This week a conference on UFOs, science and consciousness was held in Johannesburg, South Africa. This is the city where gamechanging SF movie District 9 takes place, but apparently that movie has less hold on locals' imaginations than recent flop Cowboys & Aliens does (see io9's glowing review of Cowboys & Aliens here). One of the conference organizers told attendees that aliens have been coming to Earth for millennia to mine for gold.

From South Africa's News 24:

"There's a battle for Earth by some interesting dark forces," said author, scientist and researcher Michael Tellinger, who organised the conference.

"All the governments in the world are puppets and instruments to implement the will of a small group of individuals. The royal political bloodline goes back thousand of years."

He said the royal political bloodline was a small group of families whose origins could be traced to the first of mankind and who were inevitably in contact with the aliens.

He said the South African government was one of the most important puppets of these extra-terrestrials.

This was because the country was rich in gold and diamonds.

"We are at the heart of this global control because of our mineral resources."

All speakers on the first day of the conference agreed that, like humans who had the potential to be both good and bad, so too was the population of galactical beings.

Extra-terrestrials were also not dissimilar to politicians, who pushed their own agenda for material gain.

"They came to Earth looking for gold. We are all still obsessed with gold."

Tettinger said research showed that the extra-terrestrial "Annunaki" (reportedly also known as the Jedi, the Nephilim, the Watchers or the Watchmen and referred to in the Bible in Genesis) came to Earth around 300 000 years ago to look for gold.

They were also responsible for cloning their own genetic structures and creating mankind.

This is definitely my new favorite alien conspiracy theory.

UPDATE: Apparently this idea about aliens mining for gold predates the movie Cowboys & Aliens. So the flick, um, corroborates Tettinger's theory.