Born on April 14th, 1935, in Zofingen, Switzerland, Erich von Däniken was educated at the College St-Michel in Fribourg, where already as a student he occupied his time with the study of the ancient holy writings. While managing director of a Swiss 5-Star Hotel, he wrote his first book, Chariots of the Gods, which was an immediate bestseller in the United States and Germany, and later in 38 other countries.
In the United States, Erich von Däniken won instant fame as a result of the television special “In Search of Ancient Astronauts,” based upon his first book. In 1993, the German television station SAT-1 started a twenty-five part TV series with and by Erich von Däniken, entitled “Auf den Spuren der All-Mächtigen” (Pathways of the Gods). In 1996, the ABC Television Network produced a one-hour special, filmed all over the world, entitled “Chariots of the Gods – The Mysteries Continue,” which was first broadcast in America on September 26, 1996. ABC produced another documentary with Erich von Däniken seen on the Discovery Channel. In Germany, the biggest TV network, RTL, showed the film on November 26, 1996. 7.7 million viewers in Germany alone watched the program. In February 2001 the British Television Network Channel 4 followed up with a biography of Erich von Däniken which has since aired all over the world.
Erich von Däniken’s latest book is Twilight of the Gods: The Mayan Calendar and the Return of the Extraterrestrials. In this book, he meticulously investigates the mysteries surrounding the Mayan calendar, its amazing connection to the Ancient Astronaut Theory, and tantalizing information on the Extraterrestrials’ prophetic return to Earth. In late 2011, von Däniken’s Odyssey of the Gods was re-released with new information on the history of the Greeks and possible locations of Atlantis.
Erich von Däniken’s publications are available at www.legendarytimesbooks.com, the online bookstore of his international research association A.A.S. R.A. / www.legendarytimes.com. Erich von Däniken’s books have been translated into 32 languages and have sold 63 million copies worldwide. From his books two full-length documentary films have been produced: “Chariots of the Gods” and “Messages of the Gods.”
Of the more than 3,000 lectures which Erich von Däniken has given in 25 countries, over 500 were presented at universities. Fluent in four languages, Erich von Däniken is an avid researcher and a compulsive traveler, averaging 100,000 miles each year to remote spots of the Earth. This enables him to closely examine the phenomena about which he writes.
Erich von Däniken is a member of the Swiss writers association, the German writers association, and the International PEN-Club. He was awarded with an Honorary Doctorate degree by the La Universidad Boliviana, and received the “Huesped Illustre” award from the cities of Ica and Nazca in Peru. In Brazil he received the “Lourenço Filho” award, and in Germany he was awarded with the “Order of Gordon Bleu du Saint Esprit” (together with the German astronaut Ulf Merbold). In 2004 he was awarded with the “Explorers Festival” prize preceded in 2003 by the “Ideas Oscar” in Switzerland for his Mysteries of the World Theme Park.
Today, Erich von Däniken lives in the small mountain village of Beatenberg in Switzerland (40 miles from Berne, above the city of Interlaken). In 2003 the Mysteries of the World Theme Park, initialized by Erich von Däniken, opened in Interlaken, Switzerland. A platform for the presentation and research of the mysteries of the world, including Paleo-SETI, AKA the Ancient Astronaut Theory. 2009 the theme park changed its name from Mystery Park to Jungfrau Park.
Since it began airing in 2010, Erich von Däniken has contributed to “Ancient Aliens,” the most successful documentary series ever aired by the History Channel. So far there have been seven seasons and over 100 episodes produced.
In 1998, Erich von Däniken co-founded the Archaeology, Astronautics and SETI Research Association, A.A.S. R.A., which publishes the English journal Legendary Times™ reporting about the latest research in the Paleo-SETI field.
Erich von Däniken has been married to Elisabeth Skaja since 1960. He has one daughter, Cornelia (born 1963), and two grandchildren. Von Däniken is a hobby-chef and a lover of Bordeaux wines.