Erich von Däniken S. K. Oberbeck

Start Your Free Trial

Download Erich von Däniken Study Guide

Subscribe Now

S. K. Oberbeck

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

OK, Bible scholars, fasten your seat belts and hear this: Moses used a laser gun on the Israelites' enemies. The Ark of the Covenant was really a two-way radio transmitter by which Moses kept contact with what came to be called "God." Those "wheels within wheels" Ezekiel spied in the heavens were a spacecraft, or space station, from which superior interstellar visitors looked down on the crude ways of men. Thus, the avenging "angels" who rained fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah were actually spacemen who zapped the wicked cities with atomic holocaust.

Readers inclined to take this gospel with a grain of salt as large as Lot's wife will fly in the face of some 14 million other readers who have harkened to the intriguing theories of … Erich von Däniken. Von Däniken's books have been translated into 32 languages since he challenged the orthodoxy of Creation in 1968 with the German-published "Chariots of the Gods?"…

Von Däniken, whose style and method combine elements of Carlos Castaneda, Ripley's "Believe It or Not" and "Star Trek," followed up with "Gods From Outer Space" and is ringing up more sales on another mind-boggling book, "The Gold of the Gods."… In this one, von Däniken claims to have seen a vast "Zoo," a subterranean storehouse of gold animal statues, and an astonishing "Metal Library," containing thousands of embossed gold-leaf "documents," in caves 800 feet beneath Peru and Ecuador. These caves prove, he contends, visits by our astral ancestors. As in his other books, he questions—the rhetorical question is his favorite device—mysteries such as the building of pyramids and Mayan temples (probably landing platforms for spaceships), and ancient figures, such as a four-toed Inca "Star God" (representations of space creatures).

Juan Moricz, a Hungarian-born Argentine adventurer who claims to have discovered the Ecuadorian caves, says von Däniken was never actually inside them. No matter, "Dänikenitis"...

(The entire section is 489 words.)