Seminar "Atom & Logos" Dr. Robert C. Newman
August 1983, St. Vincent, West Indies Prof. of N.T., Biblical Seminary
A CRITIQUE OF CHARIOTS OF THE GODS
Von DŠniken's theory: earth visited frequently in past centuries by visitors from outer space
His evidence: strange art; massive structures beyond human ability; accounts of miracles
Will critique this theory using evidence from archaeology
Baalbek, Lebanon: Space Travel Center?
Von DŠniken says this is ancient space travel center, refers to platform with stones weighing 2000 tons
Stones are huge, but not that big; architecture and historical info indicate structure is temple built by Romans in 2nd cen AD
Somebody moved stones weighing 800‑1500 tons
Athens, Greece: Sophisticated Building Design
Parthenon shows ancients not stupid: know details on builders, etc.: Pericles, Phidias, 447‑438 BC
Sophisticated corrections to optical illusions incorporated in building design
Jerusalem & Caesarea, Israel: Impressive Size of Stones
Herod the Great used stones over 50 feet long, weighing hundreds of tons, building temple and breakwater
Herod was not as wealthy as Romans
Gizeh, Egypt: the Pyramids
Von D. emphasizes designed‑in secrets (pi, distance to sun); impossibilty of moving stones with wooden rollers; too much time needed to build (he estimates 664 yr)
Egyptians must have known pi to make chariot wheels
Distance to sun off by 5%. Pretty good for Eyptians, pretty bad for astronauts!
Evidence from antiquity on Egyptians and Babylonians moving large stones
Dated stones show pyramid building took 10‑20 years
Evidence for developing techonology of pyramid building
Easter Island: Giant Heads
Von D.: impossible to set up several hundred 60‑ton stone heads with only 200 inhabitants!
See Thor Heyerdahl, Aku‑Aku:
6 men could carve head in one year
Whole population could move to site in day or two
12 men were able to erect one in 18 days
Nazca, Peru: Spaceship Landing Site?
Von D.: runways of spaceport; large animal‑figures only viewable from air;
arrow on coast
But runways cross hills, deeply furrowed at intersections
Ground too soft anyway
Each large figure is made of one continuous line, perhaps a path for dancing in a sympathetic magic ceremony
Space travelers need arrow?
No evidence here for supertechnology beyond known ancient abilities
No evidence here for visits by extra-terretrials