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THE SEVEN MILLION COPY BESTSELLER

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.

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.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

Foreword

Introduction

 

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

 

Bibliography

Index

Berkley Books by Erich von Däniken

CHARIOTS OF THE GODS
SIGNS OF THE GODS
PATHWAYS TO THE GODS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most Berkley Books are available at special quantity discounts for bulk purchases for sales promotions, premiums, fund-raising, or educational use. Special books, or book excerpts, can also be created to fit specific needs.

 

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.

 

CHARIOTS OF THE GODS

 

A Berkley Book / published by arrangement with the author

 

PRINTING HISTORY
G. P. Putnam’s Sons edition / February 1970
G. P. Putnam / Berkley Medallion edition / April 1977
Berkley mass market edition / September 1980
Berkley trade paperback edition / January 1999

 

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.

 

The Penguin Putnam Inc. World Wide Web site address is http://www.penguinputnam.com

 

ISBN: 9781101076125

 

BERKLEY®

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

Foreword

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.

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Top reviews from the United States

Edwin Charles Lowe
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Sensational Introduction to the Ancient Astronaut Therory
Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2016
I actually read this book for the thidr time during August 2016 and somehow neglected to write a review. Before I process with my review I must warn readers that I believe that it is probable that Earth was visited by Extraterrestrials who interacted and influenced... See more
I actually read this book for the thidr time during August 2016 and somehow neglected to write a review. Before I process with my review I must warn readers that I believe that it is probable that Earth was visited by Extraterrestrials who interacted and influenced humanity in the ancient past! I also believe these visits continue even today. Now for my review.
"Chariot of the Gods" was written neatly 50 years ago and was the first book I read to discuss the possibility of visits to Earth by extraterrestrials. I picked up the book in an Airport Bookstore just prior to my flight to Vietnam in January of 1969. I finished the book before we arrived in country and was hooked! Von Daniekan''s writing style, observations, and analysis of the evidence used by mainstream science anchor theology to explain the presence of artifacts, writings and other materials, coupled with his alternative explanations and proofs were not only plausible, but also down right convincing. His writing style is conversational and non threatening. He provides the facts and asks thw reader to draw their own conclusions. To say this book was controversial in the late 1960s and early 1970s is an understatement! The amazing thing is that many of his early conclusions have gained wide acceptance with millions of people. Ancient Astronaut Theory is, in my opinion, no longer fringe science and we have Erich to thank for it!! I will leave it to you the reader to uncover the details of his findings and, if you like read his other 30 or so books on this topic to reach your own conclusions. I recommend this book to readers with an open mind and for those of you, such as myself, who are based on the evidence, not sure that main stream science and theology has got it right. I think those of you who take the time to read Von Daniekan will enjoy his work!
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mjl
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
What to say in 2020 about a book written in 1968?
Reviewed in the United States on June 7, 2020
My issue with this book is that as of 2020 almost every one of his explanations have been debunked. Like Ancient Aliens, which seems to be based on this book, some good questions are asked. However, the theory that it must be aliens is just stupid. That said,... See more
My issue with this book is that as of 2020 almost every one of his explanations have been debunked. Like Ancient Aliens, which seems to be based on this book, some good questions are asked. However, the theory that it must be aliens is just stupid.

That said, his one good point in the entire book was this: In 200,000+ years of history we only know about the last 7000 years. Given humans haven''t really changed much in all that time it''s pretty likely there have been fairly advanced civilizations in that time that have been lost. And in fact we are finding lost cities/civilizations all the time.

Sadly the rest of the book is not only a waste of time, but can influence the uneducated in ways that distract from the truth. If you read this book I encourage you to fact check every single thing in it and you''ll see what I mean.
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RichD
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great book on how ancient people including biblical saw flying chariots
Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2018
I grew up deeply religions even attending a very conservative religious college. I have no doubt there is a God but I believe that we have been misled by the Bible, archaeologist, and historians regarding ancient issues such as flying dragons, flying chariots, the... See more
I grew up deeply religions even attending a very conservative religious college. I have no doubt there is a God but I believe that we have been misled by the Bible, archaeologist, and historians regarding ancient issues such as flying dragons, flying chariots, the pyramids, and other explainable events. There is too much evidence from other historical documents, including the Bible, Quoran, Jewish texts, Sumerian text, Book of Enoch, etc, that when collectively combined, show there''s a much bigger picture of history. This book does a great job in taking the FACTS from all these sources to explain various phenomena from the past. Its a great read and I high recommend it...if you can read it with an open mind. At one point mankind believe the world was flat and the Sun rotated around the Earth. Similarly this book will give you a whole new perspective on the Chariots of the Gods.
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steinar ysland jensen
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Interesting theories, but there is no hard evidence to back it up.
Reviewed in the United States on April 15, 2018
The theories von Daniken presents in this book are very interesting. I watched the documentary series "Codes and Conspiracy" episode "Ancient astrounats" and that got me to buy this book. The theories in the book are indeed unsual and they do make a lot... See more
The theories von Daniken presents in this book are very interesting.
I watched the documentary series "Codes and Conspiracy" episode "Ancient astrounats" and that got me to buy this book. The theories in the book are indeed unsual and they do make a lot sense. The authors interpretations of ancient ruins, images and legends from all over the world makes sense, and I can see that there is a possibility that things did occur in the way the author portrays in this book.

But, there is a lot "what if" questions in this book.
If von Daniken could back up his intriguing theories with hard, concrete evidence, we would have to rewrite our history. The theories are both interesting and intriguing, but, "where is the evidence"?
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Gene Rhea Tucker
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A nice, new hardcover edition of a seminal, though completely flawed work
Reviewed in the United States on September 2, 2020
This review is of the 50th Anniversary Edition, ISBN 9780451490032. In 2018, Berkley published this 50th Anniversary Edition of Erich Von Däniken''s <i>Chariots of the Gods</i>. The grandaddy of all ancient aliens books, shows, websites, and theories.... See more
This review is of the 50th Anniversary Edition, ISBN 9780451490032.

In 2018, Berkley published this 50th Anniversary Edition of Erich Von Däniken''s <i>Chariots of the Gods</i>. The grandaddy of all ancient aliens books, shows, websites, and theories. There was an old copy in my city library, and i leafed through it from time to time. As a teen onward, I read around Von Däniken and his theories, so I have always been cognizant of him. I much preferred Irwin Ginsburgh''s Genesis-centric knock-off <i>First, Man. Then, Adam!</i> and the seemingly more evidence and history-based works by Zecharia SItchin. So, it took me a long time to get to Von Däniken.

There are several problems and issues with Von Däniken''s magnum opus. He is very chatty. The book mainly consists of him pointing out some big building or odd artifact and saying: "This is odd: aliens." He was the progenitor of the Giorgio A. Tsoukalos meme: "Aliens!" The book is also rather anti-religious, especially against Christianity. It is also full of errors. Historical, categorical, archaeological, etc. Nazca lines look like airfields. (Why planet-hopping UFOers would need an "airfield" is beyond me.) These have been addressed in numerous other locations, so no need to harp on them here. Also, Von Däniken uses the word "utopian" a kajillion times to mean "far-fetched." It was annoying. In fact, the book is rather lean on evidence for ancient alien contact, and is mostly suppositions, though experiments, and digressions on science and the future. Half the book is about modern-day rockets and possible future technology, rather than ancient aliens. Still, the greatest hits of future ancient aliendom is here. The skeleton script for all episodes of <i>Ancient Aliens</i> is here. Big blocks, pyramids, Easter Island, Piri Reis, Pacal, etc. He is very lean on history, it is mostly just "well this must be aliens" supposition. He is definitely the poor man''s Sitchin.

In this 50th Anniversary Edition is a new foreword, a foreword from 1999, and a new afterword. In the new foreword, Von Däniken explains away some of his mistakes and again tells how his book came to print. Then there is Von Däniken''s foreword from 1999, where he again claims his mistakes are okay, but any mistakes by his critics destroy their whole critique. In his afterword he tries to explain away one of his arrests, again attacks his critics, tries to backdate his theories, and lists legitimate scientists who tangentially give credence to some of his theories. (The theory of panspermia, for example, if true, does not thus support the ancient alien hypothesis.) He claims he never wrote about alien gold, "that was Sitchin!" he bemoans (p. 193), ignoring his own book <i>The Gold of the Gods</i> and the monstrous falsities it was based on.

There is then the original English text of <i>Chariots of the Gods</i>, with introduction, main text, bibliography, and index. The same pictures remain from the original version, with their inane, chatty captions, and the same errors abide. (Like the pillar that "does not rust"; mentioned as false in the forewords, still in the text and photographs.)

It is a nice, new hardcover edition of a seminal, though completely flawed work.
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Joey
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great book, but....
Reviewed in the United States on May 24, 2019
This is a great read and I can not wait to delve into the many other books as well as the sequel to this one by Von Daniken. However, with that being said, there are many grammar errors throughout the book. Not enough to make the book unreadable but enough to stop you mid... See more
This is a great read and I can not wait to delve into the many other books as well as the sequel to this one by Von Daniken. However, with that being said, there are many grammar errors throughout the book. Not enough to make the book unreadable but enough to stop you mid sentence to question the word being used; and to figure out the correct word. Also, there were a few times where the word was completely out of context to the sentence and I could not even figure out what the intended word should’ve been. I’m sure that this is a translation issue. However, considering the publishing house who is putting out this book I would expect these errors to have been picked up in the editing process. Overall, I would still recommend this book. I have throughly enjoyed it.
11 people found this helpful
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Sam
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Eye opener
Reviewed in the United States on March 14, 2017
Erich von Daniken had the insight and courage to research a topic which would be ridiculed by most people. He begs us to ask why and how so many ancient structures and artifacts exist around the world that is impossible to build even today. All the ancient myths and... See more
Erich von Daniken had the insight and courage to research a topic which would be ridiculed by most people. He begs us to ask why and how so many ancient structures and artifacts exist around the world that is impossible to build even today. All the ancient myths and religions talk about flying gods. Where they ancient visitors or explorers from a distant planet or galaxy?
36 people found this helpful
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Michele Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The Definitive First Read for Ancient Alien Theorists
Reviewed in the United States on August 26, 2014
This is the book that first brought the ancient alien theory to mainstream culture. It should be the first read for all ancient alien theorists. If you think the ancient alien theory is "out of this world" ridiculous, I dare you to read this book. Von Daniken... See more
This is the book that first brought the ancient alien theory to mainstream culture. It should be the first read for all ancient alien theorists. If you think the ancient alien theory is "out of this world" ridiculous, I dare you to read this book. Von Daniken doesn''t just make suppositions off his own beliefs, he offers serious archaeological evidence to support his theories. If you haven''t a clue what an ancient alien is, if you are an out of the box thinker, or you love archaeology &/or history, this is also a must read for you. I first read this book when I was in grade school & I still read it with the same sense of wonder.
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Top reviews from other countries

4breakfasts
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Waste of money
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 22, 2020
Not sure why I even bought this, a moment of madness during quarantine perhaps? Only halfway through and I certainly feel like refunding already. I was aware of Däniken speculations prior to purchasing as I had seen him featured on the Ancient Aliens TV show - which is...See more
Not sure why I even bought this, a moment of madness during quarantine perhaps? Only halfway through and I certainly feel like refunding already. I was aware of Däniken speculations prior to purchasing as I had seen him featured on the Ancient Aliens TV show - which is complete "pooh pooh" in and of itself as Däniken would say (Go on YouTube and search "Ancient Aliens Debunked") - but felt compelled to read his actual work because American television dramatic music and excessive editing often detracts from the message. However I found his writing to be tedious, repetitive and actually quite condescending - does he really have that little faith in the ingenuity of mankind? I find a lot of his points could easily be argued against even by someone outside the academia. I feel like Däniken was simply attempting to profiteer off the back of the UFO trend that spiked after the Area 51 incident. And profit he did. Not even entertaining.
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Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Second best
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 14, 2017
I was very disappointed with this book , when I bought the original version back in 1975 it was cram-packed with hundreds of colour pictures and it was this that made the book so special , the words are all there but the pictures apart from a few poor black and white...See more
I was very disappointed with this book , when I bought the original version back in 1975 it was cram-packed with hundreds of colour pictures and it was this that made the book so special , the words are all there but the pictures apart from a few poor black and white pictures in the middle of the book just doesn''t do it for this latest version . I have not seen the much older version , which is a great shame , another case of making something cheaper but not better .
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Sebastian
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great book! Horrible publisher!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 6, 2019
Absolutely brilliant book! Fantastic content and extremely addictive. Bad side! What a rubbish publishing!! Horrible paper!! Images barely visible, had to find these pics online in order to understand meaning. Shame on whoever decided to publish it extremely cheap way.See more
Absolutely brilliant book! Fantastic content and extremely addictive. Bad side! What a rubbish publishing!! Horrible paper!! Images barely visible, had to find these pics online in order to understand meaning. Shame on whoever decided to publish it extremely cheap way.
11 people found this helpful
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A Buyer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A really interesting read whatever your beliefs are. And very nice condition for a book bought as used.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 28, 2017
A very nice book that is in good condition having just some very slightly worn edges, but I did buy this as used condition. I am very happy with the price, condition and overall purchase. All of the pages are in good condition with only slight discoloring, and I mean very...See more
A very nice book that is in good condition having just some very slightly worn edges, but I did buy this as used condition. I am very happy with the price, condition and overall purchase. All of the pages are in good condition with only slight discoloring, and I mean very slight. There are no pages that have been folded over and no worn edges on the pages. As for the subject matter that depends on if your willing to accept some of the concepts of the book. I think the book has some interesting points and facts and together with other evidence I believe there is a strong possibility that we have been visited buy ET in our past and present. But some of the ideas in this book are way out there, lol. Whatever your thoughts, beliefs this is an interesting book with interesting ideas and some historical knowledge you might not of known. It is an easy read that can be finished in a day. Overall a good read.
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OilSlickEyes
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A good read but don''t treat it like fact
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 1, 2019
This isn''t some weighty academic tome, this is a book that is meant to entertain as well as educate. Chariots Of The Gods is extremely well written, a great read, and it can be fairly persuasive. The author postulates that ancient societies had help in their development by...See more
This isn''t some weighty academic tome, this is a book that is meant to entertain as well as educate. Chariots Of The Gods is extremely well written, a great read, and it can be fairly persuasive. The author postulates that ancient societies had help in their development by aliens. There are many things in ancient history that can''t be properly explained by mainstream archaeology, and the book shines light on a few. The problem is is that the author isn''t a trained historian and a little research will tear holes in his theories. However that shouldn''t stop you from reading the book, which is a must read for anyone with an interest in ancient history.
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