Eyewitness to the Gods: What I Kept Secret for Decades

Eyewitness to the Gods: What I Kept Secret for Decades

by Erich von Daniken


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The father of the ancient alien theory with more than 65 million books sold reveals everything he has withheld for years.

In all his years of service, why didn't Erich von Däniken ever doubt his theory that inhabitants of other planets had come into contact with humanity ages ago, and that they still observe us today?

How could von Däniken in all these years say firmly that the UFO phenomenon is real and that people are being abducted by aliens? Why does he repeatedly criticize the official historiography and our religions and thus accept scorn and hostility?

The answers to these questions are: Because Erich von Däniken spoke to people who supported his theories. Because people who saw UFOs or were kidnapped by aliens trusted him. And because experts and insiders inaugurated secrets known to only a few people.

In this book, the now 81-year-old presents selected eyewitnesses and insiders for the first time, reveals secrets and stories that he has hitherto kept private, and presents reports and revelations that leave one speechless!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781632651686
Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
Publication date: 10/01/2019
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 352,715
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Erich von Däniken is arguably the most widely read and most-copied nonfiction author in the world. He published his first (and best-known) book, Chariots of the Gods, in 1968. The worldwide bestseller was followed by 40 more books. His works have been translated into 28 languages and have sold more than 65 million copies. He lives in Switzerland.

Read an Excerpt


Impossible Encounters

In which you will learn about the following:

A Haunting at 36,000 Feet • Pseudo-Science Without End • Time Machine? • A Baffled Sheriff • The Never-Ending Case of B and B Hill • A Visit from Zeta Reticuli • A Desperate Nick Pope • Professor with Civic Courage: A Visit from the Father of Space Travel • A Movie from the Cockpit


November 7, 1986. The Boeing 747, Japan Airlines flight number 1628, flew at an altitude of 36,000 feet on route to Anchorage, Alaska, local time 5:06 pm. Out of nowhere, just a few miles away from the plane, a bright light suddenly flared up. The Japanese captain, his copilot, and the flight engineer assumed it was a military object. But then, in the distance, they saw colorful lights appear, circling around the bright light. When they checked with ground control, they were told nothing had been detected on radar and that their flight path seemed clear.

But the lights grew larger at a frightening pace. The captain asked the control tower in Anchorage for permission to move to a lower altitude. The plane descended 3200 feet, at which point the strange lights disappeared, as if they had been switched off. The crew on the jumbo jet breathed a sigh of relief and requested to climb back to the original altitude, but just then, two lights raced directly toward their plane.

On the jumbo jet's left side, a brown, billowing light appeared, as if a dim lamp had been turned on. For a moment, the captain thought something was on fire. He pressed his forehead against the cockpit window and couldn't believe his eyes: right next to the plane, moving at the same altitude and speed, was a brownish-orange object. Breathless, the pilot described what was going on to the tower in Anchorage. The tower checked the radar and reported that they could detect an enlarged radar echo. Then, something completely mind-boggling happened — the brown-orange light went out suddenly, as quickly and inexplicably as it had appeared. The three men in the cockpit stared at each other and breathed a sigh of relief. But a moment later, the eerie encounter occurred again, this time on the right side of the plane. At this point, Anchorage radar control also realized that drama was unfolding at 36,000 feet. They reported the incident to the US Air Force and ordered the captain to immediately make the approach to Anchorage ...

* * *

During the same timeframe as this incident, from mid-October to mid-December 1986, I was on a lecture tour visiting various US universities. I was accompanied by Geraldine, a lovely young lady who had been assigned to me by Bantam Books, my American publisher. She had, in a very professional manner, cleared many obstacles out of my way. One day, after I finished airing a TV show, Geraldine told me that a Japanese airline captain had called the publisher to try to get in touch with me and had requested that I call him back. Geraldine said it sounded as if it was an important matter and, looking at me inquisitively, asked: "Are you interested?" I nodded, vaguely remembering having read something in a newspaper about an incident involving a Japanese plane.

On December 8, 1986, in an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles, I met with the pilot. He seemed a trustworthy gentleman and was of medium height, with raven-black hair and small wrinkles covering his face. He asked Geraldine, who was with me, to give the two of us privacy. He introduced himself as Kenju Terauchi, and without me asking for ID, he presented his passport and plastic Japan Airlines ID, which identified him. He seemed nervous and kept looking around as if someone was following him.

I found out quickly that he didn't really want to talk to just anyone about the incident. He stated that he and his flight crew had been required to sign forms with the American authorities that swore them to secrecy about the incident under threat of imprisonment for up to ten years and a life-long professional ban if they broke their silence. He had seen me on television, he said approvingly, and had immediately bought each of my books that were available in Japanese. Apart from his family and some close friends, I was the only person he wanted to talk to about the incident. I promised him my absolute discretion until his death (Kenju Terauchi has since passed away).

It was then that he related the details of his frightening experience that he knew scientifically trained people would classify as absolute nonsense. Terauchi first stated that prior to this experience, he had not believed in UFOs at all. He had had no time for silly things like that. His opinion, however, changed drastically after his inexplicable encounter that November evening. He said that the light in front of them had appeared quite unexpectedly and had begun to blind the crew the bigger it grew. He had sat in the cockpit on the left side of the plane, his copilot Takanori Tamefuji had sat on the right, and flight engineer Yoshio Tsukuda had been behind them. When they called in the encounter, none of them could understand why Anchorage radar control could not detect anything on their screens.

He went on to state that a brownish-orange glow had appeared suddenly on his left. From the cockpit window, his view to the rear was very limited; he could not even see the two engines. I asked about the passengers, all of whom must have been eyewitnesses.

"There were no passengers," Terauchi replied. "JAL flight number 1628 was a cargo flight from Paris to Tokyo. We carried French wines and several containers of textiles."

"So you were watching the outer shell of this strange object? How did it look? Metallic? Were there lights or windows?" I pressed on.

"None of that," Terauchi explained. "From the outside, the thing really reminded me of a gigantic walnut. Brown and covered with many furrows. Nothing, really, nothing at all, that hinted at the technology."

I learned that the eerie UFO had been flying for several minutes on his side of the cockpit, at the same speed as the plane, or around 900 kilometers/560 miles per hour. Terauchi and his crew had plenty of time to watch it. One of them even took pictures. They weren't able to estimate the overall size of the object because the UFO's outer skin went out of view behind the wing tips.

"But that thing must have been huge — about the size of an aircraft carrier," he said.

Then the apparition suddenly disappeared, and shortly thereafter, it reemerged on the right side of the plane, just as if the alien power wished that the pilots would have plenty of time to gawk at the spooky object and photograph it as well.

Overall, he said, the terrifying encounter lasted about 30 minutes. It seemed to go on forever. Finally, Terauchi moved the plane along a long trajectory to home in on Anchorage's guiding beam. At 23,000 feet, the crew recognized the distant lights of the city, and suddenly, as if someone had pulled a curtain shut, the lights of the city disappeared. The huge UFO had latched onto the same trajectory as theirs right in front of them; for eight terribly long seconds, it flew in front of them and then veered off over the top right side of the plane.

"The thing was playing cat and mouse with us. We did not see where it finally went; we could no longer observe it," Terauchi explained.

After landing in Anchorage, the crew was taken to a special building outside the airport. They were treated kindly and offered tea, whiskey, and sandwiches.

Kenju Terauchi really wanted to call his superiors in Tokyo, but Anchorage reassured him that they had already been contacted. Time and again, several different gentlemen visited them — some from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), others probably from the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). The copilot, who had been the one to photograph the UFO, received his camera back with no film in it. Two days after they signed several papers and were sworn to secrecy, a very serious, elderly gentleman with wide-awake eyes made something abundantly clear to them: "The event never happened," he said. "Keep that in mind for your entire life. You were victims of a mirage of lights emanating from the planet Mars." The FAA's subsequent investigative report stated that the whole incident was due to a radar malfunction. The device had created a "shared blip."


About fifty years ago, the American biologist Dr. Strauss of Johns Hopkins University declared that the snowman called Yeti was nothing more than a polar bear. "Since our hypothesis is the only non-fantastic assumption, it must be true." According to this logic, all you have to do now is notify the Yeti that he is a polar bear.

Although I have never had the opportunity to experience a clear UFO sighting, I have been able to speak with very serious, often shocked people about their respective UFO experiences. Most witnesses suffer silently because those who try to defend the UFO issue in this world are simply considered "stupid." Serious people are not concerned with it. That's it! And the few who try to explain their experiences land on the rubbish heap of ridicule. They are forcefully expelled from the company of the serious. TV programs such as The Truth about UFOs show alleged spectacular UFO sightings that are then unequivocally refuted immediately thereafter by pseudo-serious smart alecks.

The message is always clear: UFO witnesses are idiots across the board. At which institute does one have to study to become a UFO researcher, for example? At the same one where rabbit breeders, egg sellers, and shaving-brush manufacturers enroll — that is, no such institute exists. At which institute do you have to enroll to participate in a study group geared toward refuting UFO researchers? The same one! Thus, people with equal rights face each other, but the significant difference is that the anti-UFO lobby always wins.

Whoever has seen UFOs, whoever has even had the misfortune to suffer an "encounter of the third kind," is, without objective proof, left out in the rain. And even if good photos or a mobile phone video substantiate an experience, such evidence isn't valid. It's all computer generated we are told with a raised index finger. If even 50, 100, or 1000 people describe the same UFO event, they are victims of mass suggestion. They observed a mirage or the parts of rockets or satellites that continuously crash into our atmosphere all over the world, 365 days a year.

So basically UFOs are a never-ending bombardment of earthly garbage from space. And if no trick can conjure up space debris, UFOs turn out to be lightweight aircraft, children's kites, hot air balloons, reflections, hallucinations, inventions and fantasies, mosquito swarms, high-flying weather balloons, headlight reflections, or brightly glowing planets, which race with insane speeds around the earth at night. The anti-UFO lobby, pseudoscientific through and through, is always attached to the mantle of science; it uses methods of denigration and exclusion and asserts its "seriousness" at every inappropriate opportunity. This is a society you want to run away from.

But how does this ignorant and knowledge-hating society behave in terms of verifiable cases when the issue is not just a play of lights, but when people were taken inside strange objects? I am aware of several such "encounters of the fourth kind," and I only talk about them because I have personally met the participants.


In the early evening of October 11, 1973, two factory workers in Pascagoula, Mississippi, were taken inside a large, colored sphere and examined by strangers. Pascagoula is a small town in southern Mississippi, part of Jackson County. It is known for its Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (NGSS) shipyards. Until 2006, the US Navy also maintained a shipyard in Pascagoula.

So what happened that evening?

Charles (Charly) Hickson and Calvin Parker worked outside the factory halls on a site where metal pieces of all sizes and alloys were stored directly on the Pascagoula River. One evening, the two were fishing near their work site when, out of nowhere, a sphere rose up over the plant. The two workers became dizzy; their knees became weak. Two creatures in glowing suits pushed them into the sphere. Once inside, they were pressed against a wall, and strange devices moved slowly over their bodies. After this peculiar investigation, both were gently carried back outside and placed on a large metal plate. The case has been investigated by all conceivable authorities.

I met the two victims on November 27, 1973, in a hotel in Pascagoula. At the time, Calvin was a young lad, just nineteen years old. He seemed reserved, and let his older colleague, Charly do the talking.

"Where did the sphere come from?" I asked. "Did you see it approach in flight?"

Charly responded: "We were using a forklift to stack smaller steel girders. It was 4:30 pm and we were just talking about a new car Calvin had bought. Suddenly it seemed as if somebody hit my ears with both hands at the same time. The same happened to my colleague.

"Perplexed, we turned around and saw something shimmering above the water of the Pascagoula River that changed its colors from glaring white to blue, violet, yellow, and then reddish. Out of this, a sphere emerged; I estimated its height to be eight meters. I wanted to scream and run, but it was like a dream. We both were somehow paralyzed. Surprised, we noticed how a crack formed on the sphere from which a glaring light emanated. Then two little creatures floated toward us in something like white overalls. They had big eyes, no hair or helmets, but where the nostrils should be, there was something indefinable. The two reached under our underarms, touched us lightly, and then we floated with them over the pieces of metal on the ground. I panicked, I wanted to run away, but no muscle moved. I was paralyzed like I was under anesthesia. I looked over at Calvin. He was completely pale, his skin was waxy, and his eyes were closed. As we floated through the gap into the interior of the sphere, I too had to close my eyes, because the light blinded me like a stadium light would do. I felt [myself] being gently pushed against a wall and was terribly scared. Any moment now, I thought, they would kill me. But the wall tipped slowly into a sloping position. I smelled something that I cannot describe, because there is no comparable odor. Then I realized that I could move my arms and pressed the backs of my hands on both eyes. Something went across my face; I only registered it by the shadow that passed over my closed eyes. Now the wall tipped back into the vertical position and I felt very faintly the pressure of my body on my feet. Because of the bright light, I did not dare open my eyes. Again I realized that I was floating, and at the same time I heard the traffic from the highway bridge. We were outside again. Now I opened my eyes, saw the two strangers with their big eyes drop us on a metal plate and float back to their sphere. The color of the sphere changed again as it had done at the beginning of the spectacle, then it took on a glaring white light, and then it disappeared. I straightened up, squatted, letting my legs dangle from the metal plate, and look[ed] for the sphere on the horizon. But there was nothing. I told Calvin, who was lying next to me, that he should not be afraid anymore and [to] open his eyes. At the same time, we heard the sirens of a police car. Then, two sheriffs stormed toward us."

"Where did the police car come from?" I asked.

Charly explained that to the left of his workplace was a wide bridge over the Pascagoula River. The sheriff had driven across the bridge with his deputy and, quite irritated, had looked at the lightshow that the sphere had set up beneath them. They wanted to investigate, but it was only possible to reach the yard in front of the hangar by driving to the next highway exit and approaching the yard from the opposite direction. As a result, it took the sheriff six minutes to reach the place, at the same time the strangers laid their two victims on the metal plank. The sheriff and his deputy did witness the colored lights and sphere and were able to observe how it dissolved into nothing. Later, another eighteen eyewitnesses came forward to say they had seen the spectacle with the sphere from the other side of the river.

What happened here? No power on Earth currently (or in the 70s) possesses such technologies. Are we perhaps dealing with time travelers? And a sphere that changes colors and then disappears? If you can think, you should be a responsible thinker.

Doctors tried to classify the case of Pascagoula psychologically. But categorizing this as a psychological variant is just another excuse to fool us and lull us. The zealots, who expose everything that has anything to do with extraterrestrial and other inexplicable phenomena to ridicule, have already done too much mischief. The claims that all such experiences are just commonsense occurrences are nothing more than presumptuousness. Of all people, it is disappointing for scientists to behave pseudo-scientifically and block us from gaining knowledge.


Excerpted from "Eyewitness to the Gods"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Erich von Daniken.
Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Letter to My Readers,
1 Impossible Encounters,
2 Fairytales for Christians,
3 Egyptian Connections,
4 Lied to, Cheated, Abused,
5 Hidden Connections,
6 What I Also Wanted to Say,
About the Author,
A Note from Erich.,

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