While in his cell [whilst incarcerated for embezzlement, fraud and forgery],
he claims, he experienced an intense vision.
Von Daniken won’t discuss the nature of the vision…
Erich Von Daniken, ancient astronaut alien fame (or, infamy)—was interviewed by Timothy Ferris; an interview you can find scanned from the original magazine here and yet, one that no one seems to have transcribed as of yet which is why we will provide much of the text within this series; previous segments part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7 and part 8.
Another problematic claim of Erich Von Daniken pertains to a supposedly absolutely accurate and yet allegedly impossibly old map:
[Timothy Ferris] Another ancient mystery you write about, no so old, is the 16th Century map put together by the Turkish cartographer Piri Reis. You write,
“There is no doubt that the maps must have been made with the most modern technical aid—from the air…whoever made them must have been able to fly and also take photographs!” [ellipses in original]
You went on to call the map “absolutely accurate” and you said it coincides with a view of the Earth from a spaceship in orbit above Cairo. The trouble is that the Piri Reis map is not “absolutely accurate,” nor does it coincide with a view from space.
[Erich Von Daniken] I’m not so sure about this, really. According to my information, it does.
[Timothy Ferris] We can take out a copy of the Piri Reis map and a modern globe and look at the two of them and see that they don’t agree.
[Erich Von Daniken] Yes, the movie crew did something similar. But for the whole map to coincide with a view from a great height is impossible, because from Cairo you cannot at the same time see the North American continent and Antarctica.
[Timothy Ferris] Here’s a copy of the Piri Reis map. If you look at the way it represents South America, for example, you’ll find that whole section of the coast are missing. Yes this is the map you call absolutely accurate.
[Erich Von Daniken] Look, the Piri Reis map is not one map. It was composed by Piri from several other old maps. So we have to deal with a mixture of several things and some of it, such as the Antarctic coast line looks as it would from a great height. I don’t have other information.
[Timothy Ferris] You had a copy of the map when you wrote your book, didn’t you?
[Erich Von Daniken] Sure, I had one.
[Timothy Ferris] And you had access to a globe of the Earth. All you had to do was compare them.
[Erich Von Daniken] It’s not so easy. Really, it’s no. Look here on the map, we have a connection between Chile and the Antarctic Continent. There is no such connection today, but maybe there was 12,000 years ago. Who knows? And there are islands off Antarctica. You explain to me how they knew about those islands.
[Timothy Ferris] It’s a fascinating question, but not one that necessarily requires ancient astronauts to answer. Do you have any qualms about telling your millions of readers that this is an absolutely accurate map, when, in fact, some parts of it ware accurate and other parts are wrong?
[Erich Von Daniken] I really don’t know. I must find out about what you say. If I find that what I’ve written is wrong, then I will be the first to correct it. At least in my next book, I’ll say this was wrong. At the time I wrote the passage, that was my information: I never invent anything.
[Timothy Ferris] Is it your opinion today, as it was when you wrote the book that the Piri Reis map could have been drawn only from the air?
[Erich Von Daniken] No, absolutely not. My opinion is that some parts of the map, especially Antarctica and the island, are a great mystery.
Note how Von Daniken goes from utter confidence, “There is no doubt” to “I’m not so sure about this.” Note further that he makes this move; only when called out on it. In other words, he does not publish a rebuttal or correction but only backs off his claims when put on the spot.