It is our profound honor to welcome the legendary Erich von Däniken — author of the revolutionary Chariots of the Gods and many other works on the extraterrestrial origins of mankind — to this edition of After Hours AM/America’s Most Haunted Radio, Thursdays 9-11pE with hosts Joel Sturgis and Eric Olsen. Von Däniken is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Chariots of the Gods with a gala live presentation and worldwide webcast from London October 15, 2016. Mr von Däniken will join us in the 10pE hour. In the 9pE hour, forensic psychologist and renowned redhead Dr. Clarissa Cole will join us — as she does the first Thursday of every month — to drill into the minds of serial killers.Who will tonight’s victim be?
Listen to the live show and the recorded podcast right here!
2016 is the 50th anniversary of when a young man sat at a typewriter in Davos, Switzerland, and pecked out one of the most important and popular books of the 20th century, Chariots of the Gods. Honoring that fateful creation is ERICH von DÄNIKEN LEGACY NIGHT, Chariots of the Gods Chronicles 1966 – 2016, October 15, 2016 in London.
The godfather of Ancient Astronaut Theory returns to London after 25 years for his first ever live-streamed webcast event. This two-hour celebration will honor the past and future of author and researcher Erich von Däniken and will be globally broadcast live from BAFTA’s historic Princess Anne Theatre. The evening will feature keynote presentation by the guest of honor himself, as he showcases his most influential speeches, describing his findings and breakthroughs in developing the Ancient Astronaut Theory. Following the keynote address, the bold new trajectory of Erich von Däniken’s legacy will be unveiled. This explosive announcement will reveal developments from the creative geniuses behind the highly anticipated Chariots of the Gods 360-degree entertainment franchise by Media Invest Entertainment. For Gala Night attendees, the evening will conclude with a VIP cocktail reception and book signing with Erich.
Erich von Däniken set off a firestorm in the late-’60s with the release of his classic Chariots of the Gods, which set forth the proposition that man had his origins in the stars and that his development has been aided by extraterrestrials. Where did von Däniken’s extraordinary notions come? He writes in the preface to the anniversary edition of Chariots of the Gods, “I come from a very Catholic family in Switzerland and my father decided that I would have a theologically-oriented education. So he enrolled 16-year old Erich at Collège St-Michel, a Jesuit boarding school in Fribourg, Switzerland. At that time, my conception of God was magnificent and simultaneously incomprehensible – and has remained so to this day. I always thought God – who or what that was – had to exhibit some minimum features. The true God would be flawless and could do no wrong. He would have to be omnipresent and need no vehicle to get from point A to point B. In particular, God would be timeless. God could not be something that did experiments and then must wait to see what resulted. Those were the thoughts my confused 16-year old brain had about God,” he writes.
He continues, “In theology class, we regularly translated Bible passages. Typically, this was from the ancient Greek or Latin texts into German. And so my plight began. The God of the Old Testament used vehicles for his earthly visits. He was often described with attributes such as ‘smoke, fire, earthquake, or noise.’ ‘Fallen angels’ or ‘God’s sons’ came down from heaven to fornicate with pretty daughters of men according to the first book of Moses. The biblical God conducted experiments and did not know the outcomes, or worse, they were wrong. First he ‘created man and saw that it was good.’ But later “the Lord repented that he had created man, and it grieved him deeply.” He decided that the whole of humanity had to drown with the exception of Noah and his family.”
Like many seekers, Erich virtually pleads, “Was God really that contradictory? Doubts about my own religion plagued me, and I wondered if other, older cultures told similar stories about their deities as we did in the Judeo-Christian faith. For years, I immersed myself in the histories of other religions. Lo and behold, it was the same with Indians, Tibetans, Egyptians, Incans, Mayans, Aztecs, etc.; all the gods arose with smoke, fire, earthquake, and noise from the firmament down. That was the birth of Chariots of the Gods.”
From there, EvD got into the hospitality business. “Through my hotel years,” he continues, “I worked intensively on my hobby: searching for the origin of the gods. I devoured countless archaeological and theological works, traveled widely, and visited archaeological sites and temples in distant countries. Again and again, I was able to publish short articles about my research in magazines. On December 8, 1964, the Canadian/German newspaper The Northwest (published in Winnipeg) printed an entire feature that I wrote. It was entitled: Did Our Ancestors Visit from Outer Space? Parallel to my hobby, my career climbed steadily upwards. In 1966, I became the director of a first-class hotel in Davos, Switzerland. During the afternoons, I sat in a small little room and typed a manuscript on a typewriter that would later become a worldwide bestseller,” he concludes.
Two years and many rejection letters later, Chariots of the Gods was published in 1968 and subsequently syndicated in the German weekly magazine Die Zeit via installments. Over 800,000 copies sold within the first year, The New York Times wrote that a new virus – “Dänikenitis” – had broken out. Carrying this momentum through 1974, Erich authored four additional books that expounded on the initial theories in Chariots of the Gods. In 1975, Erich von Däniken received an honorary doctorate (Dr.h.c.) from the University of Bolivia, as well as honorary citizenship from the city of Nazca, where he extensively researched the world famous Nazca Lines. In the fall of 1987, he became an honorary member of the Cordon bleu du Saint-Esprit Order together with the German astronaut Ulf Merbold.
Shortly thereafter, Erich von Däniken received the Premio Lourenço Filho in gold and platinum in Brazil. All thru the 1990s and 2000s, Erich von Däniken kept exceptionally active by expanding his writing and exploring new media. Subsequently, his ideas gave birth to myriad films, documentaries and television series. Most notably, in 2009, the US television channel History began a revolutionary series, entitled Ancient Aliens, about Erich’s hypotheses. Presently, Erich von Däniken keeps busy with speaking engagements across the world and has written a regular column for the Swiss newspaper Blick am Abend since February of 2011. By March of 2016, 128 columns will have been published and the series is planned to continue.