When Chariots of the Gods was published 50 years ago, it began a worldwide change in humanity’s view of the cosmos. In an era of the military space race, Erich von Däniken boldly proclaimed that Earth had been visited by more advanced beings early in our history. But prescientific man had no concept of space ships, so he called their vehicles “chariots,” and those driving the chariots became “gods.”
Over the next five decades, von Däniken’s more than 40 books built an ever-stronger case for Earth being visited by extraterrestrial visitors. And Chariots became an international best seller, with 30 million copies sold in more than two dozen languages. Also during that time, the case for ET visitations millennia ago was being reexamined by contemporary UFO researchers, who found evidence of modern visitations. And von Däniken expanded his perspective to encompass the present.
Now, he presents his long-awaited sequel to Chariots of the Gods, proclaiming that the gods never left us with all-new material to show that ancient aliens are still with us.
The Gods Never Left Us contends that recent advancements in biotechnology, astrophysics, engineering, and artificial intelligence not only give us a fresh perspective on his ancient astronaut theory but actually validates it. We are—as a race—embarking on the exact same trajectory of our own interplanetary colonization, just as von Däniken suggested Earth itself was colonized.
ETs are definitely at work today. And that affects all of us.
- Why do they do what they do? What could an extraterrestrial species possibly gain from observing us in the same way we look at ants?
- What have these strangers wanted for the past thousands of years?
- Can’t they leave us alone?
- And what makes it so difficult for us to acknowledge the existence of these extraterrestrials?
That is what this book deals with.
"Erich's newest book is a fascination journey from the ancient past into the present with a plethora of scientific evidence and documented research. As always, he ads his own "to the point" take on it all. Readers may also like that his newest work moves in a slightly different direction from his past books. A thoroughly enlightening and enjoyable Read." —Bruce Cunningham, Director, Ancient Mysteries International LLC&Publisher of Advanced Archaeology Review magazine
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About the Author
Erich von Dä niken 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, including the recent bestsellers The Gods Never Left Us and Eyewitness to the Gods. His works have been translated into 28 languages and have sold more than 65 million copies. Several have also been made into films. Von Dä niken’ s ideas have been the inspiration for a wide range of television series, including History’ s hit Ancient Aliens. His research organization, the A.A.S.R.A./legendarytimes.com (Archaeology, Astronautics & SETI Research Association), comprises laymen and academics from all walks of life.
Read an Excerpt
THE GODS NEVER LEFT US
"Apparitions don't exist!" Roger Favre growled defiantly. He refused tenaciously to accept the impossible when quite obviously something strange was going on. Something was no longer quite right. Was his mind playing games with him? His eyes? The first signs of Alzheimer's? Were the usual complaints beginning to affect his 70-year-old body? Roger no longer felt quite sure of himself, but was unwilling to discuss it with anybody. Perhaps a bit less alcohol? Stop smoking? Or should he do what all the know-it-alls were recommending: more exercise? And give himself a heart attack?
Roger Favre sat in the same armchair in which he had been watching television for years. It was heavy, made of dark leather, with a slight bulge to support his neck and wide armrests on both sides. Roger smoked, skimmed through the daily paper, and waited for Madelaine to call him when dinner was ready. This is what had happened every evening since his retirement and nothing seemed capable of shaking this routine until, well, until something was no longer quite right. Until these strange lights started appearing.
Among his acquaintances, Roger was seen as an even-tempered kind of person. Some called him boring, others humorless, but all valued his knowledge of his subject. Roger had worked for decades as a geometry teacher in the town's high school. In French-speaking areas, high school teachers were called "professor." Monsieur le Professeur. If there were questions about measurements or volume, and that happened frequently in the city of Geneva, his former students were happy to consult him. Roger had a 46-year-old son who worked for the last 14 years as a physicist at the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléair (CERN). This son had the same first name as his father. That is why Roger's wife called him "mon petit Roger." My little Roger. Roger senior had become a triple grandfather through Roger junior. The family had done well, and he should have been able to enjoy his existence as a pensioner without any worries. If only there hadn't been the fluttering and intrusive lights that materialized at irregular intervals at foot-level by his television armchair. Roger's wife's name was Madelaine, but he called her "Didi," his term of endearment, because Madelaine, so he thought, made her sound like a maid and a servant. And every few years, Roger fell prey to some whim. Madelaine called it "his obsessions." They came and went like the seasons or the sudden urges of pregnant woman for a particular food. On one occasion, he had planted 30 palm shoots in his garden in a fit of enthusiasm so that it would make him feel as if he were in the South Pacific. The unexpectedly freezing winter turned his South Pacific into Alaska. Another time, he held forth that every responsible paterfamilias had to ensure that he had a power generator in the house. He acquired a diesel engine and dug an illegal pit in the cellar, which he sealed with asphalt. When the power failed in the whole district, the police moved in. His tank was against the law, they yelled, and was polluting the ground water. It had to be pumped out immediately. The whole house stank of diesel for weeks. Another episode worth mentioning was the one with the tunnel. He needed an escape tunnel to save himself and his loved ones below ground in the event of a disaster, Roger asserted with a deadly serious face. He dug valiantly with crowbars, pickaxes, and shovels for 12 weeks and even employed helpers whom he remunerated generously for their silence. Then the groundwater came flooding into the cellar. Not all of a sudden, but rising day after day. Ever since then, Didi had dismissively called the cellar "Loch Ness."
People thought of Roger as kind and helpful, just a bit eccentric. Sometimes. And now the business with the odd lights on the floor. Was he beginning totally to lose the plot?
For two weeks, there had been these strange goings-on. Roger had bought the daily paper at the kiosk, drank a couple of beers in the Bar du Léman, and when he got home, greeted Didi in the kitchen. Like every evening, he had thrown himself into his ancient leather armchair and waited for Didi's call to dinner. As he was leafing through the paper, he was suddenly irritated by a flickering light by his left foot. It was probably some reflection from outside, and then it disappeared as quickly as it had come.
Then it reappeared. Twice. Three times. Where did the light come from? Roger went to the window, his eyes searched the street up and down for a car headlight, a reflective piece of material, children playing with flashlights, anything that had not been there on previous evenings. He registered no changes; furthermore, it was the middle of March and the sun had sunk below the horizon.
Irritated, Roger returned to his armchair. Was he seeing things that did not exist? Was it his brain? Were his eyes playing tricks on him? He stared at his shoes. At that moment, it happened again. A knot of colors formed above the tip of his left foot and arranged itself into a rectangle. Roger pulled his shoe away; the colors remained, floating about 30 centimeters above the floor. Roger pushed his shoe back into them. The rectangle of light remained unchanged. Roger went to the wall and turned up all the light switches. The lights in the living room shone brightly. Roger knelt down and felt the carpet, pushing with both hands. The funny light had meanwhile collapsed, just like when a screen is switched off.
Roger went to the kitchen and asked Didi for a flashlight. Didi always knew where everything was. "Are you looking for something in Loch Ness?" she asked mischievously. "Nonsense," he lied, "I dropped a tablet on the floor." Roger examined the walls with a flashlight centimeter by centimeter. Somewhere there had to be something reflective. A microscopic piece of glass? A small glass marble? A picture frame? The metal wrist strap of a watch? A key? A shiny caseof some kind? A coin? A disk? Was he going mad? "Keep calm," he said to reassure himself. "I'll solve this problem with scientific rigor."
After dinner, he was back in his ancient leather armchair. Roger was actually hoping that the apparition would return. Someone on television was just explaining that the "world wide web" owed its origins to CERN. A certain Monsieur Tim Berners-Lee had developed the "www" in 1989 as a by-product so that scientists could quickly share their research results. Roger thought about phoning Roger junior to tell him about the ghosts in his house. But Roger needed evidence if he was to impress his physicist son. Something concrete. But there wasn't anything. The advertising had come up on the television. Some company was presenting its latest camera. Camera? Roger went to see Didi. She was sitting in the next room laughing about some daft comedy series.
"Didi," Roger interrupted her, "do you know where my old photographic equipment is? You know, the black Nikon bags?"
Didi turned down the volume. "What do you want in the middle of the night with your cameras? Everything is digital today. You can't even find the films for them anymore."
"Does that mean you got rid of them?"
"I wanted to some years ago. But then I hung the little case in the closet at the top of the stairs. The stairs to Loch Ness."
"Thank you," Roger exclaimed. "Perhaps we might be able to sell this old equipment."
Two camera bodies with several lenses were lying in the bag. Exceptional quality. Trigger, settings, self-timer, everything was working as well as ever. The only thing that was missing was film.
The next day Roger went to the camera shop in the Rue du Mont-Blanc.
"Tell me, Jean-Claude, do these old types of film still exist? They were called Kodak?"
"We have them here. This is Geneva — you won't believe the ancient cameras that some UN delegates still like to use."
The two of them sat down over a coffee in the back room. They had known one another since school. Roger wanted to know how a motion-activated camera works. How does a camera only take a picture when something moves?
"You know these plugs, don't you? They send out a weak beam and as soon as something moves in the room the beam is broken and the signal is triggered. The light goes on.
"Can such a system also be rigged up with a camera? I point the lens at a certain spot and set the self-timer. When the light in the room changes, is the picture taken?"
The next day Roger fixed his Nikon to a stool. It had been loaded with a highly sensitive 400 ASA film and connected up to the motion-sensitive plug. Puzzled, Didi enquired, "What obsession is this? We have neither cockroaches nor bugs in our living room."
"I want to find something out," Roger spluttered, and that was indeed true. "My camera is connected to a motion detector which measures the light in the room."
"To what end?" Didi narrowed her eyes.
"I sometimes have problems. Things appear too bright or too dark. Perhaps I need to go and see an optician. This setup here measures brightness."
Didi shook her head. Leave him be, she thought; this obsession will pass like all the others.
For two days, nothing happened. No apparition in the house. Whenever Roger sat in his armchair, he unplugged the motion detector and disarmed the camera. He placed them on the chair next to him. It was maddening. No lights taunted him. Then, finally, on the evening of March 28, the flickering started again. Roger grabbed the Nikon, put it to his eye, and pressed the shutter release 36 times. It was not possible to use the flash because it would have drowned out the light on the floor. Three days later he held the color photos in his hands and rejoiced. Incredible! Unbelievable! The pictures clearly and unambiguously showed a spot, which grew into a ball of lights. Then a cube formed and finally a colorful rectangle with stripes. While he was taking the photos, Roger had been quick-thinking enough to push his shoe into the picture. It too was recognizable in three pictures in which the rectangle of light was positioned over the tip of the shoe.
"Roger," Roger asked his son on the phone, "can you spare a minute to see your old dad?"
"A bit difficult at the moment. We have more than 60 colleagues from all over the world here. You can't imagine the shop talk. And then there are swarms of intrusive journalists."
"The papers are full of stuff about some elementary particle. What are you looking for?"
"The Higgs boson. Oh Dad! The story is too long to tell over the phone. But you're quick on the uptake. In 1964, the British physicist Peter Higgs developed a theory according to which initially massless particles suddenly acquire mass against the background of the so-called 'Higgs field.' These strange particles explain a whole lot, if we can find them."
"How far have you got?"
"We first started up our particle accelerator last December, then again in February of this year, and currently we are starting the third phase. It all looks very promising. But don't ask about the quantities of energy we need! Almost impossible for the man in the street to comprehend. ..."
Roger senior knew that. The Large Electron-Positron Collider (LEP) had been brought on stream at CERN as long ago as 1989. When fully operational, this monster gobbled up 100 GeV (gigaelectron volts), the energy used by 10 cities. Now the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was running, the largest particle accelerator in the world. Roger knew about it from the papers. The accelerator ring had a circumference of about 27 kilometers. It was located directly under the French and Swiss border areas near Geneva, which was about 60 meters underground only a few kilometers away from Roger's house. In this ring — actually a circular tube — 9,300 gigantic magnets ensured that the elementary particles, which were accelerated to near the speed of light, did not crash into the wall, but kept to the middle of the tube at incredible speeds. CERN was financed by 21 states and each participant sent their best physicists to Geneva. The public rarely found out what was actually happening at CERN. Not for any reasons of secrecy, CERN was happy to communicate, but because of the complexity of the subject. Particle physics was not popular and not something that could be explained in a few words.
"And when do you expect a breakthrough?" Roger senior enquired of Roger junior.
"That's not so easy to predict. Actually, we are hoping for something in the next few weeks, but anything is possible: a revolution in particle physics or a disaster. You'll hear about it on all channels if we have a successful breakthrough."
"Just one more quick question, son, before you go," Roger said. "I've heard some stupid rumors. Is what you do actually dangerous? I read recently that some physicists had warned that you could produce a mini black hole that could swallow up the whole world. After all, the popular media often refer to this Higgs thing as the 'God particle.'"
"Dad, you really don't need to worry about anything. I and many other of my colleagues know the calculations. Nowhere can a black hole come about. That would require a million times the energy we have now. When all the fuss here is over, I look forward to coming home for a meal. Bye! Love to Mum! I'll be in touch!"
Roger put his cell phone aside and looked thoughtfully at his 36 color photos. He picked up one photo after the other. And his suspicion kept growing. Was the rectangle of light in his living room connected with the experiments conducted with the Large Hadron Collider? Was something uncanny manifesting in his house that might be of burning interest to the physicists at CERN? Troubled, Roger wanted to phone his son again but thought better of it. He needed more evidence, better photos. Pictures from another angle.
So Roger obtained a batch of very fast Kodak film, everything Jean-Claude had in stock. The living room turned into a hunting ground. Roger no longer sat in his ancient leather armchair, but propelled himself across the carpet on a small chair with wheels he had acquired from a home for the elderly. He had his camera round his neck as if he were out stalking. Both cameras were loaded, and he had four different lenses available.
Didi became concerned. "Can you really not explain to me what all this is about? You're behaving like normal, but I know your eyes and your impulses."
Roger took her to one side and attempted to explain to her something about the Higgs particle. He showed her the 36 pictures.
Didi looked nervous. Uncertain, she said, "And there is nothing that will explode? You don't have any chemicals in the house?"
"No, my darling. Not even a Bengal Match."
Didi stared at the floor, then back to the 36 pictures lying spread all over the small table.
"We have to inform our son," she said defiantly.
"Already done!" Roger affirmed. "The physicists at CERN are all busy with this extraordinary experiment. They are looking for the non-existent elementary particle. As soon as the flurry of activity is over, your little Roger will come for dinner."
In the next two weeks, the rectangular light appeared at various times of the day. Roger took photos from all angles: from the front, both sides, the back, and from on top with and without the lights on in the room. What on Earth ...? It couldn't be a Higgs particle. As far as he knew, the particle disappeared as fast as it appeared. It decayed into other elementary particles — transformed itself. Roger had read up on it. As a result, he had learned that this Higgs boson corresponds to a quantum excitation of the Higgs field — whatever that was — at any rate, not something that remained stationary in the air and allowed itself to be photographed from all sides. But still: the light field existed. Roger could prove it as clear as day with 234 pictures. Roger junior would be in for a surprise. Full of excitement, Roger waited for the call from his son.
May had come. Mild weather on Lake Geneva. The icy tips of the French Alps sparkled in the distance. On the southern slope of a hill 800 meters distant from the runway of Geneva airport sat two generations of the Favre family under a wide sun shade. Roger had cracked open the first bottle of champagne.
"We've done it," Roger junior reported proudly and nodded with a laugh. "Dad, none of this must get out. We've discovered the Higgs particle. Definitively and for all eternity. It's incredible. Old Peter Higgs was also there. He cried with happiness; we all held hands and danced around in a circle. A unique moment! Twenty-six particle physicists behaving like children. But we decided only to go public with it in a few weeks. Our results have to be documented squeaky clean. So that journalist can also communicate them."
"Congratulations! You're wonderful!" Didi raised her glass to her son. "Are we about to become the parents of a Nobel Prize winner?"
"Mum, you're letting your imagination run away with you. We are a large international team. The honor is due to Peter Higgs. He calculated the particle in advance."
The three of them fell silent. Roger turned to his son.
"Do you have time to listen to an unusual story?"
"From you, yes!" Roger junior laughed and raised his glass again.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Gods Never Left Us"
Copyright © 2018 Erich von Däniken.
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
Introduction: Letter to my Readers 7
1 The Gods Never Left Us 9
2 Contradictions? 29
3 Who Are They? Who Are We? 83
4 Who Would Have the Sorry Courage 123
5 What Next? 169
About the Author 223