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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Von Däniken, Erich (1935- ) Former Swiss bank employee and author of Chariots of the Gods?, Gold of the Gods, and others, books in which he attempted to establish that UFOs were spacecraft described in ancient writings and mythology. Over thirty-six million copies of his books have been sold, and they are still on bookstands.


Erich Von Däniken, who invents material via what he termed “writer's license.”

      Von Däniken's work does not survive even cursory examination. His calculations are wrong, his facts are misquoted or invented, and he has admitted, during a 1978 PBS Nova television program, that some of his claims, conversations, and research did not take place at all; he simply invented material via what he termed “writer's license.” Nonetheless, his books continue to sell by the millions all over the world, in several different languages.
      Perhaps the greatest weakness of Von Däniken's arguments is that though he cites the varied marvelous accomplishments of brown-, yellow-, or black-skinned races, he expresses his doubt that they could have constructed these wonders (the Egyptian pyramids, Easter Island statues, Nazca [Peru] lines, for example) without extraterrestrial help. He never mentions Stonehenge, Chartres Cathedral, the Parthenon, or any other wonders created by white-skinned races.



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