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Erich von Däniken
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Erich von Däniken

Erich von Däniken (born April 14, 1935 in Zofingen, Switzerland) is a Swiss author and researcher, who is best known for his theories about extraterrestrial influence on human culture since prehistoric times, known as paleocontact and ancient astronaut theory.

Building on the earlier work of many others, Däniken has proposed that there should be alien artefacts. If intelligent extraterrestrial life exists and has entered the local Solar System in the past, there is the possibility of finding traces of their visits on Earth, on the neighboring planets, or elsewhere in space.

He has also suggested that human evolution may have been manipulated by means of genetic engineering by extraterrestrial beings. He has published 26 books and claims to have sold over 60 million copies.

The evidence von Däniken has put forward to support his theories can be categorised as follows:

Even though the scientific community has remained unconvinced about von Däniken's theories, considering them unfounded speculation at best, the general public has been more responsive. His 26 books have been translated into more than 20 languages, selling more than 60 million copies worldwide, and his documentary TV-shows have been viewed in Germany and the United States. His influence can also be seen in science fiction, the New Age culture and some modern religions like Scientology.

Most historians regard his claims as pseudoscience, and are of the opinion that he is drawing far-reaching conclusions from little evidence and is disregarding more likely alternative hypotheses, but a large group of followers, some of whom have written books of their own, are of the opinion that his theories are likely to be true.

The scientific community's dismay at von Däniken led to the publication of The Space Gods Revealed by Ronald Story in 1976. It is a careful refutation of the theories and evidence in von Däniken's most famous work - Chariot of the Gods, almost page by page.

Currently von Däniken is a prominent member of the Archaeology, Astronautics and SETI Research Association (AAS RA), of which he is a co-founder, and a new fictional TV-series based on the themes of his writings is under production. Von Däniken has developed a theme park called Mystery Park, based in Interlaken, Switzerland. It opened May 23, 2003. A science fiction tv series based upon his books is in development.

Table of contents
1 Von Däniken and forgery
2 Works
3 External links

Von Däniken and forgery

Von Däniken has admitted to forging some of his evidence. Pottery depicting UFOs that he claimed came from archaeological digs was in fact created by a modern potter. When confronted with evidence of his fraud Von Däniken claimed it was justified because some people would only believe if they saw proof.

See also :

Works

External links