Author discusses 'ancient aliens'
In 1968 the Swiss author Erich von Däniken wrote the book "Chariots of the Gods." He is the primary figure in popularizing the ancient alien or ancient astronaut hypotheses in the "Paleo-contact" movement. This movement purports that early man was influenced by visitations from other-worldly alien beings.
While historians and archaeologists consider his work "pseudo," many believe his work makes sense. They feel it fills in the gaps with credible answers where the academics seemingly have had to make stretches to answer the same questions.
Däniken was the keynote speaker Saturday night at the 29th-annual Ozark Mountain UFO Conference at the Inn of the Ozarks Convention Center in Eureka Springs.
"The gods are not gods,"Däniken said. "There is only one God, creator of the universe."
Däniken explained that alien visitors to Earth were simply believed to be gods because of their technological advancement.
"The supreme God doesn't need a device to move from one place to another. ... He is omnipotent," Von Däniken said.
Däniken lectured on several ancient mysteries that the academic world seemingly struggles to explain. More logical explanations that fit more reasonably with the known facts are offered by Däniken and others within the ancient alien movement. For example. Däniken discussed the theories of how the Pyramids were constructed. He said most of these theories would work in actuality but are so far beyond the engineering knowledge of the time as to be impractical.
Däniken gave the example that it's often put forth by the academic Egyptology community that the Egyptian builders used ramps to move the huge stones into place. He pointed out that the engineering to build the ramps would be more remarkable than the Pyramids, using much more material to build the inclines than in the structures themselves.
Däniken said that because of his education at an international Catholic School in Switzerland, he is very familiar with scripture. Part of his lecture was an exploration of how he interprets the vision of the Biblical Enoch. The descriptions Enoch made of an encounter with God could be the description of a pre-technology man attempting to explain an encounter with a technologically superior race.
Over the years academics have endeavored to debunk Däniken while he has continued to refine his work. Many have pointed out derisively that he "jumped from hotel manager (in Switzerland) to 'expert on the ancient world.' " Regardless, his popularity is still as high as ever and the books in his series are reported to have sold more that 63 million copies and been translated into 32 languages.