In 1968, immediately after the publication of Chariot of the Gods by Erich von Däniken, I would gaze, expectantly out of the bedroom window of my Balham flat, anticipating the imminent arrival of aliens – and by this I don’t mean people from South-East London 😊
I would trawl over Tooting Bec Common, desperate for signs of a spaceship runway from 50,000 BC – perhaps on the Tooting Bec running track, or pondering whether the Lido was in fact a giant (or tiny) fountain built by Martians?
Von Däniken suggested many Biblical events were carried out by alien races. I once saw a ladder with Jacob written on the side and believed this was a prophesy of Von Däniken, only to discover that this Jacob was in fact a painter and decorator from Clapham.
The destruction of Sodom was probably not done by people from outer space but executed by a group of pyromaniacs from neighbouring Gomorrah.
Such was the success of the first book, it spawned many others – invariably with Gods in the title. It all got a bit hard to believe when Confessions of an Ancient God and Carry on Corn Circling were released.
I’m writing this from a condominium in Roswell; the neighbours are lovely but do keep churning up the local park making it look like the East-West runway at Heathrow Airport, saying they’ve relatives visiting.