8.The Ancient Astronaut Theory
We’ve told you before about the ancient astronaut theory—the idea that aliens visiting Earth in the distant past were mistaken for gods. The theory has been popular ever since Erich von Daniken published his 1968 book Chariots of the Gods, capturing the public imagination with a tale so incredible it could have been written by a master storyteller. And guess what? It was. According to a 2004 report in Skeptic magazine, all the main ingredients of von Daniken’s book were invented by H.P. Lovecraft.
Way back in 1921, Lovecraft penned his most famous story: The Call of Cthulhu. Featuring a hideous alien nightmare that comes to Earth in the distant past and is worshipped as a god, it sparked a craze among other pulp writers for inserting the character into their works. This cycle of alien-god stories became known as the Cthulhu Mythos. It was incredibly popular in France, where the editors of Planete magazine used it as basis for their book Morning of the Magicians, an allegedly non-fiction account of ancient aliens coming to Earth and being mistaken for gods. Von Daniken used this book as his major reference when writing his 1968 best seller.
The major jump-off point for the ancient astronaut theory wasn’t scientific or archaeological analysis but a collection of horror stories written only decades beforehand.
7.The Kentucky Goblin
The Kelly–Kentucky incident is one of the most infamous in UFO lore. One night in 1955, a farmhouse in backwoods Kentucky found itself under siege by malevolent goblin creatures. Standing 100 centimeters tall (3’6″) with gigantic heads, pointed ears, and glowing eyes, the goblins surrounded the house—before retreating when the farmers unloaded at them with the sort of firepower only Kentucky rednecks can pack. Eventually, the inhabitants fled the farmhouse, convinced they’d witnessed an alien invasion.
In 2006, Skeptical Inquirer published an article that blew the theory out of the water. Aside from noting that the farmers in question were most likely drunk and that at least one of the witnesses was a publicity seeker, the article covered the existence of a real-life goblin-like creature in the area. It was a creature with a gigantic head, pointed ears, and eyes that can seem to glow at night—a creature known as the great horned owl. Instead of shooting aliens, the farmers had been blasting away at nothing more terrifying than a particularly territorial group of birds.