I enjoy reading blogs. Whether they are political, archaeological, sceptical, UFO-related, journalistic, religious… I really don’t care, so long as they are informative. I may often disagree with polemical viewpoints, but if they are challenging, they are worth the few points’ rise in blood pressure. But just once in a while, a statement leaps out at me as jaw-droppingly stupid. So, when I was reading this piece by Michael Cohen, one of the executive directors of All News Web (“The World’s No.1 Source For UFO, Paranormal and Entertainment News”), having followed a link in Tim Printy’s excellent SUNLite UFO newsletter, I couldn’t quite believe that I was reading what it appears to say.
According to Michael Cohen, “[m]any researchers and scientists have correctly theorised that the Egyptian Pyramids were built with the assistance of aliens. This theory is believed to have been confirmed by aliens in contact with world governments in modern times”. It’s difficult to know where to begin in analysing this or even if it’s worthwhile doing so.
Cohen’s basic thesis is that humanity was guided towards civilisation by benevolent aliens who even now are watching us to see if we can solve the world’s problems, which are of our own making. Only if we succeed, will they make contact with us and involve us in “the galactic and universal community”. He says ominously that “[t]he rest tend to implode and destroy themselves”, so you can’t say you haven’t been warned.
His readers tend to agree with him. There are some scoffers; the first comment, by one LOL, reads “*cough*bullshit*cough* lolololol”, rather unkindly, while someone else, posing as Michael Cohen, claims “Sorry all but i can’t help writting bullshit to generate traffic on my site and so get some money with the ads !”. However, many like what Michael Cohen has to say. The second comment, by Mark, reads “Pure brilliance and a balanced,fair assesment of where humanity stands atm”. Going into greater detail, another by Ari Ben Gordon states “Flogging a dead horse . What You cannot imagine is That I perssonally know that 6000,000,000 Human minds have no clue on where they are going within this UFO Enigma and stated historical facts . To be alone and lost to the world under the carpet of Humanity – You seem to not realize how close You are in being lost to the Human environment for all modernistic time . For I am the only one who knows what they truly look like”.
Such is the murky world of counterknowledge, where any alternative viewpoint is welcome, simply because it deviates from what ‘experts’ and, worse, ‘the government’ (or ‘New World Order’) tell us what we ought to believe.
The Egyptians of the third millennium BCE were human beings just like ourselves. Culturally, they were very different and their technology was much more limited than ours, but they were the same creatures, with brains like ours, emotions like ours and daily concerns about staying alive like ours. Also like us, their culture was not static. There were constant innovations, improvements and change for its own sake. Despite the confident assertions of Bad Archaeologists (and I’m temporarily putting Michael Cohen in their ranks), we know an awful lot about how the Egyptians built their pyramids. We can see the first stirrings of experimentation in stepped structures at the end of the Second Dynasty, with the tomb of Kha‘seḫemwy, the first proper stepped pyramid of Ḏośer early in the Third Dynasty to the true pyramids of Śnofrw at the start of the Fourth. The use of large limestone blocks for filling gave way to smaller rubble in the Fifth Dynasty as the economy became over-stretched after the huge building projects of the Fourth and with the descent of the country into chaos at the end of the Sixth Dynasty, the first flush of pyramid building came to an end. It matches a typical typological development, where something starts out simple, becomes more complex and eventually regresses to a more simple form in its declining popularity.
So, no need for UFOs, aliens or superior technology. Just human beings doing what they do best: working with the materials around them to transform the world and to make sense of it.