Erich von Däniken has become famous for an infamous idea: that the origins of human culture lie not simply in evolution, but in the influence of extraterrestrial beings. Beginning with his first book, Chariots of the Gods?, the world's most successful non-fiction writer has argued that the artifacts of ancient cultures show evidence of these visitors, who were sometimes viewed by humans as gods. Von Däniken is the first to admit that these vistors never actually were gods, but space travelers mistaken by man for gods due to their advanced technology.
Over the past 30 years, Erich von Däniken has written 26 books which have sold over 60 million copies worldwide, thus making him the most successful non-fiction writer of all time. Born on April 14th, 1935, in Zofingen, Switzerland, Erich von Däniken was educated at the College St. Michel in Fribourg, where already as a student he occupied his time with the study of the ancient holy writings. While managing director of a Swiss 5-Star Hotel, he wrote his first book, Chariots of the Gods?, which was an immediate bestseller in the United States, Germany, and later in 38 other countries.
In the United States, Erich von Däniken won instant fame as a result of the television special In Search Of Ancient Astronauts, based upon his first book. From his books two full-length documentary films have been produced, including the international blockbuster Chariots of the Gods and Messages of the Gods. Chariots of the Gods was the first feature film ever to be shown on a Jumbo jet!
In 1993, the German television station SAT-1 started a twenty-five part TV series with and by Erich von Däniken, entitled Auf den Spuren der All-Mächtigen (Pathways of the Gods). In 1996, the American TV company ABC/Kane produced a one-hour special, filmed all over the world, entitled Chariots of the Gods - The Mysteries Continue. This film was broadcast on the ABC network on September 26th, 1996, reaching an audience of over 9 milion viewers. The same year, ABC/Kane produced another documentary with Erich von Däniken that was later seen on the Discovery Channel. RTL, Germany's biggest TV network, showed the film on November 26th, 1996. 7,7 million viewers in Germany alone tuned in to watch the program. In 2000, Erich von Däniken traveled extensively to be featured on FOX's new version of In Search Of... which will be aired on FOX and the USA Network in the fall of 2001.
Odyssey of the Gods, another book by von Däniken, is about Greek mythology, and was published in May 2000 by Element Books.
Of the more than 3,500 lectures which Erich von Däniken has given in 25 countries over the past 30 years, some 600 were presented at universities. Fluent in four languages, Erich von Däniken is an avid researcher and an energetic traveler, averaging 100,000 miles per year to visit remote places of the Earth. This enables him to closely examine the phenomena about which he writes. He was awarded with an Honorary Doctorate degree by the State University of Bolivia.
Today, Erich von Däniken lives in the small mountain-village of Beatenberg in Switzerland. Together with two committees he is currently building a giant theme park Mysteries of the World in Switzerland. As the title implies, the park will bring together all the "mysteries of the world" in one place and will present them by using the latest in cutting-edge multimedia technology. Erich von Däniken is the founder of the committees and also the vice president of the joint-stock company. The Mysteries of the World theme park will open its gates in August of 2002 in Interlaken, Switzerland.
In 1998, Erich von Däniken, together with Giorgio A. Tsoukalos and Ulrich Dopatka, founded the Archaeology, Astronautics and SETI Research Association. The AAS RA publishes the English journal Legendary Times, which is the only journal in the world to exclusively report about the latest research in the Paleo-SETI/ancient astronaut field.
To learn more about this fascinating topic, which Erich von Däniken and other researchers are pioneering, visit EvD's official website.
Biography courtesy of World of Mysteries of Erich von Daniken
Related Links:Erich von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods?: Science or Charlatanism?