But I take issue with the claim that the ancient astronaut hypothesis has “nothing” to do with “modern-day worship.” Consider the following:
- Ancient astronaut writers assert that the appearances of God in the Hebrew Bible are extraterrestrial interventions. Thus, the “pillar of cloud” seen by Moses was an alien spaceship, as was the appearance of the Lord before Ezekiel. According to multiple alternative writers, the Ark of the Covenant was an ET communications device and weapon. Von Däniken and others assert that the God who created Adam and Eve in the Garden was an alien using genetic engineering techniques. Unless I am seriously mistaken, all of these claims would seriously affect the “modern-day worship” of Judaism and Christianity, as well as, to a lesser extent, Islam.
- Ancient astronaut writers assert that the Hindu gods were extraterrestrial beings who flew in spaceships and used nuclear weapons on hapless humans. While they may not want to admit this, there are more than one billion Hindus engaged in the “modern-day worship” of these beings.
- Ancient astronaut writers assert that Ahura Mazda of the Zoroastrians is an extraterrestrial who flew around Iran in a winged aircraft. There are still 150,000 Zoroastrians who worship this “alien” and his “airplane” today.
- Several modern cults are founded on the ancient astronaut hypothesis, including Raëlianism, which explicitly worships extraterrestrials as the God(s) of the Bible.
This does not count the polytheistic pantheons of native peoples worldwide whose mythologies have been strip-mined for ancient astronaut books and Ancient Aliens. Nevertheless, such peoples as the Australian aborigines, the Polynesians, and Native Americans continue to exist, and many continue to worship their traditional gods. Most directly relevant: The Dogon people, whose myths were fabricated into the Sirius Mystery about space frogs from Sirius, still exist, still engage in traditional religion, and therefore are impacted directly by claims that their faith is a fraud born of aliens in disguise.
Giorgio Tsoukalos may want us to think that the ancient astronaut hypothesis is concerned only with the dead and dormant mythologies of vanished peoples and is therefore nothing but impact-free, fun speculation, but as put forward by Tsoukalos, von Däniken, and others, it makes clear and direct claims about the identity of beings worshiped by “modern-day” peoples. It is therefore not “fun” but a direct challenge the spiritual beliefs of, by my count, at least three billion of earth’s seven billion people…though I may be undercounting somewhat. He may believe that all gods but his are false, but the ancient astronaut hypothesis certainly has something to say about those gods, and thus their "modern-day worship."