Stone ship located in Gettlinge on the island Öland in Sweden.

Stone ship located in Gettlinge on the island Öland in Sweden. Photo by Fredrik Trusohamn

We will hear that these stone formations are graves. While this is true to some extent, it's not the whole truth. The show also claims that these are from the Viking era, and some are, but not all. The Stone Ships sometimes have burials within them or are located close to or on a grave field. But most commonly, they were close to the old coastlines, and a theory is that while being part of the funerary rites, they were also points of navigation. The oldest Stone Ship dates to the Scandinavian bronze age, and the tradition of portraying ships stems from there. In Scandinavian petroglyphs, one of the more common depictions is ships, which seems to have been crucial to the people of the time. Either due to trade or other reasons.

We also find different types of ship burials, and these were rarely cremation-type burials and are pretty famous due to their rich grave goods. The most famous example might be the Oseberga ship from Norway. This ship is more or less intact and was buried with what we assume was a royal individual with quite impressive goods. At first, only half of the vessel was covered by the Tumulus, leaving the other side open, and there's an idea that the open part was used as a stage. Ship burials were not only for men; we have examples of women being buried this way too. Take grave 36 on Birka in Stockholm. From the skeletal remains, it seems to have been a woman. Also, with rich grave goods, this should not be confused with the woman's "warrior grave" that has upset some strange people recently. 

So are these graves evidence of aliens? I doubt it; the evolution and connection to the culture of Scandinavia would not make any sense if they tried to emulate alien spaceships. Also, why did they try to emulate accurate ships in Egypt and Sweden if they did not have to sail? Why build it like the type of vessels they had and not like a saucer? 

So this episode seems to be a bust again, unfortunately. It was not really the strongest episode they have put together so far. We may have better luck next time when we examine Aliens and ancient engineers! If you're waiting for me to tackle Graham Hancocks' latest series, "Ancient Apocalpse," don't worry; there is something in the pipeline. But so many excellent archaeologists, historians, and others have done a great job with his show already, so I want to do something extra for you all. 

But till then, remember to leave a positive review anywhere you can, such as iTunes, Spotify, or to your friend at the trench. I recommend visiting to find more info about me and the podcast. You can also find me on most social media sites, and if you have comments, corrections, suggestions, or just want to write an email in all caps, you can find my contact info on the website.

You will find all the sources and resources used to create this podcast on our website. You will often also find further reading suggestions if you want to learn more about the subjects we bring up.

Sandra Marteleur created the intro music, and our outro is by the band called Trallskruv, who sings their song "tin foil hat." Links to both these artists will be found in the show notes.

Until next time, keep shoveling that science!

Sources, resources, and further reading suggestions

Américo Peret, J. (1972). Bep-kororoti o guerreiro do espaço. O Cruzeiro, 29 Mar., pp.20–23.

Clemency Chase Coggins and III, S. (2014). Cenote of Sacrifice. University of Texas Press.

Colavito, J. (2012a). A Straw Man: The Real Meaning behind the Amazon ‘Astronaut’ Suit. [online] Jason Colavito. Available at:

Colavito, J. (2014). White Gods and Black Goddesses: Double Standards in Fringe History. [online] Jason Colavito. Available at:

de Mendieta, J. (1596). Historia eclesiástica indiana. [online] Available at:

Diehl, R.A. (2006). The Olmecs: America’s first civilization. London: Thames & Hudson.

Donnelly, I. (1882). Atlantis: The Antediluvian World. 11th ed. [online] New York: HARPER & BROTHERS. Available at:

G, Burenhult (2012). Arkeologi i Norden. Vol 2. Stockholm: Natur & Kultur.

Kay Almere Read and Gonzalez, J.J. (2001). Handbook of Mesoamerican mythology. New York ; Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kowalski, J.-K. and Kristan-Graham, C. (2011). Twin Tollans: Chichen Itza, Tula, and the Epiclassic to Early Postclassic Mesoamerican World. Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library And Collection.

Kreidler, M. (2005). Less than Miraculous | Skeptical Inquirer. [online] Available at:

Lévi-StraussC. (1969). The raw and the cooked. [online] New York: Harper & Row. Available at:  P 208.

Lipinski, B. (2009) Scientific study. Medjugorje - USA [Online]

Mary Ellen Miller (2019). The art of Mesoamerica: from Olmec to Aztec. New York: Thames & Hudson, Inc.

Office, W.J.C.H.N. (2006). Prayers don’t help heart surgery patients. [online] Harvard Gazette. Available at:

Paul S. Die Göttergestalten der Mayahandschriften, Verlag von Julius Springer: Germany; 1903.

Posey, D.A. (1982). The Importance of Bees to Kayapó Indians of the Brazilian Amazon. The Florida Entomologist, [online] 65(4), p.452. doi:10.2307/3494679

Quezada-Euán, J.J.G., Nates-Parra, G., Maués, M.M., Roubik, D.W. and Imperatriz-Fonseca, V.L. (2018). The economic and cultural values of stingless bees (Hymenoptera: Meliponini) among ethnic groups of tropical America. Sociobiology, 65(4), p.534. doi:10.13102/sociobiology.v65i4.3447

Quirke, S. (2014). Exploring religion in ancient egypt. Wiley-Blackwell.

Roy, S. (2022). Electroscope: Definition, Types, Working, Functions. [online] Collegedunia. Available at:

Schele, L. and Freidel, D.A. (1990). A Forest of Kings. William Morrow & Company.

Schele, L. and Mathews, P. (1999). The code of kings : the language of seven sacred Maya temples and tombs. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Stokes, W. (1862). Three Irish glossaries : Cormac’s glossary codex A, O’Davoren’s glossary and a glossary to the calendar of Oengus the Culdec. [online] London: Williams and Norgate. Available at:

Verswijver, G. and Gordon, C. (2002). Mebêngôkre (Kayapó). [online] Povos Indígenas no Brasil. Available at:

Wilkinson, T.H. (2001). Early dynastic Egypt. London: Routledge.


“Folie hatt” by Trallskruv

Lily of the woods by Sandra Marteleur