The first paleocontact theorist
On September 20, 2005 in Charleston, South Carolina, the 90-year-old Russian mathematician and ethnologist Matest Mendelevich Agrest died: he's known for his contribution to the theory of incomplete cylindrical functions but above all remembered, like the French archaeologist Henri Lhote (who identified the paintings and rock carvings by Tassili in Algeria linking them to an alleged alien interference), for having brought to light the hypothesis of the paoleocontact and being among the first scientists to divulge the much discussed Ancient Astronaut Theory, at least a decade before other distinguished colleagues.
Matest Agrest Mendelevitch: scholar and original thinker
Also mentioned in the works of Peter Kolosimo, Mendelevitch was born on 20 July 1915 in Mogilev from a family of Jewish origin, he became a rabbi in 1929 and, while working in the factory, he managed to attend secondary school and then graduated from the University of mathematics and mechanics. of Leningrad.
He later entered the Graduate School of Astronomical Institute in Moscow, department of celestial mechanics where he made friends with the astrophysicist Joseph V. Sklovskij, a member of the Academy of Sciences and was able to study the mechanical characteristics of the movement of Saturn's rings.
Following a hot-air balloon accident during World War II, he was able to complete his university studies and work at the Institute of Chemistry and Physics, attached to the atomic project of the Zel'dovich group, where he was commissioned to perform the calculations of the explosive processes.
Until 1960 Agrest worked at the Sukhumi physical / technological institute (SFTI), inside a laboratory where a team of Russian and German scientists, practically segregated, carried out experiments related to the military use of atomic energy. He leapt to the news, causing scandal in Western academic circles, in 1959 when he argued that the stone terraces of the archaeological site of Baalbek could have been used for the launch of spaceships, then attributing the destruction of the biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to a atomic blast intentionally caused by beings from another planet.
His anti-conventional theories, born, however, in an environment favorable to atheism, were published for the first time in 1960 on the pages of the magazine Literaturnaja Gazeta and found fertile ground abroad, also thanks to the articles published in The New York Times and in the Los Angeles Times.
In an unorthodox way, he immediately claimed that some episodes described in the Bible would refer to interventions by extraterrestrial beings: Jesus Christ himself would have been an alien (see also The real Jesus was an Egyptian Pharaoh and The Christ Conspiracy) and the Star of Bethlehem would have been nothing more than the spaceship of the Savior.
The socio-political context in which the scientist lived greatly influenced his theories: in the middle of the Cold War, the main concern for the USSR was to defend itself from nuclear missiles'attacks.
In this regard Agrest read an article in which it was hypothesized to use a barrier formed by billions of thin needles orbiting the Earth which, similar to the rings of Saturn, would have detonated missiles in space.
Mindful of his studies on Saturn, he came to theorize that on the planet in question there could be intelligent life and that the rings had a defensive function and, consequently, it could not be excluded that in the distant past its inhabitants had visited the Earth nor that intelligent forms inhabited the galaxy of billions of stars which, like the sun, could host planetary systems.
References in the Bible
To prove this theory, however, it was necessary to find evidence of the alleged alien incursion. According to Agrest the exact translation of the Giants of Genesis who inhabited the Earth, the Nephilim, had "the fallen ones", but when exactly would this have happened? Assuming that this fact in the Bible was inserted after the enumeration of the direct descendants of Adam, the scientist's attention went to Enoch, son of Jared, who, unlike the other patriarchs who lived for a long time dying in old age, had walked with God because he had taken him with him.
Among the events described in the Old Testament, which could be attributable to extraterrestrial visitors, Agrest highlighted the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah as a result of an atomic explosion: it is no coincidence that in the Old Testament it is written that people were blinded by the light and only a thick layer of earth could have protected from ionizing radiation.
Agrest began to search for other places on Earth that could have hosted the aliens arriving in Baalbek, where there are huge stone monoliths whose arrangement remains a mystery to this day.
Agrest suggested that the Baalbek platform was built by fallen astronauts on our planet, so it remains for future memory of their stay.
The scientist discovered some circumstantial evidence in molten crystals found in that area, possibly originating from nuclear explosions, theorising that the spaceships were powered by atomic energy. After an initial success, the scientist's work, collected in a manuscript and several articles ("Trail leads to ... Space?" "The Astronauts of Yore" and "Cosmonauts in antiquity?"), was declared harmful and dangerous by the Soviet scientific community which came to condemn the use of biblical stories and to define pseudo-science the ideas of paleocontact.
A new life in South Carolina
While in the Soviet Union the idea of paleocontact was judged unscientific, in the West it was gaining great popularity, above all for the interest of the American astrophysicist Carl Sagan (co-author in 1966 with Shklovskij of "Intelligent life in the universe") who, in fact, took his cues from Agrest's ideas. Agrest returned to his homeland, therefore, in anonymity, and after having directed the laboratory of the University of Leningrad, from 1970 onwards, in 1992 he emigrated with his family to the United States and lived in Charleston where he was finally able to meet his American colleagues and was even invited to express his beliefs at a conference held in Las Vegas from 2 to 4 August 1993.
During that conference Agrest claimed that at least once extraterrestrial astronauts had visited the Earth, adding that they were anthropomorphic creatures and that in the universe there were many planets inhabited by intelligent beings.
In 1995 he published the book "The Ancient Miraculous Device: Shamir", in which he identified the Shamir as a tool used for cutting and engraving very hard stones without noise 1300 years B.C.
The Shamir was described in the Talmud as a "sharp worm" capable of piercing any material and used to carve the names of the Shevatim on the stones of Choshen, in the Zohar a "dividing metal worm" and in the Bible, as an iron diamond-tipped stylus (Jeremiah 7-1): this "diamond worm", used for cutting and drilling, was considered divine in nature becaus it was impossible to imagine it was contructed by man and for this reason rarely entrusted to human beings.
Hence the Matestian idea that it could be a kind of contemporary laser beam obtained precisely from a diamond, the first known construction of which was done by T.H. Maiman in 1960 AD: the existence of such an advanced device in antiquity would be justified only by the presence of beings evolved from other planets
Agrest specified that it could have been described as an insect due to the incorrect translation of the Latin word "insectator" (cutter), then mistaken for a "woodworm" because it made holes.
Agrest who was certainly the inspiration and forerunner of later figures such as Erich von Däniken and Zecharia Sitchin, was the author of over 100 scientific articles and five monographs on the topics of mathematics, physics and astronomy, was a member of the Ancient Astronaut Society and has contributed a number of articles to the company's periodicals and, although less well known to the general public, he deserves the attention given to its successors.
His work is now kept alive by his son Mikhail, a physics and astronomy teacher at Charleston College, who, continuing on the path traced by his father, tried to explain the Tunguska phenomenon as an explosion of an alien spacecraft.
Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."
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