Ancient Astronaut Society

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Ancient Astronaut Society

Founded in 1973 to bring together individuals who desired to determine whether Earth was visited in prehistoric times by extraterrestrial beings and whether advanced civilizations existed on Earth prior to recorded history. Its founder was Gene M. Phillips, who headed the organization until the group became defunct. The society was established largely out of the popular response to the writings of Erich von Däniken who, in his 1969 book, Chariots of the Gods?, developed ideas first expressed in the 1950s by writers such as George Hunt Williamson, M. K. Jessup, and Desmond Leslie. Unlike the earlier texts, however, von Däniken's book became an international best-seller.

The society was inaugurated with a conference in Chicago and held annual conferences and conducted expeditions to locations around the world, from Yugoslavia to Brazil, where members could see firsthand the sites discussed in the ancient astronaut literature. The ancient astronaut hypothesis was found unconvincing by ufologists, and was quickly segregated from UFO studies.


Sitchin, Zecharia. The Stairway to Heaven. New York: Avon, 1980.

. The 12th Planet. New York: Avon, 1976.

Story, Ronald. The Space Gods Revealed: A Close Look at the Theories of Erich Von Däniken. New York: Harper & Row, 1976.

Von Däniken, Erich. Chariots of the Gods? New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1969.

. In Search of Ancient Gods: My Pictorial Evidence for the Impossible. London: Souvenir, 1974.

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Ancient Astronaut Society

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