Interestingly, Von Däniken emphasized in his 1974 Playboy interview that “I’m definitely sure that Jesus had nothing to do with astronauts,” while Tsoukalos echoed the sentiment: “Where did I EVER say, insinuate or suggest that Jesus was an alien?” The difference, though, is that Tsoukalos apparently disclaims von Däniken's stated belief in a personal God.
But Tsoukalos’ deistic or atheistic views are very different from the views presented in Ancient Aliens S03E14 “Aliens and the Undead.” There David Childress told us that after we die our souls join the aliens on other worlds: “With our death, our passing from this existence, we are going to this other world.” Similarly, Andrew Collins added: “At the point of death, we may find ourselves at the other end of the universe.” The aliens, the ancient astronaut theorists claim, are trans-dimensional beings who can move from dimension to dimension, interacting with human souls at a quantum energy level beyond the human.
Ancient Aliens speculates that the “aliens” exist on a separate plane from us, and our souls will move to that space after death, where we will rejoin the aliens in a cosmic paradise. At some point these aliens stopped having any meaningful distinction from the gods they were originally proposed to replace. At this point, we might as well give up the concept of “ancient aliens” altogether and admit that the ancient astronaut theorists just want the pagan gods to be real so they can give them magic gifts.
Of course, this is what Lovecraft imagined nearly a century ago, with his Old Ones who existed outside of our dimension, wielded the powers of gods, but had evolved like any other creature.
But since the pagan gods were believed to have been born (they were not always extant), to have lived on earth, and sometimes even to have died before taking up residence on another plane, what, precisely, is the difference between a “god” and an “alien visitor”—other than their nonexistence? And if we cannot distinguish between an alien and a god in a meaningful way, why should we propose the existence of aliens to explain the gods? Tsoukalos doesn’t believe in the Judeo-Christian God, or that Jesus was an alien. If their divinity is admittedly fictional, by what right do we then deny the same imaginative status to Viracocha, Quetzalcoatl, and Nommo?
In short: If Jesus wasn’t an alien, why would any other god be one?