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scowl

"Chariots of the God", the 1972 documentary

29 posts in this topic

This was the classic scary documentary I saw as a kid forty years ago. Netflix dusted off the DVD for me. Let's put those fancy cable shows aside for a moment and go back to the old days when ancient astronauts seemed plausible until we forgot about them.

The credits start off passing over a star field much like the Enterprise did. Out of tune easy listening music hums over them. Suddenly we see a distant galaxy spinning while frightening sounds fill our ears, like a squeaking door with pounding tympany. We get closer and closer until we suddenly cut to the telescope at Mount Palomar. We learn more and more about this telescope. It can see a point four billion light years away. A light year is "six by twelve zeros" in case you need to know that.

Suddenly another galaxy fills the screen. We see more pretty pictures of nebula. Then we go right to the point: "On how many of these stars could life exist?" I'll assume they mean the planets that orbit around them. As many as 50 millions stars in our galaxy could support a "highly developed form of life". Trust us on that and we'll give you a better factoid: "It's quite possible that our own planet at some remote moment in its past had a visitor from one of these 50 million stars." Buying this so far?

Hold your skepticism because they quote a bunch of eggheads. Exobiologist, I mean, rocket engineer Warner Von Braun has stated that it's a "definite probability" that intelligent life is somewhere else in the "infinite reaches of the universe." Hermann Oberth, who they claim is "the father of interplanetary travel" by writing about it in the 1950's says he "I believe that it's possible" for intelligent beings to have visited Earth "at a remote point in time." Would you believe this documentary was produced in Germany?

Now we have the "believe our eggheads, not the other eggheads" part. Scientists are whiny babies when it comes to new ideas. Did you know that scientists didn't believe trains were practical because "humans were incapable of withstanding speeds of over twenty miles an hour." Odd that humans had been riding horses at speeds over thirty miles an hour for centuries but no time to think. A smart looking Russian scientist (horn rimmed glasses and goatee -- he would pass as a hipster where I live) with a name I can't google but is from the Moscow Academy of Natural Science and replies "in the affirmative" that aliens have visited Earth. Yet another Russian scientist with a name I can't google from The Academy of Science in Minsk (apparently now the Belarus Academy of the Sciences) is absolutely convinced aliens have been here because of "the many traces they have left behind". Unfortunately "we have not yet learned how to interpret their traces." So maybe they're not extraterrestrial? I guess I shouldn't jump to conclusions.

Grainy footage of a Saturn V launch tells of man's desire to rise above the Earth. Wow, awesome footage of three rockets blowing up on the launch pad or being detonated in the air! We humans sucked at space travel until we got to the Moon. That "put the entire heavens within our reach." Isn't that kind of exaggerating a 200,000 mile trip? Why no it's not. "In the course of this century, man will land on Mars." Copyright 1972, so it must mean last century. "In the next one, on Venus." Man on Venus? We can't even get probes to last two hours on that hell hole! Well, more stock footage of rocket launches.

Then it gives us a non-sequitur question to ponder. "How will our astronauts be welcomed when they set foot on another populated star? As enemies? Or as gods?" I guess we're jumping ahead to the 22nd or 23rd century, and I'll assume star means planet again. Now we have the false stories from World War 2 that we Americans built airfields on "remote South Pacific islands" (carefully not saying the names of these islands). "The inhabitants of these islands, isolated from the outside world, lived virtually in the Stone Age." Actually we built air fields on fairly large populated islands that already had a modern infrastructure. Anyway, we Americans split and "very soon afterwards the natives began making straw and bamboo fetishes resembling airplanes to tempt the visitors back." Aw, they missed our violence! "They scanned the heavens, day and night. Watching... and waiting!" Stock footage of Africans in costumes staring up at the sky in unison and dancing around fires. Look, there's a plane made out of straw! That must have taken the crew a whole day to build. So they thought we were gods, just like in those Gilligan's Island episodes.

This resulted in a new unspecified religion. The "Russian scholars" (not even scientists!) Zaitsev and some other guy (google fails me again) proposed that all religions began in just this manner. Wars? Visits from advanced societies? More footage of natives staring up to the sky. Their necks must be getting sore. Oh well, they torch the awesome straw airplane, I guess they were p***ed at the film crew.

More stock footage of religious ceremonies lead us to this: "In Mexico and South America, from Egypt to India, throughout the world, people have legends, fables, and even religions which center around visits from foreign astronauts." What? "Of course they don't call them astronauts but gods who came to Earth in miraculous sky vehicles." Whew, he had me going there! Back in the 80's I met Al Worden who flew the Command Module on Apollo 15. He didn't seem like a god.

We have to accept these accounts because they're everywhere. Wow, specifics follow. Tibetan Lamaism has about a thousand books. "The secret code of these texts is most complex devised by man." Looks like some loose interpretation of this code means they talk about god appearing in the sky living in luminous transparent spheres in the sky.

On to the Indian Mahabharata. They say it's 6,000 years old but it's more like 2,300. Check out the descriptions of "vimanas" from it. A little imagination and you'll see they were powered with jets, depending on how you interpret "propeller". The doc says that Bhima flew on a beam of light but interpretations now say the sky just brightened. The "beam of light" is important because we immediately see a Russian Proton rocket. Get it?

Onto Baghdad. They take us to the Iraq Museum which unfortunately was looted during our advance on the city in the war. 5,000 years ago creatures appeared burst of smoke and noise. Ah, they're referring to the Gilgamesh. They got the date right! Unfortunately they say it has a creation story just like Genesis which shouldn't be possible since the Bible was written thousands of years later. They have never heard of plagiarism? Anyway Gilgamesh flew in a space chariot for twelve hours and looked back at Earth and gave vague descriptions of land and water. "The American moon men (?) used very much the same words to describe their impressions of the Earth from high in space." At least Gilgamesh did better than Billy Meier.

We've got Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient Troy, atom bombs and multistage rockets in the Bible, spooky drawings, etc.

They bring up the Piri Res map. They want you to believe that this map was drawn from above the Earth. It's actually a compilation of maps placed in an arrangement from one perspective giving you that impression.

The pyramids. About time! Of course all this has been explained in recent years. They do the usual numerology with arbitrary numbers and they align with astronomical value. If you use the correct arbitrary numbers. The mummification was of course developed by aliens.

Well, that's just the first half hour. I'll post more later!

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Thank you Scowl, you're saving everyone time and a nasty headache. Looking forward to hearing more!

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I actually fell asleep last night before I finished reading this, lol. Hilarious stuff from 1972 documentary. I may have actually seen this myself back in the day. :P

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I actually fell asleep last night before I finished reading this, lol. Hilarious stuff from 1972 documentary. I may have actually seen this myself back in the day. :P

I was getting quite sleepy myself watching this because it really slows down in the second half. Maybe I can just sum it up now...

It becomes little more than a tour of the most incredible ancient constructions telling us that "Aliens did it! No other explanation!" In recent years we've been able to duplicate the techniques that had been used to move gigantic blocks of stone over long distances. Never underestimate what 30,000 people and clever systems can do over several years. Once cement and powered tools were invented and people found other things to do, these clever masonry techniques were no longer necessary.

A few cases were misleading of course. One case was stone heads which had been discovered in remote jungle areas where there are no roads. No roads? How did they get there? Easy. They had been placed there hundreds of years ago so the roads used to transport them have long since been overgrown and washed away. :rolleyes:

They also showed the incredible masonry at the City of Great Zimbabwe. The granite stones are said to all be exactly the same size. I don't know why they showed a close up which clearly showed they aren't all the same size. It's now known that the natives split the granite by building fires under granite outcrops and hitting them with stone axes. Granite is brittle and will split cleanly. Also they purposely didn't mention the age of the city (Iron Age, just a few hundred years old) because this didn't fit in with "ancient" constructions from thousands of years ago.

It also tries very hard to find any ancient drawing that looks anything like a creature doing something like flying a spacecraft or wearing a spacesuit. One shows a spooky creature leaning forward and using some tool. This has to be an ancient astronaut steering his spacecraft! Any drawing of an animal or person that appears to be a bulky or have been drawn with straight lines is clearly an alien wearing a pressure suit. One even appears to be wearing, and this is straight from the film, "an oxygen mask". When visiting Earth, be sure to wear an oxygen mask! Surely these drawings of frightening creatures (and they are frightening!) were created by those in power to keep the tribes spooked and obedient.

One interesting theme is that these drawings are supposed to represent spacecraft similar to the ones used in our primitive space program. There is no mention of spacecraft with no visible means of propulsion like the UFOs of today although they do show one classic flying saucer. The rest are all alien equivalents of giant rockets of the 1970s with huge plumes of fire coming out of exhaust nozzles. The doc constantly cuts to Saturn and Proton rockets so you can see how similar they look to the ancient drawings (you have to use your imagination). I guess with the space program in full swing at the time of this documentary, more viewers could relate to giant rockets than flying saucers.

They go too far when they say that the "perfectly circular" Sacred Cenote in Mexico could only have been formed by the exhaust of a giant rocket. First, it ain't perfectly circular. Second, a rocket that size would have left far more destruction than a neat hole in the ground. Third, Cenotes are formed by limestone dissolving from underground water sources which tend to leave circular holes. There are many examples with caves below them which have also been formed by water dissolving limestone.

I'll have to post again to cover the ancient religions part. The hip Russian scientist comes back again to tell us that many religions say some white dude came from the sky, taught them some stuff, and flew back into the sky. We're supposed to think this is Jesus hence Jesus was an alien, but wise people know that Jesus was not the white bearded guy with Nordic features depicted in European paintings.

And I have to post when I get to the big finale, the very foundation of the "Chariots of the Gods" book. Yes, I'm talking about the "ancient alien airports"!

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Strange now looking back and thinking COTG was going to be a world-changer... though I was still young and impressionable in those far off days!

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Lots of people were. It was the first ET book that the general public bought by the millions.

It wasn't just another collection of "Believe it or not!" UFO stories with blurry photos and no conclusion. This book had answers in black and white that seemed to many people to have scientific merit. Instead of blurry photos there was a glossy photo insert that showed ancient drawing of aliens and the ruins of alien airports as plain as day. It seemed like Von Danikin was describing a revolution that would rewrite human history. Sure, some scientists would dismiss it but they would be a grumbling minority soon enough.

Not only were these ideas rejected by historians and scientists, they had been hearing about them for years. Many "ancient" artifacts mentioned in the book were proved to be modern. Von Danikin even went to jail for fraud unrelated to the book.

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The 1970s were an amazing time for open-minded scientific exploration into the paranormal and unknown. Perhaps one day the pendulum will swing back.

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The 1970s were an amazing time for open-minded scientific exploration into the paranormal and unknown. Perhaps one day the pendulum will swing back.

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You call complete disregard for science and outright fabrication of evidence for open minded?!?!?! I have a completely different word for it and I shall certainly not hope that the pendulum swings back....

Cheers,

Badeskov

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You call complete disregard for science and outright fabrication of evidence for open minded?!?!?!

I don't believe any of those words are in my previous post, so...no, that's probably not what I meant by open-minded. :blush:

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I don't believe any of those words are in my previous post, so...no, that's probably not what I meant by open-minded. :blush:

I am sorry, it was certainly not my intention to attribute such to you and if it came across like that, I profusely apologize blush.gif I was merely responding that way since your words were spoken in a thread specifically about Erich von Däniken's book (Chariots of the Gods), and he has been fabricating evidence to support his case and sell his books. He even admitted to such behavior in interviews.

Unfortunately he was not the only one in that era, hence I personally feel a bit weary about the whole upturn in paranormal research in that era. I hope that explains my position :)

Cheers,

Badeskov

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I too feel its time to ground ourselfs into real science and research ! All the movies and books we can ever create out of our vivid minds.

We should Look at the actual universe and physics in our reality. Then maybe we can grow enough to over come our differences on this world,that only has limited resources

to support us for a very narrow time frame. As far as our time here goes. I know I look up every night into the wondrous stars to gain my prespective on where I believe I am.

We all could use some real grounding to whats really for us to Do. Keep Looking Up ,For thats where it mostly all is ! Mostly ! :tu:

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You call complete disregard for science and outright fabrication of evidence for open minded?!?!?! I have a completely different word for it and I shall certainly not hope that the pendulum swings back....

I agree that the 70's were a time when suddenly a lot of terribly flawed paranormal research ended up in the mass media without any journalistic skepticism. We regularly saw news stories about ESP as if it had already been proved to be an undeniable scientific fact. My gosh we were just beginning to understand the amazing powers of our own minds!

There were charlatans like Uri Geller hitting the talk shows living off the public's desire to believe in just about anything. There were also borderline charlatans like the Amazing Kreskin who didn't say outright that they had paranormal powers but let everyone believe it (he claimed to be a "mentalist"). We heard about psychics that had been called in to solve murders so it was clear they were the real deal.

We didn't see any stories that revealed that the supposedly scientific ESP studies were done under very casual conditions (the only conditions where they got the results they wanted!) and sometimes falsified. We didn't hear that many of these apparent demonstrations of ESP were nothing more than old magic tricks or how they always failed under strict scientific protocol. We never heard that those psychics who "solved murders" didn't really contribute anything to the investigations. No one asked why psychics couldn't predict anything important. These were not what people wanted to hear.

Yeah, after the social revolution of the late 60's the public's mind was open to new things in the 70's but we also saw that the public badly wanted to believe almost anything. Telepathy, pyramid power, psychic communication with plants, speed reading... all these are jokes now but were serious cocktail party material back then.

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[...] Yeah, after the social revolution of the late 60's the public's mind was open to new things in the 70's but we also saw that the public badly wanted to believe almost anything. Telepathy, pyramid power, psychic communication with plants, speed reading... all these are jokes now but were serious cocktail party material back then.

Ain't that the same nowadays? Just to clarify: from what I do see, things are worsening... Just enough to see whats going-on on certain UM topics...

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Ain't that the same nowadays? Just to clarify: from what I do see, things are worsening... Just enough to see whats going-on on certain UM topics...

Precisely. The only difference between then and now is that the scientific field has, as a whole, turned a complete and blind eye to the paranormal and any serious study concerning it. So essentially these days, most, if not all, "research" carried out is by uneducated laymen. The loons are basically running the hospital, if paranormal research is the hospital and the loons are self-described professionals.

As I said, perhaps science will once again find some substance in this line of research and opt to once more step in and empirically mediate exploration into these type of topics.

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[...] The only difference between then and now is that the scientific field has, as a whole, turned a complete and blind eye to the paranormal and any serious study concerning it.[...]

Science never turned blind eye on this stuff. Just those (paranormal) claims never survived till the end. Just imagine your enthusiasm digging the trench, just to fill another one, and the other day doing that backwards. And thats going endlessly, back and forth. Paranormal will stay paranormal.

[...] So essentially these days, most, if not all, "research" carried out is by uneducated laymen. The loons are basically running the hospital, if paranormal research is the hospital and the loons are self-described professionals.[...]

Agree with that, and it will continue with increasing pace. Sad, but thats reality, as far as history (well... in my opinion) shows.

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I liked the part where all the runners were running on the beach !

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The seventies were great for Mr. Von Daniken,he made lots of money out of fabricated and quite frankly unscientific evidence and should have been consigned to history as the faker he is.But unfortunately the History channel decided to dig him back out of obscurity for more verbal ******ks.

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The Chariots of the Gods. The other day when I ordered the Ancient Aliens box set there was also the DVD of ‘Chariots’ available but had no interest whatsoever in purchasing it. Reason being that it is old and will inevitably have many things in it that are now shown to be incorrect or misleading. Also it would surely only give the bias opinion of the author as do many writings from authors who theorise events, occurrences or found relics. I’d only watch Chariots if I had a spare five minutes and with the intention of picking out the inconsistencies.

For me today I’ll glimpse at the old info, yes, but only as a reference to how things change either due to more scientific methods available to locate, authenticate and date relics. See what some used to believe. Just like when we see the old original drawings of what the scientists thought the dinosaurs looked like. We have come a long way from those original ideas as well as rarely putting a skeleton together wrongly or with different animal parts. And there are so many sceptics and high quality researches today it is far harder to pull the wool over peoples – including fellow scientists’ - eyes. But IMO we are still in the embryonic stage of sciences and still have to be wary of even the latest info handed to us. The open minded thing where we should never lock the door without first making sure we always keep the key safe and be willing to open others.

There must also be considered in the equation that many researches and scientists were genuine about their theories and ideas and passions. Only later to find they had walked with tunnel vision down a path due to being overly enthusiastic to be ‘right’ or discover the ‘truth’. These surely can be forgiven. Both for the reason that we all make mistakes or jump to wrong conclusions at one time or another; and secondly even if a lot of the stuff from the past is bull it has now helped us see clearer through the bull today, IMO. It’s made us more wary not to believe everything we read and see. Having spent many years in a ‘cult’ believing they were adhering to certain practices worldwide but weren’t taught me a valuable lesson. If I’d looked deeper and not at face value assuming all was well and in order in the other congregations worldwide I’d not even joined the blasted thing and saved myself a lot of emotional damage and heart ache. But do I regret the misleading path I was on? No. As all things should be seen as valuable lessons and that none of us hold the ultimate ‘truth’.

There is no point crying foul sometimes as it is the responsibility of each of us to do our own research or take everything with a pinch of salt as rarely is anything set in concrete or without change over time. Sure, downright confessed lies are not acceptable and are rightly dealt with by law.

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The Chariots of the Gods. The other day when I ordered the Ancient Aliens box set there was also the DVD of ‘Chariots’ available but had no interest whatsoever in purchasing it. Reason being that it is old and will inevitably have many things in it that are now shown to be incorrect or misleading. Also it would surely only give the bias opinion of the author as do many writings from authors who theorise events, occurrences or found relics.

In that case, you should probably try to cancel your order for the Ancient Aliens Box set then if biased, incorrect, and misleading interpretations are not your thing...

Edited by Mike G

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In that case, you should probably try to cancel your order for the Ancient Aliens Box set then if biased, incorrect, and misleading interpretations are not your thing...

Lol, knew someone would say this.

Now how could I make an educated comment on something I had not viewed? Bit like my ex cult that strongly desuaded any literature or media be read outside the cult's own all enlightened material. Just in case its members educated themselves and realised most of what the cult said was s***. Besides my viewing of Ancient Aliens I watch anything I can view with my limited time available regaridng ancient cultures, anicent art, ancient history and so forth. So when I do watch programs like AA I can see from all sides of arguements, theories and ideas.

Like the AA episode about monsters that viewed the other day. They showed the Montauk but they did not mention that the Montauk was not some genetic mutant from human DNA experimentation or alein influence but was a dead raccoon. (And by the way if people are not aware yet that the cervo Azul Monster was actually a sloth...). Now how did I know this. Because I watch other programs and do my own research so I can sieve out the rubbish or that that hasn't been brought to some peoples attention. Again, a very valuable lesson learnt from being in a cult.

And again, most of my knowledge about ancient star ancestors or 'aliens' I had before I'd even heard of The Chariots of the Gods or the series Ancient Aliens.

My advice to anyone is to read all that one can, even the rubbish, for how can you know what is fact, truth or rubbish if you do not do your own research and draw your own opinion on something and not the opinion of someone else.

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Out of pure curiosity, what or who was the worshiped deity of your ex-cult?

Was it an alien?

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Lets finish off the rest of "Chariots of Fire", oh I mean "Chariots of the Gods".

I'll back track a little so you can check out the frescoes at the Visoki Decani Monestary in Serbia. So I guess during the Crucifixion there were aliens flying around checking it out? The film doesn't dig too deep into what the scene was supposed to depict. It only says, "Recent the question has been asked, 'Do the frescoes of Decant represent spaceships?'". Don't think too hard on the question because the movie gives you the answer right away. "Yes, they do look a bit like space ships." Well, there you go. "In the first ship [actually the second one on the right of the fresco], we see a man seated, his hand on a stick shift." Actually we can't really see if he's seated or not and we clearly can't see his hand on anything that resembles a control. His right hand is on his knee and his left hand is open holding nothing. "Please note the aerodynamic form. Jets are clearly seen." What aerodynamic form? These are two round things with pointy things sticking out of them. "The spectators are protecting their faces with their hands. They are obviously terrified." Yeah, they're not weeping over Jesus's suffering. They're spooked the the two flying saucers.

Let's move onto the the rock paintings in Valcomonica in Italy. "There are portrayals of strange gods in bulk primitive overalls. Their helmets seem to carry antenna." Again our ancient space travelers are dressed up like our astronauts. I'd say they're rough drawings of human forms wearing some masks. Strangely there is no mention of the triangular tools they appear to be holding. Take a look at them at this blog.

I already covered the Piri Res maps and the pyramids. Man, there is lots and lots of panning and slow zooms through this section to pad it out. Yes, there are many crazy heavy artifacts carved out of solid blocks of stone. "No one knows how" is repeated several times and I guess we're supposed to say "Aliens did those things!" Forty years later we have a much better idea of how these things were done. Never underestimate what you can do with ropes, pullies, blocks of wood and thousands of people. They show giant artifacts being moved by hydraulic machinery for construction of the gigantic Aswan Dam. They had to saw them apart, move them and put them back together over a period of three years. Compared to how much labor it took to make them, that's pretty damn quick. The movies asks "How did the Egyptians tackle the same problems [sic] without these techniques thirty centuries earlier?" We see artifact after artifact getting hauled away but the movie forgot to tell us that aliens did it.

And here's the where this section of movie really drags. We see a parade of engineering marvels of the ancient world but the movie doesn't even mention aliens here. It certainly doesn't give any reasonable explanation as to why aliens would be helping us build these things. They do throw one good one at us. The movie notes the incredibly large stone slabs (some over 2,000 tons) that for a retaining wall that the Temple of Baalek sits on. Then we have a typically vague statement: "The Russian research scientist Agrest submits that it serves as a launch pad for travelers from outer space." First, why do they keep referring to Russian scientists? Are they better than ours? Second, why don't Russian scientists ever have first names so we can look them up? Third, why haven't aliens discovered concrete yet? Of course there is no mention of any traces of the explosions of these ancient rockets.

Check out the prehistoric paintings in the mountains and plateaus of Djanet and Tassili. There are thousands of them and most of them are boring animals and hunters with arrows. But there are a few that look like our modern aliens. "No eyes, no nose, no mouth, only peepholes around little apertures." But check out this creepy one. It looks like a werewolf that's about to grab you.

The movie then goes back to the amazing masonry of ancient times. "A visiting race of master builders?" Actually we've since discovered how many of these things were built.

You'll see lots of creepy things at the National Museum of Anthropolgy in Mexico City. One thing you'll see is this thing called the Brazier. See what it really is? Come on look harder! Dammit, it obviously depicts a modern Proton rocket. Can't you see the nozzles? Well, the movie immediately cuts to a Proton rocket so there's no doubt.

Shoot, I'll have to skip over the Easter Island stuff. There is lots of information of its history now making the alien hypothesis pretty weak.

Let's wrap up our journeys. "The mysteries of the past manifest themselves on all continents." We see kangaroos hopping around so we must be at the last continent, Australia. These are the Wandjina Paintings in the Northwest. Do they look like Greys? You bet they do. Well, anything round with dark holes do. But don't tell that to our hip Russian collector whose name sounds like Kosansav but I've found no Russian name close to it. "In my opinion these figures represent astrobeings seen on Earth." They have helmets

and "breathing apparatuses" and "pressure suits".

We're back with Dr. Vyacheslav Zaitsev, yet another Russian scientist (but with a first name this time!). He points out they found the skull of a bison from 40,000 years ago with a hole in it that looks like a bullet hole. It looks like it was hit with a pointed ax. He also points out the paintings found in Fergana in Uzbekistan This is neat because it has a real flying saucer, however it's propelled by a chemical rocket.

Damn, I'm going to have to save the "ancient airports" for yet another post!

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I bet you're all dying to know how "Chariots of the Gods" ends. Will it all make sense in the end? What do you think?

Let me back up to a couple of Aztec artifacts. Did you know that if you look at some Aztec art that has lots of lines in it, it looks kind of like the diagram of an "integral circuit"? Of course it isn't a diagram of an integrated circuit but don't get bogged down in minor details, like what they show as an IC is actually a "printed circuit board". They both look like a random bunch of lines proving nothing.

Another bit of Aztec art appears to show something with two handles on a hinge bolt. Of course the rest of the drawing is completely solid but "becomes on completion very much like a modern mechanical space claw". Unless you're an ancient astronaut, you probably call your "space claw" "pliers" because you don't use them to repair your space ships. Of course we found no evidence of an Aztec plier which strongly suggests that they couldn't use this diagram to make them.

Now we're back to the pre-looted National Museum of Iraq to check out the Baghdad Battery.. "When filled with hydrochloric acid, the device produces an electric current. This was no doubt a primitive electric cell." You can click on the link and find the problems: no conductors, no easy way to replace the electrolyte. But... hydrochloric acid? There is no record of it existing until eight hundred years after these clay pots had been buried. Did our ancient astronauts leave us 50 gallon drums of dangerous acid to power our primitive electric cells? I guess no one knows!

The end begins with a montage of all the stuff we've seen with pounding tympany. "Around the world we've seen architectural marvels raised in honor of the gods which came from the skies." Oh there's a modern plane flying over the pyramid. Wait, is it a space ship? Never mind, it's a plane... but you've been set up! They show an ancient painting. "This flying machine was painted on a rock wall in Japan 7,000 years ago." Although I couldn't find an image of that flying "machine" on the net, it looks a lot like a bird to me.

"This tiny golden replica of an ancient flying machine is Colombian over a thousand years old." Then a confusing declaration: "It was tested in a wind tunnel. The aerodynamic styling resembles that of a modern aircraft." Uh, note that they don't tell us how well it did in the wind tunnel. The "styling" looks to me like it would fly as well a bowling ball.

Why all the talk about ancient airplanes? That's right, we've hit the mother load of ancient technology: the ancient astronaut airport! "We approach the coast of southern Peru... there pointing the way is a trident three hundred feet high, obviously a signal." They're talking about this thing. If they just wanted to make an arrow, they made it very elaborate and confusing. "Let's follow it." I guess we have to assume it's pointing toward the land. "At last we see before us the mysterious plain of Nazca. Lines running toward us. Lines that would mean nothing to us on the ground." We see from a plane that some lines look like a spider, an eagle, a peacock, and with some artistic license, a hummingbird (it looks more like a bug to me). "The giant drawings must have been made for someone arriving by air." When we get out of our space craft, everyone meet by the spider, OK?

Then we see a bunch of pointless straight lines. "There is no doubt. They are landing fields. The plain of Nazca is a gigantic abandoned airport." So our ancient astronauts came to Earth in Space Shuttles? Damn, if only the movie had been made just a few years later! Also, airports would need a little more than runways, wouldn't they? Wouldn't there be buildings like in other Peruvian ruins? There's not a single stone to be found. "Or were they roads? Roads which go nowhere. Which suddenly stop?" Wait, I thought you said there was no doubt that they were landing fields. Why would they build roads to nowhere?

Now we wrap things up while flying over the Nazca plains. Some easy listening music gives us some much-needed relaxation after seeing that everything we knew was wrong.

"Was Earth visited by gods from distant planets? Were the gods astronauts? We've accumulated a great deal of evidence to that effect around the world. We may still doubt the conclusion but we dare not ignore the evidence! For as long as such ancient mysteries remain unexplained, our questions are valid ones."

In case you think the film is going to leave the audience with this somewhat valid statement, think again. Our screen fills with the dizzying galaxy we saw at the beginning while our narrator breathlessly asks, "Were the gods astronauts? Do you suppose that once upon a time... [dramatic pause] once upon a time... [dramatic pause, then whispering] once... upon... a time..."

And that single line eliminates what little credibility the film would have ended with.

So that's it, folks. I hear there's another version of this for television narrated by Rod Serling called "In Search of Ancient Astronauts" Serling then narrated a series of similar documentaries ending in "The Outerspace Connection" in 1975. Sadly these don't appear to be on DVD.

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So that's it, folks. I hear there's another version of this for television narrated by Rod Serling called "In Search of Ancient Astronauts" Serling then narrated a series of similar documentaries ending in "The Outerspace Connection" in 1975. Sadly these don't appear to be on DVD.

Possibly because the first one is called "In Search of Ancient Mysteries."

http://www.amazon.com/Search-Ancient-Mysteries-Rod-Serling/dp/B003AILWW4

Great review BTW. :tu:

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Possibly because the first one is called "In Search of Ancient Mysteries."

http://www.amazon.com/Search-Ancient-Mysteries-Rod-Serling/dp/B003AILWW4

That was actually yet another documentary done for television. I'm afraid this "In Search Of" has a long and confusing history but it does show how the paranormal became wildly popular in the 70's and how it made some people a lot of money.

Right after "Chariots of the Gods", the real exploitation began with "In Search of Ancient Astronauts" which was nothing more than "Chariots of the Gods" reedited by television producer Alan Landsburg who had bought the rights to the original film and renarrated by Rod Serling. This special was a surprise success on NBC, so David L. Wolper, best known for producing the documentary "Four Days in November" (and later the mini-series "Roots"), produced a competing documentary for CBS in 1974 called "Monsters! Mysteries or Myths?" with Serling as the narrator. This had all the goodies: UFOs, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster. It was a huge hit but CBS and Wolper never bothered with any more paranormal specials.

Thanks to these two network specials, the paranormal phenomena was becoming wildly accepted in the media with Uri Geller and abductees appearing on daytime talk shows. In the midst of this, Landsburg came up with a brilliant money-making scheme: write another "Chariots of the Gods" book that was somewhat more scientific than the original and promote it to the world with a television special! They were both called "In Search of Ancient Mysteries", again with Serling doing the narration. No networks wanted any part of what was effectively an infomercial for his book, so Landsburg syndicated it. It was a landmark of coordinated marketing.

Was that enough? Of course not! Next year Landsburg topped that scheme with yet another book and a companion documentary that had an actual theatrical release. It was called "The Outerspace Connection" and it was, you guessed it, more "Chariots of the Gods" stuff but this one was more like Von Daiken's weak "this old thing looks like this new thing" formula. It also threw in the legend of Atlantis as a possible (meaning probable) ancient alien base. Since the theatrical release was so successful it was aired on NBC a year later so it wouldn't appear that the network was part of Landsburg's marketing campaign. The special was released as a double DVD with "Chariots of the Gods" a few years ago.

At that point there was no stopping Landsburg. He created a production company to produce the successful syndicated series "In Search Of..." which covered just about everything: ghosts, ESP, remote viewing, plant telepathy, you name it. Unfortunately Sterling died so he hired Leonard Nimoy who narrated the series as it aired for years.

Landsburg also produced the ABC series "That's Incredible!" which featured many charlatans performing magic tricks with their "supernatural powers" while attractive hosts stood awestruck at what they were witnessing. It only lasted one season.

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