ERICH VON DANIKEN
Erich von Daniken gave the opening talk for the conference. As the author of the book Chariots of the Gods published way back in 1968, he first popularized the ancient astronauts theory. According to Wikipedia, the ancient astronauts theory posits that intelligent extraterrestrial beings visited Earth and made contact with humans in antiquity and prehistory, which influenced the development of human cultures, technologies, and religions. Of Swiss origin, von Daniken is quite a captivating story-teller and a dedicated archeologist.