Erich von Däniken: eXtraHuman

“We have lost the opportunity to know, and for too long we have been obliged to believe” –  Erich von Daniken on Ancient Aliens
Ancient Aliens - Erich von Däniken

Erich von Däniken

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Erich von Däniken: Life

Erich Anton Paul von Däniken is a Swiss writer, born in Zofingen, on April 14, 1935. He is universally known for his revealing books on mysterious archeology and he’s one of the main proponents of the “ancient astronaut theory”.

From an early age he developed an interest for ancient myths and mysteries. He attended St-Michel’s College in Friborg, Switzerland, where he developed a great interest for ancient writings of a religious nature.

In 1960 he married ‘Elisabeth Skaja and in 1963 his daughter Cornelia was born.

Five years later, while working as a manger in a Swiss hotel, he completed his greatest literary success: Chariots of the gods?

Today he lives in Beatenberg near Bern. He is the owner and editor of the paleoastronautics magazine Sagenhaften zeiten (“Legendary Times”) and he is an occasional presenter on television shows such as History Channel and Ancient Aliens,  where he discusses aspects of his own theories based on the topics featured in various episodes.

Eric Von Däniken is a co-founder of the Research Association for Archaeology, Astronautics and SETI (AAS RA). He also designed Mystery Park (now known as Jungfrau Park), a theme park located in Interlaken, Switzerland which opened in May 2003.

At the Alien Enigmas tv show he declared to be an observant Catholic and to pray every evening. Finally, he often claims  not to be competent in UFO research as his interest is mainly focused on archaeological finds and religious books of the past.


Erich von Däniken: Claims about alien influence on Earth

The general statement that Von Däniken has made on several published books, starting with Chariots of the Gods? in 1968, is that extraterrestrials or “ancient astronauts” would have visited Earth in the distant past and influenced (if not shaped) early human cultures. 

Von Däniken speaks of his belief, for example, that structures such as the Egyptian pyramids, Stonehenge, the Moai of Easter Island, and many ancient artefacts are the products of a technology necessarily superior to that which is presumed to exist in the times when they were manufactured.

He also describes several ancient works of art around the world that contain depictions of astronauts, air and spacecraft, extraterrestrials, and complex technology.

Finally, Von Däniken explains how religions were in fact born as a reaction to the contact with alien races; he backs up his statements by offering detailed and documented interpretations included in none other than the Bible.


Chariots of the Gods?

Erich von Däniken

Serie: Ancient Aliens – Erich von Däniken


While working as a manager at the Hotel Rosenhügel in Davos, Switzerland, Eric von Däniken wrote Chariots of the Gods? (German: Erinnerungen an die Zukunft, literally “Memories of the future”), working on the manuscript at night after the hotel guests had checked out.

The book was initially rejected by the publishers and later withdrawn from the market by the same publishing house that had initially published it. Later, the book was entrusted to the publisher Wilhelm Roggersdorf, an established German journalist and screenwriter. Before being republished and enjoying enormous success with the new edition, the book was partially reworked once again by Wilhelm Utermann and von Däniken.

The book became a truly international best seller, highly appreciated and translated into dozens of languages, with the English title Chariots of the Gods, by Erich von Däniken?.

The book tells of “ancient astronauts” from another galaxy who, about ten thousand years ago, would have visited our planet and would have manufactured intelligent men in their image and likeness” by intervening on the genome of monkeys.

These space visitors would have been worshiped as gods by humankind for their immense technological knowledge, and veiled trace of this epic story would still remain in the ancient religious myths of the origins at our disposal today.

The examples analyzed by Von Däniken in Chariots of the Gods? include Ezekiel’s famous vision of “living creatures” and wheels, which Von Däniken interprets as a description of a close encounter of the fourth kind, the Ark of the Covenant, which is explained as a device for communicating with the Elohim and even the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone, interpreted as a massive aerial bombardment.

In this regard, we suggest reading our previous article: Then the sky opened – Ezekiel’s spaceships

Finally, the author also draws a powerful analogy to the cargo cults” that formed during and after World War II, when once-isolated tribes in the South Pacific, mistook advanced American and Japanese soldiers for gods.

In about a third of the book Von Däniken discusses the possibility that humans could theoretically offer advanced technology to primitive civilizations on interstellar worlds as early as the year 2100. This, he explains, would mimic the ancient extraterrestrial contact that would have occurred on Earth in ancient times.



After Chariots of the Gods? Erich von Däniken wrote and published many other books, almost thirty, not always translated from German, in which history, myth, religion, archeology and science fiction are constantly intertwined.


In The Gods Were Astronauts (2003), the Swiss writer reaffirms the concept that the deities and angels mentioned in the Bible, the Qur’an and numerous ancient sacred texts were actually aliens who once visited the Earth and influenced the course of its history.

Furthermore, not only the ancient sacred texts but also some Marian apparitions, including the famous ones of Fatima, in Portugal, can be explained as ufological manifestations, according to Eric von Däniken.

Ridley Scott has confirmed that his film “Prometheus” is influenced by some of von Däniken’s ideas about the origins of human civilization.


Overall, Erich von Däniken’s books have been translated into 32 languages and have sold more than 63 million copies.



“Not until we have taken a look into the future shall we be strong and bold enough to investigate our paste honestly and impartially” – Erich von Däniken



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