6.15 – FACES OF THE GODS (7.11.14)


Oaxaca, Mexico. Situated on a low mountain range, rising above the central plain, lie the ancient ruins of Monte Alban. Here, around 100 BC, researchers believe the Zapotec Indians worshiped a bloodthirsty Mayan god with the body of a man and the head of a bat. They called him Camazotz.

“The iconography is rather striking the image of a half-man, half-bat a man with the head of a bat, and a wing-like cloak spread out with crosses of bones in the lining.”

David Skal (Author, V is for Vampire)

“The Zapotec people, in the Oaxaca area of Mexico, believe that winged creatures, bat-like creatures, come in the night. They will attack, and they will drink blood and disappear without ever being noticed.”

– Jonathan Young, Ph.D.
(Founding Curator, Joseph Campbell Archives)

“This is simply a sort of anthropomorphic bat which was worshipped by the sacrifice of libations of blood. So, what they did was, they cut themselves and poured it into a bowl and offered it to the god.”

Bob Curran, Ph.D. (Researcher / Folklore Expert)

“Blood was a very important substance to the Mayans. That is what gave humans life. Blood and breath was what the essence of life was. That’s where this “kahul,” this divine essence resided in blood and in breath. When you would die, you entered into the underworld. It was called Xibalba. Then, if you defeated the lords of death, you would then ascend into the heavens and become one of the revered ancestors.”

– Andrew Wyatt, Ph.D.
(Archaeologist, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago)

“The blood is the thing that reconnects the world that we live in with the world of the dead.”

Richard Rader, Ph.D.
(Lecturer, UCLA Dept of Classics/UCSB Dept of Classics),
(Author, Theology and Existentialism in Aeschylus)

“Some of the earliest archaeological evidence shows that blood rituals were present as far back as we can search.”

– Jonathan Young, Ph.D.
(Founding Curator, Joseph Campbell Archives)

Legends and myths of supernatural beings with traits similar to vampires are a part of nearly every ancient culture. In Hindu folklore, for example, the Vetala was known as an evil spirit that took demonic possession of corpses. The Indian goddess Kali was also intimately linked with blood sacrifices.

“Kali becomes the destroyer, and she is portrayed as a hag-like woman with a whole number of arms each carrying a sword. She is the goddess of death and destruction. Her eyes are red, and she drips blood from her mouth.”

Bob Curran, Ph.D. (Researcher / Folklore Expert)

“She’s known to take infants from their crib and drink their blood.”

– Jonathan Young, Ph.D.
(Founding Curator, Joseph Campbell Archives)

In North America, early Cherokees believed in a bloodthirsty creature that slaughtered humans, drank their blood and ate their livers. Known as the U’tlun’ta, this demon was said to possess eternal life while feeding on the living.

“The notion of the thing from the spirit world traveling through the various Indian nations was a great fear among not only the Cherokee but also the Sioux and Arapaho.”

Bob Curran, Ph.D. (Researcher / Folklore Expert)

But who or what are these mysterious creatures? And where did they come from? Might they be, as Ancient Astronaut Theorists believe, extraterrestrial beings abandoned here on Earth? In the ancient Jewish Talmud, the Genesis story set in the Garden of Eden includes Adam and Eve, but also a woman called Lilith.

“In Jewish folklore, Lilith was the first wife of Adam. She was created from the same earth as Adam, not from his rib, as Eve was. But she proved to be very disobedient and uncontrollable and had to be banished.”

   – David Skal (Author, V is for Vampire)

According to the Talmud, when Lilith refused to obey Adam, God sent three angels to convince her to submit to his authority. But when Lilith refused for the final time, God condemned her to live on earth for eternity.

“In a sense, Lilith was the first vampire to wander the earth. She shared all of the characteristics of female vampires.”

David Skal (Author, V is for Vampire)

“Lilith had the head and breasts of a woman, the body of a snake and the wings of a bird. She’s a terrifying creature.”

– Jonathan Young, Ph.D.
(Founding Curator, Joseph Campbell Archives)

“In Jewish tradition, Lilith has been a kind of night demon against whom incantations and prayers have to be offered because she will come and snatch away an infant sleeping in its crib, or at least snatch away its soul and cause it to die.”

Michael Coogan, Ph.D. (Lecturer, Harvard Divinity School)

But why are tales of bloodsucking creatures so prevalent throughout the ancient world? Might blood and the unique chemistry of it serve as a kind of cosmic fuel? One that connects the living to the dead? The human to the inhuman? The earthly to the otherworldly?

“Blood is the life-force of humans. And it was very important to extraterrestrials, too. You know, something’s very special about our blood. So, we have to think that if these blood sacrifices aren’t some distortion of what was originally just extraterrestrials showing us how important our blood was.”

David Childress (Author, Technology of the Gods)

Angels. Demons. The Greys. Are they all various interpretations of one type of extraterrestrial species a species that has been visiting our planet for thousands of years? Or are they descriptions of several different alien visitors? Ancient Astronaut Theorists believe further clues can be found by examining the ancient Greek stories of fish people.


Previous: Giants & Angels | Next: The Telchines



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[1b] Prometheus Entertainment. (2014). Ancient Aliens: Season 6, vol. 2. [DVD Back Cover]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

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[13] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.12 – Alien Transports. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: June 13, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

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[15] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.14 – Mysterious Devices. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: June 27, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

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[18] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.17 – The Tesla Experiment. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: August 1, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[19] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.18 – The God Particle. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: August 8, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[20] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.19 – Alien Encounters. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: August 15, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.

[21] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 6.20 – Aliens & Superheroes. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: August 22, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-6.


Who were they?… Why did they come?… What did they leave behind?… Where did they go?… Will they return?…

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