Errors of Erich von Daniken
The works of the ancient astronaut theorist Erich von Daniken contain many errors.
In one of his books, "The Gold of the Gods", he describes going down tunnels in Ecuador with Juan Moricz. He says that he saw statues carved in a metal that was probably gold, and reckons they were made by alien cosmonauts. He never supplies any photographs, saying that Juan Moricz stopped him from taking photographs. He later admitted the passages describing the tunnels were not true. There is a carved picture of the Maya king Pakal on the lid of Pakal's tomb, and von Daniken thinks it is of Pakal sitting in a space rocket. This idea has been met with derision. Erich von Daniken claims that the stone figures on Easter Island were made by alien cosmonauts, but the explorer Thor Heyerdahl has filmed the natives of Easter Island making the statues themselves. The statues are believed to date from a time long after Von Daniken believed alien astronauts visited the earth. Von Daniken has also argued that the Nazca lines of Peru were made by aliens, but these lines were not as difficult to make as Von Daniken contends. The science writer Carl Sagan has said he never known any books as riddled with errors as von Daniken's. The Chicago Tribune has published an article on von Daniken's loss of influence and on how his popularity waned in the 1970s (see ChicagoTribune.com/news).