Erich von Däniken, Star of "Ancient Aliens," Claims in Newspaper Interview That the Media Won't Report Ancient Astronaut and UFO Evidence
I would be remiss if I did not note that the Discovery Networks, which recently purchased the Travel Channel, moved Expedition Unknown from Travel to the Discovery mothership. That’s about as far as my interest goes, however. I suppose it’s nice that Josh Gates has a bigger platform, but I hope that the parent network will keep a tighter leash on quality control and avoid the forays into ancient astronautics and guest spots from problematic figures like Brien Foerster that marred the show’s original Travel Channel run.
Anyway… I have been invited to write the cover feature for an upcoming issue of All About History magazine, but the deadline is rather short, and this will necessitate me taking some time off to work on the piece. I’m working out the details with All About History right now, but I imagine that over the next couple of weeks, I’ll need to cut down my blogging or take a week off while I write the article. I’ll post details as I figure them out. In the meantime, Erich von Däniken has some new things to say.
The Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung published a German-language interview with von Däniken earlier this month, and in it they asked him what the aliens really look like. “It is assumed that evolution has been different on planets other than ours,” he said, in my translation. “I always scoff and say, maybe they’re flying crocodiles or talking trees.” He then told the interviewer that the panspermia hypothesis suggests that aliens look like humans because Earth was seeded from the stars. He then cited the ancient epics of India as “proof” that space aliens visited the ancient Earth. He cited an unnamed passage from one epic about “three cities” floating through the sky and called the ancient texts “scientific information.” He asserted that the space aliens have already returned to Earth and are among us. He alleged that central European “journalists and scientists” have created a culture where belief in UFOs is heavily criticized and therefore Austrians, Germans, and Swiss are less likely to report UFO sightings than their American counterparts. What he really said is that in places where science and facts are still respected, people are less likely to indulge in open fantasy.
It’s a bit interesting to see how Däniken folds his political beliefs into his ancient astronaut theorizing. He is a longtime conservative, and as such, he tends to mirror the worst excesses of the rightwing fringe. Here, he was asked why space aliens don’t help us avoid the consequences of climate change, to stop humans from destroying the planet. Von Däniken denies that the planet is in trouble, or that aliens need to help. “We will not destroy the planet. We'll get it back. They do not help us any more than we help ants.” I can’t help but see in this an echo of Lovecraft’s summation (revised from E. Hoffman Price’s original) of the cosmic indifference of the space aliens: “He wondered at the vast conceit of those who had babbled of the malignant Ancient Ones, as if They could pause from their everlasting dreams to wreak a wrath upon mankind. As well, he thought, might a mammoth pause to visit frantic vengeance on an angleworm.” Von Däniken once denied ever having heard of Lovecraft, much less read him, but through cultural osmosis—and via the Lovecraft-influenced works he happily copied like Morning of the Magicians and the collected output of Peter Kolosimo—he absorbed enough.
But what was particularly disturbing is that von Däniken turned to Nazi-era propaganda to blame the media for suppressing the “truth” about aliens and ancient astronauts, invoking the infamous Nazi slander of the Lügenpresse—the “lying press”—in an attempt to discredit the media: “What I blame is the media: We don’t have a ‘lying press’; what we have is a ‘concealment-by-silence’ press.” Remember, Erich von Däniken is an executive producer of Ancient Aliens, broadcast around the world to an audience of tens of millions, and he made this claim in a newspaper. Even the newspaper reporter, Michael Pommer, recognized that this claim is ridiculous and challenged von Däniken in an extraordinary exchange:
POMMER: What is being concealed? I promise you that no government has asked us to conceal, let’s say, a UFO crash in Vienna.
Well, Erich, there’s a good reason for that. Since the 1970s, you’ve refused to debate or discuss with actual experts in any public setting. When I tried to get you to talk to me for my Cult of Alien Gods, your page-boy, Giorgio Tsoukalos, refused to pass along my interview request. When I shot Codes and Conspiracies with you a couple of years ago, you refused to be in the same place as the other talking heads, or to engage with the skeptics directly. In fact, you insisted that you would only answer questions in the back of a limousine while driving around so you didn’t have to take time out of your day, and you still got upset that the producers asked you mildly challenging questions that were much milder than any I might have for you. So, you might want to try looking in the mirror before complaining that skeptics won’t engage you.
5/30/2018 09:16:38 am
The media while bias in some ways would destroy any and all credibility if they published any of this man's rantings. Von Daniken's arrogance, his hubris shows every time he opens his mouth to speak.
5/30/2018 02:16:19 pm
7/21/2018 03:28:20 pm
Apparently we are also too stupid to build them with all our modern technology !
5/30/2018 11:34:56 am
Should we call every leftist socialist a stalinist?
5/30/2018 11:54:38 am
Yes, or a Trotskyite but most people don't have that much nuance game. Since we call "someone we don't like" a "conservative" in what sense is Von Daniken "a conservative"?
5/30/2018 12:02:22 pm
He literally calls himself a conservative. He advocates for rightwing causes, and he even offered to help bring UFO believers to the U.S. Republican Party.
5/30/2018 02:06:57 pm
The question stands. In what sense is he a "conservative"?
5/30/2018 05:02:58 pm
Good point, AN
5/30/2018 12:45:54 pm
Another possible label is cultural marxist, because instead of a proletariat all sorts of minorities have taken over as a revolutionary class and every culture is equal to every other to the neo-marxists.
An Anonymous Nerd
5/30/2018 07:35:51 pm
Actually Conservatives are great at name-calling, and use words like that all the time. Example one, a book by Newt Gingrich, PhD:
5/30/2018 08:27:58 pm
Liberals are also great at insulting. They, too have discovered it gets votes and is easier to do than make rational arguments. Both sides are covered in the mud they've slung at each other.
An Anonymous Nerd
5/30/2018 10:02:52 pm
Sadly we're not as good at it. Note Hillary Clinton's failure to call out Donald Trump for his many, to put it mildly, excesses. She took the high road and lost. Donald Trump took the low road and won and continues to get good approval ratings from your side of the aisle. Here on this blog, not my refusal to return the insults of Mr. Joe Scales or, for that matter, you (granted, you were rather more subtle), or the fellow defending Frank Joseph on the other recent entry.
5/30/2018 10:24:05 pm
You find it insulting because I ask you to be honest about both sides using the same tactics? You admitted they do by saying, "Sadly, we're not as good at it." Now you're being dishonest. Here's some examples off the top of my head:
An Anonymous Nerd
5/30/2018 10:52:39 pm
Well ok let's see here...
5/30/2018 11:24:27 pm
"I'm here trying to take this discussion seriously and back myself up with something other than anger."
5/30/2018 11:27:23 pm
Anonymous Nerd, if saying "there are people on your side of the political spectrum who aren't very nice", whether true or not, is insulting or angry, then you're doing the same thing. But I don't think either you or Only Me have said anything remotely insulting, and I'm perplexed as to why you bristle this way as though one of you has.
5/30/2018 11:58:31 pm
Whoops! I meant to say "I guess", not "gets".
5/31/2018 12:52:45 am
oops- you left out your agenda
6/3/2018 10:05:27 pm
6/4/2018 04:29:48 am
I get it, V. There are people who hate Trump and their political opposition so irrationally, they can excuse any misbehavior on their side. I saw the same thing when Obama was president, but I never had to address it on this blog. It simply didn't come up.
6/4/2018 10:09:09 am
I keep trying to tell you Only Me, that you can't argue with partisans. Not only are they poor sports, but with such sloppiness of thought as V so aptly displays above, with the pure ignorance of his/her willful mischaracterizations, you can only go nowhere. To top it off, they're also rather longwinded. Painfully so at that.
6/10/2018 07:35:20 pm
Should I call every right wing idiot a Nazi? Nah..brain dead is good enough.
5/30/2018 02:01:51 pm
Yes, the mainstream media is awful, that's why no one has ever heard of ancient aliens or Nibaru or Nephilim or bigfoot or ghosts or....
5/30/2018 02:03:43 pm
Its one thing to question somebody's reasoning and theories - which is what you are so good at Jason.
5/30/2018 02:53:35 pm
But his ideas are inseparable from his ideology. He himself said that he wrote his first book as a conservative rejoinder to what he saw as too much socialism in earlier ancient astronaut books.
5/30/2018 05:20:56 pm
His ideas about alien visits and the Egyptians being too stupid to stack rocks have absolutely nothing to do with conservatism.
5/30/2018 06:17:50 pm
The problem, John, is that he invokes aliens to justify conservative social positions and he explicitly tried to tie ancient astronauts to anti-communist and anti-socialist positions. He writes about how the aliens plans include traditional gender roles, and how transgender individuals violate the aliens' plans, for example.
An Anonymous Nerd
5/30/2018 07:38:41 pm
The connection between the Right and the Fringe is really pretty obvious. I displayed it adequately in a series of replies here, beginning with the recent Knights Templar article.
Jason, it is time to give some bibliographical data and page numbers to support your claims.
Jason, meanwhile I found a blog post by you about racist statements by Erich von Däniken from 23 January 2014:
The "Lügenpresse" argument had been in use by all politicals sides in Germany, far-right as well as far-left.
5/30/2018 03:49:27 pm
Jason, this is just an opinion here, but I think that until you understand the key role played by Augustus and Alice LePloneon in the development of Theosophy, I think it it likely that all of your efforts will meet with limited success.
5/30/2018 05:49:19 pm
5/30/2018 08:29:23 pm
5/30/2018 06:43:46 pm
Jason, when you talk about Theosophy, you need to do it my way. Otherwise it's just not right.
An Anonymous Nerd
5/30/2018 07:40:37 pm
Congratulations on being commissioner for that piece.
5/30/2018 10:10:59 pm
5/31/2018 03:35:06 am
5/31/2018 12:14:51 pm
I believe there has been ongoing archaeological work at Puma Punku for quite some time. See, for example, the Tiwanaku Project. The findings of such work simply does not support fringe claims about the age of the site or the claims that the structures could not have been erected with the technology of the time. Pretty sure that some of this has also been discussed at length in the documentary Ancient Aliens De-Bunked.
Hi Doc Rock,
5/31/2018 03:49:50 pm
5/31/2018 04:43:36 pm
"Because whats now on the surface, is just a glimmer of what lies beneath."
6/8/2018 03:02:05 am
There was a GPR scan made of the surrounding area. That place is littered with more artifacts and cavities / tunnels.
6/10/2018 10:21:56 am
5/31/2018 03:27:49 pm
I would suggest watching Ancient Aliens Debunked again and then read up on the actual work that has been done in that area by professional archaeologists like Yaeger, etc.
5/31/2018 04:42:13 pm
Standard procedure for Captain Drinky-Poo of the S.S. Chug-a-Lug for any day ending in "y" or any month with letters in its name.
5/31/2018 05:42:10 pm
What EVD probably meant by his assertions is that 'his version of ancient aliens' is not peddled enough 'to suit him'. He is just not making as much money, now that it is trendy to talk about aliens. Even regular fake news shows bring it up, and it is 'all over the internet'.
5/31/2018 06:47:10 pm
Okay, I gotta say it. I love Expedition Unknown. I don't believe anything pursued in the show is real.
6/1/2018 12:42:15 am
Remember one thing: Global warming is a hoax pushed by the Democrat Party USA as a vehicle to attain a socialist goal not unlike the defunct Soviet Union, Cuba and North Korea. Once you have that concept firmly in place, the rest becomes commentary.
6/1/2018 01:49:24 am
The question no one ever asks is "Is the current temperature or the current temperature minus whatever 'global warming' may have happened since an arbitrary starting point really the BEST temperature?"
6/7/2018 08:37:58 pm
The "three cities" from an Indian "epic" most probably refer to tripura (tri = three, pura = cities.) See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tripura_(mythology)
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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