The people in the Cleveland Ufology Project sometimes bring an armload of books related to Ufology which they have finished reading, to share with others in the group. At one such giveaway I picked up a well-worn paperback by Erich Von Daniken, called Miracles of the Gods. His first book, Chariots of the Gods published decades ago, intrigued me when I read it so when this one caught my eye I didn’t hesitate to select it. As I threaded through the first 2/3 of the book, I wondered where he was going with all his suggestions that Buddha, Muhammad, Jesus, and other highly acclaimed religious figures of the various denominations over the centuries along with their assorted teachings in which there were many parallel stories, were nothing more than social justice advocates and not divine at all.
Von Daniken went on to document his visits to multitudes of sites of well-known “miraculous” physical cures such as Fatima and Lourdes – he was most disgusted by all the available souvenirs at Lourdes where he was amazed at the bottles of every size and shape for sale to any who might want to take some of the curative water of Lourdes (which he said is ordinary tap water) home.
He was acutely interested in the types of people who have the visions of the Blessed Virgin, Mary, as well as the psychology of victims of all kinds of ailments and afflictions who experienced cures. His investigations and studies left him of the opinion that the cures were autosuggestions which the ill then triggered mentally and were, in fact, healed by their own wills.
Many books have a one hundred page descriptive narrative or other type of build up before the real story gets underway and about the time I was thinking I would just take it back to the group and toss it into the heap for re-distribution he tied Ufology into the picture, with the idea that perhaps such visions and dreams were messages from extraterrestrials.