If humanity wants to understand the greed in a man or woman's heart, he might want to look to the stars . . . and the little green men who might be living on them.
Aliens -- much like humans -- have been plundering the planet for gold for thousands of years, according to the organizer of South Africa's first UFO Science and Consciousness Conference, held in Johannesburg last week.
"There's a battle for Earth by some interesting dark forces," conference organizer Michael Tellinger told News 24. "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."
Tellinger insists that extraterrestrials visited our planet in search of gold about 300,000 years ago, cloned their genetic make-up and gave rise to mankind. Ever since, they've been in contact with world leaders.
"They came to Earth looking for gold. We are all still obsessed with gold," Tellinger said, according to News 24.
And thanks to its diamonds and gold deposits, South Africa is "at the heart of this," Tellinger reportedly said.
"South Africa has been dubbed as the cradle of humankind and the place where all life form began, thus the reason [South Africa] was selected as the host for the UFO Science and Consciousness Conference," he told The Citizen. "We have scientific evidence that there was physical life before humans which were African knowledge keepers and custodians of secret knowledge."
Tellinger's statements about gold-hunting aliens were widely reported by the South African press, while comparisons between the gold-digging alien theory and the plot of the film "Cowboys & Aliens" were noted by the sci-fi blog io9.
But those claims about ETs weren't the only shocking ideas introduced at the forum.
Laura Eisenhower, who describes herself as the great-granddaughter of president Dwight Eisenhower, claims world leaders have experienced close contact with aliens, signing treaties with them every decade.
"Extra-terrestrials have been working with governments for a while," she told News 24.
Bigfoot expert Lloyd Pye told the crowd about an oddly shaped skull that he believes belonged to an alien while hypnotist Jennifer Welch discussed crystal skulls, The New Age reports.
The three-day event brought 13 speakers from around the world to South Africa -- a country recently outed as the setting of a UFO hoax.SOUTH AFRICA UFO HOAX:
AMAZING UFO PHOTOS:
This cigar-shaped UFO was photographed by general aviation pilot David Hastings as he piloted a Cessna Skymaster plane over the Mojave Desert on Sept. 9, 1985. There has never been an indication of hoax in this case, which remains unexplained to this day.
An unidentified flying object was photographed by a government employee over the Holloman Air Development Center in New Mexico in 1964. Conspiracy theorists have claimed the photo is proof that the U.S. government has been in contact with aliens.
While descending an Austrian mountain in 1954, photographer Erich Kaiser captured an image of what he called mysterious silvery-white flying objects.
Mexican Air Force pilots filmed strange, brightly lit objects that moved quickly in the skies on March 5, 2004. Some scientists said the phenomenon could have been caused by gases in the atmosphere.
America's most infamous UFO case centers in Roswell, N.M. Some people claimed an alien spacecraft crashed there in 1947; the military said it was a weather balloon.
The Air Force issued "The Roswell Report" in 1997. Countering claims that aliens were recovered at the New Mexico site, the report said military officials picked up 200-pound dummies, above, that were used in an experiment.
Video grab close up. What looks like an alien creature with visible head, neck, arms and body standing in the Brazilian rainforest in Manaus, Brazil. In this Amaz-alien footage, a lone unidentified being appears to stand in the jungle of Brazil -- even arching its back -- just feet away from a bright flashing blue light. In what some allege as proof that Earth is being visited by aliens from another planet, the video was obtained by paranormal writer Mike Cohen who says the video was taken by two British tourists visiting the Manaus region of the Amazon jungle.
A large circle and geometric pattern local residents say were created by a UFO appeared in a rice field in Krasakan hamlet in Sleman, Yogyakarta, on the morning of Jan. 23, 2011.
Stan Romanek claimed that this still image from a three-minute video he shot in 2003 shows an alien looking into his home in Nebraska. In the film, a strange face appears to be popping up and down outside Romanek's window.
This eyewitness drawing of an alleged UFO sighting is in one of 19 once-secret files posted to the British National Archives website. The files cover sightings reported between 1986 and 1992. Although many of the reports were debunked, some remain unexplained.
An investigator in 1989 measures markings that some said were left behind by a UFO in Normandy, France. France began releasing its "X-Files" on UFO sightings in 2007.
President Jimmy Carter, shown here in 1971, reported that he saw a UFO above Leary, Ga., in 1969. He filed a report about the sighting to the International UFO Bureau in 1973.
Astronaut Gordon Cooper, who piloted Mercury and Gemini space missions in the 1960s, once said he saw a "typical saucer shape, double-cylindrical shape, metallic" UFO. He was also outspoken on the idea that some UFOs were interplanetary vehicles visiting Earth.