Aliens have an unfortunate reputation. When they aren’t abducting humans they seem to be joyriding around space, flashing their bright lights and making a racket.
But sometimes aliens may also perform miracles.
SPYSCAPE examines 10 mysteries that may have had a bony helping hand from outer space.
1. Crop Circles
Crop circles popped up in England in the 1970s and quickly spread worldwide, from the cornfields of Colorado to China’s Mount Qiyun. More recent examples incorporate elaborate designs and mathematical equations, indicating the work of a team - human or otherwise. Some blame pranksters but Horace Drew, the molecular biologist with a Ph.D from the California Institute of Technology, believes they either suggest alien life or could be made by human time travelers from the distant future. Drew said he has decoded crop circle symbols and messages such as ‘Believe’ and ‘There is good out there’, indicating the alien time travellers speak an earthly language.
2. Easter Island's Moai statues
Easter Island’s Moai statues have been a mystery since Europeans landed on the island in 1722. The giant statues - some as tall as 40 feet and weighing up to 75 tonnes - may have been erected by Polynesian settlers as tributes to their elders, then ‘walked’ into place with the help of ropes. But UFO-ologists point out that shaped rocks can also be found on Mars, pointing to the Mars Exploration Rover snapshots as evidence. In fact, Scott Waring, a conspiracy theorist and self-appointed UFO expert, said Mars tells us everything we need to know about Easter Island. So mystery solved, then?
3. The Bermuda Triangle
Bermuda Triangle stories began in 1945 when five US Navy planes disappeared during training exercises. By the mid-1980s, 25 small planes had vanished in the same area, a triangle between Florida, Bermuda and Puerto Rico. Some claim a paranormal or supernatural explanation, or they link the lost city of Atlantis to the tragic events. Others believe in geological or hydrological explanations but that wouldn’t explain why wreckage wasn’t found. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, responding to questions about a missing vessel and its 20 passengers in the Bermuda Triangle in 2021, suggested “the combined forces of nature and human fallibility outdo even the most incredulous science fiction”.
4. Nazca lines
Peru’s Nazca lines are mysterious drawings found in an arid coastal area covering about 170 square miles. Thousands of designs are etched into the ground, depicting real and imagined worlds. Many are animals - a hummingbird, monkey, lizard, pelican and a whale among them. Trees, flowers and geometric shapes are common. But where did they come from? Scientists believe the lines were made by the Nazca people around 10 to 700 AD using grids made of ropes and stakes. Others see messages in the art. Why would humans create oversized drawings unless they wanted to signal those above?
5. The Utah monolith
The Utah monolith is gone but not forgotten. Biologists discovered it in November 2020, but it vanished quickly only to be replaced by replica monoliths shooting up around the globe. Some wonder if the structure was planted by the late artist John McCracken and later stolen. The San Juan County Sheriff's Office distributed a ‘Most Wanted’ poster suggesting nine possible suspects in the disappearance of the Utah monolith, including ET.