The Pseudohistoric and Pseudoscientific claims about “Bakoni Ruins” of South Africa


Micheal Tellinger claims of Bakoni Ruins being from prehistory is false pseudoscience. According to author Michael Tellinger

Michael Tellinger and the Counterfactual Romance of Ancient Astronauts

According to author Jason Colavito, “In reading this month’s Fortean TimesI discovered that he is not the only musician questing after an alternative to science. An advertisement informs me that South African musician and actor Michael Tellinger has adopted Zecharia Sitchin’s ideas as truth and has a new book called African Temples of the Anunnaki, a follow-up to 2005’s Slave Species of God, which he advertised as the culmination of twenty-five years of study of… wait for it… Zecharia Sitchin. Tellinger’s ideas are unsupportable even by the loose standards of ancient astronaut idiocy. On the home page for Slave Species, Tellinger asks “Why do all mythologies have the same group of GODS?” I imagine this will come as a bit of shock to the Aztec that their gods are identical to those of China and Greece. Even within the Indo-European family of religions, we are hard-pressed to find identical gods; Odin, Frigg, Freya, and Thor do not precisely match the Greek gods; Freya, for example, has aspects the Greeks divided among Aphrodite, Athena, and Persephone. Even two myth systems we today think of as virtually identical—Greece and Rome—have challenging difficulties, not least the startling difference between the bloodthirsty berserker Ares and the beneficent farming warrior Mars. Again, Tellinger asks: “Why is the FLYING SERPENT the creator god in all mythologies?” Do I even need to say that it is not? Without getting into the question of whether Tellinger means the creator of the universe or just of humanity, it should be easy to think of instances where this is not true: the three Abrahamic monotheistic faiths (God as creator); Babylonian religion (chaos to Tiamat to Marduk); Greek mythology (chaos, with Prometheus making humans); etc. etc. Even among the Aztec, the feathered serpent was not the creator god; that honor went to Ometecuhtli/Omecihuatl, the self-created dual god, progenitor of Quetzalcoatl. Ungrammatically, he asks “Why has humankind been so obsessed with GOLD since the earliest of time? Why has GOD been so obsessed with GOLD since Genesis?” Tellinger believes that the aliens created humans to mine gold around 250,000 BCE, so I imagine this must be the “earliest of time.” However, archaeology has uncovered no evidence of the use of gold before roughly the third millennium BCE. [Update: I am wrong here; the oldest known gold is from 4600 BCE at Varna; which is what I get for looking up facts in a book published before 2006, when the Varna treasure was dated by radiocarbon testing of associated graves.] (You’ll often read on gold buying websites that in 3100 BCE the Egyptian pharaoh Menes recorded the value of gold, the oldest ever effort to quantify its value, but this dubious fact is derived from much later Greek accounts; no 3100 BCE artifact exists making this claim.) Further, many cultures historically had no interest in gold, including most of prehistoric North America and Australia. Nor is there much evidence for God being obsessed with gold “since Genesis.” In Genesis, the first mention of gold comes at Gen. 2:11-12, where it is listed as one of the fine products of the land around the river Pison, sometimes identified with the Phasis, the river that ran through the land of the Golden Fleece in Greek myth. Otherwise, there is very little about gold in Genesis except for standard listings alongside other forms of wealth like sheep, and nothing about it from God himself. His new book claims that rough stone circles in South Africa were built to house “Tesla-like technology” designed to carve tunnels to the gold deposits at deep in the earth’s core. (Earth’s natural gold deposits are near the core due to the density of gold; the gold we mine near the surface traveled here by meteor.) But The Fortean Times also had an honest-to-goodness gem of a thought from Steve Moore in his article “The Real Arthur?” He was speaking of books that attempt to historicize the mythic British king, but in so doing he makes a much broader point that comes very close to my own work establishing how closely “alternative” history is to speculative fiction:

I’d suggest that, rather than writing these books off as nonsense, it might be more useful to regard them as ‘modern romances’. They purport to be factual while having virtually no factual basis; but once again, it’s the narrative that is important, providing as it does a key to ancient mysteries and a discovery of something wonderful. I’d go further and suggest the modern romance label could be applicable across a broad range of fortean topics, from the ‘Holy Blood’ literature to ancient astronauts, crashed saucer retrievals, alien abductions… and so on, once more, ad infinitum. Perhaps it’s not really important whether these notions are ‘true’ or not. Instead, these are narratives that we want to be true, and so they tell us something about ourselves, our desire to escape from mundane reality, and our wish for the wondrous. They are, quite simply, romantic … and that, no doubt, is the greatest part of their appeal.

That is as good a reason as any why Giorgio Tsoukalos, David Hatcher Childress, Scott Wolter, and others describe themselves as the “Real Life Indiana Jones” and continue to embrace ideas long after every objective measure has demonstrated their untruth. ref

Forgotten World: The Stone-walled Settlements of the Mpumalanga Escarpment

The Bakoni?

“This is what recent archaeological and historical research in the area known as Bokoni in Mpumalanga has revealed. The Bakoni, the Koni people who first emerged in this area around the 1500s and lived here until around the 1820s, were advanced farming communities that created stone-walled sites – the remnants of which still cover vast areas in Mpumalanga today. According to The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg researchers, historian Professor Peter Delius and archaeologist Dr Alex Schoeman, it is now clear that the Bakoni practiced advanced technological and agricultural innovation and techniques long before Africa was colonized. Their book, Forgotten World – The Stone-walled Settlements of the Mpumalanga Escarpment, as well as an hour-long documentary, aim to create awareness and to inform on a “forgotten” part of South Africa’s history and heritage that has for too long been ignored. Delius and Schoeman elaborated on their research project during the National Research Foundation Science for Society Lecture held at Wits University on 11 June 2015. Unique systems: “This intensive farming system was unique in South Africa and was the largest intensive farming system in southern and eastern Africa. It included massive investment in stone terracing, cattle kraals and which allowed for the cultivation of rich, volcanic soils on the hillsides of the escarpment,” Delius said. Crop cultivation was combined with closely managed livestock production in which cattle were kept at the heart of the settlements at night and during the day were able to feed on the diverse grasslands. “It is also connected to systems of long-distance trade which span the interior that linked to the east coast and to the vast and ancient Indian Ocean trading system. So this was not an isolated society, an isolated world, it was part of a much bigger regional system,” said professor Peter Delius. A study shows South Africans using milk-based paint 49,000 years ago.” Ref

“baKoni Ruins”

The hills around the town are terraced with thousands of stone walls which form part of a vast complex of settlements, fields and roads. Some tour guides describe these as South Africa’s “real” lost city. Archaeologists and historians have described the ruins as settlements of the baKoni people. Oral records and historical evidence trace the baKoni to at least the early 18th century. The ongoing 500 Year Initiative to rewrite South Africa’s history continues to deliver new insights into the extent and complexity of these settlements. An international group of researchers have placed the baKoni settlements in the context of numerous other cases of agricultural intensification, that took place in the precolonial era in different parts of Africa. Other controversial hypotheses on the origins of these ruins have also been circulated in South Africa:

  • Anthropologist, Hindu-expert and linguist, Dr Cyril Hromnik, postulates that Dravidian traders, originally from the Gomti river in India, mined and inter-married with the Kung during the first millennium AD and that their descendants were responsible for building the terraces and stone circle dwellings that meander along Mpumalanga’s escarpment as “astrological clocks,” as well as for creating the Quena – or Hottentot – race. – Swanepoel, Natalie, Esterhuysen, Amanda & Bonner, P. L. (ed.) (2008). Five hundred years rediscovered: Southern African precedents and prospects ; 500 year initiative ; 2007 conference proceedings. Johannesburg: Wits University Press. ref

Historian Professor Peter Delius and archaeologist Dr Alex Schoeman from The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, believe the ruins at Bakoni to be evidence of advanced technological and agricultural innovation, long before the colonial era. This consisted largely of closely managed livestock production in combination with crop cultivation. Cattle were kept in the settlements at night while during the day they were released out onto the grasslands to graze. The two researchers, along with Dr Tim Maggs, have written a book about the site as well as producing an hour long documentary. Delius and Schoeman recently appeared at the National Research Foundation Science for Society Lecture at Wits University, on 11 th June 2015, to discuss the project.

“This intensive farming system was unique in South Africa and was the largest intensive farming system in southern and eastern Africa” Professor Delius told Past Horizons . “ It included massive investment in stone terracing, cattle kraals and which allowed for the cultivation of rich, volcanic soils on the hill sides of the escarpment . It is also connected to systems of long distance trade which span the interior that linked to the east coast and to the vast and ancient Indian Ocean trading system. So this was not an isolated society, an isolated world, it was part of a much bigger regional system.” Ref

Bakoni Ruins – Offered as a Prehistoric site is Just another Pseudoarchaeology Sites site

By Michigan State University

What is the past if the leader declares it a fairy tale? Modern scientific advances have provided us with countless answers to that of which was previously unknown. However, with every answer comes another question, and unanswered questions are not typically accepted in society. With that being said, humans have discovered a great deal about our past, but they have not discovered everything. In order to accommodate those who want answers, scholars abuse their educational background and create fictional pasts based on factual, but ambiguous evidence. They refer to themselves as experts, yet they only proclaim what cannot be proven. Upon doing so, scientists become celebrities in television shows, such as Ancient Aliens which airs on the History Channel. This network, and others alike, is supposed to educate the public; however, it’s only success lies in its ability to deceive the public into believing scientists actually agree with this nonsense. It is important to defend the scientific way of thinking which has taught us so much, and accept that factual knowledge has its limits. Since big moneymaking shows like Ancient Aliens will continue to be successful, it is important expose other, less popular pseudo archaeological claims in order to prevent them from getting even more attention. The phenomena of the Bakoni ruins in South Africa provide a great example for how and why these preposterous claims arise, and what archaeologists are doing to expose the truth.

The Bakoni ruins are located in South Africa in the province of Mpumalanga. They refer to the many, complex hills that people terraced with stone to create walls for the sake of improving agricultural practices.

If you were to fly over the area in a small plane you would be amazed by the endless stone circles, set in bewildering mazes and linked by long stone passages, that cover the landscape below. In some places the coverage is quite sparse and intermittent but in others it is dense, continuous and intricate. If you study the views provided by Google Earth and focus on the ghostly circles that cover the landscape you may get a sense of the extent of the heartland of this world, which stretched from Ohrigstad to Carolina and connected over 10,000 square kilometers of the Mpumalanga escarpment into a complex web of walled structures (Schoeman).

There are many disputes regarding the age of these structures, ranging from 25,000 to 250,000 years old. Needless to say, the Bakoni ruins have never been excavated to date—yet alone thoroughly researched. “One of South Africa’s most extensive and remarkable legacies of the past is little known by the public and largely ignored by heritage authorities” (Schoeman). Although past oral and written documents may account for some of our knowledge, they are highly insufficient in providing solid evidence of why and when these greatly expansive structures were created. With that being said, there is very little known about the Bakoni ruins; yet there are ridiculous allegations involving advanced, ancient civilizations as their creators. Michael Tellinger created one of these theories, which thrives on the fantastical idea that some alternate species of homo sapiens built the terraces in biblical times in order to create a large gold-mining system (Cassidy). Considering the lack of scientific research on the Bakoni Ruins, it is absolutely ridiculous that uneducated bystanders are claiming it to be some far-fetched phenomena.

Even though the unfamiliarity with pre-Columbian South African groups should be sufficient enough to disprove Tellinger’s theory, the strong desire for concrete answers provokes people to follow his beliefs anyway. Fortunately, there is enough concrete evidence to explain why his fishy theory is not the least bit scientific. The stone walls were built by a group of people from a town known now as Machadodorp. “The makers of this agriculture find an identity as the ‘Bakoni’ in an archive of oral histories which have been recorded by missionaries, officials, ethnographers and historians at various times and under widely varying circumstances from the early twentieth century, and perhaps before, to the present” (Wright). With this in mind, one must take into consideration the advancement of archaeology as a science. The practice of archaeology used to consist of looting goods and poor, biased documentation. Therefore, it would be naive to simply ignore the carelessness and subjectivity of past “researchers” in order to understand who the Bakoni were. Historian John Wright explains the importance of “getting away from the still common colonial stereotype that these names stand for ready-made ‘tribes’ or, in more modern parlance, ethnic groups” (Wright). Thankfully, historian Peter Delius and archaeologist Alex Schoeman are comfortable enough to recognize past documentation as a flaw within their extensive studies.

… Delius and Schoeman (2008) have re-interpreted the admittedly sketchy evidence from recorded oral histories to argue that the people who came to be known as Bakoni did not necessarily constitute a homogeneous ethnic group whose members arrived in Bokoni at the same time: it is more likely that they consisted of different groups with different origins which arrived at different times. What these groups called themselves will probably never be known, but to other peoples of the region, presumably those already living there, they must have become known collectively at some stage as Bokoni, ‘those from the North’ (Wright).

This clarifies the Bakoni as not necessarily one culture, but many cultures in one area, which accumulated ideas over time in order to create these structures and use them for advanced agricultural purposes. They resided in what was the Bokoni region, which “takes in the escarpment and adjoining areas from Ohrigstad for 150 kilometers to the South and southwest” (Wright). The massive size and relative positions of the Bakoni ruins and escarpment were crucial to success of the farming system.

Although Africans were thought of as primitive beings before the colonization of their country, archaeologists have found the opposite to be true. “After about 1600 [Bokoni] saw the establishment of numerous communities based on the development of what was for the times an exceptionally intensive form of agriculture. Evidence for this is to be found in the numerous and often densely concentrated ruins of stone enclosures, agricultural terraces, and interweaving cattle lanes…” (Wright). This suggests that the Bakoni peoples were not only intelligent, but also faithful inhabitants of the land. They must have communicated with one another, even though they may not have been from the same origin, in order to create a very successful community that flourished for some, most likely great, time. Considering the vastness of this system and the variety of people controlling it, one must note the exceptional resemblance of the walls. “The relative similarity of the Bakoni walls over hundreds of kilometers suggests a settled society with social and cultural continuity over time, and space, and with some uniformity of building style” (Beinart). The somewhat uniformity over such a large area is especially impressive because it shows the unity of the society, despite different backgrounds, and also the prominence of the people occupying the land over time.

Unfortunately, the 1800s brought about colonization, and the Bakoni peoples transitioned from a functioning, diverse community into a conforming, uniform one.

Bakoni society or its predecessors may have lasted at least a couple of centuries, perhaps from the seventeenth century. It fragmented, or was largely destroyed, during the period of the Mfecane in the early nineteenth century when more powerful new kingdoms were established around it: the Pedi, Swazi, and Ndzundza Ndebele. The Bakoni found themselves vulnerable on the peripheries of these new nodes of political authority in the first half of the nineteenth century; their settlements were in part scattered and some were absorbed into the expanding kingdoms (Beinart).

Since the colonists completely obliterated the Bakoni people and archaeology was of no concern of the time, it was inevitable that this culture would become somewhat ‘lost’. The declaration of Bakoni as builders of these impressive walls was so delayed because of the supremacy of the colonists, and “it was not until recently that the Bakoni authorship has been established” (Maggs). That is, we know a group of people created these structures long before the colonization of South Africa, and the structures were used for advanced farming techniques. Beyond that, the Bakoni ruins is simply a void waiting to be filled. Modern society’s quest to answer all that is unexplained is defeated by this lack of evidence and documentation; therefore, instead of recognizing this as unknown, people create an alternate past altogether.

With this in mind, the drought of factual information on the Bakoni leaves the interpretation of their ruins completely open to uneducated “experts,” such as Michael Tellinger. Upon viewing his website, one finds that Tellinger “graduated in 1983 from the University of Witwatersrand Medical School, Johannesburg, with a B. Pharmaceutics degree, a passion for the cosmos, genetics and human history” (Tellinger). He also spends some time with the arts, writing and performing screenplays and music. Interestingly enough, he found enough time to write three books, Slave Species of GodAdam’s Calendar, and Temples of the African Gods, each of which revolve around the true human origin (Tellinger). Before further exploring his theory regarding the Bakoni ruins, it is important to note his relevance on the topic. Michael Tellinger is not educated in astronomy, history, or archaeology, simply intrigued by it. In regard to his claims about the human origin, his academics only account for the complexity of microscopic structures such as DNA and alleles, which account for genetic variation. Yet, his books are based off of “new” archaeological findings (Tellinger), of which no educated archaeologist has ever legitimized, or even remotely agreed with. “These interpretations have proliferated and diversified but most of them are based on speculation rather than credible evidence and share the key assumption that African society was incapable of innovation without decisive external influence” (Schoeman). His hyperdiffusionist theories not only reinforce stereotypes, but also over-simplify human origin in order to provide answers that cannot be tested, therefore proven wrong.

In light of this madness, it is fair for one to think that Tellinger’s claims are harmless; however, that is far from true in further retrospect. Michael Tellinger explains his beliefs in an interview with Kerry Cassidy, and it is not only irrational, but also embarrassing to the archaeological community. Upon being asked about his research, Tellinger replies: “We now are starting to find overwhelming physical evidence and proof for those first early civilizations of very early homo sapiens living in South Africa” (Cassidy). He is referring to an ancient, vanished civilization starting “with the arrival of people from another planet who came to Earth in search of gold,” which is only documented by the current translation of the Sumerian tablets (Waterworth). He claims that the Bakoni ruins are so vast and circular for the purpose of creating a massive amount of energy to locate and extract gold from the mines (Cassidy). He continues to explain his reasoning:

Well, what first caught my attention was the fact that the stones that have been used to build these circular stone ruins, these ancient ruins, they ring like bells — every stone… I suddenly realized that this wasn’t just an accident because these stones were making a completely different sound, and they rang… As I say, they actually ring like bells, the most beautiful crystal or metallic structures (Cassidy).

This pharmacist-musician extraordinaire is attempting to convince others that the Bakoni ruins were made by an advanced civilization capable of measuring sound and using that sound to generate enough energy to locate gold. This is purely based off of the “ringing” quality of the rocks at different frequencies, and the stories associated with Africa’s lost civilization found in the Sumerian tablets (which can be compared to the usefulness of information found in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible). Although in this context the claim seems far-fetched, when put in the context of Tellinger’s confidently worded answers, one may begin to stray away from the truth.

Tellinger’s attempt to convince the public of his nonsense is amplified even further when he bashes the modern beliefs of archaeologists. He bluntly states that they need to come to terms with dates as far back as 200,000 years (Cassidy), suggesting modern practices are faulty and misleading. However, it is impossible to come to terms with something in which there is no sufficient evidence for. He is suggesting that everyone throw away his or her history books because he, alone, has seen over 10 million of these ruins.

“All of these structures… were circular in its shape, and each of them was linked by a road or a channel. Now, that is highly irregular; you don’t see that in any ancient civilizations at all. And then in among all of these stone structures there are thousands of kilometers of beautifully shaped and constructed agricultural terraces that link all of these structures together” (Cassidy).

Although there is no other documentation of how many ruins are in South Africa other than the word of Michael Tellinger, people are still convinced by his argument. He uses the unique physical appearance of the ruins and the different sounds they make in order to back up his claim, when, in fact, it can be completely accounted for by an advanced agricultural system created by a diverse population. His basis for truth is unfalsifiable, in that no one can prove him wrong, which is an absurd, entirely unscientific argument.

Overall, the abuse of archaeology fools society into believing that they have been lied to. Although there are many larger issues regarding the abuse of archaeology that continually air on big, ‘educational’ networks like the History Channel, the Bakoni Ruins are particularly offending. People such as Michael Tellinger are profiting off of this bad education, and taking advantages of gaps in human history and knowledge. They create these stories and refute the counter-argument simply by default because they cannot be proven wrong. Aliens and advanced, ancient civilizations become more than just a daydream when so-called scholars use their degree to convince others of their existence. Michael Tellinger and those alike are the beginning of a new education: ‘scientific’ fiction.

Works Cited by Michigan State University on the info above on the Bakoni Ruins

Beinart, William. “FYI Workshop: Some Comparative Comments.” African Studies 69.2 (2010): 219-27. Taylor & Francis. Routledge. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.

Cassidy, Kerry. “Michael Tellinger – Part 1 Whistleblower Radio.” Online interview. 14 Jan. 2010.

Maggs, Tim. “The 2009 FYI Workshop and Excursion: Valuable Lessons from Eastern Africa.” African Studies 69.2 (2010): 213-17. Taylor & Francis. Routledge. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.

Mortazavi, Mehdi. “Irresponsibility in Archaeology.” Eesti Arheoloogia Ajakiri (2010): 143–152,143–152. Web.

Schoeman, Alex, Peter Delius, and Tim Maggs. Forgotten World: The Stone-Walled Settlements of the Mpumalanga Escarpment. Johannesburg: Wits UP, 2014. 1-25. Print.

Tellinger, Michael. “Slave Species: The Story of Humankind, From the Cradle of Humankind.” Slave Species. Slave Species, 14 Sept. 2012. Web. 21 Nov. 2015. <>.

Waterworth, Tanya. “Rethinking our Origins.” The Pretoria News2011. Web.

Wright, John. “Putting Bokoni on the Historian’s Map.” African Studies 69.2 (2010): 229-33. Taylor & Francis. Routledge. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.

Stone Snake of South Africa: “first human worship” 70,000 years ago

The Botswana Skeptic comments on Michael Tellinger in the Botswana Guardian

Tonight, if you’re reading this on Thursday, we’ll have the privilege of a visit from “scientist, explorer and international author” Michael Tellinger who is due to speak at the Civic Centre in Gaborone. According to the announcement, I saw he will be speaking on the “Origins Of Humankind and Ancient Civilisations Of South Africa”. Sounds fascinating, don’t you think? Well, it does until you do a little research into Tellinger’s theories. Instead of talking about the origins of humankind with the benefits of science, anthropology and those irritating things called FACTS, Tellinger has some rather different ideas, bizarre ones to say the least. In fact, his crackpot theories remind me of those from the so-called “Church” of Scientology. Scientology novices are finally taught (after they’ve coughed up truly vast quantities of cash) that 75 million years ago Xemu, the head of the Galactic Federation, decided to cure his over-population problems by murdering excess aliens by bringing them to Earth and killing them with hydrogen bombs. The souls of these people now haunt us all and cause us all our mental health problems. You can see why the Scientologists aren’t too keen to publicise this hogwash until after they’ve got your cash, can’t you? I suspect that Mr Tellinger is in a similar position. I think he’d rather get your P100 entrance fee and perhaps even your $18 for his downloadable book BEFORE you discover what exactly he believes. In his book “Slave Species of God” Tellinger tells us that aliens from the planet Nibiru came to Earth nearly half a million years ago to steal our gold. Once they got bored doing all that hard work digging they mixed their DNA with that of primitive earthlings and produced human slaves. These humans, being rather dim-witted, then worshipped the aliens as gods. Telinger claims to have learned all this from translated ancient stone tablets. Curiously nobody else seems to have translated the tablets the same way and the real academic world has missed the spaceships, gold smuggling and all that juicy inter-species cross-breeding. By all means, go and hear Tellinger and his delusions but my recommendation would be to go round the corner and spend your money at a certain spicy chicken restaurant instead. At least you’ll go home with a tingle on your lips and a full stomach instead of just an empty head. ref

Slave Species of god by Michael Tellinger

 A review by Neil Kennard-Davis
Tellinger feels that he has a message to share with the world, and he does so with evangelistic fervour. The message is that human beings are a created species, created by visitors from another planet for their own nefarious purposes. The story of this creation, it is claimed, is given to us in the ancient Sumerian tablets written in cuneiform and translated by Zecharia Sitchin. The basic thesis is that Earth was visited by the inhabitants of a planet, called Nibiru, in a long period cometary orbit of the Sun. The planet takes some 3 600 years to complete an orbit. About 450 000 years ago these “people”, the Anunnaki, visited Earth to obtain gold. Some 250 000 years later, fed up with the hard labour of mining, they created a new species by combining their own genetic material with that of Homo erectus. The new species was Homo sapiens. The visitors then used Homo sapiens as their slaves and, in turn, were worshiped by them as Gods. The visitors established their first bases in Mesopotamia, with other bases in Southern Africa and, later, South America to mine gold. All of this was later recorded by the early Sumerians, and passed down to us. The book relies heavily on the translations of Sumerian cuneiform tablets by Zecharia Sitchin. These translations, if accepted at face value, make some startling claims and indicate a high level of technological expertise. The theory is that the cuneiform tablets record actual events rather than mythological tales. The question that I have to ask is; did the translations inform the theory or did the theory inform the translations? Cursory research suggests that other scholars of Sumerian cuneiform tablets do not agree with Sitchin’s interpretations. I have several problems with the thesis put forward by Tellinger. On a general level, before getting to specifics, the arguments are advanced with little, or no, reference to fact or logic. Arguments run along the lines of “Let us speculate that such and such might be possible.” Then a few pages later “Since I have shown that such and such probably happened.” And then a little later “As such and such has been conclusively proved.” All of this without any connecting logic or evidence. Other ideas are advanced on the basis of “Surely anyone can see that it is impossible that . and therefore so and so must have been the case.” In my opinion, arguments proposed by these means are rarely credible. On a specific level, there are numerous areas with which I have difficulty. I will only touch on a few of them. Much is made, in the book, about human beings having a damaged, or incomplete, genome. This was, apparently, a deliberate stratagem by the creators to keep us servile. Evidence of this faulty genome is the “Greed” gene and the “Violence” gene that we are supposed to have received from our creators. This takes no account of the fact that very similar behavior is to be found amongst our genetic cousins chimpanzees and other simians, let alone other mammals. At the same time the message is given that we are evolving at a furious rate and that our faulty genome is repairing itself. No cognisance is given to analysis of ancient human DNA that shows it to be identical with modern human DNA. Probably the best known example being that of “Otzi the Ice Man” who died close to 5 000 years ago and whose well-preserved body was found in the Tyrolean Alps in 1991. Apparently, when Homo sapiens was first created, some 200 000 years ago, this was done in Southern Africa and the result was, from Sitchin’s translations, “Woolly haired man” a clear reference to African or Bantu races. Then, later, the Anunnaki interbred with humans and their offspring were the “Aryans” or “European” races who, supposedly, compose Homo sapiens sapiens. The difference between the two is supposed to be a further infusion of alien DNA into the human genome. Once again genetic evidence is dispensed with. Modern research has shown that, genetically, all human beings – Woolly Haired or Aryan – are “kissing cousins.” Any hybridisation with another species would show up clearly in the DNA of the different races. Such evidence is not present. Incidentally the same evidence has shown that there was no interbreeding with Homo neanderthalensis when the two species co-existed in Europe between 60 000 and 30 000 years ago. As an example of the closeness of the genetic relationship between humans, the genetic diversity within chimpanzees – in a far smaller population – is four times that to be found in humans. Tellinger also proposes, as fact, a planet-wide flood or deluge as recorded in the Bible and, apparently, the Sumerian texts. This, we are told, most scholars agree happened around 11 000 B.C. at the end of the last Ice Age. Unfortunately, no references are given to these “most scholars” and, as far as I am aware, very few, if any, serious geologists, geographers or archaeologists adhere to the idea of such an event. A flood of such proportions is, however, a very useful answer to the obvious questions about the lack of archaeological remains from the 400 000 year occupation of Earth by the Anunnaki. All such evidence was destroyed in the flood. This argument ignores the fact that there are clear remains of human activity all around the planet dating from the period in question and before. The marvelously scholarly book “After the Ice” by Steven Mithen examines just about every major site dating from the Last Glacial Maximum at 20 000 B.C. to the Agricultural Revolution in about 5 000 B.C. No sign of a global deluge is found, but there is lots of evidence of human activity. The gigantic deluge is supposed to have resulted from the catastrophic collapse of the Antarctic Ice Cap caused by gravitational disturbances from the planet Nibiru as it made its pass through the inner Solar System. This collapse caused a tsunami of monstrous proportions that swept across the whole planet. The actual fact is that the Antarctic Ice Cap has been stable for more than 400 000 years. Drill cores have been collected and painstakingly analyzed to show this conclusively. In addition, analysis of air samples trapped in the ice show evidence of a number of events affecting the planet over this period. Ice Ages and Interglacial periods can be identified. Even large scale deforestation with the advent of agriculture has left its mark, as has the Industrial Revolution. Evidence of a planetary deluge is absent. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorra is ascribed to an attack, by the Anunnaki, using atomic bombs against rebellious humans. In my opinion, a far more likely scenario would have been a meteorite strike, such as the one that devastated Tunguska, Russia, in 1908. As telling as the clear scientific errors articulated in the story are the things that are left out. Perhaps the early Sumerian writers had no knowledge of Neanderthals who had lived in Europe and the Middle East. They cannot be expected to have known about them, but the Anunnaki would surely have done so. After all Neanderthal remains have been found in the Middle East dating back beyond 60 000 years before present, a time when the Anunnaki were supposedly at the height of their presence. Similarly, no mention is made of the eruption of the Torba volcano, some 75 000 years ago. This event wiped out all life in the Indian sub-continent, and much of the Middle East, under a layer of ash between two and six metres deep. In the process it took Homo sapiens to the brink of extinction, probably caused the extinction of Homo erectus in Asia, and tipped the global climate into a severe Ice Age. One would expect such a significant event to have been recorded by the Anunnaki, but the Sumerian tablets appear to be silent on the issue. Perhaps Mr Sitchin is ignorant of this event. Carl Sagan said “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” The claims put forwards by Michael Tellinger in “Slave Species of god” are truly extraordinary. Unfortunately, the evidence put forward to back them does not match up to the required standard. ref

 As a rationalist, I add reasonable empiricism as well as for methodological skepticism to my thinking tools and I mainly hold value for methodological skepticism. Skepticism can be classified according to its scope. Local skepticism involves being skeptical about particular areas of knowledge, e.g. moral skepticism, skepticism about the external world, or skepticism about other minds, whereas global skepticism is skeptical about the possibility of any knowledge at all. Philosophical skepticism is distinguished from methodological skepticism in that philosophical skepticism is an approach that questions the possibility of certainty in knowledge, whereas methodological skepticism is an approach that subjects all knowledge claims to scrutiny with the goal of sorting out true from false claims. Ref