Of the crazy and speculative theories out there (and there are many as we all know), those that revolve around the notion that human beings are not indigenous to the Earth are perhaps the craziest. The idea is that we, or rather our ancestors, were brought here from another world, most likely as prisoners condemned to a life on a planet far from the rest of our ancestral law-obeying society somewhere in the reaches of space. (It is perhaps worth noting that some theories suggest our original “cosmic ancestors” bred with Neanderthals and so produced humans.)
One of the loudest voices in these outlandish claims is Dr. Ellis Silver, who contends that there are just too many differences between humans and every other life-form on the planet for us to be a truly indigenous species. While most, as you might expect, reject his claims as nonsense, they are intriguing nonetheless, and certainly worth looking at in a little more detail. Ellis calls his idea the “prison planet theory.”
Like the name suggests, the prison planet theory and others like it speculate that human beings are not the product of evolution alone. It’s important here, right away, to clarify that these theories are not suggesting that evolution doesn’t exist, or is wrong, but that, at some point in our collective past, we were subject to some kind of outside manipulation. In fact, more than that, the prison planet theory suggests that we are, in fact, the descendants of prisoners from an alien world who were brought here in antiquity, eventually spreading, multiplying, and, as our history attests, setting out to dominate the planet, most likely shortly after arrival.
While most dismiss this idea, as speculative as it is, without any further investigation, an intriguing argument can be made as to its relevance. After all, human beings, for all their obvious flaws and faults, are far, far, more advanced than other living things on the planet. For example, why do other animals not invent, philosophize, organize politically, or aim to build machines to explore the world and, indeed, the stars? Incidentally, it would seem that only humans have such a fascination with the stars and what might lie beyond in the reaches of space. Perhaps this is an indicator of a subconscious calling?
The prison planet theory suggests that most human beings, even those of us who are extremely healthy, suffer from chronic “illnesses,” albeit ones that are trivial when isolated. Think about it—when was the last time you felt truly “good?” No little niggles or twitches. No headache, or hay fever, or any manner of small annoyances that are barely significant enough to mention but seemingly plague each one of us.
Perhaps we should also look at humans’ reaction to the Sun, one of the main keys to our existence. Many other animals can sit out in the sunlight all day long with no effect to their health (generally speaking). However, humans will be sunburned within hours, while long-term exposure can sometimes result in a variety of skin cancers. We also squint our eyes in reaction to the Sun, unlike other animals. Even the fact that we have only a tiny auditory frequency range and can only see a very tiny sliver of the electromagnetic spectrum could be indicators of a home planet other than Earth.
Perhaps the “niggle” which affects the greatest number of people is back pain. Most of us will have suffered a “bad back” at some point in our lives. And for many of us, that pain is a constant on-off, “good days/bad days” battle of fending off increasing aches, spasms, and, at worst, a complete locking up of this region of the body that’s so critically important for our functioning.
So why is this? Well, according to those who believe the prison planet theory, it’s due to a lower level of gravity on our “real” home planet. This higher-than-we-were-designed-for gravity on Earth is (taking into account the relative tallness of humans) what causes so many people’s backs so much strain. Such researchers as Ellis Silver, as trivial as this point is, believe this to be one of the main indicators that Earth is not our natural home. He argues, for example, that our flat feet should suggest a much shorter being (relatively speaking) than the average human. Needless to say, his suggestions are not entertained by most.
As is corroborated by the research of sleep experts, the human body clock is much more in sync with a 25-hour day as opposed to the 24-hour one that our bodies have to work with. Quite a few sleep problems are blamed on this. There could be many reasons for the disparity, including that the Earth’s natural rotation speed has decreased a very tiny bit over the course of humanity’s collective time on the planet.
However, some researchers suggest that our “real” home planet very much had a rotational period of 25 hours, and the fact that our own natural body clock is still set at this would suggest that we came from somewhere else in the solar system, or even the universe. We will look at possible destinations of our potential cosmic ancestors in our last entry on our list. Our next entry, however, will look at the function most crucial to life—any life, wherever it is—reproduction, as well as why, for humans, this natural and required function is perhaps one of the hardest things their bodies are ever asked to do.
One of the main focuses of Ellis Silver in particular (but other researchers as well) is the truly traumatic experience that childbirth is for women. He claims that this is not replicated anywhere else in the animal kingdom, where births tend to be routine, uncomplicated, and, for want of a better phrase, easy (as much as that might be a little bit of a simplistic take on the issue).
While childbirth, at least for women in developed parts of the world with modern hospitals and medicine, is rarely a life-threatening experience, even today, there are still a plethora of complications that can arise, and unfortunate women still lose their lives. When we think back to the times before modern medicine, death in childbirth was much more commonplace. Like many of the examples on this list, this appears to be something completely unique to human beings. And, as we will look at next, it isn’t just childbirth but the first several years of human development that would appear to unique, albeit for the wrong reasons.
Childbirth isn’t the only thing of interest in terms of the prison planet theory. Even the development, or lack thereof, of human offspring is strange to some. For example, many young of the animal kingdom can walk within days, if not less. Human babies, on the other hand, are entirely helpless and remain that way for years.
It is suggested by some researchers sympathetic to the work of people like Silver that the human gestation period should be much longer. It is an interesting theory, although one hard to prove to any level beyond speculation. And even then, such speculation is pushing the limits of common sense, at least to some.
However, some people, particularly those who subscribe to the ancient astronaut theory, will tell you that this “abnormality” in the human gestation period is down to some kind of “interference” with the human genome long ago in the distant past that has resulted in this “premature” birthing of human young. And human genes are the subject of our next entry.
A study published in Nature concluded that humans have an extra 223 genes, acquired during our evolution from bacteria. What if they’re not from bacteria? Might those genes be the reason for the absolute advancement of human beings by comparison to all other living creatures? And what about non-coding DNA, colloquially referred to as “junk DNA?” Might it be leftover DNA from an alien world and alien ancestors? It’s a wild thought, for sure.
It should be noted that other researchers did not fully accept the finding of 223 extra genes and publicly challenged it. Whether their challenge is legitimate or whether it is another case of mainstream academia looking to silence any voices that go against accepted thinking is perhaps open to debate.
Although it is hard to see how completely “accurate” records of such a claim are kept and analyzed, another apparent consequence of our purported cosmic provenance is a constant feeling of anxiety throughout humanity. While you could make a pretty solid argument that our fellow humans—particularly those in power—give us all plenty to be anxious about without having to bring alien ancestry into the equation, it is certainly an interesting speculation.
There are also increasing rates of depression and suicide (itself an act almost unique to humans) taking over many parts of the world. Again, there are many grim and legitimate reasons for this, such as increasing poverty and pressures at work (and their implicit threat of poverty), as well as more indirect factors, such as political and social division, that make many people feel utterly helpless, in a hopeless situation over which they have no control. This, in some people, leads to feelings of detachment and “not belonging.”
Might it be down to a subconscious longing for a “home” many light years away and an existence just as far away, at least figuratively? Unlikely as it might be, it is an interesting notion.
So, taking away the logistics of such an operation for a moment, how likely is it that an alien mission to banish undesirables to Earth would go ahead? Well, if we assume a spacefaring extraterrestrial race has the ability to visit other planets, either in their own solar system or elsewhere, then why wouldn’t they transplant the unsavory elements of their society to a world far away?
After all, look at the many examples through history where we ourselves have banished prisoners to secluded locales, sometimes literally on the other side of the world (think Australia), or to gulags in the most dismal and uninhabitable terrain, as happened regularly in the Soviet Union. And while it is a little different in it’s only a small island in the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz was, for all intents and purposes, a prison island.
An offshoot of the prison planet theory revolves around all the points raised above; the only difference is that our theoretical ancestors were not prisoners but cosmic refugees escaping a destroyed planet. While many argue that this planet was Mars (and point to the theory that life could have existed there long ago), others suggest it to be a planet that once resided where the asteroid belt is today.
Might our potential cosmic ancestors have escaped a dying planet or one that was struck by a huge cosmic body? Might some of the population have managed to escape and settled on another world nearby? (Namely Earth.) Might this even offer a partial explanation for the plethora of ancient texts that speak about “beings who came from the stars?” Might these be accounts of our origins that have, over time, become twisted and misinterpreted into the equally ambiguous and suggestive writings we have today?
Perhaps this would also explain the 25-hour default setting in our internal body clocks? Might this planet—if we accept for the sake of this argument that it was a planet—have had such a rotational period? Might it also have had a lower level of gravity which would better suit us, even today?
Whether the suggestion is that we’re descended from prisoners from another world or survivors of an extraterrestrial race seeking sanctuary from their ruined planet, the idea that we, as a species, may share those cosmic roots is certainly food for thought.