In the Ancient Aliens: 50 Years of Chariots of the Gods? Panel at AlienCon in Baltimore on Saturday, November 10th, panelists included Erich von Daniken, Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, and Kevin Burns.
The panel opened with a sneak peek of the Season 11 (on the dvds, 14 on the network) finale for the show Ancient Aliens. It’ll air in “mystery week” on History Channel and be 2 hours in length in January, called “The Alien Phenomenon” and it’s really a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Chariots of the Gods?”, Burns said.
Von Daniken was asked if he ever dreamt there would be a phenomenon still going 50 years later, and he said he never could have imagined it.
Burns asked von Daniken if his belief in his ideas is stronger now than it was 50 years ago, and what has made it stronger. Von Daniken said that 50 years ago, he was the manager of a hotel, and had many doubts. He was definitely sure that the planet was visited by extra terrestrials from studying the texts of many cultures, he said. He’s still sure, and feels there is no doubt anymore. Most evidence is very well-founded, he feels, and loves discussion with skeptics, he said.
One example that makes him feel sure is looking at “primitive” stone age people, who described the gods descending, which he takes as a reference to extra terrestrials. But skeptics say it was down to a fear of nature, without the need for extra terrestrials. Von Daniken answers, he said, that some of our ancestors learned the language of extra terrestrials, and asked where they came from. They all pointed to the sky, and gave star names, as well as being teachers, von Daniken said. He feels that “astronomical information” was passed on in this way that couldn’t have been transmitted otherwise. This “scientific information” does not fit the natural phenomenon explanation, von Daniken feels.
Asked what he has learned from von Daniken as his mentor, and where his studies are now, Tsoukalos said that he first learned about South American structures, and Puma Punchu, from von Daniken. Visiting has been a “life altering experience” for him, a place that isn’t studied much but is near more famous sites. Asking what it was for and how it was built poses interesting outcomes, he feels. Von Daniken commented on the fact that even the Inca didn’t know who made it, and said it was made by the gods. He feels that the fact that the Inca didn’t take credit for the place is interesting, and suggests a more mysterious origin for the site. Von Daniken thinks the place may have been a “base camp” for alien visitors to store their tools and supplies, built all in one night, according to folk tales.
The “gods” were the creators of the site, according to the Inca, and that poses the questions, who were these gods, Tsoukalos commented. We always assume that these sites were temples, but they might have had more practical functions, Burns added, like a “food court”.
Burns brought up aspects of ancient sites that are rarely discussed, with focus on the subjects that are easily explained. Von Daniken, speaking of the Nazca Lines, brought up images of other designs that are rarely discussed from Nazca, with lines that start and end abruptly, but don’t resemble animals or other ornamental designs. Deeper zig-zag lines and straight lines exist in mountain locations that are clearly artificial, but are rarely shown or discussed in documentaries that attempt to explain the origin of the lines, he explained.
Von Daniken said that the “unreasonable” has become “reasonable” over time, and he and people like him have changed the zeitgeist. What once was not acceptable becomes “thinkable” and he feels this will go on in the future. After the next 10 years or so, von Daniken said, these kinds of theories will become “science fact”.
Asked if “exo-politics” is a valid field of study, Tsoukalos said that yes, we will need to learn how to interact and receive alien arrival. Burns commented that courses are beginning to take hold as a field of study at universities, in fact.
Asked about their reaction to ideas like those proposed by Graham Hancock, who feels that early advanced civilizations contributed to later, sudden social growth, Tsoukalos and von Daniken said that though he is a friend of theirs, they disagree, and think it’s “conceited” to assume that we, as humans, are the “crown of civilization”. Von Daniken feels that we need to become “more humble” again about our place in the universe, to loud applause.
Asked about how they reach the younger generation with Ancient Aliens, Burns says he sees the show as “an introductory level course” in Ancient Astronaut theory, and seeing people and fans at shows, he gets the impression of people moving to a higher level, which he finds reassuring. The website Ramar.space is also something that’s sprung out of von Daniken’s work, for those interested in checking it out.
Asked what he’s been up to with his research, von Daniken said that he’s been studying books by ancient Arabian historians that have never appeared in English before, and there are more books coming into the knowledge pool all the time. Many books were destroyed in the past, von Daniken reminded, or else we would have more information that directly confirmed ancient alien theories. For instance, the library of Alexandria, which was destroyed three times. Revisiting the subject of lost books, von Daniken reminded of the destroyed Mayan books which Europeans took out of the record.
He also pointed to his new book The Gods Never Left Us, a non-fiction work, but it starts with a science fiction story to lead into it. It’s a continuation of Chariots of the Gods?.
There are also new developments in archaeology, like the discovery of new rooms in the Great Pyramid, that happens almost every year, but never makes the news, von Daniken commented.
Von Daniken, when asked about why we can’t seem to locate the “smoking gun” evidence of ancient aliens, commented that religion plays a big part in concealing information, when artifacts are kept away from the public eye, as well as regional conservatism. He does feel there is a “smoking gun” in our genetics, however, that we are the product both of planetary evolution, but also of “influence from outside”. Burns added that evidence is in the architectural record as well as in scripture, like the Old Testament.
Burns discussed the “academic belief” that the show Ancient Aliens is colonialist or anti-third world, or racist in “intent”, and said it’s not their intent. Burns thinks the pyramids and scriptures talk about extra-terrestrial involvement, and all they are asking is, “What if that is not fiction?”. It’s not to assert that natives were not involved, or not building “extraordinary structures”. It’s that the documents themselves credit people from the stars. Burns feels that there is “academic snobbery” in saying and assuming that these peoples could build sophisticated architecture but could not tell fact from fiction. Von Daniken agreed that “of course” the Maya built their temples, but they credit some things to “the gods” and he merely asks, “which gods?” and pursues that line of thought.
Asked about the theory that humans were bred by aliens as a “work force”, Tsoukalos said that he “vehemently disagrees” with this and prefers something much more “positive” about humanity and human society.
Burns said that different contributors to the show interpret information differently, but all agree that the information exists. Within the field, not everyone agrees, and Burns feels the show does not “tell you what to think” but is set to “encourage you to think”, he said to applause.
Tsoukalos posited that we are “entering a golden age of discovery” where more evidence is going to continue to come to light through the use of even more powerful telescopes and devices to confirm astronomical data mentioned in ancient texts that could only have had alien origin. He also feels it’s “our destiny to go back to the stars” so future discoveries will be made.
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