‘The Gods Never Left Us’ by Erich von Däniken
2018, New Page Books
It’s tricky to remark on the fact that Erich von Däniken is still writing prolifically in his 80s, without sounding patronising. Nowadays, his books feel like extended letters sent from his mountain home in Switzerland. Always analysing, arguing, questioning. He bangs the same old drum, of course, but brings into the mix the newest scientific research, and the latest progress on the long, tortuous path towards disclosure. These days, his early work has spawned a media phenomenon in the form of the successful ‘Ancient Aliens’ TV series. In comparison, these books must seem a quaint anachronism for the newer generations. But I appreciate them, being a bit of an old hand myself (although it should be said that EVD is the same age as my Dad!)
This particular instalment kicks off with a fictional short story involving CERN and time travel, and the desire to be listened to by the gatekeepers of Knowledge. It is all too easy to psychoanalyse this short story: I suspect that academic recognition has always been a frustratingly elusive goal for von Däniken. His armchair wizardry is powerful enough, to be sure. But credibility is born of another mother altogether.
If there is a theme running through the book, it is signs from above. The Fatima sightings set the scene, dealt with briefly here. I suppose that the October 2017 event near Fátima, Portugal, which is held dear by the Roman Catholic Church, would be interpreted as a Close Encounter of the Fifth Kind by modern ufologists, in the sense of being a pro-active, human-initiated event involving a UFO-related phenomenon.