Scientific fact: A pair of stars passed within 5 trillion miles of the Earth about 70,000 years ago:
A comparison of the Solar System and its Oort Cloud. 70,000 years ago, Scholz's Star and companion passed along the outer boundaries of our Solar System
(Credit: NASA, Michael Osadciw/University of Rochester, Illustration-T.Reyes)
The vast evidence of apparent ancient visitation by aliens to Earth might be explained by an advanced culture using Scholz's Star as an energy source, riding along with the rogue pair to explore our little corner of the Galaxy.
While there must be an extremely long time between encounters with worlds and other phenomena worth a visit, a sufficiently advanced race would likely spend most of its time thinking vast, ponderous thoughts we cannot even imagine, and their sense of time would compare to ours as ours does to that of a mayfly (which only lives one day as an adult). The visit to Earth would only take 2 years round trip at near-light speed, just a blink of the eye to the aliens.
While these visitors did not seem to be keen on passing on advanced technology, they were not obsessed with the Prime Directive. Perhaps looking in on Humanity was their form of slumming for the jaded and bored among them. They seem to have had a hand in advancing human agriculture, mining, smelting, and basic scientific methodology, but their biggest contribution seems to have been occasionally showing off some very powerful weapon or other device and thereby providing a multitude of sources for voluminous, imaginative, and extravagant story-telling. Perhaps their Prime Directive limited the level of technology they could bring with them. Perhaps Earth was their Australia and Florida for ne'er-do-wells from their equivalents of England and Cuba.
The star is real. The idea about its alien companions is of course pure speculation, but infinitely more compelling than the other three most often advanced "explanations" of our ancient contact with advanced cultures:
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- Ancient Aliens.
(Who left behind a mess best explained as a failed and abandoned alien experiment. Explains a lot.)
- Human mutation causing very high intelligence that died out.
(Seems they would have found a way to survive. Maybe they did and are now our secret overlords.)
- Meddling time-traveling humans from the future.
(Violates currently accepted laws of physics, and would disrupt their own timelines with unforeseeable consequences.)
- A giant, anthropomorphized, white, male, daddy figure floating around in the sky who somehow brings delusional comfort to billions of dedicated wishful thinkers who shun reason, while choosing not to interfere with the vast perpetual unspeakable suffering of innocents throughout the world, even though "He", they say, could do so with a single thought.