Erich von Däniken on UFOs, Aliens and Ancient Civilizations

Erich von Däniken.  Promo shot ,  courtesy of Erich von Däniken.

Erich von Däniken. Promo shot, courtesy of Erich von Däniken.

If you're a conspiracy-enthusiast, a UFO nerd, or have ever listened to Frank speak, even if just once, you've probably heard of Erich von Däniken. He perhaps doesn't require much of an introduction, but here's a brief summary anyway.

Erich is the author of the international best-seller, Chariots of the Gods? Unsolved Mysteries of the Past, published in 1968. That was his first book, and he has published at least 18 since, totalling over 65 million copies, spanning a minimum of 32 different languages.

Original title and cover of  Chariots of the Gods , first published in 1968.

Original title and cover of Chariots of the Gods, first published in 1968.

He is best known for popularising the paleo-contact/“ancient astronauts” hypothesis, which theorises that intelligent extraterrestrials visited Earth in the distant past, making contact with long-gone civilisations, thus influencing human culture, religion, and, most significantly, technology. Initially inspired by a number of things he had read and studied in the Bible, he went on to re-interpret numerous ancient texts and historical artifacts, presenting ancient history in a completely new light to many a mainstream reader.

From left: Genevieve, Frank, and Erich, at the 2014  Contact in the Desert  event, Joshua Tree, CA. 

From left: Genevieve, Frank, and Erich, at the 2014 Contact in the Desert event, Joshua Tree, CA. 

Just the other day, Frank and I were trying to figure out what hashtags to use for one of our online posts concerning von Däniken. I told him to use #history as one, to which he responded, “But what if someone gets all worked up and complains that it’s not real history?” To which I responded: “There’ll always be people complaining. He’s as much an “historian,” in the true sense of the word, as any other.” Yes, there are plenty of people out there claiming that von Däniken is not a real historian, not a real archeologist – and I certainly make no claims as to what I, myself, believe, or what you should believe, regarding his work. The purpose of an historian is to figure out what happened in the past, based on given evidence; similarly, in the case of an archeologist. If this is all that von Däniken is trying to do, albeit more speculatively at times, then I have no qualms with calling him an archeologist or historian. I urge you to always keep an open mind, in regards to anything you hear or read, as we try to do at all times – it is completely up to you what you make of von Däniken’s claims. In fact, I haven’t yet come to a solid conclusion myself. However, please don’t just thoughtlessly brush new ideas aside.

With that said, if you haven’t already listened to our interview with him, then here it is. Enjoy!


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Posted on June 17, 2015 and filed under SUM1.