I was having a conversation with a Mormon woman when it dawned on me that the belief in Joseph Smith's encounter with the "angel" sounds more like an "alien" encounter. I brought this to the woman's attention. I phrased my argument like this. Replace the words angel and alien with the word being and you completely remove religious entanglement. Her response was that this was ridiculous as aliens don't exist. I did not pursue any further "discussion" realizing the futility. While I am not fully confident in the "chariots of the gods" argument there is certainly more circumstantial evidence than the religious arguments.
PS What if the book given to J. Smith was an alien joke book?

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Not to mention Moses and the burning bush that talked!
It's common knowledge that L. Ron Hubbard had a drug addiction (and that's not a joke).
He is also the man that said that the way to make a fortune is to start a religion.... Happy coincidence? I think not.
Yep. And so many people bought it. How is that? Maybe they think, "He said it first, then he did it, and indeed he became insanely rich - proof enough that he's a true prophet!". How can you argue with that?
Nerd: I personally wonder how much of religious texts are the results of a drug-induced hallucination.

Ergot. Not to mention fungi in general.
An alien joke? Lol! That would be funny. My personal view is that while some religious leaders may well have believed their own bunk, because they were delusional or hallucinating, Joseph Smith knew his stuff was bunk because he was purposely making it up. At least that's what I remember from a South Park episode!

Anyway, while I believe there probably is other life out there, I don't think we've been or are being visited by aliens. There is no real proof for it. The tall tales have changed over the years as the culture has changed.

As Carl Sagan writes in "The Demon-Haunted World", "The gods watch over us and guide our destinies, many human cultures teach; other entities, more malevolent, are responsible for the existence of evil. Both classes of beings, whether considered natural or supernatural, real or imaginary, serve human needs. Even if they're wholly fanciful, people feel better believing in them. So in an age when traditional religions have been under withering fire from science, is it not natural to wrap up the old gods and demons in scientific raiment and call them aliens?" Pg 115.
Except for creating ideas about the afterlife, there's no difference between the tall tales of E.T. encounters and religious myth.
Actually, many recent sects/religions are UFO-oriented.
People didn't start talking about aliens until their knowledge of the cosmos grew to allow for it. Although thinking that alien encounters could have been interpreted as religious encounters, it appears to me to be simple equivocation.

Like religious evidence, alien evidence seems to evaporate quickly. The Area 51 story reads much like the Joseph Smith story - there once was evidence but we don't have it now, or it's too secret to share.
Btw, how do you think aliens would react when they first meat us?
Mormons... sure no prob, I know a tidbit about that cult:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaH3I7vRcB0

may have to mute it to get it
strange radio show track from norml podcast (double wammy youtube)

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