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Was Serpent Mound Built by Ancient Aliens?

Archaeology is one of Kelley's great passions. He's read many books on the subject, as well as every issue of "Archaeology" since 1987.


This mysterious structure boggles the mind

Serpent Mound, a quarter-mile long effigy in Adams County, Ohio, has astounded researchers since its discovery by Europeans in the early 1800s. This long, sinuous earthen mound in the shape of a coiling snake is the largest such effigy found in the world.

Who built this strange thing? And, perhaps of greater importance, why did they build it? The purpose of this article is to discuss the possibility that people from another planetary system may have constructed it or at least motivated or inspired the American Indians to do so.

Who Built the Mound?

Per archaeological investigations in the 1880s, the builders of the mound, 1,370 feet in length, were the people of the Adena Culture, which existed from about 1000 B.C.E. to the year one. The primarily evidence for this discovery is that Adena-era burial mounds were found near the Serpent Mound. Moreover, the Adena Culture is known for constructing elaborate earthen mounds and medicine circles throughout what is now the state of Ohio.

So, according to this investigation, the mound was apparently two to 3,000 years old. One problem with dating the mound is that no artifacts or burials have been found within Serpent Mound itself.

Why was the Mound Built?

We may never know for certain why this earthen thing was created. But bear in mind that in the ancient world the serpent was considered a sacred creature throughout North America, and many Native Americans still consider it so. Perhaps some readers are familiar with Quetzalcoatl, the feathered-serpent of Mesoamerican lore.

Recent Radiocarbon Dating

Since Serpent Mound hadn’t been scientifically investigated since the 1880s, the time for more digging seemed at hand. According to an article entitled “Redating Serpent Mound” in the November/December 1996 issue of Archaeology magazine, archaeologists from the University of Pittsburgh took two samples of wood charcoal from the snake-shaped mound and subjected these samples to radiocarbon dating. The results showed that the mound was built about A.D. 1070, some two thousand years later than earlier investigations. This evidence would seem to show that the mound was built by the Fort Ancient Culture (A.D. 900-1600), a Mississippian culture that flourished in the central Ohio Valley.

Keep in mind some experts claim that the accuracy of radiocarbon dating can be affected by the weathering of the site, making the charcoal appear more recent in origin.

Supporting the exactness of this radiocarbon dating, many other earthen mounds were constructed during this era in the Ohio Valley and valleys of the Mississippi River. Perhaps the most prominent of these impressive earthworks can be found at Cahokia Mounds near Collinsville, Illinois.

Astonishingly, this date of 1070 coincides with two dates of astronomical note. In 1054, light from a supernova – as recorded by Chinese astronomers - reached the earth and stayed visible for two weeks, even during daylight hours. This cosmic explosion created what’s known as the Crab Nebula in the constellation Taurus. Also, in 1066, Halley’s Comet made its brightest approach of the earth (the comet returns every 76 years).

Were the area’s inhabitants reacting to these unusual celestial events when they constructed the mound?

Astronomical Alignments

The mound appears to be aligned with the summer solstice sunset, the winter solstice sunrise, both equinoxes, and the seven coils of the serpent may be aligned to the lunar cycle. The mound also may have been designed to agree with the stars in the constellation Draco (the dragon). This constellation holds the star Alpha Draconis, also known as Thuban, which was the Pole Star some 5,000 years ago. Some researchers have dated the mound by calculating how much backward precessionary movement has taken place over the thousands of years since Thuban was the Pole Star.

Constructed at the Edge of a Crater

Experts disagree on what caused the crater, but Serpent Mound rests near the rim of a crater formed by either volcanic activity or the impact of a meteorite some 250 million years ago during the Permian Period. Interestingly, this was about the time a mass extinction destroyed some 70 per cent of all land animals on the planet! But it’s doubtful the crater motivated ancient Americans to build the mound since the outline of the crater is not easily seen.

1880s map of Serpent Mound

1880s map of Serpent Mound

Monk's Mound at Cahokia Mounds

Monk's Mound at Cahokia Mounds

Quetzalcoatl in human form

Quetzalcoatl in human form

Quetzalcoatl as shown at Teotihuacan in Mexico

Quetzalcoatl as shown at Teotihuacan in Mexico

The Case for Ancient Aliens

According the TV program Ancient Aliens, on an episode entitled “Aliens and the Old West” produced in 2011, the mound effigy appears as if it were supposed to be viewed from the sky, a perception similar to the famous Nazca Lines in Peru, which can only be seen in their entirety when viewed from hundreds of feet in the air.

Also, According to local Indian myth, flocks of birds often fly in circles near the mound, apparently disoriented by supposed magnetic anomalies in the area. Modern compasses used near the mound also have trouble finding true north. In fact, the mound is built near the rim of a crater, perhaps caused by a meteorite, which could have brought elements such as iron to the area. The presence if iron, of course, could cause such magnetic peculiarities.

Other elements such as iridium and uranium could have been deposited as well by the meteorite. One enthusiast on the program claimed this meteorite crashed to the earth about 300,000 years ago, a dating quite different than the aforementioned 250 million years!

Interestingly, caves or tunnels can been found beneath the plateau upon which the mound was constructed. Could aliens have used these tunnels to mine the elements brought by the rock from the sky?

The program also suggested that the plateau upon which the mound rests is composed of dolomite, a high grade of limestone that might act as a semiconductor of electricity. In times past could the mound have been used to attract lightning and thereby generate and perhaps store electrical power?


It’s hard to figure the purpose of this enigmatic Serpent Mound, if for no other reason than scientists and enthusiasts can’t seem to agree how old the mound really is. Nevertheless, the author would like to deduce and speculate:

Firstly, could Aliens have built the mound so they could easily locate the valuable meteoritic elements such as iron, iridium and uranium? It seems interstellar voyagers could have simply used a homing beacon or GPS device to locate the deposits. Secondly, could the mound have been used to generate and/or store electricity? Surely people capable of travelling from one star system to another wouldn’t need such a capability. After all, there’s plenty of hydrogen in earth’s oceans to generate power, lots of solar energy to utilize and hydrocarbons to be burned as well. Thirdly, if ancient aliens had the inclination or need to build the mound, would they have used earth to make it? They just as easily could have used the limestone or iron found in the area. (Iron makes a great conductor of electricity, by the way.)

Could the Indians in the area have built the mound to generate their own electricity? Since there’s no evidence they had electrical devices, why would they need electricity?

It’s much easier to believe that the ancient people of Ohio built the mound rather than extraterrestrials. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and there simply isn’t much to prove the ET hypothesis regarding the construction of Serpent Mound. It’s much easier to imagine that the Native Americans in the area were inspired by the heavenly events that took place around 1070, as the radiocarbon dating seems to indicate, and then they built the mound using whatever astronomical data they had at the time. This sort of thing was done throughout antiquity in many other parts of the world.

Hey, maybe the local Indians built Serpent Mound simply for the pleasure of producing a wonderful work of art!

Please leave a comment.

© 2011 Kelley Marks


Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on June 25, 2012:

Thanks for the comment, joanveronica. Writing about the possibilities of what "ancient aliens" may have done is some of my favorite subject matter. Later!

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on June 25, 2012:

Thanks for the comment, somethgblue. Tell me more about "Two Thirds" when you get a chance. Later!

somethgblue from Shelbyville, Tennessee on June 25, 2012:

Kosmo I am just now finishing the book Two Thirds in which the reasons and construction of the serpent mound are revealed among other things, great book!

Joan Veronica Robertson from Concepcion, Chile on June 25, 2012:

Hey, this is fun! I'm so glad I have discovered these hubs (several!) The hub itself and all the comments are riveting! I have saved this particular one, and will come back to read it again! Voted up, awesome, beautiful and interesting!

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on March 07, 2012:

Thanks for the comment, John Nichols. All burial mounds and pyramids, etc. aren't built near impact sites and volcanic craters. It's a cool theory but untrue. Later!

john nichols on March 07, 2012:

have done some research into why all the mounds, pyramids, golden rectangle walled cities, the serpent mound, megalith circles and sphinx were built and the reasons are related. they mark the location of the perimeter of impact craters or volcanic activity that they felt were at one time instrumental in their survival. science says all impact sites of asteroids, meteorites or comets as well as all volcanic eruption sites form their own magnetic field, and it is the Earth's magnetic field that shields us from deep space and solar radiation on a day-to-day basis. but what happens if a breach forms in Earth's magnetic field as has been reported in NASA NEWS in recent years? google search john nichols 2012 and read my knol...i'm told its interesting.

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on February 01, 2012:

Thanks for the comment, gconeyhiden. The Indians of that era built many impressive mounds and had the most advanced civilization north of Mexico. As for Andy Jackson, he was one of many racists who wanted the Indians' land, hence the resultant "Trail of Tears" for numerous Native Americans. Hey, let's be glad we still have Serpent Mound. Later!

gconeyhiden from Brooklyn, N.Y.C. U.S.A on February 01, 2012:

I visited a different mound site in ohio yrs ago and saw remnants of mounds all over the place. many have been plowed to bits by yrs of farming. I have climbed an enormous earth mound in mississippi I think it was. yes these people did spend a lot of time and energy to build these mounds. these were thriving communities of farmers w surplus stores of food. they lived well and were civilized people as far as im concerned. i read they had really wild games of lacross w neighboring tribes. really a golden age for native americans. and let us not forget the trail of tears. andrew jackson was one mean racist.

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on January 30, 2012:

Hey, Orion, there definitely is something mysterious about Serpent Mound. Perhaps one day we'll really find out why it was built and by whom. Could it have been the Draconians? Later!

Orion on January 30, 2012:

Their carbon dating of the charcoal is ridiculous. The fact that they found charcoal near the mound does not mean the charcoal has anything to do with the mound or that it has been there from the time when the mound was built. Did anyone used a deep ground penetrating radar to look underneath? I'am sure they did, and the reason why nobody mentions deep ground penetrating radar studies is because of what they found there.

somethgblue from Shelbyville, Tennessee on December 30, 2011:

Yeah that is what makes life so entertaining . . . somebody knows, without a doubt, just not me!

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on December 30, 2011:

Hey, somethingblue, your tale of the Draconians is fun to consider. As for our origin, nobody knows for certain from wence we came, ya know? Later!

somethgblue from Shelbyville, Tennessee on December 29, 2011:

The Draconians own all the studios who do you think spreads all these Apocalyptic scenarios and fear, they live off the stuff and the cool thing is they look just like us, cause you guessed it they created us!

You've heard the saying about being created in their image, anyway they have been around for quite some time and just love spreading disinformation and keeping their cattle guessing.

Randy Godwin from Southern Georgia on December 29, 2011:

Interesting hub, Kosmos! I've written about the mound builders also and they always use astronomical calculations to decide the location and layout of the particular mounds and ceremonial sites.

For a look at some cool photos check out the original floor of the oldest earth lodge in my Ocmulgee mound complex hubs. Rated up on this one!

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on December 29, 2011:

Hey, somethingblue, it sounds like you've got the basis for a really good screenplay. These Draconians you suggest could be the stuff of the next Indy Jones action/adventure. Get to it, man. You seem to have the imagination to pull it off. Later!

somethgblue from Shelbyville, Tennessee on December 29, 2011:

Hey since these Indians were such good builders why isn't there more of these around?

So these primitive Indians just happened to make this complex structure, cause they were bored and had nothing else to do and just happened to align it with the Draco Star system.

What bothers me about your theory is that you write this incredible good article filled with insight and research and then ruin it with some childish theory at the end about the Indians just creating this for no particular reason, WOW!

What do you know about any legends or myths concerning aliens from the Draco star system? Very little research is required to realize that there are many stories concerning Draconians colonizing Earth in our ancient past.

The Draconians actually preferred living underground as opposed to the surface. There are many advantages to living under ground, constant temperature, do not have to deal with severe weather, if caves are in the area your shelter is already built for you.

You did mention that there are many caves and caverns in the area, that the mound is seen better from the air or space, perhaps as a marker to incoming ships?

What if the Draconians which just happen to be a Reptilian species were stranded on this planet and needed to leave an SOS, do you think a giant snake might do the trick, hmmm let me think about that for a while?!

Would living in an area that had it's own natural electrical power supply might come in handy, gee I don't know . . . I think your right a bunch of Indians had nothing to do for a year or so and built a giant snake out of what? Earth? Gimme a break!

Here is another thought for you didn't a bunch of dinosaurs get killed off about 65 million years ago and let's see the Draco's are a Reptilian species, hmmmm do ya think there is a connection . . . what if the craters weren't from meteors what else makes big holes in the ground? What if the craters were from nuclear explosions would that leave traces of uranium?

hey maybe they got into a war with someone that wanted the planet for themselves, like say a mammalian species, didn't the mammals get started about that time, hmmm!

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on December 07, 2011:

Hey, Man from Modesto, thanks for the compliment. Actually the meteorite crater is hardly visible, so they say. And, regarding the deluge as described in the Bible, if there was one, the water certainly didn't cover the entire earth. Nevertheless, flood myths are prominent throughout the world. Later!

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on December 07, 2011:

Thanks for the comment, SanXuary. Your valuable information is greatly appreciated. But, regarding crop circles, I'm a skeptic. I think they're nothing more than hoaxes. Perhaps you should write a hub about them. Hey, I'll read it. Later!

SanXuary on December 07, 2011:

I have to go way back into my memory banks but I recall several other things you might want to look at. One research document I read claims that this mound culture actually covers a vast area in the Ohio valley. The largest area of actual ancient cultivation in North America if I am right. Photographs and the first discoveries of the bones of Giants were also found in this area. Oddly enough there are several documents of these finds in America but no bones to actually see today, I have no idea why. If you want a truly mind boggling topic for your next hub do some research into crop circles. I thought it was a topic of plain hype but wow it is truly fascinating stuff. I do not believe that Aliens have anything to do with crop circles but truly wonder if it is the proof of intelligent design. The forensic evidence claims that electricity is the cause of this anomaly. If the plant is young it expands and falls over. If it matures it explodes and then falls over. Most unbelievable is the geometric design that is left from this cause. The ones that are identified have been the diagrams to the cellular make up of life forms on Earth. Seeing the complexity of these circles is unbelievable and virtually impossible to do by a group of people on the ground. Perhaps there is a human behind these things but this geometry goes back literally thousands of years and Celtic art depicts the very same symbols. I am not a grand believer in the supernatural but this thing blew my mind.

Man from Modesto from Kiev, Ukraine (formerly Modesto, California) on December 07, 2011:

It is difficult to believe that a meteor impact crater would remain visible after 250 million years! This is especially doubtful considering that all cultures, on every continent, record a world wide flood that occurred about 4000 years ago. This flood would have erased every meteor impact crater older than that by the deposit of silt and mud.

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on December 06, 2011:

Hey, gconeyhiden, thanks for the comment. I've heard of many sites having concentric circles or rows in North America. I think that's a Native American symbol for the sun. Anyway, thanks for calling it "your serpent mound." I wish it was mine. Later!

gconeyhiden from Brooklyn, N.Y.C. U.S.A on December 06, 2011:

hi again, I remembered the name of the native earth site I visited, its called poverty point. its a very old site that has concentric rows of lines, but your serpent mound is an exceptionally beautiful earth work and much better preserved.

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on November 30, 2011:

Thanks for the comment, gconeyhiden. You know, I like that interpretation: the cosmic snake eats a comet! Anyway, you gotta love Serpent Mound. Later!

gconeyhiden from Brooklyn, N.Y.C. U.S.A on November 30, 2011:

hi monacosmo, this is great earthwork by native americans Im almost certain NOT aliens. there are other native earthwork sites. one ancient mound village was built ontop of a hugh bird shaped mound. nice hub. beautiful sculpture. suppose to be snake eating egg or maybe comet???

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on November 21, 2011:

Why are you being so cryptic, ACLinn? Tell me the name of the book written on the aforementioned cave wall. As for one's senses, seeing is not believing, because too much can be faked. I've also written about hoaxes, by the way. Later!

ACLinn on November 18, 2011:

No Cosmo, the photo (ostensibly of a 'cave drawing,' contained in a certain book) was not 'touched up' in any way whatsoever. And, strangely enough, I do not think that any reader necessarily even looked at it, or examined it, the way I did (and have done). No question about it, you need to see this 5,000 year-old proof of an extraterrestrial presence here on earth (for many hundreds of thousands of years) for yourself. And when you see it, also ask yourself, whether you are prepared to deny the evidence of your senses, or not.

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on November 18, 2011:

Hey, ACLinn, thanks for the comment. Some people think electricity was used to paint frescoes on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs, because scientists can't find any residue of soot, which should be there if torches were used. This is indeed a perplexing realization. Also, many cave paintings are not ancient and, of course, many could have been photgraphed ditigally and then touched up with Photoshop or whatever. Later!

ACLinn on November 18, 2011:

There is evidence that 'extraterrestrials and an electricity supply' existed on earth some 5,000 years ago. However, as the photo in question (of an alleged 'cave drawing') is copyright protected, and cannot be published on hubpages without permission. If anyone would like to see this photo (which I have good reason to believe is a photo of a 'digital photo,' and not a cave-drawing). Simply contact me via my hub page, and I'll forward a copy via email. (PS: the number of requests for a copy of this photo are understandably limited). Last word . . . the serpent definitely looks like some form of an 'electrical grid' to me.

AZZ on November 16, 2011:

i think its related to aztec or mayan. i forgot my lesson about this.. i saw this map thingy same as the serpent mound..

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on October 28, 2011:

Thanks for the comment, Tyler Modjeski! I wish I were there with you. Later!

Tyler modjeski on October 28, 2011:

I was just there! Me my dad and my friend are just now leaving.. You can really feel the energy from the mound .. Serene .. God is good ! Blessed to be able to experience this.

Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on September 07, 2011:

Thanks for the comment, tom hellert. I really doubt anybody has done any mining near Serpent Mound but the possibility is intriguing. Nevertheless, your suggestion that the mound was made of mine waste adds food for thought to this tantalizing subject matter. Later!

tom hellert from home on September 07, 2011:


you said the mound has elevated irridium levels irridium, a common mineral found near/in impact crators-

what if during the mining of the irridium and other minerals in the crater the tailings were shot out the end of a mining machine and piled up as a winding ridge? as the alien mining machine mined the valuable minerals from crater area-its a strange idea butmaybe the electrical componant /magnetism componant is a pointer to the now less visible crater the mound was obviously "made" since there are no real coiled geomorphilogical structures that I know/heard of. Its a mound because material was piled up that way or a product of erosion-erosion seems unlikely. Its hard to say what or who "made" it...just an idea...


Kelley Marks (author) from Sacramento, California on September 05, 2011:

Thanks for the comment, Cardisa. Serpent Mound is definitely a godly place, though built by humans, of course. Later!

Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on September 04, 2011:

Is it really real? Is there really a place like that? Wow, I would really like to visit there, maybe when I get the US visa. The place is absolutely beautiful.

Maybe Aliens did build it but it also could be a Godly formation, He is by far the greatest artist of them all!