EVD starts his book with a preface, complete with a personal anecdote about his time at school in Switzerland where the young author-to-be pondered the story of Lucifer’s fall from heaven and wondered how discord could exist in heaven. EVD seems completely unaware that this is not an ancient myth but a Christian fabrication from a deliberate misreading of Isaiah’s “morning star” passage (14:12-13) in light of the rebellious Watchers story from the Book of Enoch, itself a Jewish reflection of pagan myths about the sundry and various gods like Prometheus and Oannes (whom the Jews saw as demons) who gave civilization to humanity in Near Eastern myth. We know this to be the case because Enoch’s companion volume, the Book of Giants names Gilgamesh and Humbaba among the children of the Watchers, and Gilgamesh was two-thirds god.
But EVD is unaware of any of this. Instead, he repeats the passage from Isaiah as though it really was meant to refer to Lucifer rather than Nebuchadnezzar (though he elliptically alludes to this in saying that the passage likely changed meanings) before tying it to a much later passage in Revelation from long after the time when the character of Lucifer-Satan had already been assembled from Judaism’s spare parts. Of course, for him, all of this is a literal account of a war in space in which certain aliens were beamed down to earth.
EVD next claims that he is a regular worshipper of God, but a God with “certain qualities” of omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence—therefore, not the God of Scripture who descends on Sinai in smoke and flame. EVD reads that smoke and flame as a rocket, even though rockets take off with smoke and flame; they don’t land with them. EVD says that he finds it “insulting” that anyone should think that the true God would need a chariot—flaming or otherwise—for transportation. In wrapping himself in the mantle of sanctity, EVD can then assert that the wheeled vehicle seen by Ezekiel (a fairly accurate description of Babylonian religious iconography) was actually an alien spaceship. But this is all old news from his earliest books (themselves copied largely from his predecessors in the field).
EVD then lets us know that he has written 25 ancient astronaut books, six novels, and selections in seven anthologies, totaling more than 8,000 pages. “Eight thousand, three hundred forty-two pages! Would you believe it? Doesn’t the guy ever run out of things to say? Surely, he must repeat himself quite a lot!” Well, yes, he does. A whole section, for example, of Return of the Gods repeats identical material from Eyes of the Sphinx (with acknowledgement), and the same anecdotes appear in books from Chariots all the way down to Twilight. But, though he concedes some repetition he insists there is just so much material from “prehistory, archeology, philology (especially linguistics), ethnology, evolution, genetics, philosophy, astronomy, astrophysics, exobiology, space travel, and, of course, one mustn’t forget theology” that there is always something new to say. And yet he has misunderstood them all.
Now we come to the most important part of the preface. EVD makes a specific claim and his clearest statement ever about the reality of the “aliens” that, in 1976 at least, he didn’t seem to really believe in.
Never mind that the Mayan calendar says no such thing. (After his book was written, archaeologists found conclusive proof that the Mayan calendar extended beyond 2012.)
Like any canny prophet or con artist, EVD left himself an out. Even though he seems to predict the return of the aliens in December 2012 (like ancient astronaut theorist Alan Landsburg did for the Christmastide of 2011), a careful reading shows that while he does promise the return of the gods, he attributes the date only to the Maya, giving himself an out for when the aliens fail to show up. It’s the Maya’s fault!
Nevertheless, EVD went on record stating, without the usual qualification, that he believes that aliens will return. The use of the pronoun “we” implies that he is stating they will come in our lifetimes, though again this is ambiguous since he is the kind of person who is prone to vast pronouncements about all humanity.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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