->''"60 million years ago''\\
''another race, superior to ours''\\
''foresaw the catastrophe''\\
''fled to space and fled the tragedy''\\
''now they're here again, with a simple claim''\\
''Alien, Alien attack''\\
''They. Want. Their. Planet. Back."''
-->-- '''Music/{{SPOCK}}''', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHzXZWJIsJc ''Alien Attack'']]

The ultraterrestials are an alien race that, well, isn't all too alien. In fact, they originate from Earth, just like us humans, but their civilization is so much older and more advanced than ours that they have no trouble hiding from us ([[TheWorldIsNotReady for whatever reason]]). The term was coined by the ufologist John Keel in his ''Operation Trojan Horse'' in 1970, wherein he claims that the [=UFO=]s, various supernatural phenomena (like {{the Mothman| prophecies}}), and [[AllMythsAreTrue religious myths]] imply the activity of an almighty High EnergyBeing co-existing with humans on Earth.

Contrast AdvancedAncientHumans, when it's ''humanity itself'' that developed early, got advanced, then for whatever reason disappeared or fell back into primitiveness. Contrast EarthAllAlong, which includes a reversal of this trope: human spacefarers encounter a strange planet with strange lifeforms. It turns out that a lot of time has passed, and this strange planet is actually Earth.

Different from TheMasquerade in that the masquerade is the act of hiding (e.g. in ''Film/MenInBlack'' extraterrestrials are walking among humans), whereas this is about the origin of the hiding species.

The ultraterrestrials often reside inside the HollowEarth. Still others hang out in {{Atlantis}}, or a place that's said to be the inspiration for it. Compare/contrast TranshumanAliens. Often a form of {{Precursor}}.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime ]]

* The Atlanteans in ''NadiaTheSecretOfBlueWater.''
* The Olmecs in ''Anime/TheMysteriousCitiesOfGold.''
* The "Subterraneans" in ''SuperAtragon''.
* The Dinosaur Empire (highly evolved survivors of when PhlebotinumKilledTheDinosaurs) in ''GetterRobo''.
* In the manga ''Manga/{{Outlanders}}'', the invading aliens were originally from Earth. They were not happy to find squatters on the Sacred Mother Planet.
* In the nasty {{gorn}}-filled {{hentai}} OVA series ''Demon Beast Invasion'', the eponymous villain was originally an advance scout for his race that was this trope (they'd left Earth 100 million years ago due to environmental changes making it unliveable for them); numerous {{retcon}}s gradually transformed it into a transdimensional EldritchAbomination though.
* The Nontolma from ''Manga/KeroroGunsou'' are pre-human inhabitants of Earth who live in the deepest oceans and prefer to be left alone to [[TheWatcher observe and record the goings-on of the surface world]].
* The Atlanteans from ''{{Escaflowne}}'' are either this or AdvancedAncientHumans or AllJustADream. It's vague.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'': [[AllThereInTheManual Supplementary material]] shows that [[spoiler:this is true of the Angels (except for Adam and Lilith, which actually are extraterrestrial), they've just been asleep/dormant for the past several million years and Second Impact woke them up.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comics ]]

* MarvelComics has ''ComicBook/TheEternals'', the Deviants, and TheInhumans, each group an offshoot of pre-modern humans who were genetically modified by non terrestrial aliens long ago. Also the SubMariner's {{Atlantis}}.
** Lost lands of this type were also a staple of the company's [[{{Kaiju}} "giant monster"]] and science fiction stories in the 50's, although not all of those stories are still considered canon in the Marvel Universe.
* The DCUniverse has Paradise Island/Themyscira, home of [[WonderWoman the Amazons]]; Gorilla City, home of gorillas [[TouchedByVorlons genetically enhanced by aliens]]; and Comicbook/{{Aquaman}}'s {{Atlantis}}. TheWarlord's land of Skartaris ''used'' to count, being a HollowWorld, but then got retconned as being a ''Series/LandOfTheLost''-style AlternateUniverse.
** According to one story from ArionLordOfAtlantis at least one alien race is descended from Atlantean space explorers. This ''might'' be an explanation for why there are so many [[HumanAliens human-looking alien races]] in the DCUniverse.
* ''ComicBook/GoldDigger'' LIVES on this trope. Digging up artifacts from such civilizations is the whole point of Gina's character. Of course, that 'verse being a FantasyKitchenSink means that actual aliens, magical creatures from AnotherDimension, and plenty else besides show up all the time.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* In ''Sinister Barrier'' by Creator/EricFrankRussell, Earth is populated by Vitons, EnergyBeings who exist outside visible spectrum and feed upon human pain and anguish. Oh, and when they die, they [[ParanoiaFuel turn into ball lightnings]].
* In Creator/BruceCoville's novel ''[[Literature/RodAlbrightAlienAdventures The Search for Snout]]'', a boy believed his DisappearedDad was an alien, but upon meeting him in space, finds out that he's a scientist from {{Atlantis}} who traveled into space before it fell, became immortal, and had adventures on alien worlds before returning to live on Earth (And then he disappeared because an alien he'd ticked off on his adventures found him and wanted to harm his family).
* The fairies from the ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'' series have got magic ''and'' have technology 50 years ahead of ours. And they live within the HollowEarth, to boot.
* Humorous version from one of the spin-off ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' books, where Scott Adams postulates that all the smart people in the world have hyper-evolved to resemble grey aliens and are the real cause behind UFO sightings, but in fact have all just gone off to live in Switzerland.
* In the writings of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Sharpe_Shaver Richard Sharpe Shaver]]--which he and many others believed to be fact--the Earth was once home to a super-advanced race of people living in ancient cave cities who abandoned this world to travel to another, leaving behind their descendants, the noble Teros and the degenerate Deros. The Deros would later inspire the evil dwarf-like Derros in ''DungeonsAndDragons''.
* The dolphins in ''TheIlluminatusTrilogy''.
* In Creator/AnneMcCaffrey's ''Literature/AcornaSeries'', the character is a member of a humanoid race of unicorns, [[InterspeciesRomance descended from]] more traditional equine unicorns and the SufficientlyAdvancedAliens who rescued them from being hunted to extinction on Earth in the middle ages.
* Creator/KenMacLeod's Engines of Light trilogy is set in the Second Sphere, an area of space colonized by successive waves of intelligent Earth-evolved life forms, starting with hyperintelligent giant squid, and uplifted dinosaurs. Who fly around in saucers and happen to look a lot like [[TheGrays grays]].
* A staple of Creator/HPLovecraft's CthulhuMythos. [[FishPeople Deep Ones]], [[OurGhoulsAreDifferent Ghouls]], [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg and Sand Dwellers]] are all roughly humanoid and presumably originated on Earth; the Cthonians could also possibly be of terrestrial origins, but their being full-fledged {{Eldritch Abomination}}s makes this hard to determine. The [[StarfishAlien Great Race]] is actually a subversion, as while their ''[[StarfishAliens host bodies]]'' originated on Earth, the ''[[BodySurf possessing intelligences]]'' that are the actual Great Race projected themselves through time and space from elsewhere and -when.
* An inversion terms of [[TheTropeHistoryOfTheUniverse the Trope History]] occurs in DougalDixon's ManAfterMan [[spoiler: where the descendents of those Humans sent off to colonise distant starts while Earth's ecology recovers return after 5 million years, exploit and alter the planet more than Humanity did the first time, and then leave for some [[AllThereInTheManual alien-rationalised reason]].]]
* In ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'', Floyd speculated one of these to be the ones who buried the Monolith in the moon. But then debunk this when he realized they would have found evidence of their existence already.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In the ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' episode "Distant Origin", the starship encounters an ancient civilization of earth dinosaurs. However, the theory that dinosaurs originate on Earth quickly gets branded as heresy, [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything since it conflicts with the dogma that they have always been in their current region of space]].
** Interestingly, their leader doesn't necessarily say that the Distant Origin theory is wrong. It just happens to contradict the Doctrine, on which their entire culture is based. She's perfectly willing to let the ''Voyager'' (i.e. the evidence that humans and Voth are related) go, as long as the scientist making the claim is willing to give up the theory and be relegated into obscurity. She's simply protecting her race's cultural identity.
** Except that Doctrine is also what gives her the right to rule (without any apparent checks on power or transparency), so she's also protecting her authority. Regardless of whether StrawmanHasAPoint, this is coming at the cost of stifling scientific progress and denying the Voth any right to debate a new discovery regarding their origin or potential genetic relationship with another spacefaring species.
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' serials "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS7E2DoctorWhoAndTheSilurians Doctor Who and the Silurians]]", "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS9E3TheSeaDevils The Sea Devils]]" and "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS21E1WarriorsOfTheDeep Warriors of the Deep]]" feature various branches of a scientifically-advanced race of lizard people who ruled Earth in the days BEFORE the dinosaurs (stated at least once as being 300 million B.C).
** Also, the Cybermen were originally humans. As of developments in the new series, there are now two distinct groups of Cybermen: those developed into Cybermen on Earth's twin planet Mondas and those created in an AlternateUniverse (wherein Britain is a republic, Rose Tyler's dad is still alive, Rose Tyler never existed, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and Mickey is Ricky]]).
** There was also the [[Recap/DoctorWhoS15E3ImageOfTheFendahl Fendahl]], whose skull crashed on Earth long before humans existed and [[GambitRoulette psychically guided human evolution for thousands of years]] so that it could have a suitable host.
** The revived series does a purer form of this trope with the Silence, [[spoiler:who have secretly ruled Earth "since the wheel and the fire"]], but always went unnoticed due to the fact that you forget their existence as soon as they leave your field of vision.
*** You don't just forget, but anything they say is treated as a post-hypnotic suggestion, including [[spoiler:"You should kill us on sight" spliced with the footage of the Lunar landing, meaning humans kill the Silence without ever knowing it]].
* Gary Seven, from the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode "[[Recap/StarTrekS2E26AssignmentEarth Assignment: Earth]]", was from a race of humans raised on another planet, returned to Earth to guide human evolution.
* The aliens in ''Series/TheXFiles'' were actually ancient native Earth lifeforms that left for a few millennia and decided to come back. Much to their horror, they found that those pesky apes had built a civilization and replaced them -- so they set out to re-colonize Earth, using the GovernmentConspiracy to aid them.
* ''Series/{{Fringe}}''
** The First People [[spoiler:are a subversion. They're actually contemporary humans using a time machine.]]
** The Observers play this trope straight, except for the fact that they come from the ''very'' far future. As such, they are [[HumansArePsychicInTheFuture telepathic]], can travel through space and time at will and "[[SuperSpeed function at highly attenuated time]]".
* The antagonists in the ''Series/UltraSeven'' episode "Envoy from Nonmalto".

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music ]]

* In the song "Alien Attack" (see Page Quote), the synth band S.P.O.C.K. tells a story of hypertech dinosaurs coming back to reclaim their home planet from the humans.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* The Subterrans and Tritons in ''{{Monsterpocalypse}}''.
* The [[TheReptilians Saurians]] in ConspiracyX.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The Lunarians in ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' Project.
* The D'ni of ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'' fame, though they originated on another world. Their city can be visited in Myst V and URU.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'' the Komato, and, by extension, the Tasen originated from Earth.
* The Gillmen of ''VideoGame/{{XCOM}}'', possibly inspired by the Silurians and Sea-Devils of ''Doctor Who''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Crysis}}''' Ceph, although they don't quite fit the trope perfectly. Yes, the Ceph are genuine extraterrestrials who originated from another galaxy, but they established colonies on Earth at least 65 million years ago which then went into hibernation. So no, they're not exactly UltraTerrestrials, but they've been on this planet for so long they might as well be.
* The Vahnatai in the ''VideoGame/{{Avernum}}''/''VideoGame/{{Exile}}'' series even ''look'' like Roswell aliens, but live extremely deep underground.
* The Beastmen from ''[[VideoGame/UFOAfterBlank UFO Afterlight]]'' are actually Ultra-Martians back with a vengeance against the Martians who had imprisoned them in another dimension.
* ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'': The {{Precursor|s}} race known as The Ones Who Came Before co-evolved with what would become modern humans, but dominated them with their superior technology and physical capabilities. They died out due to underpopulation after a great catastrophe, but left a legacy in the form of their DNA mingled with humanity's.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* The [[DinosaursAreDragons dragons]] in ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob,'' although they left Earth for another planet in the Middle Ages.
* In ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'', the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs on Earth also propelled a number of them into space. "Crazy space radiation" caused them to gain human-level intelligence. Eventually, they mastered interstellar travel and (in some of the timelines) returned to Earth.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* The [[AIIsACrapshoot ahuman]] and solipsist transapient [=AI=]s from ''OrionsArm'' are ultraterrestrials to an extent - they ''were'' originally created by humans, but after losing their cyberwar against the pro-human transapients, they were exiled from Earth. When the ([[{{Transhumanism}} trans]])humans and pro-human [=AI=]s finally reached the systems the ahumans had passed through, they found apparently alien artifacts - which turned out to be just stuff that the ahumans had built.
* The Wiki/SCPFoundation plays with this in the form of [[BigfootSasquatchAndYeti SCP-]][[http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-1000 1000]]. They were the dominant species on Earth before humanity. Then humanity destroyed their civilization and wiped its own memory of those events through an unspecified means. Now the SCP-1000 want to be "let back in."
* In the ''GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'', shortly after Earth has fought off an invasion by the Xorn, the earth is visited by ''another'' alien race, the Kankiscree, who have been space-faring for some 70 million years and possess [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien god-like technology]]. Turns out the Kankiscree ''originated'' on earth from one of the dinosaur species. They left due to the dramatic climate change caused by the "dinosaur-killer" asteroid impact and never bothered to come back. They then declared that their mammalian "cousins", the humans, were under their protection.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'''s Crab People.
-->'''[[EarWorm "Taste like crab, talk like people..."]]'''
** Jakovasaurs
* ''Series/{{Stingray 1964}}'': The various aquatic races.
* The monsters from ''WesternAnimation/{{Inhumanoids}}'' as well as the Mutores.

----