| Profiles in Ancient Astronautics |
ERICH VON DÄNIKEN
Author of Chariots of the Gods
Coverage on JasonColavito.com:
Born in Switzerland in 1935, Erich von Däniken worked as an hotelier before embezzling money from his employer to finance his first book, Chariots of the Gods? Unsolved Mysteries of the Past, published in 1968. In writing his book, von Däniken drew heavily upon the work of his predecessors Robert Charroux and the team of Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier. The manuscript he submitted for Chariots was heavily rewritten by a German screenwriter prior to publication, most notably to remove references to Christianity and the alleged extraterrestrial origin of Jesus.
Von Däniken’s book was an instant success, selling tens of millions of copies worldwide and spawning a craze for ancient astronauts in the United States. A film version of his book, In Search of Ancient Astronauts, was narrated by Rod Serling and spawned the 1970s TV series In Search Of…. At the height of his popularity, Von Däniken appeared on the Tonight show and was interviewed in Playboy magazine. He would eventually publish more than two dozen books on the ancient astronaut theme, largely due to the restrictive nature of his first book contract, which denied him most of the profits from his biggest bestseller.
However, Von Däniken’s popularity waned in the 1980s along with the ancient astronaut theory. His fortunes revived in the 1990s during the X-Files and alternative history craze of that decade, with an ABC-TV special celebrating Chariots of the Gods and plans for an ancient astronaut theme park, Mystery Park, which opened in Switzerland 2003 and closed three years later due to financial trouble caused by a lack of public interest.
Today Erich von Däniken is known to a new generation for his appearances on the History Channel and H2 documentary series Ancient Aliens, where he appears regularly to discuss how aliens sexually assaulted prehistoric human women.
Erich von Däniken does not hold and does not claim any archaeological or academic credentials.
His major works include:
“I’m only asking the question.”