Ancient Aliens s05e10 Episode Script

The von Daniken Legacy

A young man's spiritual journey.
I was a boy, 16 years old, when I said, "This is not God.
What are we talking about?" A controversial bestseller.
I was mesmerized by it.
I couldn't put it down.
And a scientific theory that threatened to change the world.
Everything was turned upside-down by Erich Von Daniken.
Just what are the facts behind Erich Von Daniken and ancient astronaut theory? What were the divine inspirations The ancient Egyptians did build the pyramids with the assistance of the Guardians of the Sky.
the bizarre revelations We're just starting to rediscover ancient technology that did exist thousands of years ago.
and the shocking conclusions that were too incredible to be ignored? Even if there is a chance in ten million that he is right, then everything changes.
We have been visited, and these visitors will return to Earth again.
Millions of people around the world believe we have been visited in the past by extraterrestrial beings.
What if it were true? Did ancient aliens really help to shape our history, and if so, what does this say not only about mankind's past but about its future? Minneapolis, Minnesota, October, 2012.
I want to introduce Erich Von Daniken.
Hundreds gather to hear iconic author and researcher Erich Von Daniken speak at the Paradigm Symposium, a four-day event focused on exploring ancient cosmology, anthropology, archaeology, and science fiction.
Maybe we have been visited from outer space.
Where's the proof? What can we find? His books have sold over 65 million copies worldwide.
He is a hero to some and a heretic to others, but Erich Von Daniken's controversial theories have captured the attention of the world and ignited a movement known as ancient astronaut theory.
The scientific community, they were always afraid to think in this way.
We have to change our thinking.
Von Daniken's research has taken him all over the world to investigate the unexplained mysteries of ancient cultures.
He has spent his lifetime daring to question what mainstream scholars hold to be true.
We are the descendents, ladies and gentlemen, we are the offsprings of these extraterrestrials, and it's not by coincidence.
Erich Von Daniken's rise to notoriety began in February, 1968, when the Swiss hotel manager-turned-author published his groundbreaking book "Chariots of the Gods".
In it, the young writer theorized that intelligent extraterrestrial beings visited Earth in the distant past and made contact with mankind.
It caused a sensation, selling an impressive 500,000 copies in its first year of publication.
When the book first appeared was the year where we landed a man on the moon, and so there's a whole belief now that it was possible to travel into space, that we would send people to space.
Many people were very excited about this whole new ancient astronaut theory.
They thought it made sense.
We were coming ourselves into the modern space age.
People were really, really interested in these kinds of subjects and wondering if maybe there had been something that we had secretly discovered on the moon that may have pointed towards extraterrestrial origins for man.
Although the phenomenon of ancient astronauts has been around since the '50s, it was really Von Daniken who opened the doors to where it became part of the popular culture.
"Chariots of the Gods" was a very crucial book for me because it opened my eyes up to the possibility that ancient cultures may have been in connection with or interacting with some sort of off-planet intelligence.
I was mesmerized by it; I couldn't put it down.
It might've been the first book I read cover to cover in one day.
His theories were just phenomenal where he talked about the possibility of extraterrestrial visitations.
By using rhetorical questions, Von Daniken suggested that evidence of alien close encounters could be found in everything from ancient religious texts and mysterious stone carvings to monumental structures and monoliths located all over the world.
What he basically says is, you can no longer look at the traditional interpretations of historical events, historical monuments, historical structures, historical cultures at face value.
You have to look at this in a much broader context of what could be perhaps extraterrestrial intervention.
One of the things that Erich did was to take very familiar Bible stories and reinterpret them where people are interacting with angels.
They're even taken up into space in fiery chariots and things like that, and what it was was a re-examination of what we're taught.
But despite being well received by the public, scholars and scientists regarded Von Daniken's claims as pseudoscience.
I expected to be ridiculed, but I did not expect the unfair way in which the ridiculing happened in the media.
I was at that time attacked.
"Erich Von Daniken said" In reality, in "Chariots of the Gods", I had 238 question marks.
Nobody read the question marks.
Trailblazers tend to become targets, and so academia for many years has slagged Von Daniken, saying it's sloppy research, it's sloppy thinking, it's sloppy analysis.
However, as the years have gone on, more and more of his his early work has now kind of been vindicated by other people, and I think we can all trace back this interest in this subject to Von Daniken's groundbreaking work.
All the great thinkers of our time and in the past have been people who challenged the norm.
So Erich Von Daniken really challenged the norm of academia to show that these things that we thought of as just religious myths actually have scientific merit, and we need to look into them further.
But what was the source for Erich Von Daniken's groundbreaking theory? Where did the notion of alien astronauts visiting the earth in the ancient past come from? I was educated in a boarding school led by Jesuits.
Three years, we had to translate parts of the Bible from one language into the other.
In the first Book of Moses the Lord descends from the heavens down to Earth on a holy mountain.
With smoke and fire and loud noise and trembling, and everyone was afraid.
That was the moment when I said, "This is not God".
What are we talking about? My God does not need a vehicle in which to move around, which trembles and makes smoke "and loud noise.
" And it was the Jesuit priest who said, "Erich, maybe you should "read a Book of Enoch.
" The Book of Enoch was excluded from the Bible and is still considered controversial by many theologians.
But for Von Daniken, it was proof of something much greater.
It says that Enoch was taken away from our planet Earth by the Lord in a fiery chariot.
Now, we knew nothing in the past about flying machines.
So, in religious terms, they say now he has his flight into the heaven.
But in my eyes, Enoch, he sees something which in reality it was a spaceship.
This omitted account of Enoch's journey only raised more questions for Von Daniken.
He turned his focus to the story of the biblical prophet Ezekiel.
Like Enoch, Ezekiel is also taken away in a fiery vehicle, a vehicle he describes in great technical detail in the pages of the Old Testament.
Von Daniken brought the strange texts to the attention of his priest.
So the priest said, "Ezekiel has a vision.
" I said, "No, that's not the vision because he describes "the noise.
" He compares the noise with the thundering of a waterfall.
It's not a vision.
It's something different.
Something like rocket engines.
Now we are talking about contact with extraterrestrials, space travel, so it all came together.
Erich wasn't completely rejecting religion or the idea of God.
Or even angels for that matter.
He was looking at things differently but still keeping a certain spirituality and knowledge of universal truths.
I have grown up as a Catholic, a Christian, and I clearly say I am still one of these believers in God.
I pray every evening.
We will never lose God, never, when we deal with ancient astronauts.
Is it possible, as Erich Von Daniken and other ancient astronaut researchers suggest, that the evidence for real-life close encounters can be found embedded in the pages of the Holy Bible? It was a question that the Swiss teenager was determined to answer.
And his search now took him to the Egyptian desert and the mysterious structures known as the Great Pyramids.
Northeastern Egypt, At the age of 19, Erich Von Daniken traveled to Giza, three miles from Cairo.
There he could examine the Egyptian pyramids firsthand.
I visited Egypt for the first time when I was, well, a youngster.
That was long before Chariots of the Gods.
And it impressed me very, very much.
I always had the feeling this is not only done by humans.
Somebody must have done the planning.
Of course, I learned at that time that archaeology says this building is made by a pharaoh with the name of Cheops.
I asked, "Where does the name Cheops come from?" Because we don't have a statue of Cheops.
We don't have a mummy of Cheops.
You would think if somebody makes this gigantic building like the Great Pyramid, he would be proud and he would say, "Hey, I did it.
I was the one who constructed this.
" But the Great Pyramid is the total anonymity.
The Great Pyramid has always intrigued the ancient alien theory for a number of reasons.
It's the last surviving wonder of the ancient world, and nobody has been able to explain how precisely it was built.
Erich is not saying that aliens built it.
Erich is saying that the pyramids, specifically the Great Pyramid, the way it is explained by academics today does not fit with what his research is indicating.
The puzzling way in which the Great Pyramid was constructed and the mystery surrounding its purpose, served to fuel both the Swiss teenager's curiosity and his imagination.
Could it be that everything his teachers had told him about ancient civilizations was false? The pyramids in Egypt are probably one of the greatest wonders of this planet.
Some people say that they're, you know, landing marks for extraterrestrials, power plants, stabilizers for the planet creating energy waves.
There's no doubt that somebody had to provide the information to help get this thing built because they're just too immense, they're too accurate.
There is absolutely no question that the Great Pyramids of Giza were built by human beings.
The ancient Egyptians did it.
However, what the ancient Egyptian texts also tell us, that the ancient Egyptians did build the pyramids, but with the assistance of the Guardians of the Sky.
Was it possible the early Egyptians had received otherworldly knowledge in order to construct the Great Pyramid of Giza? And if so, could proof be found by examining other archaeological sites? Eastern India.
It was here, at the Sanskrit College in Calcutta, that Erich Von Daniken met with Professor Dileep Kanjilal to study the Vedic Sanskrit, an ancient language used in religious Hindu texts.
Professor Dileep Kanjilal has gone through old Indian texts and made modern versions of it.
Now, it comes out in the old books, the so-called gods, they used flying machines to travel from heaven to Earth.
According to the ancient Vedic texts of India, the gods descended from the sky in flying vehicles.
They refer to those vehicles as "vimanas.
" There are very detailed descriptions: what these vimanas looked like, how they traveled from place to place, what was necessary in order to pilot them, all those things are described in ancient Hindu texts that are thousands of years old.
And for Erich, he naturally felt that these vimanas were real nuts-and-bolts aircraft.
And of course, he's saying these are the vehicles of the ancient astronauts.
When Erich first went to India, he explored a whole bunch of different sites, and he quickly came to the realization that India is a treasure trove for the ancient astronaut theory, because all over India, we can find these magnificent temple towers that are referred to as "stupas" and also "vimanas.
" And so we have to ask ourselves, where did the form for a stupa come from? Another great contribution of Erich is that he focused on India.
Very few people had really studied the ancient Indian civilization, even though it is thousands of years old.
And what he saw there were structures which were alleged to have been replicas of vimanas.
So many Hindu temple in the Far East, they are representations in their architecture what was going up in the sky.
So the upper part of a Hindu temple often is seen as a flying object, as a vimana.
And basically what we're being confronted with is the realization that these people built in stone objects which they seem to have seen in the sky.
When we look at the most ancient records we have, coming out of the Vedic texts in India, there are clear descriptions of aerial battles taking place with vimanas.
So this really starts to raise the question about our own cycle of history.
Is it completely linear? Or is it possible that we're just starting to rediscover ancient technology that did exist thousands of years ago? Ancient texts all over the world talk about flying vehicles, people who could fly through the air, flying horses.
But it was Erich who really put it together.
That the gods weren't just flying around like Superman; they had to get into some kind of nuts-and-bolts craft, just like we do, and go somewhere.
And this was "The Chariots of the Gods".
Enoch tells us about the Guardians of the Sky who came down.
He says they are called fallen angels and they wanted to have sex with humans, and the offspring of it were giants.
So there were sexual contacts between extraterrestrials and the humans.
What does this mean? Well, it's very simple.
Erich Von Daniken's interpretation was, we are nothing else but hybrids of an extraterrestrial race that jump-started our civilization thousands and thousands of years ago.
And that extraterrestrials, in fact, gave us intelligence.
Homo sapiens existed for 250,000 years.
But only in the last 50,000 years, this quantum leap all of a sudden happened where we went from munching bananas in a cave to essentially building civilizations.
Science is holding out great hope and expectation that at one point they will find this missing link between everything else on Planet Earth and us.
But despite looking for over 150 years, they haven't come any closer.
The answer might be found in what our ancestors have always said, which is that we have been made by the gods, that we are not like anything else here on Planet Earth.
We stand out, because we have been created.
As we look at the whole history of this planet, there is this huge question.
How many advanced intelligences have been on this planet maybe for millions of years, terraforming, and manipulating genes in all kinds of life, and that maybe even modern human is one of those manipulated genetic creations.
Imagine all the knowledge human beings possessed.
Astronomy, mathematics, engineering and writing, were brought down from heaven by the gods.
It does raise the question, is Daniken right? Because even if there is the faintest possibility, a chance in a million, a chance in ten million that he is right, then everything changes.
Do ancient religious texts really provide evidence of alien contact with cultures throughout history? Chariots of the Gods had opened the door to much discussion, speculation, and criticism.
But its enormous success also gave the Swiss writer the ability to travel the world in search of more answers.
It was a search that would take him halfway across the globe, to see firsthand the ancient ruins of South America.
Bolivia, South America.
Here lie the ruins of Puma Punku, a mysterious temple complex located in the ancient city of Tiahuanaco.
It is believed to have been built about 2,000 years ago.
The year he published his bestselling book Chariots of the Gods, author Erich Von Daniken made a pilgrimage to this archaeological site for more proof of his controversial theory that extraterrestrial beings had visited Earth in the distant past.
Puma Punku is in the highland of Bolivia.
You stand there and you are absolutely shocked.
There are gigantic platforms laying around.
At that time, in 1968, there was no archaeological work done up there.
When Erich Von Daniken arrived at Puma Punku, here he found evidence, clearly, of lost high technology.
We see laser-perfection drilled holes, stone that has been somehow liquefied, or almost kind of made vitrified, and stuck together.
This is not possible without the use of high technology.
Erich was able to see these "H" blocks.
They're big granite blocks all articulated and cut as if they were pre-manufactured, and in such a way that they would fit together and create these giant walls.
It was such a high-tech kind of construction that it boggled everyone's mind.
So what we have in Puma Punku is the traditional what I would say Erich Von Daniken tackling archaeology.
There is, within the methodology of how these stones were constructed, a certain degree of difficulty which our ancestors simply never attained in the surrounding landscape of Tiahuanaco.
Stone carvers basically told him that it was almost impossible or extremely difficult to create these artifacts, and that specifically why they would be doing it is something which really defies explanation.
Another aspect of Puma Punku that captivated Von Daniken was the legend of its creation, as put forward by the indigenous people of the region.
The population living there are called the Aymara.
And the Aymara themselves say that they had no involvement in building Puma Punku.
In fact, when you ask them who built Puma Punku, they will point to the sky and they will say, "Los Dioses.
" The gods.
In Puma Punku they say, "The gods constructed the place in one night.
" This makes sense.
You have an extraterrestrial crew, they come down to Earth.
So they construct with their tools just something which we would call today a basic camp.
They behaved themselves like archaeologists would do: they learn.
They teach a little to humans, they learn their language One day they disappeared, their job is over.
They take all their instruments back to the mother spaceship, and left are only a few ruins of the basic camp.
Was Puma Punku really a base camp for extraterrestrials that visited Earth in the distant past? And were the magnificent stones that make up the ruins made with the help of advanced building methods? For Erich Von Daniken the answer was clearly "yes," and it compelled him to continue his search nearly 3,000 miles away at the ruins of another ancient city.
Chichén Itzá, Mexico.
Located on the Yucatán Peninsula are the ruins of an ancient Mayan city that thrived from 750 to 1200 A.
It was here, in 1969, that Erich Von Daniken had an amazing realization involving the city's central pyramid of El Castillo.
I was standing before this great pyramid.
I understood nothing.
I took every possible literature from Central American archaeologists to learn what's this all about.
And then I learned again, they are talking of visitors from outside.
Of course they call them gods.
According to the ancient Mayan myths, their main deity was Quetzalcoatl or Kukulkan, Gukumatz.
All those different names for the exact same deity, which was described to be a winged or a flying serpent, or a flying snake.
Whatever it was that they saw up in the sky could best be described as a flying snake.
When we're looking across the world, Chichén Itzá is a very important location.
It is one of those places where it is said that the gods descended to and decreed a fate of mankind.
And there is one specific pyramid, El Castillo, the castle, where you see an intricate light show happening on specifically the equinoxes, March 21 and September 21.
In the early morning you see the sun rising up, and while the sun goes up, you see on the stairway, light and shadow, triangles of light and shadow.
They are produced because of the nine platforms.
The light and shadow triangles slowly go down the step to the pyramid until the sun is up there.
The message is absolutely clear.
God Kukulkan visited the earth and disappeared again with the promise to return in a far away future.
So they have given this whole information of the return of the gods into their temple.
And I think this is one of the great things which Erich has done, not just in the story of Chichén Itzá, but of so many other aspects on other places in this world as well.
Whereby he focuses on certain details and says, look, this is important.
This is a detail which is extremely difficult to create.
This is something which traditional archaeology tends to overlook.
By making a connection between the ancient Mayas' knowledge of astronomy and their precise architecture, Erich Von Daniken was convinced that there was much more to his ancient alien hypothesis than he had imagined.
For further proof he looked to another Mayan temple.
One that housed what some say was the first ancient astronaut Lord Pakal.
At the ancient Mayan city of Palenque was a tomb that was discovered in the 1950s.
And inside this tomb was a lid on the sarcophagus for Lord Pakal.
And that lid is, is very highly decorated with a picture of Lord Pakal.
And in that picture he's doing some really unusual things.
You see a man bending forward, almost like a racing motorcyclist.
He has his nose on some kind of oxygen mask.
He uses his upper hand to manipulate the knob.
You see his lower hand, he manipulates some controls.
He's sitting on a kind of chair.
In a sort of a capsule.
When Erich looked at that lid, he saw a Mayan king in a rocket ship.
And that guy was returning to the stars, going back into space.
It was an exciting interpretation.
And it was one of the main things in Chariots of the Gods.
And when other people looked at that lid and saw his explanation, they had to agree with him.
Could Erich Von Daniken be correct? Was Lord Pakal really an extraterrestrial who visited Earth in the distant past? One who perhaps shared highly advanced knowledge with mankind? After publishing his second book, Gods from Outer Space, in 1970, Erich Von Daniken now found himself caught in the crosshairs of a bitter fight between traditional science and conventional religion, which denounced the notion that life existed on other planets.
It was a battle the author seemed ill-equipped to fight alone.
In the more than four decades since the publication of Chariots of the Gods, writer and researcher Erich Von Daniken has continued his search for the truth about mankind's otherworldly origins.
I wish and I hope that the society finally starts to take this proposition we make here serious, that the scientific community starts to think in this way.
But I have to express one thing very clear: what I do here has nothing to do with a new religion.
I would turn myself in my tomb if some idiots create a new religion according to my thinking.
This is the last thing I wish.
Absolutely not.
And joining Erich Von Daniken has been a small but growing number of what have become known as ancient astronaut theorists men and women who have expanded and at times refined Von Daniken's findings.
I'm curious how many people here have seen in their lifetime some unidentified aerial object in the sky? How many? Hands.
You represent what I think is a slice of humanity everywhere because I am convinced that telling the human family of this planet the truth is probably what most souls are hungering for.
One of the things that we know about human behavior is that it is shaped by our world view, our paradigm, and I would suggest that this is a very significant time to change this paradigm.
We are not alone in the universe and that we are a part of this bigger network of life.
To me, personally I think there is a paradigm shift going on, and it's an incredibly positive movement because we're all in this together.
We live in a society which I call reasonable.
To be reasonable means to believe what the scientists say.
So it's up to us; just don't accept everything the reasonable ones say.
Please be unreasonable.
I am unreasonable.
What I've really liked about Erich is that he does bring up a lot of unusual ideas.
Uh, he points out inconsistencies in, uh, mainstream archaeology.
I've never really bought into all of Erich's conclusions, but I was always interested in it.
So in many ways, he spurred me to go around the world to remote islands, to unusual archaeological sites.
I wanted to check them out for myself.
Now, all of his explanations weren't always the explanation I would have given, but it's what's leading me and other people down a certain track: investigate this.
Go check it out for yourself.
Don't just take my word for it.
When I began to explore ancient civilizations, in a library in Belgium, I stumbled upon a book by Erich Von Daniken, and I was hooked.
Because I think I was one of thousands, if not millions, of people who began to realize that ancient history wasn't clear-cut.
And he really, in me, began to open up this exploratory process, whereas I had always been interested in recent history, that really this mystery of the ancient world was more complex, more beautiful and more interesting.
And so in the last two decades, Erich has informed me on my path of saying: we need to explore, we need to open up our minds into trying to understand what our ancient ancestors were doing, because there are still gigantic question marks as to how our past has been created.
We must be open to Erich Von Daniken.
Daniken is the first man who gutsily came out and faced the world in saying: I think it's possible that ancient astronauts have come to visit our planet, and the pyramids, the various temples, all this was perhaps remnants of their visits.
Now, I must say that I was a great skeptic on the ancient alien theory until recently.
Because everything has changed for us skeptics.
For example, within the last 12 years we've looked at the little patch of our galactic system, which is the Milky Way, and so far we've found 3,000 planets.
When we extrapolate the possibility over the whole galactic system, it's estimated that there must be about a billion planets in our galaxy alone.
So the odds are extremely high of finding life out there.
Now, having said this, if we can go out there, why can't they come here? We must be open to possibility that life on this planet has been touched by extraterrestrial beings.
Thanks to my grandmother, growing up, ideas of ancient aliens and Atlantis and all those alternative viewpoints on history, that was dinner table conversation at my house.
I grew up in Switzerland, and Erich Von Daniken was Swiss as well, and so I started to attend his lectures, I read and studied all of his books.
I have been to places that Erich has described.
It has opened my mind to possibilities, because the big point of Erich's books are the questions.
What if everything in our past is not the way it's presented to be? What if our planet was visited by extraterrestrials in the past? That means that creation is even more magnificent than what we're being told, because the divine is permeating throughout the entire universe, not just on Planet Earth.
In fact, Jesus himself said: My father's home has many rooms.
And so what if that was just a metaphor to suggest that the universe houses a whole bunch of different species, that the universe is teeming with life and we all belong to it? Although mainstream scholars have so far refused to acknowledge Erich Von Daniken's controversial theories as little more than pseudoscience, his exhaustive efforts on behalf of ancient astronaut theory have started to gain acceptance not in the hallowed halls of academia but with ordinary citizens men and women who, like the Swiss author himself, prefer to ask their own questions even if it means challenging Erich Von Daniken himself.
The ancient alien hypothesis, what did you purport that was wrong? Five! Four! Three! Two! One! At a time when we have just begun to explore Mars and look forward to an era when space travel is commonplace, might we find the answers to the questions mankind has been asking for centuries? Who are we? Why are we here? We're gonna go back to the moon, and we're gonna go to Mars, and so once we become, ourselves, a space-faring people, the idea of ancient astronauts coming here will be even more accepted, I think.
It takes decades, sometimes centuries, before paradigm is changed.
And I think what's going to be shown in the next decade is that society as a whole is going to explore this.
And I think Erich is going to be perceived as really the instigator of this all, the man who was able to pose the question in such a way that it became acceptable for the people of the world to really ponder it.
We have to bear in mind that he was talking about ancient astronaut stuff nearly still talking about it to this day.
The important thing is, if there was nothing to his work the whole phenomena would have died a death.
Did ancient astronauts really come to Planet Earth? And if so, what was their purpose? And perhaps even more important, will they come again? These highly developed people, with high technology, high civilization, would interact with these primitive humans and show them certain things, including agriculture and building techniques and how to live together in harmony in order to try to develop civilization and bring us to a higher state, and the state that we're living in today.
The ancient alien hypothesis, what have you jettisoned in the intervening time? What did you purport that was wrong, and what have you revised? Of course, when I was young I was enthusiastic, and I was not so proper in researching, so there were a few things which I had to learn I was wrong.
And then you accept you were wrong, but you try with every book to become better.
Because, ladies and gentlemen, I learned we must continue to ask the questions.
Our scientists have a tunnel view.
They don't want to see things which go further than their thinking.
And that's why we all here, we change the thinking, the consciousness of all this society.
Thank you.
Inevitably, anyone that reads Von Daniken's books and thinks carefully about his work whether they accept his conclusions or not, they cannot fail to wonder and ponder on the idea of: has religion actually got it wrong, were we just really visited by ancient aliens and nothing else and we've incorporated that into our belief systems and created these structured religions which are based on ancient UFO visits? Looking at our planet, we have two groups of human.
One group is religious.
The other group is a scientific group.
The religious group believe that God created everything, the whole universethe suns, the solar systems, the trees, the plants, the animal, but we humans are the crown of creation.
The other group, the scientific group, they think we know everything about mutation, selection, that we are on top of evolution.
Now, in both cases we think we humans are the greatest.
There is nothing higher than we.
We have to learn that we are just one of the million species out there.
We have been visited and it continues.
These visitors will return to Earth again.
Will mankind's origins remain a mystery? Perhaps the answers lie right in front of us, in every corner of the globe, and all we need to do is what Erich Von Daniken began doing more than half a century ago keep digging keep exploring and keep watching the skies.

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