Evidence of the Gods, by Erich von Daniken (Softcover. Copyright 2012; released in 2011)|
(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you want a hardcopy)
Reviewer: Mark Lamendola, author of over 6,000 articles.
Even after writing more than 30 books on pretty much the same topic, Erich
von Daniken has produced yet another one that's entertaining, well-written, and informative book from Erich von Daniken.
The usual elements of witty writing, intense research, details,
minutiae, logical analysis, and questioning of orthodoxy are all present.
In this book, von Daniken seems to take it easy on archaeologists for a
change, but he still produces some commentary that they are unlikely to ever
take as glowing praise.
In Evidence, the title of the book clues us in as to what his book will
present. But it doesn't quite tell us. The subtitle does that by saying it's a
visual tour. This book contains 150 photographs in vivid color. Nearly all of
these have a level of clarity and composition that is in the domain of
professional photographers. If you're expecting some murky photos that show
evidence if you take LSD and then hold them up to the light just right, you
won't find those here.
Not only do you see the photos with their crystal clear details, but from von Daniken's
accompanying narrative you get the context and some comparative information.
Of course it does seem awfully odd that thousands of years after the alleged
aliens visited Earth, today our "advanced" society appears to have no contact
with them. Wouldn't these folks now be widely known to us and out in the open?
That's a good question, but think about what humans have demonstrated about
ourselves. If you were a member of an alien civilization (or any actual
civilization, for that matter), would you feel safe among us? Any advanced form
of life would steer clear of humans, preferring to study us incognito than to
become the focus of our attention. Rejecting extraterrestrial alien visitors out
of hand is an irrational, intellectually dishonest response.
So there isn't a prima facie case that von Daniken's chosen field of
study is pseudoscience. In fact, much of the opposition to specific
conclusions of his defy logic. Take, for example, the Atacama Giant.
Allegedly, this is a hoax created for (pick your reason). But the logistics
of creating this and other huge images in the desert are so daunting as to
require something akin to military mobilization. By very, very dedicated
individuals with amazing physical fortitude, vehicles that don't leave
tracks, and a level of discipline that has yet to be found amongst hoaxsters.
Of course, it is possible that a well-financed group of super-soldiers
somehow managed to create the Atacama Giant without being seen in town or
traveling out there, and their vehicles had an advanced tires that don't
leave tracks. It's also possible that the US 1040 income tax code makes
sense to someone somewhere on the planet.
Back in the real world, we need to look at more plausible causes. Again,
rejecting extraterrestrial alien visitors out of hand is an irrational,
intellectually dishonest response. Since it's pretty clear that today's
humans lack the technology and several other requirements for creating this
and other images without leaving a trace of their presence, who else might
have the technology? A band of chimpanzees?
In this book, you will see quite a few historical anomalies brilliantly
photographed and brilliantly examined. With each one, you also get some
background information. Often, that includes an observation of a meta
pattern formed by similar anomalies. In many cases, the examination goes
into the precision of the work it took to create the anomaly. In all of
these cases, it doesn't seem possible that modern humans made the thing. So
how did it come into being?
Well, we know members of CONgress didn't make these images. The only
thing they have shown any ability to create is debt (ours, not theirs). We
could move up on the IQ scale to that band of chimpanzees theory, that
doesn't work either.
And what about the content of these images? The detail doesn't leave one
speculating that, hey, if you let your eyes go out of focus you can just
about imagine this looks like maybe a flying machine or that looks like
maybe a space suit. Instead, the detail leaves one speculating, hey, if this
isn't a flying machine or that isn't a space suit, what the heck else could
is possibly be? And then when you realize you're looking at an image that's
thousands of years old the space alien theory looks amazingly sound.
There may be another explanation, but we are still waiting for one that
can pass the smell test. In the meantime, von Daniken continues to
entertain, dazzle, and inform his readers. And we are many; his books have
sold over 65 million copies.
This book spans 202 pages of content, including a photo that faces the
first page on which the book itself begins. In addition, it has a short
Author's Note, Table of Contents, references, index, and About the Author. It consists of
three chapters; each is divided into 9, 13, and 11 sections respectively.
An extract from my review of Twilight of the Gods:
Yes, von Daniken is controversial. That does make his books entertaining. But that isn't their only value. He also raises questions that are impossible to answer via our current "book of knowledge." His "alternative" explanation, namely
extraterrestrials, becomes the only sensible explanation almost by default.
While von Daniken does not always get his facts right, there is a fact that is yet
again proven by this book. The purchase of a von Daniken book is never a waste of money.
These comments from my review of Twilight of the Gods and Odyssey of the Gods apply also to Evidence
of the Gods:
His iconic book, Chariot of the Gods, not only fueled a counterculture but
also became a hit in the main culture. Even after some three dozen books, Erich
von Daniken continues to enrapt readers with his provocative thinking,
irrefutable evidence, and clear logic. Plus some anomalies that have astute
Whether his information and conclusions are correct is almost irrelevant to
many readers (count me in that group). His books are always worth reading,
because they are a pleasure to read. Even with so many books under his belt, von Daniken has written yet another jewel.