Erich von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods

If you have seen any episodes of Ancient Aliens (2009), then you’ve probably heard of Erich von Däniken. He is a frequent collaborator and commentator on the show. In Chariots of the Gods, he poses many of the questions explored by the TV show series. Questions such as, “Could it be that God was extra-terrestrial?” Not only that, but much like Carl Sagan, Erich von Däniken tries to give some basic scientific education to back up his claims.

“Can we still afford to close our eyes and stop up our ears because new ideas are supposed to be heretical and absurd?

He states facts that are now considered common knowledge in the scientific field. For example, there are 4,500 stars that exist in the universe. Even the biggest telescopes, which can view up to 2,000,000 visible stars cannot caption its full dimensions. And, Earth’s crust has been dated at 4,000,000,000 years. Life forms can exist of different combinations of oxygen, water, and carbon dioxide. It is difficult that, statistically, we are the only life, humanoid life, or otherwise in the entire universe. Plus, we really only know very little of human history; we can fill in the information for about 7,000 years out of our 1,000,000 reported existence. Imagine that. Very rational, right?

It’s rationality and macroscopic view of the facts make this book and shows like Ancient Aliens (2009) very believable. Incredibly, the microscopic facts also seem to back up the theories posed by this book. And, that’s where we get hooked. However, unlike the TV show, the book fails at midpoint to grab readers attention. I found myself drifting and getting distracted. So, I sped read some sections. Nevertheless, it is an impressive thesis piece for Erich von Däniken.

“The time has come for us to admit our insignificance by making discoveries in the infinite unexplored cosmos. Only then shall we realize that we are nothing but ants in the vast state of the universe. And yet our future and our opportunities lie in the universe, where gods promised they would.”

As soon as we gather the smallest evidence of other lifeforms somewhere on the planet, it will revolutionize the way we think about our human history. Chariots of the Gods and shows like Ancient Aliens (2009) may actually have many of the theories proven or dismissed. Given that science is still evolving and perfecting its own field, I would not dismiss it just yet. Like Carl Sagan said once, and I’m paraphrasing, some books are like seeds; they have the keen ability to flourish in even the most unpromising soil. Personally, I can’t get past the connections and similarities between many of the creation myths of many of our ancient societies. Gods, creation, life after death, celestial beings, travel to another realm (i.e. heaven). Who could deny it raises our curiosity?

“Can all these related phenomena merely be dismissed or a coincidence?”


Work Cited

von Däniken, Erich. Chariots of the Gods, Berkley, 1999.


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