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Showing 1-10 of 42 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on June 12, 2016
I love the show Ancient Aliens (which led me to this) and find the Ancient Astronaut theory interesting, but I am not a fan of this book. It could have been written by a high school student trying to BS his way through an essay. There isn't any real information in it, just wild theories with nothing but ambiguous facts to back them up, and Däniken jumps to conclusions that are really "out there" without any pattern of logic whatsoever. If you're looking for something intellectual, then pass over this book.
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on February 9, 2013
The book is exactly what I wanted but I selected the additional whisper sound for $3+ dollars and somehow that was dropped from my order and I have yet to hear back from anyone in regards to why! Not happy.
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on August 17, 2000
This is a worthwhile book to read. The author did some pretty good collecting, and his theories are tantalizing, to say the least. It is a shame that he had to repeatedly ruin some good information with the single phrase "There can be no other explanation."
He repeated this phrase throughout the book. Each time I saw it, I cringed. This phrase tries to cut off debate, stifles analysis, and generally hurts the credibility of the entire work.
When people are so convinced of their own position that they try to suppress any information to the contrary (even rhetorically), they are degenerating to the level of the "Thought Police" - or worse.
Sorry Herr von Daniken, you blew it.
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on April 20, 2001
Von Däniken claims that the myths, arts, social organizations, etc., of ancient cultures were introduced by astronauts from another world. He questions not just the capacity for memory, but the capacity for culture and civilization itself, in ancient peoples. Prehistoric humans did not develop their own arts and technologies, but rather were taught art and science by visitors from outer space.
Where is the proof for von Däniken's claims? Some of it was fraudulent. For example, he produced photographs of pottery that he claimed had been found in an archaeological dig. The pottery depicts flying saucers and was said to have been dated from Biblical times. However, investigators from Nova (the fine public-television science program) found the potter who had made the allegedly ancient pots. They confronted von Däniken with evidence of his fraud. His reply was that his deception was justified because some people would only believe if they saw proof ("The Case of the Ancient Astronauts," first aired 3/8/78, done in conjunction with BBC's Horizon and Peter Spry-Leverton)!
However, most of von Däniken's evidence is in the form of specious and fallacious arguments. His data consists mainly of archaeological sites and ancient myths. He begins with the ancient astronaut assumption and then forces all data to fit the idea. For example, in Nazca, Peru, he explains giant animal drawings in the desert as an ancient alien airport. The fact that the lines of the drawing would be useless as a runway for any real aircraft because of their narrowness is conveniently ignored by von Däniken. The likelihood that these drawings related to the natives' science or mythology is not considered. He also frequently reverts to false dilemma reasoning of the following type: "Either this data is to be explained by assuming these primitive idiots did this themselves or we must accept the more plausible notion that they got help from extremely advanced peoples who must have come from other planets where such technologies as anti-gravity devices had been invented." His devotion to this theory has not dwindled, despite contrary evidence, as is evidenced by still another book on the subject, Arrival of the Gods : Revealing the Alien Landing Sites at Nazca (1998).
There have been many critics of von Däniken's notions, but Ronald Story stands out as the most thorough. Most critics of von Däniken's theory point out that prehistoric peoples were not the helpless, incompetent, forgetful savages he makes them out to be. (They must have at least been intelligent enough to understand the language and teachings of their celestial instructors--no small feat!) It is true that we still do not know how the ancients accomplished some of their more astounding physical and technological feats. We still wonder how the ancient Egyptians raised giant obelisks in the desert and how stone age men and women moved huge cut stones and placed them in position in dolmens and passage graves. We are amazed by the giant carved heads on Easter Island and wonder why they were done, who did them, and why they abandoned the place. We may someday have the answers to our questions, but they are most likely to come from scientific investigation not pseudoscientific speculation. For example, observing contemporary stone age peoples in Papua New Guinea, where huge stones are still found on top of tombs, has taught us how the ancients may have accomplished the same thing with little more than ropes of organic material, wooden levers and shovels, a little ingenuity and a good deal of human strength.
We have no reason to believe our ancient ancestors' memories were so much worse than our own that they could not remember these alien visitations well enough to preserve an accurate account of them. There is little evidence to support the notion that ancient myths and religious stories are the distorted and imperfect recollection of ancient astronauts recorded by ancient priests. The evidence to the contrary--that prehistoric or 'primitive' peoples were (and are) quite intelligent and resourceful--is overwhelming.
Of course, it is possible that visitors from outer space did land on earth a few thousand years ago and communicate with our ancestors. But it seems more likely that prehistoric peoples themselves were responsible for their own art, technology and culture. Why concoct such an explanation as von Däniken's? To do so may increase the mystery and romance of one's theory, but it also makes it less reasonable, especially when one's theory seems inconsistent with what we already know about the world. The ancient astronaut hypothesis is unnecessary. Occam's razor should be applied and the hypothesis rejected.
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on December 15, 2010
This book reads like an old science fiction book - at least until you get to all the Pyramid conspiracy theories. Read as fiction this book is not good in any sense, but it is enjoyably entertaining. But the author does not intend his book as fiction; he expects you to believe all of his absurd claims. He takes a few minor but interesting archaeological anomolies and then proceeds to create an entire alternate history for the world with zero evidence. If there was any evidence for his claims, then Von Daniken could publish his hypothesis in peer reviewed scientific journals, but there is no evidence. Just a crackpot who made a lot of money by writing a series of crackpot (but mildly entertaining) books.

To read a skeptic's debunking of this book check out Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions by James Randi. There are logical solutions to the historical problems Von Daniken presents us with. Many of these "mysteries" already have naturalistic answers without resorting to extraterrestrials. Others of these anomalies we may never understand, but that doesn't make Von Daniken's wild theories correct.
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on June 29, 2013
There are some interesting theories included in the pages of this book. However, the author seems to throw aside many scientific truths and often times writes on and on about his own ideas and theories completely ignoring anything that may not line up with his own thoughts and practices. If you read this, take it with a grain of salt.
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on August 13, 2015
Have any claims been scientifically proven? No! Thus, it's all either made up nonsense, or LSD induced hogwash. If aliens did exist, and were on Earth in the past, then why aren't they here now, strolling about Central Park and eating pizza at Grimaldi's? Why does it all have to happen in the past, Biblical times and alien pyramids and the like, but not in the present?
I wont believe in aliens until I see one face to face.
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on April 28, 2014
I ordered 3 books by him, expecting a novel. Got only his thoughts on sci-fi by him. This should be listed somewhere else other than a sci-fi novel. Amazon needs to re-think what they are calling Sci-Fi Novels. This should not be listed as a sci-fi novel. I don't think I can trust Amazon's determination in the future. This was approximately $60.00 wasted
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on October 26, 2013
This guy is a nut case. I was very interested in what he had to say but just got turned off because everything was just an assumption on his part. Voodoo math, I would call it. Check out many of the places he talked about to see what newer researchers had to say and his assumptions just weren't even accurate. I wanted to believe what he had to say because I do believe in aliens and their probable visit to this planet but just couldn't based on what he had to say.
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on November 20, 2012
this book is a bit fantastic, but also probable, however most speculative, without fact to prove it. It is not something you could believe and without proven facts. However.....
.... it is very entertaining to read, sets you to thinking, but I guess it is a "seasonal" item that will pass as more scientific findings will become available.
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