The Lacerta Files and its reptilian hybrids show the persistence of appealing myths

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Mark Hornehttp://www.merseysideskeptics.org.uk/
Mark Horne is a board member of the Merseyside Skeptics Society. He currently works as Development Manager at a university and has been a fundraiser, copywriter, researcher and campaigner.

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Ideas about the existence of a hidden species of reptilian humanoids – either from outer space or from a time before humans – are commonplace in conspiracy theorist circles, in myths and legends, and in modern fantasy and science fiction. If I were to ask you to think about a secret race of reptiles who secretly either visit or are inhabiting the earth, you’d probably be thinking either about David Icke and his shape-shifting reptilian Illuminati overlords (many of whom are Jews, though Icke insists he isn’t antisemitic), or the underground Silurians from Doctor Who. 

The David Icke variety of reptilians has been well-covered in The Skeptic and elsewhere, but the supposed existence of a Silurian-style hidden race of reptilians also has a surprising persistence, especially when combined with ancient aliens theories, as exemplified in the conspiracy theorist canon by The Lacerta Files.

The Lacerta Files are condensed transcripts of two supposed interviews with a reptilian humanoid known as “Lacerta”, apparently conducted by a Swedish “skeptic” with the pseudonym Ole K. The story of how this interview happened and came to be public knowledge is impossible to properly substantiate, but goes something like this:

A friend of Ole K took him to his house to meet a reptilian woman, Lacerta, that he’d been in contact with, for an interview in December 1999, and then again in April 2000. Although not permitted to take pictures he was able to record the audio but – surprise! – there are no audio copies available, nor any full transcripts. Ole K says he was forced to edit the transcript to Lacerta’s specifications, and then shared this with friends to be translated into other languages. German UFO webzine editor Christian Pfeiler was sent a copy, which he translated into English and sent to his contact list, in which form it appeared in 2002 on Russian website Pravda. It is worth noting that at the time Christian said

My personal opinion (after translating this weird text for nearly one week) is that the text is a really good science-fiction story but never the truth or reality. The answers and questions are always more or less logical, but I think the whole message is too unbelievable to be true (especially the scientific things) and in my opinion, the “being” tries too often to avoid the answering of too difficult questions because the author of the whole text was not able to know an answer.

The story took off from there, with part two translated by Doug Parrish, and the whole thing finding its way across the internet, in particular via Luis Prada’s New Age Brother Veritus website, and Rico Kolodzey’s sabon.org (which in its current incarnation has metamorphosed into a rather unpleasant hard-line Christian website). 

Copper wire

What does the interview actually say? The supposed interviewee, Lacerta, describes herself – no photos allowed, of course – and apparently she resembles humans to the extent that she has breasts, hair on her head and full lips. Talk about convergent evolution! She says that her species has been around in its current form for 30 million years, descendants of dinosaurs that survived a total war between aliens that happened to take place on Earth some 65 million years ago. The cause of the war? Copper. She says that these intergalactic travellers need copper so much that they will have a massive war over securing the Earth’s share of it. Why they choose to have a war of near-annihilation over copper deposits is not explained, and particularly curious given that the element  is almost exactly as abundant in the wider universe as it is on Earth. 

This isn’t the first or last nonsensical aspect of the transcript, from mistaking Procyon for a constellation rather than a star, to completely misunderstanding how evolution works. 

Lacerta goes on to say that a further set of aliens genetically engineered humanity’s ancestors, that as a result the reptilians now mostly live in underground cave systems, but can walk on the surface by using mind control to pass as humans. (Hence: no photos allowed – which doesn’t explain how these reptilians would manage to operate in 2021, a world with more cameras than people). There’s a lot more besides, from the sources of UFOs – some are reptilian, some are secret government vehicles, and some are actual aliens – to paranormal abilities, which Lacerta says we humans could manage, too, if we weren’t “blocked”.

Twenty years later, the Lacerta interview is going stronger than it was 15 years ago. Although nowhere near as well-known as Icke’s Jewish reptilian overlords conspiracy, it has inspired artworks, YouTube videos, UFO board discussion threads and a lot of recent podcast episodes

This persistence is a little curious. Self-identified UFO believers dismiss it as a hoax – or in their words, “disinformation”. Podcast coverage also leans very skeptical. Original translator Pfeiler wrote about the Lacerta Files to his webzine readers back in 2000: “the “Lacerta File” is a simple hoax… don’t believe everything you can read published in the Internet and this includes the transcript itself.” Why, then, does it still attract interest?

My hunch is that the opacity of its provenance helps keep the air of mystery going, as it is surprisingly difficult to untangle this story’s origins from the relatively early days of the web. That it does not attempt to fabricate photos, audio or video may also help, as in an age of astonishing CGI and FX we are rightly weary and wary of such claims. 

Furthermore, the Lacerta Files link in with many other long-standing myths, from the serpent of Genesis, to Helena Blavatsky’s ideas about the lost continent of Lemuria (supposedly populated by serpent-men), and even more modern nonsense about ancient aliens interfering in human history. There’s also something for everyone’s unusual belief in here, whether you’re a believer in the paranormal and think that mind control and psychokinesis is real, you’re a fan of conspiracy theories and UFOs, or if you have an interest in cryptohistory. 

Finally, it is a fairly intricate tale, and Lacerta does have a consistently tetchy and condescending character, so it does feel like a fairly coherent read with a real individual, even where the science and facts don’t add up. We puny humans do love stories. 

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