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I am looking for a sci-fi story in which a spaceship with humans crash-lands on earth in the distant past and the surviving members go an founding the human race. This story is at least 30 years old.

closed as too broad by Valorum, Aegon, Bellatrix, Blackwood, Politank-Z May 8 '18 at 3:17

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    Not a lot of detail here - there are probably dozens of stories that could fit this. Is there anything else you remember that could help us identify the story for you? – HorusKol Apr 29 '18 at 2:38
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    This is such a broadly used plot... can you provide any additional details? We have some prompts at scifi.stackexchange.com/tags/story-identification/info. If you can edit the answers to those into your question, you're much more likely to get an answer. – FuzzyBoots Apr 29 '18 at 2:39
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    It's so common that the plot has its own wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaggy_God_story (okay, 'founding the human race' isn't the ONLY plot that falls under that umbrella term, but the article describes how frequent it is). – starpilotsix Apr 29 '18 at 3:27
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    The story "Men Without Bones" by Gerald Kersh (the answer to this old question) also fits the scant description given in the question. Unless the OP gives us more details, I don't see the point to listing all of the dozens of stories in which humans came from another planet. – user14111 Apr 29 '18 at 11:16
  • Probably a long shot, but this reminded me of en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protector_(novel)#Concepts (Origin of Humanity). – ShadeOfGrey Apr 30 '18 at 16:05
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This is a pretty common trope. However, here is one of the better known examples:

According to the The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Earth was populated by the useless middle class of the planet Golgafrincham, who were sent here on Ark B. The ark was intentionally crashed into the Earth, but the enough of the Golgafrinchans survived to become the dominant species on the planet, wiping out the native hominids.

Per the Hitchhikers Wikia

The Golgafrinchans are a race of humanoid beings who realised that there were three types of beings on the planet of Golgafrincham. Thinkers, Workers, and the strange Middle Class.

The middle class comprised of hair dressers, lawyers, telephone sanitisers, and other such "worthless jobs".

The Thinkers built a ship and told the third class that the planet was to be consumed by a "giant space goat". So they built a ship and sent off their third class. Telling them that they would follow soon. The Third class ended up on Earth, "mucking up the program to determine the ultimate question", while the rest of the classes were killed off by a raging disease contracted from public telephones. Golgafrincham itself soon after was consumed by a giant space goat.

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    ?? Whoever wrote that Wikia entry obviously belongs to the useless Golgafrinchan middle class. The books clearly mention that the population of Golgafrincham was wiped out by an infectious disease, whose spread was facilitated by the lack of telephone sanitisers. – JRE Apr 29 '18 at 8:29
  • @JRE It says that: "... while the rest of the classes were killed off by a raging disease contracted from public telephones." – Buzz Apr 29 '18 at 17:08
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This may be 'Genesis' by H. Beam Piper. The 'humans' are from Mars, and their vehicle goes off-track. The last line is something like 'we are the men from Mars'http://www.loyalbooks.com/book/Genesis-by-H-Beam-Piper

  • The full text is available for free at the Internet Archive. archive.org/details/… – user14111 Apr 29 '18 at 10:04
  • Thank you so much. I read the story ant it is it !!! I have searched for 30 years plus for this. – Tom Sep 25 '18 at 4:13
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This happens in James Hogan’s “Inherit the Stars”. An ancient skeleton is found on the moon. Scientists try to figure out how it got there. Readers find out in the final chapter that compatriots of the dead alien landed on earth and founded the human race.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/776489.Inherit_the_Stars

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Could also be https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutineers%27_Moon . The ship did not crashland.

The book begins with a prologue recording a mutiny aboard the planetoid-sized Utu-class starship of the Fourth Imperium (a more-than-55,000-year-old technologically advanced multi-star system empire), the Dahak, led by its Chief of Engineering, the ambitious and psychopathic Captain Anu. Anu's ostensible reason for mutiny is to lead his followers to refuge on some remote planet where presumably the genocidal wrath of the "Achuultani", a mysterious alien race that periodically exterminates all intelligent life it can find, and which has destroyed the previous three Imperiums, will pass over them.

  • All correct, but Anu and his clique actually believed the Achuultani either no longer existed, or had never existed. So they wanted to set out for themselves, and found their little Empire somewhere farther out in the Galactic Arm. – LSerni Apr 30 '18 at 20:25
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Not a perfect match, but it could be The Wailing Asteroid by Murray Leinster.

It might also be Moon Wreck, prequel to The Slaver Wars and The Lost Fleet series by Raymond Weil. As Buzz said, this is a pretty common trope.

Also, of course, Earth is the Thirteenth Colony of Kobol in Battlestar Galactica universe.

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