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Ancient Astronauts

In September of last year, I was lucky enough to get to Nazca in Peru and fulfill an ambition spanning back to my teen years when I first read a book by Eric von Daniken called The Chariots of the Gods. The book suggested many fantastic theories but as I recall, the main thrust was that earth had been previously visited by alien beings and that our primitive ancestors, not understanding who or what they were, assumed them to be gods.

Von Daniken had undertaken research across the globe and found many examples of images from ancient civilisations that he suggested depicted naive interpretations of space men. These ideas struck a chord with me at the time, especially the idea that the shapes on the plains of Nazca were related to airstrips for landing space craft.

Age generally has a sobering and cynical effect and although I no longer believe Von Daniken’s theories, the plains of Nazca were an opportunity not to be missed and do indeed provide a very moving experience what ever you believe them to represent.

We hired a plane for half an hour and flew over this strange landscape, looking down on patterns that had been created in some cases, over 3000 years ago. The shapes are both familiar (humming birds, monkeys, condors and dogs) and strange: the strangest perhaps being the one von Daniken focused on, the famous astronaut figure. Having now seen it myself, I have to say that I did’nt see an astronaut. I just saw a figure with big friendly eyes wearing Wellington’s, waving to us as we flew by….

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