I am looking for a story about someone from outer space visiting a museum, possibly on Earth (though the planet is not known to the visitor). They have the technology to take DNA to recreate the specimen, animal, or in this case, human.

As I recall they brought several specimens to life, a mastodon, a caveman, finally getting to a human who seems to have disappeared for an instance - coming to the realization that the specimen had some knowledge of an unknown (transport?) technology, possibly having visited their spacecraft and control settings.

I believe I read this short story in an anthology.

  • 1
    Sounds like "The monster" aka "Resurrection" by A. E. van Vogt.
    – user14111
    Oct 14, 2021 at 21:53
  • I cannot recall - though I have read the story more than once through the years
    – Qosmonaut
    Oct 14, 2021 at 21:56
  • 1
    I will go check the story out, but Resurrection sounds like the story I was looking for, I'll check back shortly and note if that was correct (or not)
    – Qosmonaut
    Oct 14, 2021 at 22:00
  • 1
    Yes, Resurrection by A. E. van Vogt was the story I was looking for, thanks, that was quick
    – Qosmonaut
    Oct 14, 2021 at 22:19

1 Answer 1


The Monster by A. E. van Vogt

Aliens visit Earth, and find no living animals, just lots of skeletons. The aliens have technology capable of returning to life any animal or person for which they have a skeleton.

They visit a museum. First they revive an Egyptian Pharaoh, who thinks he is in the after-life. Then the aliens kill the Pharaoh with a ray gun. Then they revive a current day human, the man thinks he is sleeping off a drunken bender and swears not to touch hooch again. He too is killed.

The next man they revive is very intelligent. He can see that Earth has suffered some disaster, and uses a radioactive decay counter to estimate how many thousands of years ago it was. The aliens start to kill the man, but he uses some gadget in the museum to strike back. The aliens retreat to their starship and drop an atom bomb on the museum.

The alien's luck runs out when they revive the fourth man. He sits up, then using his vast psionic powers, teleports away.

The aliens implement panic mode and destroy all their maps. But their fate is sealed, as they try to escape they realize the fourth man is on board, and has acquired all the equipment he needs to revive everybody on Earth.

can be read here

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