Erich von Daniken and David Halperin – The Paracast

In the first half of an outstanding Paracast, Biblical scholar and ufologist David Halperin debates Erich von Daniken on Ancient Astronauts, then continues on with host Gene Steinberg in a discussion of Halperin’s own sense as to what UFOs are and what they are not. Halperin pursues von Daniken doggedly across time and cultures, praising the Swiss raconteur for bringing out the “mystery” of antiquity while differing with him on almost every other point. In the process von Daniken also gets his views and methodology across. The second part of the podcast brings out the basic perspectives that inform and animate Halperin’s excellent blog articles. Though one may come away unconvinced by Halperin’s theories, he or she may very well feel they have a richer understanding of the UFO subject. With “Chariots of the Gods?”–Erich von Daniken and the Book of Enoch Halperin expands upon one of the contests he had with von Daniken in the Paracast debate. Again, Halperin finds something to praise in von Daniken’s overall work, while strongly disagreeing with his theme and methods. In the process Halperin highlights the frustrations historians have with conveying to non-historians–and beginning students in particular–what historians know and what they reconstruct about the past. (WM)

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