The Puzzly Mystery of the Astronaut of Casar

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[Image courtesy of Atlas Obscura.]

What is it about a secret message from decades or even centuries ago that intrigues us so?

Last year around this time, we chronicled the stories behind three stones in the United States inscribed with unidentified runes or letters that have defied attempts to solve them.

stele casar

Today, we add to that list of strange stones bearing the secret words of the past as we discuss the Astronaut of Casar.

The Astronaut of Casar, also known as the Alien of Casar or simply the Casar stele, is a stone slab that supposedly dates back to Roman times, if not earlier. It was originally embedded in the wall of a cemetery in a village in Spain known as Casar.

stele casar 4

[One theoretical interpretation.]

The inscription carved into the body of the illustrated figure consists of Latin characters, but the language appears to be something Indo-European. Possible languages include Lusitanian, Tartessian, and an early form of Basque.

The identity of the figure depicted on the stele is the subject of great debate. Some observers believe is a Celtiberian warrior from the 1st or 2nd century B.C. (The Celtiberians were Celts that lived on the Iberian peninsula in the last centuries B.C.)

stele casar 2

But, of course, the name indicates another theory regarding the identity of the figure on the stele. Some observers believe it’s meant to be an astronaut or an alien, a visitor from another planet. (The large head represents either a space helmet or the disproportionate head of an alien being, you see.)

Yes, I knew if we kept discussing mysterious stones, we would eventually have to talk about aliens at some point!

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Those who ascribe to the alien astronaut theory believe the stele is a message of gratitude from the alien, a thank you for the hospitality of a Casar family who welcomed it for a season while it stayed or was stuck on Earth.

To be fair, I think that’s a reach. There are plenty of examples of figures drawn or carved with oversized heads in art and archaeological history, so we don’t immediately need to look to the stars for answers.

stele casar 3

But if you want to look for answers, instead of the cemetery wall in Casar, the Astronaut of Casar can be found in the Archaeological Museum of Cáceres, Spain.

What do you think the stone says, fellow puzzlers? Is it just a strange funeral marker, or something more otherworldly? Let us know in the comments section below! We’d love to hear from you.


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