Do you have any guillty pleasures ? Something you like, but don’t really want others to know about. Because I’m in to the UFO-culture, you’ll find a trip to Roswell, New Mexico on my ” bucket list”. I have been interested in the topic since I was 8-9 years old, and the start was perhaps an escape from a life without any excitement. I’m not so eccentric that I think we have had visitors from other galaxies, but it is a fascinating thought experiment.
I have not read any of his books, but I know Erik Von Daniken by reputation. This Swiss pseudo-multiple professions has written several of the biggest tall tales in modern times . One of his books, Chariots of the Gods, was published in 1968. This book and a documentary film an independent American production company made three years later, fueled the so-called ancient astronaut theory. The theory was that aliens had visited us long ago and built some of the greatest achievements we have accomplished, for example the pyramids in South America and Egypt. I think it was also an attempt to say that we can manage better without God, because they believed that God himself had been one of those alien astronauts. Or to put it another way: God was dead (that was particularly a concern for the Soviet Union which used their cosmonauts in that type of propanda).
What interests me most is that all these ideas came out during a period when people had had enough of the government. Several grassroots/counter movements developed, especially the hippies. This was at the time when many Americans protested the Vietnam War and Watergate. It was also during this period ” UFO buffs ” became seriously dissatisfied with life and what the authorities presented as truth. Suddenly people question everything, except their own judgment. That may have resulted in a few people accepting pretty outrageous claims without asking any critical questions, things that had not previously received much attention from the masses. That provided room for the New Age-religion to be created, among other things, but leaving just as many people disillusioned.
It’s actually not that different from what is happening today, but the situation may still be very different. Wikileaks has made sure that many of these lies and liars have been exposed. It will be interesting to see if this is enough to stop a new counterculture. There is still good reason to suspect the major international players, both companies and governments. They have a tendency to deceive people and that naturally makes people suspicious.
Whatever happens I don’t think it’ll do the world any harm if a new grassroot movement was to arise, as long as it isn’t violent or keeps us just as passive of course. Nonetheless, I hope people have more sense than to rely on aliens to give their lives meaning. That’s something we must do on our own.
I have a suspicion that this is the white man’s problem, though. This lack of meaning in a society that is otherwise characterized by abundance and diversity does not seem to be a problem for others. It may have to do with this abundance being somewhat skewed .