Ancient Nuclear Warfare

References at the bottom of the screen Section: Ancient Atomic Bombs

Ancient Aliens: “Atomic warfare among ancient civilizations may sound like something out of a science fiction novel, but descriptions of similar deadly occurrences can be found in the very same text doctor Oppenheimer quoted after the New Mexico atomic test.” So the Ancient Astronaut theory claims that the Mahabharata speaks of nuclear warfare. Let’s see what specifically they say it says: AA: “One reference that we have, for example, speaks of these explosions that were brighter than a thousand suns. And when these blasts occurred the suns were twirling in the air; trees went up in flames and there was just this mass destruction. After those blasts, people who survive started to lose their hair and nails started to fall out. I mean, right there, we have a concise reference to radiation poisoning; nuclear fallout – and those texts are thousands of years old.” The Mahabharata actually doesn’t say any of that. These exact claims about the hair and nails falling off and an explosion brighter than a thousand suns have been repeated by Ancient Astronaut theorists so many times that they think it’s true, but the origin of this line was from a French book called “Morning of the Magicians” [1] No one that makes this claim will actually site where in the Mahabharata this claim appears. Which makes it very difficult for people to call them out on this, because the Mahabharata contains over 1.8 million words, so if you just say, “it’s in there somewhere, just trust me,” you can pretty much get away with anything. As you might have guessed by now, they have a really good reason for covering their tracks by not siting a reference. For instance, let’s consider the claim about the people’s hair and nails falling out because of this weapon. First of all, there was no weapon involved in that story, it was a part of a bad omen, and this is what it actually says: The streets swarmed with rats and mice; earthen pots showed cracks or broken from no apparent cause. At night, the rats and mice ate away the hair and nails of slumbering men.”[2] So rats chewed them off, it wasn’t a result of: “Nuclear fallout” What about the bomb blast that was brighter than a thousand suns? Here’s what the passage actually says: Gratified with him, the holy one then showed Utanka that eternal Vaishnava form which Dhananjaya of great intelligence had seen. Utanka beheld the high-souled Vasudeva of universal form, endued with mighty-arms. The effulgence of that form was like that of a blazing fire or a thousand suns. It stood before him filling all space. It had faces on every side. Behold the high and wonderful Vaishnava form of Vishnu. In fact, seeing the Supreme Lord in that guise, the Brahmana Utanka became filled with wonder.[3]Jason Colavito says the following about this: “This passage, which mentions the ten thousand suns, refers to an appearance of Vishnu. It is representative of many, many passages in which the standard poetic line “ten thousand suns” is used to describe a deity. It does not refer to the specific flash of a nuclear blast unless one imagines the gods to be exploding.” If you would like to know more about the deceitful misquoting of ancient texts as it relates to this idea of ancient nuclear weapons, see Jason Colavito’s excellent book:

“Ancient Atom Bombs: Fact, Fraud, and the Myth of Prehistoric Nuclear Warfare”

Let’s move on to Ancient Aliens’ next line of evidence for this point, which is all centered around an ancient city – now archeological site – called Mohenjo Daro in Pakistan. Ancient Aliens claims that there was a nuclear bomb dropped there in the ancient past, they give several reasons to believe this: AA: “Skeletons were found lying face down in the street – many holding hands. Their faces and body positioning suggested they suffered a sudden, violent death.” AA: “You have a culture of people who literally were lying dead in the street. Archaeologists have found human remains and something big has happened to these people.” AA: “Why is there evidence that wild animals avoided scavenging their remains, and why, even after thousands of years, have their bones not decayed?” AA: “In certain areas of that site you find increased levels of radiation.” AA: “British researcher David Davenport claimed to have found a 50-yard-wide epicenter at Mohenjo Daro where everything appeared to have been fused through a transformative process known as vitrification.” AA: “Vitrification is a process in which regular-type stone gets molten into a magma state, and then it hardens again. But once the stone is hardened again it feels like glass. At Mohenjo Daro we find evidence of vitrification, which could have only have been achieved if the material was exposed to extreme heat by some type of blast.” Ok so let’s list these points:

  • Skeletons, one set holding hands, which they say appear to have died at the same instant.
  • No evidence of scavengers.
  • Remarkably well preserved bones.
  • The presence of radiation at the site.
  • An epicenter where vitrification is present.

That sounds like a pretty convincing case for nuclear warfare at Mohenjo Daro – well, assuming any of that is true, and considering Ancient Aliens’ track record we had better investigate these claims. One of the first problems with this theory is the city itself. Its buildings are still intact, some of which are 15 ft. high.[4] And they are made out of mud, so you would think a nuclear weapon whose main destructive power is in the force of its blast wave would be able to topple a few mud-brick buildings. But moving on, what about these skeletons? Ancient Aliens makes it sound like a lot of skeletons were found when in fact only 37 were found. And not only do these 37 bodies show no signs of dying suddenly, the date of their deaths vary sometimes as much as a thousand years from one another.[5][6] None of the archeologists involved thought these skeletons suggested a sudden catastrophe. And to make matters worse for Ancient Aliens all of the bodies were buried![7] The idea that they were laying around in the streets isn’t true. In fact almost everything Ancient Aliens said about this is completely untrue. The fact that they didn’t die in the same instant and the fact that they were buried in the normal way explains why there were no signs of scavengers. What about the remarkable well preserved bones? This can be chalked up to Mohenjo Daro being literally one of the hottest places on earth, with temperatures reaching 128 degrees. And because it’s also really dry, it is a perfect climate for preservation.[8] In fact this is also probably the reason the mud-brick buildings are still standing as well. The problem with the claims about there being radiation at Mohenjo Daro is that we don’t know where this claim came from. It certainly wasn’t any of the scientists involved with the Mohenjo Daro digs that claimed it, and the Ancient Astronaut theorists don’t site any references with which to check this claim, so until the presence of radiation can be proven to exist at the site, there is no reason to address it. What about this epicenter of vitrification? Well, according to archeologists it wasn’t exactly an epicenter of anything. It was a small amount of broken pottery which, because pottery is put in a fire to harden it, it contains a specific type of vitrification called Frit. They threw in the word epicenter to make it seem more legitimate. But there is no epicenter of anything except pottery at this site[9]. But this brings up an important point: Mohenjo Daro is not the only site that Ancient Astronaut theorists claim vitrification exists as a result of ancient atom bombs. So it would be instructive for us to look at sand vitrification and its different causes in order to address those claims. For example there is Fulgurite, which is sand fused by a lightning bolt. There is Tektite, which is sand fused by the compressed force of a meteorite. There is Frit which is partially fused sand and other chemicals in the presence of heated pottery – that’s what was found at Mohenjo Daro. Finally there is Trinitite which is vitrified sand caused by a nuclear explosion. So we first saw that the Mahabharata did not claim anything like what Ancient Aliens said it did. We saw that the bodies at Mohenjo Daro were not killed in a sudden disaster; in fact they died a thousand years apart in some cases, and were clearly buried. The cases of radiation are a non-factor. The vitrification was caused by pottery, and we noted that if it was a nuclear explosion it didn’t even knock down the mud-brick houses which are still standing at the site.

[1] Colavito, Jason. “THE CASE OF THE FALSE QUOTATIONS, How Ancient Astronaut Theorists Faked Hindu Nuclear Explosion.”, n.d.
[2] Mahabharata, Mausala Parva, sec. 2
[3] Mahabharata, Acwamedha Parva, Section LV (Ganguili Vol. 16)”
[7] Ibid.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Ibid.