The 50th Anniversary of Erich von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods

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The 50th Anniversary of Erich von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods

 

This month marks the 50th anniversary of Erich von Däniken’s seminal work, Chariots of the God; a book that introduced millions to the novel idea that the deities of ancient religious scripture may have actually been advanced ancient astronauts from another part of the cosmos. Now, after half a century of criticism and scrutiny, von Däniken’s work has stood the test of time, spreading curiosity, wonder, and a message of modesty, that maybe there is more to our reality than we claim to know.

Originally released in 1968 under the title Erinnerungen an die Zukunft, or “Memories of the Future,” von Däniken’s book would be rechristened Chariots of the Gods, after an English publisher read his interpretation of Ezekiel’s vision in the Old Testament.

The title would go on to sell 16 million copies, laying the groundwork for 40 sequels that sold 72 million books worldwide. Von Däniken’s work inspired a number of eminent Hollywood productions, television series, and written works that challenged archeological and theological tenets, much to the chagrin of mainstream scholars.

He prefaced Chariots of the Gods with the sentence, “It took courage to write this book and it will take courage to read it,” knowing he faced detractors who would dismiss his theory as sacrilege.

After Chariots of the Gods found success in its paperback sales, it became the impetus for a television series called In Search of the Ancient Astronauts. The series featured interviews with such names as Carl Sagan and Werner von Braun, and was narrated by Rod Serling and Leonard Nimoy.

This set the stage for the popular, contemporary series Ancient Aliens, on History Channel. And now, the legacy continues with Erich von Däniken: Beyond the Legend, on Gaia; a series dissecting his theory and its implications on modern society.

But despite a lifetime of success, von Däniken continues to fend off cynics, maintaining his intention to instill a sense of humility in scientists and theologians who often believe we are alone, or at the top of the universe’s evolutionary chain.

Over decades of welcomed critique, von Däniken has admitted when he was wrong, revised his ideas when necessary, and accepted adversity when presented to him. And in the face of it all, he remains steadfast in his overarching theory that has found increasing support and evidence to boot.

Click here to watch a free episode of Beyond the Legend and enter for a chance to win a 50th anniversary edition of von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods

The Man, The Myth, The Legend


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Dyson Spheres Key to Find Alien Civilizations Higher on Kardashev Scale

Searching for intelligent life in the universe? Then look for their energy source. An update on the hunt for Dyson Spheres.

In June of 1960, astrophysicist Freeman Dyson published his paper Search for Artificial Stellar Sources of Infrared Radiation in the journal Science. In it he argued a way to detect intelligent life in the universe by finding their energy signature that would be created by, he presumed a highly advanced technology.

He wrote, “If extraterrestrial intelligent beings exist and have reached a high level of technical development, one byproduct of their energy metabolism is likely to be the large-scale conversion of starlight into far-infrared radiation.”

Dyson, who died one year ago this month at age 96, believed that an advanced technology would harness solar power from a star with an array of solar panels. He explained in a 2003 interview that he once described it as a biosphere, but since then this theory has been known as a Dyson Sphere.

Dr. Seth Shostak Sr. Astronomer at the SETI Institute explains, “If you’re looking for E.T., if you’re looking for intelligence elsewhere in the universe, you’ve got to figure there are societies out there that are way more advanced than we are, you know the universe has been around for a long time. And they may have constructed something like a Dyson Sphere, or more accurately a Dyson Swarm, or something we can see. And there have actually been searches for alien Dyson Spheres.”

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