"How could a primitive African tribe possess a detailed knowledge of astrophysics centuries before the west? How did the Dogon of Mali know that the Dog Star, Sirius, was orbited by a white dwarf neighbour invisible to the naked eye - and only recently discovered? And how did they know to the decimal the orbit of this distant star?
In the most exciting new book since Chariots Of The Gods, Robert Temple suggests that the Dogon have preserved knowledge from intelligent visitors from the Dog Star's solar system, and produces evidence that 'one can only regard with awe' The Sunday Times."
As Gary Lachman reveals in The Dedalus Book Of The 1960s, books like this, later films and TV shows like The Phoenix, and Daniken himself, were all inspired by Pauwels and Bergier's Morning Of The Magicians, the book that kickstarted the modern occult revival in a way not seen since the Victorian age. As for ye olde spacemen visitors, they weren't just history, but a major part of the Aquarian age vision:
"By the mid-sixties the notion that new man was brewing amidst the paisley and day-glo was commonplace. Ancient astronauts then were not only a symbol of a forgotten golden age, but a signpost to the future."
Gary Lachman: The Dedalus Book Of The 1960s