Erich Anton Paul von Däniken, between paleo-contact and ancient astronauts hypothesis
Erich Von Daniken is the well-known author of the book "Chariots of the Gods? Unsolved Mysteries of the Past", written in 1968 and subsequently became a bestseller, a reference point for all those who have approached the so-called Ancient Astronaut Theory.
Von Daniken developed a great interest in ancient religious writings and mythology as a child ("I had doubts in my own education and I wanted to know if other communities in antiquity had similar stories [...]"), deepening it then in college; this passion led him later to write numerous texts relating to the theories which were subsequently called "paleocontact" and "ancient astronauts hypothesis".
The books written by Erich Von Daniken deal with numerous topics but the theory behind his research is essentially the following: about 10,000 years ago the planet Earth would have been visited by alien beings, which among other things would have contributed to the "creation" of modern man (Homo sapiens), manipulating the genes of primates already present at the time.
These beings would then have been worshiped as gods by the first men and myths and legends, the most ancient Sumerian texts and the Bible itself would therefore describe not ideal deities but the real extraterrestrial creators of man.
It is easy to imagine that the academic world immediately ignored or discredited this thesis, as it is in contrast with the version that is now considered canonical by the scientific community; claim that God (or the Gods) was an alien, that the legends of the heroes of antiquity speak of space travel, and that many ancient ruins are actually airports used by these ancient astronauts ... these claims certainly created an immediate distrust towards this author, while on the other hand a huge number of readers have rewarded Erich Von Daniken with great fame and consideration.
In fact, it should not be forgotten that these topics often have access to the passion of the general public, both in the past and in the present day: many are the authors who have decided to follow this path, even if often with different interpretations, such as Matest M. Agrest, Zecharia Sitchin, Peter Kolosimo , Father Barry Downing, Claude Vorilhon, Mauro Biglino, Corrado Malanga and many others.
The theories are many and varied but the presence of alien beings in the ancient sacred texts is practically a constant.
The arguments that Erich Von Daniken addressed in support of his theses are numerous:
- "basic rocket equation". A consequence of Einstein's theory of relativity which should prove that in essence time slows down for astronauts traveling at speeds close to the speed of light.
- The earth-moon system and the origin of our moon, with references to the Ancient Temple of Tiahuanaco.
- Egyptian astronomy and the mystery of a Sirius calendar.
- The Pyramid of Cheops and the mysteries related to its design and construction.
- Stonehenge would have had functions related to the landing of alien spaceships.
- The Mayan civilization and its incredible astronomical notions.
- The aliens will return to visit the earth in the near future ("I think for the moment we are under observation again").
- Aliens heavily influenced earliest human societies.
The themes are so many and it is difficult to list them all, in any case what is clear beyond any doubt is that Erich Von Daniken firmly believes in the existence of ancient astronauts and in the importance that these beings have had for humanity since his birth, accompanying it in some way in all phases of its history; the author is also convinced that much evidence of this contact has been destroyed (voluntarily?), stating that "It’s hardly worth mentioning all of the hundreds of thousands of writings that have fallen victim to fire or intentional destruction over the centuries.".
In any case, the author believes that ample evidence of "true" history has remained in the ancient sacred texts that have come down to the present day and in the ruins of ancient civilizations, it is up to us to find and understand them.
“The positive thing about the skeptic is that he considers everything possible!”
-Erich von Däniken
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