First Contact with Space Aliens

We were watching an episode of the TV show Ancient Aliens about the SETI project (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) which searches outer space for radio type transmissions from other worlds. One woman commented that “we all want to meet an alien” first hand.

I got thinking about her statement and relating it to the early explorations of our own planet. Centuries ago our explorers met up with an amazing variety of human cultures right here on Earth.

There were the head shrinkers of the Amazon jungles of Ecuador and Peru. In order to prevent the souls of their enemies from coming back to haunt them they cut off and shrunk their heads. The head shrinkers also believed that shrinking an enemy’s head bound his spirit to serve you. Imagine approaching a village surrounded by shrunken heads on poles with the intention of saying, “Hi there! We come in peace!”

Various cultures in history also practiced the art of headhunting minus the shrinking part – the taking of the person’s head after killing them. Along with the tribes in the Amazon there were peoples of China, Japan, India, Nigeria, New Zealand and even the Celts who severed the heads of their enemies. Some carried the heads into battle to invoke terror in the heart of the enemy while others used the severed heads in religious rituals. Even U.S. soldiers in the Vietnam war engaged in the taking of “trophy skulls” according to some reports.

The exploration into the Americas brought explorers into the realm of the Native Americans who hung the scalps of their enemies on their belts. Other cultures around the world also engaged in the practice of scalping including various peoples of Europe.

While the practice of scalping by the Indians instilled terror in the hearts of the settlers of the New World, the pilgrims of the New World were not much better in their treatment of the Native Americans. One account tells of the massacre of the Wappinger tribe of Indians in response to the murder of a Dutch farmer. Eighty of the Wappinger tribe were killed, decapitated, and their heads were displayed on poles or used as kickballs. They, however, fared better than the Wappinger Indian captive who was skinned alive and forced to eat his own flesh while the Dutch governor laughed.

The taking of heads was only one ritual that the explorers of old encountered. The Carib people of the West Indies and the Korowai of Papua were both known to be cannibals. Fiji, New Zealand, the Congo, Melanesia – all were known to harbor human cannibalistic tribes. Other accounts of cannibalism throughout the world have occurred even into the 19th century.

Another culture you would not have wanted to meet in person were the Aztecs. Not only did they engage in human sacrifice, the carrying out of some of their rituals was particularly gruesome. In some ceremonies they skinned the victim and wore the skin as they danced around a ceremonial fire. Other forms of human sacrifice included removing the living beating heart of a person and offering it up to the gods. The rest of the body was either cremated, eaten or sent in pieces to various important people.

Human beings of our planet all throughout the millenia have engaged in some pretty horrific practices. Our own explorers sometimes met gruesome deaths during their first encounters with various human cultures as they explored new frontiers.

Back to the women who made the comment that “we all want to meet an alien”… I beg to differ. Do you want to be one of the first to meet up with extraterrestrials and be the guinea pig who finds out how friendly these ETs might be? If they are anything like us I’d be afraid, very afraid…

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