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
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,
———. 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.

Previous articleArariel
Next articleAshtar