Mysterious-looking artefacts discovered in China have fuelled UFO conspiracy theories that ancient aliens once invaded our planet.
The finding of bizarre Sanxigdui relics follows China reportedly beginning its own investigation into UFOs.
UFO buffs have seen some of the artefacts, which sport large pointing ears and bulging eyes, as proof that aliens visited Earth and left behind their relics for us.
The interest has been so great, in fact, that archaeologists have recently been forced to deny they are not in fact aliens.
"Some artistically exaggerated goddess statues cannot be said to be 'aliens,'" said Lei Yu, an archaeologist at the Sichuan Provincial Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute.
The relics at the site, in Sichuan province, south-west China, were first discovered in 1929 by a local villager and date back 3000 years to the Bronze Age.
And archaeologists recently unearthed more than 500 similar relics in six ancient sacrificial pits made of jade.
It is believed the site was a former capital of the late Xia Dynasty which ruled from 2070BC-1600BC.
America's Pentagon report into UFOs was released last month which was heavily anticipated by conspiracy theorists in the US.
In the official document, the authors claimed that despite not finding any concrete evidence that the unidentified flying objects filmed by navy pilots were aliens, that "explanation can't be definitively ruled out."
China is now also reportedly preparing to address alien visitation as it launches its own investigation into unexplained encounters with UFOS, a former Pentagon investigator has said.
China may be attempting to take the lead amid a recent push for UFO interest, Luis Elizondo, who headed up the secretive Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), said.
However, Elizondo has admitted that it would take a lot for the US to let China and Russia take the lead on such an important issue and wants to remain "realistic".
It is understood however that China have set a similar task force to what has been used in the US – where artificial intelligence can track 'strange objects' and UFOs flying through the skies.
Elizondo said: “I would love nothing more than an opportunity to work with our adversaries, our conventional adversaries- Russia, China, let’s get everybody to the table."
"I believe this is a topic that involves all of humanity. I think it affects all of us equally and yet differently, depending on our philosophical, sociological and theological belief systems."
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