The “Evidence” of Pseudoscience

Although there is substantial historical, archaeological, and geological evidence that refutes the existence of Atlantis, people continue to search for Atlantis. I think people ignore the abundant evidence because Atlantis has a certain mystique. Like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster, people find “evidence” of Atlantis because they want to believe so badly that it does exist. But this is one of the things that separates the science of archaeology from pseudoscience. Archeologists do not work to prove something because seeking a certain outcome, setting out to prove a theory results in bias.

The general public doesn’t care about the archaeological evidence because they don’t understand it. The video we watched in class on Tuesday about Robert Sarmast’s search for Atlantis (skip to 3:15). In his search for Atlantis, Sarmust is extremely excited by the discovery of a wall. This may seem like sufficient evidence for the general public and affirm their faith in Sarmast’s capabilities as an archaeologist, but upon closer inspection we notice that the wall Sarmust finds is completely straight but all the maps of Atlantis, feature curved, semi-circular walls. Sarmast may have found archaeological

this map of Atlantis features curved, not straight walls

evidence of some feature but there are a lot of straight walls out there to be found, what makes him so positive that this is Atlantis? All other possibilities must be eliminated before Sarmast can truly claim his as Atlantis. Simply finding one wall isn’t good enough, yet this seems to satisfy the general public’s need for evidence. Sarmast’s evidence is similar to Erich von Daniken’s use of irrelevant statistics to prove the existence of prehistoric aliens. In his documentary “Chariots of the Gods” von Daniken provides the viewer with completely irrelevant data, such as the distance of a certain road, or the height of a certain monuments: von Daniken seems to bombard the general public with statistics in order to distract them from the absurdity of his theories.

While the truth of pseudoscientists’ “discoveries” is certainly questionable, this does not stop the general public from playing into the hands of entrepreneurs who take advantage of the general public’s fascination with these theories and discoveries. For example von Daniken’s mystery park is a theme park completely devoted to his theory of ancient aliens (and making money). Entrepreneurs have also profited off of the general public’s fascination with Atlantis by constructing an aquatic themed resort in the Bahamas that invites guests to discover the mysteries of Atlantis.

Guests can pay exorbitant amounts to "discover" Atlantis in the Bahamas

While archaeologists can’t necessarily dissuade the public from believing what they want to believe, the best they can do is to continue to provide actual scientific evidence to refute the ridiculous claims of pseudoarchaeologists like Sarmast and von Daniken.

The Archaeology of Fantasy

Any child who read the Harry Potter series has probably spent hours imagining and hoping that the world of Hogwarts was more than just a fantasy. Late nights were spent concocting polyjuice potion in the kitchen, and countless hours were lost stalking the mailman on our 11th birthday. Eventually though, we grew out of our fantasies, but we still had a warm place in our heart for Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Hogwarts.

A rendering of Atlantis from the website. Sarmast claims that he found Atlantis after detecting circular like structures near Cyprus, but surely such a glorious empire should yield more material evidence.

Certain legends, however, have withstand the test of time and consistently blurred the lines between fantasy and reality. In Plato’s dialogues, Timaeus and Critias, he wrote about a war between Ancient Athens and the Empire of Atlantis. This story has spawned countless theories and books about the reality of the lost continent. Some individuals go as far as pouring millions of dollars of resources into locating it by using “archaeology,” such as the case of Robert Sarmast’s “Discovery of Atlantis” project. Modern archaeological methods and geology have disproved the myth. For instance, no one has ever found any physical remains of advanced naval ships, buildings, or bones in any supposed location of Atlantis (Beisaw), and the processes of plate tectonics rule out the possibility of a submerged continent (Feder 220). Furthermore, by learning about the cultural context of Plato’s era, the reader can understand that Plato used Atlantis as a plot device to convey a moral lesson. In his story, the protagonist, the Athenians, defeated the technologically advanced but morally corrupt empire, Atlantis (Feder 200). Therefore, Plato’s primary goal was to extol the virtuous society of the Athenians and the Greeks in general.

Oddly enough, I rarely believed that Hogwarts was real, and yet, before this course, I actually thought that Atlantis existed. They’re both magical places written down on text, so why did I doubt the existence of one but not the other?  Personally, I believe that the primary reason is cultural familiarity. Originally, my unfamiliarity with the ancient culture of Plato’s times led me to indulge in romanticized notions about a lost world. However, once I learned more about the ideals and patriotism of Plato’s culture, I could look past the fantasy. I realized that Plato wasn’t trying to document a lost world. He, like JK Rowling or any other author, was just trying to convey his ideas about his culture through literature.

Therefore, I believe that the public form misconceptions about archaeology because they do not understand the anthropological theories about cultures to interpret archaeological data objectively. On top of material analysis, archaeologists learn about the literature, history, and art of a culture in order to detect cultural bias and sort through the reality from the myth. There’s nothing wrong with the usage of text to locate a site, but it is crucial to familiarize ourselves with the text’s cultural context and history so we can look past our own beliefs and interpret material and written records objectively. For instance, Robert Sarmast became so infatuated with his romantic ideas about Atlantis that he ignored the lack of real archaeological data. I wouldn’t be surprised though if in a couple of hundred years people unfamiliar with Harry Potter and our culture will try to “prove” the existence of Hogwarts.

Actually, Hogwarts has already been found in Universal Studios at Orlando, Florida. This is a joke.


Archaeologists: Seekers of the Truth

As humans we tend to believe without question claims that support our beliefs or make us/our ancestors look good. These claims include that Indians were not the Moundbuilders, the Hebrew stones were real and Columbus discovered America.

Serpent Mound found in Ohio

Archaeology seeks to find the truth in these allegations. Despite popular belief, archaeology isn’t just digging in the dirt. Archaeologists work hard to find concrete evidence before coming to conclusions and they disregard their own bias to prevent tampered evidence.

Cyrus Thomas is a prime example of an archaeologist trying to find the truth. He only asked one question: “Were the mounds built by the Indians?” He went about answering this question by refuting five key claims that supported that the mounds weren’t built by Indians. Thomas disproved each claim with ample proof. Many people still ignore the evidence that keeps piling up supporting that Indians made the mounds because it conflicts with their preconceived notions of Indians as primitive and barbaric. If the Indians made the mounds, then the Europeans would look bad for almost wiping out a race that was impressive and civilized. They have a motive for believing that the Indians didn’t build the mounds. It’s important for archaeologists not to have any motives such as nationalism, money, fame, racism, and religion.

A claim relating back to the mystery of the mound builders was that they were descended from one of the Lost Tribes of Israel. The series of stones found to support this assertion

The Decalogue stone was written in more ancient Hebrew than the Keystone

were a mix of ancient and modern Hebrew which led to skepticism. Eventually the hoaxers were caught. The whole motive behind this hoax was to prove that the native inhabitants of the old and new world were decedents from the Bible and could be traced back to the first people God had created. This was a religious motive.

The last example is the debate over who discovered America. We glamorize the fact that Columbus “discovered” America by celebrating Columbus Day. In reality, there’s no way that Columbus discovered America. We only celebrate it because we like to believe our ancestors are superior and successful. It’s obvious that someone else discovered America first because there were many civilizations living there when Columbus arrived. Although we aren’t sure who the first people were on America – whether it was the Vikings, migrants across the land bridge, the Clovis culture or even another group – there is no way it was Columbus.

Besides having an ulterior motive, all of these examples also dealt with identity. Your identity has something to do with your ancestors; what they do or who they are says something about you. This is why Europeans still don’t want to admit to killing a culture of civilized people or give up the idea that Columbus discovered America. It’s the reason people wanted the Hebrew stones to be real. Sometimes society might not like these identities, but archaeologists disregard that; they seek to find the truth.

Remember to Find The Proof in the Pudding

Sure, I am proud to be an American and be part of the American culture, but I am not willing to accept ridiculous claims about our heritage.  The public must be critical of archaeological finds, because not everything is true.  Greedy, egotistical, and tricky schemers create hoaxes that while appealing, are not backed by substantiated evidence.

The Cardiff Giant

Let’s look at the Cardiff Giant.  The Cardiff Giant, one of the greatest hoaxes in American history, was claimed to be a fossilized giant, similar to giants described in the Bible’s Book of Samuel.  Really a statue, buried and then dug up on a farm, the Cardiff Giant became an instant tourist attraction as people flocked to see remains of Goliath.  With many visitors and economic impact, how did it take so much time to figure out that the Cardiff Giant was a hoax?

The answer is simple: humans have an amazing ability not to question when they get what they want.  1869 was a religious time, creationism was popular, and many people read the Bible literally.  The Cardiff Giant appeared as physical evidence that proved that Goliath existed as the Bible claimed.  The public did not question the finding because the evidence was desirable and questioning it would have negative consequences.

Also, the discovery was exciting and fun.  People love mystery and the unexplainable.  As Kenneth Feder says in Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries,  “perhaps it was the simple romance of such an amazing discovery that played at least a secondary role in convincing people to part with their hard-earned money to see what was clearly a gypsum statue” (Feder 62).  The Cardiff Giant is only one example of an ancient discovery without evidence: they are all over ranging from the Loch Ness Monster to ancient aliens.

Nationalism is a third reason for embracing hoaxes.  People in America were proud that Goliath was found in this country.  The discovery advanced and bettered America’s history, so why question it?  As an immigrant nation, there is no common ethnic background. As Philip Kohl puts it in Nationalism and Archaeology: On the Constructions of Nations and the Reconstructions of the Remote past, “the process of national identity formation is continuous and ongoing” (Kohl 235).  If Goliath was American, there is more meaning behind being American.  Nationalistic biases are not unique to America; hoaxes have occurred throughout the world, such as the Piltdown hoax in England and Shinichi Fujimura’s hoax in Japan.  Power and prestige are associated with age so these hoaxes create a false national history and pride.

The Piltdown skull combined a chimpanzee jaw and a human skull in an effort to make the English have the oldest ancestry in the world.

Shinichi Fujimura was caught by hidden camera planting artifacts in an attempt to make Japanese ancestry older.

Even after experts identified the Cardiff Giant as a hoax, the public still believed it was real.  It took time, a confession, and many scientists to prove the Cardiff Giant was nothing but a recently buried statue.  As with many other hoaxes, we must learn this lesson: be wary of ridiculous claims and no matter what ask for evidence—do not trust findings unless there is evidence.


The Archaeological Hoax

Unfortunately in the world of archaeology you cannot trust everything you hear. In order to mislead the public for some purpose, archaeologists (or usually people posing as archaeologists) will manipulate and fake archaeological data. This faking of data for some purpose is known as an archaeological hoax. Fake data can mislead actual scientists, contaminate the archaeological record and skew people’s understanding of the past. When considering archaeological hoaxes, questions arise: what are the purposes behind these hoaxes? How are the hoaxers able to make the public believe them? It is important to be aware that archaeological hoaxes exist, and not to let them distort your historical view.

There can be many purposes behind an archaeological hoax. The hoaxer may be prompted by personal reasons such as fame and money. There may be religious reasons behind a hoax, such as trying to validate a religious story. In Frauds, Myths and Mysteries by Kenneth L. Feder, Feder discusses how in 1869 a giant “petrified” man was found buried on a farm in Cardiff, NY, who became known as the Cardiff Giant. Until this find was determined to be a hoax (a statue planted in the ground only about a year before it was “found”), the petrified man validated biblical stories of giants such as David and Goliath.

Cardiff Giant

Nationalism can also prompt a hoax, for instance when a country seeks to have the “oldest” of something. In the case of the Piltdown Man, fragments of a human skull and ape-like jaw bone were found in England in 1912. Because the bones seemed to go together, it was thought for the next 40 years that an early human ancestor had been discovered. Fossils of Neanderthals had already been discovered in France and Germany, so it brought England great pride that they could now also claim to have played a part in human evolution. However, in the late 1940s after dating techniques had been developed it was determined that the Piltdown Man skull and jaw were neither ancient nor from the same species, the skull being human and the jaw from an orangutan, and that it had all been a hoax (Bartlett).

People believe hoaxes because they convey ideas that people want to believe, especially regarding religion or nationalism. They are not immediately called into question because people want them to be true. Beginning in the 1980s and continuing until the year 2000, an amateur prehistorian named Shinichi Fujimura was planting ancient artifacts from other Asian countries in Japanese sites to make it seem that Japan had a more extensive prehistory. Because of Japan’s national pride in these discoveries, no one questioned the validity of the finds as they accumulated for twenty years.

Shinichi Fugimura planting artifacts

After the truth came out about Fujimura’s hoax the legitimacy of the approximately 180 sites he had worked on vanished (Feder). In scientific fields such as archaeology it is important to disregard the desire to immediately believe discoveries and their interpretations and question everything. Only through questioning and retesting can hoaxes be discovered and eliminated from the archaeological record.

For a list of archaeological hoaxes see:

Using Archaeology to Confirm the Past

One of the reasons that people don’t understand archaeology is the fact that archaeology can be manipulated to either fit with or alter the public’s perception of the past.  For example, the Cardiff Giant hoax centered on a supposed “large, petrified body” found by the farmer Stub Newell in 1869.  People travelled for miles and paid rising entry fees to catch a glimpse of it.  Over time, the giant’s popularity mounted, despite the fact that several archaeologists and scientists examined the body and declared it to be a fake, citing the soft stone, tool marks, and lack of deterioration as indicators that it was not nearly as old as Newell claimed it was.  Eventually, Professor Othniel C. Marsh deemed it to be a “remarkable fake”, and it was revealed that Newell’s relative George Hull had commissioned the sculpture and gone through great lengths to disguise it as an ancient being.

Cardiff Giant

The people’s continued belief in the Cardiff Giant exemplifies the use of archaeology to fit with a common belief.  In the 1800s, the stories of the Bible were seen as truths rather than allegories.  Therefore, those who believed the biblical tales of giants roaming the earth were delighted to find proof of these stories, and clung to it despite growing evidence of the hoax.  While in reality, ancient peoples may have found large, extinct animals and simply thought they were giants, in the religious 19th century, holy texts were absolute.  In this way, archaeology can blind people to the truth just as easily as it can enlighten them through offering a confirmation of spiritual beliefs.  (Feder)

At the opposite end of the spectrum lies the destruction of ancient relics in China.  China’s cultural revolution involved not only the reshaping of socioeconomic structure but also the complete elimination of the structure that had preceded it.  As a way of insuring that citizens fully embraced the new, communist society, the government destroyed many artifacts and buildings dating to the dynasties of China’s greatest emperors.  Destroying these relics not only prevented people from studying past cultural practices but also kept them from the very thing that the Cardiff Giant allowed—confirmation of a past that they might long for.  Even though Chinese citizens have offered to pay for the conservation of certain relics, the government has denied these requests.  (

Destroying the old world

Both of these examples relay the way in which archaeology can give people hope by revealing an aspect of the past they believe.  While some, such as Newell and Hull, use this power to make money, others wish to use it to understand their own fading heritage.  Along this range lie many pitfalls and ulterior motives of people looking to uncover the past, which can lead to a misunderstanding of archaeology.

Applying Science to the Bible

Erich von Däniken is famous for his book Chariots of the Gods? which became an immediate bestseller in America, India, and Europe and was adapted into a film. In this work Däniken takes material from ancient texts, and puts an extraterrestrial spin on it. In particular, Däniken spoke of the bible story of the ancient disaster of Sodom and Gomorrah, and spun a tale about the similarities between this disaster and the effects of an atomic bomb. Däniken carefully chose his words to make the bible story about gods and angels sound like hocus-pocus fantasy, while making his own theories derived from ‘clues’ sound scientific and informed. But are his theories real science, or just more fantasy couched in scientific language?

Däniken is not the only person interested in finding modern explanations for biblical stories. I recently came across a article titled The 5 Most Extravagant Ways Cities Have Been Wiped Out, which gave another theory for what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah. Although this article attempted to strip scientific language from their article to make the story more accesible to the average layman, this does not necessarily mean that their explanation is any less scientific. It is not language that makes a theory scientific or not, but rather the process of arriving at and testing and verifying a theory makes makes it so.

Looking again at Däniken’s theories, and taking what we learned about the scientific method in class, the science of his theories about alien astronauts seem suspect. For one, his theory is hard to test. Science has not yet been able to provide any concrete sign of extraterrestrial activity, but nor have they been able to prove that aliens haven’t visited the Earth. His theory that an advanced atomic bomb could have leveled Sodom and Gomorrah can be tested by looking for signs of radioactivity, but so far there is no supporting evidence.

The Cracked article on the other hand, provides a theory that can be potentially tested for. The Cracked article relayed a theory proposed by scientists, that a massive, 3-mile wide meteor landed in the Austrian alps, which caused a fire storm of superheated air to spread to the Middle East, causing all flammables (such as hair and clothing) to combust. This theory is more easily tested than alien participation, and Cracked quoted an article, which quoted another source, relaying evidence for just such a meteor impact. Whether the sources are accurate or not, this theory remains readily tested for future scientists.

Another problem with Däniken’s theories, is his lack of supporting evidence from reliable sources. Other than the bible and his own speculations, Däniken doesn’t mention any sources for his theories, nor any literature by other scientists to compare theories with regarding Sodom and Gomorrah. The Cracked article however, provides a wealth of links that readers can use to fact check. Looking solely at these two points, Cracked appears to be more scientifically engaged than does Erich von Däniken.

Seeing is Believing: the philosophy of the Pseudo-ists.

In a prior article I have written Real Archaeology, I have explained the high relevance of the popular quote, “A picture is worth a thousand words” in the world of archaeology. In this article, on the contrary, I will introduce a different cliched quote that tarnishes archaeology and strays afar from the worldliness and truth of what the words seemingly perpetuates. I will also stress the importance of observation and objectivity, when theorizing about the universe we live in.

If the idea of Big Foot never existed, would any ever claim to have seen big foot at all and instead just shrug it off as just a giant bear?

“Seeing is believing” is a popular idiom that many of us preferably choose to follow when it comes to challenging our own skepticism. But how much trust and faith are we willing to put into the so-called “physical concrete evidence?” We must ask ourselves these questions first: how true is our perception? Do we see everything around us? Or do we only see the things we want to see? Kenneth Feder discredits this idiom by revealing the truth of the human form– that “people are poor observers”– in his book Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries (Feder 21). How much of what we see are actually from objectivity? Especially when it comes to interpreting artifacts made by the human past, how can we ever know what the original intentions of the artist were? Our preconceived ideas of today’s world already puts us at a disadvantage when it comes to relying on merely “seeing” to believe.

The “Ancient Astronaut Theory” as proposed by pseudoarcaheologist, Erich von Däniken, is a prime example of terrible observation and scientific integrity. According to Von Daniken, “evidences” from the past show astronaut-like beings or “ancient aliens” being here on earth long before our time.  This not only sounds ridiculous, but by calling these figures “astronauts” we are mistakenly assuming that astronauts look all the same– circular glass helmets with thick body suits. According to Von Daniken, anything that looks like the description just mentioned, is unearthly and from outer space and therefore it adds to his beliefs in ancient aliens and our outer-space genetically engineered human origins. Also, he believes that aliens came down to earth in space ships that look similar to modern day rockets and planes and therefore, old buildings that look like rockets are in fact evidence of alien visitors. Rendering past cultures as part of a pseudoarchaeological scheme of untested hypothetical past based on “seeing” alone is one the worst forms of scientific processes, and does not hold place in the scientific world. Eric Von Daniken is “seeing” only what he “wants to see.”

Take this FedEx logo for example, what do you see? Now look carefully, do you see the Arrow between the E and the X?

From my personal experiences in a day as an archaeologist, I’ve come to a conclusion that observation of what is needed comes naturally when the problem or the hypotheses that are being tested are in mind. As the team of five Vassarians ventured through the woods of the outskirts of Wappinger falls in hopes of discovering the last few remains of Olson Fowler’s long lost Octagon house, we have discovered long parallel stone walls throughout the area leading towards the supposed location of the house along Route 9. At first, the map showed nothing but green, but as we matched up the locations of these stone walls with the map, hints of darkened parallel lines were visible on the aerial map of the area. Evidence of roads were on the map all along! Now that we knew what we need, we were able to perceive things differently. How we view things shift drastically according to our needs and wants.

As Albert Einstein would put it, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” We need to completely be devoid of any prior personal biases when it comes to scientific and archaeological exploration. We must be ready to reject our own opinions and beliefs for the sake of discovering the raw truths of the universe.

Eccentric Flints, Pseudoscience and Ancient Aliens

Caption below the display: "Because of their unusual shapes these flints are called 'eccentrics.' Although they appear to be stone tools, archaeologist have found collections of them in Maya tombs, suggesting they were offerings. We don't know what the 'eccentric' flints depict, but their unusual shapes spark the imagination."

Over fall break, I had the opportunity to visit the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The museum boasts an astounding number of artifacts and many detailed exhibits, including an exhibit  focused on past cultures that resided in the Americas. In a darkly lit room on Mayan culture, next to some ominous looking sacrificial “blood urns”, I noticed some oddly shaped objects labeled “eccentric” flints. The description explained that they were at first believed to be stone tools but because of the context in which they were found (tombs), they were deduced to be burial offerings. The archaeologists studying these flints used the “convergence of evidence” (Feder 40) to identify the purpose of these tools.

I also noted that the write-up below the display admitted that the archaeologists do not know what the stones depict, but that “their unusual shapes spark the imagination”. Many pseudoarchaeologists take this idea to an extreme. Take for example, Erich von Daniken, the author of the book and film Chariots of the Gods? Unsolved Mysteries of the Past. In his film, he makes the extreme claim that aliens visited past civilizations and provided them with many advanced technologies. Much of the evidence that Daniken provided were examples of artwork that  he believed depicted aliens or that a particular temple or building simply looked like modern rockets, spaceships, or spacemen.

Stone engraving that Daniken believes depicts a man operating a spaceship, based on his observations of the image

Daniken provides known facts about the civilizations to convince the viewer of his knowledge and then share his completely out of the blue opinion that aliens contacted them in the past. I say opinion and not fact because Daniken does not use science or archaeology to test his hypothesis that aliens visited the ancient civilizations. If he had been addressing his hypothesis from a scientific stance, he would be sharing facts he discovered that were directly in support of his claims, because the purpose of collecting facts are to “explain something or test a hypothesis” (Feder 29). Instead, Daniken shares unrelated facts (an example of pseudoscience) to fool the viewer into believing what his is saying is fact, ignoring the truth and substituting his own.

If the viewer were paying any attention at all to the film, they would quickly realized that he shares no concrete evidence at all. His methods of research is like cloud watching. I may look up and see a cat. You may look up at the same cloud and see a bird. Since their is no evidence that it is not a cat and is in fact a bird, I can still say that I see a cat because there is nothing to prove me wrong. If Daniken were to observe the “eccentrics”, he may interpret them as a representation of alien figures, even if there is no evidence to support him. But science knows not to jump to conclusions without evidence, even if that means leaving something unresolved. This doesn’t mean the truth will forever be unknown- it has just not been discovered yet.

Chariots of the Gods?

Roswell UFO incident described by the Roswell Daily Record

In 1968, Erich von Däniken published “Chariots of the Gods? Unsolved Mysteries of the Past” that hypothesized that ancient alien visited earth and taught humans advanced technologies and ancient religions. The book immediately became a best seller and to this day continues to sell in volume.  Erich von Däniken’s theories and ideas have continued to be analyzed and examined. With the help of social media and the fascination for the unknown, the idea of alien-human interaction was thrust into the spotlight during the 1950s. Moreover, alien sightings at Roswell, New Mexico and popular films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Close Encounters of the Third Kind have further heightened the public’s curiosity.

The popular history channel show Ancient Aliens, builds upon Erich von Däniken theology by collecting evidence to support and enhance current views on ancient aliens. The show tries to prove the validity of ancient aliens by examining ancient religious texts in which humans interact with individuals that descend from the sky. These texts often describe a means of transportation that resembles a spaceship flying. Moreover, the show examines ancient artwork that depicts alien-like figures that lead to conclusions that alien life forms must have visited earth. Furthermore, in class we watched the documentary based on the book by Erich von Däniken that used similar techniques to prove the existence of ancient aliens. Both the documentary and the popular show make alien claims about archaeological sites around the world.

Easter Island Statues

One archaeological site mentioned in both is the island statues on Easter Island. Both Erich von Däniken and the show Ancient Aliens theorize that only ancient aliens had the capacity to construct the statues because the local natives lacked proper tools and the ability to transport the massive statues around the island. This theory may make sense initially however it fails to reference scholarly research and use the scientific method as stated by Feder in his book “Frauds, Myths and Mysteries”. Feder explains such claims like these “ignore the truth in just about every phenomena described” (9). Furthermore, the claims made about ancient aliens are considered pseudoscience because they try to hide specific details about their theories. Additionally, they often have alternative motives such as money and fame. Therefore, with widespread notoriety of ancient aliens through books and movies, the public is unable to make this distinction between pseudoscience and science. This has caused archaeology to be one of the most misunderstood fields

A recent article in Wired magazine tries to explain that humans did in fact have the ability to transport the statues by ‘walking’ them in place.  Carl Lipo from California State University demonstrated that three teams of workers can ‘walk’ a replica statue down a path similar to one on Easter Island. Moreover, this research study was published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.  Compared to Erich von Däniken and the show Ancient Aliens, Carl Lipo and his team were able to use the scientific method as well as scholarly research to make a scientific theory on the island statues. By using methods of real science and archaeology, more accurate information was gathered and tested.