Visitors to the Karpeles Manuscript Library last Saturday had a close encounter with an author who presented his theory that aliens are responsible for creating humans.

Marshall Klarfeld, independent researcher and author of Adam: The Missing Link, spoke in downtown Santa Barbara at the Karpeles Manuscript Library at 1:30 p.m. Approximately 100 people attended the event, where Klarfeld presented his theory that aliens, using genetic engineering, created the first human beings 250,000 years ago.

“We were the creation of advanced extraterrestrial beings called the Anunnaki,” Klarfeld said. “This is a new history of mankind’s creation . . . It needs to be examined by as many people as possible so we can know what the story really was.”

Klarfeld, who graduated from the California Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering, said evidence supporting his genetic engineering theory can be found in a collection of cuneiform tablets and “microscopically precise” cylinder seals found in modern-day Iraq. Cuneiform tablets are ancient tablets often found in the Middle East that are inscribed using a form of pictograph writing.

“Much of the information we’re talking about comes from information on cuneiform tablets,” Klarfeld said. “There is a tremendous amount of physical and written evidence that tells this story.”

During his lecture Klarfeld cited ancient stone tablets as evidence for his theory, including the Epic of Gilgamesh. He said the epic – an ancient Sumerian story written on cuneiform tablets about King Gilgamesh – contains references to the Anunnaki and the creation of humans.

“The Epic of Gilgamesh is a lesson to us about what happened,” Klarfeld said. “The epic suggests that, in need of a distraction from Gilgamesh, the Anunnaki created the first human being.”

Klarfeld also referenced pyramids in Giza, Egypt, and large stones in Baalbek, Lebanon, as evidence for his theory. He said researchers do not know how ancient societies could have built such large landmarks, which suggests that they could have had some help from sources such as aliens.

“I’m not sure we could do that today,” Klarfeld said. “I’m a mechanical engineer. It’s beyond my understanding how it can be done.”

Klarfeld said a cuneiform pictograph of Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of love and war, shows an inscription on her helmet that translates as “goes far in the universe.” He said this could prove ancient civilizations had contact with space-travelers.

“This could be interpreted as a space helmet of some sort,” Klarfeld said.

Norman Cohan, director for the Karpeles Manuscript Library – which holds one of the nation’s largest collections of manuscripts and also houses several of the cuneiform tablets Klarfeld referenced – said he thinks the lecture was timely, given the current debate about whether or not schools should teach evolution or more religious-based theories about the creation of mankind. He said he thinks people rarely consider the possibility that mankind could have originate in some other way.

David Sampanis, who attended the lecture, said Klarfeld is just one of many scientists who think aliens are responsible for creating people.

“It’s not just his idea, he covered lots of common ground,” Sampanis said. “There are tons of scientists synthesizing the same information.”

Mike Rubcic, a Summerland resident, said he thought the speech was very informative because it gave him a new way of thinking about how mankind came into being.

“It was really an eye-opener,” Rubcic said. “There are things going on that people are investigating that may illuminate why we’re here and why we’ve come to be who we are.”