Ancient Aliens: Arguably the most remarkable Mayan artifact ever found , the stone sarcophagus lid of king Pacal has produced considerable contraversy.
Ancient Aliens: Mainstream scholars believe the depiction is of King Pacal on a journey to the underworld. But ancient astronaut theorists believe the king is portrayed seated at the controls of a spacecraft and have dubbed him the Palenque astronaut.
David Childriss: He appears to be going into space. He's the original rocket man there manipulating his space craft , going into space.
Giorgio A Tsoukalos: We have maintained for a very long time that the depiction here is of King Pacal sitting inside some type of a space craft because he is at an angle like modern day astronauts upon lift-off. He's manipulating some controls right here. He has some type of breating apparatus or some type of a telescope in front of his face. His feet are on some type of a pedal. and down here you have something that looks like an exhaust with flames.
|Model inspired by the Pakal Votan tomb lid image as seen on Ancient Aliens|
Paul Francis: When I saw this, I instantly said, there's a guy in a space capsule, you know, it doesn't need to be spelled out for me, I don't have to find anything, it was already there, it was carved many many years ago.
Giorgio A Tsoukalos: I think this is absolutely extraordinary because this is definitely one of these most compelling pieces in the ancient astronaut theory, and to finally see Pacal as a 3D sculpture to me is a dream come true.
Giorgio A Tsoukalos: For the longest time we have said what is on this Pacal lid is not symbolic, it was something the artist saw or was told about and then he or she tried to recreate this on a slab. I love the craftsmanship, I love how you, you know at the bottom of the Palenque slab, you see something like, the flames.
Paul Francis: It looks something like fire and and
Giorgio A Tsoukalos: Exactly
Paul Francis: And I had to do a little interpretive, I put engine bells on instead of the flame
Giorgio A Tsoukalos: Of course
Paul Francis: But that's the thruster stage
Giorgio A Tsoukalos: I also love the detail that you have underneath his right foot where his foot is resting on a pedastool and that is exactly what we can see in the Palenque slab...
Giorgio A Tsoukalos: and how his hands are manipulating some controls,
Giorgio A Tsoukalos: and also this kind of breathing apparatus that's going on in front of his nose
Paul Francis: The breathing apparatus is actually a very neat piece, it's called the giver of life. The soul transfers through this. And the giver of life to me would be, air. I mean we breathe air. This is a guy who needs this mask to survive
Giorgio A Tsoukalos: Because, where is he?
Paul Francis: Outer space
Ancient Aliens: Could the carving on the sarcophagus lid really provide confirmation of the complicity between Maya rulers and extra-terrestrial forces as Ancient Astronaut theorists believe?
(Ancient Aliens season 1, episode 4, Air date: 17 February 2012)