Hi again, everybody!
Some reports of entire UFO-related languages involve alleged ancient visits to Earth by extraterrestrials; otherwise unknown scripts presumably encoding otherwise unknown languages of alien origin are described. For example, George Hunt Williamson reports that some Amerindian tribal peoples live close to rock faces (some of them known as ‘Rocks of Writing’) upon which mysterious ‘hieroglyphs’ are carved; they deny any connection with these symbols, regarding them as ‘timeless’. (Shades of the Bradshaw Paintings of Western Australia!) Williamson attributes the symbols to extraterrestrial entities who visited the area in ancient times. However, it is not in fact clear that these symbols are linguistic or even symbolic in character, still less that they are of genuinely mysterious origin.
One especially dramatic case of this kind (albeit ultimately lacking any corroboration) involves not written language but 716 grooved stone disks thirty centimetres in diameter, hardened with cobalt and displaying central holes, which were reportedly discovered in the Bayan Kara Ula mountain range in Western China in the period 1938-1962. It is suggested that these disks can be compared with vinyl records and may contain much data. The story presented recounts that a scholar called Tsum Um Nui (whose existence has not been confirmed) claimed that the grooves contained script and eventually announced a decipherment; the translation offered (the details were later disputed) indicated that the disks were artefacts of the inhabitants of an extraterrestrial spacecraft which landed in the area around 12,000 years BP and was unable to take off again. The oral legends of local tribes-people apparently referred to a massacre by their remote ancestors of small-statured, ‘ugly’ newcomers; this description was interpreted as referring to the aliens. The case was allegedly published in 1965 by Chi Pu Tei as ‘The Grooved Script Concerning Spaceships Which, as Recorded on the Discs, Landed on Earth 12,000 Years Ago’. This matter has been a ‘favourite’ among believers in extraterrestrial visits to Earth.
One Karyl Robin-Evans (1980), supposedly published posthumously, allegedly contacted a small-statured tribe known as the Dropa in the same general area. The Dropa believed that their ancestors were not human but had come from the Sirius system; after a crash-landing in the remote past which brought them to Earth, many were massacred, but the community was able to survive and eventually became the Dropa. This legend was interpreted as referring to the Bayan Kara Ula event. The story appeared suspicious to interested parties of all persuasions, and much later David Gamon (1995) admitted that he had been the hoaxer. It appears probable that the entire case is itself a hoax; but, in any event, if the disks ever existed they have now apparently disappeared, and further study is thus (at present) impossible.
Some other claims of this general type are even more extreme, for instance the utterly implausible claims (linguistic and other) surrounding ‘Mantong’, which (as I have recounted elsewhere) is said to be an ancient language/script reconstructed from the English names of the letters of the Roman alphabet and various short English words associated with these. The background story (often termed ‘the Shaver Mystery’) involves alleged subterranean humanoid but non-human beings known as the ‘dero’ (degenerate and wicked) and the ‘tero’ (good), the products of a disaster which occurred 20,000 years BP.
In like vein, Alexandre St. Yves d’Alveydre reported that the ancient ‘Vattanian’ language, along with an alphabet of 22 letters (suspiciously corresponding one-to-one with those featured in Indian, Hebrew, Roman and other human scripts), was revealed to him in 1885 by a race of beings living in the paradise of Agartha. The Vattanian vocabulary allegedly expresses archetypal notions and some of its words and concepts supposedly persist in human languages; there is, predictably, little attention to matters of grammar.
Some Latter-Day Saints sources continue to promote the veracity of the ‘Reformed Egyptian’ in their Book of Abraham and other texts associated with The Pearl of Great Price. Some of the texts are read as referring to other inhabited planets, which feature in LDS theology (notably, the supreme planet ‘Kolob’. When the early LDS leaders claimed that this was the language of the plates which an angel lent to them to be mystically translated, Egyptian had not yet been deciphered, but the small pieces of genuine Egyptian text presented in LDS sources were already known at the time and have subsequently been interpreted quite differently.
There are also cases where alien linguistic items are said to have been ‘borrowed’ into human languages (spoken and/or written) – or where humans themselves are said to be of extraterrestrial origin, which is reflected in some linguistic features. For instance, Brian Crowley and Anthony Pollock hold that the builders of the alleged monuments on Mars (such as the ‘Face on Mars’) were themselves human; the species initially evolved (contrary to all appearances) on Mars and only later migrated to Earth as local conditions worsened. They trace various names and other words, found in Welsh, Irish Gaelic, Egyptian, South American languages, etc., to a Martian language. Of course, as with channellers of ‘Atlantean’ and other such material, they are free to propose any forms which they believe might lie behind the human language data, claiming that their extraterrestrial sources provide corroboration.
As ever, detailed references on request. More next time!
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