The US has Disneyland, the UK has Alton Towers – Switzerland has Mystery Park, based on the books of pseudoscientist Erich von Däniken who claims that ancient aliens visited earth to provide early humans with advanced technology. I went along so that you don’t have to, writes Richard Littler of the former tourist attraction in the Bernese Oberland resort of Interlaken.
There are also some dubiously phallic ‘megstones’ and Nazca lines which I couldn’t access when I visited, unfortunately.
For people of my generation who are not used to seeing ‘paranormal’ photos in such high resolution, I’ve made one look more the photos we saw in books and magazines of the 1970s.
Mystery Park, Von Däniken’s theme park dedicated to ancient aliens opened for only three years (2003-2006) before closing due to low turn out. It’s now a children’s park (Jungfrau Park) but the original pavilions dedicated to Mayan, Egyptian, Hindu and other ancient civilisations, remain. I took some photos…
Erich Anton Paul von Däniken (born 14 April 1935) is a Swiss author of several books which make claims about extraterrestrial influences on early human culture, traces of which can be seen in archaeology they left behind on Earth.
Von Däniken brought the Nazca Lines to public prominence in his bestselling book Chariots of the Gods? (1969) with his proposal that the lines were built on instructions from extraterrestrial beings as airfields for their spaceships. The idea did not find favour with Maria Reiche – who dedicated her life to the mysterious Nazca lines deep in the Peruvian desert.
Von Däniken later became a co-founder of the Archaeology, Astronautics and SETI Research Association (AAS RA). He designed Mystery Park (now known as Jungfrau Park), a theme park located in Interlaken, Switzerland, that opened in May 2003.
Mystery Park consisted of seven pavilions, each of which featured one of several great “mysteries” of the world.
Nazca featured the Nazca Lines near Nazca, Peru
Contact featured cargo cults
MegaStones featured Stonehenge
Maya featured the Maya calendar
Orient featured the Great Pyramid of Giza
Vimana featured the Vimana (flying palaces and chariots) described in the Hindu Mahabharata and the Rig Veda
Challenge covered space flight and Mars exploration
The Panorama Kugel was the central pavilion, topped by a 41-metre high sphere, from which the park’s grounds could be seen. The “Kugel” contained exhibits of von Däniken’s works.
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