When I was a young teenager I held a brief fascination with Chariots of the Gods?, written by the infamous Swiss con artist and embezzler Erich von Däniken. It was only later that I discovered most of his “facts” were in error, his “eyewitness accounts” manufactured, his “speculations” laughable, and his “conclusions” the subject of absolute ridicule. Even much of his “photographic evidence” turned out to be, shall we say, “creative” compositions or fraudulently described.
Our Destination today will be covered in depth starting with Wednesday’s blog post, but on the way to that site we passed by one of Erich von Däniken’s bits of “evidence”, the 595-foot/180-meter tall prehistoric geoglyph El Candelabro — also known as the Paracas Candelabra. Mr. von Däniken claimed that El Candelabro was a giant visual navigation beacon pointing to the landing strips at the spaceport on the nearby Sechura (Nazca) Desert some 100 miles/160 kilometers to the southeast.
Amazing when you think about that claim. First of all von Däniken’s space explorers navigate visually rather than using something a tad more space-age. They’re also directionally challenged apparently, for this trident-shaped geoglyph is points in a line that would take our intrepid star trekkers far south of their spaceport. Just eyeballing it on Google Maps I would calculate they were off by around 30°. We passed by this misdirecting extraterrestrial signpost by traveling west from Paracas, past the mooring location of the Golden Princess, and boating along the north shore of the Paracas Peninsula.
On this week’s Fun Photo Friday we’ll take a look at some favorite shots of this area, but until then here’s a closeup look at von Däniken’s orbital exit sign for aliens: