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Ongoing tensions among the major world powers have once again brought the concept of a Cold War to the forefront of the public consciousness. This New Cold War has had a significant impact on the world of fiction — particularly in the realm of thrillers.

How the New Cold War Influences Fictional Thrillers

The current geopolitical climate, with its complex web of tensions, espionage, and military posturing, provides a rich backdrop for thrillers. The rise of China as a strategic competitor and  Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine have provided writers with ample material to craft suspenseful, thought-provoking tales.

In many thrillers set during the New Cold War, the central conflict revolves around the race to obtain or protect information, resources, or military capabilities, with the fate of nations hanging in the balance. The tensions among the major world powers, the threat of conflict, and the covert operations being carried out by spies and Special Forces, contribute to a sense of unease and danger that drives the action in these novels.

Fictional Thrillers Influenced by the New Cold War

There have been a number of recent thrillers that have been influenced by the New Cold War, including

  • Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews
  • Code of Conduct by Brad Thor
  • Deception Point by Dan Brown
  • Ghosts of Forgotten Empires by Michael J. Foy

In the first three novels, the characters are caught up in a web of espionage and deceit, as they race to uncover the truth about a rapidly escalating conflict among the major world powers.

The fourth novel offers an intriguing twist to the typical thriller formula.

This book features an intelligence operative who practices his spycraft with guidance from an unusual source. He uses his fanboy knowledge of Star Trek to help the CIA and NSA combat extraterrestrial interference in our world’s international brinkmanship.

A New Cold War



The New Cold War has been a boon to the world of fiction. Real-world politics have provided writers with a rich and complex backdrop for their thrillers. Espionage, political intrigue, and the threat of conflict define the New Cold War. The real sense of danger makes modern thrillers that much more relevant and appealing to today’s audiences. They are sure to keep readers on the edges of their seats.


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A hotel stay in Tombstone, Arizona brings alive a legendary Wild West town experience. No surprise there. But did you also know of an iconic Sci-Fi connection?

Tombstone, Arizona, hotels attract tourists from all over the world. The town is popular for its rich history and numerous outdoor activities. From touring the famous site of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral to horseback riding in the surrounding countryside, visitors will not be bored.

In this article, we’ll explore the top attractions and experiences in Tombstone, Arizona, including its connection to the Star Trek universe. Ever see Spectre of the Gun? 😉

Star Trek: Gunfight at the O.K. Corral


Discover the Wild West History in Tombstone

Tombstone, Arizona hotels are a must-stay destination for anyone interested in the frontier days. The town was once a bustling mining town, but it is now a living museum that takes visitors back in time. The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is still reenacted daily. Visitors can watch, then tour, the historic site. Heard of the famous (or infamous) Boothill Graveyard? Many of Tombstone’s legendary figures are buried there.

Explore the Sci-Fi Connection in Tombstone

Tombstone also has a connection to science fiction, as in an episode of the original Star Trek series titled Spectre of the Gun. A landing party from the USS Enterprise is forced by aliens to relive the legendary Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Captain Kirk, First Officer Spock et al appear to the townspeople as the Clanton gang, and are thus destined to be shot down by Wyatt Earp and his deputies. But in the end, it was all an illusion . . . in spite of the assertions of Some Unseen Events at the O.K. Corral.

Explore the Great Outdoors in Tombstone

A force field prevented Kirk and company from escaping Tombstone — but you can. The town is surrounded by some breathtaking scenery and most of the Tombstone hotels’ concierges can help arrange a variety of outdoor activities. Whether you enjoy horseback riding, hiking, or off-roading, there are numerous hills and canyons to explore. And climbing the nearby Dragoon Mountains offer scenic views, with a chance to see spectacular wildlife in its natural habitat.

Enjoy the Nightlife in Tombstone

Tombstone is also known for its night life. From live music and dancing, to reenactments of the Old West, there is something for everyone. The Crystal Palace Saloon is one of the most famous attractions in Tombstone, and is a must-visit for anyone interested in the Wild West.

Shop and Dine in Tombstone

Visitors can partake of a variety of shopping and dining options. Souvenir shops offer Wild West memorabilia. Dining options range from historic saloons serving traditional western cuisine to modern restaurants offering a variety of dishes. Whether you are looking for a quick bite or a sit-down meal, Tombstone has something for everyone.


Tombstone is a unique destination that offers something for everyone, up to and including overtones of sci-fi. Whether you are interested in history, outdoor activities, nightlife, or shopping and dining, Tombstone has it all.

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Star Trek movie 2009That quote by Zefram Cochrane came from one of the best Star Trek movies in the franchise: Star Trek: First Contact. The heroic crew of the Enterprise had to travel back in time to meet the venerated inventor of warp drive: Dr. Cochrane. The clever plot necessitated the meeting to secure humanity’s place in the future United Federation of Planets — and by extension, the success of the Star Trek entertainment franchise.

Star Trek is a beloved science fiction franchise that has captured the hearts of millions of fans across the world. It began as a television series in 1966 and has since expanded into several movies, TV shows, and video games. With such a rich history, it’s no wonder that fans are eager to learn more about the movies in the Star Trek universe.

The History of Star Trek on the Big Screen

The Star Trek movie franchise began in 1979 with the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Since then, there have been a total of 13 movies in the franchise, with what critics might call uneven quality. From my perspective as a fan, I have to admit that the last one, Star Trek: Beyond, was somewhat disappointing. This movie included a girl with a painted face standing in as an alien, and a featured action sequence involving a motorcycle — not a hovering one, but a gas-powered one … in the 23rd century.


Maybe that’s why it’s been seven years since the last movie? Still, each movie has boldly gone to places where fans have enjoyed a new adventure with their favorite characters. Themes of exploration, diplomacy, and action abound, giving enthusiasts a tantalizing glimpse into the future world of Star Trek.

Movies of the Star Trek Universe

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

Star Trek: Generations (1994)

Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)

Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)

Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

Star Trek: Beyond (2016)


The Legacy of Star Trek

There is no question that the Star Trek franchise has had a significant impact on popular culture. It has inspired countless science-fiction shows, movies, gadgets and (you guessed it) authors. From its challenging stories and complex characters to its far-reaching scope and groundbreaking technology, Star Trek is one of the most iconic and influential franchises in the history of science fiction.

It has left such an indelible impact on popular culture, it’s no wonder that Star Trek continues to captivate and inspire new generations of fans. Whether you’re a longtime or more-recent fan of the Star Trek universe, there’s no denying its power and magic.


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By Cord Devlin

As a proud asset of the National Security Agency (NSA), I am privileged to serve my country and protect its citizens. From terrorism and cyberattacks to foreign espionage and even extraterrestrial threats, the NSA is on the front lines. I’ve been privileged to serve the NSA for many years, and I can attest to the vital role that the agency plays in protecting the nation from all of the aforementioned challenges.

A Key Player in the Intelligence Community The National Security Agency has a long and proud history, dating to its establishment during the height of the Cold War. Over the years, the agency has grown and evolved to meet the changing threats facing the United States. It has become one of the largest and most-sophisticated intelligence organizations in the world.

As an NSA freelancer, I’m proud to say that I’ve been a part of numerous operations that have helped deter extraterrestrial threats. To their credit, my handlers recognized my interest in speculative science fiction could be an asset when dealing with off-world dangers.

Mission and Capabilities The NSA’s mission is to protect the nation by gathering, processing, and disseminating signals intelligence. It does this while simultaneously safeguarding the citizenry’s privacy and civil liberties.

The NSA is capable of intercepting and analyzing communications, cracking encryption codes, and collecting data including from extraterrestrial signals.

As a National Security Agency operative, I have used these capabilities and I have also worked closely with the CIA and the FBI. Sharing information has been essential in preventing duplication of effort. Coordinating our efforts has helped us thwart extraterrestrial designs on our world.

Conclusion As a proud NSA asset, I serve my country — and in some cases, the world. The Agency plays a critical role, and I am honored to be a part of this important work to detect and defuse otherworldly threats.


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Live the amazement of astonishing plot twists in the Cord Devlin Adventure . . .
Where No Agent Has Gone Before

NSA: Extraterrestrial Division


Star Date Unknown: Gunfight at the O.K. Corral!

The landing party and I have apparently beamed into an Old West replica of Tombstone, Arizona. According to a posted notice, the date is October 26, 1881. It’s the day of the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Spock is the first one to notice that our phasers have been replaced by six-shooters. Are we about to participate in a reenactment of that historic battle?

The Participants

The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a showdown between two groups of men: Sheriff Wyatt Earp, his brothers, and Doc Holliday versus the Clanton Gang. In the deadly shootout, the Clanton gang lost — and we have been forced into the roles of the gang.

  • James T. Kirk as Ike Clanton
  • Mr. Spock as Frank McLaury
  • Montgomery Scott as Billy Clanton
  • Leonard McCoy as Tom McLaury
  • Pavel Chekov as William Claiborne

Causes of the Gunfight

No matter what I do, tensions with the Earps seem to be unavoidable in this alternate reality. I’m sure that the Melkots — the alien race who brought us here — are using the gunfight as a way of punishing us, ironically using our own violent history.

Course of the Gunfight

Unable to reason with the Earps, we resolved to leave town, but are prevented by a force field. Despite our best efforts, my crew and I are forced to fight the Earps in a gun battle. It’s a hopeless battle, given our inexperience with the weapons provided us.

At the last moment, however, Spock voices a revelation. Given the contradictions with the physical reality we’ve experienced since arriving, he reasons that we are living an illusion.

The bullets would only kill us if we thought they could. But any doubt would be fatal. Spock conducts a Vulcan mind meld with all of us, to purge any uncertainty.

The Earps arrive, and wait for us to draw. I feign reaching for my gun. They open fire. The wooden fence behind us becomes riddled with bullet holes, but we are unhurt.


I have an opportunity to kill Wyatt, but I refrain. This confuses the Melkots, but they are impressed. They invite us to talk about membership in the United Federation of Planets.

End Captain’s Log


This tale is depicted in the classic Star Trek episode Spectre of the Gun. It remains one of the most memorable and thought-provoking episodes of Star Trek, exploring the nature of violence and conflict in human history. It is a testament to the importance of seeking peaceful solutions to the challenges we face.

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Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

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The topic of alien invasion has long been a source of fascination and speculation for many people. Stories of extraterrestrial beings coming to Earth to conquer or colonize have been enjoyed in books, movies, and video games. However, planning at the highest levels for a real-life alien invasion is far from being a fantasy. Congress has recently issued a report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP). In recent years, eyewitness accounts have increased. It has led some to believe that aliens could already be among us.

In this article, we’ll explore the potential motivations for alien invasion; the likelihood of an invasion happening; and the possible consequences.


Motivations If aliens were to invade Earth, what could be their motivation(s)? Some of the most commonly discussed are

  • Resource Acquisition Aliens may be in search of water, minerals, or energy. These commodities are finite. Aliens may have to explore other planets to exploit their resources.
  • Conquest Some people believe that aliens may seek to conquer and militarily control a planet — to gain more territory for themselves or to secure a base for a larger interstellar conflict with another species.
  • Scientific Study Aliens may be exploring the universe for scientific purposes. Earth and its inhabitants may be a fascinating subject for study — much like we might study a species of insect or bird in the wild.

Likelihood Those motivations notwithstanding, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that an alien invasion will occur. Any scenario you may have seen in the media is based on speculation and guesswork.

That said, the discovery of more and more exoplanets does increase the probability that extraterrestrial life will eventually be detected. Whether it’ll be intelligent or not is another question. We know of only one planet that supports life; apparently it’s rare in the universe. Intelligent life would be infinitely more rare.


Consequences Against all odds, if an alien invasion were to occur, some of the potential consequences include

  • Loss of Life An alien invasion would likely result in significant loss of life through direct conflict and through the destruction of infrastructure and key resources.
  • Changes to Society The invasion could change our political and economic systems, as well as the way we view ourselves and our place in the universe.
  • Environmental Impact The presence of aliens without a vested interest in our biosphere could severely impact the environment, potentially doing long-lasting damage.

Preparation Although an alien invasion is still an exceedingly remote possibility, one could prepare by

  • Staying informed Keep up-to-date on the search for extraterrestrial life. Be prepared to respond to new information as it becomes available.
  • Building community resilience Work with your neighbors and community members to develop emergency plans in case of potential disasters.

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The phrase absolute power corrupts absolutely is a popular proverb that has been around for centuries. Its powerful message speaks to the dangers of giving one person too much power and control. The origin of this phrase is not clear, but it has been attributed to several historical figures, including Sir John Dalberg-Acton and Lord Acton.

The proverb highlights the idea that when people are given too much power and control, they can become corrupt and abuse their position for personal gain. This can lead to negative consequences for the people they are supposed to serve, as well as for society as a whole.

The dangers of absolute power are not just limited to corrupt leaders, but can also be seen in corporations, institutions, and other organizations. When these entities have too much control, they can become abusive, leading to negative consequences for society.


Historical Context The idea of absolute power corrupting absolutely has been around for centuries and has been observed in various historical contexts.

The Roman Empire was marked by the concentration of power in the hands of a few people, who often abused their positions for personal gain. The French Revolution was driven by the desire to overthrow a corrupt and abusive ruling class.

The proverb has also been applied to more-recent events, such as the Watergate scandal, which exposed corruption at the highest levels of the US government, and the Enron scandal, which revealed widespread corruption and abuse of power within a major corporation.


The Importance of Limits on Power The idea that absolute power corrupts absolutely highlights the importance of placing limits on the power of individuals and organizations — particularly within governments. This can be achieved through checks and balances, such as an independent judiciary, a free press, and a robust political opposition.

It is also important to ensure that those in power are held accountable for their actions. This can be achieved through transparency, open and accessible information, and robust systems of oversight and regulation.


Fictional Characters with Superhuman Powers Can Serve as a Powerful Allegory Fiction often provides a powerful lens through which to explore complex themes, including the dangers of absolute power. This is particularly true in stories featuring characters with supernatural abilities, who — when given too much power — can wreak havoc on those around them.

In J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Lord Voldemort represents the dangers of absolute power. Through his quest for ultimate power, he becomes a cruel and tyrannical leader who will stop at nothing to achieve his goals.

In the X-Men universe, Magneto is a powerful mutant who seeks to take control of the world in order to protect mutants from persecution. Although his intentions may be noble, his methods are often brutal and indiscriminate, leading to conflict and tragedy.


absolute power corrupts absolutelyIn classic science fiction, Gary Mitchell from Star Trek is endowed with godlike power when the starship Enterprise attempts to traverse an energy barrier. Originally an upstanding Starfleet officer, Mitchell quickly becomes more and more maniacal as his power grows. Gary ultimately threatens the crew with increasingly abusive behavior. His selfishly corrupt and dismissive attitude toward humanity causes Captain Kirk and Mister Spock to fear for the whole of the human race.

These fictional characters serve as cautionary tales, highlighting the dangers of absolute power. They remind us of the importance of challenging the control of those who hold absolute power of any kind.


Conclusion The recurrent warning absolute power corrupts absolutely has been illustrated in many contexts, real and fictional. From historical examples of corrupt leaders and institutions to fictional characters with supernatural abilities, the dangers of absolute power have been made abundantly clear.

When power is concentrated in the hands of a few, it can lead to corruption and abuse. By promoting accountability, limiting power, and ensuring transparency, we can be on guard against granting anyone absolute power.


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The United Federation of Planets (UFP) is a fictional interstellar republic in the Star Trek universe. It is composed of numerous planetary systems and intelligent species. The Federation’s collective civilizations work together for peace and mutual prosperity.

History The United Federation of Planets came about in 2161 when several alien civilizations signed the Federation Charter. This charter outlined the principles and laws of the organization and set the foundation for the governance of the Federation.

A key figure in the formation of the Federation was Vulcan ambassador Soval. His diplomatic efforts were instrumental in bringing together various races including the sometimes-antagonistic Andorians and Tellarites. The example of their original membership in the UFP went a long way toward establishing the credibility of the nascent organization.

Principles and Values The UFP values peace, cooperation, and mutual prosperity. The organization aims to maintain peace and stability throughout the galaxy, while promoting scientific and cultural exchange among its member civilizations.

Structure UFP member civilizations are represented equally in the organization’s government. The highest governing body of the Federation is the Federation Council, consisting of representatives from each member world. The Council makes decisions on behalf of the Federation, and is led by its President.

In addition to the Council, the Federation has several executive bodies: Starfleet Command, the Bureau of the United Federation of Planets, and the UFP Judicial System. These bodies implement the policies and decisions of the Council, and maintain the day-to-day operations of the Federation.

Member Civilizations Member civilizations of the UFP contribute unique cultural and technological strengths. Some prominent member civilizations include

  • Humans
  • Vulcans
  • Andorians
  • Tellarites
  • Betazoids

Diversity of the member civilizations is a strength of the Federation — allowing it to bring a wide range of perspectives and experiences to the table.

Special Role of Starfleet Starfleet is the military and exploratory arm of the UFP. It defends the Federation and explores new territories. If appropriate, it will make contact with newly discovered civilizations, provided it doesn’t violate the Prime Directive, which prohibits interference with lesser-developed species.

Starfleet operates a fleet of starships that are equipped with the most-advanced Federation technologies, and are staffed by crews of highly trained officers.

Starfleet Command sets the overall strategy and operations of the fleet. The top-ranking officer is the Fleet Admiral, who is appointed by the President of the United Federation of Planets.

Conclusion The United Federation of Planets is a fictional organization that has played a central role in the Star Trek franchise. But with its commitment to peace, cooperation, and mutual prosperity, the Federation serves as a model for what can be in the here-and-now of the real world.

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Are you tired of feeling helpless in the face of global crises? Are you tired of watching the news and feeling like there’s nothing you can do to save the world?

Well, have no fear, my fellow dreamers — for I have discovered the ultimate solution to all of our problems: fictional heroes. That’s right, you heard me correctly: Fictional. Heroes.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: But wait a minute — fictional heroes aren’t real! How can they possibly save the world?

Let me explain.

Fictional heroes have the power to inspire us in ways that real people can’t. Listen up. They embody the values and ideals that we all hold dear, and they show us that even in the darkest of times, there is always hope. They give us the courage to stand up for what’s right, even when it feels like the whole world is against us. And perhaps most importantly, they give us something to believe in. Truth, justice, and the American way comes to mind.


Let’s take a look at another example. And you know what? Let’s think big. How about saving not just our world, but many worlds?

Kirk saves the world(s)Ever hear of Star Trek’s Captain Kirk? He may be a fictional Starfleet captain, but he inspired interest in the exploration of space. The exciting discovery of new worlds is a goal that all of humanity can unite behind. At present, the utopian-but-fictional United Federation of Planets (UFP) seems like the closest we can come to an interplanetary society. But whether or not we colonize outer space, the UFP’s values would go a long way to saving the world we know.






Cord Devlin takes this to heart. His valuable assistance to U.S. intelligence has helped save the world on more than one occasion.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Wait a minute. Those examples are from movies, TV shows and novels, not real life. How can they possibly help us in the real world? Well, my dear naysayers, let me tell you something: the line between fiction and reality is blurrier than you might think. Fictional heroes have already inspired real behaviors.





Hercules inspired modern athletics. Sherlock Holmes revolutionized police procedures. Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon inspired Apollo astronauts. I could go on, but the stories that fictional heroes star in can be powerful tools for education and activism.

So how can you use fictional heroes to save the world?

It’s simple: watch their shows and movies, and let their examples inspire you to take action. Get involved in causes you care about, and don’t be afraid to speak out against injustice. Remember that even small acts of kindness can make a huge difference. And most importantly, always remember that hope is the greatest weapon we have against despair.


The world may be a dark and scary place, but with the help of fictional heroes, we can make it a little brighter. So go forth, my friends, and save the world. And remember: even if the world doesn’t  change perceptibly, you will.

And that is the most important thing of all.

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Ancient artifacts have long captivated people with their mystery and beauty. But what if they have even more intriguing origins? The theory of ancient aliens posits that some of the most iconic ancient artifacts were created by extraterrestrial beings. But that doesn’t give a lot of credit to our ancestors, does it?

In this article, we explore the five most iconic ancient artifacts with alleged alien origins that continue to inspire theorists of extraterrestrial intervention.

Ancient Artifact Rosetta StoneThe Rosetta Stone is one of the most mysterious artifacts in the world. But is it so sophisticated that it’s beyond the capabilities of our earthly forefathers? Or did ancient aliens create it? The large black basalt stone, dating back to 196 BC, is inscribed with a decree issued at Memphis, Egypt, by King Ptolemy V in three scripts: Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and demotic.

According to some theorists, the intricate symbols and language of the Egyptian hieroglyphics could not have been created by humans; it must have come from a more-advanced civilization. Therefore, the Rosetta Stone is considered by some to be evidence of a gift from ancient aliens. I wonder why the aliens didn’t use a more advanced material than stone to write on – maybe something a bit more Space Age-y.


Ancient Artifact Pyramids

 The Great Pyramids of Giza are considered by some to be one of the most convincing pieces of evidence for ancient aliens. The massive size and precise construction of the pyramids have led some to believe that they could not have been built by humans; they must have been created by extraterrestrial beings.

The purpose of the pyramids is commonly thought to be entombment, but many theories propose that the monuments were used for astronomical purposes, religious worship, or as landing sites for alien spacecraft. Aliens must’ve had terrific balance to rest on the pyramids’ tips. Despite the many theories, the pyramids continue to captivate and intrigue people from all over the world.


Ancient Artifact StonehengeStonehenge is a monument dating to around 2500 B.C. It is located in Wiltshire, England, and is considered by some to be proof of ancient aliens. The megalithic structure’s method of construction remains a mystery to this day. The absence of facts on how the massive stones were assembled, however, invites a myriad of theories including those inferring extraterrestrial help.

According to ancient-alien theorists, Stonehenge was used for astronomical purposes or as a landing site for alien spacecraft. I can more easily imagine UFOs landing on the flatlands surrounding the main stones than on the tips of pyramids. Despite the many theories, the true purpose of Stonehenge remains unknown, and it continues to captivate people with its beauty and mystery.



Ancient Artifact Easter Island statuesThe Moai Statues of Easter Island are among the most iconic symbols of ancient civilization and are considered by some to be proof positive of ancient-alien influence. The massive stone sculptures, ranging from 4 to 33 feet tall, depict the heads of human figures. They can weigh several tons, and they defy logic as to why the sparsely populated island would expend so much effort on their manufacture not to mention their transport. That’s why some believe they were created by extraterrestrial beings.

I could easily imagine the Moai sculpting the stones; that art had been around for millennia. But moving them to their current locations must’ve been a monumental task. Perhaps an alien moving company helped with that?


Ancient Artifact Terracotta SoldiersThe Terracotta Warriors are a collection of more than 8,000 life-sized sculptures depicting the armies of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. They are considered by some to be evidence of ancient aliens. The sculptures, dating to around 210 B.C., were discovered in 1974 and offer a unique glimpse into the past.

According to ancient-alien theorists, the intricate details and lifelike appearance of the Terracotta Warriors could not have been created by humans; they must have come from a more- advanced civilization. Sound familiar? The same thing was said about the Rosetta Stone. Do you really think that our ancient ancestors weren’t capable of detailed art forms?

In all the above cases of iconic artifacts, believers in ancient-alien intervention have used the mystery of their construction to fill in the blanks with their pet theories, as opposed to more plausible ones. As we know from Occam’s Razor, the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one. Is it more believable that the pyramids were constructed with ramps, or an alien antigrav crane?

In the end, people in general — and the ancient-alien theorists in particular — tend to believe what they want to believe. And as a sci-fi writer, I do think it would be cool if alien interaction with the ancients was proven. But then the pragmatic, science-trained part of my brain would go ah, come on!


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In the Joy of Reading Science Fiction I cite a intriguing short story about the consequences of misinterpreting ancient artifacts.

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