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In Search of Ancient Mysteries (1973)

An examination of mysteries of the ancient world and their connection to the possibility that aliens visited Earth.

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This documentary examines the speculation that aliens have visited Earth in ancient times, and built structures to which they will return at a future date.

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An edited version of the 1970 German documentary "Erinnerungen an die Zukunft" (Chariots of the Gods), this examines the theory that aliens have landed on Earth in ancient times and were ... See full summary »

Director: Harald Reinl
Stars: Rod Serling, Harold P. Klein, James Lawless
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Josef Blumrich ...
Himself
Duncan A. Lunan ...
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Art Ford ...
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Sidney Fox ...
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Leslie Orgel ...
Himself (as Dr. Leslie Orgel)
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Fernando Cabieses ...
Himself - Neurosurgeon (as Dr. Fernando Cabieses)
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An examination of mysteries of the ancient world and their connection to the possibility that aliens visited Earth.

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1973 (USA)  »

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The success of this made-for-TV documentary led to the creation of the long-running "In Search Of..." series. See more »

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Spin-off In Search of (2002) See more »

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Nicely done, for what it is...much better than "Chariots of the Gods"
9 January 2010 | by (Alabama) – See all my reviews

The "ancient astronauts" theory (or Paleo-SETI theory, as its proponents now prefer to call it) was not always dismissed out of hand. In their 1966 tome "Intelligent Life in the Universe", I.S. Shklovski and Carl Sagan--yes, Carl Sagan--accepted the possibility that extraterrestrials might have visited Earth thousands of years ago. It wasn't until Erich von Däniken came along with his vague, misleading bestseller "Chariots of the Gods?" that the concept (unfairly) lost all credibility. While the chances of finding proof of ancient extraterrestrial visitation are incredibly remote, some of von Däniken's contemporaries wrote about the subject much more thoughtfully and responsibly than he did. One of them was TV producer Alan Landsburg, who brought the German film based on von Däniken's "Chariots" to American television (in abbreviated form) as "In Search of Ancient Astronauts" in 1973. The following year, Landsburg himself authored a nice little book on Paleo-SETI, "In Search of Ancient Mysteries", and this one-hour telefilm was produced as a companion piece to the book. What sets Landsburg's work apart from pure junk like "Chariots"? He was an intelligent writer, for one thing. The theory might be essentially unprovable, but--unlike the film based on von Däniken's bestseller--"In Search of Ancient Mysteries" isn't filled with such revoltingly silly observations as, "This Mexican artifact looks like a modern mechanical space-claw". Secondly, Landsburg did American TV audiences a service by exposing them to the existence of the Gate of the Sun at Tiwanaku, Bolivia and Greece's Antikythera mechanism. Finally, the inclusion of Scottish astronomer Duncan Lunan's theory about the Epsilon Bootis probe endows this program with a sense of genuine wonder. (Lunan later recanted, but hey...I needn't remind you that we're dealing entirely with "maybes" in the world of Paleo-SETI.) Rod Serling's narration is perfect, writer/director Fred Warshofsky does an admirable job of getting Landsburg's ideas across, and Roger Wagner provides the best musical backdrop I've ever heard for a "specumentary" of this type. If you're interested in seeing "In Search of Ancient Mysteries", it can be found on YouTube.


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