Erich von Däniken

Erich Anton Paul von Däniken (/ˈɛrɨk vɒn ˈdænɨkɨn/; born 14 April 1935 in Zofingen, Aargau) is a Swiss author best known for his controversial claims about extraterrestrial influences on early human culture, in books such as Chariots of the Gods?, published in 1968. Däniken is one of the main figures responsible for popularizing the "paleo-contact" and ancient astronaut hypotheses. Däniken's first book, Chariots of the Gods?, was an immediate best seller in the United States, Europe and India, and subsequent books, "according to von Däniken, have been translated into 32 languages and together have sold more than 63 million copies." The ideas put forth in these books are largely rejected by scientists and academics, who categorize his work as pseudohistory and pseudoarchaeology. Däniken was convicted of several financial crimes, including fraud, shortly after publication of his first book. He later became a co-founder of the Archaeology, Astronautics and SETI Research Association (AAS RA), and designed the theme park Mystery Park in Interlaken, Switzerland, that first opened on 23 May 2003.

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