Chariots of the Gods

Chariots of the Gods

by Erich von Daniken


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The groundbreaking classic that introduced the theory that ancient Earth established contact with aliens.

Immediately recognized as a work of monumental importance, Chariots of the Gods endures as proof that Earth has been visited repeatedly by advanced aliens from other worlds. Here, Erich von Däniken examines ancient ruins, lost cities, spaceports, and a myriad of hard scientific facts that point to extraterrestrial intervention in human history. Most incredible of all, however, is von Däniken's theory that we are the descendants of these galactic pioneers—and he reveals the archeological discoveries that prove it...

The dramatic discoveries and irrefutable evidence:
• An alien astronaut preserved in a pyramid
• Thousand-year-old spaceflight navigation charts
• Computer astronomy from Incan and Egyptian ruins
• A map of the land beneath the ice cap of Antarctica
• A giant spaceport discovered in the Andes

Includes remarkable photos that document mankind's first contact with aliens at the dawn of civilization.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425166802
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/28/1999
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 16,903
Product dimensions: 7.90(w) x 5.06(h) x 0.62(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

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 best-seller and was followed by 32 more books, including The Eyes of the SphinxTwilight of the Gods, History Is Wrong, Evidence of the Gods, and Odyssey of the Gods. His works have been translated into 28 languages and have sold more than 63 million copies. Several have also been made into films. Von Däniken's ideas have been the inspiration for a wide range of TV series, including the History Channel's hit Ancient Aliens. He lives in Switzerland but is an ever-present figure on the international lecture circuit.

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Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page



Chapter 1 - Are There Intelligent Beings in the Cosmos?

Chapter 2 - When Our Spaceship Landed on Earth ...

Chapter 3 - The Improbable World of the Unexplained

Chapter 4 - Was God an Astronaut?

Chapter 5 - Fiery Chariots from the Heavens

Chapter 6 - Ancient Imagination and Legends, or Ancient Facts?

Chapter 7 - Ancient Marvels or Space Travel Centers?

Chapter 8 - Easter Island—Land of the Bird Men

Chapter 9 - The Mysteries of South America and Other Oddities

Chapter 10 - The Earth’s Experience of Space

Chapter 11 - The Search for Direct Communication

Chapter 12 - Tomorrow



Berkley Books by Erich von Däniken


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For details, write: Special Markets, The Berkley Publishing Group, 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


A Berkley Book / published by arrangement with the author

PRINTING HISTORY G. P. Putnam’s Sons edition / February 1970
All rights reserved.

Copyright © 1999 by Erich von Däniken.

Copyright © 1968 by Econ-Verlag GMBH.

English translation © 1969 by Michael Heron and Souvenir Press. This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part, by mimeograph or any other means, without permission. For information address: The Berkley Publishing Group, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

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ISBN: 9781101076125


Berkley Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

BERKLEY and the “B” design are trademarks belonging to Berkley Publishing Corporation.

19 20


It was more than a quarter of a century ago—in February 1968—that my first book, Memories of the Future, was published by Econ, a German publisher. I had written the book two years earlier, but rejection letters from publishers fluttered on my desk with great regularity: “Sorry, not usable for our program ... ,” “We are very sorry ... ,” “We don’t want to go this way ... ,” “We recommend a more esoteric publisher....”

In later years I was often asked how this publishing miracle happened, to finally place this controversial work with a renowned textbook house. Today I can finally confess: with outside help and a little discretion.

I met Dr. Thomas von Randow, then the science editor of the weekly Die Zeit, in the summer of 1967. He leafed through the neatly typed manuscript, examined some of the peculiar pictures, and decided, “This is not for us. You have to publish it as a book.”

“And how does one find a publisher?”

Dr. von Randow puffed on his pipe, looked me straight in the eyes: “I do know a publisher. I could just give him a noncommittal call, if you wish.”

He picked up the telephone and asked to be connected with Dr. Erwin Barth von Wehrenalp, the chief of Econ Publishing. The blood rushed to my head. After all, I knew what Dr. von Randow could not know: My manuscript had already been turned down by Econ. Naturally, the ensuing conversation stuck in my gray brain cells.


Excerpted from "Chariots of the Gods"
by .
Copyright © 1999 Erich Von Daniken.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
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.

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Chariots of the Gods 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 366 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
To be able to present the reader with a new vision of the world is a gift that very few peole posess. Erich von Daniken in his Chariots of the Gods proves to be a master in theat art. His gift of writing is coupled by his endeavours to provide evidence for his theories. Thus, he tours the Earth; from the Medditerenian to China and South America, finding bits and pieces of the puzzle about the ancestor of man. It is a book that should not be missed.
Fierce1 More than 1 year ago
This book was great. It takes the feats performed by the great ancient civilizations and gives a convincing argument against the traditional beliefs commonly accepted as facts. Von Daniken points out the flaws in the ways things may have been done throughout ancient history and really makes you wonder... Have we been visited before by extra-terrestrials and did they indeed help shape our civilizations of the past to influence our civilizations of today?? This book really makes you second guess everything that you thought you already knew. GREAT BOOK!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first heard of this on History channel Ancient Aliens. You cannot ignore this data, and ask yourself do we really think we were first?
Mistress_Nyte More than 1 year ago
As addicted as I am to the TV show Ancient Aliens, I thought it was a no brainer that I should read Chariots of the Gods.  I mean, this is really the book that rather started the whole movement of belief in ancient aliens.   I would say that if you are as into the show as I am, and have watched everything you can get your hands on about ancient history, aliens, and the connections between the two, by all means, read this book.  If you have interest in the subject, you could potentially pass this book over for more up to date titles, probably even by Erich von Daniken himself — I haven’t gotten to them yet.  Some of the information in this book is extremely outdated — for example the statement that Werner von Braun said man would be on Mars by 1986…  But the basics of the book are still very valid points. I do wish that there were better photographs provided in the book, and in newer printings, I would hope that this would be considered.   I’m not certain that I learned anything new by reading this book, since I have already watched and read so much on the subject, but it was still nice to have read the book that started this idea, which is quite an interesting subject.  I have to say, I will be waiting for more discoveries that will hopefully provide more answers to so many of the questions which plague mankind about their ancient past.
TexasSailorPilot More than 1 year ago
A good read.
jimpict More than 1 year ago
I don't know why this ebook is in the "Science and Nature" section, but it is not science. This work has been on the receiving end of numerous rebuttals and debunkings, including two entire books, Clifford Wilson's _Crash Go the Chariots_ and Ronald Story's _The Space God's Revealed_. Also, as Jason Colavito pointed out in a 2004 issue of _Skeptic_, much of von Danikan's work in this book can be traced directly back to the mythos created by H.P. Lovecraft in many of his books.
OnceWasLost More than 1 year ago
A classic of invented history, Erich von Daniken's "Chariots of the Gods" has about as much to do with science and reality as does the Lord of the Rings. It can be quite the entertaining read if only for the absurdity of its content. Von Daniken is apparently not familiar with proper research techniques or reasoning, pulling conclusions out of the air and making connections that could be described as frivolous at best. The level of non sequitur in this book would make an editor of the New Yorker blush. Overall it can be an enjoyable read, in the same way one might enjoy a 1950s sci-fi B-movie. But to treat it as science is laughable and intellectually indefensible. The book should be re-classified as Sci-Fi/Fantasy, where it deservedly belongs.
ComplicatedGuy More than 1 year ago
So why is this book listed under the 'Science' aisle? We've already got the editors placing books in this section that claim the earth is 6000 years old. What's next? The earth is flat? The moon landing was faked? Elvis is alive and living with JFK in Cuba?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was very interesting
GlennBell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It is OK to put forth a controversial theory, but when one does they should make an effort to supply evidence to support such a theory. Much of the book is the author providing rationale why one should entertain his theory and not be closed minded. Fine, but give me a real reason to believe you. It is not credible to twist ancient text to fit your theory without some evidence to support it. Most of his "evidence" is speculative or rather unreasonable. It amazes me that so many copies of this book were sold and that it made a big splash in its day. The author is not a scientist and ignores such details as the chance of an alien being able to mate and generate offspring with a human is about zero. The universe is expanding and there is the speed of light problem that he tries to wish away (i.e. the distance between the Earth and most other planets is enormous). He whines about people being biased against his theory. In actuality he provides no substantial evidence to support his theory. Much of his supporting theories have been debunked. I do concur that some religious theories of origin/history are accepted without serious criticism by some people. Like Abraham Lincoln is quoted to have said, "You can fool some of the people all the time..." The discussion of putting our population on other planets is a nice thought, but impractical. Erich also believes in UFOs and psychics. While it is feasible that other life exists, it is unlikely that it visited Earth. It is worth a laugh but do not waste your time with this book.
FicusFan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had heard about this book, but never read it until recently. There was a copy on a central table at a local bookstore, and I decided to give it a try.Turns out there was nothing new to me in the book. I have seen several speculative history/science TV documentaries that cover the same material.I have it tagged as both fiction and non-fiction. It seems obsessed with the idea of alien progenitors, which while I can't rule out 100%, seems unlikely. But I imagine many of the naysayers who revile von Daniken believe just as strongly in some god or religion, which is just as far-fetched. I think aliens and gods are the opposite sides of the same coin.What gets lost in the alien chatter is the many anomalies that are part of the historical/archaeological record for which we have no explanations. So were the ancients much more sophisticated than we believe ? Then you run into the Atlantis crowd, and their naysayers. It seems that there is no serious research attempting to examine the past, without jamming it into the predefined time line and standard script. It may turn out to be the correct depiction of the past, but I would feel better if we at least pretended to look everywhere before we wrote off the 'crackpots'.The book was a quick read, and only had a few awkward patches due to the translation.
joeteo1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book back in the early 80's when quite young and remember being impressed with it. After thumbing through the book again recently I confirmed my suspicions that it is of course pseudo scientific drivel. A parade of carefully chosen "evidence" carefully chosen to match a kooky theory. Despite this book being supposedly non fiction in nature, I cannot help but wonder how much popular science fiction owes its existence to this book. The story behind the movie and series Stargate, for example, seems to be inspired by ideas in this book. I think many writers of speculative fiction today read this popular book back in the 70s and it continues to influence. Its worth reading for this reason alone.
DBJones on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For many people, this is where the fascination with aliens and conspiracy theories began. While Von Daniken does require you to take a leap of faith (or fantasy) with him as you begin this journey, it is always a great read. His conclusions have been rehashed numerous times and have become the fodder for many a sci-fi yarn, but this is still fun stuff and well worth the time spent with it.
dragonasbreath on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read Von Daniken when he FIRST came out, before theories ad nausem made the whole concept laughable.ORIGINALLY Von Daniken never said anything in the book about Gods or Aliens... he merely listed anomalies such as giant lines whose patterns could only be seen from the air and giant piles of rocks that were pyramidally shaped formed of blocks we could not move today.The theory Von Daniken ACTUALLY postulated before the hysterics mythologized the whole thing was that in our dim and forgotten past there was once one or more races that were capable of space travel, of putting men on the Moon, while the majority of Earth was living in a stone-age (3rd world) condition.Everything else has been twisted in to make sure our documented history is never questioned.If you can manage to read Von Daniken without the Alien Gods hysteria clouding your judgment, it WILL give you something to think about - even if it HAS been repeated ad nauseum by now.
robertjgarcia4 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I remembered this being a great book when i was a kid, read it again and found it didn't hold up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Challenging thoughts and ideas; it bring history, traditions, and culture together from across the globe over a span of time that really question our past with the love and appreciation for it. Merges our past and the present in an unconventional way that deserves attention. I recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TrojanSkyCop More than 1 year ago
The granddaddy of all the ancient astronaut studies. This is my first time reading this book in 30 years (I was a mere 10 y/o back then). The book doesn't quite enthrall and enrapture me like it did then, as this time I take Von Daniken's premises with a grain of salt, especially with the itty-bitty gaffes the author commits here and there (which I will note in detail shortly). Nonetheless, it's very compelling and thought-provoking; if you're willing to read "Chariots" with an open mind, it'll really encourage you to think outside the box about ancient civilizations, technology, religion (monotheistic and polytheistic alike) and the universe. Random notes and observations (both praises and nitpicks): p. 115: "The fact that the machine gives the year of its construction as 82 B.C. is not so important." Um, yes it is; there was no B.C. calendar per se. p. 117: "I think that there is something cowardly about stopping one's eyes and ears to facts--or even hypotheses--simply because new conclusions might win men away from a pattern of thought that has become familiar." Bravo! Like I said about outside-the-box thinking..... p. 127: incorrectly uses the rank of "Flight Lieutenant" in reference to a U.S. Air Force officer. p. 149: "The senior officials of NASA are unanimous in saying that the first astronauts will land on Mars by September 23, 1986, at the latest." D'OH!!! Oh well, that ain't the author's fault.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Four bolted black steel wheels, firmly placed in the decorative chariot. On the vehicle, leathar seats are cushioned for th driver and passenger, numorous levers are closely locate on the floor. The back of the chariot, two metal spears are fastened parallel, sticking out from the reer. Two black horses are held up front, their mane giving a slightly oily shine. Whips hold the horses together, a firm fasten can be adjusted to whoever is holding the steering. Will be difficult to lose grip.<p> Those are most of the details.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wheels ~ Rubber melted onto imperial gold rims, not popable (no air!).<p> Chariot Design ~ All black painted Celestic Bronze (except rims). Shaped like this ~ < at the front with a rectangular space for standing.<p> Horses ~ Regular horses, with regular armor. They have ear plugs in, that read the thoughts of the driver, so they are controled that way.<p> Defences ~ Who needs 'em? Just our weapons and a long pole, one end of the pole with a suction cup. The other with a spear head.
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