Summary: 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, Germany, and later in 38 other countries.
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, 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 American TV company ABC/Kane produced a one-hour special, filmed all over the world, entitled Chariots of the Gods - The Mysteries Continue. This film was broadcast on the ABC network on September 26th 1996. In 1996/97 ABC/Kane produced another documentary with Erich von Däniken (seen on the Discovery Channel). In Germany, the biggest TV network, RTL, showed the film on November 26th, 1996. 7,7 million viewers in Germany alone watched the program. Today, Erich von Däniken continues his filming with ABC and RTL.
Erich von Däniken just finished the manuscript of his latest book, Odyssey of the Gods, a book about Greek mythology. The book was published in May 2000 by Element Books.
Erich von Däniken's books have been translated into 28 languages, and have sold 60 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 traveller, 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 State University of Bolivia. He received the "Huesped Illustre" award from the cities of Ica and Nazca in Peru. In Brasil he received the "Lourenço Filho" award in Gold and Platin, and in Germany he was awarded with the "Order of Gordon Bleu du Saint Esprit" (together with the German astronaut Ulf Merbold).
Today, Erich von Däniken lives in the small mountain-village of Beatenberg in Switzerland (40 miles from Berne, above the city of Interlaken). Together with two committees he is currently building a fantastic theme park "Mysteries of the World". Erich von Däniken is the founder of the committees and also the vice president of the joint-stock company. This theme park "Mysteries of the World" will be opened on May 23rd 2003 in Interlaken/Switzerland.
And, airing Summer 2003 - the new TV series: Based on Erich von Däniken's best-selling books, "Chariots of the Gods" is a 22 one hour sci-fi adventure series that combines the suspenseful investigative techniques of the hit show CSI, melds it with the exotic adventures of Alias, and then throws in a dash of Tomb Raider for good measure. The series combines the style and intrigue of the popular forensic investigation and mysterious place/raranormal documentary programs.
In 1998, Erich von Däniken founded the Archaeology, Astronautics and SETI Research Association , AAS RA 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.